Sunday, January 27, 2008

Stocking a College Pantry Part 2: Dinner with Friends

It is scary to try out a brand new recipe on your friends, but if you can't make them your guinea pigs, well, what good are they! Last week, I made Chicken with Shallots, Prune and Armagnac in a small, ill-equipped apartment kitchen. Using a skillet as a dinner plate, and a soup pot as a salad bowl, it felt very college, but truth be told, everything turned out magnificently.

Though the recipe involved a few ingredients that don't pertain to the college kitchen (prunes, brandy, fresh thyme), there are two new additions to the "Virtual Pantry"

Shallots: A type of onion the shallot has a pungent garlicky scent and flavor. Sauté them in olive oil before making a soup, a sauce or to flavor the oil before browning meat. They are also really wonderful in salads, either fresh or crispified. Shallots are a great source of Vitamin C and fiber. They also contain six times as many phenols, cancer fighting phytonutrients, than their mild cousin the Vadalia.

Chicken Broth: Could you get an ingredient more versatile? You can use this broth to extend a sauce, to stove-top cook chicken (like this recipe) or to form the base for your own soup.
Try adding this flavorful broth to mashed potatoes for a richer, more luxurious flavor without adding a lot of fat or calories