We have a well-designed apartment. The smoke alarm is far away from the kitchen, right next to the bedrooms.
Yesterday, for the first time, we set it off! Fortunately, nothing was harmed, just the drippings burning in the pan. Poor Muttola, she'd never heard that sound before.
I love a sexy man with an oven mitt...
Riffs on traditional foods
Nothing we made was normal. Instead of mashed potatoes, we made up a recipe. While eating potato salad last week, we started doing a 'what-if' scenario: what if, instead of mayo, you use Blue Cheese dressing? what if, instead of bacon, you broil some pancetta?
This is the end result. To our tastes, it was the best potato salad we've ever had.
- 2 pounds New Potatoes. Scrubbed. Peeling is optional. Boil until forkable. Chill in refrigerator while chicken cooks.
- Slice two celery sticks. Add to potatoes.
- Dice half a red onion. Add.
- Broil 1/4 pound of super thin slices of pancetta, procutto or other cured ham. Separate slices and broil in toaster oven or oven for 2-3 minutes per side. Just to crisp. Drain on a paper towel, then pick up and crush. Sprinkle on top.
- If available, crumble in goat cheese or gorgonzola to taste.
- Add lots of salt and pepper to taste (Korean taste means LOTS of pepper).
- 1/2 cup high quality Blue Cheese Salad Dressing.
We saw this on On The Road Again. Using a cast-iron skillet over medium high heat, Gwyneth Paltrow toasted pine nuts and currants in olive oil, then tossed and wilted spinach on top. It's SO yummy. If my Mom had made spinach this way, I'd have begged for it.
Jrex also saw a quick recipe by Bitman, from that same show where he grated sweet potatoes. Stir-fried them in olive oil on high heat and then coated with a butter concoction. Also very good.
Jrex followed the recipe from Cooks Illustrated for roast chicken. It was juicy and tender. The dripping sauce gravy did NOT work out. As you saw from the top photo, it just tasted burnt. Oh well! It wasn't even missed cause the bird didn't need any moisture to be palatable.
The wine was a California Pinot. Jrex is on their mailing list and orders direct. Rhys Vineyards. This was a concoction of various grapes. On the nose, it was mellow with a hint of old shoe at the end. In the mouth, it was a bright, cheery flavor with a lingering finish. Very appropriate for Thanksgiving with it's happy taste blending well with each of the foods.
Dessert: Apple Cranberry Currant Pie
Since I now have a box of currants I need to use up, and since I wanted cranberries, when I saw this recipe in Sunset Magazine, I had to give it a try. I even made the pie crust from scratch. It's edible, but not that good (the crust). The pie itself was tangy and very good. Not too heavy.
In the future, I might just make it as a crumble.
The candlelight made it easy to ignore all the dishes waiting across the room. Jrex picked Miles Davis' Kind of Blue for the music. We toasted each other and shared what we're thankful for from the past year, and what we're grateful for in our marriage.
The best part was that, without any guests or an agenda, we just relaxed throughout much of the day and cooked little bits here and there. Of course that meant we didn't eat until our usual hour of 7:30, but it was a great day.