So I’m Eastern European. And German. And basically just really, really muddled Anglo-Saxon.
If there’s one thing any Anglo-Saxon traditionalist will tell you, it is: brown your butter. I learned it from my great-aunt, she passed it through the family before she passed away. It’s a priceless lesson.
Butter makes everything better.
Now, if you consider today’s world, cooking isn’t as simple as it used to be. We’re allergic to more, have more preferences, and are generally more finicky than ever before. And that’s sort of a good thing, because it means we can afford to be finicky. That wasn’t always the case.
You ate what was placed before you, and no matter how much you cried, you ate that or you didn’t eat.
Like I said, simple.
Another European delicacy of sorts is vinegar. They put vinegar in everything. I think the only other culture that really uses vinegar anywhere close to the extent that the Anglos used it would be Asians. And they still don’t use it that much.
In my opinion, it’s one of the hardest ingredients to cook with. I’m putting my entire family line to shame by admitting it, but I’ll explain why I think so: One, a little vinegar goes a long way and I am pretty heavy handed in my cooking. Even when I try to hold back on the vinegar, the vinegar tilts my hand a little further than I intend to every time. Second, there are so. many. types. of it. And you can’t just interchangeably use all types of vinegar. No, you can only replace certain types of vinegar with one another, and some you really cannot interchange at all.
In the case of this recipe, it calls for white wine vingar. I don’t have white wine vinegar. Unless you count the 3 week old half used bottle of white wine sitting in the bottom shelf of my fridge door. But that’s just a recipe for disaster and probably impaired vision, so I didn’t want to get smart and try and use it. I also happen to have normal, standard white vinegar on hand. It is a suitable substitute for white wine vinegar, as long as you don’t use it at a 1-1 ratio. The primary difference between white vinegar and white wine vinegar is that plain old white vinegar is a lot stronger than white wine vinegar. Typically, you see plain vinegar in baking recipes or as a chemical free way to clean your bathtub. Wine vinegar is just a little more subtle, slightly sweeter profile. But you can totally, in this case, swap. I know this because I did it and this recipe is bomb.
Now, this Eat This Week is definitely of European descent. It’s more German than Slavic, but that probably means more people will like it. Slavic food is a much more acquired taste. That is to say, to eat like the Gypsies (and enjoy it), you probably have to be related to them in some way, shape, or form.
I was getting bored with my normal go-to meals, so I wanted nothing. to do. with turkey.
Luckily, my kickboxing gym’s Facebook page had a post from another member raving about this new app that basically has all these recipes, and you can control what ingredients are or are not in each recipe, diet types, allergens, etc. After you put in your specifications, it catalogs all the recipes in the database and you can pick what you want to eat for the week! I kept my restrictions pretty empty because it’s easier to sub something or leave it out altogether, and I wanted to see more options! Of course, I did still request nut-free recipes only.
The app is called mealime, and there is a free version, or you can subscribe yearly or month-to-month. I just wanted to give it a try, so for $6 and some change, I had access to all the recipes plus some cool other features as well. I think the best feature of all is the grocery list. It compiles all of your ingredients into one list, and if you tap on a certain ingredient, it tells you which recipe(s) it’s used in and for what, and what you could sub out! They thought of everything, they really did. It’s also really easy to manage since as you check items off your list, they disappear into a secondary list of “completed” ingredients.
I bought ingredients for 4 different recipes, and my total was $50. I’ll get two meals out of each of these recipes, so each plate only cost me about $6.25. Granted, I had quite a few of the recipes, especially my protein, on hand already. But I think overall, the app gives you an easy way to manage your lunch and dinner meals (breakfast is on the way!) for a whole week and suggests relatively cheap ingredients.
You’re not cooking saffron chicken and filet mignon, ja feel?
So here’s a recipe from mealime that is German and buttery, and delicious!
(also, they give way better directions than I do, lol!)
Ingredients (I can’t help you figure out what you have and don’t have!)
A large chicken breast – I used the biggest chicken breast I had.
half cup of chicken broth – I used low sodium cause that’s what I do
white wine vinegar (I used white plain)
more butter than I want to admit (like 4 tablespoons)
Instructions (it’s so much easier on the app!)
- Slice chicken breast in half horizontally. Like, make it thin, don’t make two huge chunks of chicken. That’s wrong. Salt and pepper it.
- Heat yo pan. Add a tablespoon of butter. Melty melty fatness.
- Throw in the chicken. They said 2-3 minutes per side and I’m pretty sure my meat just cooks slow for fun, but I did more like 5 minutes per side.
- While you wait, peel and dice the shallot. Like a fine dice. Tiny bits.
- When you feel that your chicken is done, or when your meat thermometer says 165 ( I recommend that option over what you “feel”), move it to a plate and throw in another tablespoon of butter.
- Add shallot. Let it brown a bit.
- Add 1/2 cup of broth and one tablespoon of white vinegar or two tablespoons of white wine vinegar. Don’t mess that up.
- Let it reduce.
- Add in a heavy tablespoon of dijon mustard and another tablespoon of butter.
- After it’s all saucy remove from heat add some s & p love, and drizzle over your chicken!