It has taken us almost 2 weeks to try three recipes from Everyday with Rachel Ray. It seemed like things just got so busy last week and with two sick people in the house… there was a lot of chicken soup and other meals of simliar qualities being made.
Last week we made the grilled chicken with mint almond pesto. It was really easy to make and it did taste pretty good. The mint almond pesto was really delicious. I think we will definitely do it again. The other part of the recipe was grilled butternut squash. This is where the recipe went a little awry. When I got to the store, I looked at the butternut squash…. and then I thought about the picture in the magazine. In the picture the squash almost looked like peaches. The butternut squash did not look like it could be peach-like to me. The came the great imposter… the buttercup squash. It was hanging out there with the other squashes. It looked round and so I thought I must have messed up and assumed butternut, but really it was the buttercup squash that was required by the recipe.
When I got home I checked the recipe again… It was the butternut squash! I should have trusted myself. I decided that I would just use the buttercup squash, I mean they sell it in the store so someone must think it tastes good, right? I hacked at the squash for about 5 minutes before I threw the whole darn thing away. Stupid Rachel Ray and her stupid squash… I have plenty of frozen steam-able veggies in the freezer so I just went for the easy route. By the way the steamed green beans were a hit.
I took a few days off from Rachel at that point. I had also bought some leeks for another one of her recipes and I swear they were taunting me. I was not really in the mood to try to cook another veggie that I had not cooked before.
So finally on Monday I took out the magazine again. I avoided the leeks and have to admit I did kind of give them a little sneer as I reached for the veggies for the “End of the Summer Chicken Milanese”. I instantly thought I should have tried the other recipe. As I pulled out countless ingredients, I started to wish bad things on Rachel. I know it isn’t her fault I hate cooking.
I was pleasantly surprised at how easy the recipe ended up being. First, I had to make the chicken into cutlets, because I did not even bother to look for cutlets in the store this time. The breading process required 3 plates. One for the eggs, one for the flour, and one for the bread crumb mixture (bread crumbs, lemon rind, parsley, thyme, and garlic). Start with the flour, then dip in the eggs, and then finish by covering with the bread crumbs. Once you do that it is an EVOO (extra virgin olive oil for those of you like me who are not familiar with the acronym) bath until cooked. I have to digress… Does anyone else get annoyed with Rachel Ray’s use of the acronym EVOO? I don’t know why, but it irritates me. I completely understand why she shortens it. I mean it is a lot of words to spit out every time she uses it (which is a lot). I just get agitated seeing it there in the recipe. It could be just me, and probably something I should talk to a shrink about.
I had wondered why I had to preheat the oven for this recipe, but I found that the oven was for keeping the cutlets warm as I made the vegetables for the side (or rather the relish).
For the relish, I cut up heirloom tomatos (really, they were just the tomatos that were on sale…again not heirloom tomatos to be found), red onion, and sliced off the corn from the cob. Why bother with cutting the corn from the cob? The recipe said that is what I needed to do. Furthermore, the recipe did not say anything about cooking it so it was raw. I was a bit hesitant to eat the uncooked corn… I was envisioning some sort of mad cow illness to take over my family (I know that is silly, but I was actually quite worried about this). I squeezed the lemon over the mixture and added salt and pepper. I am sure it would have tasted even better with the fresh basil leaves, but the local Food Lion seemed to have a shortage of fresh herbs so I just threw on some dried herb mixture called “Herbes de Provence” and called it a day.
The only thing left to do was plate and serve it, and that is what I did.
It was not that bad. I did get a bit anxious each time I ate a piece of the raw corn, but no one got sick so I guess raw corn is edible.
Tonight, my husband cooked (sorry, I forgot to take pictures). Thus, the leeks were punished for their jeers and taunts. During dinner, he commented on how tough the leeks were and I said “maybe next time we should boil it longer”. His reply made me laugh, “or maybe follow the directions. I did not realize it was supposed to be boiled first.” For future reference, the insides of the leeks will taste just fine if you forget to boil the leeks before grilling.
In the end, I am not sure how I feel about spending “everyday” with Rachel Ray. Her recipes were tasty and relatively easy to make, but I am still a little bitter about the squash and working through my irrational agitation towards EVOO.