Saturday, February 6, 2010

Month A Month of Cooking Part 2

Welcome back, I hope you brought your appetite. Nothing's worse that reading about food on a full stomach! In case you're wondering (and if you're not, feel free to skip ahead), the reason I started keeping this list because my MIL doesn't like it when I cook something and can't remember how I changed the recipe to make it how I did. She says she doesn't trust a cook who won't share her secrets. It's not that I wasn't willing, it was just plain forgetfulness. So now I try to write it down before I forget. And yes, I know there are not 31 recipes on the January list, but between leftovers and evening commitments, I really only needed to cook two to three times a week. The leftovers alone on some of her recipes could feed large groups of hungry lumberjacks!

So, on with the list

#206 Strip Steak with a side of Blue Cheese Spaghetti
I put the kids in bed early one night and made this as a special meal for LK and myself. Oh my goodness! The blue cheese spaghetti alone was FABULOUS! But then with all that butter and blue cheese, how could it not be. I omitted the sage, because, from growing up in a sage free house, I don't like it and I only used 8oz of spaghetti instead of 16 so the sauce (which is the best part) to noodle ratio would be better. And since you just end up crumbling the bacon anyway- you don't have to cook it in the oven, microwaving would be just fine.

#207 Olive Butter Slathered Broiled Lamb Chops with Caramelized Zuchinni Orzo Oh this recipe was the first one I tried and it was almost the death of me. First off, if you can by tapenade in OK, I don't know where (guess we aren't that cultured). So I tried to make my own-- but read the recipe wrong or found a really bad one because I added artichokes instead of anchovies which made the whole thing look like brain matter instead of like caviar-esq olive goodness. AND the first time I read the recipe as pork chops not lamb chops so it was all kinds of wrong. The second go, with the right tapenade recipe (see below) and the right meat, was better. But since my kids put two and two together to realize that lamb on the table is the same as Mary's pet- we will likely not be eating this again.

#208 Olive and Anchovy-Slathered Beef Tenderloin Steaks with Caramelized Onion Orzo and Sliced Tomatoes I made this when my newly-married friend Denise came for dinner so we could get to know her husband. And other than forgetting the sliced tomatoes, it was a hit! And much better IMO than #207.

#235 Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts with Zippy Chunky Salad and Garlic Dill Fries Okay the dill fries were weird- you can ask Mandy. I don't think her girls will eat anything I make ever again. :) But then I didn't have fresh dill and I think I used dill seed instead, so it looked like bugs crawling on the fries. Yuck! With this one I didn't realize I needed yogurt, but thankfully I had a cup of whipping cream and some (1 tsp) of lemon juice so I was able to make do. And even though I'm not the biggest cucumber fan, it was still good.

#236 Cornmeal-Crusted Catfish and Green Rice Pilaf
I tried to cut down on pre-prep time on this one and pre-cooked the rice, only to discover that I wasn't suppose to. (Good heavens for all the times I misread recipes you might think I'm illiterate!-- but no, just hurried.) So I did everything with the cooked rice that I was suppose to do with the uncooked rice and it was still really good. Do not be alarmed by the crazy green color of the pureed spinach. It comes together nicely in the end. I used too much cornmeal on the catfish- it should only be a dusting. But then I guess that's why she only calls for 1 cup and not whatever heaping, unmeasured amount I used. I also learned from this one that it is best not to saute shallots before going to sit in a small office with 7 other people for almost two hours. I was a wee bit stinky!

and finally, #322 Veal, Chicken, or Fish Francese with Lemon and Wine I used chicken and I forgot to drag it through the egg-- forgot to even get the eggs out completely. But it was good. It didn't puff up like she says it will (that's when I realized I'd missed something) but I think it was just right. Might not do the egg again next time.


20 Kalamata olives
1 TBSP capers
2 Anchovy fillets
1 Tsp lemon juice
2 Tsp olive oil
1 Clove garlic

Put all in food processor (or in my case blender-- food processor on my list of kitchen items to buy) and mix well

Mine did not look as good as the picture to left, but then when does life actually mirror stock photos?


Michelle said...

I loved the blue cheese spaghetti, but I love blue cheese....I never eat it while pregnant, you bet i'll have some in the hosiptal, probably a blue cheese burger from chilis.....

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