Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Secret Santa Seasoned Eatings

What can I say. The internet is a wonderful invention. I'm meeting so many interesting and amazing cooks, bakers and foodies. Of course I don't know the Boo Radley neighbor who lives next door to me, but what the hey.

Lindsay over at Country Girl City Living and Katie over at Tyme for Cooking came up with a brilliant idea for foodies. A Secret Santa Spice Exchange called Seasoned Eatings. You got the name of another food blogger and had to send a spice/seasoning that summed up your cooking or your region, a recipe and maybe a short story. Wonderful!

I threw my hat in the ring and waited. I sent off my package of all things migas to Lisa in Seoul and hoped it would get there in one piece.

During Xander's first birthday party and his freak out, a package, from Alaska!, arrived at the door. After all the guests had left, I opened it and look what was inside!

The smell was overwhelming and exciting. It was from Laurie of Tastes Like Home - Mediterranean Cooking In Alaska. I unwrapped the tissue paper and was delighted to find:

Handmade sheep cheese (look at the fine lines from the basket it was made in) and wild Greek oregano (hand-picked in Greece).

I couldn't wait so I sliced the cheese, drizzled a little olive oil on top and sprinkled with oregano.

The flavor was strong and rustic. Salty and rich. Delicious. I started imagining all the dishes I could use the cheese on and then my husband said, "But when are you going to make this chicken recipe? That's what I want."

So I nibbled on cheese and made up the delicious Kotopoulo Riganato or Oregano Chicken. My house smelled so incredible and not like my house at all. It's wonderful what cooking with new spices can do. I loved the smell and couldn't wait to taste it.

Because I've been running around like crazy I misread the recipe and bought chicken breasts. The recipe calls for a chicken cut up but it worked with the breasts. I do have to say a whole chicken with skin would have been much nicer but that's for next time. This recipe was delicious and tangy and moist. I used Yukon Gold potatoes and served it with a side salad and greek yogurt. Heaven.

Thank you Lindsay and Katie for the Seasoned Eatings Secret Santa Challenge and a big thank you to Laurie for the beautiful cheese and oregano and recipe that I will for sure make again...and again and again.

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