Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chicken & Spinach Pie with Mashed Potato Crust

A "Recipeasy" by Fabio Viviani

It's official: I'm not a thyme fan. 

This recipe sounded good in my head when I read the ingredient list, but I think that's for two reasons: 1) I'm kinda on a Fabio kick at the moment; and 2) I didn't remember what thyme tasted like. Other than salt and pepper, the multifaceted (anti-septic and anti-fungal) herb is the only seasoning in this dish. And it has a distinctive flavor, so even a little can go a long way.  The "pie" consists of fresh spinach, carrots, onion, ricotta and chicken breast. The mashed potato crust is basic mash, but with olive oil instead of butter. The directions are straightforward, with the prep and cook times coinciding so you end up being in the kitchen less than an hour--unless you're like me and lose your vegetable peeler. Then you're spending the first 10 minutes with 3 potatoes and a paring knife.

For me, this ended up being a little bland (despite the thyme). I'd suggest maybe adding a little parmesan during the final 5-minute broil to give the potato crust a little texture and flavor. Or, perhaps, season the chicken with...something. Like what? I dunno...something that won't compete with the thyme! You could even nix the thyme altogether and go with some garlic. Hmmm... Next time!  
If all else fails, do like we do in this house and spritz on a little lemon after you plate it! Lemon heals all.

P.S. You can find the recipe if you click on Fabio Viviani above and go to "Recipeasy".
P.P.S. Does anyone know how to keep my background image static??? This html stuff is confusing to me. :^{

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Eggs Baked in Cheese Fondue (on Sourdough Toast)

from Did I REALLY Make Breakfast? by Fabio Viviani

I have eaten many an egg on toast, so this seemed like a great way to launch Recipe Resolution. For my first try, I think this turned out just fine. I had no photos of this dish, so I have no idea if this looks even remotely like what Fabio and his nonna envisioned. Although I'm fairly certain the fondue shouldn't look quite so...curdy. It could have something to do with my modifications (below). But it tastes great. Just don't be shy with the basil! I added more after the photo.

Some suggestions if you wanna try this yourself: use your noggin. This is a pretty informal recipe e-book, written by a (completely adorable) chef whose first language was not English. I think he may take a few things for granted, since he's not a novice in the kitchen. One thing I didn't notice until I was half-way through the process was that there were a couple ingredients listed that didn't make their way into the directions. I could only assume they were garnish, although I suppose it's possible the basil was supposed to get baked in/on. Another thing the recipe didn't say to do was turn the heat back up to medium so that the roux can turn into bechamel sauce. I discovered that 10 minutes on low does a whole lotta nothin!

Modifications: Since the recipe serves 4 and I'm not a fan of wasting, I decided to half it, with the exception of the eggs. (I realized when I got home I only had 3. Oops!) I also had to substitute fat free half & half.

TADA! And here's a link to the recipe, portioned for 1, from The Lonely Gourmet!

P.S. If anyone wants to edit my photos for me before I post them, I sure won't argue! :^}

My Very Own Food Blog

If you've read my bio, you know why I started this blog. If you haven't yet, then please do.

I'll wait.

Ya with me now? K. So anyway, I just wanted to say a few more things about my goals for this blog. 
  • First, I want this blog to be something I am doing for FUN. I have enough stress in my life already, so the aim of this blog is to be its antithesis. I want to turn my love of food into a fun hobby that gets me excited and keeps me entertained.
  • Second, I'm striving to make one new recipe each week, but might do more if I feel ambitious enough. More than likely I'll be cooking on Tuesdays, and I'll aim to post my photo and review right away while it's still fresh (no pun intended).
  • Third, thus far I've no rhyme or reason regarding my recipe choices. I'd love to be health-conscious enough to focus on all organic, gluten-and-dairy-and-soy-free dishes, but it's just not practical for me, or for many of you reading this. If something looks good to me at the time, I'll try it out. Or if something looks good to YOU, lemme know and I'll make it. 
  • And fourth, my blogging may not stop at recipes I make. I'm definitely going to make my own cooking the main topic, but if I'm out and try something wonderful, I may decide I need to write about it.
So that's it! I want to emphasize once again that I'm a novice EVERYTHING, so bear with me as I fumble my way through this challenge!