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3 Mar 2012

Smothered pork chops, mashed potatoes, and arugula and roasted pear salad.

Our night to really cook - all three of these recipes were new to us (and making new recipes is always more work than old favorites). Yes, you read that right: a recipe for mashed potatoes, strange as it sounds. I'm working through my new cookbooks, and America's Test Kitchen tested several ways of making mashed potatoes, and came up with this recipe, so I thought we'd give it a go. I really, really like them - the flavor and texture are spot on, it was really tasty. Chris didn't like them at all, pouting that they should really be called "creamed potatoes," that they were too liquidy, and adding lots of salt, pepper, and bacon bits to his. I didn't even feel they needed gravy. They also didn't taste like white, which is how very lightly seasoned mashed potatoes usually taste to me. These were my perfect mashed potatoes, really. Clearly we're going to have to have his and hers mashed potatoes in the future!

The pork chop sauce was really tasty, and the chops had good flavor, but I did overcook them (too much going on in the kitchen tonight, didn't keep as close an eye on them as I should have), so they were a bit dry. The recipe's a good one, though, and we'll definitely keep it and use it again - monitoring the chops a bit more closely in the future.

The salad was no good for either of us. The flavors just seemed to not work well together. This wasn't the best the salad could have been - I messed up a few things, like accidentally burning the nuts, using pecans instead of walnuts because I messed up and ordered my grocery delivery for after tonight's dinner instead of before, and issues with the roasted pears - I didn't use all the sugar called for, so they didn't caramelize, but they also didn't crisp up despite all that cooking and all that heat, and I'm not convinced that's all my fault. I'd be willing to try the roasted pears again, but I'm not sure how we'd eat them (dessert comes to mind), since we didn't like this salad and none of the others in the cookbook including the roasted pears grabbed me.

Anyways, so we ditched that and made up another batch of Creole Caesar salad instead, since we still had dressing leftover, and the rest goes together really quickly. With that it was a good dinner. Yay for new dishes!

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