Thursday, April 4, 2013


I have two not-very-exciting recipes to report on.

Chicken and Black Bean Chili (pg 185) was not much different then the other chili recipe I cooked from the WW New Complete Cookbook. Especially because I had to sub ground beef for the ground chicken. Ground poultry doesn't seem to be available at the local supermarkets or commissary. I'm guessing I could ask a butcher to grind chicken, but that sounds like a lot of work for what would just end up being unremarkable old ground chicken. So I made this chili with beef.
Not a lot to say about it. It was fine. I think I prefer kidney beans in my chili. The black beans are so small that they blend into the background. The bean to tomato to beef ratio was unsatisfying.

Conclusion: Okay. Same spices and tomato base as the other chili. Really, I just made this because I had all the ingredients on-hand.

Last night, I made Pasta with Broccoli and Goat Cheese (pg 245), which is the recipe pictured on the book cover. You know what annoys me? When pictures in cookbooks show ingredients that aren't in the recipe. Unless those are supposed to be giant honkin' strips of lemon zest, the picture in the book clearly shows strips of yellow pepper in the pasta. Not that it actually matters, but peppers are not part of the recipe. It feels like inaccurate advertising.

Anyway. This dish came together really easily. I like that the broccoli is sauteed in oil, rather than boiled. It produced some brown, nutty-tasting edges. However, five minutes was not nearly enough time to cook three cups of broccoli until tender without burning the garlic. Maybe I didn't cut my florets small enough, but after the five minutes, I tossed a bit of water into the pan and let them finish cooking that way. Not a big problem, but it wasn't working as-written. Once the broccoli finishes cooking, you toss it and the pasta together with salt, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, reserved pasta water, and goat cheese. The goat cheese melts and coats the pasta.

One complaint. I attempted to measure out the serving according to the 1.5 cups stipulated in the book. Difficult to do. The pasta stuck together because of the goat cheese, and the broccoli hadn't mixed in well and was all on the bottom of the bowl, so my 1 cup was mostly a giant, tangled glob of pasta. Instead of adding another half cup, I picked a heap of broccoli out of the bowl and piled it on top. I suspect this would impact someone's points.

Conclusion: Liked it, though it quickly turned into a solid block. Charlie ate most of his pasta. I'd make this again.

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