“Cold beer, really good potato chips — a big bucket of those are a good way to start and finish.”
Rupert Friend, “Homeland”
Huffington Post

The recent 68th Primetime Emmy Awards hype got me thinking. I did not catch Sunday night’s red carpet interviews because I was having a tortellini fest at the kitchen. I will fill you in on that later. Or better yet, grab a ticket for tonight’s Farm to Table Fare event benefiting Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and come see for yourself. Not in town? No problem. I’ll talk tortellini at some point, but for now, let’s get back to the red carpet shall we? A common question asked is about pre-awards show rituals. From deluxe cheeseburgers to detox cleanses, food finds its way in to these events one way or another. Ingredients even lend their hues to the couture. Apparently Sunday night was no exception.

Angela Bassett in Mustard

Angela Bassett in Mustard

Mandy Moore in Tangerine

Mandy Moore in Tangerine

I don't think words are needed here...

I don't think words are needed here...

Where am I going with this? Other than, I want to eat pizza with Kristen Bell at the Emmys?  I was thinking about the folks at home watching the Emmys. What’s their or your daily ritual? What’s your routine? Most of us wake up, work, and wind down. Am I right? This includes doing our best to get the fuel we need along the way. A meal here. A nosh there. Repeat. Like I said, we’re all doing our best.

My job is about cooking and people. I teach real people how to cook real food. Oh, and enjoy it! Yes, yes, celebrities are real people, too. Tabloids prove this with frozen yogurt and yoga mat sightings. What I do works for all walks of life. That’s the beauty of cooking. In the spirit of the television industry’s big night and all the fun ways food made an appearance…PB&J anyone?

Jimmy Kimmel's mom made sandwiches for everyone.

Jimmy Kimmel's mom made sandwiches for everyone.

I’m going to share some dishes that transition from desk to dinner to done!
Feeling glamorous or gloomy, they’re winners. If you like them, let me know. I want to hear from you! There’s more where these came from. Bounce or crawl out of bed? There’s a dish for that. Commute to work? There’s a dish for that. Have the third shift? Guess what? There’s a dish for that. And I’m here to show you it’s easy. Even for those of you who have to be on set. Send craft services my way. There’s a dish for that.

Desk
This is fresh, satisfying and EASY. Why did I nominate it? Whether your “desk” is in the car, a cubicle or the corner office – it just works.

Chicken Dosas

Serves 4

1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

1 tsp Madras curry powder

2 tbsp canola oil

1 medium red onion, chopped

3 zucchini (about 1 pound), diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp minced fresh ginger

1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed

½ tsp coriander seeds, crushed

3 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

4 naan or tortillas

In a small bowl, stir the yogurt with the curry powder.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion and zucchini and cook over moderate heat until golden, about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic, ginger, cumin and coriander and cook for 3 minutes.  Stir in the chicken and season the filling with salt and pepper.

Spoon the filling in the center of the naan and top with some of the curry yogurt. Roll up and serve with any extra yogurt sauce on the side.

Easy enough to make the filling the night before, store it in an air-tight container in the fridge,  grab the container and some naan on your way out the door...lunch at your desk!  Very continental!

Dinner

I nominated this dish because well, I love it!  A lighter twist on the traditional.

Chicken Saltimbocca with Lemon Sauce

Serves 4

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

4 large fresh basil leaves

4 – 1oz. slices of prosciutto

¼ cup all purpose flour

1 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tbsp olive oil

Pound chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap until approximately ¼ inch thick or less.  Place one basil leaf on each breast and top with the prosciutto.  Lightly dredge in flour.

Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat.  Melt butter in olive oil.  Place chicken, prosciutto side down into oil/butter and sauté for 3 minutes.  Turn and sauté another 3 – 4 minutes until done.  Remove from pan to a warm platter and cover with foil.

Lemon Pan Sauce:

1 small shallot, finely chopped

½ cup dry white wine

½ cup chicken stock

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp lemon zest

2 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes

In the same pan, pour off ½ of the oil/butter mixture, add shallots and sauté over medium heat until softened but not browned.  Increase the heat to medium high and add the wine and stock, bring to a boil and reduce by half.  Add lemon juice and zest, reduce the heat to medium and bring to a simmer.  Add butter one cube at a time and stir into the sauce until melted and sauce is glossy.

Drizzle some sauce over the chicken breasts and serve the rest on the side.

Done!
Whether you watched the Emmy’s or something else on your DVR, Netflix (or Amazon or Hulu or YouTube…), curled up with a good book or collapsed to the floor when company left or you shut down your laptop – THAT is what I call Done! What’s your Done! ritual? Do you make popcorn…pour a glass of wine…BOTH?

What's your fav "fun to whip up" and nosh on?
How about your go-to house wine and why you nominated it?

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