Right now, just about anything seems like a better idea that continuing to watch the Patriots' humiliation. So I figured I could distract myself by bringing you all up to date on this week's continued cold weather dining plan. Oh, I'm aware that it's supposed to be warmer this week, but it's really hard to think that way when every step outside is accompanied by shivering, cursing and a strong desire to be somewhere tropical. Much love and sympathy to those further North than I am and to those suffering in the Midwest. You are all much stronger people than me.
Shrimp and Artichoke Pasta - This dish is inspired by an appetizer at one of my favorite local restaurants that is absolute heaven. It's this gorgeous artichoke, just the delicate center leaves and the heart, surrounded by 3 scallops in a lemony butter sauce.
French Onion Soup - This beef stock free version is still hearty and savory. It will also help use up a few of those hamburger buns we bought for the portobello burgers last Friday. I'm making the stock I'll use for it right now in fact, but I do not believe that people should make their own stock unless they're ready to. Use store bought. I promise I won't think any less of you.
Aidell's Portobello Mushroom Sausage and Twice Baked Potatoes - My other main cheat (other than defrosting a dinner) is chicken or turkey sausage. Most brands are precooked, so you only need to make sure they're warm, you don't have to worry about whether or not they're done, which is great for novice chefs (Katie I'm talking to you here). I have no recipe for the potatoes yet, but I'll probably start with this Junior League recipe, cut back the butter, substitute in some sour cream and see what happens.
Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches - Continuing the trend of comfort food is the only sensible thing in the depths of winter. This has an added benefit for those of you trying to stick to New Year's dieting resolutions - it will satisfy your crazy buffalo wing craving without all the greasy fried guilt.
FRIDAY - I'll make chicken with mushrooms and balsamic. The basic cooking technique is one Melissa D'Arabian used to win The Next Food Network star.