Tuesday, August 16, 2011

An Interesting Day of Exploring: Pies and Chicken

Ok, so I had this grandiose idea of cooking all day long and making delicious dishes. I started with making a lemon meringue pie that was to be ready by desert time. I had planned to make a Spanish Tortilla for my husband and his cousin since their family has such deep Spanish roots. Then I was going to make a delicious dinner of chicken, beans and potatoes. The day didn't go exactly as planned but you role with the punches, right?

I did make the pie. I was on a role and doing well. Until, my husband took my son and his cousin to the mall. Then, at every point when the components of the pie needed the most constant tending to, my nearly 2 month old baby girl woke up and decided she needed to be fed and changed and put back to sleep. Also, I couldn't find pastry flour at the grocery store so I used a pre-made pie dough that I just had to bake. I didn't know that there was a makeshift recipe for pastry flour until I asked my sister (1 1/3 all purpose flour plus 2/3 cups of cake flour equal 2 cups of pastry flour) but the store didn't have cake flour either. I followed the instructions the best I knew how. With the constant interruption of my baby (which I don't resent, I'd rather spend time with her than bake a pie any time of any day), I don't think the filling turned out the way it was supposed to. In fact, I know it didn't. However, my meringue was flawless. It was glossy and peaked beautifully. My filling was slop. It tasted the way it was supposed to but even after sitting in the fridge for a few hours, it never solidified at all. Other than the interruptions and me not being able to tend to it the way the instructions said, I'm not sure if anything else went wrong. I'll try again tomorrow, when some one else is home to watch the baby with me. If I can't get it right then, I think I'll move on to another desert. Baking has never been my strong suit.

The Spanish tortilla got put on hold until tomorrow evening. I'm really looking forward to it. The first time I had it was at a Spanish restaurant in DC, where my husband lived when I met him, called Bambule. That restaurant is amazing. The food is to die for and the ambiance is so fun and romantic. We went there on our first date, ended up there, in the same seat somehow, on our wedding night, on our first anniversary, and on my birthday when I was pregnant with our second child. It is a very sentimental place for me.If I can attempt to recreate even the slightest part of those memories, I'm going to.

Dinner was, in my opinion, excellent. We had grilled chicken with roasted red pepper butter, my special green beans (I'm sure others make them this exact same way but since this is the way I make them, its what I call them) and mashed potatoes.

The mashed potatoes were normal mashed potatoes (with real potatoes... I will NEVER understand people using boxed ones... so gross!).

The green beans were sauteed with butter, chopped garlic, chopped cooked bacon, chopped onion and a little bit of Parmesan cheese. I added salt and pepper to taste. Its probably one of the most unhealthy ways to eat green beans but its so stinking good. I cut the stems off the beans while the butter was melting in the pan and then I cooked them for a while in the butter before I threw in the other ingredients. I swear, this dish alone makes the house smell like a home. It has such a warm, mouthwatering aroma that makes you wander into the kitchen and say, "Mmmm. Whats for dinner?"

The chicken was SO easy. I like easy. I roasted a red pepper earlier in the day. While it was roasting, I softened some butter. After the pepper was done and cooled, I peeled the skin off. Then I chopped it up and pureed it. Next, the pepper puree was mixed with the butter, rolled in tin foil and placed in the fridge for several hours.

When cooking for dinner, I took a chicken breast, sliced it into strips and seasoned those with garlic, salt and pepper. Then I grilled the chicken strips on my small grill press. After they were cooked and while they were still hot, I spread the pepper butter on them. They were delicious. The richness from the butter cut by the strong flavor of the pepper was amazing. I hate bell peppers but I could eat them like this all day long. This butter would also taste good on pork and fish such as tilapia.

 Today was an interesting day of exploring. I learned a lot and enjoyed all of it... even my pie soup. Tomorrow is another day though and am looking forward to the lessons it has for me.



Nice well rounded dinner-great pics. Your green beans really sound tasty with the parmesan and bacon. Yum!

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