Sunday, September 27, 2009
Home Is... Where Your Knives Are
I felt groggy all day even after sleeping off yesterday's 12-hour drive that would bring me back home. Although I got very little accomplished -- maybe it takes some time to get back into the daily routine -- I did cook dinner and it was then I truly felt I had returned home.
We had very little in the way of groceries and I didn't feel up to going shopping just yet. Luckily, the chicken breasts in the freezer and my habit of keeping a well-stocked pantry at all times saved the day. Spices would combine to form a moroccan spice rub for my chicken breasts, cous cous would be our starch and a quick apple cinnamon sauce topped off the creation. Unfortunately I overcooked the chicken so the apple compote garnish/topping stole the day. I sauteed a small diced apple with a pinch of cinnamon, added a splash of chicken stock (brandy would have been swell but there's none in the house), reduced it and swirled in a knob of butter at the end.
For dessert, I experimented with an idea I had about "apples and oranges" and a twist on the traditional basket of fries. I took apple and treated it as if it were a potato. I cut it into matchsticks, put it on a baking sheet, sprinkled it with cinnamon and sugar and stuck it in a hot 450F oven. I thought they would come out crispy as fries. They didn't, so next time I will actually fry them, to see if I can obtain a crispy apple french fry. To serve them, I cut an orange in half, juiced it carefully, scooped out all the flesh to create two same size bowls which I filled with the roasted apple sticks. The finishing touch? A cinnamon stick, of course. I have to come up with a different 'basket' idea, one easier to obtain than hand juicing oranges and scraping the flesh with a pairing knife. It is too labour intensive and too messy to mass produce.