Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Simplest Things in Life...and cooking.

Some days I just don't feel like getting every pot and pan dirty. I don't like grocery shopping, and hate trying to find ingredients I don't have readily available. On days like this (like today), even though I did go to the store, I knew I didn't want to spend the entire day in the kitchen. I've always felt that "less is more," and I catch myself shying away from dishes that require tons of ingredients. Not that it seems daunting--though it probably would be time consuming, not to mention expensive--I just think that too many ingredients can muddle the flavor of dishes. I like to be able to identify and taste everything. I tend to go for recipes with ten items or less. Today, I took a major shortcut. I was digging around in the pantry (ewwwww, dark scary place!) and found some "Peach Jezebel Sauce" I picked up a few years ago from one of our favorite stopping places when we go to the Texas Hill Country--New Canaan Farms. They make jellies, salsas, sauces, marinades--anything you can put in a jar. And yes, a few years ago--so! It wasn't opened yet. Hey, I will admit--on this quest for a marinade, I found a jar of sun-dried tomato and olive relish that said "best if used by April 2003." That one I did throw away. That means we moved that jar here when we moved to this house. And I know inquiring minds want to know, yes, I opened it and smelled. It was kind of dark and very strong with balsamic vinegar. It was time to go. But I digress. I remembered that the Peach Jezebel was a great sauce for chicken and pork, and it just so happens I had some chicken thighs I'd been wanting to get out of the freezer, so this was perfect for that. And only this. I marinated and baked the thighs in it, and it was great. Only a few ingredients in the sauce--and you could use any variation of these, switch some things out, etc. Peaches, pineapple, apple cider vinegar, dry mustard and horseradish are the base. Use apricot preserves, use honey mustard. Just blend it all together to taste. A little chunky is good. I baked the thighs for almost an hour at 350º, basting with the juices halfway through. It was really good. And really simple. We had it with kale that I sautéd with some red onion, oregano and dill. Great for eating in front of the TV (Oscars are on tonight).
I almost forgot to take a picture, so you're seeing the last poor thigh sitting in the Pyrex® dish waiting for it's Tupperware®.

So don't get too caught up, you might miss something SIMPLY wonderful.

Happy eating.

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