dinner on a deadline
I've read Married with Dinner for years but never commented; Anita's recent challenge has lured me out of lurking to actively participate. The gist of it is that busy people who arrive home exhausted and in no mood to cook at the end of the day can eat well, without resorting to convenience food or take out.
That hits me where I live. Weekends my life revolves around food. The kitchen is a playroom. We plan, we shop, we cook, we eat. And while we're eating, we talk about what we'll have for the next meal. Weekdays are another story. I work long and hard and when I get home I rarely have the energy and inspiration to make something wonderful. And our typically tiny NYC kitchen doesn't make it any easier.
But each time I take the easy way out I hate myself a little.
Anita proposes to spend the next 12 weeks sharing cooking tips for real-life, working folks who love to eat well. Her first week's post is about the value of planning, having a well-stocked larder, and knowing what leftovers might be lurking in your refrigerator. Beginners are tasked to plan 2 meals that won't take more than 30 minutes prep per meal. Experts should "make at least one full meal this week from what you already have on hand in your fridge, freezer, or pantry, without shopping for anything new. Bonus points for dessert."
I may not be an expert, but I'm compulsively organized, and as many of you know, have a well-stocked pantry. I thought I'd go for the gold.
This morning I got up at 5:45 to make a Long Island plant run. Bought for three gardens, delivered all three and planted one. In other words it was a full day and I was tired when I got home. Plus I only had two chicken thighs and some embarrassingly old potatoes in the fridge. But I like a challenge.
I pulled together chicken cutlets with Myer lemons and cilantro, roasted potatoes, and a zucchini-tomato-feta extravaganza with some leftover rhubarb (from our garden) cake for desert. It took about 30 minutes prep time, and we had everything on hand in the freezer, the fridge, or the cupboard. I feel virtuous for taking the challenge.
Anyone out there want to play? Check out Married with Dinner and get in the game.