Posts Tagged ‘veg/no veg’

Pasta with balsamic vegetables (& chicken)

In recipe on July 11, 2010 at 10:49 am

Today I feel like waxing philosophical about cooking. In my (admittedly limited) experience, there are two schools of cooking – thinking big, and get ‘er done.

“Thinking big” cooking can be found in the pages of Gourmet, or Bon Appetit, and in my head, or most types of baking. These recipes require dozens of ingredients, usually involving something so obscure that I have to research before I buy. I’d say those people who enjoy this style of cooking are foodies, are prone to make sweeping proclamations about olive oil, and mix their own spices.

The other side of the spectrum, and where I firmly see myself, is the “get ‘er done” kitchen style. At its worst, it’s the semi-homemade mixing-salsa-with-pasta crap that Sandra Lee preaches. But at its best, its accessible and adaptable, allowing a busy person to stop, take a look inside the fridge and say, “Yeah, I think I can make something happen here.”

I don’t mean to sound like fancy cooking is useless. I admire it, and those who choose to attempt the gourmet at home. But most of the recipes are so fussy that I feel nervous to play with them, which takes away the real joy of cooking: creation. No doubt I sound poncey here, but cooking’s an art, not a science, and I appreciate when I get to riff.

Wow! That was a lot of philosophy. Funnily enough, it came as a result from a pretty simple recipe that’s not really groundbreaking at all. It was inspired, as usual, from a Fitness magazine recipe, but it’s been changed quite a bit. Note: there aren’t a lot of hard stops in this recipe. Anything marked with **, replace at your own peril, but you can really adapt this one. I’ve put suggestions for alternates in parentheses after the ingredients, and at the end. Lots to play with here! Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »