Sunday, September 30, 2007

Be Seduced by Food

Americans may be getting fat because we are seeking satisfaction in all the wrong places. McDonalds is a one night stand of taste. Quick and perfectly forgettable.

On the other hand, when you look at how you eat as part of how you relate to the world, you have the opportunity to develop a satisfying relationship that is healthy and sustaining. Inspiring even.

Roasting the lemons prior to using them in a marinade takes the acidic edge off the citrus. There are good commercial marinades on the market- but taking time to blend and precook the fruit and use herbs fresh from the garden in the virgin olive oil resulted in a flavor that is layered and subtle: most intriguing. When you close your eyes to take that first bite and the moment is suspended in satisfaction- you have been seduced in to the world of understanding that food can nourish the soul as well as feed the body.

The only other time I remember the chicken being as moist and tender was when I baked a pair of chickens in a kosher salt meringue. The boys took one look at the salt-entombed chickens and were certain their mom had gone off the deep end. Insisted I take the first bite. When I didn’t choke- they got out their forks and learned something about the magic of imagination and keeping an open mind.

Flavored Oils and Vinegars by Michael Chiarello is the book that inspired the chicken marinade. Michael’s cooking style is quite intuitive. Many of his recipes aren’t meant to be followed, they are meant to be played with. Buy it. Use it. Have fun with it.

Second Helpings from Union Square Café by Danny Meyer and Michael Romano is the source for the Salt Baked Chicken recipe.

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