friends over for dinner sunday night. i found out after shopping for a rather elaborate meal, that i was scheduled to work from 1-5pm. since these folks have a wee baby, they couldn't do that whole eat at 9pm thing. luckily the weather on saturday was rotten, so i just stayed in and prepped for sunday and actually managed to pull it off. good for me.
- fresh backed italian olive oil bread: a whole wheat bread with a crispy crust
- chicken provencal: chicken cooked in a tomato olive sauce. the Cooks Illustrated recipe had me baking instead of stewing the chicken and i modified it a bit in the interest of time (1.5 hrs in the oven vs. 20 minutes on the stove). on the other hand, Cooks Illustrated substituted a single anchovy filet where there is usually salt pork. a good thing. the end result was delicious moist chicken in a fabulous sauce that also happened to be quite tasty for dipping the bread.
- asparagus and prosciutto risotto: per erin recommendation, i par-cooked the risotto the night before, stopping about ten minutes before it was to be done. then i just reheated it, put in the rest of the stock, mixed in the asparagus (also cooked the day before), the prosciutto and the cheese and voila! despite the absence of cream, it was incredibly creamy.
- salad, care of the guests
- pumpkin cookies with glaze for dessert, also made the day before. i got the recipe off the web and it was pleasantly cake like: moist and spongy. and the raw dough was divine...almost better than the cooked dough, but that's usually the case.
today for lunch, after the fancy chicken meal, i had a fake meat sandwich and one of those protein drinks. i love those protein drinks -- i know they're bad, but i just can't help myself.