Friday, January 28, 2011

Keep It Simple

So here's a thought for the new year: Keep it simple. Since I've come back from vacation, which was filled with eating wonderful food in excess, and which followed the holidays and eating wonderful food in excess, I've been thinking I should eat less (though just as wonderful) food.

Even the most passionate foodie needs a break, especially when I'm putting on the pounds.

So this week I kept it simple. And simple doesn't have to mean cereal. I've never had cereal for dinner - not once! This week I had some salads and made a homemade Fontina mac and cheese. I sauteed baby spinach in olive oil and garlic - so easy and good with a little squeeze of lemon on top. And I made the simplest of Indian dishes, some tandoori style chicken legs made with a spice rub.

I used to be reluctant to use boxed spice rubs because I figured I had all the spices anyway, why not mix them myself? But then I saw my mom using them, and her chicken is amazing. It's tender and juicy and sprinkled with deliciousness. I've decided that deliciousness is actually a spice, or perhaps an undiscovered element.

Or it's this stuff, which can be found in any Indian store or ethnic market type of place. It's a very common brand.

The spice mix box has a recipe on it, but I wouldn't follow that. Here's what you should do. Use skinless drumsticks or thighs and rub salt all over them. Buy a ginger-garlic paste too, and rub that on the chicken. Or use fresh ginger and garlic. Then rub the spice mix all over the chicken. Use as much as you want, it can be spicy! Don't miss any spots though. Let that marinate for several hours or overnight. Even though you have to remember to marinate it, and you should be marinating all kinds of things on a regular basis, the spice rub and bottled ginger-garlic paste make for very fast prep. Bake in an oven heated to 375 degrees for 30 minutes, then brush with melted butter and move to the broiler. Broil on both sides until crispy and browned. In the summer, you can just throw the chicken on the grill...or into a tandoori if you have one! Squeeze some lemon on top when you serve it, this lovely dish of deliciousness.

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