Well, ladies and gentlemen, today was the day. I had no work to do today, in fact I had nothing but a one hour dentist appointment to do today, so I decided to use my new recipe book for the first time. I wanted to pick a dish or dishes that showcased a new way to cook things I already eat frequently and maybe introduce a new ingredient or two. I selected the appropriate recipes and stopped into what will soon be my absolute favorite store, Edgewater Produce, for the necessaries. After completing my errands and other tasks I buckled down and got cooking. The recipes were fairly simple and pretty easy to cook at the same time, which helped me do something I am rarely able to accomplish: eat my dinner while all of the elements are still hot. Whose recipes did I use you may ask. Well, without further ado (or lame attempts to heighten drama) are this week's winners.
Melanie Sizemore for "Mustard Tarragon Roast Chicken With Egg Noodles"
Rena Cook for "Brussels Sprouts For People Who Think They Hate Brussels Sprouts"
Thank you to both of you, and another thank you to all of you who contributed. I plan to make this a regular segment on the blog and will be sure to try many a new recipe. I chose Melanie's dish because I cook chicken so frequently and I wanted another option that was a bit "dressier" than usual. I chose Rena's dish partly for the ease of use and partly because I have never before eaten a Brussels Sprout. I figured it was time to see what all of the fuss was about and I figured a recipe named like that was the best place to start. Here is what the finished product looked like:
Very tasty looking and really good once I tucked in as well. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the two dishes paired together. The bitter, cruciferous quality of the sprouts paired really well with the tangy mustard and the anise like tarragon. Using parmigiano reggiano added a great sweet saltiness to the sprouts that balanced the dish and the smooth noodles and chicken were a great base for these flavors. I enjoyed the whole dish with a small glass of the same chardonnay that I used in the pan sauce and it was quite a meal.
A did learn a few things that I can apply to make the dish even better and more health conscious next go around. The recipe called for chicken on the bone, and I love how juicy chicken stays that way so I did it this time, but now that I have tried it I think I can marinate boneless breasts to make up for some of the juiciness I will lose. I would probably save about 40-50 calories that way and it might cook a bit faster. I will also cook the Brussels sprouts a bit longer next time. The recipe calls for 5 minutres of boiling and then a minute or so in a garlic and red pepper flake olive oil. I will probably add a minute or two to the boiling time and another minute in the oil. I think that way the sprouts will be a little more tender and get a bit more caramelized, bringing out a bit more sweetness. As it was they were delicious if a bit too crisp and I think broccoli would work very well in this application. I will probably make everything a bit smaller next time because for the first time in a while I feel over full tonight. Those sprouts are filling.
That is all for this time, but I will give a bit of a spoiler for Saturday: today I broke 400 pounds. See you Saturday.