If you’re ever intimidated or nervous to cook a big meal because nothing is ever done at the same time, try counting backwards to time it right. For example, I was making a friend a meal today and I needed for everything to be done at 10:00 am. Here’s how to set that up:
1. Prep as much as possible the night before and have your ingredients ready to go in the morning. For me that was to trim chicken, make BBQ sauce, and bake cookies.
2. Make a schedule of all that needs to be done, working backwards from 10:00.
- Peas and Asparagus take 15 minutes, so they go on at 9:45
- Rice takes 30 minutes, so it goes on at 9:30
- Corn pudding takes 45 minutes, so it goes in at 9:15
- Chicken takes 60 minutes, so it goes in at 9:00
3. When I awoke this morning, I knew that I needed to be in the kitchen by 8:45 to have the chicken ready to go in the oven at 9:00. That meant that I needed to be dressed and the kids needed to be squared away by 8:30 . . . you get the picture. Everything was indeed ready on time!
Asparagus, Peas, and Basil (Piselli Con Asparagi E Basilico)
Here is a lovely little recipe from Gourmet magazine that my family’s been making a lot lately. It’s simple, tasty, and a nice break from the ordinary green bean or broccoli recipe.
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots (about 2)
3 Tbsp. butter
2 lbs. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
10 oz. package thawed frozen peas
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup torn basil leaves
1. Cook shallots in butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until just tender, about 4 minutes.
2. Stir in asparagus, peas, salt, and pepper, then seal skillet with foil.
3. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender but still slightly al dente, about 8 minutes. Stir in basil and salt to taste.