Tag Archives: The Recipe Critic

2019 Cookery Project — Shrimp Creole

Shrimp Creole

Shrimp Creole

Still under the influence of my recent stay in Charleston, I craved* another taste of Southern cooking. Some spicy New Orleans-style Shrimp Creole seemed like a good idea.

The Recipe Critic gave me the instructions I needed for a fast and easy meal, in which the most time-consuming step was peeling the pound of previously deveined shrimp.

The result was good, and, more importantly, it tasted like something I’d find in a Louisiana restaurant.  Authentically Creole. This made me inordinately happy, and a bit proud. I’d created a dish using a flavour profile that was outside of my familiar safety zone, and it had turned out well, which is one of the core reasons that the whole Cookery Project exists.


Rating

★ Disaster. Inedible. Poisoned the cat.
★★ OK, but once is enough.
★★★ Mixed results. Something went wrong, but might try this again.
★★★★ Good, but lacks that special something.
★★★★★ Excellent. Goes into my “This is a winner” file.


*Note my use of the word “craved”. It’s rarely heard outside the South, where it usually expresses a longing or desire for something to eat, as in “I crave a nice big bucket of Popeye’s Spicy White. And a diet Coke.”

2018 Cookery Project — Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken

Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken

Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken

The description of this Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken, from a website called The Recipe Critic, says, “This meal tastes like it is straight from a restaurant.  I couldn’t even get over how amazing the creamy sauce was!  It has such a delicious creamy garlic taste with spinach and sun dried tomatoes.”

All of which is totally accurate. It was like something I’d be happy to find on the menu of a good restaurant, and after tasting it, I’d make a note to order it again next time I visited.

The chicken was boneless, skinless breast, sliced and then cooked in batches in a skillet. When it was done, I moved the chicken to a plate, deglazed the pan, and added heavy cream, chicken broth, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, chopped spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes.

While the sauce was thickening, I cooked the pasta, which turned out to be the killer secret ingredient. On a whim, I’d picked up a small package of Pasta Valente’s Garlic Parsley Fettuccine at Giant. I hadn’t heard of it before I bought it, but I now think it’s the best packaged pasta I’ve ever eaten.

The chicken went back into the skillet to reheat, and a few minutes later, it was ready to serve.


Rating

★ Disaster. Inedible. Poisoned the cat.
★★ OK, but once is enough.
★★★ Mixed results. Something went wrong, but might try this again.
★★★★ Good, but lacks that special something.
★★★★★ Excellent. Goes into my “This is a winner” file.

2018 Cookery Project — Parmesan Chicken with Mushroom Rice

Parmesan Chicken with Mushroom Rice

Parmesan Chicken with Mushroom Rice

Late summer this year was not a good time to be me. What at first seemed like a minor medical issue turned out to be both more serious and much more expensive than I was prepared for. That double whammy depressed me to the point where I wasn’t much good for anything more challenging than lying in bed, eating Dark Chocolate Klondike Bars, and watching British “cozy” mysteries on Acorn and Britbox. (If you want to know anything—anything—about Miss Marple or Father Brown, Miss Fisher or M. Poirot, or the innumerable homicidal residents of Midsomer county, I’m your guy.)

I let a lot of things lapse, including this blog.

But now I’m back in action, and caught up with my Summer Restaurant Week adventures—a mere two months after they took place—so it’s time to start updating the 2018 Cookery Project. First off: Parmesan Chicken with Mushroom Rice.

I stumbled across this recipe on a website called The Recipe Critic. It looked delectable, the instructions consisted of only three steps, and the whole meal could be made in a single skillet. The neat time-and-effort saver was that the uncooked rice was added to the same pot as the chicken and mushrooms, instead of being made separately. Once the rice was done, I only had to add heavy cream and parmesan cheese to finish the dish.


Rating

★ Disaster. Inedible. Poisoned the cat.
★★ OK, but once is enough.
★★★ Mixed results. Something went wrong, but might try this again.
★★★★ Good, but lacks that special something.
★★★★★ Excellent. Goes into my “This is a winner” file.


*Midsomer has the third highest homicide rate per capita in the world, exceeded only by Chicago, Illinois, and Cabot Cove, Maine.