Friday, July 03, 2015

In my kitchen

Confession: I am a hoarder. I hoard recipes. I have thick and worn files titled "Entrees tried," "Vegetables," "Appetizers," "Desserts," and, best of all, "Entrees Not Tried." When I'm trying to come up with a dinner for company, I usually go to the latter--who wants to cook the same thing all the time? I experiment on my guests.
Tonight, though, I was leery about my recipe choice. A recipe for eggs baked in a tomato sauce has been floating in the "Not Tried" file forever, and I finally decided to try it. With only one guest, I cut it in half and made the sauce this morning. To begin with, you sauté onion and poblano peppers--I used one pepper and even then feared it was too much. I'm not a fan of peppers, nor is my stomach. Add various spices--cumin (which I couldn't find in my cupboard so I substituted green chile powder), sweet smoked paprika, salt, etc. I refrigerated the sauce, heated it before my guest arrived, and cracked four eggs into it, let it simmer covered for about 15 minutes and then served it with trembling and trepidation.
The egg takes up most of the sauce, so what I envisioned as an entrée running all over the plate was not that at all. The eggs were cooked harder than I usually like them but with the sauce it was fine. And the sauce was delicious, in spite of all my worries. The smoky flavor was a great addition. You can find it, if you're a Southern Living subscriber, in the September 2014 issue--or you might find it online called "Eggs simmered in tomato sauce" (original title, no?)
I served a salad of corn, black beans, cherry tomatoes, and lettuce with an avocado dressing with it.
Tomorrow I will make potato salad. The potatoes are already cooked and in the fridge. Chilling potatoes is a trick I learned from this recipe for County Line Potato Salad. They are so easy to peel and dice when cold. I have recipes that call for dressing quickly while the potatoes are hot, and I have to say that's a pain. County Line Potato Salad (you can find it online) calls for an astonishing amount of dill pickle relish--but it tastes great. One of my favorites. It serves 18, so I'll halve it for a party of eight.
The fly in my ointment is that my dishwasher refuses to start. Enough times that I know this is serious. I decided tomorrow would be given over to potato salad and washing dishes. But it dawned on me tonight that since I'm not cooking any big meals for twenty of my nearest and dearest, I can just leave the dishes in there and hand wash what I use for each meal or cooking session. My low back likes that idea a lot.
Fourth of July and potato salad--they go together, don't they? I'm looking forward to hamburgers and hot dogs. Y'all celebrate but stay safe--even sparklers are dangerous!

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