Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Getting my kitchen mojo working again

The floor is done! I have a new appreciation for people who do floors for a living. That is not easy work.
I grouted yesterday afternoon. And I am paying for it now with creaky knees and sore shoulders.
But it looks great.
No pictures of that. It is a gray grout that ties in nicely with the floor. I will take more pictures once the workers come back and finish with the fridge and dishwasher, etc.
And the workers may come in this afternoon, or at the very least, sometime this week to finish.

So to celebrate, I really wanted to make a proper dinner for myself and the manfriend.
That pasta last week was great. But I wanted an entree and some side dishes.
I didn't do anything too crazy, but I did make three things I had not made before just to really give my kitchen mojo a workout. It has been a while.
Turns out I am not too rusty.
Dinner was great.

Here is what I made. Just click on the name of the dish if you want the recipe.

There was no actual cooking with this one, but it gave me a chance to chop and the coolness and creaminess was a nice compliment to the rest of the dinner.
The dressing-to-cucumber ratio was a bit off. I thought it was over-dressed. Next time I would add more cukes or make less dressing. But the flavor was excellent.

Um, YUM! Why have I never thought of this before?
It is like hash browns, but with sweet potato?
This was great with dinner, but would be so yummy as a breakfast or brunch dish, too.
I left out the red bell peppers on this. I was just thinking the flavor might compete too much with the sweet potato. It probably would have been OK with them, but peppers aren't my favorite anyway.
The key to keeping these together is to not cut the tomato pieces too thick and to make sure the chicken gets nice and brown on the first side before you flip them.

But these were awesome and pretty easy to make. They would be excellent dinner party food because they are not difficult to make and they look quite impressive.
I was thinking though that they would be good with a little cheese of some kind in the stuffing. I might try crumbling some goat cheese or neufchatel or boursin in there next time I make them. I think a creamy cheese with a strong flavor rather than a gooey-melty cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, etc.) would be better.
Oh, and the pan juices are great. The recipe says to pour some on top before serving. Oh yeah.
Tonight will be leftovers. But my little brain is already thinking about what I want to cook next.
I think I need to make something more complicated than cheesy bread in the oven.
I think I need to bake.


Sona said...

Hmmmm... baking.

I made a pie yesterday from apples we got at the orchard.


Jill said...

Pie is good.

I really want to make this walnut-pear cake that I love.

But I may give the oven a shake-down with something more basic or even a mix, just to get a feel for it.

I have never had an electric oven before, so I want to practice before I make something so labout intensive.

Jill said...

labor intensive

I need to look while I type.


ReesePie said...

I love cucumber salad so much.