Another Faceless Friday, But On Saturday! - Learning To Cook Blog at - 299877

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Another Faceless Friday, But On Saturday! 
Mar. 26, 2013 7:26 am 
Updated: Apr. 2, 2013 4:45 am
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 airport.

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 Potato Cutlets 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!
Green Beans In Cider
Photo Detail
Potato Cutlets
Photo Detail
Marinated Peanut Chicken A La Laura
Photo Detail
Mar. 26, 2013 7:38 am
Sounds good. I want to move again too but I have been to soft to get my house ready for show :) I hope you have inspired me to get busy. BTW I do alot of staging and I am too lazy to do my own these days LOL I also wanted to let you know I did your chicken recipe. YUM! As soon as I can retrieve it from my camera's memory, I will post a pic of that yummy bird!
Mar. 26, 2013 8:29 am
I saw your review. Thanks so much for that. I'm glad you liked it. I think it reliably turns out the most tender and moist chicken!
Mar. 26, 2013 8:51 am
BTW mauigirl, make sure you Pin it to the March Madness board on Pinterest!
Mar. 26, 2013 9:15 am
What chicken and that was one interesting blog. The potatoes and the chicken have me going hummmmmm I think I want some.
Mar. 26, 2013 11:23 am
It's this one here --
Mar. 26, 2013 11:47 am
thank you
Mar. 26, 2013 1:53 pm
I can't even imagine selling my house and moving! Been here 27 years and just to get the shop (aka garage) ready would be the death of me! Your meal looks great!
Mar. 26, 2013 5:31 pm
Can't imange moving either.We have been here 31 years.The chicken looks great,i have a daughter named Laura,saved.Thanks Doc.The pictures are very nice.
Mar. 26, 2013 7:25 pm
Moving is so stressful. I am impressed you have carved out any time to cook. I hope you get a good offer quickly.
Mar. 27, 2013 9:22 am
It's an ongoing process. My wife has been living and working in our new location for several months now. We've put in an accepted offer on a house and are in the process of getting rid of 55 year old kitchen and bathrooms, and fixing a few other issues. The house the kids and I are in is for sale, but not generating much traffic ATM. It's frustrating, but manageable.
Mar. 29, 2013 7:48 am
Doc-my Hubby is in the process of fixing up a house we moved out of 5 years ago. Our son lived there for a little while. Now, I will help my husband with the tile and the painting here in the next couple of months. Just remember to label all the boxes. In the process of moving, I lost my lemon juicer. So pack all your favorite things yourself.
Mar. 29, 2013 7:10 pm
One of these days I'll stop using my hands as a lemon juicer!
Apr. 2, 2013 4:45 am
Well done, Doc. As others have said, I don't think I could plan a faceless menu while trying to sell, pack and move a house. During our last move I lost 15 lbs. Part of that was physical labor and just forgetting to eat!
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Doc Simonson

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St. Peter, Minnesota, USA

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About Me
I'm old and smelly, kinda like a really good salami with that really nice white mould all over it.
My favorite things to cook
Meat, carbs, meat, carbs, meat, carbs and did I mention meat?
My favorite family cooking traditions
Drop a plate of Pierogis and sausages in front of me and watch my eyes glaze over in pure joy.
My cooking triumphs
Schweinebraten mit Knoedel und Krautsalat. Also Edel Hirsch Gulasch was very nice. I make killer Spaetzle and Knockerl also.
My cooking tragedies
There aren't enough electrons in cyberspace! :) Actually, the tragedies usually involve well intentioned creativity out of control.
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