Monday, June 28, 2010

Meat & Potatoes with Vegetarian Gravy

I had a hankering for something smothered in gravy this evening. Not really a healthy hankering, but I tried to satisfy it in the most healthy way possible! To start, we had a tomato salad.
When we were in Italy and ordered a "tomato salad" it was always extremely literal... tomatoes and olive oil. For my tomato salad I whisked together a little dressing consisting of olive oil, dijon mustard, white vinegar, kosher salt, lemon juice and fresh ground black pepper.
For the main course, skinless boneless chicken breast cooked in the oven with fresh ground black pepper and a rosemary sprig on top. I made a vegetarian gravy using canned mushrooms, flour, vegetable broth (from powder), skim milk and some herbs and spices. I really can't get any more precisise than that.. I was adding things left, right and center to get the right consistency and flavour! You're going to have to do the same thing. I kept the gravy on the side because I didn't know if Jason was in a "gravy smothering everything" mood as I was. As it turns out, he was.
Note the "X" cut into the potato. This is how I always eat my baked potatoes and at a recent family BBQ, was questioned about my eclectic potato eating ways. Well - this was a little trick I picked up in kindergarten on the day we made baked potato volcano's.  You wait till the potato cools enough to touch, cut an "X" on the top and then push the sides into the middle with your fingers causing the potato (lava) to "erupt" out the center. At this point you would put lava (bacon bits), grass (chives) etc. on top of your volcano. I don't exactly know why my kindergarten class was making baked potatoes but that is one lesson that stuck.

JASON'S REVIEW: Dinner was fantastic and I wouldn't hesitate to eat it again.

MY REVIEW: Not to toot my own horn or anything, but it's meals like this that make me feel like I've actually made some progress in my cooking journey. In the beginning, the simple task of cooking a chicken breast would have required a phone call to my mom and at least half an hour of internet research. The end product would almost always be burnt as I figured that was the only sure way to know it was fully cooked. I am slowly but surely getting a "feel" for it and learning to trust myself in the kitchen. I just made vegetarian gravy from scratch without even looking at a recipe...go me!

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