I want to follow up to let you know how my recipes from a couple of nights ago turned out.
The Hasselback potatoes were a little time-consuming and tricky to prep because stuffing raw bacon into anything is kinda gross, but they tasted amazing. They cooked in garlic butter and broth, so my house smelled divine. And as good as they were for dinner, they were even better cold—the kind of leftovers that inexorably draw you into the kitchen at midnight for a quick nosh, in fact. So good! My only quibble with the recipe is that the potatoes are topped with grated Parmesan, which cooked into a tough, chewy web. Surely there is a nice sharp cheese out there that melts more gracefully than this? I’m thinking perhaps feta next time.
The Sole en Papillote was a worthy recipe as well, mostly for the delicious olive-tomato-caper-garlic topping, and because it was very, very quick and easy to fix. I asked the guy at the market for Dover sole and he gave me something else from the freezer, though, I’m 99% sure of it. Tilapia, maybe. A less tender fish than sole, anyway. The paper packet is cute and all but a tad more trouble than it seemed worth. I would like to try this recipe again with pan-fried fresh sole and put that terrific topping on it with a drizzle of wine and melted butter (or maybe even beurre blanc?).
The spinach salad was a knock-down winner, of course, because you just can’t go wrong with something that simple.
For dessert, I made Salted Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread cookies, which were pretty good. On the plus side, the sea salt made for nice crunchy salty bits here and there throughout that nicely complemented the sweet chocolate chips, and the recipe went together very quickly. On the minus side, the chocolate chips made it impossible to cut the cookies into neat rounds—slice after slice crumbled into chunks that I ended up pressing together into rough bars. I think next time I will make the dough without the chips and just press half a dozen chips onto each slice after it’s cut. Otherwise, these tasted great and had a wonderful light texture. Also, because the dough contains no egg, you can eat all you want of it when it’s raw with no worries. Not that I’m suggesting you should, of course. Just sayin’.
I’m sorry I have no pictures of any of this to share—you’ll just have to take my word for it that I really did cook for hours on Saturday and ate myself into a happy stupor (with the help of a friend who joined me for dinner). 😉 My food styling skills are not good and I don’t know how to make meals look their best on the plate. My focus is on making them taste good, and on that count, I definitely succeeded. There’s not a trace of the dinner (except some spinach that didn’t make it into the salad) left in the house today.