Saturday, September 6, 2008

Neutrals or Vibrant Jewel Tones?

A dear friend called me recently, needing a little relief from a wildly misbehaving child and wildly misbehaving plumbing (no known relationship between the two... so far). Yes, it has been a weird summer for her - but "weird" can also mean "colorful", right? Life's tapestry can be safe, soothing neutrals or strong, deep, vibrant colors or, most likely, some of both. It's the super-fun and really bad and just plain odd times that give it texture and interest and contrast and life.

Too deep? Probably. Is 4:00 too early for a mojito???

This week's Learn To Cook/No-Fuss recipe is a vibrantly colored, boldly flavored Mexican Chicken. This can easily convert to steak or, probably, shrimp. I wouldn't try this one with salmon or any other strongly-flavored fish. For simplicity's sake I'm writing this for chicken - and yes, this is truly a Stephanie-made-it-up recipe that resulted from needing to make dinner with whatever was onhand because I was not, by God, NOT going to the grocery store - again - in the rain. So there.

You'll need:
* Chicken breasts or chicken thighs
* EITHER tomatoes (canned or fresh)/one bell pepper (your favorite color)/one onion OR one jar of salsa at your preferred level of spiciness
* Corn - either two ears of fresh corn OR one 8ish-ounce can of corn kernels (not creamed corn)
* One can of black beans - personally, I don't really care about my black beans being organic, but I've found that the grocery store brand of organic beans has much, much less sodium than any other kind of canned black bean
* Cumin, chili powder, and oregano - all optional
* Sour cream and cheese - both optional
* Rice (white or brown) OR tortillas
* As always, a frozen entree to take the pressure off of you while you're cooking a new recipe. It will turn out great and your family/roommate/self will just love it, but why stress yourself out with worrying that you'll starve tonight if it happens to mess itself up?

I haven't tried freezing this because we never have enough leftovers to freeze - this makes wonderful lunches to bring to work.

So... where's that rum and lime juice?

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