Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Is there life after scarfs (and hats and washcloths and this one shawl that time....)?

Here is my knitting dilemma. I can knit scarfs. I can knit hats. Done the occasional washcloth. And, a shawl, once. But, what now? I'm pretty good at all of the above (see the pretty picture?), and I enjoy doing them. But, I'm feeling like I'd like to branch out a bit, try....something else. The problem lies here: I hate patterns. I don't follow them well, and I get impatient with complicated directions. It all stems from the woman who taught me, who had pretty much the same anti-pattern biases. And the fact that I learn much, much better from real life people than books, when it comes to hands-on stuff. Where does one go to find a knitting class?? Not the local Parks and Rec, tried that. And, Michaels has classes on knitted earrings (no, seriously!), but that's not really my thing. Hmmmm.... what to do, what to do?

Anyways, something more successful:

The Chicken Delmonico, while not much to look at, was really tasty. I used an Emeril recipe (here) and adapted it quite a bit, for fat content, ease, and our tastes.

Here's my version:

*Preheat oven to 350.

*Add 1 tsp (or so) olive oil to a heavy skillet and turn on heat to medium high.

*Get out 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts,
Cajun seasoning
. Coat the breasts with the seasoning, both sides, and brown on both sides. Turn skillet down to medium. Place chicken in roasting dish in oven for about 10-15 minutes or until barely done.

*Chop 1/2 yellow onion, 2 large garlic cloves and add to pan. Sauté for about 5 minutes. While onions/garlic are cooking, quarter one container crimini mushrooms. Add to pan and cook until softening (about 3 more minutes). Add scant TBS. flour, and stir until coating veggies. Add one good sized slug of dry white wine and as soon as it dissolves (about 1 minute or less), add about 1/2 c. chicken stock. Let it come to a simmer, and then stir in 1/2 c. of half-and-half (I used fat-free, but do what you like!) Let it return to a simmer and turn to low heat.

*Stir in one can artichoke hearts, a big ol' spoon of sour cream, half a lemon's worth of lemon juice and some chopped green onions. Taste, and add salt and pepper to taste.

*Pour sauce over chicken in roasting pan, and return to oven for about 10-15 minutes. (This last step probably isn't necessary, but I made this dish first, and needed to keep it warm and yummy while I made the corn fritters).

This was really, really tasty! We only ate two of the chicken breasts, so I chopped up the last one and stirred it with the remaining sauce to freeze for a pasta sauce another time. The Emeril version is probably lovely as well -- but a bit more expensive and rich than this version. And -- yay! leftovers!

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