6PM tonight, receive IM from friend "What should I eat for dinner tonight."

I think, glad I can be useful.  Before I can reply, another IM "Send me a few quick recipes!"

Fine.  I have a couple of things on hand.  Here is what I sent.  Nothing earth shattering here, just easy and good. 

Quick Chicken Dinner.  Looks fancier than it is…kind of like ITALICS.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken cutlets – the THIN ones – they cook faster.
  • A bag of arugula (or spinach would also be good)
  • A pint of grape tomatoes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • A lemon
  • Parmesan Cheese (NOT the kind in a can, the real stuff).

Process:

  1. Wash your hands!
  2. Get out a pan, put it on a burner.  Wait, wait!  Do not turn the burner on yet.
  3. Get out a bowl, big enough to hold a salad for about two people.
  4. Get out a cutting board.
  5. Wash the tomatoes in a colander and try to toss them until they are dry.
  6. Get out of beer and watch the news for a few minutes if you need to let them dry.
  7. Cut several of the tomatoes in half.  Throw them into the bowl.  Sprinkle them with some salt and pepper, and pour a little olive oil on them.  
  8. Turn your burner on to medium high.  Put a swirl of the olive oil into the pan.
  9. Open up the chicken and dry it off with a paper towel.  Yes, do this.  Sounds weird, but dry meat cooks better than damp (hate the word “damp”) meat.
  10. Add salt and pepper to one side of the chicken.
  11. Put the chicken into the pan, salt and pepper side DOWN.  Lower the heat to medium.
  12. You should hear the pan sizzle when the chicken hits the pan.  Do NOT move the chicken – no fancy moves here (typical man, I bet you wanted to get all crazy and shake the pan – just leave it!).  Salt and pepper the top of the chicken.
  13. Let the chicken sit in there for about 2 minutes.  Flip it over.  Not with your hands, with TONGS.  The chicken should not stick to the pan (if it sticks, give it another minute in the pan).
  14. Cook the other side of the chicken for about a minute.  Remember, if the chicken is THIN, it should cook pretty fast.  If it’s not thin, cooking times are a bit longer for each side.
  15. Take the chicken out of the pan and put it on a plate.  Let it rest of a minute while you…
  16. Add the arugula to the bowl of tomatoes and toss it with the tomatoes.  The arugula should be nicely covered in the olive oil that was already in with the tomatoes.  Squeeze lemon on the arugula and tomatoes, and toss again.  Taste, does it need salt/pepper/more lemon?  Add as you wish.
  17. Top the chicken with some of the salad.  Shave a few parmesan shards on top of the salad.  Looks nice, should taste good, pretty healthy and fast!
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