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Dinner/Movie night (3 recipes)

I had a small get-together of folks for dinner and a movie last night. I originally was going to just serve a soufflé, but I realized during the day that that would never be enough food... so I got some more groceries on the way home and added chicken breasts over quinoa and cranberries, and corn chowder to the menu. I was also supposed to make brownies, but I ran out of time.

I started with the chicken dish. I preheated the oven to 450F, and started bringing some of my chicken broth to a boil. I took a 9x13 pan, coated the bottom reasonably well with quinoa, and dropped in some dried cranberries. On top of that I laid one layer of frozen chicken breasts from CostCo, covering up the layers underneath as well as possible. Rummaging through the fridge I discovered some diced celery waiting for some use, and decided this was the use; I sprinkled that on top.

At this point, I should have seasoned the dish, adding some salt and pepper. Because I missed that, it needed salt added on the plate. Not a big deal, I guess.

Next, I poured the boiling chicken broth over the assembled pan, covered it with foil (shiney side down), and slid it into the oven for 45 minutes. When I went to take it out, it looked rather waterlogged—this recipe is meant to be done with rice, and quinoa apparently absorbs less—so I took the foil off and left it in for another ten minutes to boil down the liquid. I was afraid this would make the chicken dry, but it came out tasty anyway.

Next came the Spinach Souffle. Everything went almost as planned here - made the bechamel, let it rest, had the egg whites waiting in the stand mixer until enough people showed up to pull the trigger on the soufflé. I even made up a souffle collar out of foil, while we waited for folks to show!

Then I whipped up the egg whites to soft peaks, and folded it into the bechamel. I turned the oven down to 375 after the chicken was done, so by now it was ready to just go in and wait 25 minutes.

Unfortunately, somehow when I turned the oven down, it instead got turned off. So when I opened the oven 25 minutes later, there was the uncooked souffle still waiting to go. I took it back out, got the oven up to temp, and then tossed it back in. The rise on it was, of course, much less impressive than it could have been... but other than that it was really quite tasty.

Just wait 'til next time!

Finally the corn chowder. The addition of this dish made for a lot of extra work in the evening. Without this, it would have been a really easy dinner to cook. Oops. Maybe pre-chopping the veggies would have made it easier.

I used up the rest of my homemade chicken broth in making the corn chowder, and it came out quite nice, even if I eyeballed some of the measurements. I think it had WAY too much onion, in the end, and maybe too much corn. This made it come out a little less chowdery than it could have. Except it's still delicious, so who cares?

As for the movie, well, let's just say The Fountain is a little hard to understand. Maybe there's something good buried in there, but it may involve magic, or time travel, or delusional rantings, or an act of creative writing... It could be any number of things. The next movie night might be lighter fare.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 7th, 2009 06:02 pm (UTC)
The Fountain
lemurtanis and I also watched The Fountain recently. I had seen it before, but she had not, and a good friend of hers in the area had told her that he really loved it. At the end, she just sat, quiet, and when I asked her what she thought, she replied that she didn't know yet.

When we saw the friend a day or two later, we mentioned seeing the movie, and he replied that it seemed to be a two-camps movie, people either really liked it or really didn't. He (and I) really liked it; I think we'd have to put T down in the `not' category. Maybe you, too.

If you're still not sure after a day or two, but interested, there's a graphic novel adaptation that might help you make up your mind, and is quite pretty regardless. :-)
Feb. 7th, 2009 06:18 pm (UTC)
Re: The Fountain
I'm pretty sure I'm in some sort of third camp, at least at the moment.
Feb. 10th, 2009 07:58 pm (UTC)
Hey, thanks for dinner! I will have to try those recipes myself (so thanks for posting!).

I'm looking for an excuse to watch Goodbye Pork Pie, which I have on DVD, with folks. It's a classic 1979 low-budget New Zealand film, about a car chase from the top of New Zealand to the bottom. I saw it on film and want to see it again. I thought it was Blues Brothers-y, but Wikipedia says it's sometimes considered the New Zealand Easy Rider. Which I have not seen. Maybe I should.

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )