I never thought I’d say this: I’m bored!!! No, not with my life or my work, heavens no. But I am bored with cooking. And that’s a shock. Maybe it’s because I’m a former caterer. A big part of my job was coming up with menu ideas that were different, and I seem to be running out of them.
Or, more likely, I just have a low boredom threshold. Yes, I still love creating meals for people who adore eating and food and the whole culinary process. I get just as excited as ever when I find a new recipe or tip in the magazines and books I read.
Even on a heart-healthy menu, I enjoy feeding Husband Richard and Son Brian. We three have great fun on those rare occasions when we’re all home and have enough time to cook together, as we did at the bakery and catering company.
Hmmm. Maybe it isn’t cooking that’s driving me bonkers. It’s having to use the same old ingredients.
I’m so sick of skinless, boneless chicken breasts, the next time I’m faced with preparing, serving or eating them, I’ll have a genuine, certified tantrum.
As a “Cook’s Illustrated” writer wrote recently, “Most supermarket birds these days are so young … (and) immature chicken is utterly tasteless.”
And no matter what I do to a chicken breast, it’s still a chicken breast.
I’m tired of some other foods, too. I’ve ingested so much spinach in the past few years that, in my shoes, even Popeye would be searching for a new favorite.
I want something for breakfast besides the old standbys I can whip up quickly on work days.
In fact, I’ve dreamed that someone will invent at least three new meats, four new vegetables and six new breakfast entrees.
So, when my kindly, thoughtful husband brought brunch to me at my computer on a recent deadline day — and there was something new on the menu — I almost cried with joy.
My clever chap had sauteéd onions and mushrooms, scrambled Egg Beaters and salsa with them, then piled it all into hot, crispy taco shells with a sprinkling of
They were delicious. And different. Hallelujah!
Hey, why not breakfast tacos, nachos or enchiladas? Lots of places already serve breakfast burritos.
I’ve served migas breakfasts for years … eggs scrambled with onions and strips of corn tortilla or broken up tortilla chips. Top with salsa, a little crema and some avocado, and that’s a breakfast, baby. Chilaquiles are good in the a.m., too.
My creative husband had just taken those to a new level, which is what good cooking is all about.
So, after the kids’ Easter visit, I went into our annual “what-on-earth-am-I-going- to-do-with-all-these-hard- boiled-eggs” dilemma in a new frame of mind.
Cold boiled eggs remind me too much of breakfast-buffet offerings at inexpensive motels, complete with deadly little Danish in crinkly cellophane packages, bagels that mimic hockey pucks, instant oatmeal and last night’s coffee, which is strong enough to strip paint.
I couldn’t think of many palatable breakfast options based on cold hard boiled eggs, at least not until I put my inventive hat on.
First time through, I removed the yolks from 4 of 6 hard-boiled eggs, and chopped up the remaining yolks and whites (lowering the cholesterol count). I drizzled on some liquid butter substitute and added salt, pepper and a little garlic powder. Then I heated it up in the microwave.
Served on crisp toast points, the mixture made a lovely breakfast for two, like freshly cooked eggs dressed in their Sunday best.
The next time, I cloned lunchtime egg-salad sandwiches by squeezing some lemon juice over the chopped-up eggs and adding low-fat sour cream, a little minced celery and onion, a smidgen of low-fat mayo, salt, pepper and hot sauce. I put it briefly in the micro, and spread the eggs on lightly toasted whole-wheat bread.
Warm egg salad. For breakfast. Why not? After all, if cold pizza or last night’s apple pie can constitute a morning meal ….
Maybe next time I’ll try breakfast deviled eggs.
Now, about that chicken breast …