Monday, April 07, 2014

Best Additional Conference Weekend Learning

Ah, General Conference weekend. Since I know I'm going to be in the house all day, I try to use it as an opportunity to learn a little more cooking. Two years ago (sheesh) this is when I cranked my first cavatelli. A year ago I roasted a pork butt (but I've done that a bunch before).This weekend I had two undertakings I undertook:

I've made Chicken Adobo a bunch before using a recipe from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. In that recipe you first poach the chicken in soy sauce and vinegar and more and then put it under the broiler. Bloomfield's recipe has you frying the chicken first and then boiling it in soy sauce and vinegar with ginger and garlic with their peels still on and whole peppercorns. It's rustic and beautiful and smells so good. I miss the tight skin of Bittman's recipe, though. Maybe my next Adobo I'll cook Bittman style but with Bloomfield's ingredients.

Lesson Learned: Instead of buying chicken thighs I found a good deal on whole chicken legs. When I found I couldn't cut them into pieces easily, I just cooked them whole and tore the meat from the bones as I ate them. I think smaller pieces of chicken would be better, more surface area to cover with sauce and have infiltrated by flavor. 

I'd been avoiding, or ignoring, the Frankies gnocchi recipe. I've also long ignored gnocchi on menus for worry of mispronouncing. But Sunday afternoon I learned something amazing: Gnocchi is super easy. Easier than cavatelli, that's for sure. The potato and flour and cheese and egg mixture was a lot easier to knead than any cavatelli dough I ever worked over and once you've kneaded it you're practically done right there. Just roll it out into snakes, cut, and pinch (helps to have a helpful pincher) and then drop it into your boiling water and it's dinner time. Feel like my first shot at gnocchi turned out nearly perfectly. I don't mean to sound cocky. But that's how it went.

Lesson for Next Time: Tell you what I cannot wait to start exploring other gnocchi sauces. In particular, would like to cook up maybe like a really hearty pork ragu with vegetables—like Italian stew all over gnocchis, you know what I mean? You with me? See you first weekend of October, then.


sarah said...

I'm with you. I haven't done gnocci either, it looks so easy to make an overworked dough. But it looks like I'm wrong! I'm impressed with your weekend learning.

junebug said...

Oh my goodness, I love adobo and have only ever failed. Can't wait to try these recipes. Thank you!