Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Silver Spoon part 2

I love the recipes out of the book and thought it would be fun to post pictures and my reviews of the recipes I try from the book.  So, here is part two of this idea.  (If anyone buys the book and wants to cook along with me and tell me how everything went for you, please let me know, my wife thinks this would be an awesome idea.)

So, the way I cook, is that I wait for a nice Saturday or Sunday to come along and after having marked about 5-6 recipes, I cook away.  I cook at least two protein rich dishes, so that one may be used for dinner at home for the next few nights and the other gets taken to work for lunch.  This is what I have made within the past week.

This was listed as a Pizza Napolatana, which was me making pizza dough, then putting some extra virgin olive oil, chopped tomatoes, fresh chunks of mozzerella and then some canned anchovies.  I'm not an anchovy person, but I know I did a good job when my wife eats the whole pizza.

This one was an interesting one, this is cream of lettuce soup.  This had milk and vegetable stock boiling together as the base and then about 6 cups of chopped lettuces were added and then blended together.  It tastes surprisingly good.

There was a recipe for a dish called "chicken in lager".  Basically, the recipe wanted me to boil some chicken in some lager beer, chopped celery, leek and carrot with salt and pepper.  That sounded fine, but I'd rather cook a chicken in my Dutch oven than in a pot any day.  So, I set the oven to 400 F and then placed all of the ingredients as well as some extra beef stock and water to fill it more than half way, so the liquids can get into the cavity of the bird to cook it.  I put the chopped veggies inside and then covered it to cook in the oven for an hour and a half, turning the chicken every 30 minutes.  It finished and looked like this:

The broth that was created was delicious and full of flavor and the meat on the chicken was juicy and fell off of the bone.  Do the recipe the book's way or my way.

This above picture is beets with anchovies.  It is a very simple recipe which has you cooking the beets then dicing them up.  Next you take a can of anchovies and after rinsing them, you place them in a hot pan with some extra virgin olive oil and some red wine vinegar.  You stir them around for what seemed like 2 minutes as they completely disintegrated.  You spoon that fishy mixture on top and then mix it up.  My wife, the anchovy eater, loved the cooked beets and anchovies so this is a good recipe for her or anyone else who loves anchovies.

The last thing I cooked in this week was "lentils with bacon".  What you do is soak the lentils overnight then the next day, pour them into a pot.  This recipe is interesting compared to past lentil recipes which I have tried because this one doesn't have you keep the vegetables.  With this one, you cut the carrots and celery in large chunks so they cook with the lentils and give flavor.  When the dish is finished, you pull the vegetables out and toss them.  The bacon is cooked whole, with the lentils as well and then when it is finished cooking, you take the bacon out, chop it up and mix it back in.  I added chopped onions and kept them chopped instead of whole, as I like the flavor of onions. (I call onions "flavor enhancers" to my kids to help persuade them to eat them.)

Everything that I tried was delicious and as I move along in the cookbook, I will continue to do more pictures and more foods for anyone to see.  I am finding this Italian cookbook, easier to follow and make better tasting dishes than say a Mario Batali 350 recipe cookbook.  (I'm not suggesting that Mr. Batali is not a good Italian chef, only that the layout of this book is simpler for people like me to follow: anyone can cook.) 

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