Dan Gowans My personal thoughts and mindless ramblings

New Taste Weekends

03.25.2012 · Posted in Recipes, Thoughts

Sarah and I have been looking to branch out from our usual dinner options.  For the past few weeks, we’ve been using the weekends to try out new recipes.  Nothing too different, just preparing our usual dishes in a different way.  I’m hoping to log some of our choices here.

March 10th weekend – Homemade Chicken Strips

The recipe for this one came from one of the cookbooks we got for our wedding.  The breading used a mix of corn flakes, Parmesan cheese, and lemon pepper.  Sarah really enjoyed this one.  If I were to do it again, I’m not sure if I’d use lemon pepper, or at least I’d cut it back.  Also, the recipe called for cutting each chicken breast into three pieces.  Personally, I found the pieces too big, but then again, maybe I had larger pieces of chicken to start.  Finally to note when breading chicken, the less handling, the better, as the more you try to bread them, the more you scratch the breading off.  Probably tossing the breading mixture rather than the meat would have been more effective.

March 17th weekend – Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken with Wild Forest Mushroom Couscous

I found the chicken recipe while house-sitting at my parents’ house.  The couscous came from the grocery store.  The recipe involved cutting the chicken breasts open and stuffing them with mozzarella cheese.  The outside was coated with flour, Parmesan, parsley, paprika, and pepper.  I was quite under-impressed by the chicken.  The cheese melted out from the inside, and the outside coating was somewhat flavourless.  As for our first experience with couscous, I didn’t find it as satisfying as I hoped.  It was very light, and left me hungry.

March 24th weekend – Cinnamon Apple Pork Tenderloin

I’ve wanted to do something with pork and apples for a while now.  For this one, we invited my parents over to try it with us.  All positive reviews.  I did make a few deviations from the recipe, based on user reviews.  Some of the feedback mentioned the pork lacking flavour, so I used three apples rather than two.  I put one of those apples through a food processor to chunk it up small.  The rest of the apples were sliced and were prepared by the recipe.  Other reviews noted that the pork ended up dry, so I put the chunked up pieces on the bottom of the pan, along with 1/2 cup of water.  I also kept an eye on the second part of the cooking process, and ended up pulling the pork after 12 minutes, rather than the 15-20 minutes.  Of course I used a meat thermometer to ensure I hit temperature.  The end result was a moist and flavourful tenderloin.  Of the recipes I’ve tried so far, I think I liked this one the best.  However, I usually do tenderloin on the barbecue with pork spice.  It’s far less effort, and I think it’s a better result.

As for next week, I’m not sure yet.  Sarah’s thinking Chicken Parmesan, which would be different than the two other chicken recipes.  Sounds good, but I’d like to branch into another meat possibly.  Maybe beef, maybe something completely obscure.

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