What is it about Chinese food that has a bad rap. I've always wondered why, if a Hollywood director wanted to visually scream "LOSER!" they would stick one of those cardboard take-out containers in a person's hand. For some reason Chinese food has a bad reputation as the undercooked fare of people who are too lazy to care. That's what the movies tell you.
Any ways, Cyrus is out to once-and-for-all eliminate that idea. He's going to grill a chicken breast in a style reminiscent of, well, Chinese food. The recipe (I rarely say that on Cy's weeks) is from dad's new License To Grill cookbook by Chris Schlessinger and John Wiloughby.
As a side dish dad is teaching Cy to make hobo potatoes, he and Cy bustle back and forth, laying out tin foil, halving potatoes and adding salt, butter, olive oil, garlic and other spices. Then throw the foil wrapped taters onto the grill and finally dress them with Italian parsley from our garden and fresh grated Parmesan (this also works well just throwing the packet straight into the fire). In the salad we have spinach, also from our garden (Clark: there's that local/lo-cal option you were looking for, twice, in more ways than one!) (see comments for: "It Was Like Summer Out There" May 16, 2010).
Wow that is a fragrant glaze- Hoisin Sauce, lime juice, ginger and garlic with gobs of basil. The glaze for the chicken smells like...it's indescribable. Meanwhile Cy has had a kitchen misadventure. He was tossing the bell peppers and onion in olive oil. He poured in about a cup too much oil. When dad realized what was happening he intervened and siphoned off most of the oil into an almost empty jam jar. Then mixed it into a sweet. Bam! Sour. Bam! Olive-y salad dressing.
This is a bit of an odd dinner. The plan is very loose. I thought the salad was done when Cyrus, sitting next to me savoring the short break in the cooking out of nowhere asked, no-one in particular, "Could we put nasturtiums in the salad?" Then he went outside and picked a bunch of nasturtiums from the garden. And now Dad's adding peaches to the salad. If spontaniety is the spice of life this is a well spiced meal. Now Dad's grating parmesan onto the salad? Geez! It looks like it snowed. I think they've gone crazy.
An odd dinner indeed. While the focus was intended to be a chicken covered in hoisin sauce that became a side dish with co-main courses in the hobo potatoes and salad. The whole meal was vibrant and special. The way each bite was so unique and special. The food was so bright. The salad wasn't just green, the chicken wasn't chicken colored and the potatoes weren't just white. This meal was diverse and vibrant. This meal will be remembered. This meal was something from a dream.