Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sinfully Good

Yesterday was an easy day in the kitchen - the menu was straightforward with only a few hitches.  I started with the ice cream, since it had multiple sit-and-rest portions ... and after all, life is uncertain:  make dessert first.

The strawberries macerate (what a great word!) in kirsch or, in my case, chambord, and sugar for about an hour.  (Interesting:  Firefox spellchecker does not recognize chambord, but does have kirsch.)  Then, blending with sour cream, heavy cream and a bit of lemon juice before into the fridge.

Before, I stated that I had forgotten to increase the quantity.  That turned out to be unnecessary here; however, the recipe did state that it made an extra quarter quart, so my jury is still out about the quantitative accuracy of The Perfect Scoop.

Final verdict (ice cream):  This is crazy, sinfully good - sweet and tart in the perfect proportions, not overwhelming on the fruit.  The texture is excellent, too - often, I find homemade ice creams tend to overfreeze, but not this one.

Next step, baked and chopped the sweet potatoes for the chicken bake ... then realized I had no bananas.  I rushed out and managed to get back in due enough time to finish the whole meal.  It's real quite simple:  apart from the bananas, the sweet potatoes and almonds, nothing else needed to be chopped.  I did manage to spray crushed pineapple all over myself, however.

I don't think I browned the chicken enough before the oven step, because it came out underdone and I ended up putting it back in, but that was a minor point.

Final verdict (chicken):  This is nothing special, but it's tasty, dead easy, and the cooked fruit "salad" that it's baked in is also enjoyable.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Menu Plan: Weekend of 5/26

I did cook last weekend, but I was just too wiped out in general to try writing a post.  I spent most of the previous week sick as a dog, which was much helped by the fact that I had baked a comforting gingerbread cake from Claire MacDonald's Seasonal Cooking.  Everything I've made from this book has been simple and excellent.  The gingerbread recipe had to recommend it the use of golden raisins and preserved ginger - which as I have noted previously, I am (more than slightly) obsessed with.

To sum up last weekend, I made a pair of Hawaiian (I believe) recipes from Cook's Country, Captain's Chicken and a Hawaiian Pasta Salad, both of which were excellent - subtle differences from more mainstream recipes.  The chicken in particular was very good:  I scarfed up the topping / vegetable medley, and I usually tolerate that stuff at best.  I also made pistachio macaroons courtesy of Nigella Lawson, which was a major quantity and texture fail - but also produced an insane pistachio buttercream.  I'm tempted to make more of the stuff now and just eat it by the spoonful.

For this week, I still have leftover pasta salad, so I sought a recipe that would go well with it.

Tropical Chicken Bake - Taste of Home's Casserole Cookbook
Strawberry-Sour Cream Ice Cream - The Perfect Scoop (David Lebovitz)

Unfortunately, I forgot until after I shopped that I had decided to increase the quantity from this book, so we'll just have to see how much I end up with.