After planning what, in my head, was going to be an epic make-fun-of-Jersey-Shore-while-pretending-to-hate-it-and-yet-giving-it-the-ratings-it-thrives-on party, it turned out that we really weren’t in the mood to..well..have a party. Which is great because it seemed like Jersey Shore wasn’t in the mood to put on an entertaining season premiere episode.
Anyhow, one of the loves of my life, Melissa, came over with some insanely delicious gelato from Eataly and a bottle of Skinnygirl margarita, as “ron-ron” juice is just…how do I put this…fucking disgusting. Who knew that blended maraschino cherries, watermelon juice, cranberry juice and whatever trash one can find on the boardwalk of the jersey shore would be so icky? Certainly not I.
I started off the morning marinating bone-in chicken thighs and drums in the chipotle marinade….something I think I will make at every gathering I ever have. It bakes for a little over an hour (at 400F) and needs no babying whatsoever, so you are free to handle whatever else you need to do in the kitchen.
Then, after searching the internet and all my cookbooks for a flavorful and simple pasta salad, I decided to hit up twitter, where I was given the recommendation to make Ina Garten’s Orzo with Roasted Vegetables, which can be found here:
Now, I’ve never ever made anything with Orzo. I don’t know why not, really. It’s just not something I ever think about using. Anyhow, I’ll tell you this: there is about a 20 second time period where your orzo goes from perfectly cooked to slimy and soft. Also, I feel like Ina sabotaged me in a few ways with this recipe. Firstly, don’t peel the eggplant, like the recipe says. Hell, the eggplant isn’t even peeled in the alluring photo on the website. Dammit! You lose that wonderful purple color that would go perfectly in the final product. Also, some people in the comments said to cut back on the oil but I assumed that this was just to cut back on fat, so I just went with the recipe. But with 1/3 of a cup of olive oil (mine were a bit too small, though), your roasted veggies will come out soggy and sloppy. A ton of delicious flavor, but soggy. So yes. Cut back on the oil and definitely make those diced veggies at least an inch/1.25 inch thick so they won’t disappear into your orzo!
I also bought what appears to be a frat house ass paddle from ABC Home not too long ago, so I figured hey, why not put cheese on this fancy new ass paddle?
I bought 6 of those little clay heart dishes at ABC, and I use them for every garnish imaginable. Here, they’re used to hold honey, which I lovvvvve to drizzle over cheese (experiment, I like it over camembert) and stick it to a cracker or slice of french bread. It changes everything and I can’t really do cheese without it now…
And here. The finished dinner: chipotle baked chicken, burrata caprese (burrata cheese, sliced red onion, basil, olive oil and balsamic) and the (sorta overdone) orzo.
Really happy with the meal. Everything went together really nicely, plus my friend Melissa has freaking hilarious commentary during Jersey Shore. Pretty much the perfect night.
Aaaah. My favorite part about cooking…