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Progress...minor [Jun. 8th, 2010|09:30 am]
Sadly, I feel just as brain dead and sleep-deprived as I did yesterday. But since I'm a firm believer that once the acute injury passes, you must begin to use whatever's hurt, even if it's just gently, or it will never recover.

So, to that end...I continue to be random, but this time it's from my own brain, not others'.

If you don't pound a chicken breast slightly to make it mostly an even thickness, you're missing out. In order to cook the thick part properly, you will have to dry out the thinner part. Cover it with plastic wrap and smack it a few times with a flat meat pounder. You will thank me later. (Just remember that I'm not kidding about the plastic wrap. Don't be spraying your kitchen with raw chicken juice. Please.

I adore homemade polenta and abhor the premade. You can imagine, as grace-impaired as I am, however, that pouring a stream of cornmeal into a pot of boiling water, while whisking briskly, takes more coordination than I have on a good day. And I don't have many good days. Screw it. One cup of coarse corn meal to 3 cups water, right? Boil one cup of salted water, mix the cornmeal with the other two cups and just pour it in there. THEN whisk it. Then scrape out whatever's left (because there's not enough water to completely suspend the cornmeal, but that's okay) and whisk again. You'll be fine. And I know it's supposed to take 45 minutes to cook...but I dunno, ten to fifteen minutes seems to be fine.

Mushrooms -- button, cremini -- go ahead, rinse them. They'll be fine. Just blot them dry before you slice them so that you don't make the whole surface wet, otherwise they won't saute right. But unless it's one of the real delicate mushrooms, or a big ol' portobella with open gills, it can be rinsed.

You can cook lettuce. Really. You can grill romaine (take off outer loose leaves or use hearts, cut in half so each has some core, drizzle with olive oil, perhaps vinegar, seasoning, grill). More importantly, you can saute or stir-fry it. Got carried away buying the mixed field greens? Just toss them in as you would spinach to wilt slightly. The broccoli slaw is sturdier and makes a really good base veg for stir-fries. Iceberg and romaine are also great in stirfries.

Screw mayonnaise and mustard. Use pesto as a sandwich spread. Basil pesto, sun dried tomato pesto. Those little jars of artichoke spread, bruschetta topping, eggplant/red pepper sauce. Mix a half and half mixture of mustard and mango chutney. Half spicy mustard and apricot jam. Beer mustard and raspberry jam. Any of the Aloutte cheese spreads. (Alouette, mind you, not Rondele. There is a plasticity to Rondele that cannot be overlooked.) Hummus, guacamole, salsa. A mixture of the latter with either of the former. Be brave; you'll have a better sandwich. Not to mention, a lot of those things are "stickier" than plain old mustard/mayo, and will help things like roasted red peppers, paper thin cucumber slices, pickles, olives, etc., stay in the sandwich.

[User Picture]From: dreamtigress
2010-06-08 02:04 pm (UTC)
The love, I have it for you.

But now I am hungry.
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