Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cooking in Mass Quantities

Typically when I leave to go out of town, I try to cook a lot of food so that Phil has food in the house while I’m gone. To kill two birds with one stone, I cooked a lot of recipes from my Barefoot Contessa cookbook. On Tuesday I cooked the grilled lemon chicken with satay dip and curried couscous. These 2 dishes were incredibly easy and went together very well. For the grilled chicken, I halved the recipe and it was the perfect size for 2 people with left-overs for lunch the next day. The satay dip was different but tasty. I omitted the sherry and decreased the sesame oil. Next time I will probably only use half of the peanut butter because if not then the flavor is so robust that I can’t taste the other ingredients. In the description at the top of the curried couscous recipe Ina says, “it doesn’t feel like cooking” and I couldn’t agree more. The curried couscous was so incredibly fast and easy. There were only a couple of things that I did differently, I substituted dried cranberries for currants and didn’t blanche the almonds (but actually if you look closely at the picture on page 95, those almonds aren’t blanched either). These 2 dishes were so fast, I got them both made and on the table in less than 30 minutes. It was a great meal for during the week when time is limited.
Grilled Lemon Chicken with Satay Dip (page 48) and Curried Couscous (page94)
Yesterday I made the baked Virginia ham. Being from Virginia, this is a typical ham recipe that is made for Easter Dinner….so I just decided to do the entire traditional Easter dinner that way I could make sure there would be lots of left-overs for the weekend. I have was reading that a lot of people were struggling on locating the chutney. I looked in the relishes and the jams/preserves section, but I actually found it in the organic section at the Buffalo Speedway Kroger. This recipe is yummy and I would recommend it.
Baked Virginia Ham (page 119)
I also made the Shortbread Hearts and Pecan Shortbread yesterday. Since these were so similar I made them both. I followed these recipes exactly with all of Carissa’s suggestions, (i.e. rolling the dough on wax paper, only taking out of the refrigerator what you can cook at that moment, only rolling the dough ¼ inch thick, etc). This recipe makes a lot of cookies…..seriously a lot! I took about 30 cookies to a friend, have about 30 cookies at my house cooked, and probably enough dough in my freezer for another 30+ cookies! The recipe probably makes so many because they are just so delicious; I can’t stop eating them. These are yummy and will be great for the holidays.

Shortbread “Hearts” and Pecan Shortbread (page 177 and 181) as pumpkins, leaves, and acorns.

With all of these dishes filling up my refrigerator, let’s hope that there is enough food to make it through the weekend!

xoxo Darby

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