Thursday, May 12, 2005

Cooking Again

I've been cooking some again.

My cooking seems to go in spurts. I'll really be into it, and then I won't do anything more exciting than warm meusli or sauteed spinach.

Well, last weekend I made meatloaf - using a recipe out of the Cook's Illustrated cook book. Cook's Illustrated tries to approach cooking scientifically, for example they'll roast 55 different pot roasts, varying the time/temperature/brining/seasoning to find the very best. The cook book describes some of what they go through in coming up with each recipe. I highly recommend it, it's very interesting. Miles even thinks so. Anyway, meatloaf. It was awesome even without the bacon (I didn't have any). It's not that different from your standard meat loaf recipe, except that it has yogurt and a glaze. The yogurt gives it a slightly rich and creamy taste and texture, and the glaze (almost a sweet and sour) is just delicious. Oh, I also used quick-cook oats as a binder (as opposed to the traditional breadcrumbs).

Tonight I made a kick-ass burrito with some left over chicken. Nothing fancy, but very tasty. Though this opinion might be influenced by the fact I'd only eaten three boiled eggs and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich all day.

I'm thinking of making marshmallows from scratch. I've been excited about the idea ever since I read a blog entry by Cooking For Engineers. If nothing else, his recipes are displayed very concisely and are easy to follow. Perhaps I'll flavor them with mint!!!

Last, and certainly not least. We had my in-laws over for dinner last night. Both their birthdays, mother's day, father's day, and their anniversary occur in about a 45 day span. For my birthday they gave me a beer-can-chicken stand. The basic idea is you stick a half empty beer can inside a chicken, stand it up on the grill, close the lid, and voila! Ninety minutes later you have a meal. The stand makes the whole arrangement very stable (I can't imagine trying to balance a raw chicken on top of a beer can). I rubbed it with a some oil and a spice mixture and threw it on the grill. The skin browned up beautifully, nice and crisp. And the chicken was amazingly moist. I didn't taste any of the beer (Coors lite), but we're thinking of trying the process with wine next time.


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