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Archive for February, 2010

Double Bypass Burger

MAN vs FOOD. That’s really all I have to say about this meal. Saturday night,my buddy Rocky calls and asks me if we would like to go out and eat with his son Derek. I say – “Hey – I’m feeling pretty good, so why don’t we just make the double bypass burger from the t.v. show Man vs. Food and see if we can get so full we feel like throwing up.” Great idea huh!

We went to the grocery store and loaded up on supplies and then came home to light up the grill. I cooked a whole package of bacon and rounded up 6 hamburger patties that were 1/2 pound each. Then, while I grilled the burgers, Christy used the electic skillet to make 12 grilled cheese sandwiches.

Each critic had their choice of condiments and some chose to leave off the fried eggs, but it got rave reviews and here is a list of the ingredients.

1/2 pound burger

3 slices of cheese

4 slices of bacon

1-3 fried eggs

Use 2 grilled cheese sandwiches as the buns.

(just a side note – the girls didn’t eat this)

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Fancy sauce in magazine or ketchup? Guess which one gets asked for at the Walker Bistro. Here’s the deal – can someone tell me a good homemade sauce to put on chicken. Everytime I make one out of some magazine, it just doesn’t fly. I’m not asking for some Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom recipe either. I want a good sauce that you can top chicken with and it will knock your socks off. Let me repeat myself, a “Sauce”, not a “Condiment”. A GOOD sauce. One I will like more than a fat kid likes chocolate cake. Here’s another question – why does the sauce always look white in the magazine and mine always turns brown?? (enough already..on to the meal)

So tonight I cooked out of the March Rachel Ray magazine. Page 91 had what looked like a good chicken recipe toped with a Tarragon Cream Sauce. The side dish was a Green Bean Rice Pilaf. The rice was the best part of the meal. You took a cup of broken spaghetti pieces and browned them in butter for a few minutes. Then you added a cup of rice and 1 3/4 cups chicken stock. Cook that covered for 18 minutes and then throw in some frozen green beens and cover for another 5 minutes.You could probably substitute Asparagus, Corn, broccoli, etc.. and it would be good.

Now on to the main dish.  I think the biggest problem with the sauce,  is the tarragon. To me it adds like a metallic taste to the dish. Maybe I’m using to much of it. Please comment if you use this spice. The chicken was just cooked in a  skillet with olive oil for 12 minutes, turning once. Then you take it out and make the sauce with chicken stock, tarragon, shallot, flour, sour cream, butter and mushrooms. In the magazine picture the sauce is white and on my food it was brown.  Not sure what causes that, but by god I will call Rachel Ray tomorrow and find out!!

So What the Fork? Send me a chicken sauce recipe!!

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Two for One

As usual Christy and I opened the Procrastination Cafe last week with no idea what we wanted to cook for “The Critics”. Here’s what generally happens at our little cafe. We decide to cook several days before, and then forget about it and wait till we get together at 7:00 that night to start looking through magazines. To me, that is part of the fun, and besides I kind of like the name Procrastination Cafe. 

Anyway, we can’t decide between these 2 dishes, so we decide to make both and make one a side dish. Great idea – 2 for 1. So we spend the next hour at 3 grocery stores on a school night trying to find ingrediants, because we are making more than just hamburger helper here. (btw, this was a bad idea)

Once we get home we start our Main dish that we found in the Food Network March magazine. Roasted Garlic Chicken on page 89. This was probably one of the best chicken dishes we have made. You start it out on the cooktop and then transfer it to the oven. The best part is that when you take it out of the oven you serve it on top of a slice of sourdough bread and then use white wine vinegar to make a sauce in the pan that gets poured over the chicken. We all agreed that there could have been something on the bread to kick it up another notch. Mushrooms, cheese, butter, etc…

On to our “Main” side dish which was Carbonara with Saffron. Christy just happened to by me a bottle of Saffron for Christmas. If you are unaware, this is the most expensive spice ever in the history of all time. So I have been looking for a recipe to use it in. We found this dish in the Rachel Ray Magazine. It is supposedly her husbands favorite dinner.  It wasn’t a bad dish, but everytime we make pasta, “The Critics” compare it to Egg Pasta, so this dish didn’t stack up to the 5 star rating that Egg Pasta bestows. Personally, with all the Saffron talk I hear on Food TV, I expected a little more “pop” out of the dish.  That being said, it was still very good and would stand as a Main dish on it’s own.

Our third dish was a Baked Fennel  side dish. I think this is the first time I have actually had fennel. When we first cut into it, it smelt like licorice. The recipe was to split the fennel, boil it till tender, then top with parmesian and bake in the oven. Here are the mixed reviews it got – Teenagers hated it, Adults ate it. This is probably a 3 on the 1-5 scale at best. Probably wouldn’t make it again.

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Couldn’t Decide

Well, Mike and I FINALLY got to cook together this week and I’d have to say we did pretty darn good! We found several recipes to try and put the choices up for vote with The Critics and they voted on…..Chicken. Yep-chicken, the protein that we all love that is so versatile. The chicken recipe we had was Roasted Garlic Chicken. So, Mike and I can’t just serve chicken so we decided to find some side items to compliment-and no ordinary,boring can of mixed veggies recipe was gonna so it! We decided to make a side of a Rachel Ray entree called Saffron Spaghetti alla Caronara. And the OTHER side dish we decided on was a Parmesean baked Fennel Bulb!! Sometimes we get a little ridiculous 🙂

So as for my take on our meal-I have to say that I really LOVED the chicken and especially the idea of the recipe. We roasted the chicken in a pan with whole cloves of garlic and Rosemary and then plated the chicken on tip of slices of sourdough bread!! YUM! And then made a sauce of the pan drippigs and drizzled that over the chicken and bread-the only think I would have changed is MORE sauce! This was a great dish-and pretty easy. Would be easy to entertain with too!
As for the Saffron Spaghetti-it wasn’t ad amazing as I wanted it to be. I think I was hoping that by using the most expensive spice there is (saffron) that I would have had my socks knocked off. The pasta was definitely good I think I was just looking for more of an exciting flavor kick.
The Baked Parmesean Fennel Bulb was actually quite good-but I’m thinking The SIL was right-it was good bc of the cheese-and believe me-I loaded them with some yummy parmesean!

Overall-a successful meal!!

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