If I had to choose my least favorite months of the year they would be February and August. February because it can be a very grey, cold and damp month…winter has dragged on too long for me at this point. August because I am tired of watering, weeding, deadheading and worrying about fire. On the coast August is often grey and foggy and crowded with visitors escaping the inland heat. Those crowds are a mixed blessing. At least most things are empty in February and you can get a seat outside at a restaurant, silver lining.
This post is part of a collection detailing events from kitchens around the world. You can find the others by using this link to Sherry’s Pickings.
So, what’s been happening in my kitchen. I have been going through a cooking slump. After two years of pandemic stay-at-home meals I am bored. What’s the solution? New cookbooks! I started with the title recipe from Midnight Chicken, by Ella Risbridger. Roast chicken has been my own signature dish for years and I always enjoy a new twist. I would say it was a big success judging by the moist flavorful meat and crisp skin. Before roasting the chicken was rubbed with chopped garlic, fresh chilis, rosemary, thyme, grainy mustard, lemon juice and olive oil.
The following week I tried the same spiced rub on boneless chicken thighs before quickly grilling them.
I will post the recipe for you, the book is a fun read with some great recipes.
From Eating Out Loud by Eden Grinshpan, I made Fennel, Celery and Mint Salad.
Thinly shaved fennel and celery are combined with toasted pine nuts, grated pecorino, fresh mint leaves, and lemon. This is a wonderful salad because it can be made several hours ahead.
My other new cookbooks include Grains for Every Season by Joshua McFadden (I love his other cookbook Six Seasons), big little recipes by Emma Laperruque from the group at Food52, and No-Recipe Recipes by Sam Sifton at New York Times Cooking.
I’m still exploring the new books and marking pages with dishes I want to try.
While looking through a tall stack of recipe clippings for inspiration, I rediscovered a handwritten recipe called simply MARINADE in my mother’s handwriting. It was almost like she had given me an unexpected hug. It was on her refrigerator for years and I had forgotten about it. I used it as a marinade for a flank steak, which can sometime be a tough cut of meat. You will find the recipe here.
My Electric Pressure Cooker got a workout for chicken with white beans.
And a dreary cold day called for a simple chicken soup with the surprising addition of hot pickled cherry peppers.
And that’s it for my kitchen. Let me know if you have tried any of the recipes from these cookbooks and have recommendations.
I hope you are all staying well and safe.