Wednesday, February 25, 2009

a really satisfying sandwich

This delicious baguette was inspired by one of the many consumed on our trip to Paris.  Today is Ash Wednesday, which for us is a day of partial fasting and abstaining from meat (apart from the spiritual significance, of course).  This sandwich was the perfect end to my day - so simple, and so delicious.   You don't want to miss out on this one.

Here's what you need.
1 fresh baguette
3 hard boiled eggs
1 medium tomato
12-15 thin slices of cucumber
3 green leaf lettuce leaves
3 oz sliced provolone
3 tablespoons hummus 
salt and pepper to taste

Slice the baguette lengthwise.  You can hollow it out a bit to make room for the fillings, if you want.
Spread both sides with hummus (you can also use mayo - that's what we had in France. Hummus gave it great flavor, though - and it is much better for you).
Layer cheese, cucumber, and tomato.
Thinly slice eggs with a sharp knife.  Layer on top of the tomatoes.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and top with the other half of your baguette.
Slice into quarters and enjoy!


Monday, February 23, 2009

jet lagged

I just returned from ten fantastic days in London and Paris.  It was a last minute trip that we couldn't resist when we saw the price of tickets ($350 roundtrip!).  

So here I am, up at 3am, keeping my fingers crossed that toddler jet lag soon subsides and we can go back to sleeping through the night.  Oh, that will be a sweet day indeed.

It was a great trip; we basically ate our way through Paris.  The french know how to cook - crepes, croissants, baguettes, 350 kinds of cheese, soup, stews, salads, sandwiches... I didn't want to leave. And the best part?  We walked miles and miles every day, so all guilt was erased.

And I am feeling inspired.  The food was so simple and satisfying, I am going to try to recreate some of our favorites... and if it's good, I'll be sure to share.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

chicken with a whole lotta garlic

When I bought a new crock pot this year, I flipped through the little cookbook that came with it.  Included was "Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic". I was intrigued and filed it away for a later date.

Last week, I did it.  Well, kind of.  I figured two heads of garlic was enough, so that's what I used. Let me tell you, it was good.  Really, really good. And not overwhelmingly garlicky, either. The garlic made it almost sweet, and because you leave them unpeeled, they are perfect for spreading on warm, crusty bread when dinner rolls around.

So, here it is:
Chicken with 26 Cloves of Garlic
1 4.5-5 lb whole chicken, giblets removed
26 cloves of garlic (or two large heads), unpeeled
1 large lemon, cut into thirds
(or whatever combo of spices you prefer)
4 stalks of celery, washed and trimmed
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped
salt and pepper

Wash chicken and pat dry.
Spray crock pot with cooking spray. Line with celery and some of the onion, like this:

Sprinkle inside of chicken with salt and pepper. Stuff with lemon and remaining onion.
Place the chicken on top of the celery and sprinkle generously with spices and some salt and pepper. Place garlic all around chicken. It should look something like this:

Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours.  Mine was done after 5 and basically fell apart upon removal from the pot.  It was so tender and so juicy and was absolutely delicious.  Even if it didn't look perfect.

* to reduce fat intake, we don't eat the skin.  And really, it's not that appealing when it's been in a crock pot.  Just slice your chicken up, and it'll come right off.