Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Boneless, Skinless Oven Tandoori Chicken, etc

I had a birthday recently. In celebration of that, I received a dutch oven - actually, two of them.  I was excited to use one.  For some reason, I thought I had read a recipe for tandoori chicken using a dutch oven rather than a tandoor. A hard Googling tells me no, that a dutch oven creates a humid environment and is not a substitute. But of course, by the time I had figured this out, I already had chicken marinating and Sous Chef Brian had already told our mystery Sunday night dinner guest that there would be tandoori chicken.

Of course, grilling is an option, particularly in this weather, but it's fairly well-known that we suck at that.  Cook's Illustrated does it in the oven, on a rack. Sous Chef Brian remembered seeing it on America's Test Kitchen. I decided to follow their lead. Their recipe is here, by subscription.   My recipe is very much inspired by theirs, but modified a bit.

Dinner was tandoori chicken, basmati rice, chopped greens and naan.   I'll post the naan tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cashew and Broccoli Mac and Cheese

I've been thinking about mac and cheese since it came up in a conversation about meatloaf, which I'm not really into.  Also, my favorite person who I'm not married to recently pointed out this recipe for mac and cheese, which includes pureed veg. 

I've also been thinking about ways to use cashew cream ever since we had such spectacular success with cashew cream-based vodka sauce.  But I'm not one to use fake cheese, and there are tons of recipes out there for vegan mac and cheeze, which seems sacrilegious, so what's the point of using cashew cream if I'm still going to use real cheese?

A couple of things, really.  If I'm saving on using real cream (and skim milk is just too runny) AND I can avoid making a roux to start the sauce, then I'm saving both cream and butter from the dish, and if you're as interested in cheese as we are, it makes sense to cut cholesterol where you can, especially where you don't feel it.   We should all probably eat less dairy anyhow.  I went through a bit of a nutritional analysis of cashew cream versus cow cream here, so I won't repeat the details, but 1. we like cashew cream and 2.  it's better for us.  Did I mention we're using a lot of cheese here?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

In 87 posts, not once have I made dessert.  And it's not like I'm whipping up cakes in my free time and not posting about it.  I'm not dessert oriented.  A cookie here or there, and a piece of good chocolate now and again and I'm all set.  I don't care for pastry, and there's something that upsets me about glazed and cream-filled things.  Doughnuts make me queasy.

I'm not opposed to cake, but I don't seek it out.  I tend to make a cake a year, for Sous Chef Brian's birthday.*  It's not good or anything, but it's cake.  I did this six months ago, I'm all set for the year.

But I had reason to make a cake this weekend, and I went with some Internet recipe. I can't find the source, but I do have it written down.  Mine now.  But I'm not here to post how to make a cake.  I can BARELY make a cake.  

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cilantro-Jalepeno Bean Salad

I've been meaning to make a bean salad for a while, but I can never remember to soak my beans, and while I'll use canned beans when I'm cooking in a pinch, I don't want to eat cold canned beans.  So I finally got it together to soak some cannellinis and kidney beans and get to it.

Bean salad is easy, and like pizza, you can make it into anything.  I made it "Mexicanish" this time.  The bean ratio doesn't really matter, but I think all one bean would be boring.  You could add black beans here.  Whatever you have (maybe not lentils, they're different).

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Veggies Parmesan

It's getting to be the end of oven season, but of course, I've said that before.  It's actually chilly and rainy now, but for two weeks, every other day Sous Chef Brian has been planning on setting up the air conditioner in the bedroom, and then by nighttime it's no longer a priority.  The weather is iffy.  But soon oven season will be over.   So let's bake up some dinner.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ordering in! Royal Tavern Burger (and Neighborhood Foods)

I've been a little lax, what with the cooking and all.   It's been one of those weeks where meals are planned and food is in the fridge, but I don't get home until far too late, and food doesn't get cooked.  So I stumble in the door from wherever I've been and there's Sous Chef Brian, holding the take-out menus.  So this week we had veggie samiches from Fuel, I don't even remember what, but I know it was awesome, from Plenty, and burgers from Royal Tavern.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Three Pepper Chicken Kabobs

I know you don't want to read me bitching about chicken again right? Or is that what you come here for? I'll cut to the chase for those of you who like to skip ahead: theres no real recipe here, but you'd like this, it was good, and I'm sure the day you make it, it won't go as badly as it did for me.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Whole Wheat Mac and Cheesy Crackers


When I first saw the goldfish crackers recipe on Smitten Kitchen, I was like, "Yeah lady, that's great, but the rest of us have day jobs."  I mean really, who is going to sit around cutting out tiny crackers like this?  And I'm certainly not going to order a goldfish shaped cookie cutter to make it happen.  And then I read the cheddar cracker recipe at Home Cooking in Montana and read The Kitchn's recreation of it, and I started thinking I could do this.  Maybe it wasn't some precious ridiculous thing to make tiny delightful crackers.  And really, if they're that delightful...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Jello Video

You'll understand why I haven't cooked. I've been watching this. This has been linked to all over the place, but if you haven't seen it yet, it's time. Watch the jello bounce. I want this to be my new screensaver, or my new day job or something. Just watch the jello.

It's from the folks who wrote the million-dollar Modernist Cuisine books, and I saw it first at The Kitchn and then all over Twitter and the other blogs and such. 

Cooking with mom tomorrow, and she doesn't want the Internet to know she exists, so maybe a recipe in a couple of days.  Until then, watch the jello. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Kale Chips!

Kale chips are the easiest non-recipe around. Take kale, heat to chipness. I Googled "kale chips" to see if there was someone I should credit, but I get over 2.5 million hits, so I assume a lot of people do this. I make this for parties, and a giant bowl of chips costs less than a dollar, and it's made of kale. You can't beat it. People ask for the recipe. I point to kale and the oven.

I'm not a huge kale fan, so I started doing this a few years ago and it's awesome. We usually intend to pack it up and keep it, if we make it when we don't have company, but it's hard. You start picking at the tray, and suddenly you've eaten a bunch of kale. If you're a big kale fan, all the better, but you don't have to love kale to love kale chips.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ricotta Gnocchi from Homemade Ricotta

So where were we? Right, I had half-assed some cheese with inappropriate milk. Read yesterday's post. 

And as I said, I was like, "Let's make ricotta gnocchi!" because I keep reading about it, it's simpler than potato gnocchi and I like gnocchi.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Homemade Ricotta for Ricotta Gnocchi

If I started this with the number of disclaimers and explanations I think are necessary, we'd never get to the recipe. The basics are that I made something like ricotta, and then used that ricotta-like cheese to make something like gnocchi.  And I should tell you now, I don't have a picture of the final product, because as much as I love to cook for the internet and the internet alone, life happens, and casually experimenting with cheese and gnocchi turned quickly into cooking for family I see very rarely, and running around the house cleaning up the weapons and pornography we typically keep in the living room.

When all of a sudden you realize a 6 year old and a 16 month old are on their way, everything looks like either a weapon or pornography. 

So first, long before we knew we were having company, I was like, "Let's make ricotta!" because I keep reading about it, it's very simple, and I like ricotta and things that are made with ricotta.   

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Opening Day at Headhouse Farmers' Market

Big day today.   Today was the first day of the season at the Headhouse Farmers' Market.  Headhouse is not my usual farm market, it's more of a place I go for a fun morning out.  It's far bigger than the stands I have easy access to, but it's just far enough that it makes sense to drive, and I don't want to have to drive to get produce most days. 

So today was exciting.  I actually might have built it up a bit too much.  I thought it was the end of grocery stores for the season, but not quite.   Still, a good start. 

I think I actually did better on dairy than on produce, although I got some scallions too big for the fridge, and incredible tomatoes (this early?!), spinach, asparagus and a huge basil plant.   I'm not plant oriented, so I buy a basil plant each spring and then it barely survives through the end of summer and then I do it again the next year.   Still, when a plant costs less than two bunches, it's the way to go.
The offerings, and of course, it's very early, were more DIY than I was ready for.  I could have bought a ton of organic vegetable seedlings, but the chances of me actually ending up with lettuce or eggplant or whatever are so slim I figured I'd stick with the ready-to-eat stuff.

Dairy wise, we got fresh butter, a really pungent blue cheese and a mystery smoked cheddar that we didn't sample.   Also, coffee and eggs.

We're lucky to have a access to a ton of farm markets of varying sizes located all around town.  They're on different days, so I'll walk by one several times a week on my way home from work.   Last year, my CSA pickup was the same day as a market three blocks away, which was super convenient.  This year my CSA pickup is closer to work so it's going to be an adventure figuring out the new routine. 

So what do I make with all that green onion? And how do I highlight the goodness of fresh local butter without just eating a stick of it Paula Deen style? 

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