Friday, October 22, 2010

57 Minute Meals

"Hey, kiddos!  Today we're makin' a grrrrrreat Polish Dog Risotto with lotsa cheese, creamy rice, and big ol' portobello mushrooms!  And can you say DESSERT?!  Teerameeeesooo you're just gonna love!  DEEEEE-lish!  And it's all in just 30 minutes!"

Unfortunately you didn't get the full effect, because I wasn't waving my arms around and making gestures like an ASL translator trying to keep up with Aaron Sorkin.

I can't stand this woman.  Maybe not quite as much as I despise Sandra Lee, but my god it's close.  And "30 minute meals"?  Bitch, please!  It's called prep time.  And you can't buy every single vegetable in the produce section pre-sliced, so you can shove your fake promises up your EVOO ass.

If you're actually going to cook something, you're going to be in the kitchen for longer than 30 minutes.  You have to get out your dishes, utensils and ingredients.  You have to wash things, slice things, peel things, answer the phone, rinse off that dirty knife you really need.  We don't have a camera crew and Food Network interns washing dishes in the back, dreaming of the day they'll usurp Guy Fieri from his greasy throne.  It takes 30 minutes to warm up a Freschetta pizza once you've dug it out of the freezer, unwrapped it, reread the directions for the 129th time, let the oven preheat, dig out a baking stone, realize you're supposed to just set it on the rack so you put the stone away, wait for it to cook, turn it, take it out, let it cool, cut it into pieces, put them on plates, ask if anyone else wants a Diet Coke, sit down and EAT.

So, when I told Matt we were going to have the Deep Dish Baker 30 minute roasted chicken, it was a little bit of a lie.  I had to mix up the spices, unwrap and de-neck-and-gizzard the chicken, and start baking my sweet potato in the oven.  But he was still in disbelief.

"You can't cook that in the microwave," he warned.  "It's going to be disgusting."

"I will make a believer out of you," I promised.  I was taking a pretty huge leap of faith, putting a whole fryer in this stoneware basket and expecting it to be edible.  But Pampered Chef promised it was so!  I had to prove it to myself at least as much as my unenlightened husband.

The baker spun for 30 minutes, unattended as we watched missed episodes of 'Outsourced' in the other room.  Light, cute stuff.  Much better than 'The Office' is nowadays.  God.  Kill it, it's suffering so badly! 

When it beeped, I jumped up to get it out.  I gave it a good poke.  Hot, crispy skin and firm flesh... it felt done.  I cut into the breast, revealing nothing but white, clear-juice doneness.  The skin crackled under the knife, much crispier than anything I've desperately tried to do in the oven.

Without too much fanfare, I dished up my sweet potato and chicken ration, and Matt's heaping helping of chicken, Stove Top and Velveeta Mac and Cheese.  I used up almost all my points on free pizza during lunch.  Not the best choice, I learned when I went back to tally it up.

I sat back, and let the reactions roll forth.

"This really came out of the microwave?!"
"It's all crispy, like we fried it or something."
"I am amazed.  I had no idea you could do this."
"It's not dry at all!"
"It's energy-efficient, too!  You're not heating up the whole oven!"
"This is amazing."
"Well, you've convinced me!"

I sat back, a sly smile on my face as I pried every last fiber of potato off my plate.  Told you so.

No comments:

Post a Comment