Friday, July 29, 2011

Saucepans, and Ovens, and Pots! Oh, My!

As a "single" gal living with roommates,  most of my dinners consisted of one pot meals - I would throw a can of beans, a bag of spinach, and a couple chicken breasts on the stove on Sunday and eat bowls of my concoction until Wednesday. I dreamed of serving courses, each component created in its own vessel, of traveling through the pages of my cookbooks to new countries to sample the cuisine, of having a recipe Rolodex in my head. When I moved to Boise, my status as head chef was cemented immediately and my brain has been on overdrive ever since. What I didn't count on is that it will take time for me to become an expert on following recipes, grocery shopping for the right ingredients, and making appropriate proportions. Wednesday's meal of sauteed mushrooms, pan fried scallops and shrimp, and white bean puree needs no further documentation. While everything tasted fine, our plates looked more like an array of amuse bouche that an hearty meal for two. Last night, I decided to try out something a little more amateur but sure to satisfy - Taco Night! I served up chicken and black bean tacos, fresh corn, tomato and avocado salad, green salad with yellow pepper, and all the hot sauce and salsa we could manage. We sipped margaritas and enjoyed the early evening breeze in the backyard.

The spread
So colorful!

(Makes 8 tacos)
Saute one pound chicken breast in a splash of olive oil until fully cooked
Remove from pan to cut into bite sized pieces
Pour leftover oil and juices from the pan and add one can black beans (I use low or no sodium beans, drained)
Add desired spices (I used half a packet of low sodium taco seasoning because we are sans spices at the moment!)
Add chicken, cook with beans until thickened and hot
Serve on yellow corn tortillas with shredded cheese

Corn, Tomato, Avocado Salad:
Add two cups fresh corn, cherry tomatoes, and avocado into bowl
Stir in juice of one lime and red pepper flakes

As I take on more adventures in the kitchen, look forward to becoming a better cook, keeping my boyfriend well fed, and putting a healthy spin on even the most indulgent comfort foods. Bon appétit!


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