“.. more often than not the cookbooks we own today say more about who we think we are than how we actually cook.”
Who do we want to be then? A cook who can make Roasted Balsamic Chicken with Lime? Raise your hands!
So, who do you want to be? As a cook I mean.
Not Betty Crocker, states Paula Forbes in the article I quoted. ‘She’ (a fictional person) wrote a cookbook a women (!) in the fifties needed. One book for all possible situations a housewife could encounter in those days.
We now have the internet for that.
And a overwhelming number of cookbooks to choose from every day.
One nicer, more beautiful than the other. All presenting a lifestyle you might want to copy. That’s their appeal.
I fell into that trap too.
As a food blogger I loved receiving free cookbooks to review when I lived in the Netherlands. A huge part of my cookbook collection I got that way.
When moving to California I gave away quite a few. Before my move to my current home last year, I gave away another bunch, enough to make the new owner buy a new bookshelf for them.
And still I have a lot of cookbooks.
Too many, Mr. Eats will say.
But what does it says about me, having so many cookbooks?
I like to think I love to read. Especially cookbooks.
I love to learn.
I love to get inspired.
I love to flip through them when I had to come up with a dinner plan.
I love to learn new tricks.
I love to explore new cuisines while sitting on my own couch.
I love to look something up and get lost in all these other tips and information.
I love to get new ideas.
But most of all, I guess I simply love to own books.
How about you?
What does your cookbook collection says about you?
Let me know in the comments below or send me an email back if you read this because I sent the full story+recipe to your mailbox. (You, yes you, can sign up too!)
Today’s recipe comes from one of my first cookbooks, The New Cook from Donna Hay. The many yellow post-its that are sticking out of it show that I cooked a lot from it.
Flipping through it after many, many years, I still can see the appeal. And realize where I got the idea of putting mint in my spinach quiche!
And did I think browning citrus fruits is a modern thing, I couldn’t be more wrong. Donna Hay did it already in 1997!
I turned her recipe for Balsamic Chicken with Lime into my Roasted Balsamic Chicken with Lime by using skinless, boneless chicken thighs and roasted these with some potatoes in a hot oven to serve it with a spinach salad with apple (yes, still got some of them!) and avocado.
My Roasted Balsamic Chicken with Lime and Potatoes
I used boneless chicken thighs because they cook fast and have soo much more flavor compared to chicken breasts. Try it and I’ll promise you’ll love it.
You need (for 2):
2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or more, because they’ll shrink like crazy!)
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 T olive oil
salt + pepper
1 glove garlic
1 lb golden potatoes
Marinate the chicken in a mix of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Grate or chop the garlic and add too.
Preheat the oven at 400 F | 200 C. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Prep the potatoes by rinsing and chopping them in 1/2 inch | 1 cm size pieces (skin on or off, what you prefer). Coat them with some olive oil, salt and pepper and divide over the sheet pan. Make some space in the center for the chicken. Half the limes and put cut side up on the tray too.
Roast all in the hot oven until potatoes look golden and the chicken is cooked, about 30 minutes.
Tip: If you want your potatoes to be more crunchy, cook them a little bit longer. Just add your chicken after the potatoes have been cooking of 15 minutes, so everything will be ready at the same time.
Make a salad with 2 hands full spinach, apple slices, avocado slices and a dressing made of 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 3 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Maybe some mustard or honey too.
Serve the balsamic chicken with lime to squeeze over them with the roasted potatoes and some mayonnaise (or is that too Dutch for you?) and the salad on the side.