Week 6, Meal 1 (5/27/15)
Curry-Spiced Chicken Thighs with Sugar Snap Peas & Fingerling Potatoes
I was really looking forward to this because I love all of the ingredients, especially the curry. And though not mentioned in the name of the dish, I was delighted to see that the whole thing was topped with a cucumber-yogurt sauce. The result was delectable, but I learned a few more things:
- No matter how careful I pretend I’ll be, I will eventually screw up if I insist on using my sentimental favorite oven mitt after the puppy has chewed the end of the thumb off. Ouch. Back to Amazon.
- If I make this dish again (or any chicken thing) I’ll remember to take the skin off. I thought of it too late because I had already started rubbing the curry powder on it and didn’t want to run out.
- Couldn’t find my box grater, so I went shopping again – details below.
Ratings: Rich, 4.9; me, 4.5 (0.3 deduction for the chicken skin)
Degree of Difficulty: 4.9
- Frying the chicken with the skin on left me with excess grease to dump. I mopped it up with paper towels, and then was pleased to be reminded that those paper scraps can go in the green bin trash with the vegetable trimmings.
- Didn’t have the right tool to grate the cucumber. My bad, fixed for next time.
- Exceeded my threshold for dirty dishes. A friend suggested I use parchment squares (aka hamburger patty paper) instead of mise-en-place bowls for the drier ingredients. I think I’m going to try that.
Week 6, Meal 2 (6/1/15)
Stir-Fried Rice Noodles with Peanut Sauce, Gai Lan & Snow Peas
Only two meals this week because I went out of town for the weekend. I gave the Seared Salmon with Sorrel Salad & Creamy Barley to a friend – can’t wait to hear how it went for her.
Update: she lives on a 23-acre property. Her landlords are foodies and the other tenants run an organic farm. They adopted the ingredients, supplemented with freshly-picked produce, and threw the recipe out the window. Ah, to have those resources and skills.
Meanwhile, back in my Literal Kitchen, tonight’s meal was a grand slam: 4.925 on the combined rate-o-meter with a sane degree of difficulty. I love Pad Thai and this was a fresh variation that will definitely get a repeat try. Next time, I’ll try not to overcook the rice noodles, and I may get more adventurous and add some shrimp and braised tofu.
Ratings: Rich, 4.9; me, 4.95
Degree of Difficulty: 2.5
This week’s Amazon foray resulted in the following:
- Bad-Ass Oven Mitts: After burning my thumb last week with my puppy-chewed oven mitt, it was time.
- Coarse and Medium Grater: I hate box graters because they’re so hard to clean, but OXO has come up with this nifty alternative. The two parts come apart for easy cleaning.
- Fine-Mesh Stainless-Steel Strainers: All I have is an old colander, and the holes are too big for things like rinsing bulgar wheat (I improvised last week with a flour sifter). It was obvious from the Blue Apron photos that I needed something with smaller holes and a handle, so I bought a nested set of 3 from Cuisinart.
- Parchment Patty Papers: A friend suggested that I could use parchment paper instead of mise-en-place bowls for some ingredients – I thought that was a great idea so I bought these. (And besides, Parchment Patty Papers is just fun to say!)
Week 6 Wrap-up
- All-time record score for the Stir-Fried Rice Noodles, with bonus points for a low degree of difficulty.
- Shamed by my foodie friends who blew off the Seared Salmon recipe and did their own thing. I’ll get over it.
- No more chicken skins, ever.
- Bought even more accessories.
- Snap Peas and Snow Peas are a pain in the ass. I finally figured out how to deal with them as instructed, getting rid of the “tough string that runs the length of the pod” (on both edges, I might add). But any time I see these, I’m going to automatically add at least 0.5 to the degree-of-difficulty score.
Next up, Week 7!