Looking for new recipes is one of the things I most like doing on the internet, but it’s also one of my productivity’s worst enemies. I could spend hours browsing around, blissfully unaware of time ticking away, awestruck by the creativity of every foodie I come across. And in much the same way as I’m inspired by a wealth of cooks and bloggers, I’ve always wondered if anyone ever felt so intrigued by any of my recipes to give it a try. I’d assumed not, having never caught sight of a picture, link, or mention that suggested otherwise. And then, unexpectedly, it happened. If a couple of weeks ago I could only imagine that this is one of the achievements that make blogging about food worthwhile, now I know that it’s true.
That’s as little as it takes to make me happy. Heck, I’m still over the moon. So if you ever try one of my recipes, make sure you drop me a line to let me know. Given the uncontrollable euphoria this brings about, you could very well argue this equals to your daily good deed. Now’s time to do mine, and credit my most recent sources of inspiration, just like I did last month. Who knows, maybe this post will make someone else’s day?
1. In Sock Monkey Slippers’s Prosciutto Wrapped Dijon Chicken
However much I’d like to be proficient in perfect, juicy steaks and burgers, most of the meat dishes I can make involve chicken. Judging by my Pinterest to-cook list, full of chicken recipes, it’ll be some time before I reverse the pattern – especially so now that I tried these chicken breasts wrapped in prosciutto. As hassle-free as a weekday dinner can get, without in the least sacrificing taste.
I mean it: this is the single easiest chicken main course I’ve ever come across. It requires as little as four ingredients and four steps: rolling the chicken into mustard, wrapping it with a slice of prosciutto, seasoning, and chucking it in the oven. Fast-forward to twenty minutes later, when you can sit down and enjoy your meal. Proof that, no matter how much you enjoy cooking challenges and elaborate meals, an effortless dinner tastes just as good.
2. Skinnytaste’s Skinny Chicken Cordon Bleu
Alas, chicken recipes aren’t all straightforward. Or, more accurately: no recipe is straightforward when your head’s up in the clouds. A lethal combination of laziness and distraction threatened to ruin my cordon bleu experiment, with no fault of the recipe itself: blame it on the cook, her choice of thick chicken breasts that didn’t fold, her overly generous portions of mozzarella filling, her overall clumsiness with handling egg wash.
I shall be glad that my cordon bleus stuck together, avoiding a disastrous melted mozzarella mess in the oven. I may not try again, unless I find the right cut of meat at my local supermarket, but I’m still somewhat satisfied with this first attempt. While my picture perfectly reflects the poor execution, it doesn’t quite capture the cordon bleu’s actual taste, which was entirely up to my expectations. Sometimes, having both a pretty platter and a happy stomach is not an option, and I’d pick the latter over the former any time.
3. On Top of Spaghetti’s Simple Salmon Frittata
Frittata is a staple in my childhood memories, filled with images of schoolday lunches at my grandmother’s house. The best cook in the family, she took immense pleasure in performing what looked to me like the coolest kitchen stunt ever: flipping a perfectly circular frittata in the air, and catching it back in the pan with a quick and confident gesture. I never quite inherited her dexterity. My frittatas have always looked quite battered, irreparably broken during many fruitless attempts at turning them over. I could pass them on as scrambled eggs, and no one would be able to tell the difference.
This should explain why I was so curious about the Salmon Frittata featured on On Top Of Spaghetti. Eleni’s oven-baked frittata required no flipping or turning: a foolproof, risk-free haven of convenience. Also, I had yet to try pairing salmon with eggs: a British breakfast favourite, yet unknown in this Italian home, where the first meal of the day is always sweet. I can’t see myself dropping this morning habit, but after making this frittata, I predict that the egg-and-salmon combination will feature in many more lazy Sunday lunches or weekday dinners.
4. Joy the Baker’s Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry Pie
Puff pastry is one of the three foods I’d take with me on a desert island – probably despising my stupidity one second later, as the middle of nowhere is famous for its lack of ovens. Anyway, you get the message:give me a puff pastry pie recipe, and I’ll feel compelled to give it a try. There’s little doubt I’ll like it, very good chances I’ll love it to the point of developing a borderline insane addiction.
Joy the Baker’s ham and gruyère puff pastry pie, enhanced by a layer of mustard at the bottom, made no exception, and I’m now longing to use the leftover gruyère in my fridge to make another one. Perfect as a make-ahead dish, and big enough to make four hearty portions, it yielded one dinner and one packed lunch for me and my partner. All in less than forty minutes, only ten of which we actually spent cooking. Better still, if we had used pre-rolled puff pastry, those ten minutes would have turned into no more than five. As Joy writes, delicious doesn’t have to be complicated. You can hardly argue with that.