This evening we made Creamy Chicken and Asparagus on Toast while both of our babes were in bed. Now Baby N is awake again, but there was a nice 40 minute glimpse into how life may be when the girls are both old enough to go to bed at a reasonable hour, leaving evenings to ourselves once more. Baby N is only five weeks old, but it does feel like she’s been with us for ever. Every now and then I try and force myself to pay real attention to how little she is, knowing that the obvious- that she will never be so small again- is almost too profound to process. Already she has changed so much, she can hold her head up pretty well and she has been smiling alot the last few days. She has also started making some obnoxiously cute noises, cooing and the like. I am not mentioning the other noises she makes which are less than cute. She does have a bit of a nasty rash on her face which gets more angry-looking at certain times of the day, like just after she has eaten. I mentioned it to the pharmacist today, and she really had no clue, but she said if it was an allergy to my clothing, I should try feeding her (the baby that is) with no clothing between us. That is an interesting plan of attack for when we are out and about. I’ll just strip off next time N’s hungry, and tell anyone who complains that it is for medical reasons. (Shudder).
The chicken and asparagus is extremely tasty and satisfying. Onions and garlic were browned in olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and thyme, then removed from the pan. The chicken was added to the pan, with some butter and more olive oil, when it was browned the onion joined it in the pan, and flour was sprinkled over the mixture. A minute later, stock, half and half and white wine were whisked in and the mixture brought to a simmer. The chopped asparagus was added to the pan, followed by the parsley and chopped ham. Meanwhile, the French baguette was split lengthwise, lightly browned in the oven, topped with melted butter (we used a little olive oil spray rather than the 5 tablespoons of butter the recipe dictates) parsley, salt and pepper. The chicken and asparagus mixture was spooned onto the baguette, and a cheese/ breadcrumb mixture liberally sprinkled on top. The baguettes were put under the broiler until the cheese was melted, and we managed to catch them just before they started to burn.
As I mentioned, the chicken and asparagus mixture was extremely good. It was rich and hearty and would have been equally at home with rice or potatoes. On top of a baguette with a cheese topping, this meal felt like leftovers. With a relatively elaborate dish on top of toast- albeit toast with parsley butter and a fancy topping- it seemed a little like hangover food; when you are too tired to make a side dish so you just eat yesterdays meal on toast. That is not to say that this wasn’t a pleasant dinner, after all bread is always good in my book, but it was a fair amount of trouble to go to for a sandwich. Although, having said that, there is no real reason why it would seem to be more trouble when the end result is served on toast, than it would have been if the end result had been on rice. Just another case of double standards I suppose.
Tomorrow we will be having Simple and Delicious Chicken with Potatoes and Asparagus. I suppose this isn’t too far away from a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner, in as much as it features poultry and vegetables. Fortunately we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving so we won’t be feeling short changed. This won’t be the case at Christmas however, where i believe we’ll be eating Fresh Tomato and Basil Chicken over Super Creamy Polenta for Danish Christmas on December 24th, followed by Roast Crispy Mushrooms and Grilled Tenderloin Steaks with Green Onions on the 25th for UK Christmas. Then we’ll either be feeling very hard done by or very, very full depending on how many meals we decide to cook and eat. Potentially we could be having chicken and duck one day followed by steak and turkey the next. Maybe in 2008 we’ll be doing a year of detoxing.