Keeping it clean and simple
Crisp potato latkes. Countless cookies. Eggnog. Three different briskets (all delicious!). And more chocolate than I can really explain.
I adore the holidays, and I'm planning one last blow-out for New Year's Eve, but the resolutions are already sneaking their way into my weeknight cooking. We don't need saucy. We don't need complicated. We don't need rich, or refined, or fancy in any way. We are all craving the most basic meals there are, which is fortuitous since that's about all I have time for.
Appliances take on a bigger role when you work full-time, I'm learning. Frozen chicken breasts, thawed in the microwave (partially—they slice well half-frozen). Frozen broccoli when we run out of produce. And my fuzzy logic programmable rice cooker, which is just putting the finishing touches on a delicious pot of toasty smelling rice when we walk in the door. Love it!
I am also rediscovering some of the dishes we ate when I was growing up, with new understanding of their appeal. I always loved my mom's lemony rosemary pork, cut into strips and cooked up with whole garlic cloves in a big cast iron pan. There was so much flavor in that dish, which we ate with white rice and usually steamed green beans. I found myself craving that brown garlic-lemon-rosemary taste the other night, and adapted it, most successfully, to chicken breasts. This is a ten-minute recipe, and if you make enough, it is delicious on salad or in a sandwich for lunch the next day. We had it with brown rice and broccoli, for a meal that felt exactly right for a weeknight dinner between indulgent holidays. Here's to a clean, healthy new year!
Zoe Singer is a freelance food writer and cookbook editor and co-author of The Flexitarian Table. Food Editor and blogger for The Faster Times, she tries not to eat for two now that her son is a toddler.