Saturday, August 25, 2007

Cooking with Friends

Debbie and I both like to cook and we both like to try new recipes. So the last two weeks have been a blast in the kitchen. Sometimes one or the other of us cooked but for the most part we have cooked together. We have tried new recipes from Fine Cooking Magazine. I love that magazine.

Since Debbie brought me Chinese five-spice powder, one night she cooked Grilled Five-Spice Chicken Thighs with Soy-Vinegar sauce & Cilantro from the September edition of Fine Cooking. Now that is a keeper. I don't think that recipe is on Fine Cooking's website yet.

Debbie prepared a recipe that had spinach and garbanzo beans in it. It was okay. But I have a measure of how much trouble something is to prepare vs. taste vs. comparing it to other ways I might fix the main ingredient that is just as tasty and easier to prepare. So while it was good, it was more trouble than it is worth taste-wise.

Last night we had Rick and Deb over for dinner and our menu was a variation of Baby Greens, Marinated red onion and Mango salad. (No baby greens in San Miguel right now) Roasted Pork Loin, Grilled Zucchini, Grilled onions (bigger than scallions but still with the green tops attached) and Grilled Eggplant with Garlic-Cumin Vinaigrette with Feta and Herbs. The eggplant was another recipe from the September issue. This is one that I would do differently. The recipe called for mixing this and that and letting it sit for 10 minutes....really made it complicated. Next time I think I would chop up some scallions and saute them then add the garlic for a minute and set aside. I'd make a vinaigrette with a bit of cayenne in it. Sprinkle the sauteed onion and garlic over the grilled eggplant, drizzle the vinaigrette over it and then sprinkle the feta and herbs. Much simpler. We also tried a variation of another recipe from the current magazine, Corn Saute with Ginger, Garlic & Fresh Cilantro. The variation is a keeper. We served buffet style and the grilled vegetable platter was very pretty. For dessert, we used one of my favorite recipes, a dark chocolate truffle tart with marscapone topping. It was a pretty good dinner. I'm sorry I didn't take any pictures but I don't seem to be able to cook and photograph at the same time.

When Guy and Debbie leave, the kitchen is sure going to be lonely. It has been so much fun to have someone to cook with.

1 comment:

pitchertaker said...

Here's quickie for you:
3/4 cup black olive tapenade
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes sliced in half
1/4 cup strip fresh basil
2-3 tbs chopped fresh parsley

Cook fettucini for four, drain and put back in pan. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water.

Over low heat add tapenade and stir untill combined. Turn out into pasta bowl, add tomatoes, basil and parsley, stir. Serve immediately with fresh grated Italian cheese of your choice.

This is quick, good, and very fresh tasting....