Friday, July 9, 2010

What? She cooks, too?

Well, I guess this is going to be my first recipe post. Maybe the only one you ever get, because while I love to cook, I don't have much time for that, and I have even less time to tell you about it. But since I accomplished a long-term goal on my bucket list the other night (and because my husband, who pretends he is a food critic at every meal, actually said "this is fantastic! I wouldn't change a thing!" after this dinner) I am going to share.

This will not be your normal recipe post. A) Because I still like to keep it fun, and B) Because I don't measure. So you aren't going to find a list of 1cup of this and 1 tbsp of that. Instead, I will tell you what I had in my house and what I did with it.

First, some backstory as to how we came to arrive at this Tuesday night meal. I have always wanted to be the "throw a bunch of shit in a pan and it will taste wonderful" kind of cook, but it has taken me YEARS to get here. And after our recent trip to Philadelphia where we ate cheesesteak, some fruit, some more meat and bread, some butter and other meat and bread, and consumed 4 alcoholic beverages each night while sitting in the backyard after the baby went to bed, hubby and I were in need of some monetary and dietary detox.

We went to Trader Joe's Monday and bought some green beans (sad that they weren't local b/c we've got some good ones in market, but they are still delicious) and I had some two week old cherry tomatoes and mushrooms that had managed to survive in the fridge while we were gone (hippies be damned, these were from the Farmer's Market). I also had on hand a half box of linguine, four frozen chicken tenders, and we always have stuff like olive oil and garlic. I'm also a lucky enough gourmand to have white truffle oil in my pantry. Tuesday night we were tired*, baby took a late nap so we didn't have to rush a frozen bag dinner onto the table, and it was time to go for it.

So, I started by heating the white truffle oil while the chicken defrosted. I sliced two cloves of garlic and threw them in, on medium-high heat, until they kind of burned. (Don't worry, I removed them.) I diced the chicken up and cooked it next, removed it from the pan, added just enough olive oil to round it out, and added some diced onions and more diced garlic. When the onions got translucent, I added the green beans for about 5 minutes, and then the mushrooms. Meanwhile the pasta water boiled. Now, for technique: I do NOT stir my veggies often! Hands OFF! You actually want them to get a little bit of brown to them and let them brings a sweet roasty flavor to the party.

Normally here I would "deglaze" my pan with some wine, but we were out and this was also for the kiddo, so I just added some water, stirred the brown bits up from the bottom of the pan (we don't use non-stick for this reason) and then covered and let steam for a few minutes. The green beans need that. Then I took the lid off to let the water evaporate. When that was done, all I had to do was cut up some cherry tomatoes and let them cook just enough to soften, then add the chicken and pasta back in and grate some delicious pecorino romano over it. Here we would typically add salt and pepper, but again, with kiddo eating full table food now we do that to our own food at the table.

If I had nothing else to do, I could have this dinner on the table in 35 minutes. With a dog who is food protective and in need of retraining, a kid who wants Mommy, and a hubby asking questions, it took me closer to an hour Tuesday. I would post a picture, but I'm scarfing down the last of it as leftover lunch. In fact, it's even good cold.

But I hope to get better! If you decide to try it, let me know how it goes. Of course you can omit and/or add whatever! I would try spinach or asparagus instead of green beans, some shallots instead of onions, whatever is around.

Bon appetit!

*I realize this statement sounds like an oxymoron, but I actually destress by cooking. It's why I'm so freaking fat.

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