Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Don't Try This at Home

I mean, Don't try to make this at home yourself.  I have spent much of my time in the kitchen trying to perfect one or more of my favorite dishes. For many years I was like many New Yorkers or San Franciscans, believing that good food had to be expensive, labor intensive, & hand made. But I grew out of that dilettantish stage and now am willing to admit that there are some things that one should buy rather than attempt to make at home. Here are four items from big box king, Costco, that I will never try again to make myself.

  • Croissants. The ultimate bread, definitely unhealthy, and the most satisfying carbohydrate I have encountered. Toast them and make your favorite breakfast sandwich or make the ultimate egg salad or chicken salad. Make an elegant desert of strawberry & whipped cream or ice cream & chocolate sauce or a decadent bread pudding. Bring them home, open the giant package, and freeze in sandwich bags. Freezing removes the temptation to eat them all in two days and renders them imminently more sliceable.  When you want to use one, a few moments on the counter or in the toaster and you have a luxurious encounter of the bread kind.
  • Rotisserie Chicken. I can roast a chicken with the best of them. However over the years, we have gravitated toward the ubiquitous boneless, skinless, tasteless, chicken breast. If you want true chicken taste, you have to cook the bird with the bone & skin. My favorite is the straight forward rotisserie chicken from Costco. First of all Costco sells their Rotisserie Chicken at a ridiculously low price.  Secondly they are big chickens.  Lastly, I don’t want any herbed, lemon peppered, candied gimmick chickens. I want an honest tastes-like-chicken chicken. If you have a recipe that starts with chopped chicken, start with a Costco Rotisserie Chicken.
  • Italian Meatballs. If you, like me, have read one too many e coli stories, and are queasy about ground beef, grab a bag of these. I use them primarily in lieu of ground beef in my spaghetti sauce, but try them as appetizers in your favorite bar-b-que sauce or dip in a sauce of plum jelly, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce & red pepper flakes. Try Meatball Stroganoff or bell pepper stuffed with meatballs. Don’t forget the meatball hero.
  • Nancy’s Petite Quiche. I, a real man, do eat quiche, and these bite size versions are a treat I have attempted again and again to replicate, but have not come close. They are the perfect combination of rich custard in the classic Lorraine (bacon & onion) or spinach (Florentine) versions encased in the flakiest, butteriest shell ever. Try them for a Sunday brunch with a Mimosa.(update, Costco is now selling a kosher brand of petite quiche, which means there is no bacon in the Quiche Lorraine.  You can still find Nancy's brand at most supermarkets.)

No comments:

Post a Comment