Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Anyone Can Cook, including me

So today was DAY ONE of me cooking for serious!
On opening day of the rest of my life, I figured I shouldn't go too crazy, so the menu included: Rosemary Chicken with roasted asparagus, topped with parmesan.
The rosemary chicken recipe comes from Anyone Can Cook, an awesome cookbook for people like me who need a section dedicated to explaining pans.

First, we pulled the chicken out of the fridge and found that it had not, in fact, thawed completely. Sean said that was no problem; we could thaw it in the microwave. Except neither of us had any idea how to do that and if I hadn't said something, I'm pretty sure he would have plopped raw chicken in there. I already had to admonish him several times to wash his hands after handling raw chicken, so don't be surprised when you see a future update on Sean's hospitalization for salmonella poisoning.

Luckily, I found the microwave instructions and we worked it out!

Then, I sprinkled the pieces with lemon-pepper seasoning, dropped a tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet and fried the chicken until I was ABSOLUTELY SURE it was not pink. For me, that means obsessively peering at it, asking Sean 40 times if it looks pink, burning it, making sure it's as dry as possible and then cooking it some more just to be on the safe side.

Sean handled the asparagus with aplomb, which we roasted in the oven, drizzled with olive oil and pepper. He did an excellent job.

Once plated, the meal looked remarkably like those pictures in US Weekly of Dancing With The Stars diets. But once it was in my belly, it was enough food. We each took a bite and said, "Hey, that's pretty good." And ridiculously, embarrassingly easy.

Mmmmmm! Healthy and good!

And Sean rubbed his stomach and said, "Mmmm mmmm good," per my instructions.

TOMORROW: Leftovers, plus pasta!


Amber said...

That "Anyone Can Cook" book IS awesome. When I offered to lend you cookbooks, I meant that one.

Have you started looking at cooking blogs?

Amber said...

No; I figure first I have to learn to cook at like, improvisational level before I can get really into cooking blogs.

At this point, I don't even know if I like cooking. lol.

Sean said...

I am confused by all of the "Amber said ..."

Anyway, I am remarkably unphotogenic.

That was some good chicken.

That is all.

Aliya said...

You should see Ratatouille!! "Anyone Can Cook!" :)

Joe said...

Cooking is fun once you get over being scared of it.

Kate said...

You used the cookbook I gave you!!!! I'm SOOO excited! Maybe a little too excited, but I'm really pleased that you like it :)

Joe said...

You should get a James Beard cookbook, too. And if you ever have the cash, shell out for a copy of Larousse Gastronomique, which is basically the Bible of cookbooks. It's available for just over $50 right now Amazon, but it's like $80 normally.

Amber said...

Omg, Joe, I had no idea you were such a gourmand. And, btw, cooking is already kind of getting fun. I'm not sure I could do it without my iPod dock nearby, though.

Joe said...

I am not a gourmand. For every meal I get right, I screw up five. Thing is, a few years ago, Melissa and I were blowing all our money on eating out. Neither of us cooked. She didn't like cooking and I was intimidated by it. But it finally clicked that we needed to stop eating out so much, so I broke down and started cooking ... and ended up loving it.

Anyway, everything I know I've learned from friends, cookbooks, food blogs and cooking shows. Watch America's Test Kitchen on PBS on Saturday mornings ... it's a great, invaluable resource. And work through that cookbook you've got. Make all the recipes that look good to you. You'll get more and more confident as you go along, and instead of panicking at the grocery store, you'll end up seeing endless aisles of possibility.

Elizardbeth said...

Look for cookbooks written by Anne Willan and especially Barbara Kafka. They're big 'splainers.