Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

CI Reviews

What the heck -- one can review recipes, right?

Yesterday's entertainment was reading the July/August issue of Cook's Illustrated. Having a decently quiet (rather house-focused) weekend, we wound up playing around with it, in between packing boxes. Two recipes tried; both qualify as "tasty pain in the ass".

We made the "Ultimate Oatmeal Cookies" yesterday. Or at least, mostly -- we turned out not to have the dried cherries, but it made a lovely excuse to chop up some of the enormous block of dark chocolate that we've had sitting on the sideboard for years. The cookies are enormous: one batch makes 16 cookies, each a fair dessert unto itself. They're quite good, soft inside and gently crisp outside, and probably worth making as a change of pace occasionally.

More extreme on both the "tasty" and "pain in the ass" scales was the "Rescued Orange Chicken". The premise of this particular article was that most Chinese Orange Chicken is overly sweet, goopy, and kind of chewy; they decided to come up with a recipe that really works. They succeeded -- the resulting chicken is crisp, the flavor slightly spicy, a positively intense burst of orange with only enough sweetness to compensate. (Which is kind of remarkable, given that the recipe involves half a cup of brown sugar.) OTOH, it takes most of two hours of near-solid work. The marinade/sauce is mildly involved, and the chicken needs to be marinated, dredged in egg white and a cornstarch mixture, deep fried pretty carefully and thence drenched in the now boiled and thickened sauce. Definitely not a dish for everyday, but in the same category as their chili recipe, worth the effort on a weekend day when I have some time to cook. Goes well with the Nashoba Valley Barley Wine that we opened up in the interest of killing off some bottles instead of moving them...

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