Currently cooking from The Best Simple Recipes from America’s Test Kitchen
Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve made a number of recipes out of this book. I’ve been too lazy to hold up dinner to take pictures, so I’ve been reluctant to talk about those dishes. Instead, I thought I’d do a wrap-up post, starting with the one dish I did manage to take a picture of:
Mediterranean Tuna Melts!
Normally, I don’t like tuna. All that fishy taste and fishy-smelling breath and gloopy mayo. But I liked these sandwiches. Water-packed tuna is mixed with mayo, lemon juice, red onion and artichoke hearts and piled onto toasted bread. The tuna mixture is topped with tomatoes and slices of provolone cheese and then broiled until the cheese is bubbly and melty. Melty cheese makes everything taste better.
Polenta with Mushroom Sauce
Polenta is not a fixture in our kitchen. I tried it, once, and found it to be bland in the extreme. But in this dish, browned and served with a creamy mushroom sauce, well, the polenta was still pretty bland. Fortunately, the mushroom sauce was full of flavor thanks to sherry, onions, rosemary and garlic. The recipe takes tubes of prepared polenta, slices them into rounds and cooks the rounds in a skillet until a brown crust forms. I liked the textural difference between the crusty outside of the polenta and the creamy insides. This isn’t my favorite dish by far, but it was warm and filling.
Sausage and Tortellini Soup with Spinach
This broth-based pasta soup was Bryan’s pick for Sunday supper several weeks ago, and he did a great job with this recipe. It was a nice change of pace for me to come home to find supper on the table. The soup starts out by browning sausage (we used hot Italian sausage), onions and garlic. Chicken broth and fresh cheese tortellinis are added to the pot and simmered until the pasta is tender. Right before serving, baby spinach is stirred in and cooked just until wilted. This, along with some homemade bread, made a nice, light supper.
Skillet Chicken Tetrazzini
This was another of Bryan’s Sunday suppers. Using a store-bought rotisserie chicken, Bryan had this casserole-type dish on the table in less than an hour (and most of that time was spent chopping mushrooms and onions and shredding chicken meat). The dish starts off by cooking onions and mushrooms in butter until browned. Egg noodles are then cooked in the same skillet in a mixture of chicken broth and half-and-half until tender. Finally, the chicken, lemon juice, frozen peas and a bit of thyme are added to the skillet, and the whole dish simmers until the chicken and peas are warmed through. Unlike traditional tetrazzinis that use a cheese sauce, this casserole was right, but light. And it was done on the stovetop with one dish. We happily ate leftovers for several days.