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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Two successful weeknight recipes

We've had some good successes lately, so I wanted to share.

First up is the dish you see here to the right. It is a riff off of a recipe posted by the lovely Chris Jordan. I'm not going to post my version here. I'll just tell you what I changed and why. One of the reasons I liked this recipe was because it lends itself to improvisation. OK, so the first obvious change is that I used butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes. This was simply a matter of using what I had. The squash I had, though, was ENORMOUS, so I only used half of it. I also substituted boneless chicken thighs for the breasts. I prefer the moistness and richer flavor of chicken thighs, but your mileage may vary, so do what you want. My dad, for example, refuses to even touch dark meat, so if you're like him, don't do what I did. Other changes included upping the curry powder a touch (I think I used 4 teaspoons) and adding a can of drained chickpeas for the last 30 minutes of cooking. Both of my kids like chickpeas and they go GREAT with curry, so I figured it was a good way to sneak an extra vegetable into this meal. Finally, I already had some leftover rice and didn't to make a whole new pot. BUT, I did want the coconut flavor, so I heated the old rice up in a pot with 1/2 a can of coconut milk. It worked out very well.

Another great recipe was this Lemon Linguine that was posted on Serious Eats. It is actually a Giada recipe. Again, I made some changes. I used thin spaghetti instead of linguine and I left out the basil because I didn't have any (and my kids don't like it). This recipe was so easy that a six-year-old could make it. Actually, one did! Dylan squeezed and zested the lemons and measured out the oil and cheese. This is a terrific meal to make on a hot day (not that it was hot - it's still ridiculously cold here). But, it would be good for summer, because the sauce isn't cooked. The only  item you need to cook is the pasta itself.

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