"Hey, when you have a chance will you look for a recipe on the Jamie Oliver app?" I ask Don, who is checking something on his iphone as we're driving home from Napa.
No response. So I wait a few seconds. At least it seemed like a few seconds.
"Would you mind looking for a recipe for me?" I ask. Again.
"I will! Let me finish what I'm doing!" he snaps back.
Ooops. Have I mentioned that we've been working together everyday since I lost my job. That's two months now. They call me "the intern" at the store. I do all the grunt work and don't get paid.
We haven't spent this much time together in a very long time. So you know, I get on his nerves.
"Ok. I just want a plan about what to cook before I get home." Sheesh I whisper to myself. Ok, I whine.
So now I wait........
"How about Grilled Lemon and Herb Chicken with Mash?" he suggests.
"What's in it?" I ask. I need to know if I have the ingredients at home. Or most of them anyway.
He now starts to rattle off the items, chicken, lemon, thyme, potatoes, corn, basil, tomatoes. I do an inventory in my head. I know we have most of this stuff. I can make it work. It won't exactly be what chef Jamie had created. But I know it will be good. Cuz you see, I have no plans on stopping at the store. By the time we pick Elli up from school and get home it's around 6:15. I'm tired. And I just want to get dinner going.
So I make the recipe and serve it up to everyone.
Don looks at the plate and asks me where the tomato and basil topping is from the recipe. I tell him we didn't have that stuff. So I just left it out. He then says he just assumed I would go to the store. I just looked at him. "Uh........Sorry. Nope. It will taste delish without the tomatoes. Don't worry." And it did. Of course the little tomato/basil topping would be mighty tasty. Maybe I'll plan ahead next time.
Grilled Lemon and Herb Chicken with Mash (and Tomato Relish)
(adapted from Jamie Oliver, 20 minute meals)
Serves 4. Ready in 20 minutes.
Chicken and mash ingredients:
1 3/4 lbs new potatoes (I used russet), cut in chunks.
4 skinless chicken breasts
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup frozen sweet corn
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
2 T milk
3 ripe tomatoes
1 large bunch fresh basil
1 small bunch scallions
1 medium fresh chile
2 T red wine vinegar
1. Fill a large sauce pan with water and place on a high heat. Add a pinch of salt. Add potatoes. Bring to a boil. Cook for about 15 minutes until tender.
2. Topping: roughly chop the tomatoes and basil leaves. Trim and finely slice the scallions. Deseed and finely chop the chile. Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and the red wine vinegar to the bowl. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. Pound each chicken breast until they are 1/2 inch thick (I didn't do this.)
4. Finely grate the zest of a lemon over the breasts and drizzle them with olive oil. Pick the thyme leaves and scatter these over the chicken.
5. Get a frying pan on a medium heat, and once hot, add a splash of olive oil.
6. Add the chicken breasts to the pan and cook for 3 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through. Remove from pan and let rest for a few minutes. Then slice each breast.
7. Place the frozen corn in the microwave to thaw for 1 minute.
8. Drain the potatoes and return to the pan. Turn off the burner. Add the milk and butter and mash to desired consistency. Add corn and stir. Season with salt and pepper.
9. To serve, divide the mash up among 4 plates, top with the chicken. Squeeze a little lemon on each slice. And finally, top with the tomato relish and a drizzle of olive oil.
And as Jamie Oliver says, "Tuck in!" I'm pretty sure that means "dig in" here in the good old USA.