For this week’s cooking, I made:
- Meltingly Tender Beef Brisket
- Lentils for My Love
- Baked Chicken Thighs
- Smitten Kitchen’s Double Chocolate Banana Bread
I started by pre-heating my oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and then simultaneously roasted some carrots, fennel, beets & chicken thighs and braised some leeks.
First, I added 2 Tablespoons of olive oil to the bottom of a 9×13″ baking pan and distributed it evenly along the bottom of the pan. I added 1 pound of peeled, large-chopped carrots and 2 bulbs of chopped fennel. I sprinkled 1 teaspoon of salt over the carrots and 1 teaspoon of salt over the fennel all & several grinds of freshly ground black pepper over each, and shook the pan bake and forth (gently), to distribute the oil & seasonings. I put those in the oven on the top shelf and roasted them, uncovered.
Next, I rinsed 10 medium-sized beets, pierced their skin shallowly with a knife, and put them in a foil-lined baking dish (for easier clean-up later). I added the pan of beets next to the carrots & fennel already roasting in the oven.
Then, I prepped a batch of Oven-Braised Leeks and added those to the lower shelf in the oven.
While those baked & roasted & braised in the 400-degree F oven , I cooked a batch of Lentils for My Love on the stove.
And while the lentils cooked and the chicken & vegetables roasted & braised … on a separate burner on the stove, I quickly sautéed 1/2-pound of bacon end-pieces. When they were finished, I pulled the bacon pieces and allowed them to cool on top of a paper towel (which absorbed excess fat) and drained almost all of the fat from the pan into a mug of bacon fat I keep in the fridge. I left a little (approximately 1 Tablespoon) in the pan. I quickly wilted approximately 1 pound of chopped Tuscan kale pieces (woody stems removed) in the bacon fat, tossing to distribute the fat (read: flavor) as the kale wilted.
I portioned the kale into individual containers, and distributed the bacon. Each morning, I will fry 1 local cage-free, pasture-raised egg in Kerrygold brand butter (made from the milk of pasture-raised cows) and have it with the kale & bacon. I will do this while I hot-roller my hair (if you haven’t already, check out my profile pic on Instagram — thebatchbitch. Ever the fan of multi-tasking!!!)
After a quick wash of the same wok that I used to sauté the bacon and wilt the kale, I prepped some Sautéed Broccoli Slaw & Shaved Brussels Sprouts.
By this point, the Baked Chicken Thighs and roasted & braised vegetables were done, so I set those aside to cool, along with the Sautéed Broccoli Slaw & Shaved Brussels Sprouts and the Oven-Braised Leeks.
I left the beets in the oven since they were not soft yet when pierced with a knife, and turned the oven down to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and started working on a batch of Meltingly Tender Beef Brisket.
The Lentils for My Love were finished.
I transferred them into a separate container to cool. After a quick rinse of that pot, I used it again to boil some yukon gold potatoes. I have a lot of thyme and onion on-hand, so I added some to the pot, to flavor the water the potatoes cooked in.
After about 45-minutes, I checked the beets and they were finally soft when pierced with a knife. I let them cool, and once no longer hot, I used a pairing knife to peel & slice them.
And prepped our fruit snacks of cara cara oranges and black grapes.
Then, prepped our veggie snacks of Citrus & Red Cabbage “Slaw.”
Mr. Batch takes my weekly baked treats to the students in his lab and his lab tech, and I take portions to wonderful people who I love.
While that baked, it was time to portion into little boxes of deliciousness and clean-up. **This week, within each recipe I have added the notes of portioning into individual servings and refrigerating/freezing.**
Breakfasts for me this week will be a fried egg, over-medium, on a bed of kale & bacon. I will take this with me to work and reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds, and enjoy with a huge mug of green tea. Lunch will be Meltingly Tender Beef Brisket with yukon gold potatoes and braised vegetables. Here are 2 alternate plating options:
Mr. Batch eats a banana for breakfast and his Vegetarian Sandwich and some pretzels for lunch.
Mid-afternoon, we both eat our fruit snack and veggie snack.
Dinners for Mr. Batch will be just like my plated dinner, with the exception of a hearty spoon full of Lentils for My Love in lieu of the chicken. He usually follows dinner with a small dish of fat free plain yogurt with Trader Joe’s roasted plantain chips, and some pistachios and seeds (Persian “tokhme” … Google it to learn more about the gorgeous Persian culture). 🙂