Kitchen Catastrophe: Week 2 Recap

…Or as I’ve started to call it, my Home Ec homework.

Okay, so Week 2 was a much more resounding-ier success than Week 1, mostly to do with the fact that all of my food actually maintained the shape it was supposed to.  Let’s take a look at the results:

I was originally going to make a Bacony Breakfast Cupcake, but considering I had  ~5% of the required ingredients on hand, I instead substituted out for Barefoot Contessa’s Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp.  This was surprisingly simple to make, so much easier than last week’s Flat Apple Pie that I kinda feel like I cheated.

I had an excess of strawberries in the fridge that were on the verge of going bad, which is why I began looking for strawberry recipes. Strawberry aficionados out there: when fresh strawberries become frozen on the inside and slushy on the outside, is that a bad sign? A handful of my S-Bs (“strawberries,” duh, but can also stand for “Starbucks”…don’t get the two confused!) were like this and I just threw them out since they made me nervous.

I have definitely never used rhubarb before in my life, and even had to Google Image search it to make sure I didn’t make a fool of myself in the produce section trying to figure out where it was.  To my rhubarb fans out there (can I get a “Heeeeeey!”), are you supposed to “skin” the rhubarb or just leave it on?  I did a mix of both since I didn’t want to add in too much flavor that wasn’t supposed to be there, or take away flavor that was.

The “crumble” part of the crisp.  Obviously, I need to find healthier recipes for this challenge or people will wonder why two fat gelatinous monsters didn’t have the shame to stay off the beach this summer.

…Aaaand here is the crisp upon completion.  Thankfully, it was pretty edible, nice and tart with the crumble adding a good texture and a baser taste for balance. I can really only see this being served accompanying ice cream (which Barefoot’s recipe calls for), since it’s a little messy and unattractive once on a plate or in a bowl.  And as you can see below, it’s super runny; I panicked at first and thought I’d done something wrong, but the commenters on FoodNetwork.com have the same criticism.

Barefoot, time to revisit this recipe! Maybe not so much OJ next time? I’d also recommend either cutting the S-B/rhubarb requirements by a 1/2-cup each, or increasing the amount of crumble you’re making, since the proportions seemed a little off.

So while that was in the oven, I began Sandra Lee’s Crouton Crusted Chicken Tenders with Orange Barbeque Sauce. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize there was no thawed chicken in the refrigerator, and after an unsuccessful bath under some water for about a half-hour (as recommended by Yahoo! Answers, the Magic 8 Ball of our times), I had to nuke them just to get the process along. Thankfully that didn’t sap the chicken of too much of its moisture.

My breading stations. Yes, Lance's "The Book of Mormon" keychain was integral in the preparation of this meal.

This dish could end up wildly different depending not only on the croutons used (this one called for Cheese & Garlic flavored) but also the type of barbeque sauce used.  I used Bull’s-Eye Kansas City, which is fairly sweet, though I wonder was a smokier BBQ sauce would produce.

Note: I subbed out regular bread crumbs for panko. Interestingly enough, panko tends to make your recipes healthier because their shape actually keeps out a lot of grease and oil.  The more you knooooow…!

[Also, as an aside, did you know that Bull’s-Eye (one of the cheapest brands you can buy) and Stubb’s (one of the most expensive) are some of the few BBQ sauces available in large supermarkets that don’t have high-fructose corn syrup in them?]

Uncredited cameo appearance by Kitty.

Ta-da!  I think these came out pretty well, and I would recommend them if you’re an easy and quick meal to throw together after work and don’t care about the fact that you’re consuming a lot of carbs, buttermilk, flour, so on and so forth.

All right, Week 2 is DONE! Feelin’ pretty good, but as with every Hero’s Journey, I need to remind myself of these sage words:

"Don't get cocky, kid."
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