Tag Archives: alexa

Wednesday Night Dinner

Ok, this meal does not necessarily look super delicious but, I swear, it was.  SO good. First, though, a little backstory: the hardest part about cooking dinner, I think, is often deciding what to make. Unless I have already had a brainstorm about something I really want to eat, it’s just so hard. My process goes something like this: First, I have high enthusiasm. I peruse what’s new on epicurious, check out the Food and Wine website, consider some food blogs. And, most often, I come up with NOTHING. For some reason, when it’s my turn to make dinner, nothing looks appetizing, or feasible to make. Then I call my mom and groan about how IT’S SO HARD and that there is absolutely nothing to make and I have resigned to making black bean soup again (see last week’s entry). She sighs, and suggests I check out our cookbooks. I feel that I have done this countless times in the past, and how could there possibly be something new in them. And now, with enthusiasm flailing and dejection setting in, I halfheartedly flip through the cookbooks. And, as always, either Ina Garten or Mark Bittman comes through for us. Phew. Lesson: part time employment allows for much agonizing about simple decisions.

This week, it was Ina Garten’s curried chicken salad that became the inspiration for our meal. I concurrently decided that I would like to make homemade hamburger buns again, and curried chicken salad seemed like an ideal filling.

First, the buns. The New York Times had an article about the “perfect” homemade hamburger and all its parts — including the ideal brioche bun. I had made these before, with great success. They are the kind of buns that will make you pledge to never eat a store bought hamburger bun again (which, of course, you will — but you’ll still pledge not to.) These guys worked a little better the first time I made them, because this time I forgot to mix the last egg with some water and so I accidentally kind of deflated them a little. But they were still superlatively good.

Ina Garten wanted me to roast a chicken, which sounded slightly time consuming and I couldn’t find the appropriate kinds of chicken so I poached chicken breasts instead. We threw in some white wine, chicken stock and onions for the poaching liquid, which were all good decisions. Here is what I used in the dressing:

3/4 c Greek yogurt

3/4 c mayonnaise

1/4 c chutney (I used more because chutney is delicious)

1/3 c dry white wine

3 tbl curry powder.

The recipe called for 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise, but I decided to use half Greek yogurt and half mayonnaise, which was most successful. I also included the following ingredients in the salad.

1/4 c chopped scallions

A couple handfuls of halved grapes (I love grapes in curried chicken salad, no matter what the traditionalists might say)

Some chopped red pepper

2 chopped celeries

I do believe that is all. It was a most appetizing salad. Oh! AND. I started a fire. Drama. My rolls were rising on a tray, under a dishtowel, which I placed on the burners, not realizing the tea kettle was boiling on a different burner and so the towel promptly caught fire. Fortunately, I noticed fairly quickly and, even more importantly, my rolls were not compromised. Although, perhaps the trauma contributed to their slight deflation. You never know.

Chef Profile: Alexa

We’re pleased to introduce our third chef to you — your intrepid chief blogger and second twin of the family… Alexa ! She’s kindly and cooperatively agreed to answer the same questions to offer you a better sense of her culinary personality

Favorite ingredient: Hmm fruit in savory dishes. No. Roasted red peppers. Also goat cheese.
Favorite foods: Red peppers and bread and Arizona green iced tea.
Favorite snack: edamame and roasted red peppers
Personal cooking speciality: soups soups soups. Also, crepes. Also, eating red peppers. Also taking on needlessly complicated projects.
Best/worse meals consumed: Ever? That’s a silly question, person who came up with questions. All Thanksgiving dinners, I guess. Also, other stuff. Worst is the same as Lucas’ — words cannot appropriately express the epic failure that was that restaurant in Christchurch. If we (and our honorary triplet who was also there) can’t think of anything else to talk about, we can always mention that restaurant and have a good chuckle. It’s, like, the perfect punch line in any situation!
Favorite meal of the day: Least favorite, I’ll answer. Breakfast. I do not like breakfast. Ugh. Eggs. Gross.
A cooking mishap: No mishaps. Perfect record.
General hobbies/interests: Books, boggle, crossword puzzles, belted galloways, outdoors, croquet, games, hiking.
Will not Eat…: Well, I eat most things. But not milk or eggs. (I mean, I’ll eat them in things — of course, but if you can taste the milk-ness or egg-ness of milk or eggs – Ugh! I’m out. Unpleasant). I still pride myself on being an excellent eater, despite that quirky quirk.

Look at all those edamame shells (I swear, there a lot there)! Took this picture to show off the excess of my edamame consumption to my fellow edamame lovers (that’s you, Ivana and Susannah!!) but I don’t think I ever sent it…

Profiteroles

Was anyone else rather distressed when Mark Bittman ended his tenure as The Minimalist for The New York Times? Cause we sure were …don’t laugh, it really was upsetting. Sure, he’s still around on the Opinion pages but it’s just not the same as watching his videos – not only did I want to eat everything he made, but I wanted to make it, like, that very second. Everything always looked so much easier when he did it.

Anyway, he maintained that profiteroles were totally doable and, of course, The Minimalist was right. (See, that was the problem when he left – I just trusted him so completely — he was always right, and so comforting — that his departure felt a little personal. I’m getting over it, I promise.) Still, his recipe for choux pastry is super simple, and basically easy – if you don’t mind mixing and mixing and mixing. Also, the dough looks really unpleasant (like raw chicken, I think) when you’re in the process of working in the eggs.

See? Weird looking

You can find his recipe here.

Instead of topping them with raspberry sauce (our kitchen didn’t have any raspberries) we melted bittersweet chocolate (4 oz.) with a little water (2 T) and heavy cream (less than 1/4 cup) in a double burner and then threw some kaluha into the mix (about 3 Ts). We cut them around their equators, stuffed in some coffee-chocolate chip ice cream and drizzled some chocolate sauce over them. The Minimalist instructs you to let the profiteroles cool before eating but we are generally impatient and loved the hot/cold mix of the ice cream and fresh pastry.

 

Oops! In thinking about making these last night, I realized I got distracted by how frozen my stick of butter was and forgot that the recipe called for 6 tablespoons, not the entire stick. I think I just put the whole stick in. Must pay better attention to details. Easily distracted. Fortunately, they still tasted (and looked) delicious.