Thursday, April 7, 2011

Rachel who?

Dude. This is what I get for not paying attention to popular media: Rachel Ray stole my schtick. Um, 'cause you know. I'm way more accomplished than her as a cook. Totally. Ahem. Ok, so maybe she did it first. Whatever, Rachel.

But on the plus side. I trust her. She is hella annoying (forgive the 90's slang, please). I would never watch her show. But I have several cookbooks, and she has never steered me wrong. So I feel good basing a week on her. Though I'm picking and choosing which to use. Have I told you about my total phobia of cooking the same thing twice? It's ridiculous....I always make new recipes. There are a few I go back to over and over. But not many. I don't know why. Even when we're having company. It's an illness.

This week:

From good ol' Rach:
Smokey Spanish Hunter's Chicken (do Spanish hunters hunt chickens? why don't they just raise them? hunh.)
Roasted Tomato Marinara with Spaghetti Squash

P-Dub's Mac and Cheese, which I made once to curb the carbby beast within.

And from the Super Spectacular Only Cook Once in Your life and Save Millions cookbook, Chipotle Corn Chowder and Bow-Tie Pasta with Pork and Raspberry Cream Sauce.

I have chosen not to make the entire week of Rachel's recipes, just because they don't all appeal to me, and I'm high-maintenance like that. But the two recipes that I've chosen both use the Parmigiano and Herb-Fortified Stock and Roasted Tomatoes, so I'll start there. 

DAY-UM. I guess I'd better start there as it has to simmer for an hour. I only need 4 cups of this 16 cup, math. Um. Hard. I think I'll just worry about cutting the liquid to...maybe 2 cups of broth and 4 of water? I know that's not exact. That's why I'm an artist
It is hard to cut the rind off Parmigiano:

While that simmers for an hour and the tomatoes roast, I'm starting the Mac and Cheese. This I'm going to do double and freeze some for us, because who doesn't need some Mac and Cheese in the freezer. No one. That's who. Except crap. I forgot to get extra cheese. I think I can make it work....I have the tail ends of some cheddar, mozzarella, and parm. Eh. 'Sall good. For the record, I'm not in love with the grating function of my food processor. Especially for softer cheeses. It gets stuck.
So I end up with all these sad little ends to grate by hand:

I really hate when you're in the middle of a recipe, like the Hunter's Chicken and it says char the peppers and you say, "What peppers?" While I wait for the troops to arrive with my peppers, I'll do the tomato sauce instead. I'm skipping the pepper, since Cousin's fam isn't a spicy fam.
I think this is marjoram.

Close enough!

I don't know if I missed the part of the recipe that said to core the tomatoes, or if Rachel just likes big chunks of tomato core in her sauce. But I had to fish the cores out and I'm adding some more paste, because the sauce is kind of thin. Those points aside, I'm really sorry I didn't double this, because it smells amazing.

I do love these soups from The Utterly Stupendous Cooking Plan book! So easy: combine and freeze. For the corn chowder it's 1 cup corn, 1 can creamed corn, turkey (so Husband can eat it) bacon, sauteed onion, 1 can of evaporated milk, and "white sauce" - 1 tablespoon of butter melted, 1 tablespoon of flour whisked in.

Hi. I'm Morgan. I burn cookie sheets while charring bell peppers for the Hunter's Chicken.
I also lose many things while cooking, including my's an iPhone picture.

For the record, the camera was under a hot pad. One day when I feel secure enough, I will take and post a picture of what my kitchen looks like at the end of a cooking day. That day is not today!