Usually Monday nights are fairly mundane dinner nights at our house. Nothing fancy. In fact, sometimes it's leftovers from the big Sunday dinner we're sure to have concocted. But tonight I had a hankering for something bigger. Maybe it's because I didn't cook all weekend (unfortunately, that meant I did have to do dishes!), or perhaps it's linked to the crappy day I had at work, but whatever the case, tonight's dinner is pork roast, Yes, pork roast on a Monday evening, when my wife will be home after 7:30, the ironing needs to be done, and the dog's dying for a long walk.
Nuke the frozen roast for ten minutes on low, and preheat oven, while noshing on "hint of lime" nacho chips (far too addictive). Drizzle the roast in a little lime juice, add some dried coriander and black pepper, throw in the oven. Slice a couple of potatoes, drizzle in olive oil, sea salt and pepper, throw on a cookie sheet, plunk in oven. Go take the dog for a nice long walk, and come back for a post-Pilates feast.
So while I was walking the dog, I thought about how for all the fussy cooking and creating that I love to do...for all the hours and hours and hours spent on any given Saturday afternoon preparing a dinner to share with friends or family...I still love to fall back on the tried and true simple dishes.
While it can be fun to butterfly a porkchop and stuff it with brie and sour cherries, there's also something wonderful about just slathering one in barbeque sauce to grill it and eat it in a saucy ten minutes.
An hommage, if you will, to the simply delicious combinations of life:
- Thick beef steaks grilled to perfection with just salt and pepper
- Shrimp skewers on the BBQ, with just a drizzle of olive oil and some black pepper
- Scallops sauteed in a touch of white wine and black pepper
- Sliced potatoes cooked with onion and olive oil, in foil, on the barbeque
- Carrots, sliced and slow simmered in a bit of butter and honey for half an hour
- Asparagus, steamed or grilled or fried or sauteed with just a touch of butter
- Strawberries and milk with a sprinkle of white sugar on top
- Pan-fried bananas with butter and cinnamon, on pancake mornings, or over vanilla ice cream for dessert
Which really just shows that while a well-stocked fridge and pantry can yield impressive concoctions, sometimes you just need a simple dash of salt and pepper in order to whip up something amazing.
Why mess with a good thing, after all?