When discussing food in a group of friends I’m always the first to admit that my no-nonsense approach to cooking is hardly the ‘right’ way to work. I admire people that can create elaborate meals that are a joy to eat, but I have a bigger admiration for people that can create elaborate meals without a nervous breakdown in the process. It probably has to do with my upbringing: my mother took great pride in her cooking but was seemingly allergic to following recipes. To be fair, her taste buds are trained and she has infinite patience, which I both lack. Growing up I saw her taste and toss ingredients while cooking and she never broke into a nervous sweat on any occasion, be it for Christmas, birthdays or dinner parties. I was quite aware I had pretty big
shoes pots to fill.
As the years went by and I started a family of my own I found myself looking for shortcuts in recipes, debating replacing a difficult ingredient with a simpler one and pretty much trying out whatever I could to avoid stress behind my stove. I haven’t mastered the art of substitution quite yet but I did achieve to keep my outlook on food exciting and fun. Cooking is not a chore for me, and never will be, the prospect of a gratifying feeling and a nice dish in sight keeps my sanity intact.
Today I had very little time and found no breadcrumbs anywhere in my pantry. This resulted in my assaulting a packed of crackers that I did have and seasoning them generously with some dried rosemary, parsley, salt and pepper. I coated my chicken for lunch with it and had enough left to store for a later time, and other meats. It was delicious and may even replace the breadcrumbs in some dishes. Placed on some baby spinach leaves with a dressing of white wine, olive oil, fresh rosemary, mayo and garlic it was the perfect lunch for an busy day.
We have left Easter behind and with that said goodbye to another few days of good food and quality time with family. I spent Thursday and Friday pretty much in the kitchen, my little but crowded domain on days like these. And after brunch yesterday we went home with a satisfied yet slightly stuffed feeling. Rest was needed and the food for today would be rich in flavor but light in every other aspect. We decided to go for a chicken salad for dinner, sweet, simple and just what we needed after the rich meals of the past few days. It’s never a challenge for me to figure out what to do on ‘simple’ days: as long as I have some fresh veggies in the house and some piece of lean meat I’m ready to go.
For this salad I chopped up some iceberg lettuce, a yellow bell pepper and a pair of thin spring onions. The chicken was coated in some breadcrumbs and an egg, grilled and sliced. And the dressing stayed in the light theme: just a tablespoon of non-fat mayo, dill, pepper, salt, and very finely chopped parsley. A squeeze of a half lime gave it an extra kick. Very enjoyable!