The Cooking Chronicles: Basa with Greens and Lemon Pepper Oil

You’d think I would know by now to research potential substitutions online before employing them, but the mealtime scramble always seems to win out over logic.

Though I wanted to recreate a Food Network recipe for tilapia with escarole and lemon pepper oil, I ended up substituting both of the main ingredients. Basa stepped in for tilapia, and romaine lettuce for escarole. I found out later that escarole is in the chicory family, greens that are heartier and stand up to cooking better than others. As a result, the romaine came out limp and way overcooked. Thankfully, the brown and crispy potatoes and perfectly steamed fish redeemed the dish as a whole. We found the lemon pepper oil a tad too strong for our taste (even after cutting down the quantity of lemon), and borderline unnecessary.

Basa with Greens and Lemon Pepper Oil

We loved the one-pot nature of this recipe, and now that I’ve learned what not to substitute, perhaps we will make this again in the future with the proper ingredients.

The Cooking Chronicles: Curried Chicken, Potato and Rice Soup

Though Saturday started out scorching hot, the night hosted one of the city’s most intense thunderstorms in quite some time, and it turned out to be a perfect occasion for a comforting bowl of chicken soup.

A recipe for a curried chicken and rice soup in Food Network Magazine had caught my eye – the thought of fragrant dill simmering with chicken stock was all it took. And though it wasn’t quite a one-pot wonder (two, in fact), the work required was minimal. I threw in some halved baby red potatoes from Greens, Eggs and Ham that we had in the fridge for additional heartiness, but besides that, kept to the ingredients specified. I also couldn’t be bothered to puree the rice.

The result was a lustrous yellow broth filled with tender onions, moist chicken and perfectly soft carrots and potatoes. Mack would have liked a little more rice, but other than that, had no complaints.

Curried Chicken, Potato and Rice Soup

We had enough leftover for lunch the next day, served with fresh-from-oven dill-icious cheddar and dill scones (sorry, I couldn’t help myself). The soup is great recipe that would work well with leftover rice, chicken and vegetables and we’ll be keeping it in mind in the future.