The new issue of Cook's arrived on Tuesday, and so (like thousands of households all over the world) I spent Wednesday evening trying out some of the new results.
An article in Cook's is a 'result' rather than just a recipe, because Cook's is always about comparing ideas and approaches. Should we cook the vegetables longer, or hotter? Should we use canned tomatoes or fresh?
Roasted green beans came out very well. It's ridiculously easy: toss the green beans with a little oil, salt them, toss them into a 450° oven on a foil-covered baking sheet. Timely idea, because Linda found some champion beans at the farmers' market.
Hunter's chicken is a dish I've been trying for ages, with mixed success. Cook's came up with a few interesting axes:
- Brown the chicken aggressively, and then finish in the oven. Build the sauce separately while the chicken cooks through. Simple, effective way to avoid overcooking the meat.
- Brown the mushrooms very aggressively. (Having a really good range helps a lot here, as does faith that deglazing will restore your pan. Somehow, I never really understood deglazing before the last year or two. Who needs algebra? Teach those high school kids how to use a pan!)
- Drain the canned, diced tomatoes. This seems wasteful, but makes a real difference in the consistency of the sauce.
Mistake: the 3T of brandy evaporated in my very hot pan, before I could ignite it. I don't know whether it contributed anything to the dish, or not. The Cook's writer tested the flambee step, assuming it was froth, and assures us that it matters.