Cooking Reports

These are other recipes and things that I'm trying in the kitchen. If they turn out, or if they don't, I'm going to post about it. The things that work will likely get a full recipe writeup in the future.

Mustard Chicken and Mushroom Risotto

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This is a good show of how much I've learned over the last 2 years:

  1. The chicken breasts were seasoned with Lawry's, pan-seared on a hot pan with a bit of oil for browning, and then finished in a 400° oven
  2. While the chicken finished in the oven, I prepared the risotto, mostly from this recipe from myrecipes.com (though I've learned from Emeril's recipe, and these risotto techniques from The Awl
  3. A cup of milk deglazed the pan, 1/4 tsp of garlic powder, 2 tbsp of dijon mustard, some salt, some pepper, and 1 tbsp of flour created a pan sauce

And one thing I haven't learned:

  1. Frozen broccoli looks kind of silly next to the rest of this...

Altogether I like the formula: One difficult or involved thing (risotto), one moderately-complex thing (the pan sauce), and the rest easy things (chicken and broccoli). I spent about an hour in the kitchen, and created something wonderful!

mustard chicken with mushroom risotto on a plate

Ham and Pepper Frittata

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I used to do prep at the pizza place, and I can't believe it's taken me this long to realize that chopped veggies can be stored overnight in a fridge and used the next day (or even, gasp, two or three days later).

It's easy:

  1. Buy an extra red pepper
  2. Chop it up with the rest of the red peppers from Chicken Paprikash
  3. Put the extra chopped peppers in a sealed container
  4. Add to eggs and breakfast potatoes

Red pepper and ham frittata with American cheese and breakfast potatoes with peppers

Where I used to think that a Denver Omelette (ham, onion, bell pepper) would be difficult to make for myself at home, now I realize that I can make them as long as I'm willing to have 3-4 of them during the week. Or I can make other things with the same ingredients, like add potatoes and make a hash, or add a pie crust and make a quiche, or sub the ham for some other meat and make tacos! Having pre-prepped veggies makes a lot of things easy!

Chicken Paprikash

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Tonight, I made Chicken Paprikash, a Hungarian stew featuring Paprika, from this recipe by A Dish of Daily Life.

I only had plain paprika, not the hungarian paprika called for in the recipe, so I gain no points for authenticity. It didn't matter, because this still tasted delicious. It takes a bit of time, but it's pretty easy to make, and absolutely worth it.

Chicken paprikash in a bowl

Pasta Puttanesca

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Sugo alla puttanesca is a simple sauce made of tomatoes, black olives, capers, and anchovies. Served with spaghetti makes Spaghetti alla puttanesca.

This comes together quickly, so prep everything before starting the water for pasta. Start the water, and then immediately start the sauce. By the time the water boils, you'll be done with the work in the sauce and just letting it simmer. Then while it simmers, the pasta cooks. Cook the pasta a little below al dente, then drain and add it to the sauce. Toss to coat, and let sit for a bit more for the pasta to finish cooking and soak up some of the sauce.

I combined two recipes I found to make this (this recipe from Vikalinka and this recipe from MyRecipes), so I wasn't quite sure how it'd turn out. Next time I'm going to chop up the capers to spread them out a bit. I'm also going to try parsley instead of basil, as is more traditional, and the Wikibooks recipe recommended adding some shrimp for protein...

Spaghetti with puttanesca sauce on a plate with bread and
butter

Bacon Onion Frittata

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I love frittatas! Single-serving frittata isn't exactly the right way to do it, but it's easier than an omelette and has golden-brown deliciousness. I follow Alton Brown's frittata recipe with only 2 eggs and varying mixins like this bacon onion frittata with breakfast potatoes (but always keep the parmesan cheese, it really ties the flavors together).

Other things I've added to frittata include:

  • Herbs like basil and thyme
  • Various cheeses including pepperjack, colby, and cheddar
  • Sausage
  • Mushrooms
  • Broccoli

I think frittatas are my new favorite egg dish. Omelettes are great, but a bit challenging to make. Frittatas are all the flavor and none of the work!

Bacon and onion frittata on a plate with breakfast
potatoes Bacon and onion frittata fresh out of the oven with cheddar cheese on
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