Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What You Should Have Eaten #3

Cider Vinegar Chicken with Smashed Potatoes and a Watercress and Cucumber Salad

Usually, any chicken dish is a safe bet with my kids. They’ll eat mashed potatoes, but these homemade smashed potatoes still have the skin in it, so I’m sure that’ll turn them off.


The drink for the evening, a Long Jean, was quite good. If you’ve never had Campari before, I liken it to putting a handful of pennies in your mouth and sucking. I don’t see how people drink this stuff by itself. The OJ really helps take some of the bite out of it, but it’s still a somewhat bitter drink. I'm okay with that, though. Right now I'm a hoppy, bitter beer lover, so that's upped my tolerance for Campari a bit.

To keep in a decent budget, I’ll use dry spices rather than fresh. That’s what I’m doing with the thyme here. I’m not much of a stickler for that, but sometimes I’ll go fresh, usually with basil or mint.

A jar of minced garlic again instead of chopping a clove up. It’s easier, and I’ve got to get rid of this giant jar somehow.

I use broth as opposed to stock, just to save a buck or two. Can anyone tell if it actually makes a difference in the recipe?

I’m only using one onion. I don’t like onions all that much, and sometimes I’ll leave them out all together. Sometimes I’ll make due with half. I usually do the same with salt. I usually never add it to a recipe.

Kroger had no watercress, and according to the two produce guys I talked with, there wasn’t a similar substitute. So I decided to go with some good ol’ iceberg lettuce. I know the kids’ll eat a salad with that in it. They probably wouldn’t have touched the watercress.

I love these knives. They were a wedding present from somebody who I don’t think I’ve spoken to since the wedding. My wife might have. Anyways, we got this set and a set of two LamsonSharp knives as well, but I these better. They’re crazy sharp and good for slicing. I like the LamsonSharp for chopping.

I didn’t bother asking the produce guy about seedless cucumbers. I used to use English cucumbers…are those seedless? Eh, two out of my three kids love regular cucumbers, so I thought why mess with a sure thing?

I’m quartering my potatoes instead of halving them. The recipe calls for small potatoes, but these don’t look all that small. It was the only type or red-skinned potatoes Kroger had, though. I love my local Kroger Marketplace, but I miss the Publix that’s right down the road. They have a wonderful produce section, but shopping there hurts my checking account.

I’m not tossing the salad with the dressing, I’m just going to drizzle it on top. I plan on having leftovers, and I don’t think some dressing-drenched lettuce will hold up in the fridge.

My kids never fail to surprise me. In a meal that they all should have devoured, the two youngest only ate their salad, and the oldest ate nothing at all. Sigh. I loved it, though. The honey used to glaze the onions really made it a winner. This’ll be one I keep trying every now and then to see maybe they’ll take a chance on it.


Kate said...

I don't think I regularly saw watercress in a grocery store until I moved over here. Lovely peppery plant. Arugula (rocket) would make a good substitute.

Rob Rosenblatt said...

Next time I'll know. But it'll have to be for a meal without the kids. They won't eat Arugula.