Day 104: After pizza, must come chicken

April 14, 2007

This afternoon we went over to see friends and eat dinner with them. Because of the high children count between us, we ate at around 5pm. We got pizza delivered and had delicious pepperoni yumminess which I could eat for the rest of my life, or at least the rest of this pregnancy. At least until my heartburn returns. Anyway, we then came home, did the bath, books, bed thing with Baby A, and then cooked Garlic and Herb Chicken with Romesco Sauce on Spicy Greens. We had intended to cook our allocated meal at lunch time, but because the kitchen is next to the baby’s room, we’d rather starve over the lunch hour than risk waking her from her singular nap of the day. So tonight we made a tiny portion of chicken, which L ate and proclaimed to be very good. I had some of the sauce on half a slice of toast and proclaimed it good, but not as good as the pizza.

Fortunately, this is one of the easiest recipes that we’ve made to date. In the mini food-processor I blended garlic, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper, and olive oil. The green paste was smeared on the chicken breasts which were cooked on the skillet for a few minutes per side. Meanwhile I toasted some almonds then chucked them in the food processor with some toasted bread, garlic, roasted red peppers, red wine vinegar, and half a chopped plum tomato. The whole lot whizzed up into a paste with a sort of thick clumpy texture.

The chicken was sliced and placed on a bed of spicy greens, with a dollop of the sauce on top. The meal probably took 15 minutes to cook, with minimal clear up, even with the use of the food processor. This meal is very elegant and light, and would be a good one to serve to impress people with minimal involvement. It is, as L said, something you’d be happy to get for lunch and actually pay for. The sauce is intriguing- the toast and ground almonds give it a certain substance, without being overly heavy or stodgy. The red wine vinegar and garlic are noticeable, without being overbearing; there is a good depth of flavour. Also worth noting is that this sauce is one of the few really tasty things we’ve made this year that hasn’t had half a cup of olive oil and/ or 4 tablespoons of butter added. I imagine it would heat up well and go nicely with large pasta shapes, and be relatively diet friendly, if these things concern you.

When you blog about what you eat every day, there must be a slippy slope down which you can easily slip to start talking about paying your bills or cleaning the cat litter (or not, thank you pregnancy). In the spirit of not being quite there yet, but being extremely close, I feel compelled to talk about our grocery shopping exploits. We decided to go entirely organic last week, which was very morally rewarding, although very spendy. However, the recycled unbleached tissue almost made the skin on my poor overblown nose bleed, and we couldn’t do $5 for 15 freezer bags. Within hours I went out to buy Kleenex with lotion, morals be damned. The last few weeks I’ve been shopping in our not so pleasant but certainly cheap grocery store option, in an attempt to cut down our expenditure a little. So, it was with great delight on my part that we went back to Super Target this morning for the dull essentials. Oh Target, how I’ve missed you. And oh previous life, when Saturday morning happiness meant a lie in and a good book or some other bedside entertainment, how I sincerely miss you. Really.

Moving on, tomorrow we might just be making some more chicken with Lemony Crispy Chicken Cutlets and Roasted Tomato Salad with Pine Nuts and Blue Cheese. Then we have a ham day, a turkey day, then two more chicken days before we hit the highlight menu of the first quarter of the book; Chicago Dog Salad. Yes, it’s a salad, a hot dog salad; all the ingredients of a Chicago Dog, minus the bun. A hot dog salad. And we have friends coming over for dinner that night, because we know how to treat people exceptionally well. Did I mention that it’s a hot dog salad? The countdown begins.

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