Chef of the Month Food:
Giada De Laurentiis is the chef whose books I'm cooking from in October. The books I'm using are Everday Italian, Weeknights with Giada, Giada's Family Dinners, Giada at Home, Giada's Kitchen, and Everyday Pasta. I adore Bobby Flay and do miss all the yummy hamburgers but it's been nice to have some lighter food. So far from the various cookbooks I've made:
Pasta Ponza: The good news is that it looked just as pretty as it did in the cookbook picture which is something that rarely happens to me. The bad news is that we didn't really like it. I got to use up a lot of the last cherry tomatoes from my garden and it was easy to put together but the flavor combination just didn't do it for me. This wasn't a dish that had no flavor. It actually was very flavorable it just isn't a flavor combination that any of us cared for. I served it with these Pecorino Crackers which unfortunately we didn't like very much either. The Romano cheese flavor was just too strong. If they'd been buttery crispy crackers with a hint of the romano than I probably would've been sold but this tasted a bit like biting into the wedge of cheese and it just wasn't very appetizing. I made this meal on October 1st to kick off Giada month and I think my family was very apprehensive about what the month would bring after eating (though mostly picking at) this meal.
After that was Farmer's Pasta which luckily was very good. This is a super fancy macaroni and cheese with browned pancetta, mozzarella, Parmesan, fontina and provolone. It was really good though pretty time consuming. I figured it was just macaroni and cheese and waiting until the last minute to start it. That was a mistake. Sauces have to be made and thickened, cheese has to be melted and the breadcrumbs have to be mixed and cooked. Then everything has to be combined and put into the oven. It was super tasty but not an easy meal to put together. I served these with Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomato Corn Muffins. These were easy and fast. I didn't like them but I don't like cornbread so I'm not really the target market for the muffin. J and Ringo thought they were great though.
Last night I made Chicken Burgers with Garlic-Rosemary Mayonnaise. I guess I'm missing Bobby Flay and his incredibly delicious burgers more than I thought. This was the first chicken burger I've made without lots of breadcrumbs mixed in to give the meat a more workable texture so cooking these was a little challenging. I make my hamburgers in a skillet and there was no setting a nicely formed patty down on a hot skillet, it was more like glopping a pile 'o meat onto the skillet. J watched me do this with a look of total horror on his face. Luckily these came out amazing and the mayonnaise really makes these burgers. I find that rosemary can be a bit overpowering so I used a pretty light hand with it in the may and it came out incredible.
I haven't been using a lot of Pinterest recipes this week and dessert-wise I kind of cheated and made brownies from a mix. They were the delicious Ghiradelli kind with a chocolate glaze on top. I could eat the pan by myself. I did manage to get a little inspired since I found some Meyer lemons at the grocery store and I made these chewy lemon snowdrop cookies from Sophistimom. They came out lovely. Nicely lemony, buttery and soft. I didn't think the powdered sugar would stick since you just dunked the already baked cookies into a bowl of it but it did great!