You probably don’t know where I’m going with this blog post, but I thank you for humoring me long enough to open it before deciding to scrap it. Allow me to explain further…
Let’s, for a moment, look at food from a “flavor” perspective only. Let’s say we are deciding what to prepare for some friends that are coming over to join us for a nice simple dinner tonight. Where do we always begin when choosing the menu? Well, we usually think about the main protein on the plate, such as beef, fish, lamb, chicken, etc. However, we usually play it safe and pick chicken, supposedly, everyone likes chicken. And say we know our friends do eat on the healthier side, so we decide to go with a boneless/skinless chicken breast. Okay, we are well on our way. Now, what are we going to do with it?
Unfortunately, we’ve just picked the leanest, blandest, most boring protein to cook with. We’ll work so hard to try to add flavor to this bland and boring chicken in hopes of making it somewhat palatable. I know you are pausing and your mind is racing back to every boneless/skinless chicken breast meal that you’ve ever served. It’s true, though! Let’s face it — boneless/skinless chicken breast is BORING and just awful to cook with, from a flavor perspective. Then, to top it off, we grossly overcook it in order not to get anybody sick.
We have all these incredible, fabulous tasting ingredients, such as summer tomatoes, which explode with flavor as soon as you put a bite in your mouth. Sautéed spring morel mushrooms are so rich and meaty. And then there is the first juicy bite of a peach, You don’t even pull your mouth away from the fruit before taking your second bite, because it is just so delightful and tasty. So why don’t we start with these incredible ingredients when we decide on a meal?
Instead, we dumb down the great flavors of these amazing seasonal products and pair them with bland, boring boneless/skinless chicken breasts. Why do we do that? I’m not sure. Don’t get me wrong, though: I’m not suggesting you should no longer eat chicken because it’s boring. After all, there is nothing better than a simply prepared whole roasted chicken with lemon, served with a French baguette and sweet butter. When I eat this chicken, I feel the same as I do when I eat the tomato, morel mushroom, or peach. I know, I know…but a boneless/skinless chicken breast is healthier. I agree with you!
My overall point is to challenge you to look at food and “flavors” differently. Don’t always consider the protein first and try to build it up to something that it’s not and will never be. Pick that seasonal, perfectly ripened local tomato and accent it with other flavors in order for it to shine even brighter. If that means pairing it with a thinner slice of seared beef tenderloin versus an entire 8 oz. filet, then so be it. You could also serve the wonderful, meaty morels with angel hair pasta, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, and small cubes of salmon. Because the salmon is cut smaller, the morels will still get all the attention. The possibilities are limitless. Go try it…you will TASTE the difference.
I always welcome your comments and/or questions.
Don’t forget to Subscribe to get notifications with future posts. Also, come follow me on FaceBook for daily thoughts, ideas, tips, updates, etc. Enjoy!