I've been terribly unoriginal with my cooking in the past few days.
My first post-injury foray back into the kitchen was some soup. I decided it would be easy to just make something out of some stock I had frozen and saved for nights when I just wanted some soup. Not wanting to do any plain ordinary soup, I took a cue from Val and made some chicken soup with avgolemono. This is a great soup. The flavors are refreshing and texture is creamy, but not gloopy. It's a great twist on ordinary chicken soup.
Then came the Superbowl party. I had to take some treats to that one. It was held in the home of my friend and riding instructor Lynne, who came with me to the hospital after my fall, basically escorting my mother there while I rode in the ambulence (Mom had no idea where the hospital was) and stayed with me all evening. She deserved some homemade treats for her party - and treats from the best source possible.
That source is Emily of course, and her Chocolate Pecan Pie bars. I can't photograph them as well as she does, so they don't look as good as they do on her blog. She also managed to get a thicker crust on hers. Regardless these were so ridiculously chocolaty delicious.
I am continuing the unorignal trend after noticing something in fit of bill paying last week (that's one way to pass the time when you're laid up). I had to renew my subscription to Food & Wine. I started thinking about how often I use it. Did I really want to pay the money if I wasn't making the recipes.
I thought about it some more. I had noted in the last two issues that there were some recipes I had been interested in trying. I decided I would renew the subscription and force myself to make all recipes I deemed interesting. Not only would that help me try some new stuff, but it would make a new feature for the blog.
So I present my new series: Justify Your Subscription
My first recipe was Aleppo Pepper and Mint Roasted Chicken. This is a juicy concoction with butter flavored with mint, lemon zest and aleppo pepper stuffed under the skin, drizzled with fresh lemon juice, and cooked on a bed of red onions and lemon.
I ended up adjusting the recipe though. I used regular red pepper flakes. I would have needed to make a special trip to Penzeys for the Aleppo and I wasn't in the mood to make the trip or spend the money. Red pepper would do just fine. I also forgot to buy scallions. On top of that, I read the ingredient list so quickly that I neglected to notice the mint was supposed to be dried and not fresh.
The resulting chicken was very tasty, but really no tastier than any other roast chicken. There was a little bite from the pepper and it was nice and juicy from the butter, but the lemons and mint really took a back seat. It's probably not a roast chicken recipe I'll be making again.
On the side I stole a recipe yet again. This time I ripped off Stacey and her polenta with caramelized onions. I love the combination of polenta and caramelized onions and haven't made it in a while. I often like to add mascarpone and pancetta to the mix, but I don't want to push myself to an early grave. I had enough health scares recently.