Taking up the challenge(s)

22 11 2013

In the Big Ring/Princess of Pavement household, I do most of the cooking.

Partly because PofP isn’t very comfortable with the culinary arts; her diet before we got together consisted mostly of eggs, eggs and eggs. And partly because, with her long commute, it just makes sense for me to get things going in the kitchen.

Fortunately a long run of self-sustaining bachelordom meant I pretty much had to figure my way in the kitchen. Or starve.

Big Ring cuisine isn’t very fancy; lots of grilling with occasional forays into stir fry, omelettes, and international dishes like paella and butter chicken. I mostly make it up as I go along, sticking to some tried and true techniques. I don’t do recipes.

Then PofP took on her year-long recipe challenge. She wanted to explore the pages of the America’s Test Kitchen recipe magazine subscription she’d received as a Christmas present and expand her own culinary horizons. I was glad to be the beneficiary. At least once a month I got a break from the kitchen and enjoyed some very tasty meals.

This month, I decided to pick up the challenge. The latest issue had a number of recipes that tickled my tastebuds and sounded relatively easy.

When one, chicken in vinegar sauce, was billed as a classic French dish (poulet au vinaigre), I was sold. If we can’t live in France, we might as well eat as if we are.

It also helped that we already had most of the necessary ingredients in the pantry.

Now going in, I’ll admit to some trepidation to basing a sauce on vinegar. Around here we use it to clean the countertops and stainless steel. And the apple cider vinegar in our pantry was only there because of the fruit fly infestation we endured in the summer; it was the lure to attract them into the sticky trap.

But if it’s good enough for the French, it should be good enough for us.

And, son of a gun, it was.

I take on the recipe challenge, with a classic French dish of poulet au vinaigre.

I take on the recipe challenge, with a classic French dish of poulet au vinaigre.


I steamed some broccoli as a side dish, along with toasty baguette and glass of white wine. Vive le France!

In fact, it was a day of challenges, not the least of which was steeling myself against the wintery cold for an afternoon ride. But the sun was out, the roads dry; it would have been wrong not to ride!

Alas, only 38 km at an easy pace, but the exercise felt good and 6 degree air cleared my head for the cooking challenge ahead.

It's the Ride of the Fallen Leaves!

It’s the Ride of the Fallen Leaves!




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