Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Food for thought March

I know, I know, it's almost May.  But this was one of those things that didn't get done before I left town so it's just getting done now.  So humor me here and let's pretend it's the end of March, okay?  For those just joining in, since January I've been cooking meals from Rachel Ray's 365: No Repeats cookbook and as of February, LK has added his turtle rating to the list (Scale of 1 to 5 turtle shells and half shells are not possible).

#5 Mac-n-Smoked Gouda with Cauliflower This one was tough. I made #4 way back in January (with "modifications" all my own) and maybe it's that my high society cheese palette isn't that refined or that when you add it all together the Gouda-ness is mellowed to is-there-a-difference-from-number-four-here flavor, but I couldn't really tell the difference with Gouda in it than with Cheddar (my apologies if you're offended).  The good part about this one though was that ISH won't eat anything green (oh how I try) so since the cauliflower camouflaged in better than broccoli the kid didn't even realize it was mildly good for him.

#38 Grilled Flank Steak Sandwich with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette-Dressed Arugula and Pears March was a busy month for us so it seemed like we didn't have as many people over for dinner as we'd been able to do the past two months, but the night I made this I was really wanting to have some company with us for dinner to celebrate the home remodel coming closer to an end and thus having moved the boys toys out of our bedroom. So I posted on facebook that the first person to respond was invited for dinner.  David and Lisa took us up on the offer-- well I say "us", I didn't actually tell LK what I had posted until he come home from work and I greeted him with "guess who's coming to dinner?!" But really, after 8.5 years of marriage my random spontaneity could almost be considered expected.  It was great to hang out with these life-long friends (David and I use to think we were cousins!) and we all agreed dinner was a great mix of tastes.  Lisa even said, as she reached the end of her sandwich, how sad she was that she was finished.  But - I can't do seem to do it by the book, so here's the modifications- I was too busy talking with Lisa, catching up on work, and life and kids, and I accidently added Parmigiano-Reggiano to mix of cheese because that's what #37, the master recipe, called for.  But everyone said that added another good layer of flavor.  I also used flat iron steak because I couldn't find flank, I used white wine and not white wine vinegar, and used filone bread loaves because I couldn't find kaiser rolls.

#60 Balsamic-Glazed Pork Chops with Arugula-Basil Rice Pilaf I made this the evening my MIL happened to come by and spend some time with boys so I invited her to stay and eat with us.  Remember how I told you about poor LK's British palette?  Well he comes by it naturally because she, my MIL, kept going on about how spicy it was. Mental note to not serve her the #99 soup.  So, as is my MO, I miss read rice pilaf and stopped at rice.  So I had to make up my own rice pilaf recipe, which was pretty good but did not include the arugula- which I think would have given it more substance.  Instead of fresh rosemary I used 1/2 tsp of dried and I think I've become a fresh rosemary snob because I could really tell a difference.  I used 5 instead of 3 cloves are garlic because they were small and I like garlic and gave the honey a good eyeballing instead of measuring it because I hate trying to dig out the honey from the spoon I used to measure.  The sauce was really good, but man did it smoke up the kitchen (also an MO of mine when it comes to cooking).

The Rice "Pilaf" recipe:
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp butter
1 cup instant brown rice
1 cup water
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried onions

Put brown rice in microwave safe bowl, add other ingredients, cover and cook according to rice package instructions. Eat.

#157 Warm Tangerine and Grilled Chicken Salad served on Grilled Garlic Crisps  I'll be honest.  Anise is a bad idea.  Now, if you're following along at home you'll notice the recipe doesn't call for anise. True.  But it does call for fennel bulb and I couldn't find that (wie immer!) but I found a site that said anise seed with some endive can mimic the taste.  Well if that's the taste- I don't want to mimic it ever again. Bluh!  LK, on the other hand, seemed to like it pretty well and minus the fennel taste it would be a great summer meal.

#161 Tex-Mex Grilled Chicken Caesar I made this for LK and me to eat on during the week at lunch. I had the salad greens washed and chopped, the meat and croutons stored in separate containers, and the dressing made up and at lunch we'd assemble our yummy little treat.  And the dressing just got better as the week went on and all the parts to mix together even more. Hmmm thinking back on this, I think I might need to make it again soon. Very good.  When making it, I used artesian chibata bread instead of sourdough because that's what the store had and omitted the avocado because they cost more than I wanted to spend and I knew it wouldn't keep through the week.  I doubled the anchovies since the package had more in it than called for so they were there, just looking at me, wanting to be eaten, and roughly doubled the EVOO in the dressing to give the fishes room to swim.  And I added a big handful of cilantro.

More to come tomorrow,


Rhiannon Nicole said...

These all sound so delish especially that first one! I love Gouda, I must make this :) xx

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