Thursday, October 1, 2009

Kitchen Klutz: Yummy bowl of goodness!

Photos by Joe Maniscalco

By Michèle De Meglio

I can’t imagine having the energy to cook a complicated dish like lasagna or ratatouille after a hard day at the office.



So this week, I created a dinner option that’s both a balanced meal and relatively quick and easy to make.



I call it my BAM! chick-veggie-cous bowl. I figured I’d make a protein, some carbs and healthy vegetables, toss them in a bowl and serve them as a hearty dinner.



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BAM! is in honor of Chef Emeril Lagasse who coined the catchphrase. You see, I coated two chicken breasts with his Original Essence seasoning, which you can buy at any supermarket.



The poultry was then cooked on my George Foreman Grill for about five minutes. I must be improving because the sizzling sounds and steam from the grill no longer make me weary. I’m learning!



To accompany the chicken, I tossed a blend of frozen green beans, sweet peas, corn and carrots in a microwave steaming bag. I figured the bag would be the simplest way to cook the veggies.



For the base of the dish, I filled a pot with three-parts boiling water and one-part hearty couscous. I’ve come a long way from my teen years when I refused to eat my mother’s version because it resembled birdseed.



Once done, I combined all the ingredients in a bowl and excitedly grabbed a fork.



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Verdict: I made dinner — and it was good!



Thanks to Emeril’s seasoning, the chicken was bursting with flavor and to my credit, I didn’t overcook it. It was moist, juicy and just right.



The veggies were perfect but the couscous was a bit plain. (Next time, I’ll try adding salt to the boiling water.) But even so, the powerful flavors on the chicken were enough to make this a cohesive dish.



Thank heaven for Emeril!




BAM! chick-veggie-cous bowl



Ingredients


2 chicken breasts


1/2 cup couscous


1/2 cup frozen or fresh veggies (any kind)


Chef Emeril Lagasse’s Original Essence seasoning



Directions


Coat both sides of chicken breasts with Original Essence (includes paprika, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano and thyme). Cook on George Foreman Grill for approximately five minutes. For couscous, add to pot of boiling water (three parts water, one part couscous) and simmer until soft. Cook veggies in microwave steaming bag. Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Serves two.



Kitchen Klutz follows 20-something Michèle De Meglio as she burns casseroles and her fingers, all in hope of trading frozen dinners for home cooking.

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