Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A place to launch

The other day, I was excited. In a world of expected dishes when someone can do something with food at home that is healthy, creative, and outside the box, it reminds there is so much more yet to learn and reinvigorates my cooking.

My Sister-in-Law, Amy, does not give herself credit when it comes to her ability to study or work with food. But she has a keen sense for flavor and lightness when reading recipes and chooses the bright lights of the fresh food revolution. My heart breaks for her a little that she is not cooking in area with year round fresh produce, like much of California. And as Amy hones her skills, I could easily imagine her in the bountiful day markets of France or Italy. In our corner though, with six-months of winter in metro New York City and most of the food grown elsewhere, the produce has left any freshness behind in its crate from South America. But she manages to find the gems always, in the recipes and the ingredients.

She made, and my brother helped to grill, a dish recently from a Donna Hay cookbook. It called for chicken and vegetables to be marinated at room temperature and then grilled. Once cooked and while still warm, they were tossed with arugula and topped with an arugula mayo. It tasted as pretty as it looked. No joke, these are photos of the food placed in front of me, there is no styling involved:

Amy served it with garlic bread which was a perfect accompaniment for a family of carb addicts.

This dish and the bread got me thinking: First, about what a great dish it would be in any number of variations: Oven roasted veggies in the winter. Sauteed blanched greens. With dense grilled fish. Marinated in olive oil with za'atar spice. Grilled portobello instead of chicken. And so on. It has a huge food universe of possibilities.

Similarly, I have had on my mind a Martha Stewart recipe for savory french toast which has been bothering me for its expected-ness. It is another idea with endless possibilities. Why kill it dead by dragging out the expected bacon? Yawn. Sigh. Snore.

Some other creation should be born of Amy's great start and this French toast bore... their moment of greatness awaits.

1 comment:

Stacey said...

This looks so yummy!