Although I do the majority of the cooking at Chez Belm, I don’t do all of the cooking. OccasionallyÂ She Who Must Be Obeyed steps in and cooks something that she likes that isn’t something I usually think of when planning dinner menus. Such was the case when she announced that she wanted to make gazpacho. I dutifully retrieved the necessary ingredients from the farmer’s market, sharpened her knife, and let her do the work:
A few hours later we had tasty gazpacho for dinner, and IÂ didnâ€™t have to do a thing. I didn’t even wash the dishes.
Inspired by his mother’s initiative,Â He Who Will Not Be Ignored decided to get in on the act. Our last evening in Chicago had been a dinner at Heaven on Seven, a popular place that served New Orleans food. The original location on Wabash AvenueÂ isnâ€™t open for dinner, but on the first Friday of each month chef/owner Jimmy Bannos hosts a dinner and cooking class, complete with recipe handouts (and bottomless hurricanes). He Who loved the fried chicken salad, so about a week later he asked if we could ave it for dinner, and if he could make it.
The recipe was Â a series of sub-recipes, beginning with making a batch of the chef’s seasoning blend, the inappropriately named Angel Dust. We made seasoned flour with the spice mix, and also added it to the honey jalapeÃ±o salad dressing. Then I let He Who have at some boneless chicken breasts.
I showed him how to egg wash and dredge the chicken (one handed, to avoid gloppy fingers), and how to add the chicken to a pan of oil (slowly lower it away from yourself to avoid splashback). I prepared a side of yellow rice, then let him plate:
He was pleased with the final result, as you can see at the top of the post.
I think it’s time to turn over the kitchen to the sous chefs a few times a month. But they’ll have to step up their game – maybe I’ll make a competition out of it. Belm’s Kitchen, anyone?