April 04, 2008

A del.icio.us quarter...

Across the course of the last thirteen weeks, I meandered through one of Moosewood's cookbooks mixed results. I joined Jamie on a tour of the Italian countryside. And Dorie became a regular Tuesday evening companion. In addition to the 'celebrities,' several of you provided dinnertime inspiration, even if you didn't know it. At 1262 links strong (and growing) my del.icio.us list rivals both my cookbook shelf and my magazine rack for attention. Here are the recipes that have made it to the dinner plate so far this year.

Arguably our most successful meal from my collection of bookmarked must-tries was this Soba and Steak Salad I found on My Bit of Earth. Yes, there's quite a bit of prep involved so a bit of pre-planning is necessary. But it's well worth the effort. My favorite part was the salad dressing; it ties east and west together beautifully.

Also a hit -- a thirty minute meal with fresh, healthy ingredients that plates worthy of company: Roasted Salmon in Grapefruit Shallot Sauce, which Michelle of Je Mange la Ville found at the Food Network. Proving that at least some of their "talent" is capable of creating a meal without opening a bunch of prepackaged, processed food.

The focus of my participation in Kitchn Cure has been my refrigerator and my freezer, where forgotten items languish far longer than they should. The freezer purge unearthed a pound of perfectly deployable chicken breasts, so I turned to the internets for inspiration. In the Kitchn Cure theme, the goal was a dish that would use ingredients already in "inventory". I found just such a dish in Joe's Cocoa-Chile Rubbed Chicken. A little bit sweet. A little bit spicy. And on the table in less than 30 minutes. My kind of meal.

Never again will I discard chard stems, thanks to Helen of Beyond Salmon. I paired her Parmesan-Roasted Chard with Jaden's magic formula for converting cheap steaks into good eats and an avocado-salsa topped roasted red potato. The fact that the disparate dishes played well together on a plate didn't surprise me. And preparation was smoother than (though probably not as sexy as) a Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas tango.

From my CSA, this simple satisfying salad of potato and avocado in a lemon dressing is a fine way to show winter the door and say hello to spring. And its clean flavors pair perfectly with a variety of finicky leading men and ladies, neither overpowering the main course of choice nor blending completely into the background and boring the palate.

I'm not sure where I got this Tilapia with Hazelnut and Avocado Sauce... I know it was online but subsequent Google searches have turned up empty. A pity, since it was a weeknight warrior that could easily be prettied up for company.

What lies ahead? Stay tuned, faithful readers. Your heroine's planning to continue her Tuesday trysts with Dorie, will spend the second quarter with Thomas Keller, Deborah Madison and Ted Allen... and who knows what she'll uncover on the internets.

From the archives...
In 2006 we tried to replicate Kentucky Fried Chicken Livers but came up empty. (If anyone's got a good recipe, we're still looking).
In 2007 I opened the envelope and revealed the winners of March's DMBLGIT.

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