Friday, October 14, 2011

Bride's First Cooking Experience

Last night the bride called. I'd been to her house on Sunday written out a simple chicken recipe that can be modified several different ways. I wrote out a list of things I always have on hand because I use them in so many ways, and gave her a few cooking tips: You don't use a metal spatula in your Teflon cookware. How to deglaze a pan. That large shallow thing is called a skillet.

She was ready to attempt to cook. First time, one month in. In some states you can have a marriage annulled for that. Now the problem with my helping anyone to cook or give out recipes is that I'm a throw things together kind of cook. A friend requested my salsa recipe the other day. It went like this.

I wrote down the ingredient list. She asked how much of everything. I had no clue. I cook in handfuls, dashes and pinches. I mean haven't we been over the "I'm not a detail person" thing already?

I did, attempt to write a recipe for my daughter complete with measurements.

"That sounds good, Mom. What's it called?"
"I don't know. I made it up."
"Of course you did. Now make up a name."
"I'll call it Kiki's Chicken Cozumel."

So when my daughter decided to cook this for dinner last night she called to have me walk her through it. We chatted while she defrosted chicken.

"How is everyone there? The same?
"Yes. My blog tomorrow is going to be about the myth of the Empty Nest Syndrome."
(Coming next week.)

Time to take the chicken out of the microwave.

"OOOOOHHHH...it looks disgusting!"
"Hush, it's just raw chicken."
"Do I have to TOUCH it???"
"Oh for crying out loud just throw it in the skillet!"
"WITH MY HANDS?"
"NO! With tongs or a fork or whatever."
"Okay. I did it."

We then went through cooking the chicken, testing for doneness, and "Yes, all of your mother's recipes are healthy. Not like when I got married and decided I didn't want to cook like my mother (everything had hamburger or potatoes)  or be a Southern cook. I spent hours at the library with books on California nouveu cuisine, and southwest cooking. I had to learn everything myself because I didn't know anyone who was cooking the way I wanted to."

"Hey, Mom! It doesn't smell disgusting anymore."
"What does it smell like?"
"Chicken."

Here's what the bride made for her first meal. I may have to rename this recipe that. ;)

Kiki's ( Kiki is my son in law's nickname for me) Chicken Cozumel:

Ingredients for chicken and beans:
2-4 chicken breasts thawed
olive oil
garlic
cumin

Black beans
Cheddar cheese

Ingredients for side salad:
Avocado
Jalepeno
Tomato
Onion
Cilantro
Lime juice

(Instead of avocado add a can of Rotel and a can of fire roasted tomatoes, pulse in the food processor a few times and you have my salsa--best if refrigerated overnight.)

I'm sorry. Did you think there were going to be measurements? It all depends on what you like. Play with it! Hate cilantro? Leave it out. Love garlic? Add extra. I have confidence in you. :)

Heat olive oil and garlic in skillet (that's a shallow round thing with a handle).
Add chicken dusted with cumin and cook over medium heat 3-4 minutes each side, continue process until thoroughly cooked. Remove to a plate.

Deglaze pan with lime juice and add one or two cans of black beans. Season with a bit of cumin and salt. Stir until heated through.

While your chicken and beans are cooking chop the ingredients for your salad. If you want to serve them atop your chicken, cut them a bit finer. Toss vegetables together with a dash of Kosher salt and lime juice.

Top your beans with cheddar cheese. I like to add the chicken back to the skillet and let everyone serve themselves from there.

She finished everything.

"Well, what does it look like?"
"Ohmigosh, it looks delicious! I did it!"

Then came THE moment. The moment you hope you live long enough to see when you are serving your ten thousandth meal and your family is picking at it and asking questions like ..."Ewww, what is that? Is that a MUSHROOM??? "

Or you've made an amazing meal and they all got Chinese on the way home from the game.

Or they pick at dinner, tell you they aren't that hungry, and then head to the pantry for cereal.

Cereal is the bane of my existence.

My daughter said to me..."This is a lot of work, then people just eat and, and ...it's gone."

THE HEAVENS OPENED. THERE WERE CHOIRS OF ANGELS SINGING A SONG OF REDEMPTION FOR EVERY WOMAN WHO HAS EVER STOOD IN FRONT OF HER PANTRY WITHOUT A CLUE WHAT TO MAKE FOR DINNER. A CELESTIAL LIGHT SHONE BRIGHTLY IN MY KITCHEN. MY HEART SANG.

"Try it for 28 years."
"I just wouldn't have done it."
"Yes, you will. Now go eat your super delicious dinner."
"Thanks, Mom."

MORE SINGING BY ANGELS...:)

1 comment:

  1. i'm just SO proud... our girl is an official grown-up! btw, the chicken looks amazing. i'm going to have to try it:)

    ReplyDelete