Monday, November 5, 2007

Household Poultry Stock (p. 118), Bouquet Garni (p. 960), Baked Polenta (p. 349), Curry Mayonnaise (p. 580)

First of all, I have decided to abstain from cooking Mexican food this week :) I'm nervous about my research and don't really want to think about the trip!

Second, I'm pretty sure people are reading this blog who I don't know in real life--that is super exciting! Also, if you decide to make any of these recipes, go back and comment on how yours turned out. If you want to take a picture of yours and email it to me, I'll post it on the blog!

Yesterday I got highly motivated to cook. First item I wanted to make? Black bean soup. So I got out my black beans, started reading the recipe....uh oh...beans need to soak overnight! So I guess that will have to be made Monday!

So what else to make...

I had the leftover carcass from a rotisserie chicken that we bought at King Soopers. I had no idea what to do with it but it still had some meat on the bone and it seems wasteful to throw it away. So I decided to make Household Poultry Stock (p. 118). Super easy! Throw the chicken carcass and some water in a pot, boil it, throw some vegetables and Bouquet Garni (p. 960) into the pot, boil some more. Strain it and VOILA! Chicken stock. And it makes your house smell great--like chicken soup. Actually, the stuff I strained out of the stock looked pretty damn good too--it would probably be good if you wanted to eat it.

So am I still going to buy chicken stock at CostCo? Yes, because we use a TON of it. But I will make all of our chicken carcasses into stock too...

All of the ingredients boiling away:

The strained stock--look how tasty!

What to make next? We got a nice big hunk of salmon at Costco and Josh was highly motivated to grill it so I didn't need to help with the main course. But what could I make as a side dish? Baked Polenta (p. 349) was something I had all the ingredients for...

Now, I don't know how many of my readers are of Italian heritage. I am and my mom and noni made polenta for me all the time. We would have it with sauce on it and the next day, we would slice it, fry it, and eat it with maple syrup. This recipe is not like my families polenta.

TJOC has 4 polenta recipes, but this one is strange.

Reasons why this recipe is strange:
1. It has swiss cheese in it. Any cheese is strange in polenta, except maybe Parmesan. But swiss? How Italian is that? Very odd.

2. It tells you to slice three kinds of cheese (well, slice swiss and mozzarella, measure out some Parmesan). Then it tells you to put half in the middle and half on top. Half of what? Half of all the cheeses? Or half of the cheese in general? I put the swiss in the middle and the mozz and parm on the top...

I hate vague instructions!

So how did it taste? Pretty good. Odd, but good. I think it would be better with some sauce on it.

Browning the onions in olive oil...

The constructed polenta pre-oven

Nicely browned and tasty-looking!

So what else could I make? It seemed like a good idea to put some sort of sauce on the salmon. I decided to make Curry Mayonnaise (p. 580). OMG! This was delicious. TJOC recommends using it in chicken salad...I'm totally going to next time I make it. If you like curry you have GOT to make this! My favorite way to eat it is to mix the leftover salmon in the curry mayo the next day and eat it on Ritz crackers (I'm obviously a gourmand!).

Until next time!

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