Thursday, January 13, 2011
Do Blue Skies Inspire Cooking?
When we picked up the mail I had three Fine Cooking magazines waiting for me. One was the Thanksgiving issue, another Christmas but the last one was the February-March issue with some cold weather recipes like several one-pot dinners and eight recipes for meatloaf. There are some good variations on these two staple recipes, especially for the meatloaf. Some combinations that I might not have thought about.
Last night I didn't follow one of the recipes for a one pot dinner but they did inspire me to cook one. I had a big chicken so I used the thighs, legs and wings. Seasoned it, browned it in my enameled cast iron pot, then added some minced celery, maybe two ribs of celery. I added mushrooms, carrots, slivers of garlic and some small onions I quartered since you can't find boiler onions here. Then a cup of white wine, a cup of chicken stock and some water to get enough liquid. Also added some rubbed sage and of course, salt and pepper. Put the top on the pot and put it in the oven at 300 degrees for a slow cook. I would have cooked it on top of the stove but I can't adjust my stove low enough for a low simmer. I served it with some couscous left over from the night before.
This issue of Fine Cooking also includes a 30-minute menu for a Special Valentine Supper. Oh, it is so enticing. I love lobster and the recipe is for a Vodka-steamed lobster with tomato-thyme butter sauce. Vodka lobster for Valentine. I love that image so I'm thinking I might have to try Vodka-steamed shrimp since I do not think I'll find a tank of lobster sitting in any market or grocery store in San Miguel.
I don't know why, but I love to cook in San Miguel. In the last two days I have made banana nut bread, red snapper in a puttanesca sauce, carrot soup and the chicken-in-a-pot. Today, I think I'll actually follow a recipe for shrimp with rice noodles. It has a bit of an Asian flare to it. Also, it is time to get back to bread making. This afternoon I'm planning to start a recipe for a no-knead bread of some kind.
Maybe the blue skies of San Miguel inspire me. Or maybe I like the shopping and searching in lots of tiendas to find the ingredients. Or maybe I like having to use my creativity to come up recipes that work here. Or maybe I just like to cook.