It’s been two and half years since we started this here blog. In that time I’ve posted nearly 300 recipes. Some good, some great, but what about the so-so dishes? The dishes that are perfectly satisfying and edible, but don’t necessarily make you say, “Wow.” I feel as if every post I write has to be something special, something I know you all would enjoy eating as much as we did, and so these mediocre meals often times fall by the wayside.
In recent months I’ve realized just how much this blog affects our eating habits. This blog has become my virtual cookbook, my food diary, where we can revisit our past through our palettes (can you remember what you ate last Wednesday? I sure can’t.) I can re-read whatever coy comments I wrote about such and such a pasta, what suggestions Taylor had for improving the hum-drum flavor of that fish. I can remember, relive, and reprint these recipes again and again and again.
And I’ve also realized that if a recipe is not posted here, for whatever reason, that recipe might as well have fallen off the face of this earth, because no way is it ever going to be made again. Why? Well, laziness, usually. The light is not good, or I’m too hungry, or we’ve just been cooking too darn long and I don’t want to take a picture. “It’s ok,” we say, “We’ll make this again next week and I’ll photograph it then.” Yeah. Right.
We have a fairly predictable eating pattern. We’ll usually try 3-4 brand new recipes a week, sometimes more if I happen upon a wealth of new deliciousness on the world wide web. I then fill the rest of the week with things we’ve already made before, usually browsing the ‘quick’ or ‘healthy’ recipes that I’ve categorized. But never do I flip back through the three-inch-high stack of paper that sit in the kitchen, our recipe ‘inbox’ for lack of a better word. It’s where the printed pages of recipes go after dinner, complete with grease stains and smeared sauces. To be honest, it’s out of control. I need to reign it in and get it manageable again, and maybe there won’t be any more forgotten recipes.
It is also for that reason that I’m making an effort to post it all. Even the mediocre recipes. Because I want to remember these dishes, even if it’s just for the things we’d change about it next time. Because I want there to be a next time. And my memory sucks.
On to the food!
Give me pasta. Give me goat cheese. Throw in some cherry tomatoes. And you know what? I’ll be happy. Even better if you get a nice rotisserie chicken on sale to add to the mix. All on a bed of fresh baby spinach, and I’d say you have yourself a pretty darn good dinner.
Farfalle with Chicken, Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions, and Goat Cheese
Makes 4-6 servings. Recipe from Epicurious.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large red onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
8 ounces farfalle
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
6 heirloom tomatoes, cored, chopped (about 5 cups)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (from 1/2 rotisserie chicken)
1/2 cup thinly sliced basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram
3 cups baby spinach
3 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over mediumhigh heat. Add onions; sprinkle with salt and cook until beginning to brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in vinegar and sugar; cook until onions are browned, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Transfer caramelized onions to bowl; reserve skillet.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain.
Add wine to reserved skillet. Boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, 3 minutes. Add pasta, onions, broth, and next 4 ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Stir over medium heat to warm through, about 3 minutes.
Divide spinach among plates. Spoon pasta over spinach. Top with crumbled goat cheese.