I'm one of those nosey, morbid people that always reads the obituary section of any paper. So while browsing through the NY times on line today,I noticed two obits with a American Culinary angle. Two people passed this week that either reflected or influenced the way most Americans ate for a period. I wouldn't say they are household names,but very significant. Both were near in age and attitude towards food. Peg Bracken wrote a book I never heard of, but seemed to be a sentiment of many woman called I Hate To Cook. Seems Peg was a modern woman and go getter in the advertising world who hated the expectation of domesticity. Ironically she wrote a tongue in cheek cook book for those who were like her. Kind of like the Sandra Lee (Semi Homemade) or Rachel Ray (30 Minute Meals)of her day. Love them or hate them,they make a impact. She's the total antithesis of today's trends. The other departed was man named Vincent De Domenico, the creator of Rice-A-Roni. Most Americans have had this leading processed convenient food at one time or another. It was interesting to read about his influence and activities in Napa as well. Peg and Vincent were quite in sync.
Well I love to cook, but don't always have the time as I work a full time job and two part time.As well as take a class.I'm not adverse to leftover and convenience. Reading many blogs , I have discovered many things I want to try.Above are some my adventures this week. I give full credit to Deborah at Taste and Tell for inspiring me to make a risotto( but I added butternut squash puree purchased from Williams and Sonoma) and Rosa at rosas-yummy-yums for making a pumpkin challah( of which I didn't take a photo, topped with Pepita's, and devoured). They both turned out excellent and I served it alongside my improvised Coq Au Vin for dinner last night. Certain Someone and I gobbled it up.I then took the leftover risotto , rolled it in some leftover panko /pecan breading, and made fried rice balls.So good!See convenience, inspiration, and creativity.
Courtney's Coq au Vin
sweet onions( I used a variety called Candy Onions)
Herbs de Provence
1/2 bottle of red wine or more depending on amount of chicken( I used a cheap Merlot hanging around)
*I didn't have mushroom, but they are a traditional component
Cut up bacon and brown in a heavy duty casserole. Drain most fat and add chopped onion, and spices, and herbs. Add chicken and brown the skin on all sides. The bottom of the pan should start to caramelize. De glaze with red wine. Add chicken stock and cover to simmer, stirring occasionally. This dish takes approx 45- 1 hour depending on cuts and amounts of the chicken. Cook till tender. I like to do this in a slow cooker as well. The chicken will fall of the bone.