Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sisterspeak: How 'Bout that Housewarming Dinner-for-Two?

So, I'm sitting in bed on a Saturday morning, laptop on...lap, soaking in the wonder that is our new (functioning) wireless Internet connection -- and thought I'd finally update my experience cooking the housewarming dinner-for-two.

Let's begin with my shopping trip for the ingredients. Things that are apparently impossible to find in an Irish supermarket on a Sunday afternoon: shallots, hot sauce and avocados. Yes, shallots. The other two, I can sort of understand -- maybe there was a run on the raw ingredients for guacamole earlier in the day...but I expect to be able to buy a shallot when I want it. Deep breaths.

Thankfully, I returned home (with a few onions, just in case) and found a shallot in the deep recesses of my veg bowl. So, All Was Not Lost. In lieu of the hot sauce, I purchased a sort of chili paste. And well, there's really no substitute for avocado. I did consider buying ready-made guacamole. but had only to think of Nick's face...

In the end, I decided to make only the main meal and leave dessert and appetizers for another day, when I and my beloved, for whom I was preparing the apology, were less hungry. Miguel, in fact, was so hungry -- and so excited by the recipe -- he insisted on making the twice-baked potatoes himself. (If you want to get an Irishman excited in the kitchen, show him a new way to prepare the humble a treat. Just don't give advice, ever, about anything related to the recipe -- chopping, dicing, grating. It goes over about as well as trying to show a two-year-old how to color inside the lines, ie: "let ME do it...!" [Stamp foot] "I can do it mySELF!")

I cooled the chicken in the fridge with the buttermilk and chili paste for about three hours and watched the chicken breasts swell to about twice the original size. Mmmmm. Not having read through the recipe, I didn't realize the chicken, once-breaded, needed to sit back in the fridge for half an hour before it went in the pan. I did consider skipping this point, but pushed aside my hunger -- in the end, I'm glad I did, as the breadcrumbs would have fallen entirely apart otherwise.

Once the chicken was in the oven (with Miguel's twice-baked potatoes), I turned my attention to the spinach. I'd diced the shallots etc beforehand, so adding the remaining ingredients and wilting the spinach only took about 2 minutes to cook all together. So easy and SO delicious.

With everything ready, I plated it and served Miguel, put on my Serious Face and started in on my speech: "look, I'm really sorry if I've been difficult to the past few weeks. [Heavy sigh.] It's just been stressful with the move, all the IKEA furniture, work..." But I might as well have been saying sorry to the wall, so focused was his attention on how to get as much chicken and potato on his fork, dipped in the spinach cream sauce, at one time.

I'm choosing to interpret his squeaky clean plate as "apology accepted."

1 comment:

  1. glad to hear it worked a treat. Also, good to hear that the irishman is open to new avenues of spud preparation. Also again, good to see a post from you. NICK 35 NOUSH 3