Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Less is more

I am learning one recipe at a time, that simple is better for us. It's better for my weekly menu planning for sure and isn't compromising taste. Like with Italian cuisine, less is more. They are the masters of making kick ass dishes with just a few ingredients. The most important thing is that the ingredients be fresh and of good quality. There's no need to "cover up" anything if you are using simple and quality ingredients. I know there are plenty of excellent recipes out there that have ingredient lists that are extensive. I still like to piddle with those too. I save those productions for the weekend when I have more time to play in the kitchen.

Last night I made a simple Chicken Piccata. This recipe worked for me because it was clean, with a few ingredients and I could taste all of the vibrant flavors. The side dish included in the recipe was just a pasta and spinach dish where I boiled the pasta, added the fresh spinach to the pasta water for about a minute, drained, returned to them the pot and added some butter, salt and pepper. Tossed it about and it was done.

The piccata was very fluent as well. I sliced the chicken breasts in half lengthwise and then dipped them in flour. I then browned the chicken on both sides and set aside. In the same pan I added a cup of dry white wine and the juice of one lemon. I made sure to loosen up the brown bits in the pan from the chicken and let it reduce almost to half. I then added 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons drained and rinsed capers. After the butter had melted I added any needed salt and pepper and then poured over chicken.
Little man was feeling a little better yesterday. He was busted several times in the house climbing on top of his cart to reach light switches, pushing over the gates, playing with the blinds, and knocking things off table tops. He's a little trouble maker, but I'd rather have that than him not feeling well.He's not just a little trouble maker, he's also a picky eater. I have yet to understand it. I thought that since Chris and I will practically eat anything, that our children would be the same way. That theory has been shut down. Bella was a bit picky when she was little, but she did eat very well and had a more expansive scope of foods that she would eat. She's more on the salty side of things. It's just been in this past year that she finally began broadening her horizons in the food department. Slowly adding more foods to her repertoire.

Kris is even more particular than Bella was and prefers sweet foods to savory. The picture above is some noodles in red sauce that I made for the kids. I even added some sugar to make it a bit sweet. Last week's chicken with noodles was not a hit with Kristjan. The teachers at school said he never touches any chicken or vegetables with noodles that I bring (thanks for not letting me know until I asked). I left them a note in his lunchbox this morning to please let me know if he eats the noodles with red sauce.

If he has his way, his diet would only include: diced peaches, diced pears, bananas, carrots, buttered bread, cereal bars, cheerios, goldfish, Gerber Graduates ravioli and mac n' cheese. That's pretty much it. Not the quintessential diet in my eyes.

Here I go again, getting all tense about perhaps nothing. Bella is healthy and survived through her 10 item diet. I'll just keep introducing as much of a variety that I can and hope that he too will enrich his diet with more foods. As long as he is thriving and happy, there's not much else I can do. I have led a horse to water, and it's a fact - you can't make them drink.


Val in the Rose Garden said...

Alex was my worst. He once spent a week eating nothing but saltines. It was actually scary for me... but my friend, who had a son that was two years older, said that kids won't starve themselves, and believe it or not, 11 years later he is the best eater in the house. Will eat ANYTHING. This too shall pass.

Your chicken looks delish! I don't keep wine in the house, but I may have to pick some up for this dish. That looks really good.


Nessa said...

Thanks for the advice! I tend to forget how I managed with the older child and go direct to worry mode. Luckily, white wine can be found to be inexpensive. I use it to cook with a lot and also sneak in a glass for myself every once in a while ;o)