In case you can’t tell from the relative silence on my part, May is a crazy, crazy month. Lots of birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s day, Tony has started a new job, and, with the warm weather, lots of outdoor festivities to attend. So, in the midst of this madness, my desire to cook has reached epic lows. My couch has been my permanent place of residence when I finally get home. Luckily, I have found some inspiration, courtesy of my local library *cue cheesy 80s music and thumbs up*
Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything was my latest library find and it literally is what the title says, it’s one of the best cookbooks for people who are either starting out cooking or want to cover the classics. The thing I love about it is that it covers the basic recipes, but then offers variations, so you’re not stuck making the same dish again and again.
More importantly for my life lately, the recipes are easy and tasty. My favorite is the Morroccan-inspired Chicken Cutlets with Roasted Tomatoes (Bittman, pg 672-673). Skinless Chicken Breasts are my go-to for brainless cooking, but it’s hard to make them exciting, much less exotic. Bittman’s recipe does just that though, due to the blend of garlic, coriander, cilantro, and cumin (thanks to Grand Asia Market, I am the proud owner of a sugar sack-sized bag of cumin for $4.00, so that needs to get used).
Once you create the spice rub for the chicken, you just top the chicken with an olive oil, cumin (yea! more to use!), and chopped tomato mix. Bittman says you can use canned tomatoes for this, but man, even a queen of sloth like myself can chop some tomatoes. Once that’s done, you stick the chicken in the oven at 400F and that’s it! Except for basting the chicken with the pan juices once, I can stay on the couch and catch up on my sitting around time.
Once my winterized body gets used to the warm, spring/summer air and our schedules lighten up, I’ll be up and about attempting treacherous 13 course meals at home. Until then, Mark Bittman is going to join me on many a night on the couch for some inspirational reading.