I had never tasted chicken confit until a birthday dinner date at a little French bistro in Northeast Portland. Needless to say, my brain melted. I immediately began lobbying for an internship in that same kitchen. That summer, I got my foot in the door, and I came away with another notebook of wonderful recipes and a new appreciation for all things deliciously bitter. This recipe, however, is all about the slow-cooked, fatty goodness that generally comes to mind when one thinks of French cuisine.
This is some slow, lazy, budget cooking. There was a chapter of my early adult diet that consisted entirely of lentils, rice, beans, and pasta with the occasional splurge on a nice block of cheese or some chicken. Luckily, these easily affordable foods are delicious and filling, and it’s easy to make a giant batch if you have an army to feed or just need to have dinner ready for yourself for the rest of the busy week.
This light soup is sweet, tart, and buttery. It’s perfect with a melted cheese sandwich on a cool fall day, and not so labor-intensive that those ever-increasing cold-weather lazy feelings will keep you from getting up and making it.
This was instantly a house favorite! It’s savory and filling, and the prosciutto gives it crunch and the asparagus balances the otherwise heavy nature of the risotto. From start to finish, this dish only takes about 30 minutes to prepare, and comfortably serves two. Plus, you’ll have half a bottle of Prosecco just hanging around. As Giada says in her book, this is great for a romantic, cozy night in. Kids also love risotto, and this one is light on the butter and cheese and can be as heavy as you please on the asparagus!
Isn’t it nice to have a standby recipe that you can whip together quickly and that you nearly always have all of the ingredients for, even when there is NOTHING in your kitchen? In that respect, this one goes in my mental recipe book right next to pasta marinara and grilled cheese, but has more than just a little appeal on my “I don’t want to leave the house again” whiny sort of evenings. Got an onion? Some flour? One stray piece of bacon? A somewhat bug-eaten sage plant somewhere in the yard? The tiniest bit of heavy cream left in the carton? Zero energy left for the day? This one’s for you!
Ah, quiche, my time-saver breakfast. I am out the door before 5 am most mornings, and I know that I do not want to do a dish, but I also do not want to eat a bowl of sugar (I’m looking at YOU, oatmeal, you delicious, unhealthy pile of carb). If I get some protein, fruit, and vegetables into my system in the morning, I’m ready. Look at me, I can take care of my blood sugar and slack on the dishes all by my adult self!
I am a big fan of eating without cooking. The week gets busy, and it’s nice to have a giant batch of something that I can just eat straight out of the fridge or throw into a container to take out the door. Chicken salads are a summer favorite, especially when they are heavy on crunchy fresh vegetables and nuts, with some fresh and dried fruit to add a little sweetness.