Kari: 2, Kitchen Demons: 1

February 7, 2021

The weekend yielded a pair of winners and one spectacular loser in the kitchen games.

First, the successes:

Kind of a kitchen standard… the roasted whole chicken. Messy as all get out…even if you put down layers of tin foil. The foil works for making the roasting pan easy to clean, but the rack is hell and the chicken carving always turns into a huge messy mess. Still… a good dinner standby.

I’m in love with fingerling potatoes. They may be my favorite of all potatoes (except salt and vinegar potato chips). Stuffed into the chicken’s private parts are wads of rosemary, sage, and thyme (and salt and pepper). The veggies are tossed in olive oil, rosemary, coarse kosher salt and pepper. The chicken came out its usual moist, but we have yet to taste any herb infusion. I mean.. does that really work?

Second 4-star dish of the weekend was this baked pasta, which I made tonight. It’s ridiculously rich, but very tasty… and provides loads of leftovers (especially as you can only eat about a quarter cup of the stuff at one sitting).

It’s a spanokopita-inspired dish. You mix great piles of chopped spinach, arugula, parsley and scallion greens with some salt and pepper, and set aside. Then you prepare the fusilli until a couple minutes shy of al dente, and set that aside. Then you saute in butter some thinly sliced garlic and chopped scallion whites, add cream cheese and a cup of your pasta water, mixing til creamy. You then add the greens, the pasta, grated mozzarella and crumbled feta. (Did I mention this is insanely rich?) Once all this is transferred to a baking dish, you sprinkle the top with more mozzarella and feta and bake until brown. The best bites are those that are crunchy. So so good.

And here’s the failure:

A long time ago, we got a popcorn popper from Matty and Michael, which we somehow forgot about (our loss!). Since it was the first time using it, we followed the directions to the letter. We used only 1/3 cup of kernels — which they indicated would yield 8 cups of popped corn — yet got nowhere near that.

For batch #2, we figured we could easily triple that and not have any problems. That turned out not to be the case. Well before the kernels were done popping, the canister had filled up and started lifting off the base. Just like a classic cartoon, or an episode of I Love Lucy. We were at first immobilized by the shock of it, then overcome with laughter as we tried to contain it. It just kept popping and popping, overflowing onto the butcher block, then onto the floor. The canister fell off which sent popcorn flying, so Jim threw another bowl over the top of that.

I thought the popcorn itself was serviceable; Jim thought it was lacking. We’ll have to experiment with different oils, spices, and other embellishments. The book that comes with the popcorn popper had some great ideas!

2 Responses to “Kari: 2, Kitchen Demons: 1”

  1. Wesley Young Says:

    Hi Kari,

    Looks like a great dinner! See https://youtu.be/ZJy7QK3jX4g for the easiest way to cut up a roast chicken. One of my favorite videos!

    Take care,

  2. Kari Says:

    He makes it look SO easy!! His knife is so sharp it just cuts through the meat like… well, you know. And then, once you’ve done that, you can carve into slices the breast meat… we are always left with such an explosion of parts and bits. His pan arrangement is far less complicated, too. Hmmmm rethinking the whole chicken roasting process.

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