Our entire schedule today was built around the game at 6 PM, so at 4 we trudged out to buy groceries and by 5 had things simmering on the stove. We looked through my collection of previously pinned recipes on Pinterest and picked three: garlicky baked fries, creamy chicken marsala pasta, and bloomin’ onion bread. The Med Student brought his laptop around onto the counter, and we watched intently while we chopped, simmered, baked, parboiled, and breaded.
First off, the garlicky baked fries. I’ve wanted to do this forever but never got around to it and college reunion with my best friends seemed like a great time. Instead of microwaving, I went for the parboiled approach mentioned by the author… but I think I overboiled them a bit, leading to the potatoes being fairly cooked by the time I started breading them, and they were starting to fall apart. (No worries, I mashed those with some leftover garlic and butter and green onions from the bloomin’ onion bread later.) What disappointed me the most about this dish is that I couldn’t get the potatoes to come out as crispily golden as they were in the photo, which is something that has always eluded me when it comes to baking potatoes. I’ve never had a problem with prettily golden battered chicken. But the potatoes? NEVER work for me, regardless of what oven I use.
Fortunately, everybody liked them anyway. I’ll have to rethink this one a little bit.
The chicken marsala pasta was delicious and pretty simple to make: the only ingredient we had to invest in that probably won’t get ever used again was marsala cooking wine. (This was a frequent question in The General’s kitchen, as he hardly ever cooks.) I left this one to Boyfriend and let him run the whole dish. It looked very beautiful spread out on pretty plates with a sprinkling of parsley leaves for garnish.
And then the pièce de résistance, the bloomin’ onion bread, as inspired by the bloomin’ onion appetizer at Outback Steakhouse – the Med Student’s favorite restaurant ever. We made a few modifications – buying two smaller loaves of sourdough rather than one big one, and opting for mozzarella instead of monterey jack for the cheese (oh, and we left out the poppy seeds due to the fact that the General would never use them again). I’d never chopped fresh mozzarella before and didn’t realize how good it is just to eat fresh! We all kept picking pieces off of the chopping board while I was cutting and had to force ourselves to stop so we would have enough for the actual recipe. The Med Student said that one of these days he was going to just buy a big block of mozzarella and eat that for dinner with nothing else.
LOVE this recipe and I would definitely make it again. Our only problem was that everyone loved the cheese so much that they would just rip off pieces of cheese and leave the bread behind! (To be made into croutons, maybe? Hmm…)
Fortunately, we won the game, and our team was kind enough not to go with its usual strategy of drop-down by twenty-some points and then spend most of the second half trying to claw its way back up. Good friends, good food, good game; what else can a girl ask for?