As (I think) I’ve previously shared, my boyfriend and I moved in together at the beginning of September. It’s gone the way I think living together does for most folks: totally awesome except for the times when I want to slip poison into his dinner. It probably won’t surprise you know that I do most of the cooking, where for “most” read “all.” I like to cook (obviously), but it’s more that he doesn’t cook. At all. He doesn’t know how. He once destroyed plain pasta, I am reliably informed, and has no desire to learn to improve things. So rather than paying people to make the majority of my meals and bring them to my door – which I could, because I live in the sort of civilized city that does that – I cook a lot. He makes up for his utter lack of skills by being an extremely enthusiastic eater. He once ate my fajitas, which could be made by a not-particularly-well-trained monkey, and called me a magician.
So these days I’m cooking very regularly and I’m cooking for two. Here’s some of what gets eaten a lot in our house.
Chicken Tarkari I make this all. the. time. It’s incredibly delicious, makes enough to feed two and have some left over for lunch, and tastes better as it ages. We ate this during Hurricane Sandy, you guys. I cannot recommend it highly enough. At this point I’m making it without toasting the mustard seeds, and I still don’t seed the chilis because I am not a crazy person.
My fried chicken I’ve been ranting about fried chicken around here like it’s my job, and I’m not going to recapitulate it now. But fried chicken is delicious, and I make badass fried chicken. You should make it also.
Spicy Orange Garlic Shrimp I can’t believe I’ve never pimped this recipe here. I’ll do so next post. But I’ve been making it for a couple years, and – okay, let me tell you a short story. In the before-time, when I lived with my parents after college, my grandfather and my hobo uncle also lived with us. In five hundred square feet. It was a good time. (It was not a good time.) Anyway, two pickier men you’ll never find. They frequented New Jersey’s finest bistros – Arby’s, Wendy’s, the pizzeria – and wouldn’t eat a lot of what my parents make. So one night I decided to make myself some dinner, fully under the assumption I’d be eating it by myself. I made this here shrimp dish and a corn casserole (which these days I primarily make with fresh corn, JFYI) and sat down to enjoy myself by myself. Who do you think lumbers in to try what I’m making and proceeds to eat every bite I hadn’t already claimed as my own? Both of them. I about had heard failure. What I’m saying is, this dish will turn the pickiest of palates. Make it.
My new chicken recipe I just came up with this a couple weeks ago and I’ve already made it three times. It’s totally and completely delicious. Serve with rice.
Pasta with Bacon and Chicken and Cream Sauce with Herbs and Shit I originally called this “fake-fancy pasta to impress your date,” which was not far off the mark. It starts with bacon and proceeds to chicken chunks sauteed in the bacon fat and ends with an herby cream sauce decorating the whole mess. It’s such a winner.
Meat Pie I don’t make this enough, but I should, because my boyfriend is obsessed with it. I just … I hate making pie crust, you guys, but since I know how and I know how much better it tastes it feels incumbent upon me not to buy store-bought crusts. So the end result is I never make meat pie. Assuming you’re less of an ass than me, you’ll be able to enjoy meat pie whenever you like.
Roast Chicken with Dijon Sauce Another one I haven’t shared with you. I … I am so sorry. You don’t know what you are missing. This is the easiest thing in the world to make, and possibly the tastiest. And it’s a Deb Perelman special, so you know it’s worth its salt.
The best scrambled eggs My boyfriend puts ketchup on these, because he doesn’t actually love me. Sometimes I put a little fancypants local small-batch hot sauce in his. Usually I put crumbled-up herbed goat cheese in both of ours. His are made without tomatoes, again, because he doesn’t actually love me.
Fraaaaanch toast I make this like my mama taught me and totally different from how the internet teaches you. I also make it better.
Oatmeal! I have an oatmeal recipe. It has received accolades from everyone other than my boyfriend, who likes his oatmeal filled with Welch’s grape jelly. No, I’m not joking. Yes, it’s horrible. Yes, I need therapy after watching him apply Welch’s grape jelly in the squeezy bottle to my carefully calibrated oatmeal.
What else do I make? Sometimes I make quesadillas, which I’ll totally write up the recipe for because not everyone knows how to make them and I make the best ones. Sometimes I roast sausage links and we eat them plain or on the side of ravioli (which I very much do not make). I made kielbasa and pierogis one time, which was terrible. Apparently if you don’t go to the Polish neighborhood and buy your pierogis fresh it’s just as good to stick a fork in your eye. Mostly I fret because we eat too much chicken.
So that’s what I’m cooking lately. It’s a lot of the same stuff, but it’s all really good. I’m in school full-time with a 9 – 5 internship three days a week, so I don’t have as much time to experiment with recipes. I wish I did! I don’t. When I do again, you will be the first to know.