While washing some dishes this weekend I caught a little bit of Barefoot Contessa. I am not that much of a fan, but my hands were wet and the lemon chicken breast dish she was making looked pretty good. We have not had much luck with lemon and chicken on our own, so I figured BFC would know her stuff and we tried it.
It is pretty simple. Olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, plus a little white wine. I went with chicken breasts with the rib cage still attached. She had the bones removed. I figured it would not make that much of a difference. It smelled great while cooking. The breasts did not brown as much as I would of liked, even after some broiling. The flavor was barely noticeable in the chicken and the sauce was meh over the rice. At least we tried something new.
February 26th, 2011Recipes
Back in december I ate down at Sultan’s Kite for a SCS luncheon. They have gyros, chicken schwarma, and other delicious items. I love gyros, but it is usually after being downtown to see a show and much drinking. I strap the foam box on my bike and head home and feast. The next day I have horrible gyro burps and severely regret my late night fooding.
The chicken schwarma at Sultan’s Kite was basically a chicken gyro and it was absolutely delicious. I did not get the gyro burps and had been craving it since my last visit. I explained the dish to Theresa and she said she would be willing to try it. She loves cucumbers and the rest is not too far out there. I offered to pick one up and split it, but figured it would be cooler for me to try and make it at home.
Peeled a cucumber and dug the seeds out
Sliced it thin and salted the cucumber to draw the moisture out
After an hour of spinning the water out I loaded the bits into the processor with fresh dill, a clove of garlic, pepper, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil. Chopped it to a mush
Mixed the goop in some greek yogurt. It had a very strong cucumber and garlic flavor, but they say you need to let it sit for hours for the flavors to meld. I let it sit over night.
I was pretty torn on how to make the chicken part. I do not have a gyro spinner so I pounded it really flat and just went with coating one side of it with Cavendar’s greek seasoning, and the other side with Penzy’s greek seasoning.
Browned in a pan with a bit of clarified butter and oil. I let it rest in some foil while we got the rest of the meal ready and sliced it insanely thin.
It was pretty good. Theresa even made a salad and used the tzatziki sauce for dressing. “tastes like cucumber ranch”. But the sauce was a bit heavy on the garlic and cucumber and the chicken was just not like the stuff at the Sultan’s kite. Theresa gave it a solid meh. She said she would not really want to try it again. I asked her if I could work on it a bit and then have her try one from Sultan’s kite that maybe she would enjoy it more and let me try it again for a meal. She agreed, but is in no hurry. I still call that a win in my book though.
February 25th, 2011Food
Don’t hold it against me if I got the name of the burrito wrong. Hell, Amigo’s doesn’t even have it listed on their website. The marketing people on twitters will not approve.
So Amigo’s is located right across the street from my job and I hit them up every two to three months when I have an achin’ for something with “Mexi” in the name. It turns out that they’re debuting these new burritos, which may or may not be like Chipotle’s. I wouldn’t know because I’ve never eaten a burrito from Chipotle. On February 23rd and 24th, if you purchased a 20 oz drink, you received a free Build It Big burrito of your choice. What the hell, right?
You can choose between chicken, beef, or Pay Our Overhead (vegetarian). I chose chicken for reasons unknown. The quality of the chicken is the same as you’ve come to expect from Amigo’s, which is pretty okay. From there you decide between black and pinto beans, the type of sauce, and the other entrails. I chose black beans, salsa verde, and onion with cilantro. Each burrito is also filled with rice.
The quality is similar to that Qdoba place that you’ve been to once and haven’t been inside since. Flavors are either rubbing up against your leg or not present at all. I could taste the salsa verde sauce, but there wasn’t much cilantro and the chicken tasted like plain old Amigo’s chicken. My first bite indicated that the rice was going to be undercooked, but it turned out to be okay throughout the remainder of my burrito.
I gave it a solid “meh.”
Maybe I’m just not really a burrito person, but if someone waves a free burrito in front of your face it’s pretty hard to pass up. I don’t have any pictures because, honestly, I don’t take pictures of what I’m eating.
Thanks to Lexi’s encouragement, I ventured into the realm of homemade liqueurs for Valentine’s Day. I followed her suggested recipe from Instructables, with only a few changes. I did not add the cinnamon, and I used a pretty inexpensive Skol vodka. Otherwise, I followed closely, not wanting to waste either the material cost nor my time. I ended up with enough to make some little Valentine gifts for friends and still have some left for Jefe and I to have a delicious drink ourselves. Good with just some club soda, but I think it would also probably be delicious with, say, a cranberry/lime sparkling water or something of the sort. Even a cola maybe, and some vanilla – along the lines of a vanilla cherry coke.Tags: cocktail, instructables, lemon, liqueur, pomegranate, valentine's day, vodka
As with several other, formerly inexpensive (honestly, downright CHEAP) and aesthetically unappealing fish varieties, there’s some current thought being given to how to market Asian (silver and bighead, specifically) carp as desirable – and palatable. The primary goal is to get them on the hook as a trendy food fish, and get them the heck out of U.S. waterways, where they’ve become invasive and noxious.
And lest you think it’s just a mere annoyance, consider that the new Attorney General of Michigan has named it his Number One priority. With a $7 billion sport fishing industry on the line, it’s no wonder. Or imagine being Marcy Poplett, idling on the river on her jet ski to look at the fall colors, and waking up minutes later, bleeding and floating face down after being hit in the face by a leaping silver carp.
So getting them from the water to the plate in order to make a dent in the population (which has no natural predators in the areas it’s invading) seems like a wise plan, in conjunction with all other efforts. I mean, Americans may argue endlessly over whether to spend public funding on the control, but if you can make it taste good – heck yeah…we’ll eat it to extinction, right?
The first step toward getting chow-hounds on board is going to have to be new name – we all know what the word “carp” brings to mind, in terms of a gustatory experience – muddy, bottom-feeding, boney, and better left to catch-and-release programs. Branding Strategy Insider found these previous attempts at new nomenclature, which met with varying degrees of success:
I got a big kick out of the break-down on Chow: ”A Chicago restaurant tried Shanghai Bass (sounds like a sex act, let’s be honest), Kentuckians called it Kentucky Tuna (also sort of sounds … well, I don’t know, I just know I don’t want to eat “Kentucky Tuna”), and in Louisiana, wildlife officials came up with Silverfin, which is just two precious consonants away from being “Silverfish,” something you never, ever want to look at, let alone put in your mouth.”
But Bob on Idea Peep Show (Fast Horse Marketing blawg) came up with what may be the most viable alternative – Cyprinia, a riff on the scientific name.
Pretty brilliant, and he’s got a logo ready to boot! We’re such interesting creatures, we humans, that we place so much stock in what something is called, rather than evaluating it for its inherent properties. No wonder people actually get paid to tell us what to buy.Tags: BSI, carp, Chow, cyprinia, environmental, Fast Horse, fish, monkfish, orange roughy, sea bass
I came up with this design while I was still working at ACE Hardware, and lived in an apartment with 12 foot ceilings. Oh, and I also didn’t want to spend a hundred plus bucks for a rack I didn’t even like the style of. I gave that one away to a friend who was moving into a new place. Now I live in place with normal human-sized rooms and 8 foot ceilings.
- 4 – Ceiling hooks @ 3/$1.09
- 4 – Spring Clips/caribiners @ $.89/ea
- 2 – 4′ lengths of EMT conduit @ $1.98/10′
- 2 – 1.5′ lengths of chain @ $.65/foot
- 2 – 1′ lengths of chain @ $.65/foot
- 10 – S-hooks at $.99/ea
*Note: these parts can be painted, or colored versions substituted relatively easily – think copper or black. You can also use shorter lengths of pipe or chain depending on your space available.
Simple to hang – put the ceiling hooks into stable place in the ceiling, placed between 2.5 and 3 feet apart. Hang the chains from these hooks, with the shorter chains in the back – farthest away from you. Put spring clips through other end of the chain. Slide EMT through larger opening on spring clips. Put on S-hooks, and hang those pots and pans – long -handled on the back, shorter pots/pans closer to you.Tags: pot rack, pots & pans
I’ve had a hankering for pasta for weeks now and finally caved. Decided to make some baked manicotti and break in the new casserole dish. Russ’s had no manicotti, no giant shells, nothing stuffable. So I ended up going to SunMart and was actually very pleasantly surprised by both the selection of items I needed and the prices. I know I complain about them, but really – I was impressed. Used this recipe but omitted the butter. Made enough for all of the shells, but I had 3 that didn’t fit into the pan, so I think I’ll just freeze the filling for something else when I need some grub in a hurry.Tags: baked, bread, cheese, Food Network, garlic, manicotti, pasta
Read about the mini pommes anna over on buns in my oven. They looked really good. While watching Worst cooks in America this weekend, Chef Ann’s team made pomme Anna and it looked pretty good. We decided to make them for dinner Monday night.
Pretty simple to make. Thin sliced potatoes, butter, salt, and pepper. Of course we decided to make 3 versions and tweak the recipe a little. I used the stitchgiver mandoline set on 2 thickness to slice the spuds. Melted some salted butter and coated each slice in the bowl.
1st. was traditional with just salt and pepper.
2nd. had some grated garlic, fresh grated parmesan cheese, parsley, and a touch of salt and pepper.
3rd. Theresa mixed some other herbs in it.
Placed each kind into a slot of a muffin tin
20 minutes covered with foil at 325
20 minutes uncovered at 325, with a boost to 350 towards the end because we were not getting the browning we wanted.
They were good, but there was too much butter used. It was really like we fried them in butter. The slices were too thin as well. The garlic was very powerful and the cheese was not all that noticeable. The portions were great, it was easy, and with some tweaking I think we have a new side to add to our rotation.
Oh man, who let me type that? I’m going to dedicate this post to my brother, the King Of Puns, and a fellow horseradish lover.
Jefe and I ran to TJ Maxx last weekend to pick up a ceramic casserole dish and discovered the European Market just a couple of doors to the North (in the same strip mall on 48th). The very, very nice woman working informed me that they’d been there a couple of months and offered to help interpret anything that I couldn’t read on the labels. Luckily, most of it also has ingredients in English, and the photos were pretty self-explanatory as a rule.
I honestly got hung up in the aisle of jarred, pickled goods, so I’ll have to go back and explore some more before I can give a full accounting of what they stock, but that aisle alone had a lot of goodness to offer, provided you like pickled-type things, which I adore.
I picked up a freshly baked loaf of rye (she said they bake daily), a jar of horseradish with beets, a bag of egg noodles (for the Hungarian Beef Stew that was on the menu for the next day), and a jar of pickled pattypan squash. Oh heavens, do I love these squash – I promptly made a snack of the bread with some butter, slathered in the horseradish, and few of the squash, all room temp. Delicious and tangy!
There were bottles of curried catsup, jars of eggplant spreads, loads of things with cabbage, squash, peppers, and mushrooms, toiletries, staples, frozen goods,…for such a small space there was a nice variety of items without being overwhelming.
And as a side bonus, the owner told me that she was from Astonia, which reminded me of Veronica – a lovely Astonian woman I worked with in Chicago, who knit me the most gorgeous yellow wool socks for my birthday one year. I went home and put them right on my chilly toes and smiled.Tags: bread, european, horseradish, market, noodles, russian, rye, snacks, squash, zucchini
January 20th, 2011Drinks
Reading up on some coffee news and came across this post on SPRUDGE:
I, uh, had no idea that Muppets had the dexterity or digits to use such a variety of weapons.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ky7g1lgTwc&feature=player_embeddedTags: advertisement, breakfast, Coffee, Muppet