I love having dinner guests who blurt, “This is the best food I have ever put in my mouth,” after one bite.
— Elizabeth Yalkut (@elizabethyalkut) January 18, 2013
J. came over for dinner last week — unfortunately, the night before I had to catch a bus out of town for the weekend. I could have planned that one better. But I had a trick up my sleeve: J. doesn’t cook. Her fiancé does (we’ve had a few conversations about how much we both want a KitchenAid stand mixer in a pretty color while J. looked on bemusedly), but J. herself doesn’t.
Which meant I could cook things which I can make in my sleep and it would seem impressive. Yes! I am a master of the kitchen! I, um. Do magic with knives! I labor to provide you with an elegant experience!
In reality? I had broccoli in the fridge. I stopped at the grocery store on the way home from work and bought a couple of salmon filets, which were on sale, and a fresh loaf of bread. When I got back to my apartment, I shoved the salmon into a ziplock bag, added some soy sauce, honey, a chopped garlic clove, and a sliced half-lemon I had hanging around, sealed it and stuck it in the fridge. When J. came in, I made a quick batch of popcorn for us to nibble on and poured some hard cider to keep her busy while I preheated the oven to 400° F and chopped the broccoli.
The salmon came out of the fridge and onto foil in a roasting pan, which went into the oven. A little less than ten minutes later, I put the chopped broccoli into the microwave for two minutes with a damp paper towel on top. When the broccoli was done, I drained it and added butter and salt. The salmon was pretty much done at that point, conveniently (demonstrating the Canadian Rule), and within the squeezing of a lemon (as Elizabeth David said), we were sitting down to bread and butter, steamed broccoli, and roasted salmon.
And yes, J. did say what I quoted at the outset of this post. I think I can be forgiven for feeling smug.