This past month has been insane, and I am so lucky to have such an awesome partner to help out with cooking at home. It’s been the kind of month where I haven’t had an actual day off in over 3 weeks…not that my days off ever ever really “days off,” but I usually have my Mondays and Tuesdays for running errands, sleeping in at least a little, doing work from home in my pajamas, and getting house stuff done like laundry, cleaning, organizing, and working on my own personal projects like reorganizing my podcasts and iTunes, rather than being at the store.
But, I recently hired a second employee, and officially opened up the shop 7 days a week! Which, because of my penchant for delayed gratification, I know will eventually lead to more time and freedom for me, as our training progresses and I can slowly hand off to her the parts of my job that take way more time than they should, leaving my own projects as the ones that I can focus on, uninterrupted, from my home office (which is a way sweeter deal now that I live in a home that I absolutely love spending time in, with free delicious tea, coffee, and food whenever I want it!), and whittling my in-store time down to one or two days a week for the to-dos that require me to be in front of my work computer, Z-reports in hand, or actual cones in front of me to catalog.
Anyway, this is a long way of saying that in addition to the temporary time stresses of training a new employee on my days off, family drama, acquiring a new dog, overhauling Yarnia’s class system and hiring new instructors to teach instead of myself (also–will result in much more free time eventually…but way less for now!), I am damn lucky to have a handsome chef in the kitchen to have dinner waiting for me when I get home from work.
That was last week — and he made enough Tandoori drumsticks so that we’d have leftovers for him to make butter chicken with later on in the week! And he says he doesn’t like to plan ahead. Ha! When it comes to savory meats, that is a big fat lie.
This week? Well, we had a smashing, semi-impromptu St. Paddy’s Day barbecue at our place on Sunday afternoon, the result of which was a handsome hunk o’ smoked brisket. I managed to save a yogurt’s container worth of leftovers before it was annihilated, so that later this week we could make our favorite leftover pot pie that I overheard Jesse suggesting to himself around hour 3 of smoking.
He took care of pot pie filling, as has become our routine, while I whipped up a quick dough in the Cuisinart (just butter, flour, salt, cold water…and rosemary!), and some Brussels sprouts for the side.
He’s made this filling enough at this point that he can pull it off gracefully, from memory. Some chopped onion, carrot, and celery, sauteed.
Chop up all the leftover meat, whether it be smoked turkey, brisket, what have you.
Add that to the pan, sautee it up, and sprinkle some flour in and mix it around to thicken up the gravy-like sauce that’s about to happen. Add a little broth (we used beef broth for this one), salt, pepper, and frozen peas…
And then he lets me know it’s time to roll out the dough that’s been chillin’ in the fridge.
Into the pie pan it goes, sealed with a lid of rosemary pie crust.
And out it comes, 50 minutes later.
Now, look at those gorgeous Brussels!
I kept it simple — I wanted to whip these up in the 10 minutes that it took the pie to cool. Into the skillet: olive oil and butter.
Here’s all the seasoning I used: horseradish, fresh lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and “GOG” — a term Jesse picked up from his favorite Roku cooking show, for ginger/onion/garlic, a huge batch of it he whipped up in the food processor and that we keep in the fridge to start just about every meal we cook in the skillet.
I got a few spoonfuls of GOG sizzling in the skillet, then placed the sprouts all face-down in a single layer, and didn’t touch them, until they had browned.
I sprinkled a chopped shallot over top, and then stirred in some horseradish, cayenne, and lemon juice, along with about a half cup of stock from the freezer (I think this was our smoked turkey stock from when we had our last big smoker feast!). When the broth had just about absorbed, I added a few splashes of cream, salt, and pepper.
This Week’s Groceries
(really this month’s groceries — I’ve got some catching up to do!)