Tuesday, April 15, 2008

arroz con pollo

Edited to add: Those green olives that the arroz con pollo recipe calls for? Totally figured it out. I think. After eating this for lunch four days in a row, the rice and meat get ultra rich. It's still good, but rich. So the green olives help to break up the richness so that it's not quite so overpowering. Shazam. I guess those folks at epicurious.com know what they're doing after all.

Tough day today.

Quarters jammed in the laundry machine which lead to an argument with the property management office guy who answers their phones (his name is Ed. He's rather special. I call him Special Ed. Not to his face, um on the phone, I mean.) about when the quarters would be emptied from the machine. I'd already called and asked about the jammed quarters yesterday and I am running out of underpants. Do not mess with me Special Ed.

Then I spilled coffee on my keyboard (I'm writing this from M's laptop. Which is a glorified word processor. So I can't get any work done on my computer. Which is where all my files and graphic design programs are stored.). I went at it with a Q-tip and hairdryer on the cool setting. I think it's going well. At least when I hit the disk drive eject button now it doesn't ask me if I really want to shut down.

Anyone know how long it takes for a keyboard to dry out?

The good news is that I don't take my coffee with sugar and I didn't spill that much on it, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. If it's still no go tomorrow, I will find myself at the apple store purchasing a new keyboard.

Then I decided that what I really wanted to do more than anything else is to make some Indian rice pudding. Hm. I think I may have wasted 5 1/2 cups of milk. That recipe is a little wonky. Cookers beware. As I was not. Seriously 5 1/2 cups of milk to 1/3 cup of basmati rice?? What the hell was I thinking? I even read the reviews and one of the reviewers pointed that discrepancy out. Though little good that did me.

Let's just move on to other things. Like arroz con pollo.

There's this really good cook in my neighborhood. I think it's a she. And I think she lives in the building next door to mine. At around 4:30pm or so every night, there are these amazing smells that waft through the air. For the most part they smell like some incredible Chinese banquet or a really good Japanese restaurant, today it smelled a little like some marvelous chutney. It always smells good. And when I used to come home from work ready to get my meals started, I'd feel a little competitive let-down thinking that awesome food smells don't come out of my apartment nearly as often. M would sometimes wistfully agree.

Since I've been home I've been cooking more. And the other night just home from work, totally unsolicited, M says: whenever I walk up the stairs to our place it always smells incredible.

Take THAT good-food-smelling-neighborhood-cooker!

I made this for dinner last night but forgot to take a photo of it then. So I had it again for lunch today and snapped a pic for your viewing pleasure. Still tasted mighty fine, but I think it looked better last night when it was right out of the pot. I've bookmarked this dish for a company dinner. That's kind of a southern thing to say. You know, when you have company over for dinner. Do yanks say that?

Anyways, it's nice cause you can do all the prep ahead of time and then time it so that it's sitting cooking as your guests arrive and have drinks. Then a few minutes later it's ready to serve. Tasty as all get out and can stand alone as a one pot meal. Though of course we do like to have extra veggies M and I.

So I created something that I am calling greens n' beans. The greens being some chopped up kale cooked the way I usually cook my greens (with chopped up onions and garlic, in a little bacon grease if you have it or olive oil is okay too, sheesh, splash of apple cider vinegar plus salt and pepper) then I threw in a can of black beans liquids and all and let the kale finish cooking with the lid on.

I used this recipe for the arroz con pollo which I thought was quite good. I followed it pretty faithfully with the exception of the pimientos and probably a few less olives than what the recipe called for. Not so sure about those olives. They just don't seem to add anything to the dish. And I can't imagine that the pimientos would do much for it either other than add a splash of color. I might just dice up some carrots and throw that in towards the end instead. Though I don't believe that this dish is lacking for visual interest.

Eating this last night made me think of andres. Pepito, I distinctly remember you lamenting one night in Bordeaux that you had this crazy craving for arroz con pollo and you looked at me like I was crazy when I suggested we try making it. Because you declared that oh no, it's much too hard jeanjeanah. Ahhh, I miss those days. And pepito? It wasn't that hard. Or just come over and I'll make some for you.

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