Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Keep 'em happy!
Girls, it's time to learn a few tricks! No, not in the bedroom you sickies (that's what Glamour is for); in the kitchen and the bank. If you ever ponder if the saying, "the best way to a guy's heart is through his stomach and his wallet," is valid, you can stop because it is. I know it's very old-fashioned and brings us ladies back to the Dark Ages, but honestly I love playing around with utensils such as the 1970's Cuisinart I inherited from my grandma this weekend, testing different olive oils from Trader Joe's, perfectly executing a new recipe, and saving money by shopping the "net" for vintage finds instead of purchasing $400 Prada platforms which I had to take back to Neiman Marcus after realizing how stupidly impetuous I was being. Yes, they were gorgeous, but to be honest my husband almost had a coronary even though I made him a spectacular meal the night before...they come as a package.
Therefore, today, I'm giving you a lesson on how to make the perfect roasted chicken (pictured above) and how to save money by shopping on Ebay, a therapeutic activity I've grown to love. And if you're throwing in the towel already, please give it a shot. I managed to bid on three amazing vintage items and cook a delectable dinner from scratch in less than one hour. Put your domestic hat on because away we go!
Lesson 1: Subscribe to at least one food publication. The internet hurts more than helps when it comes to anything culinary because all you end up doing is searching for recipes and looking at droolable pictures while at work. My two favorites are Food & Wine and Saveur. But they'll need your full attention, so relax and wind down with them at home.
Lesson 2: Pick a recipe that doesn't call for a ton of ingredients. Once I tried to make my Firenze food obsession, Ribollita, and drastically failed as I went to the supermarket and exhausted myself from zigzagging up and down the aisles for the 40 ingredients I needed. I quickly gave up and made turkey meatloaf.
Lesson 3: Make sure you thoroughly read your desired recipe. I tend to scale too quickly and miss the part about refrigerating for an hour or marinating for a day. I then end up with five pounds of farmers market potatoes and eating frozen pizza for dinner.
Lesson 4: Pick something you like! Chances are you'll be tuckered out after your first go at a new recipe so you want to at least be able to enjoy it!
Lesson 5: Have fun!
Here's an amazing recipe for Pollo Arrosto (Lemon and Rosemary Chicken) I stumbled across in Saveur, which I tried my hand at last night. It came out juicy and flavorful, and paired well with the brown rice and Persian cucumber-tomato salad I made on the side. And as a tip, I used a frying pan and only marinated it for 30 minutes. It turned out perfect.
1 3 1⁄2-lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 cup fresh rosemary leaves
1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 lemon, peel removed, pith and pulp chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Toss chicken with oil, rosemary, lemon juice, garlic, lemon, and salt and pepper in bowl. Marinate for 1 hour.
2. Heat oven to 475°. Arrange chicken in a 9" x 13" baking dish; add remaining marinade. Roast, flipping once, until cooked through, 30–40 minutes.
This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #127
Lesson 1: Grow some patience. I know how many of you hate weeding through racks at vintage shops, but honestly you have to learn to love it. It's like perusing somebody else's amazing closet and walking away with the find of a lifetime. I've always loved it, but was validated even more when I paid $90 for brand new, neon pink Chanel flats I rescued in Palm Beach.
Lesson 2: Sign up for an account on Ebay. It's free and takes 20 seconds. Then, when you have a lazy day at the office or are home sick you can try your hand at bidding on some amazing items instead of snoozing your way through stints of daytime television.
Lesson 3: Look for "Top-rated sellers" only. They are the only ones you can trust and often have the best pieces. For a quick sampling, go to www.http://stores.ebay.com/thriftwares and see what you like! Here are the three pieces I'm currently bidding on, and if I win, my tab will be like $40! TOLD YOU SO!