It's been awhile. Stomach trouble, computer trouble, sheer laziness. What can I say? The stomach feels better, a new computer is on the way and I'll stop being lazy for a moment. The summer weather continues despite all indications that it should be autumn. The leaves have changed color and fallen but it's still warm most days, like really warm. Jason visited for a week and there wasn't much cooking because he had to eat El Farolito every meal. I made a pasta carbonara and that was about it. And we missed the vegetable box that week because we were all so enamored with the beer, whiskey and peanuts at a local bar.
Have been cooking quite a bit, just not taking pictures of it. I made black beans and rice with cortido, beef and broccoli stir fry, and grilled curry sausages with Israeli couscous,red onion, mushrooms and green beans along with braising greens. P cooked baked ziti and homemade pizza with caramelized onions and bacon, that was the bomb.
Today was the day for Coq Au Vin. I went to the Mission library yesterday and found Julia Child's "The French Chef Cookbook", while perusing the cookbooks section. The Coq Au Vin was the recipe I opened to, so I figured it was a sign. You must cook this. Run to your local bookstore or library now, get the book, turn to page 76 and get busy.
It's basic stuff: chicken, bacon, mushrooms, onions, thyme, salt and pepper. But damn is it good. I've never set my food on fire, but this recipe calls for pouring cognac over the chicken and putting a match to it! What fun! I was hoping for some spectacular, pulse-quickening flames, like the time the toaster oven set taco shells on fire, but it more of a "poof" that dissipated quickly with a little shaking of the pan. If you want to drink wine with this meal, get two bottles of something pretty good, because almost a whole bottle goes into simmering the chicken.
The bacon is important for flavor and browning the chicken.
Browned chicken, ready for the addition of beef stock and red wine.
I following the recipe exactly as it was, making no changes. I served it with boiled salted potatoes and green beans. A green salad would work with this as well, but I never got around to that. This is not a come home from work and cook kind of meal. It took me a little over three hours from start to finish. Of course I don't have a pot big enough to brown all the chicken pieces at once so that slowed me down. I cooked it all in a Magnalite pot, part of a set that my mom gave me from a friend of the family who went into a nursing home and couldn't take all her pots and pans with her. These pots have probably been used almost as long as I've been alive and they are magic. Anyway...pot history aside, here is the easy salt potato recipe.
- three pounds small boiling potatoes
- 1 cup salt
- 6 cups water
- 1/2 stick of butter
- chopped parsley
Put water and salt on to boil. Scrub potatoes and add to the water. The potatoes we got this week were beautiful new yellow potatoes, most about the size of a gigantic pecan. Boil until fork tender and drain. Heat the butter, roll the potatoes around in it for a minute and then sprinkle with as much parsley as you desire.
All I did with the green beans was wash them, trim the ends and put them into boiling water. Get them bright green but don't overcook, let them stay crisp. Drain, heat with a little butter, salt and parsley. Hard work there.
You are going to want to put a lot of the gravy on your plate. I went back twice during the meal to get more gravy. The picture below does NOT represent an adequate amount of gravy.
Now we get to eat apple pies in jars that P. has been working on.
P.S. Congratulations Heidi and Tony on your new baby boy!