Thursday, August 14, 2003

So last night I was in a total bloat coma after the Denny's. And I mean TOTAL. I know I've changed my body when a cheeseburger and pie make me so ill I crave nothing more than a green salad. Anyway. I got home all tired and crabby and started in on the sauce for last week's Minimalist recipe, peanut butter and chicken. And when I take the chicken thighs out of the fridge- well, they stunk. I actually debated for a split second their edibility before tossing them. I called Jeff on his cell to ask him to pick some chicken thighs on his way home, but when he got home an hour later, well, he'd left his cell at home.

In the meantime I made the sauce anyway, and started to get annoyed with the Minimalist, who instructs you to whisk until smooth, a bit difficult when you are using chunky peanut butter as directed- I mean, no whisk is going to smooth out those chunks, so I took him to mean the non peanut parts. And then every time I added coconut milk, two seconds later it would thicken up too much, so eventually I added coconut milk and took it off the burner immediately and then added the lime juice and nam pla (and then also discovered a moldy lime- I SWEAR I am not some gross person who keeps spoilt food around and promise that I immediately then threw out everything that had potential to go bad). I covered the sauce and put it in the fridge. Then I started in on the marinade for the ribs for tonight- also from last Wednesday's NYT, Nigella's spare ribs. Thankfully the ribs were definitely not smelly, since the butcher had run out and then cut me some special anyway, and I would hate to go back and buy more especially since ribs cost more than chicken.

Anyway. That all went fine and then Jeff came home and I had to go to Trader Joe's, who had no chicken thighs so I got some breasts and said screw it, since I wasn't grilling or broiling them as directed but using the grill pan. I took them home, cut them up, shoved them in the sauce and let them sit. We watched some of the West Wing repeats on Bravo and remembered how that show used to be good, back when Aaron Sorkin was still on drugs, and also caught one of those Martin Sheen inside the White House tidbits informing us that Gerald Ford's favorite snack was cottage cheese with ketchup. Now, I already knew that Nixon had cottage cheese on a pineapple ring for lunch, and I often have cottage cheese with balsamic vinegar and Triscuits for lunch, so clearly I am well on my way to being President.

Then when I got the chicken and the sauce out of the fridge, after deciding I was too tired to make rice and Jeff and I both agreed we didn't want any anyway, and realized I had no real idea how this dish was supposed to work. I heated up the grill pan, skewered the chicken, and put the skewers on, slathering the leftover sauce over the skewers. (I know, I know, don't use a marinade as a sauce, but hey, it got cooked.)

The sauce did caramelize as he said it would- well, it charred, eventually- and I turned the skewers over and did not envy Jeff the job of scrubbing the grill pan. When the chicken bits were cooked through I put them on plates and forgot to garnish them with cilantro or lime juice, but it did not matter. I scraped up some of the charamelized sauce bits from the pan and ate them straight. Despite my having no real idea of what the dish was supposed to turn out like (I kept imagining chicken skewers with a dipping sauce, despite it clearly not being that) it turned out fine anyway. More than fine. Quite, quite good. Clearly, I should not doubt the Minimalist.