First I decided to go with asparagus. Or as its called, Grilled Asparagus with Fresh Lemon and Olives. As I've said before, this cookbook is geared towards the single girl cooking for just herself. (Can't you tell from the name?) Which means the recipe was for about 4 spears of asparagus. Instead I just decided to cook the whole bunch I had at once. This wasn't a bad thing, it just had a few obstacles.
First the recipe says to grill the asparagus spears for 2-3 minutes on one said, and them flip them over to finish cooking on the other side. Now thing I put all of the asparagus into the pan at the exact same time this was a little difficult. I can guarantee each asparagus did not get to spend time on each of its sides. All the pieces wound up getting cooked all the way, but it might have been a tiny bit easier if I cooked a few at a time.
Also the recipe said to use the juice from a quarter of a lemon for the 4 spears. I did have way more than 4, but figured I'd be ok using the juice of half a lemon. Unexpectedly, the asparagus was far more lemon-y than I would have liked. So maybe I would have been fine using a little less lemon juice.
The recipe said the asparagus would be good hot or cold. I decided to cook them first, and then we could always eat them cold. Instead they were a bit lukewarm, when we ate them. They boy actually wound up microwaving his a bit, but I ate mine as is. Easily my favorite part of them was the chopped up olives on top.
For the main dish I went with Simple Chicken Cutlets with Shallots and White Wine. Except the boy bought chicken breasts instead. The recipe said they could be used, but just to pound them thin before hand. Except I thought that would be too much work and cooked them as is.
The way the recipe is supposed to work is to cook the chicken first, and then make the sauce. So I cooked the chicken, cut up the shallots, made the sauce and let it reduce. When the sauce was ready I put the chicken breasts into the sauce to coat them, and called the boy in for dinner.
Except the chicken breasts were not cooked all the way through. Not even close. I had a minor failure freak-out, but the boy took charge and threw the chicken breasts into the oven. The chicken breasts wound up getting cooked, but not-so-surprisingly were a little dry.
I would say this probably wasn't the best meal I've ever cooked. The asparagus wasn't bad, it just would have been better hot and with a little less lemon. The chicken breasts themselves were a little bland. But the sauce and the shallots were actually really good.
P.S. For everyone that was wondering if they should see the movie Julie & Julia first or read the book first, it's hard to say. Especially considering I haven't read the book yet. Although, there's not a whole lot a surprises from the movie you don't get from the previews. (For example, the big climax of the movies they say at the end, "They turned her book into a blog." Umm.. really? I had no idea.) I have heard there are a few subplots from the book that didn't make it into the movie, but I don't know for sure. I do promise once I actually read the book to shed some more light here