As much as this blog is about food I enjoy making, it must also sometimes be about food that just doesn’t really interest me. Like dinner.
The very word, dinner, strikes fear in my heart. Dinner, if I was to have my way every night, would be a version of homemade nachos. Yep. Nachos.
I’m not ashamed of that fact, either. My nachos are fantastic; I use multi-grain baked chips, black beans, scallions, mango salsa, jalapeños, avocados, and shredded pepper jack cheese. Perfection.
My boyfriend, however, does not really see eye-to-eye with me on my blissful ignorance of other types of dinner food. He was raised on steak and potatoes, chicken parmesan and caesar salad, grilled salmon and rice, and…you get the idea. Dinner.
So I cook dinner. But it scares me! I always thought those repetitive articles in women’s magazines about getting dinner on the table in 30 minutes were lame. Who couldn’t do that? Just boil water, put some type of pasta in it, open a bottle of sauce, and call it a night. If bread and butter happened to make their way to the table, dinner was complete.
But now. Now I subscribe to Food Network Magazine. Now I have beautiful, fresh cooking books lining my shelf. Now I have instant access to thousands of dinner recipes. I’m overwhelmed! I’m overwhelmed with the sense of responsibility I have to create something well-balanced and healthy for my bf and myself. I’m overwhelmed by all the possibilities and combinations I could create.
It’s impossible to get a well-balanced dinner on the table in 30 minutes! That is, it is impossible without serious foresight and prep work. I find myself back home around 6:30, crazily flipping through pages, trying to find one recipe that includes the ingredients in my fridge and does not require overnight marinating or 45 minutes in the oven. The entire time, I’m thinking about having to also whip up two side dishes; these sides I feel are necessary to include in order to call whatever I present to the bf as “dinner.” Popcorn anyone?
Case in point as far as the impossibility of half-hour dinners from my kitchen, tonight I decided to make chicken tandoori from one of my new cookbooks, with whole wheat cous-cous and mashed cauliflower (the cauliflower decision wasn’t really inspired; I just don’t remember when I bought it…). The recipe eventually asked for some spices, veggies and tomato paste to be pureed for a marinade. Great idea. I just, um, don’t have a food processor. Instead, by a crazy twist of fate (i.e. gifts from my mom at different times), I have three blenders.
Without spilling all the dirty details, conclusively, my blenders do not puree. And after learning this fact in three different ways within 30 minutes, I was ready to go to bed supperless. Determination prevailed, and dinner was finally put on the table an hour later: chicken tandoori (mine had a huge chunk of ginger in it which I found, first bite), whole wheat cous-cous, and cauliflower-au-gratin (cauliflower in non-puree form).
- Plan ahead
- Buy a food processor