chicken

Day 161: The longest day

June 10, 2007

 

Today has been an insane riot of dashing in and out of the house to clean up and then vacate before the next showing. Every time we tried to relax (like during Baby A’s short-lived nap) the phone would ring to schedule another showing. Which of course is great, but it will be delicious to get our house back to ourselves, and not have to spend 45 minutes cleaning the already reasonably clean kitchen every morning. Of course at one point we managed to leave a stinky bag of rubbish by the kitchen door for two showings. Makes all the flowers and fresh fruit a little superfluous, perhaps.

This morning we took Baby A swimming in one of our ten thousand lakes. Unbelievably it’s the first time she’s been swimming; she has been plagued with ear infections so often that we’ve never managed it before. We took her to the beach and she ran into the water, full pelt, with absolutely no fear. Even after a mouthful of water following a wee fall she was not put off even remotely. We have an unused year-old inflatable whale thing for her to float around in which she seemed to love, she had a tremendous time. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, we also had a stint on the slides and swings. Evidently this morning we found toddler heaven. Her love of water does not extend to the shower, however. She had a complete fit when we got home and tried to shower off the smell of swamp thing.

We don’t want to jinx anything, but things are certainly looking less bleak on the house sale front. Suffice to say that once this entry is complete, we may be writing a list of virtually all our furniture and what we may be willing to sell it for. Strange times. After our last house-hunters left just after 7pm, we got Baby A to bed and set about making Tex-Mex Grilled Chicken Caesar. Before discussing the salad I should make a disclaimer; my idea of the perfect Caesar salad comes entirely prepackaged in a bag with the lettuce, dressing, cheese and croutons. I am certainly no Caesar connoisseur. In fact I have often wondered why you would bother making the dressing and croutons from scratch. So this meal was a test; was it worth it?

The chicken was rubbed in a chilli-cumin-olive oil marinade and fried on the grill pan. The dressing was made by dissolving anchovies in olive oil in a pan over a low heat, with garlic and red pepper flakes. Once this cooled, it was mixed with lime zest and juice, mustard, cilantro, salt and pepper. The croutons were chunks of sourdough bread cooked in the oven with garlic, olive oil and parmigiano cheese. The salad consisted of romaine hearts and avocado tossed with the dressing, topped with more parmigiano, with the croutons and chicken added. We were all set to say that this was far more trouble than it was worth, but we both actually really enjoyed it. This is a restaurant quality lunch, a world away from the Caeser we normally make. The dressing was excellent, the flavours distinct but not overpowering. Any oven-cooked bread is a winner in my book, no questions asked, particularly if there’s cheese in there. Our only slight reservation was the inclusion of the avocado, but that is purely a matter of personal taste. If we had not been so utterly frazzled from our day, and the fact that it is suddenly over 90?F, we would have put this meal together in no time at all. It’s easy and good, which is just as well because the the version tomorrow, Orange and Herb Chicken Caesar, sounds remarkably similar.

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