Before we congratulated friends and family on momentous occasions via Facebook, we ate, drank, and truly celebrated. It wasn’t about gift cards and dvds. It was about food, booze, and conversation. It’s the essence of cooking, and it’s why I relish in the opportunities to cook as a means to celebrate!
So when our good friends recently got engaged, there was no better way to celebrate than with a home cooked meal. I wanted to cook a dinner that took some favorite components and presented them in a slightly different way. Gilly, a life long friend of Emily’s, and our former roommate is a big fan of vodka sauce and asparagus. Throw in some pasta, maybe some chicken and you’ve got yourself a meal. But that’s boring!
My vodka sauce was a twist on the tradition. Finished with a bit of sharp cheddar cheese instead of Parmigiano, the sauce had a unique flavor and great consistency. And rather than tossing the sauce with some pasta, I used it as a base for these breaded and baked chicken breasts topped with roasted asparagus, lemon zest, and a bit more of that cheddar cheese. I served it with a simple salad of mixed greens and this crazy awesome corn and lime dressing I came up with (recipe to follow) and multiple bottles of wine. It was a really great meal!
So congrats to Gilly and Joe! And don’t worry, I won’t use my “cooking is a great gift” excuse when it comes time for the wedding…