I've made a few dishes from The Family Meal over the past few days. I wish I'd made more, but grouper and swiss chard from the farmers market looked too good to pass up over the weekend. They derailed the things I'd planned to cook from this book. Tell me, is there a more beautiful vegetable than swiss chard? I can't resist their rainbow stems. I don't even care what it tastes like. I must buy them. The farmer said that the stems can be sliced up and used like celery. Anybody ever try that? I've always ripped the leaves off and thrown the pretty stems away, because I didn't know how to use them. I digress...
First up: Roasted Chicken (pg 282). Technically, this was supposed to be "Roasted Chicken with Potato Straws," which sounded mighty impressive, until I read through the recipe and saw that it calls for a bag of store-bought, chip-aisle potato straws to be dumped alongside the chicken. Puh-lease. Potato straws: omitted.
Conclusion: Loved it. Nothing better than a good roast chicken.
Instead of the lame potato sticks, I made Cauliflower with Bechamel (pg 260). I burned my roux on the first try, but it was easy enough to start over. I may have overcooked my sauce. It was thick, like a paste. In the book's picture, it pours. This didn't pour. Tasted good, though. I dolloped it onto the cauliflower, sprinkled it with parmesan, and broiled it until the top browned a bit. The hint of nutmeg in the sauce was nice with the salty parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. I was sure Charlie would like this, but he refused to try it. Maybe next time.
Lastly, I made Baked Apples (pg 106) one night, for an easy, hands-off dessert. Butter, sherry, honey, and cinnamon go into/on the cored apple, then it bakes for an hour.