A culinary master I am not. I just really, really like food in any and all forms. Pancakes? Sign me up. Pastitsio? The food of my people! Any and all desserts? Just let me grab my fork and my stretchy pants. So I’ve decided that since this whole “blog” thing is really just a super-techy diary, I am going to try my darndest to keep a running log of the food that I cook and whether it’s a success, a failure, or just “meh.” Tonight’s dinner was — in my stomach’s and also Nate’s opinions — a success.
Most all of our dinners center around meat. Which means I scour websites, cookbooks, and magazines for great recipes that include chicken, pork, beef, and sometimes seafood. Tonight, I made dry-rubbed BBQ chicken from the really perky, often raspy, very talented Claire Robinson (via the Food Network). Her “thing” is five ingredient meals, and in my experience, they always turn out quite well.
Claire calls for BBQ seasoning for the rub and the brine, which Nate and I decided was NOT the same as Montreal Steak Seasoning (which we have in no short supply). So we blended our own using this BBQ seasoning recipe. The pepper added a nice spiciness, and the paprika’s smokey tone really stands out. And who doesn’t love some nice cumin added in for good measure? Don’t forget to give yourself plenty of time BEFORE you want to feast to brine this puppy, or you’ll be eating at 11 pm after filling up on salsa and Buttersnaps. Mmm. Buttersnaps. The result is a very moist chicken, whose flavor is mostly in the skin (so don’t go setting it aside, you health nuts). Next time, I’ll try gently lifting the skin up and distributing some rub beneath the skin. That should help the flavor seep into the meat a bit more.
Nate and I rarely make a side to go with our cooked animal carcasses (wow — that probably just put you off your dinner); we just nuke some Steamfresh veggies and call it a night. But we had a few red skinned potatoes leftover from an earlier recipe and decided it was time to cook them up before they became mushy lumps with lots of “eyes.” So I headed to Smitten Kitchen for Deb’s mustard-roasted potatoes. Lacking my usual favorite, whole grain Dijon mustard, I settled on some plain, ol’ Dijon. I also skipped the lemon zest and butter, feeling both lazy and filled with indifference after my vodka gimlet (1 oz Rose’s lime juice, 1.5 oz Vodka, 1 heaping tsp powdered sugar). They cooked up beautifully and went nicely with the chicken. Nate was also impressed and is now lying next to our cat, Remy, on the couch, groaning with happiness. Or that could be the sound he makes before he explodes. I’ll find out soon, I guess.