Selling your house means that you have to be flexible. There are days when I only get a two hour notice that my house is about to be shown. Clean it up, stage it and get the heck out! It has been a challenge in the kitchen. I
have planned a meal and then had to put it back in storage several times now. It certainly makes doing March Madness a challenge too. I missed one weekend entirely because of showings on Friday and Saturday, and then on Sunday I had to bring my wife to the
This last weekend I was able to salvage a Saturday afternoon of cooking. Sadly, someone beat me to the best recipe of all, and posted a photo of it. It was
Black Bean And Cucumber Salad
, and it was very good. The only thing I did different was to add seeded, deveined Jalapenos(one chili). My youngest daughter is now asking me to make a big batch of this every week so she can put the feed bag on when she wants
to! It is a really good salad.
Now on to the things that I did get to include in my March Madness Menus!
Originally, I was going to make
as an appetizer, but decided that it would be a good starch side with the Black Bean Salad (And it was!). I made this per directions with one change. The recipe called for 2 tablespoons of ground black pepper. I'm not sure, but I think that
is close to the LD50 for black pepper (Dosage at which 50% of the subjects die). I backed it down to 1 teaspoon and you could tell it was there. The kids didn't hate this recipe, but they didn't rave about it either. As I think more about this recipe, I am
convinced that it could be made much better by toning down the spices, changing the spices a bit, adding textural differences to it and some sort of binder to it. What I found in making this recipe was that it lacked dimension and subtlety.
What would I do, specifically, to change the Potato Cutlets recipe? Certainly, I would add finely chopped onion to it. I would make them thinner. A one inch cutlet made from spiced mashed potato doesn't cook well and the breaded surface wants to slide off when
you flip it. They fell apart easily as well. In addition to adding chopped onion I would also use some raw, shredded potato in with the mash and then use some egg as a binder. The spices were so "in your face" that I can't help but think that cutting them
in half would be a wise starting point. One tablespoon of garam masala, one tablespoon of ground corriander, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste would be my starting point, I think. Then I would make 1/4" thick patties and bake them
on a baking sheet that had been lightly sprayed with PAM. I would also spray the tops of the cutlets, and then bake in a 400F oven until browned, turning once. Hopefully the raw potato would cook before the cutlet burned!
I also made
Green Beans In Cider
which was ok. This time, I am afraid that the recipe may have turned out so-so because I forgot to buy or make bacon bits. If I had fried some bacon earlier to use in this recipe, I think it would have been a very tasty dish. As it
was, I only had some pepperoni on hand. It was actually not too bad, but bacon is a superior product. The one other review that I saw stated that it was too sweet. I disagree completely. It was barely sweet. I'll be making this one again, but with bacon.
Lastly, I made
Marinated Peanut Chicken A La Laura
. We really liked this one. This recipe is tasty without any changes to it, but I am looking forward to playing with my food! The thigh is probably my favorite part of the chicken for its flavor and moistness. Trimmed
properly it isn't all that fatty. The chicken comes out with a beautiful glazed appearance, and, if you bake it uncovered for the last 20 minutes, skin side up, you will be rewarded with a nice blush of brown on the skin. The skin won't be crispy, but it will
be delicious! I am looking forward to making this one again and adding a bit of lemon zest and juice to the mix. It certainly will benefit from black pepper, but I think a dash or two of red pepper flakes would be nice.
All in all, I think it was a successful day at the range!