Saturday, May 30, 2009

Baked Chicken Legs

Sometimes you see something, and you just have to try it out.  I found this post in my feeds this morning, and was intrigued by the ideas for other breadings.  I ended up using only the suggested cooking time from this recipe, but that was enough to get me going.  I beat a pair of eggs to get the breading to stick, and then I mixed 3/4 cup of panko, 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan, and some "complete seasoning" from Publix (I know.  More on this later.).  It turned out really well.  My Roommate and Former Roommate were both here, and they both liked it, as well.  I served it up with some peas and a spinach salad.  The original plan was to try out this green bean recipe that my Mom sent me a little wile ago, but when I pulled the beans out of the fridge, they were brown and mushy, the last victims of the Memorial Day Refrigerator Incident.

I guess I should tell you about that.

So, I'm sitting on the couch, minding my own business, reading comic books, because it's Memorial Day, and I can.  I'm savoring my day off, thinking of grilling something, because that's what you do on Memorial Day, right?  You set something on fire.

"Honey, do you smell that?"  My wife has a much more sensitive nose than I do, so this is not an altogether uncommon question.  In this case, the answer is, as usual, "No."

"Come into the kitchen," she asks, and so I do.  And now I DO smell it -- the unmistakable smell of burning plastic. 

I'd been getting my grill ready for summer earlier in the day, so my first thought was that maybe some part of the grill was still hot when I put the cover back on, so I rush out the back door, but no, the grill is fine.

There are certain sounds that I can live quite happily without ever hearing.  It turns out that one of those sounds is my wife's panicked voice, yelling for help.  I charge back into the house.  The kitchen is full of acrid white smoke, and my wife is pushing at the refrigerator, trying to get it away from the wall.

"We need to un-plug it!" she says, and so I wrestle the thing out from the wall and the cabinet (adrenaline is a wonderful thing), and reach back and pull the plug.

We rent, and so I call our landlady.  She tells me they have a spare fridge out in the back, and that she'll send her husband out to set it up for us to use until the repair guy gets out the next day.  So, fine.  He shows up, puts the spare right outside our back door, and plugs it in.  He tells us it will take a few hours to cool down, so we decide to go see Star Trek.  The plan is to move everything out to the spare when we get back.

We get back, and the spare fridge is cool, but not cold.  We realize that the temp needs to be set lower, so we turn it down.  This means another delay before we can transfer things, however, so my wife sends me to bed, since I have to work in the morning.

It's 5 AM, and my wife is coming to bed just as  am getting up.  This is Not a Good Sign.  Turns out that the spare fridge never cooled down, so she went ot Wal-Mart in the middle of the night, bought the biggest cooler she could find, along with about five bags of ice, and stuffed everything in the ridge and freezer in there.

The upshot of all this is that we lost most of what we had in the fridge, and a few things from the freezer, as well.  Most of the meat survived, thank goodness.  We thought the beans were ok, but (as you know) they turned out not to be.

Oh, yeah, the part that burned?  It was this little thing, about 1.5" X 1" X 2.5".  Know what it cost my landlady to replace?  $350.00!  It's moments like this when I'm perfectly happy to be renting.

Shrimp Piquant

I do love Publix recipes!  My wife said she wanted to do something with some shrimp we had in the freezer, so I found this recipe for Shrimp Piquant.  I made it pretty much straight up, and it was so good I forgot to take a picture until I was most of the way through eating it:


The rice was a little different from the recipe.  We just mixed in some corn, diced tomatoes, and a little parsley.

The "trinity mix" called for in the shrimp recipe was really interesting to me.  It gave a nice crunch, and added a surprising amount of flavor, as well.

We spiced the pasta sauce with red pepper flaked and Chipotle Tabasco sauce.  Yummy!

Rice Bowl Fail

I'm back! Sorry, I've been slacking for a while. I have a few things to catch up on.

Let's start out with a Fail, and get it out of the way.

I had dinner a few weeks ago at Tijuana Flats. The specialty was this rice bowl with spiced steak, and grilled veggies. It was really good, so I decided to try to reproduce it at home. We had some flatirons in the fridge, so I figured this would be a good opportunity. I sliced them across the grain, to make them seem a little tenderer than they actually were, and asked my wife to work her spice magic on them. I really didn't do a good job communicating to her what I wanted though. She took a completely different approach to the spices. She started with this recipe, and then used 1/2 tbsp. agave nectar to sub for the brown sugar and then only 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper. It was edible, but not what I was hoping for. We later determined that we need to look at fajita spices, rather than adobo. We'll come back to this concept later, I think.