Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Taking the Reins

As I've mentioned before, my husband is the cook.  I CAN cook, but he's more of the family chef than I am.  I can certainly feed my family, and I can make good food, but fancy food is not in my reparte.

Except for last night, where I have to say I made a pretty damn good Chicken Marsala.

Chicken Marsala is my favorite meal.  It's what I judge a new (to me) restaurant on, and a favorite at some of my favorites.  So when I saw that Brian had put it on the menu with rice and steamed zucchini, I was excited for a Monday night dinner.  Being excited for anything on a Monday is a stretch, so this was a big deal.

In comes Murphy's Law.  Good Ol' Mr. Murphy likes Mondays.  And a big monkey wrench was thrown into the Chicken Marsala plans.  Huge accident on the MassPike involving a coffee truck overturning and leaking fuel, which naturally brought gridlock and a rotten commute for all.  Even for me, the lady who has nothing to complain about now that she has a itty bitty commute compared to the big honking 35-miles-each-way-through-Hell that I had years ago.  I called Brian on the way home and reported the mess, and told him that it was going to take a while.  He said that we could order sandwiches when he got home, whenever that was going to be.

Upon getting home though, I remembered that driving in that kind of mess just sucks the energy right out of you.  Sometimes Brian would have a hot meal waiting for me and the travel stress would just slide away like water off a duck's back.  So my mind was made up...dammit, I'm going in.....to the kitchen.

Instead of rice, I chose mashed potatoes since potatoes go bad a lot faster than rice.  I pounded chicken breasts, sauteed mushrooms and onions, made sauce from scratch.  All while feeding the kids sliced apples and leftover homemade mac n cheese with ham and fielding math questions from Sean and Minecraft video recaps from Will.  At one point my house grew very smoky, and I had to run around opening doors and windows.  (No fire alarms!)  I was plating the chicken as the garage door opened, and everything was perfect.  Well, truth be told the house was a little chilly because I forgot to close the dining room window.  Usually I'm the chilly one but I was in a camisole and busting my butt in the kitchen!  The chicken was perfectly cooked, soft without a hint of "rubber."  The mushroom and onions didn't burn at all and the sauce was blended nicely.  Awesome, I pulled it off!!!
And Brian?   He loved it.    Not that our local sandwich place doesn't have mighty fine wares, but a homecooked meal from someone that loves you at the end of a stressful day....nothing better than that.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Art of French Cooking

Brian's birthday was in September and I got him a cookbook that he's wanted for some time:  Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking."  As neither of us have any experience in EATING french cuisine, much less cooking it, it's a new culinary adventure.

He's made two dishes so far....Daube de Boeuf and Pork Sylvie.  Both meals took the better part of a Sunday but were out of the park. The Daube de Boeuf was kind of like a beef stew, only baked in the oven.  We had it with a Parmesan Risotto that was to DIE FOR.  Brian told the kids that it was "steak and cheesy rice."  Will remarked that he'd never had steak like it and Brian just told him that it was a "wet method" of cooking.   He didn't eat it all but certainly didn't complain.

The Pork Sylvie came at a time where I was needing comfort food in a big way, after my kidney surgery.  It was this perfect pork roast, stuffed with swiss cheese.  Normally I'm not a big Swiss cheese fan but this was divine.  Lots of leftovers, which of course made me quite happy.

I think I could get used to eating French food.  Not every day of course, but as often as Brian can cook it.