kent_allard_jr: (morans)
Two of my favorite bloggers, among others, have gotten in an argument over Jamie Oliver's "crusade" to wean Americans off restaurant food. I don't know what position to take in this fight (although Erza Klein adds a valuable corrective to both of them), but I wanted to add a personal data point from last night.

The downstairs neighbor was joining me again, so I decided to cook a Lebanese dish called Chicken with Chick Peas and Rice. Here are the ingredients I used:
1/2 pound boneless chicken breasts
1 stick of butter
4 cups water
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 clove minced garlic
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup chick peas
1/2 pound ground beef
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup risoto
1/2 cup rice
1/2 cup slivered almonds

In one pan you roast the almonds in a tiny bit of butter; remove when golden brown. In another pan, brown the chicken in 1/4 stick butter, then add the water, garlic, cinnamon stick and half the onions and salt. Bring it to a boil, cover, and continue to cook until you can easily shred the chicken with a pair of forks. Then remove the chicken and set the remaining broth, butter and water aside.

In a third pan, fry the ground beef in 1/4 stick of butter until cooked through, then add cinnamon, pepper, and remaining onions and salt. Put aside after 10 minutes or so. Then cook the risoto in the remaining 1/2 stick of butter until golden brown; add pasta and saute for a few more minutes. Then add 2-3 cups of the butter/broth/water mixture (add additional water if needed), bring to a boil, and add the ground beef, onions, and chick peas. Simmer until the water is absorbed (about 20-30 minutes), then let cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the shredded chicken and almonds.

Nana seemed to really like the dish, and asked for the recipe. Once I told her, of course, she was horrified, and I don't blame her. I never cook this for myself! It takes too long and it's just too fattening. If I'm cooking for a guest, though, I feel its time to splurge, and I suspect the effect of cooking on America's waistline depends a lot on the conditions in which it's done. I suspect it will only work as intended if we cook for ourselves or for family members.
kent_allard_jr: (profile)
People say I never cook. Not true! After my landlady gave me a batch of garden tomatoes I made Tomato Rice Cups, supposedly a Greek dish (though I've never seen them before). Here's the recipe:

2-4 (1 lb) mid-sized tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup rice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/3rd cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the bottoms off the tomatoes, scoop out the insides. Put tomatoes and bottoms aside and crush the tomato meat. Add tomato paste and put the mixture aside. Then heat the olive oil in a pan. Add onions, cook over a low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add rice, stir for 3 minutes. Then add tomato mix, bring to a boil, and cook covered for 7 minutes. Remove from heat, add parsley, salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350. Spoon mixture into tomato cups, cover with bottoms, and arrange in a baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over tomatoes, add water to dish. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove foil and cook for another 30. Serves 2.
kent_allard_jr: (Default)
Still sick, although I now know it isn't the same as [ profile] viridian's ailment (much to my embarrassment, I should add). I got very little done today beyond this portrait of the Kavia god Forell. Couldn't even find the energy to cook a decent meal, so tonight I settled for... Lazy-Ass Chicken Parmigiana.
Boneless chicken breasts
Red sauce
Shake & Bake Chicken, Italian Style
Mozzarella cheese

Cover boneless chicken breasts in Shake & Bake. Sear in a frying pan until golden. Then place in a baking pan and cover with red sauce. Heat oven to 375. Put baking pan in oven and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off oven and remove pan. Cover chicken with mozzarella cheese and return to oven. Remove when cheese is melted, and serve.
Yes, my brother is a world-class chef, and this is the best I could come up with. What can I say? It tastes good enough for me.


kent_allard_jr: (Default)

August 2012

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