Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Playing Catch Up

Oh, woe is me. I'm not doing very well at keeping up with my resolution. I am not having much success with the food photography. I need a better camera, although Josh seems to disagree with me. We'll have to get a better camera eventually cause I want to be able to take real pictures on all the vacations I keep planning. That is assuming we will ever actually get to go on them. I digress. One of the biggest issues, I think, with my food pictures is that everything I seem to read says one of the keys to great food pics is natural light. And by the time I have dinner done the sun is far away. And while dinner by moonlight is romantic, it doesn't create the best pictures. Oh well, hopefully as winter turns to spring and summer I will have more opportunities to catch my food basking in the warm glow of the evening sun. Anyway, last week, after the great Red Beans & Rice on Monday I made:

Parmesan Pork Chops w/ Roasted Zucchini & Thyme
Salmon Burgers
Penne with Zucchini & Feta

Most things came out great. The pork chops had issues, mainly because I used pork chops instead of the pork tenderloin cutlets the recipe called for. I happened to have some very thin pork chops in the freezer, so that's what I used. They have more fat than a pork cutlet would, and I think the fat prevented the breading from sticking too well. Also, I probably could have used more flour. It tasted good, but the breading would just sort of release while you were cutting your chop. I'll try the recipe once more with the proper ingredients before I write it off.

The salmon burgers were delicious as always. I enjoyed the one I had for dinner, and the one I had for lunch the next day.

The Penne with Zucchini & Feta is a prime example of how easily I can create food biases. While making it I was a bit iffy. Especially when I measured out the vegetable broth I needed. That stuff smelled absolutely horrible to me! But I dredged on through the recipe. As I was getting the last of the ingredients in it started to smell pretty good, aside from the vegetable broth I could still detect. When I sat down at the table to eat I was nervous. I had my first bite and thought, "Hey, this isn't totally vomit-inducing." By the time I had reached the bottom of my bowl I was quite pleased with what I had just inhaled. It reminds me of another pasta dish w/ lemon & feta that first time around I didn't think I liked that much. Lo and behold just a month or so down the line I found myself craving it, as did Josh. It's always nice when I can tell my tastebuds are growing. Anyway, I got the recipe from Poco-Cocoa who recently just called a time-out on her blog, which is a damn shame, it was one of my favorites. And she got the recipe from Cooking Light magazine. So, here is the recipe, and if you want to see a pic of it, I suggest you click here because my pics were pretty crap.

Penne with Zucchini and Feta

8 ounces uncooked penne
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise an sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2/3 cup (about 2 1/2 ounces) crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oregano, zucchini, and garlic; saute 3 minutes. Stir in broth, rind, juice, and pepper. Add drained pasta and cheese; toss well.

Makes 4 servings.

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