|Goat cheese, olives, lemon, herbs, black pepper, olive oil. Done.|
I think often about simplicity in the kitchen. The days of me cooking for days have passed. The kids are almost all out of the house, our circle of friends seems smaller (so many were soccer and gym parents--those things ended and so little replaced it). Our family almost is never all together.
But that is all okay, because into the space left by big gatherings is a sense of simplicity. My new, go-to app of goat cheese, olives, lemon zest and olive oil, with plenty of herbs (this is from Leite's, and they use thyme; I use whatever I have on hand) and black pepper. My favorite breakfast is unflavored greek yogurt with my own granola, a drizzle of honey and frozen blueberries. Lunches are leftovers. Dinners? Well, either I am testing a recipe, but when I'm not, I want easy. Easy includes grilled lamb sticks (ground, seasoned lamb pressed onto skewers--we get it at the supermarket and it's an "easy" dinner), chicken teriyaki in the crock pot, Marcella Hazan's lemon chicken. Caprese salad, especially in the summer. Chicken marinated with lemon, garlic, rosemary and olive oil.
See? So simple nothing needs a recipe, really, just some instructions.
But really it's about that simplicity--even if I need to think ahead. To me, even homemade pizza (dough and all) is simple as long as I've remembered to start the dough in the afternoon.
I still love having people over and hosting family and friends for special occasions. It just doesn't seem to happen often enough.
In the meantime, I'll do my best to keep it simple, but keep it special.
My Special Variation of Marcella Hazan's Lemon Chicken:
It's easy and a variation of her full-chicken-cut-
up approach (plus I leave some stock in skillet because it makes such an awesome sauce): brown a finely diced onion in butter in a large cast-iron skillet. Add boneless skinless thighs. Brown well. Add 1 cup BEEF stock, cover and simmer at the lowest of simmers 45 minutes, with lid slightly popped so stock is evaporating...turn thighs a couple of times while simmering. When there is just a bit of stock covering the bottom of the skillet, stir in a combo of 2 yolks and 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice...OFF the heat, that is...stir stir stir til it thickens...DONE. A one dish meal.)