Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Hungry Monkey

I'm trying to keep track of what I'm doing. Or what I'm trying to do.

I make a mental note to do at least one vegetarian meal a week or to braise some cabbage or to freeze a batch of pesto and –– poof! –– it's gone.

There are a lot of distractions around here. Two dogs, two cats, one husband, and a 13 month old. I lose my head so easily. Mental notes just do not work for me. The last post is dated about a year and a half ago. So yes... distractions.

Speaking of our 13 month old... I've been reading
Hungry Monkey by Matthew Amster-Burton. (I want to instill our passion for food in our son.) This book is a fun quick read about Amster-Burton's experience feeding his young daughter.

I'll admit it. He inspired me.

I made his no-brainer recipe for chicken breast and mushrooms today. Big hit with me, but it was spit all over the kitchen by Fe. I'm super glad that I decided to feed him in just his diaper today (70+ degrees in L.A. today!). What a mess!

That's okay. I was also prepared to make Amster-Burton's recipe for carnitas. I was skeptical when the pork was first starting to simmer on the stove in its bath of tequila and chicken broth. It smelled, frankly, too porky and gamey.

Well, 2+ hours later, I was quite pleased with the tangy pig in the pot. I was enthused! Decided to share it with Fe for dinner. Ugh. So not interested. In fact he was quite the pain in the ass during his dinner this evening. Food everywhere. Humph and Gus were thrilled. I put the kid to bed.

I want more time to cook, more time with my son, and less time doing dishes. I need to develop a plan for efficiency. That plan is nowhere in sight at this point.

I did however manage to enjoy cooking this evening. The carnitas are nearly done, just need to do a last minute fry-job. I made Amster-Burton's recipe for rajas, but found it to be just roasted poblanos.

I pulled up a variation of Rick Bayless's rajas on the internet and put Amster-Burton's poblanos to good use along with some onions, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, marjoram, oregano, and chicken broth.

There is a small pot of black beans, onions, garlic, and cumin simmering on the stove waiting for a handful of chopped cilantro to bring it to life. The tortillas are waiting for some heat.

I'm drinking a little glass of Sauvignon Blanc, and I'm waiting for the screech of the gates outside to let me know that my man is home and that we can eat.


This dinner was fabulous! The carnitas recipe is spectacularly simple and the flavor is outstanding. My sister tried them the third day as leftovers and is now craving them. We may do a repeat on Wednesday night.

The rajas are a must. And just one last note... grease the corn tortillas up a little bit with olive or vegetable oil or the whole thing might seem a little dry.

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