Foodie In Training

Monday, May 16, 2011

Having a meal at home? What a novel idea!

Ryan and I have been bad. Over the past few months we've been really busy, on vacation, and let's be honest, a little lazy. We have only cooked a handful of meals at home. Many of them consisted of our now famous "fend for yourself night" where we are both on our own for figuring out dinner. Those nights usually mean leftovers, turkey sandwiches, or eggs (and to be honest, a little karate chopping and faux-boxing). So we've been slacking.. We both enjoy eating out but it's definitely a little harder on the bank account and not very healthy.

Why am I telling you all of this? Airing out our dirty laundry? I would only reveal some of our bad habits, if it meant revealing one of our good habits! We are pretty good cooks. And we enjoy it. Yesterday on a rainy Sunday, we cooked a pretty good meal. Nothing fancy, nothing over the top.. just a nice, home-cooked meal. And we actually ate at the table. (gasp!) We have a new dining room table and it's oh so pretty. So pretty that sometimes I don't feel like setting it up for dinner when Ryan is having eggs and cereal and I'm reheating leftovers.

What started our journey back to home cooking? The grocery store(s)! Yes, this past Sunday we went to three "grocery" stores (that's a whole other post). We stocked our fridge and we were feeling inspired.

A few weeks ago I had seen a post on Smitten Kitchen (my favorite food blog) and she made a Martha Stewart dish called a Crispy Potato Roast. Deb over at Smitten Kitchen was making it for Seder as an alternative to the creamy, gloppy, gratins that are tradition. Don't get me wrong, I like a dish with cream and cheese and other tasty ingredients..but I like to save that for special occasions.

So I broke out the ole' mandolin and got to work thinly slicing potatoes and shallots. Smitten Kitchen adapted her recipe a bit from the original Martha Stewart recipe, and I adapted mine as well. To start off, I cut the recipe in half and it was more than enough for the two of us. I also added one sweet potato into the mix because it needed to be used (sneaky thing had been hiding in the bottom of the drawer).

The original recipe called for thyme, I used 4 stalks of rosemary. I also added some Old World Seasoning. Old World Seasoning is my best friend. I got it in gift basket of spices and it use it in almost everything. It has paprika, pepper, salt, parsley, turmeric, caraway, dill, and more! It's a lovely Central European blend of spices that adds a little extra something.

When it was finished baking, sprinkled some Parmesan cheese over the top. Other garnish options that would be fabulous: crumbled bacon, blue cheese, feta cheese, and green onion.

For the pork chops, I kept it simple. I lightly seasoned each side with salt, pepper, lemon zest, chopped fresh rosemary (dried will also work), a little lemon juice, and a little olive oil. I wanted to grill them outside..but Ohio weather pretty much sucks right now. So we sauteed them in a pan. To garnish, I added some fresh rosemary and a chopped lemon slice (rind and all, my mother-in-law will be proud).

LinkFor minimal money and effort, we had a tasty meal!
I am promising you all (and myself) to not get in a such a lazy cooking rut. It's just silly!

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