Last Saturday night, I decided to cook a meal for MS and a friend JM. Since one of my BYY goals is to try new recipes, I figured now was a great time to try it. Usually when I entertain with a home cooked meal, I usually skip the dessert option — or I’ll serve sorbet or gelato at the end of the meal. I do this because I hate to bake. I love to cook, but hate to bake. Cooking is more like art, while baking is more science and chemistry. I’m also not a big sweet guy…well, that’s not completely accurate — I have an eating disorder. If there is something sweet n my house, I’ll eat it in one sitting. To keep myself from turning into a super fat ass or a diabetic, I try to keep the desserts out of the house. When you entertain, often times people want dessert, it is just part of the logical progression of the meal.
As noted, I decided to use new recipes for this meal last week. I opted to use some recipes that I had pulled from my cooking magazines throughout the past year. I chose Roasted Chili Citrus Chicken Thighs with Mixed Olives and Potatoes from October 2010 issue of Bon Apetit, for the entree. Who doesn’t love chili and citrus juices all over a big meaty chicken thigh? Then add in some olives, you can’t beat it. While I must admit, while I do prefer my olives to be swimming in a big glass of vodka, this was a nice twist. I highly recommend this recipe, but I would not put the thighs back in the oven for the final 10 minutes — MAYBE 5 minutes if your thighs aren’t cooked through. Mine were just perfectly done, but could have been perfect plus 10% if I didn’t cook them longer.
Now for the dessert. I wanted to push myself to try something new, so I decided to make a Bittersweet-Chocolate Tart from the December 2010 issue of Food and Wine magazine. This was a remarkably easy recipe, especially for a novice baker, like myself. I didn’t have a bottomless tart pan, so I used a pyrex pie plate and it worked perfectly. It wasn’t as pretty as it could have been, as the pie pan didn’t have side flutes and I couldn’t really remove it from the pan, but it didn’t affect the taste at all. This was a very good dessert. My guests each had seconds of the dessert and my mom noshed on it all week long. I was told that this recipe was good enough to serve at a restaurant — whatever that means. I would hope that my cooking normally is good enough to serve in a restaurant…but I’ll take the compliment and move on with my life.
So I consider this monthly goal completed and a great success. I had a great time trying something completely new and sharing it with important people in my life.
If you decided to try these recipes, I’d love to know what you think and how you did or would improve the recipe.