Monday, September 10, 2007

Plantation Chicken and Shrimp Pilau

Now that I am fully suburban, I dug up James Villas' Crazy for Casseroles to embrace my middle class heritage. Our inaugural meal in our newly applianced kitchen was a roast chicken, naturally, but the next night I used the leftover roast chicken in a chicken and shrimp pilau, which was kind of like a jambalaya, with a bacon-lemon-worcestershire base. Regardless, it was really good. You can't go wrong with bacon and chicken and shrimp, but the rice was nicely seasoned and the tomato and pimento were excellent additions.

The next night I tapped Villas again for a California scalloped potatoes- potatoes scalloped with goat cheese and jack cheese and green chilies. It was phenomenal, even without local cheese from the Hollywood Farmer's market but with what Trader Joe's carried instead. (My guess is, except for the fanciest of cheese plates, what TJ's carries will be fine in terms of taste. It's the supporting local farmers I'll miss- there is a Farmer's Market here though in the middle of the week, and next week I will try to get my menu coordinated to shop it.) The potatoes accompanied crockpot barbeque brisket, rolls, and TJ's frozen balsamic buttered vegetables for my mother-in-law's birthday meal. We topped it off with a cake- a chocolate number with whipped cream filling and chocolate frosting, from a book, Southern Cakes, which I had seen reviewed in the LA Times and clipped the recipe from. I have a long, long way to go before I make a cake anyone will want to look at, but in terms of eating, it was gorgeous. A good cake is trickier than you would think, but if all the cakes in that book are as good it'd be well worth getting, I am thinking.

In other news, I am adjusting to electric appliances. The electric range seems to boil water way faster, but I have a hard time not "seeing" how hot things are. The oven seems just fine, though.