Monday, August 31, 2009

Recipe Challenge

At some point during Nichole's visit, probably while discussing Julie & Julia, we decided that since we both love cooking and blogging, we should start cooking together as a way for us - many miles apart - to share something each week that we can both discuss. We both love trying new recipes so each week we will take turns picking a new recipe that we'll both incorporate into our menu for the week and then post our results on Monday. It should be fun for us to compare notes.

I'm not sure if we've figured all the rules out just yet. For instance, I really haven't figured out what I'd do if Nichole told me our next meal included chorizo. (Most of you know - EVERYONE should know - I'm just not down with sausage.) I'm hoping we will be kind to one another. Joe says the real test during this experiment will be if we have to break the "emergency glass" for frozen pizza.

Let's face it. I only try new recipes that appeal to me and have a tendency to gravitate towards things that are very similar or that I'm comfortable with trying. This will definitely force me to try some new things. In fact, our very first meal had me shopping in a fish market for the first time ever. It was a little pricey but I liked stopping in for fresh lump crab meat. For the first recipe, we used the random number generator to assign us with a recipe from this book.

The first recipe was Crab Tortilla (Egg Pie) and Shredded Plantain Hash Browns. (Basically that's a crab omelet with shredded plantain patties.) If you have the book, it's number 141. If you've tried this before, please let me know.

My husband is not a big fan of seafood. I am a HUGE fan of seafood and specifically crab - I love it - but I never would have opted to make this meal on my own. Then Joe told me, while cooking dinner, that the taste of crab meat makes him want to puke. Why thank you very much. It was a little late for that comment. He did eat every bite of his portion (1/4 of the pie) and told me that if he liked crab this dish might be his "deal." He actually complimented it. I consider it a success.

As for the plantains, I thought they were a no-go. I love plantains but these seemed flavorless. I shredded them in the food processor and think I did everything right. But they were just kind of gross. The leftovers went straight in the garbage. Also, this was the first time I had ever grated a whole onion. The grated onion looked like baby food and went into the plantains. I can't say I'd recommend grating an onion in the future.

The recipe said to put the celery, onions and bell peppers (for the crab tortilla) in the food processor and process into a fine chop. All I processed was a fine mess. The celery just turned into green water and it was inedible. So I had to start completely over and hand chop the celery, onions and pepper. I found that someone else had made this recipe online and said the exact same thing.

This was basically like a thick frittata. Not terribly pretty once I had flipped it but totally edible.

I will say that this "30 minute meal" took wayyyy longer than 30 minutes. It may have been 30 minutes without all the kitchen prep but I thought there was actually quite a bit of prep and quite a bit of multi-tasking while things were cooking. The multi-tasking has a tendency to get me down sometimes. I think the meal was partly a success but I am a little worried that this project will ruin my batting average in the kitchen. In the past year there have only been two inedible meals...more might be on their way. Go here to read about Nichole's results.


Nichole said...

I was utterly unimpressed with this recipe. Ugh. Next week should be better!

kate m. said...

I wrote a comment on Nichole's blog, but I have never really been terribly impressed with the Rachael Ray recipes I have tried. You should try Giada's Chicken and Pastini bake. The recipe in on Food Network's website, and I think it is super yummy! I usually use whole wheat rotini noodles instead, but it is still good.

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