Thursday, January 31, 2008

Chicken Piccata with Gnocchi

A few nights ago I made a Chicken Piccata recipe from Giada de Laurentis' book Everyday Italian and also available on the Food Network website. I served it over top of gnocchi. The piccata sauce is a very nice lemon sauce that went very well with the gnocchi. I used store bought gnocchi which was a bit too gooey. One of my next cooking adventures is going to be to make my own gnocchi. This is a great recipe and one of my favorites. I like it because it is easy and it really only takes about 20 to 30 minutes to make, which is great on a weeknight!

This is a great recipe and one you should definitely try!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Crab and Ricotta Manicotti

Monday I wanted to make a dish that was a bit time consuming as my husband was home for MLK day and was able to watch our 9 month old. I was also looking for a recipe that would give us some leftovers that we could eat for lunch in the days to follow. I chose a Crab and Ricotta Manicotti recipe from Giada de Laurentis' book Everyday Pasta and can also be found on the Food Network website.

The recipe was fairly simple though a little time consuming because you have to make the Bechamel Sauce before anything else. However, as the book states , the sauce can be made a day or 2 in advance.

We enjoyed the creamy characteristics of this dish. I also liked that this manicotti is not heavy as your more tradional manicotti recipe. There was a nice crab to ricotta ratio in the filling. You get a nice amount of crab in every bite.

The only negative comments I would make about this recipe is, though I enjoyed the filling, I also felt that it fell a little flat. Granted this could be because I live in Columbus, Ohio and not in Maryland where I could get really fresh crabmeat. Or it could be that I am just not a big of Bechamel Sauce, I find it to be a little bland, unless there is something I am not doing correctly when I make it. Either way, I think the next time I make this recipe, and yes I will try it again, I am going to try adding a little spicy seafood seasoning to the filling. Also, the manicotti did not reheat as well as we would have liked, though I think this is more our error than the fault of the recipe. I should have known that crab may not be the best thing for leftovers.

All in all, we enjoyed this recipe. It really is pretty simple. I think if you really like crab, then you are going to love this!

Monday, January 21, 2008

A New Year, a New Blog!

I have decided to begin the new year a revamping of Reading Cuisine. This blog began as a blog devoted to reviewing restaurants primarily in the Central Ohio area and books. I have neglected the blog quite a bit this past year for many reasons. The most obvious reason is that I have an 8 month old son. It is sometimes difficult to get out and try new restaurants, and though I am still reading books, I am quite slow at finishing a book these days. What I am trying to say is I have not had enough material in the last year to write about.

The other reason I have neglected the blog and probably the more truthful reason is that I have just grown bored with the topic of books and restaurants. I still love reading and I still going out to eat, but writing about only these 2 topics has bored me recently. Therefore I am reformatting Reading Cuisine to what I hope will be a better and more interesting blog! I thought about scratching this blog and starting with something new, something fresh with a new name and everything, but after racking my brain over a name I realized that the name "Reading Cuisine" still fits into what I am trying to accomplish.

So now I am sure you are wondering what, exactly, do I plan on doing? Well I am changing to a blog that is about food, period. I have found myself cooking a lot more in the last year and something that I really enjoy! I plan on writing posts about things I have made, recipes I liked and posting the recipe. However, that is not all I plan on doing, because let's face it, that can get boring! I also plan on still keeping the restaurant part and will still do an occasion review about a restaurant. I also hope that this can be educational for my readers and I also plan on discussing different cooking techniques, tips, successes and failures I have had in the kitchen, food products or cooking utensils that I like, and I even plan on adding the occasional history of a particular food or dish, as I think it is interesting to learn the origins of dishes and cuisines. I also hope to have the occasional guest poster on topics like Beer pairing, Wine pairings, and other topics. I am by no means a professional cook or even a very experienced cook. I learned to cook my watching my mom and by trial and error. I believe that everyone can and should learn to cook and I hope that in sharing my own experience and little knowledge that I can help you become a cook, become a better cook, or maybe just entertain you for a few minutes each week!

I will always consider myself and my blog a work in progress so I always encourage feedback to help me be better. Thanks for stopping by! I hope you'll enjoy my blog!