It was a busy last week for Karin, and a decidedly less busy one for me, so back-to-back posts is what happens in that situation. This book has been on our cookbook shelf for a couple of years now, after picking it up at a used book store. It’s an interesting read, with a ton of details, but all over the (Latin American) map. Sorry, even Karin will roll her eyes at that terrible pun. A lot of the recipes are quite involved and yield a large amount of food – the kinds of thing you might make for a weekend family meal, not for two busy people on a week night. But this recipe was small enough that Karin and I could eat it over the course of two meals, and it involved one of those twists that make me obsess over a recipe – a familiar ingredient taken out of it’s usual context and used in a completely different way. I’ll let you guess what that ingredient is, but suffice to say this dish was really good, and relatively painless. Timing-wise, it was easy to start the arroz blanco while the chicken cooled, so that both dishes finished at around the same time. The sauce turned out a brilliant lime green color, inadequately captured by our crappy camera:
Up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, there’s an amazing restaurant, Polly’s Pancake Parlor, that has been around for decades serving delicious breakfast and lunches to hungry locals and tourists alike. I’ve been going to Polly’s since I was a little kid, whenever I would visit my Mom’s family in nearby Bethlehem. The routine is always the same – piling in the family station wagon/mini-van/rental car, driving along verdant, curvy New Hampshire roads, reading the roadside historical signs until suddenly we come around a curve, see the sign for the country’s first ski school and ten seconds later arrive at breakfast paradise – Polly’s Pancake Parlor! The pancakes are served in two batches of three, made fresh by your server, and you get to customize both the batter and the ingredients. Buttermilk with blueberries? Whole wheat with walnuts? Whatever you’d like. After a delicious meal of pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, or pretty much anything that is made more delicious with the addition of maple syrup, everyone lumbers outside, soaks up the beautiful view of the mountains, and poses for a picture on Trot-trot II, the wooden horse out in front of the restaurant.
The family who has run Polly’s since it opened, the Dexters, put out this small, spiral bound cookbook with recipes from the restaurant. So many of them are delicious bread and pancake-based recipes, but the one I made for lunch today is a chilled yogurt soup with a surprising kick of maple flavor. It’s a nice complement to a breakfast full of fried or griddled foods, and we usually get a bowl of it to pass around the table towards the end of our (nearly) annual pilgrimage. It’s an incredibly quick and easy recipe, basically straight from the blender to the bowl – no chopping or heating required.