November 30, 2006

Mini Chickens

Last Sunday I decided to make braised lamb shanks with orzo. I ended up using Bobby Flay recipe. It turned out quite well, but next time I'd de-fat the sauce before reducing it. The leftover sauce had a lot of gelatin in it. In the fridge it set up like jello. The leftovers are in the fridge, waiting to be turned into shepherd's pie.

While I was at the butcher's, I picked up a couple of cornish game hens. I figured that they'd make cute little individual chickens. I used my usual roast chicken recipe - I carefully stuffed an herb/oil/garlic mixture under the skin and salted and oiled the outside. I cooked it breast down for 10 minutes, then turned it over and covered it with bacon to keep it moist. I would have roasted potatoes with it, but after having the cheesy mashed potatoes, I don't think Emily will let me make potatoes any other way.

The chicken was quite good, although I'd cut back on the marjoram a bit and serve it without the bacon. The hens were a bit more work to prepare than a turkey, and perhaps more to eat (I need some steak knives), but it was fun and tasty.

November 19, 2006


A lot has happened since the last post, between announcing my engagement, work, and finishing stuff on the house, I left out my blog.

On October 6th I proposed to Emily. She knew it was coming, but the ring was finished ahead of time, so I still managed to surprise her. The ring arriving early was unexpected. I had to move quickly to keep it a surprise, so the proposal wasn't as elaborate as I would have liked.

As you can see from my cooking calendar, we had chocolate gelato and champagne with Dan and Carmen, and Emily and I just had a caesar salad for dinner - neither of us were very hungry.

Last Friday we passed our final inspection on the house. One less thing for me to worry about. We still have painting to do, but the city is happy with the important stuff and all of our permits are closed out.

No food pictures for the last few weeks. I didn't make a lot of new dishes. Last weekend I tried to make fish stock, but the fishmonger didn't have the right bones for me. I did make about a gallon of chicken stock, however. Last monday, we had a classic french preparation of mussels. (Steamed with wine, butter, and cream.)

Last night I made "Midwestern Fajitas" – or perhaps I should call them Fajitas al Cacciatore (Hunter's Fajitas) – my usual fajita recipe made with venison flank steak. They didn't have the skirt steak that I usually use, so I figured that the venison flank would have a bit more flavor and be healthier than the beef. The steak was rather thin - like a butterflied beef flank steak - so I only cooked it for about 30-45 seconds per side. It turned out quite well. I'd definitely make it again.