Friday, May 8, 2009

This Week in Cooking - 5/9/2009

Last post of the night, and it's a long one. Last weekend, I went temporarily insane and thought I would need all of this food to get me through the week. So I made this all in the course of 9 hours split over two days.


I brought back soup for lunch this week with mulligatawny, a spiced Indian soup. It is made with many different spices (garam masala, cumin, tumeric, etc.), chicken broth, lentils, chicken, celery, carrot, and cilantro. While I'm sure Indian people may make this dish much better, my version came out decently enough for satisfying lunches all week long.

Beer-Can Chicken

I've wanted to shove a can of beer up a chicken's patoot for quite a while. Supposedly, using a can of beer inside of a whole chicken as it cooks helps to preserve moisture and tenderness in the meat. I was going to fire up the grill for the first time this year to make this, but it was raining, so I settled for the oven. After marinating the chicken in garlic, herbs and olive oil, I propped the chicken atop the beer can, then put it in the oven. Towards the end of the cooking, I glazed the chicken with apple jelly mixed with lemon juice. The chicken did come out pretty well, though it does look like it has a tan line problem...

Pan-Fried Smashed Potatoes

As a side dish for the chicken, I made these pan-fried smashed potatoes. After boiling the potatoes until almost tender, you mash them partway, then pan-fry them in oil with salt and pepper. After cooking through, you top with shredded parmesan cheese. The great part about this side is that you get to have a boiled potato with a crispy shell and nice, salty cheese on top.

Wine-Marinated Mahi-Mahi

I haven't had fish in a while, so I made this dish. I marinated some mahi-mahi fillets in a combination of white wine, olive oil, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and thyme for about an hour. Then I simply sauteed the fish in the marinade until it was done (flaked with a fork). The meaty mahi held up well to the cooking, and the marinade had a nice combination of flavors.

Almond-Garlic Pasta

Looking for a pasta dish with a sauce that's not tomato-, pesto- or cheese-based? Then try almonds. The sauce for this pasta is made by processing blanched almonds with some garlic and salt, then cooking it until it thickened in a pan. Peas and toasted almonds round out the flavors of this very innovative pasta dish.

Stir-Fried Edamame

Another good option to change up the routine is to use edamame, evidenced by these next two dishes. You can often find edamame in the frozen food section of the grocery store. After blanching the frozen soybeans, stir-fry them with soy sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, jalapeno, and pepper. This creates a delightful and flavorful side dish that will complement many different types of food. Think of them as lima beans except better.

Grilled Chicken with Edamame Skordalia

Lastly in this montage of culinary wonder is this dish: grilled chicken with edamame skordalia. I'm not entirely sure as to what a skordalia actually is, but in this case, you process edamame with some water, salt, pepper, and parmesan. It is almost like mashed potatoes except more flavorful and better for you. Pairing it with this grilled chicken created a very satisfying dinner dish. And that's all the food I thought I would eat in a week. The only way I could possibly eat all of this would be if I was training to be a sumo wrestler.

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