I hate cilantro. Like really, REALLY HATE the stuff. It tastes very green and grassy, but not necessarily in a good way. I can pick out even the tiniest hint of cilantro added to a dish. My guacamole would never include the stuff and I find myself picking around it when served guacamole at a restaurant. When bunches of cilantro come my way in my CSA shares, I find myself (probably visually) cringing. It’s not their fault that I hate cilantro. They didn’t know. I take the stuff, cram it in my bag only to find myself discarding the wilted bunch a week later. That is until I discovered chimichurri.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and make a crazy generalization here: most men like beer. Obviously as a pint but if you can incorporate beer into any other part of their daily nutritious intake, I doubt they would mind.I’ve been quite successful over the years, braising my new best friend–short ribs–in wine and spices but not so much with beer. It was time for another shot. Using Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout which brought tears to my friends’ eyes–apparently it’s pretty hard to come by and NOT meant for cooking with. Though I learned early on you don’t cook with cheap wine, so why wouldn’t the same apply to beer? Rare ale and all, this recipe might have achieved perfection.
Cooking is a labor of love. It’s about feeding people, bringing friends and family together and celebrating life. On a typical weekday night, life doesn’t allow the time for a 5-course meal, complete with sides. Generally a quick skillet dish or sauté will do. On the rare occasion, maybe a quick braise or homemade soup. During the week I live for speedy dishes and quick fixes. After a long day of work, I want to cook, eat and be in my pajamas in front of the TV as quickly as possible, before bedtime calls and a new day begins. But when I have time, on weekends or holidays, I like to take my time. Make a sauce from fresh tomatoes, not canned, take the extra time to whip some butter or churn some ice cream. The thing that makes a meal truly special, truly memorable is always in the details.
For those of you who don’t know me very well, I’m a procrastinator. A pretty big one. I very much enjoy being part of Secret Recipe Club, though I almost find the four week window to explore your assigned blog, pick a recipe, make it and write to be too much time. This month it certainly go the best of me. Healthy-Delicious was my assigned blog for this month. I’m a huge fan of Lauren’s blog and have been since I was introduced to it via SRC a few months back. After learning my assignment I quickly went her site, fantasizing about all the awesome recipes I could try. And then I stopped. Moving got in the way. First my old kitchen was too boxed up to make anything. Then my new kitchen became so filled I couldn’t even get inside. Time was quickly ticking away. I managed to find my knives, a few pans and set to work to see what I could come up with. Lauren’s Chorizo Quesadillas with Chipotle Cream was listed under One Pan and Quick Weekday Meals. I can truly attest to you that even with only a quarter of a kitchen this recipe is possible and delicious.
There are times when you have no idea to cook. You go through your collection of cookbooks (in my case, several dozen books) without coming across even the slightest inspiration. You curse your collection, wonder why you spent so much money on all the wrong books and turn to the internet with even less success. Without even a primary ingredient in your mind, the magic of the internet is virtually useless. You start searching “easy weekday meal” or “healthy dinner for two” but the thousands of results produced by Google only cripple you. You’ve wasted precious time, probably sacrificing your lunch hour or even worse, that time you needed to finish that time sensitive work project. You go back to your hectic life, defeated, and end up ordering pizza for dinner. Again.