Sunday, December 11, 2005

Good food and good cookbooks

I like good food. It's a taste that I think has changed over the years and it's only grown with both my advances in the culinary arts and teh fact that I married a woman who's a wonderful cook. Tonight we had a Green Chile Sausage Souffle with Mexican Rice and Broccoli and Carrots with Lime Dressing.

The rice was ok. For some reason it didn't cook all the way even though it was cooking for twice as long as the direction said and we added more water as it cooked to keep the moisture up. Amber thinks that maybe it was too hot at the beginning and water boiled off, affecting the rice's ability to absorb. Who knows, next time I think we'll do the prep work in the sauce pan on the stove (sauteing the onion, garlic and rice in oil) then combine the rest of the ingredients and water in the rice cooker.

The broccoli and carrots were pretty good. It was an interesting dressing that included dark sesame oil, soy sauce, honey and lime juice. The veggies were boiled for 5 min and then cooled quickly in a colander before serving. The taste wasn't perfect for the rest of the meal but it went pretty well.

The souffle was awesome. The recipe caught my eye because I made Southwestern Green Chile Poultry sausage last weekend with a friend and that was a key ingredient. Preparation involved roasting 8 peppers and pealing the skin off, slitting them and stuffing with a slice of monterey jack cheese. I'd never roasted peppers myself before and I'd always been a little afraid of the process. Last weekend however, we had to roast peppers for the sausage and my friend Matthew did it under the broiler and it went flawlessly so I lost my fear of the process. On top of the peppers was scattered the cooked sausage and we spooned the egg, milk, flour, spice mix over the top of that and baked it. Man, it was good. Definitely a recipe that we'll have to make again.

Right now, I've got some cracked wheat in our smaller crockpot cooking for breakfast in the morning and some pinto beans soaking in the big crockpot. I'll cook the pintos tomorrow and maybe make refried beans on Tuesday. We finally got the slow cooker cookbook that we ordered almost a month ago and both Amber and I are very glad of that. If anyone's in the market for a slow cooker cookbook, I definitely recommend Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook. We "test drove" it from the library for a few weeks and it's definitely a keeper.

If you're a sausage lover, I highly recommend Bruce Aidells' Complete Sausage Book. The first half of the book is how to make sausage and a bunch of different types to make. The second half of the book is all sorts of recipes to cook with sausage. You don't have to make your own sausage to enjoy the book, but I'm pretty sure it helps. Last weekend I made French Toast Stuffed with Chicken and Apple Sausage (with Sauteed Apple Slices on top) and it was absolutely fantastic.

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