Thursday, August 19, 2010

crispy ginger-lime chicken thighs, big love quinoa, cranberry and zucchini loaf

I had quite a few mishaps while cooking yesterday. I'm sure most of us modify recipes to suit what we have on-hand. I really do my best not to substitute while cooking through Everyday Food. See, my general rule for the first time making something is to stick to the recipe. If something doesn't quite turn out right, I would most likely have to blame my choice in deviating from the original recipe. About half of what I cook a second time around gets modified to my taste and what I have on hand.

Today I had a major fudge-up that actually just served as a mother of invention! I decided to make the Crispy Ginger-Lime Chicken Thighs along with the suggested side of Carrot Couscous. I have a stash of grains that I buy at Bulk Barn including bulgar wheat, quinoa and couscous. They are still in the Bulk Barn bags and unlabeled. As I was searching for couscous I found several bags of bulgar and one that was questionable. So I assumed it was couscous. Unfortunately, I chose wrong and ended up using quinoa. That's when I decided that I could just rethink the whole side. Since I was stuck with carrots I took a little inspiration from Chloe Sevigny who's always making Carrot & Raisin Salad in 'Big Love'.

I added more water to properly cook the seeds along with a minced shallot, handful of raisins, olive oil, cinnamon and ginger. It turned out awesome!! I've been wanting more quinoa recipes and this one is a definite winner. Owen enjoyed it as well!

The Crispy Ginger-Lime Chicken Thighs, they are seriously to die for. The marinade is so delicious - what a winner! The only problem I have is that I'm not a huge bone-in, skin-on chicken fan. I'll definitely use this marinade again for possibly a quick cubed chicken breast and vegetable sautee.

Lately I enjoy making dessert loaves. I think it might be because it's a great excuse to eat a slice for breakfast and dessert... and snack! They are great anytime and especially good with tea and coffee. With an oven that doesn't heat past 350, loaves are very forgiving to an extended stay in the oven and don't ever seem to dry out.

So I decided to bake up a Cranberry and Zucchini Loaf from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook. The thing I love most (next to eating them) is how simple they are to make. What could be more fuss-free than wet ingredients into dry ingredients then both mixed till just combined. I jumped into this one without really reading the ingredient list where it asked for fresh or frozen cranberries. So my minor adjustment was to add dried cranberries instead. You know what? I love it so much I can't see myself using fresh because the dried are great!

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