A few weeks ago a popular food blogger that I also enjoy reading discussed how blogs have the best recipes, and that newspaper recipes didn’t excite him. While I agree that blogs offer a personal insight that newspaper style doesn’t allow for, I certainly do not hesitate to try a newspaper recipe that excites me.
But not all of them do.
Take my roommate’s mother, for example, who spent this beautiful, leisurely Sunday morning combing her newspaper, and got the urge to try a dinner menu she found for Greek chicken and watermelon salad. Not apt to fry an otherwise healthy chicken breast, this amateur chef used the flavors in the friend chicken recipe to make a marinade for boneless, skinless chicken breasts that we grilled (the other eater in my household acted as the grill master) at the end of the day – YUM! The mayonnaise-based sauce was delightful on the chicken, contradicting my previous aversion to olives and orange. Oh well.
The watermelon salad was fine (our hostess generously left out the strawberries because she know I don’t care for them), but it remained an odd blend of flavors and textures that I wouldn’t serve to a group of people, and one my roommate flat out didn’t like. I happily cleaned my plate, but no doggie bags, thanks for the offer.
My point is this: I admire this chef’s courage in turning a newspaper recipe into something more palatable, and I’m no worse for the wear in trying the watermelon salad. I’ll read the food section again and try to be as creative in my own kitchen someday.
The highlight of the meal, though, was a cold carrot dish our dinner group first fell in love with during a trip to Portugal in 2002. The Portuguese served finger bowls of these carrots on the table at every meal the same way we serve rolls, and they are just as refreshing as I remember. I took this recipe home with me in lieu of the leftover watermelon salad:
- 3 carrots, blanched and sliced into rounds
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 glass of red wine vinegar (not the most precise measurements, but it seems foolproof, right?)
Mix carrots with parley and garlic. Add vinegar. Let set for 3 hours before serving.