I used to HATE to cook. It was just stressful and time consuming and confusing and whywon’tthisgravycometogetherGAH!
But after I started staying home a couple years ago, I found I had a little extra time on my hands. (Funny how no longer working 8-5 will do that for you.) I also found that one of the few things I could watch with Rachael in the room that didn’t involve Mickey Mouse counting out coins to give to Pete to get into Mickey Park, (seriously? It’s HIS fucking park. It says “Mickey”! I can’t wait for the episode where the gang flips their shit on Pete and cuts him,) or reruns of How I Met Your Mother was Food Network. So I watched and learned. I watched Chopped and learned what different ingredients were, their flavors, and how to improvise with them. (I’m sorry, but you will never get me to try geoduck. It is the penis of the clam world. Just….no.) I watched Anne Burrell and learned tricks of the trade and technique. I watched Giada and learned the reasons why you do what you do, and that if you don’t pronounce it spa-geet-e, you are an uncultured swine. I watched Ina and learned that you too can cook French-inspired cuisine and be super awkward around all your gay friends.
The point is, I realized that once I learned some technique, like how to hold a knife and chop properly, cooking doesn’t suck so hard. Or at all. I’m still far away from being a culinary genius, but I’ve got enough experience under my belt to look at a recipe and say, “Um, in what universe is that true? Screw the recipe,” or to go to a restaurant and come home and say, I could totally make that.
Friday night we were at a restaurant, we’ll call it Blue Bluebird, eating dinner. Wanting something different, I ordered their “West Coast Fowl Sandwich”, which was comprised of grilled chicken breast, guacamole, provolone, and bacon.
Okay, I have to go off track here to talk about bacon for a second.
1) If you’re going to advertise your sandwich as having bacon, then put bacon on it. Don’t give me flavorless, flaccid pork leather and call it bacon.
2) Clearly, I love bacon. (See item 1.) I always have. Although, I don’t love it enough to eat a half a pound package in one sitting. Nope. Never done that. *whistles nonchalantly* The thing I want to know is, when did loving bacon become a geek status symbol. It was like I woke up a couple years ago and all of a sudden, if you didn’t love bacon, your geek cred was in serious trouble. Bacon is awesome, and will always be awesome, without geeks being all orgasmy about it. No one wants jizzy bacon.
3) People who eat only one or two pieces of turkey bacon for a “protein-packed” snack and are full enough to last until the zombie apocalypse are adorable.
The sandwich was decently good, bacon rage aside, but I decided I wanted to try making it for myself and do it even better. I figured I could make it lower points, (hellooooo Weight Watchers) and it would be cheaper than going out to dinner. So here’s what I did.
A couple of tips:
You’ll tear up less when cutting an onion if you leave the root intact.
Personally, I love raw red onion, but plenty of people don’t. So, once you’ve cut your onion how you want it, rinse and soak it in some cold water for a few minutes. It gets rid of the overpowering burny bite, but leaves the flavor and texture intact. Along the same lines, many people don’t like biting into raw garlic. So I chose to use a microplane grater with a clove of garlic. It’ll give you the same texture as the smashed avocado and avoid the embarrassment of accidentally ruining your make out session with your vampire boyfriend. Finally, if you’re like me and tend to have a losing streak against jalapeños or any other hot peppers, do yourself a favor and wear gloves.
That way you won’t be standing over your sink pouring milk on your eyeball because it has been set ablaze due to what was apparently inadequate hand washing after handling the pepper. Not today, jalapeño! Mwahahahahaha!
Now, I was going to grill the chicken in a grill pan, but then I thought or OR OR I could just sauté the chicken in some of the bacon fat. 😈
I was really happy with the final results. I thought it was better than the Blue Bluebird sandwich. The bacon was crispy. The guac had great texture and was a cool, fresh counterbalance to the hot chicken. Julie for the win!