Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Two Summer Recipes

I have always wanted one of those beautiful food blogs with incandescent light sweeping across my beautifully plated foods. There are a couple of obstacles, sort of surmountable, but which I don't seem to surmount. First, the light in my house is yellow. At times of the day there is some nice natural light through the windows, but those times are not in the evening when I cook. In theory I could take my food outside, set it up on a table, and photograph it, but we're going to eat that food and I'd like for the hots to stay hot and the colds to stay colds, and neither to be befouled by bugs, tree matter, or rain. Second, food bloggers seem to know where the best tag sales are because they all have beautiful vintage-y looking pieces in which to display their creations. Last summer, in an attempt to emulate them, I schlepped devoted partner to a dizzying number of local tag sales where we found precisely nothing I would want to serve food on. I've looked at etsy as well and the long and short of it is, these food bloggers either snatch all the good stuff or they're shopping somewhere else.

This is why you're going to get two summer recipes with zero summer recipe pictures (though, theoretically, I am going to attempt to photograph one of them this afternoon in a simple white footed bowl).

In the interest of not infringing copyright-wise, the first recipe, Honey and Spice Glazed Chicken is from Food & Wine magazine. I subscribe and have subscribed to a plethora of foodish magazines and I rip out the recipes I want to try. Then those recipes sit in a drawer. Untried. I don't know why. Similarly, I have a motherlode of cookbooks which are eagerly paged through and then, well, put on a shelf where I like to admire their spines. I don't have an answer to that either. However, I have a plan. Devoted partner and I do some weekly shopping most Saturday mornings. On Friday evenings, we will look over the list of seasonally appropriate recipes and choose two or three to make in the coming week. Successful recipes will then be copied down into a book of some sort that they can be made again and that they can be found again. Unsuccessful scraps of magazine will go to the garbage. See how that makes so much sense?

Anyway, this chicken dish fit the bill on a number of levels including ease of preparation, quickness of preparation, ample flavor, and not at all bad for you (if you don't scarf down the chicken skin). My one caveat would be that the 25 minutes of cooking time suggested by the recipe was a touch on the short side for us. I would have given it another 5-8 minutes.

The second recipe isn't so much a recipe as it is the simple combination of three and a half ingredients to create a facsimile of a dish I enjoyed in childhood that I do not wish to enjoy so much in adulthood as the main ingredient is sour cream and a lot of it. My parent's friend Kayla made a strawberry soup that I could have quaffed by the vat. It's possible that at one time I asked for and received the recipe, but I'm pretty sure it was just strawberries, sugar, sour cream, and heavy cream. With strawberries in their peakest of peaks at the market, I simply had to come up with an alternative. Using two cups of fromage blanc (which is naturally fat free), one quart of pureed strawberries, about 1/3 of a cup of superfine sugar (this should be to taste depending on how sweet you like things), and a quarter cup of (I know this is disgusting) fat free half and half, I was able to come up with a decent stand-in that I felt not at all bad about eating. Oh, and it couldn't be simpler: puree strawberries in blender, add sugar. Beat fromage blanc until smooth, add strawberry puree, add half and half. Chill before serving and slice some whole strawberries into it if you like.

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