25 June 2012

Challenge Yourself!

Staring into the open refrigerator, I recognized my food fatigue. Do you ever get tired of making the same dishes or the same genre of food? When I don't have a set recipe in mind, the end result usually lands at Italian. Chicken, garlic, onion, oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary. Sometimes tomatoes. At lunch with friends, Kristen, a teacher friend of mine who each summer undergoes a tremendous transformation into a fearless chef, encouraged us to "Challenge yourself" by trying new recipes. Last night, I decided I wanted to cook with wine. And rosemary. My friend Mel lives in the middle of the city and has this amazing garden. She brings me bouquets of fresh herbs tied with raffia, and I feel compelled to use them for something special. I found Chicken Proven├žal online and asked the hubby to open a bottle of red. Cooking with wine takes food to a whole 'nother level. Plus, it makes me feel legit. Too legit too quit. Instead of cooking oil, I used olive oil. And I omitted the anchovy paste, because I didn't have any. I used pitted Kalamatas, because I didn't have any Nicoise, and they are probably more expensive anyway. It was very good. We're talking, lift the bowl to drink the sauce good. So, we now have another favorite in the rotation. My sweet husband told me, "This is so good, you should be making it for our friends." Guess I'll be breaking out the calendar and scheduling some dinner dates.