Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chicken and Rice for the Soul


I bought a giant family pack of chicken breast this weekend to make soup for a cold that snuck up on me Friday night. The soup was good, flavorful and comforting. The most soothing part of making it, I think, was sitting around actually relaxing while my first homemade stock simmered away. I followed some of Barefoot Contessa's recipe, minus the whole chicken, since bone-in skin on chicken breasts were cheaper. And my cold is gone! Coincidence?


With about 3 pounds of chicken left, I was worried I wouldn't be able to use it up in time. Then it hit me, of course, chicken and rice! The infamous late night meal of clubbgoers found almost everywhere in New York, but non-existant anywhere else. Within the past year, more recipes have popped up on the internet for a dish that can't be found anywhere but a New York street cart. I tried out a recipe I found on Huffington Post because it had tons of spices which would mean tons of flavor. It was very tasty, especially the yogurt based "white sauce," but I didn't use dark meat like the streets cart do, and did not marinate overnight, two things that I think would have made my dish taste even more authentic. Something to try next time! And find a recipe for the hot sauce. Not to say it was all for nothing, because there are no leftovers today.


Sunday, September 11, 2011



It's been a little while, so excuse me as I bombard you with photos of food! I finally started using my food processor, so recipes that I've been collecting that called for one have been on the top of my list. Above is a free form tomato tart from David Lebowitz's blog. It was my first "tart" dough and came together SO easy with a food processor. I am in need of a tart pan, so I made it free form as he suggests. It was very tasty with some heirloom tomatoes from the Union Square Farmer's Market, and the dough was still crispy despite the tomatoes sitting on top. My only qualm was the crust wound up being more like a cookie crust than the flakier one you might expect in a tart.


The second photo is my version of the classic quiche lorrraine adapted from Smitten Kitchen. The dough was similar to the tomato tart, but was harder to handle as it kept crumbling when I was putting it in the pie plate. It also came out more cookie-like and dense, possibly a result of over rolling the dough. It was pretty tasty considering 1) I substituted organic skim milk for the usual heavy cream and 2) I forgot to put the cheese (gruyere) IN the egg mixture so wound up sprinkling it on top near the end. I think next time, I'm going to have to give in try the heavy cream...


Lastly, after a semi-successful first quiche attempt, I tried this insanely easy plum clafouti recipe. This was my first clafouti and thankfully, does not require a tart crust, and it came out great. All you have to do is slice the plums, and mix the rest of the ingredients in one bowl, pour over and pop into the over for about an hour, and voila! It looks much more impressive than the effort and made me feel a bit better about the quiche lorraine faux pas of earlier in the day.