Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Night Dinner

I won't be able to invest as much into cooking once school starts; probably, I will be down to three nights a week, instead of 5-6. No pictures tonight-- there was a lot involved with dinner and I didn't know where my phone was.

Tonight's menu is a bit scattered as I forgot to defrost my pork tenderloin and I want to use up some of my veggies.

Chicken with an agave nectar-balsamic vinegar reduction. This was of my own improvisions. I wanted a bit of sweetness to the glaze, so I thought agave nectar. Then I heard Giada this morning talking about putting it on salmon, and I thought, oh yeah, this is going to be a winner. Indeed. Using a cast iron skillet, I butterflied 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts. I dry-rubbed them with a variety of Mexican spices: chipotle, ground corriander, ground cumin, white pepper, kosher salt and some smoked paprika. I don't know how much I used of each except that I used a lot more cumin than anything else. I should have used less chipotle (just need a tad if it's still fresh). Put some canola oil in a cast iron skillet and heat it up. Add the dry-rubbed chicken to the pan. Your four breasts should fit nicely in a 12 inch. Using a brush, I glazed the chicken once it began to cook. My glaze was one tablespoon balsamic vinegar, two tablespoons agave-nectar (cheapest at Trader Joes), and a tiny bit of olive oil (not even a 1/2 teaspoon). Whisk it up and brush it on the chicken. Brown and glaze each side. I think it took about 10 minutes total, as I cooked chicken that wasn't fully defrosted when it made its way to the pan. You can use the glaze in the pan as a sauce for the plate. I loved this dish. It was much better than I thought it was going to be. Agave-nectar is probably going to be my supplement for honey as my needs change.

Creamed roasted poblano rice (a la Bobby Flay) I didn't like this recipe very much. I thought it was odd, so I probably won't make it again. It's weirdly not seasoned enough. The scallions were a bit much. Meh. I also used 1/2 and 1/2 not heavy cream, figuring that was enough fat.

Roasted carrots with same glaze as chicken I used the linked recipe as inspiration but added all the extra spices from the chicken to the mix. I started them in the oven, but I didn't think they were cooking well so I switched to a stove top, lid on, steam/cook. It worked out fine as I had sliced the carrots like coins (not big chunks). This was an okay dish; not the best but not bad either.

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