My friend BJ and his dog Chaco are living at the homestead for a bit. In turn, my kitchen has become the grounds for a highly competitive cooking show. One night, BJ cooks. The next, I do. Dog-eared cooking magazines, pages graffiti-ed with greasy thumbprints and splatters of spice, sit in a pile on the counter top. Coupons for staple ingredients are clipped to the side of the fridge. The Dutch oven is either on the stove, bubbling — or full of delicious leftovers.
These are delightful problems to have.
We’ve gone at this back and forth pace for a few weeks, each impressing the other with our culinary prowess. So far, BJ’s greek yogurt dip is the winner. Paired with his curry chicken and spiced couscous, I thought about climbing into the bowl for a swim.
Last night, I threw down saffron almond chicken from the October issue of Bon Appetit. Saffron is stupidly expensive. Apparently I’ve never cooked with it before and I was not forking over $10 for two tiny packets. As such, we actually ate smoked paprika almond chicken. (Note to self: do saffron research. Determine why it is so pricey. Consider hitting spice markets next time you travel internationally.)
This was tasty. The sauce is thickened with chunks of bread added to the almond/spice mixture in the food processor. As such, this is not a fat-free, paleo-loving or any other specific diet happy meal. Unless you just really like good hearty food. Then it is — wait for it — a winner, winner chicken dinner.
I also served roasted pasilla peppers stuffed with cheese as a side dish. If I had unlimited funds, I would have a massive greenhouse where these peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and peas would grow all year long. Oh, and saffron.
Your turn, BJ. Game on.