Sometimes on hot summer nights, the best thing to cook for supper is nothing at all. That doesn’t mean you don’t eat, though.
Last night’s supper was La Quercia prosciutto, fresh mozzarella from Wisconsin, cherry tomatoes from Hopkinton, MA (a hydroponics place, since they’re not yet in season) and basil from the same place. Dressed with fleur du sel, freshly-ground Penzey’s (WI) pepper, Spanish olive oil and real Modena balsamic, a present from my brother and sister-in-law from their honeymoon. It can’t all be USA-made or sort-of-local. We also had an onion focaccia from the local Whole Foods bakehouse that I shouldn’t have eaten because of the gluten but they were out of their good gluten-free bakery loaves and I needed something to soak up all that balsamic. (It’s food. You can’t waste it. And while yes, I could lick my plate, that’s not precisely genteel.)
Tonight, though, I felt like cooking. And using up the cheap chicken thighs I’d gotten on sale at the grocery store that have been taking up space in my freezer. On the theory that millions of people in India can’t be wrong, I fought fire with fire, and made Chicken Under a Brick with Pickled Peppadew Peppers from food52. (I love Amanda Hesser so very much.) And the recipe was just what I wanted: savory, piquant, spicy, hot, crispy, delicious– I sweated a bit as I ate it, then cooled myself down with my bourbon and ginger beer.
Tweaks to the recipe included: I used chopped scallions (leftover in the fridge) instead of garlic and dried herbs rubbed onto the chicken instead of fresh, and then dressed it with some of the rest of last night’s fresh basil. (It wouldn’t do to waste good produce, after all.) I “made” a rose-ish wine with vermouth and some of the chianti-style red left over from last night’s supper. Served with jasmine rice mixed with some leftover peas, it was just right. My only complaint/permanent tweak would be to make more of the sauce because I like sauce and it was too delicious not to just have a lot.