April 23rd, 2012
Keeping a blog does require a fair amount of keeping up to date with other blogs on the web. For the most part this is a pleasure but at times it can be a chore as there are literally millions of food blogs out there. Two of my personal favorites are food52 and The Kitchn.
While not all the recipes have been perfect, I have been inspired by both of these sites. food52 is a crowd source recipe site. They have contests every week and the co-founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubs test the recipes- with some volunteers/cooking enthusiasts. What I love about this site is you can create a profile and store the recipes that you want to try. I have about 36 saved there for inspiration. A few of them have been indoctrinated into my ever expanding repetoire. Two faves are is the shaved brussel sprout salad with lemon and precorino cheese, and absurdley addictive asparagus.
Over the winter two of my favorite one pot dinners came from Apartment Therapy's the Kitchn. This chicken and tomato no boil pasta bake was a winner. Luckily I read through all the comments before I made it. I used fresh chicken thighs and thought it was perfect. If you like canned chicken (I've never tried it) by all means use it. I think the idea of using a store-bought rotisserie chicken is ok – if not a bit more expensive – but I am here to say that using quickly seared and chopped chicken thighs is delicious. I would think breast meat would dry out too much since this recipe bakes for 50 minutes at 400 degrees.
Another Kitchn recipe success was braised French Onion Chicken with Broiled Guyere Cheese. This recipe is an absolute winner and I encourage anyone who is infatuated with a good French onion soup, to try this twist for a hearty meal. The addition of balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard make this dish. I omitted the rosemary as it's not an herb my kids like. For the recipe click here.
Whichever site you end up using, make aure to read thru all the comments on the recipes. They offer valuable hints and information. Many people suggest great substitutions and speak frankly about their failures with the recipe. Sometimes you can even get some drama.
My current version of the Chicken and Tomatoe No Boil Pasta Bake uses the following ingredient substitutions:
Muir Glenn Diced Tomaotes with Basil and Garlic
Ian's Panko Italian Style Bread Crumbs
BioNautre Egg Papparadelle
I also used 1 1/2 cups milk and 1/2 cup homemade chicken stock. It is really important to use foil between the lid and the pot as you don't want this dish to dry out.
More on one pot dinners coming soon…