28 December 2015

A little more enterprising



I take comfort in the fact that enough can manifest itself when you have building blocks. In a perfect holiday time-off lunch world when you are not dashing off to some afternoon boozy pizza friends gathering, there happens to be just enough cooked protein left over from last night's dinner, or even enough to divvy and supplement with a couple of eggs on the side, a sharp wedge of cheese and a pile of greens, resulting in my favorite type of midday smorgasbords. But sometimes, you are cooking from zero, and you have to be a little more enterprising. I came across a technique for roasting split skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts over on Serious Eats a year ago or so and forgot about it until the summer when it was so hot I wanted to throw a bunch of things in the oven in the hour I could deal with it being on, and eat them cold, later. But in the winter, some slightly warm roast chicken at lunch is just the ticket. And, you'll have leftovers...for tomorrow's dinner.

15 December 2015

68 degrees



Even though here in NJ, I'm second-guessing any polar vortex-oriented Christmas gifts I've ordered, it doesn't mean soup can't take the stage. Ideally, I think a good warming, refreshing, brothy soup can be enjoyed at 28 degrees in December or 68 degrees, like on the afternoon we slurped this particular soup. 

Little did I know, a shortcut chicken soup could exist. And not the kind you open from a can. The kind that's made similarly to my lazy roast carrot soup, but doesn't even involve roasting anything. The secret is boneless skinless chicken thighs, which can withstand a little simmer nicely, and chicken stock or chicken-veggie stock, that you already have on hand. 

09 December 2015

Best apple crisp



An ideal apple crisp, to me, includes something important: crispiness. It also includes soft, but not mushy, apples that maintain their shape, sweetened just enough and spiced just so.  Apple crisp (which I probably should have posted about in October) falls into the category of desserts that are increasingly my favorite: rustic but incredibly good and slightly up-the-sleeve/shoot-from-the-hip. Despite the Christmas rush unfolding before our eyes, apples and cinnamon are a still abundant in my book, and at the farmer's market too. Complimented with a dollop of creme fraiche, it's a perfect chilly evening sweet ending. Best of all, it can be made in one bowl.