I’m really enjoying this book. It has such a different feel than the last one. I don’t know how to describe it. With Ad Hoc At Home, the meals came out amazing but I was almost intimidated, feeling like I needed to read carefully and really follow instructions… as well as I ever do.  Instructions really aren’t my thing. But this book is… organic. I feel like even though I’m following a recipe I’m cooking. Does that make sense? It’s just very natural. I’m finding that the recipes aren’t always as spectacular as Thomas Keller’s, but I feel like I can adapt them, that they are changeable and made for me to play with. While I felt the need to apologize to Chef Keller each time I messed up and or added an extra ingredient, because as I say… not always great at following instructions.

This week I started with Polenta  from page 199 and the Fire Grilled Steak with Steakhouse Butter from page 70 – which I made as a duo during a Valentines Double Date Extravaganza with a couple of really great, close friends. The polenta was nice. Creamy and yummy. I would say though that it needs a little more flavour. Next time I would add a little sharp cheddar or maybe some pesto. Also, I found that adding the cornmeal to the hot liquid caused it to get a little clumpy. I think next time I would add it to 1/2 a cup of cold liquid just to make it into a paste before adding it. Kind of like corn starch. Not an additional 1/2 cup mind you, but liquid that would have been added to the recipe anyway.

The steaks were good too. I used ribeyes instead of New York Striploins… because… well… that’s what I found more easily in my freezer. I also forgot to add the red wine vinegar to the butter so I added a couple drops right onto the steaks before serving. I’m not sure if it made any difference or not. There was a LOT of butter. I would say make half the butter next time for the same amount of steaks – though it went really well with the polenta because after it got to melt a little on the steak it could be stirred into the side dish and all over the veg. Very nice indeed.

Finally the Asian Greens with Three Sesames (page 205). I made it, but then I went out for dinner and left it for Hubby and The Kid. The feed back I got was pretty positive. The Kid even asked for more. Definitely something you need to eat warm, but I was told it was different and for my first time cooking Bok Choi it was successful. I also forgot the sesame seeds… I would have sworn I had some. So it was really Asian Greens with Two Sesames.

Moving on to next time:

Moroccan Couscous and Chickpeas: Page 143
Classic Chicken Stew: Page 90
Grilled Pineapple and Red Onion Salad: Page 51

Happy Cooking!