Thursday, December 20, 2012

Chicken Tomatillo Taco Party

As it is the season for roasting and making chicken, I decided to change it up a little. Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables is delicious, but I wanted to add some flair to our chicken. I found this recipe on  Tasting Table and modified it a little. I changed the salsa slightly and increased the amount I made (so I could make another dish) and changed how it was served. I thought this would be an awesome taco dish. And it was kind of perfect. I added some guacamole and we had a chicken taco making party.

It's a party on your plate

This is a dish you need to start prepping the night before; the chicken needs to sit and soak up all the spices. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Four Seasons Plus a Few More

The Husband and I decided to spend a lovely evening at Aviary. We wanted to get in before the Kyoto menu changed over so we could taste the Kyoto flight and slurp on some delicious ramen. A friend and Aviary regular, The M2, ended up meeting us there as well, (he needed a break from studying for his Medical School exams) so the three of us had a lovely evening drinking and eating.

The last few times we had been to The Aviary, we skipped drinks upstairs and went downstairs to The Office. Because of this, there were several new drinks on the menu that we wanted to try. I went with the Kyoto Flight, a four course flight of drinks based off of the Kyoto Kaiseki menu at Next.  When I finally write up our Kyoto dinner, I will go into detail about what a Kaiseki menu is. But for the sake of today, kaiseki is a type of art form that balances the taste, texture, appearance, and colors of food. In traditional kaiseki menus, only fresh seasonal ingredients are used and are prepared in ways that aim to enhance their flavor. Finished dishes are carefully presented on plates that are chosen to enhance both the appearance and the seasonal theme of the meal. At Aviary the each of the four courses represented a season.

Spring was a Cherry Blossom. It was beautiful. The flue came with a cube of sugar and small dried ball at the bottom along with a single sprig of leaf on the side. Our server informed us that the sugar has been soaked in cherry, persimmon and various other deliciousness before being formed into the cube. She then slowly poured the spirit into the glass and as if by magic, the dried ball at the bottom began to open up and became a beautiful cherry blossom. They then took a small spray bottle and sprayed some essence of cherry onto the glass. The drink was light, refreshing and all around perfect. Once I finished my drink, I was trying to get to the sugar that was at the base of the flute (without sticking my finger inside).  When I got my next course, I ended up using the straw to grab at some. Seriously, best sugar ever.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chestnuts and Apples Roasting in my Kitchen Fire

It’s been a rather busy month since I last wrote. Rather than dive into two rather long posts, I’ll start off small.  This Thanksgiving The Husband and I stayed in Chicago and were so kindly invited to join in with friends of ours Thanksgiving Festivities. As a couple who loves food as much as The Husband and I do, they had an amazing Thanksgiving Feast prepared.  Everyone brought various different dishes and it was one of the most delicious Thanksgivings we’ve had to date.  The Husband and I were in charge of a dessert.  As we spent Thanksgiving with them last year, I decided against the Cinnamon Ice Cream and Pork Lard Crust Apple Pie, and went for something a little different.

I did a play on Alice Water’s Apple Tart that I found on Smitten Kitchen and Chestnut Ice Cream.  I thought Chestnut Ice Cream sounded really interesting and rather unique, and I’m really happy that we ended up making it.  I should give The Husband a HUGE thanks for running around the city trying to find me whole Chestnuts to roast.  The recipe called for canned, pureed unsweetened Chestnuts, but I couldn't find them, so I decided to make my own Chestnut puree.   Both recipes were rather simple (even though this is long, they really were easy),  light (you don’t want a crazy heavy dessert after Thanksgiving dinner) and a perfect end to a deliciously and meticulously prepared dinner.  Well, the 60 Oysters we ate AFTER dessert was really the perfect end….