Ok, so: I had all these great plans to write a follow-up post to Tuesday’s rant – but then I woke up with a gnarly sinus headache, which has drained away all my brainpower. I’m working on a giant cup of coffee in an attempt to revive the contents of my cabeza, but it’s slow to start this morning.
So, failing the level of cognitive function needed to write something actually, y’know, think-y, I’m going to focus on our dinner recipe adventures of late.
As you may recall from last week’s Great Crock Pot Experiment, the rate of return on those recipes was loooooooooow. 1 out of 4 = no likey.
We decided to opt for a different approach this week: we picked two Crock Pot recipes and two stove top recipes. The one stove top recipe we’ve tried so far (chicken with sage browned butter) was a quasi-win, in the sense that following the recipe exactly to the letter didn’t produce the results we’d hoped for — but once I improvised a bit, it turned out well.
The one Crock Pot recipe we’ve tried so far, however, was another fail. I don’t understand how this is possible, y’all: I use the Crock Pot all the time for soups and stews during the winter, and they turn out beautifully. Chicken Marsala made in late May, on the other hand, does not.
There’s obviously something veeeeeeery different between the way certain foods react to slow cooking; chili, for example, loves it mightily. Dishes that are generally made on the stove or in the oven, however, appear to be made that way for a reason.
So, with all these Crock Pot shenanigans going on, I decided that the remaining Crock Pot recipe — Coq au Vin (chicken with red wine sauce) will be made on the stove instead. We’re gettin’ sick of the barely edible dinners, so it’s time to stage an intervention.
The remaining recipes this week are the aforementioned Coq au Vin, which I’ve loved since the moment I first tried it in my junior high French class (really, anything with red wine sauce is almost guaranteed to be awesome), and Chicken Saltimbocca, an Italian recipe that I’ve been wanting to try for aaaaaages.
Meanwhile, in the name of cookbook test-driving, last night I also checked out two new culinary tomes from the library: another Barefoot Contessa book and the Epicurious Cookbook. As I was checking out, the woman working the check-out desk commented on how much she loves Barefoot Contessa — and in one of those awesome made-for-TV moments, she and I said in unison, “She’s just so calm.”
This, I think, is one of Ina Garten’s best qualities: in addition to seeming totally down-to-earth, genuine, and just plain nice, there’s a certain Zen to watching her cook. Unlike other shows where the hostesses are entirely too perky — or, in other cases, frenetic to the point of stressing me the eff out while they cook — watching Barefoot Contessa makes me feel like I’ve just had a glass of sangria and am chillin’ in a hammock. So, to put it mildly, I’m excited to try these recipes.
I’ll post an update on these culinary adventures once I’ve tried out said recipes — but in the meantime, I have questions for you lovely people!
Do you have a favorite cookbook or cookbook author?
Do you ever watch cooking shows?
If so, which one do you like the most — and which one makes you run screaming for the hills whenever it comes on?
(For me, the latter award goes to Rachael Ray. I can’t deal with her, like, at all.)
What’s your favorite week-night recipe?