Recipe 1 – Coq Au Vin

This year, I want to try cooking a bunch of new recipes and blogging about them, partially in an effort to cook more and challenge myself, and partially to get myself to blog more regularly. Last year, one of my new year’s resolutions was to learn to cook Coq au Vin. I thought I had gotten a french oven for Christmas (later learned, when my roommate shattered it, that I had stoneware…now I do in fact have a french oven) and wanted to use it. It never happened. I kept putting it off because it would be expensive to get the ingredients and it would make so much. I finally said fuck it and made it last night.

I used this recipe from the Le Creuset website: http://www.lecreuset.com/coq-au-vin. It took me about 3.5 hours to do, partially because browning the chicken took a while. I used two packs of chicken thighs (with skin and bones) and one pack of drumsticks instead of whole butchered chickens. I served over mashed potatoes with a bottle of red wine and fancy salad.

Overall, it was a huge success! I learned that to brown chicken, I’m better off using a skillet rather than the dutch oven. I also learned that when flambéing brandy, I should not have the pot near my cabinets. I avoided a fire, but it was close for a second. The recipe made enough for 10 servings. I’m super duper proud of myself :).

Flambeing with brandy.

Flambeing with brandy.

Finished product, prior to serving.

Finished product, prior to serving.

Finished plated product: Coq au Vin with Mashed Potatoes.

Finished plated product: Coq au Vin with Mashed Potatoes.

Other recipes I’d like to try this year, among those in cookbooks I own:

Thinking About Food

(Sorry for treating my blog like a tumblr…)

Awesome motivating post about food choices: Summer: The Vegan Adventure.

I hate rules, especially when it comes to food. Because your meal should never make you feel like a failure.”

“It’s remembering that seasonal eating & time to cook isn’t a sacrifice.”

Personally, this is why I’ve been getting such a great thrill from grilling and cooking so much lately. Cooking whole, unprocessed foods makes me proud of my choices. I’m supporting farms, I’m pushing myself to develop better skills and habits, and I’m spending time with awesome friends. It’s a great way to kick off summer!

Recent masterpieces on the grill: Grilled bratwursts and asparagus, grilled peaches with pound cake and whipped cream, grilled balsamic chicken, peppers, and squash with israeli couscous, grilled asian shrimp with rice and grilled onions and peppers, grilled old bay and barbeque wings with grilled green beans, bananas foster (from a grilling recipe but modified to a skillet when it rained). Coming up in the future: burgers, salmon, ribs, steaks, bbq pork, pineapple…so many things!

And the farmer’s market opened today – yay! Only thing that’d be better would be if I had the place for an herb garden.

Good Eats: Unexplored Horizons

Clearly, trying all of these would be really expensive and fattening, but these are the ones on my list. Suggestions are welcome.

Fixed Price:

  • Rogue 24
  • Komi
  • CityZen
  • Sushi Taro
  • Minibar (would need extra convincing/money)

Best of/Fancy:

  • Rasika
  • Zaytina
  • Old Ebbitt Grill
  • Proof
  • Fiola
  • Vidalia
  • Etete
  • Graffiato

New/Fad:

  • DGS Delicatessen
  • Toki Underground (or other ramen place)

DC Staples:

  • Dairy Godmother
  • Cowgirl Creamery
  • Granville Moore
  • 2 Amys
  • Ben’s Chili Bowl
  • Pizza Paradiso
  • ThaiThanic
  • Amsterdam Falafel
  • Julia’s Empanadas

Recommended by Friends/Other:

  • Great Wall (Logan Circle)
  • Lincoln
  • Rosa Mexicano
  • Oyamel
  • Pho 75 or Pho Royal
  • Ravi Kabob House
  • Masala Art
  • Chez Francois
  • Italian Store
  • Glendale Farms

Burgers:

  • Ray’s Hell Burger
  • Thunder Burger
  • Shake Shack

Bars:

  • Churchkey
  • World of Beer
  • Speakeasies: The Gibson, PX, Harold Black
  • Boundary Stone
  • Cork
  • Veritas
  • Vinoteca
  • 18th Street Lounge

Brunch:

  • Black Salt
  • Tabard Inn Restaurant
  • Busboys and Poets
  • Ted’s Bulletin
  • Market Lunch
  • Kafe Leopold
  • Carlyle
  • Belga Cafe
  • Rustico
  • Virtue Feed and Grain
  • Lyon Hall
  • Montmartre
  • Chadwicks