Friday, August 14, 2009

Use whatcha got!

Allo! I hope everyone had a fantastic Friday! I sure did :) Jamie dropped me off at the metro after my early morning meeting out in Virginia and I decided I'd kill some time at the mall (the shopping kind) since I didn't have to work until 5:30. It's been AGES since I've been to the mall. I usually avoid it at all costs because I don't have the patience for the hoards of people. Luckily it's not too bad around 11am :)

I found these super comfy pants at Banana Republic that fit perfectly, but I passed on getting them since I don't really have the patience to wait for them to get hemmed. Plus, I wasn't too sure about the pockets. Not really my thing. What do you think?
Wow, those look like they have a crazy high waist...which they don't in real life. They definitely hit my hip. Super lightweight. We'll see.

After wandering around a bit, I caved and stopped at Noodles & Company for lunch. I made a really rushed decision and wasn't exactly thrilled with it :\ I decided on the
Trio (a small noodle dish with my choice of protein and a choice of side salad) with Pesto Cavatappi (fresh basil and garlic pesto sauce tossed with a touch of cream, parmesan and olive oil with curly cavatappi noodles), Grilled Chicken and a Side Garden Salad.
Sorry...didn't have the camera on me so I had to use the berry! Anyway, it was a good size serving - just enough food (the plate was more like a salad plate), but the flavor was blah. The chicken was surprisingly good...I expected the weird textured chicken that you sometimes get at places like this, but no. It was a legitimate grilled chicken boob! Hurrah!

I definitely waited too long to eat because after a couple bites, my stomach started feeling super bloated and not fun. This is why I must eat every hour or so...I HATE this feeling. I'm hungry and it hurts to eat. UGH. Since I knew I had to eat something, I decided to take it slow. Super slow. Pulled out Eat, Pray, Love and took my sweet time.

On the metro ride home, I started thinking about dinner options. Since a few of you suggested I pull something together with what we had in the kitchen, I figured I'd make something centered around the two chicken thighs we had defrosting in the fridge. I also knew that Jamie wanted to make this Mark Bittman recipe for Warm Lentils with Bacon. What to do with chicken thighs?
WELL, Mel suggested I make something with peaches or some other in-season fruit. Ah HA!

I started thinking about maybe a tangy, peachy, barbecue-y sauce to pour over some shredded chicken thighs (because I'm not a big fan of eating it off the bone) and then it somehow spawned the idea of a spiced/brandied fruit sauce. I don't know. Anyway, on the way home I ended up buying a random flask of brandy at the liquor store (and definitely got a look from the woman at the register since it was like 1pm) and a couple peaches, plums and a pluot from the Giant.

As soon as I got home, I threw some water, salt, peppercorns, whole garlic cloves, white wine vinegar and Adobo seasoning into a pot, brought it to a boil and dumped the chicken thighs in to cook for about an hour. Jamie took care of the shredding while I was at work :)

It didn't occur to me until my walk home from work that I had no idea what I was going to do with the ingredients I bought. I don't play with sweet things. So I googled just to make sure I wasn't totally insane for considering the combination of brandy, plums and peaches. Thankfully, I'm totally sane ;)

Spiced Stone Fruit Sauce
1 ripe peach, diced
1 small plum, diced
2 1/2 tbsp brandy
5 cloves
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
sprinkle allspice
1/4 c water

Combine all ingredients in a pan and cook on medium heat until fruit becomes soft and sauce thickens.
I also toyed with the idea of throwing a bit of onion in there for a savory/sweet combination, but we didn't have any onions. Sad. I think the experiment turned out pretty well. Though, I can't believe I bought this flask of brandy
for barely a shot. What am I supposed to do with the rest of it? Who really drinks brandy???

It went okay with the chicken...
Though, I think the chicken needed a barbecue-y sauce...but that's just me ;)

While I was making the sauce, Jamie was working on the lentil recipe from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything (aka Jamie's kitchen bible)
Warm Lentils with Bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 lb bacon, diced
1 medium onion, chopped (we didn't have any)
1 carrot, peeled & diced
1 tsp minced garlic
3-4 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock
2 cups lentils
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dry
1 tsp red wine vinegar

Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan and cook the bacon until brown. Remove the bacon and set aside. In the fat, brown the onion and carrot about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute or so. Add most of the liquid, leaving approximately a cup aside for later. Bring to a boil, then add in the lentils, salt and pepper, bay leaf, and thyme. Cover partially and cook over medium-low heat approximately 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender. If the mixture becomes too dry, add some of the reserved liquid. Once the lentils are soft, you can raise the heat to cook off the remaining liquid. Stir in the vinegar. This really helps to brighten the taste. Remove the bay leaf. Add in the cooked bacon, stir, and serve.

We also threw in some grape tomato stragglers from last Sunday's Farmers Market and a handful of arugula since it was in the fridge.

Here's the lentils in all their glory:

And here they are playing nice with the chicken:Man, Jamie's getting really good at this cooking thing ;)

Ok, I'm off to bed...early early morning 15 miler and I've got my fingers crossed that my hip/butt/back cooperates! I'm also hoping to squeeze a Sunday trip to Eastern Market in this weekend. Anyone have suggestions for must-see vendors??


Anonymous said...

Wow that dinner looks GOOD! You really scraped through well indeed!
And I think you will look hot in anything, but I like the looks of that pants...very classy!

Oh and I have an award for you at my blog! :D

p.s. LOVE your new header!

NY Wolve said...

I love lentils. And I love Bittman's lentils too. Yours look great. Alton Brown also has a couple of good recipes for lentils, fyi.

Mia {runs and rests} said...

The new header looks great! :D
Love peaches and that sauce sounds wonderful.

Rosey Rebecca said...

Everything looks awesome!! Pretty good for throwing everything together last minute!

Rebeca @All Vegged Out said...

That actually sounds like a killer combo... you could always take a flask on your runs... lol

Anonymous said...

ha I would have no idea what to do with Brandy either!! always cook with alcohol you like! aka, white wine. ;)

hope you had a good Run!