Tuesday, September 11, 2007

An ambitious attempt

First of all, check the date. Never forget.

After I get back from a doctor's appointment, I'm planning on making a recipe that will take some time. We were watching Emeril the other night, and he was making alternative lasagnas. One that made us both say, "Hmmm!" was an enchilada lasagna. (Enchiladas are one of Ken's favorites.) So I printed it out, and I'm going to give it a try. Emeril says it's "moderately difficult," so us mere mortals, I think that means "quite difficult." Actually, it really doesn't look too hard, but I'm thinking the half an hour of prep time is WAY low, because I'm sure it doesn't take into account cooking the chicken first, roasting the peppers, and making the cheese sauce. Once you get all THAT done, sure, the assembly will be a half an hour or so. I'm looking forward to it, though. I like having time to make something a little more elaborate.

One thing it calls for is 6 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded. At our local store, I could find 1--yes, ONE--poblano pepper! Which is suprising, because there's a large Hispanic population around here. I pulled something out of my memory banks, though, and recalled that Ancho chilis are simply dried poblanos. I went ahead and bought a package of Anchos, figuring I can rehydrate them. I'm sure it won't be quite the same, but I think it will work. In reading about Anchos, I think I might start cooking with them more--they sound delicious, not too hot and not too mild, and they are the chilis that are used to make chili powder, with a nice, sweet, smoky flavor. I'll have to see how they taste, but I'm likin' what I'm readin'!


Pepper problem solved! On my way home from my appointment, I was going by another grocery store, so I thought I'd check and see if they had some poblanos. Sheah! A whole basket full of 'em! So I'll save the Anchos for another day, and roast up all six of the fresh poblanos. I'm much happier sticking to the recipe the first time around. These poblanos are beautiful vegetables. A deep, glossy green. So now let me go char them to a blackened husk in the oven. Ha!

Six peppers roasting....

Oh boy, I might have a favorite new thing. Those roasting peppers smelled so good! They're steaming in a bowl right now, which is supposed to help with removing the skins. I can hardly wait to see how they taste! This is not anything I would want to do in hot weather, though, because I had the oven cranked to 500°. The chicken is almost cooked, and I think I'll get all the cheese shredded and ready to go. Like Emeril likes to say, "We're really cookin' here, folks!"

Later that evening

Emeril, shame on you! Half an hour prep time, my ass. I've been at it for 3 hours, and I haven't even put the lasagna together yet. I guess if you have minions in your control, half an hour is reasonable. This is NOT a half an hour dish, believe me. It darn well better be worth it! Actually, I've enjoyed it, but I'm a little disappointed that the recipe wasn't more honest about how much time it takes.

I haven't mentioned the Dandys lately. First, I was right, and I don't care for "Welcome to the Monkey House" and "Odditorium" as much as "13 Tales From Urban Bohemia." But I expected that. I like Monkey House fairly well--there are some fun songs on there, like "We Used to be Friends" and "I Am A Scientist." But it seems that on "Odditorium," released in 2005, they forgot the cardinal rule of rock and roll: hooks are good. I like the trippiness of some of their longer songs, but there's nothin' like a great hook. The two earlier ones that I got in the past couple of days are their first one, "Dandys Rule OK?" and their second one, "The Dandy Warhols Come Down." I'm looking forward to listening to them at work tomorrow, and the MP3 player is loaded and ready for bear. I shouldn't be so harsh on "Odditorium," because I really like "All the Money or the Simple Life Honey" and "The New Country." Yep, I really like this band, and I foresee many hours of pleasurable listening ahead of me, as I get to know the other songs as much as the ones from Bohemia.

And...I'm spent

Emeril, I'd like to smack you right now. Five hours after I started, the enchilada lasagna is in the oven. I have to say, it smelled delicious as I put it together, and I think it's going to taste really good, but dinner will be later than our usual 8:00 PM, and I am not happy about that. We're having either leftovers or frozen pizza tomorrow night, that's for sure!

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