Some of my favorite moments of marriage are evenings when Keith and I have no plans (a rarity!) and we just get to relax together. And one of my favorite things about evenings like that is coming up with something delicious and nutritious to fill our bellies. Every time I get to cook for just Keith it is wonderful reminder that we are married, that we are home when we're together.
I'm not a recipe girl. I definitely like to try them to learn new things...but rarely will I consult a recipe more than once. I learned how to cook in my mother's and grandmother's kitchens, sitting on the counter "helping" while they chopped, seasoned, tasted, tweaked and created great food. Their culinary style was a blend from "the old country" (my great grandmother was from Norway) and my mom's favorite Mediterranean flavors and influences. Now coming up with something with what we have around is such a source of creative opportunity for me.
It usually goes a little something like this. Last night I knew we had some leftover shredded rotisserie chicken that I wanted to use (Publix mojo flavor...yum), half an onion from the other night, and half a carton of grape tomatoes that were nearing the end of their prime. We made some rice (a process that I still haven't perfected, why is rice so dang hard?), and I started in on the magic. I started with the onions, caramelized them in a sautée pan. When they began to brown I added garlic and the grape tomatoes. When the tomatoes started popping open I added the chicken, garlic salt, a little ground red pepper, a little cumin, and dried parsley. Stirred for about a 30 seconds then added about 1/3 cup of white wine, 1 cup of chicken stock, a half a can of diced tomatoes (also leftover), and a good dose of capers (my new favorite ingredient.) I let it simmer and reduce, experimented a little more with seasoning adding basil, more red pepper, and a touch of tarragon, and few quirts of lemon juice. I topped it off with a little olive oil and we ate it over the rice. It was DELICIOUS. We enjoyed it on the back porch with another new favorite: cucumbers, tomatoes and a little salt, pepper, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. I was so happy. And after dinner my sweet husband helped with the dishes. Life is good.