Sunday, 7 October 2007

I have a plan

Last week I made up a meal plan to put on the fridge so everyone knows what meals we are having for dinner. I know this is not inventive at all, and that plenty of people have done this before me, but I'm only just discovering how cool it is. It makes everything so easy!

Anyway, last week's meal plan included a couple of Recipezaar recipes that turned out really good. No photos, I'm sorry - I was slacking.

First off was Creamy Garlic Penne Pasta. My goodness, this was awesome! I love creamy pastas but my waist does not, so I was very excited to try this. It is probably only marginally better than a creamy pasta, but marginally better is still better than nothing.

The sauce is based on a bechamel sauce, with garlic added to the butter before the flour is added. Once the sauce has thickend, then it's just a simple matter of adding some parmesan, parsley flakes and salt and pepper. It's then served over some nicely cooked penne.

It's so simple and easy, and it turns out absolutely delicious. We've already repeated this dish, in fact, DD refused to go out for dinner last night because he wanted to have this. It was on the meal plan for Friday but got bumped because we bought a beautiful wagyu beef pie from a butcher we found when we got lost taking a shortcut. So, he didn't get it on Friday and didn't want to miss out, so I had to make it last night.

The other Recipezaar recipe from last week was a dish called Japanese Mum's Chicken. This recipe has had so many fantastic reviews, and has even been the most favourite recipe on the whole site quite a few times, so I was quite excited to try it. Especially since I had never thought of balsamic vinegar being something used in Japanese cooking (I know better now though).

It's also pretty simple. Just simmer some chicken drumsticks (though I used breasts, DD won't eat dark meat or meat on the bone) in some water, balsamic vinegar and soy sauce with some sugar, garlic and chilli. Turn the chicken frequently while the sauce reduces, remove it when cooked and let the sauce boil down to a sticky yummy glaze.

Even though it is simple, I managed to burn the glaze the first time I tried. Although all the reviewers praise this dish for being something you can leave alone at the stove, it probably wasn't a good time to leave when the sauce is just about ready. I was pretty disappointed, because I tasted it as it cooked down and it was pretty tasty. DD tried to help suggest something we could have instead, but I had my heart set on this so I pulled out another pan and tried the sauce a second time. The second time was a charm, and it worked out beautifully, although I babysat it constantly in fear of a repeat performance.

It was lovely, the chicken was perfectly cooked and not harmed in the slightest by my sauce mishap, the sauce was drizzled over and added a lovely flavour to the rice. It was really really good, definately deserving of all it's wonderful reviews!

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