Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Special One for the Mother in Law

I've been slacking in reading and posting again (notice how your blogs blogs have been lacking my novel-length comments lately?) . Mostly it's because I'm not online much for the past few days. I've been having a special guest at my house. My mother-in-law has been staying with us while they repair the elevator in her building.

The spare room where the home computer resides is also the room where she is sleeping, so out of respect to her, I don't go in there much. That means I haven't been online at home very often. I did cook something over the weekend that I meant to post about, but I realized it wasn't that interesting anyway, so I skipped it. (I took the leftover ketchup from last week's burgers, added honey and chipotle powder, smeared it on chicken and called it "barbecued" even though I just cooked it in the oven on a low temperature - no biggie. Fine, if you insist, I'll post a picture of it. I made zucchini pancakes to go with it.)

I didn't think what I cooked over the weekend was particularly special, but I wanted to do a special dinner for her at some point. I wanted it to be made up of one of her favorite foods - cornish hen - and I think this one was worth blogging about.

I found a recipe for a lime-honey chicken glaze in this month's issue of Eating Well. I changed the lime to lemon and created a flavoring for my hens. Knowing she doesnt' have a huge appetite, I cut then hens in half for more petite portions. The flavor I ended up with was quite interesting. It was tart, but not unpleasantly so. The hens were very fruity.

Remember last week's duck fat? Well, I finally made duck fat poatotes with it. I diced some yukon golds and cooked them in about a 1/4 cup of duck fat with rosemary. They were good. I had to fudge a bit when both Sir Pickypants and his mother asked how they were made. them with rosemary - duuuuhhhhh! Mother-in-law asked, "So you just sauteed them with a little oil."

"It was more than just 'a little oil'," I confessed.

I must say duck fat potatoes rock! Duck fat is one of the most beautiful substances on earth.

On the side was just roasted asparagus. MIL said she has only just recently discovered that she likes asparagus and was quite happy to see it on her plate last night.

Lemon - Honey Cornish Hens

4 cornish hens - cut in half
Juice of two lemons
2 Tbl honey
1 Tbl soy sauce
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 Tbl neutral-flavored oil (I used sunflower)
Salt and pepper

Mix together juice, honey, soy sauce and red pepper flakes. Place hens in a dish and pour the marinade over them. Allow to sit at least a half an hour.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place hen halves on baking dish or sheet. Pour marinade over them. Place in oven for about 45 minutes, or until internal temperature is 170. Baste them occasionally with drippings so they get nice and browned.


Bunny said...

Both your dinners look so good. I've never had zuke pancakes or anything made in duck fat, (I live under a rock)! Both look very good!

The Duo Dishes said...

Mmmm mmmm mmm! This is a good dinner right here. How easy is this!

noble pig said...

I would do anything to get my hands on some of those duck fat gawd...I would.

Sue said...

Aren't you going through withdrawal?!! Actually, sometimes it's not a bad thing to take a little break, just don't make it too long.

Your mother in law is sooo lucky to have you cooking for her. Everything sounds really good. She may not leave.

Emily said...

Duck fat potatoes sound yummmmy!

That's nice of you to give your MIL some privacy. I couldn't stay away from the computer that long if it were me.

Bellini Valli said...

Looks liek you have had Mother's Day all week. What a way to celebrate:D I think we all stop blogging like maniacs once the weather turns sunny and warm:D

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Bunny - Do a little net surfing and you'll find some zucchini pancake recipes. They're like potato pancakes, but with zukes.

DD - Easy and yet MIL was impressed. I love to make people think I slaved over something. ;-)

Cathy - We have to get you some duck fat!

Sue - I get a fix now and then at work.

Sadly MIL did leave and now I worry about her going up and down the stairs in her building!

Em - It wasn't easy, but then again, with the futon couch extended into a bed, there wasn't much room for me to sit at the cmoputer anyway!

Val - So true. The weather is nice and I should be enjoying it instead of sitting in front of a computer. Actually, it hasn't been nice most of the week, but it's finally clearing up!

Donna-FFW said...

Both dinners look delicious. I am going to try the cornish hen recipe. Always looking for different flavors forthat.

The Blonde Duck said...

I like the bbq chicken w/ zuccini pancakes!

Peter M said...

You're the best daughter in law...a fab dinner...she knows Mr. Pickypants is in good hands! lol