Saturday, September 5, 2009

The End of a Season

I had such a great time at the Hollywood Bowl last night. We were treated to an evening of the ever charming composer John Williams and the LA Philarmonic. We were lucky enough to be sitting in amazing seats...seats that actually let you see emotion on a musician's face. Let me just say this...The Holllywood Bowl is the single best venue in all of Southern California. My opinion, certainly...but trust me, I am right.
One of the best things about "the bowl" is the picnicking. Picnicking rocks! While there is restaurant service, decent restaurant service at the bowl, I always pack a picnic. It usually gives me an opportunity to plan a really fun meal, and it always challenges me to come up with recipes that can be served cold or room temperature.

I must confess. I love fried chicken. I don't know what all the components of my last meal would be, but I know that fried chicken would be in there. I could eat it day after day and never get sick of it. Get sick, pretty much a guarantee, but not get sick of it.
I make fried chicken. I make pretty good fried chicken. But I gotta say...I prefer to buy it.
it's true
Especially if we are talkin' broasted chicken. Is it right for me to matter what your dietary restrictions, goals, obsessions, peculiarities are...that if you have the chance to have broasted chicken, take it. TAKE IT!
My husband is from Wisconsin, and they have great broasted chicken...but sadly, it is really difficult to find in Los Angeles. So, I settle for fried. Still a good alternative, but it is not the same, lest you be fooled.
...I brought you on this culinary round-about because last night I served fried chicken. Popeyes fried chicken as our main course. Yes, I did..and I am not embarrased about it at all. As a matter of fact, I also served the biscuits. Although, I think I might like KFC's biscuits a little better than Popeyes...but I served them none-the-less and they were popular.
if you think I am lazy and taking the easy way out...let me stop you right there. I also put together a nice selection of appetizers, sides and dessert all by myself. I cooked em, packed em, served em and ate em. And they were pretty good. Should I put them on the scoring system I utilized for Sona? What is good for the goose, is good for the I shall.

Summer is ending and so is the season at the bowl...but picnic season is forever....
0-5 stars
blt devilled eggs 2 stars
to be fair, to myself, i don't really like devilled eggs and didn't eat them. I give the whole concept 2 stars

andouille-red beet-green apple-chevre compote w/apple cider reduction
4 stars
You can use andouille or chorizo for this. Cut 4 sausage links into rounds. Cook in large skillet with a bit of olive oil, just a bit. Cook until nicely browned. Add about 3 Tbs cider vinegar, reduce heat and cook until absorbed. While it is cooking add 1 garlic clove--finely chopped and 1 shallot--finely chopped. When the vinegar is just about absorbed, remove sausage and set aside. Toss about 3/4 cup of apple cider or unfiltered apple juice into the pan and let simmer until it reduces to a nice syrup. Throw the sausage back in and toss to glaze. Remove the sausage again, and set the reduction aside to use as a dressing. Meanwhile, chop 1 granny smith apple and 2 medium (cooked) beets to dice. They should be a bit smaller than the sausage slices, but not too small. Toss with about 2 ounces of crumbled chevre. Once the sausage is cooled, add to the compote and gently toss. You can also layer in a small glass. Drizzle a bit of the reduction on top and enjoy.

prosciutto-marscapone-walnut figs w/balsamic-medjool date glaze
3 1/2 stars
they tasted a lot better than they looked. Might have been a bit too big--if presented as 1/2 a fig, would give a higher rating

Main Course
popeye's fried chicken
absolutely 5 stars
if only for convenience sake

watermelon, feta and mint salad
3 stars
uninspired, but always refreshing
I like to use a small watermelon for this salad. I also like to cut it into brunoise, but that isn't necessary. Just make sure that your watermelon pieces match the size of your feta pieces. This is really a taste and add type of recipe. I used 1/2 watermelon to 4 oz of feta and about 6 mint leaves-chiffonade. I let that sit together, then take drain off some of the watermelon juice. I then make a dressing of rice wine vinegar and olive oil...taste to see what you like, but I like to use 2 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. I also use a lightly flavored olive oil on this. You can substitute any unflavored oil you like. Mix in the dressing, use a light hand and be careful not to break up the cheese. Chill and serve.

puy lentil salad 3 1/2 stars
i love it, it's my favorite--simple and clean flavors
Take about 3 cups cooked puy lentils...trader joe's sells them already cooked. Plop into a bowl and add 1 carrot-finely chopped, 1/4 red onion-finely chopped, 1 red pepper--finely chopped, microplaned zest of 1 orange, juice of 1/2 orange, salt pepper, oil, vinegar and 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of ground cumin. Stir, chill and eat. It is also good warmed as a bed for roasted halibut or any fish for that matter. Or bulk with some butter lettuce and serve with a bit of chicken as a nice salad.
KFC Mashed Potatoes 0 stars husband loves em. So i picked them up specially for him, but only him
fallen chocolate souffle cake w/fresh whipped cream and spice poached pears 4 1/2 stars
4 ingredients never tasted this good. it's ugly but oh so silky and delicious.

homemade caramels
favorite shortbread cookies w/honey almond glaze
okay i am bored with the scoring system...i'm done


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