I saw the jug of unsweetened almond-coconut milk in the fridge the other morning and got this idea that it would be tasty mixed with vanilla protein powder and the cold coffee left at the bottom of the pot. High protein! Low carb! Caffeine! Like a treat, if not a treat. So I made myself a big dishwater-colored “shake” and sucked it all down in about 20 minutes. What happened next helped me understand how all how those mysterious liquid diets work. My appetite was obliterated. Nuked. Razed. I didn’t feel satisfied so much as blunted and dull, but I did not think about food for the rest of the day.
Ten hours after the shake, I made dinner, and even then I had little interest in eating. I made the lamb chops from Naomi Pomeroy’s Taste & Technique, which I had hoped would be as extraordinary as the salmon from the night before. The method was almost identical: You sear your meat in oil in hot pan, add butter, finish in the oven, basting with the butter. Results: fine. Nothing special.
Last night, I tried Pomeroy’s method for cooking chicken breasts which is — guess what? — almost exactly the same as her method for cooking salmon and lamb chops. Sear in pan on stove, add butter, finish in oven. A few fussy steps in there, easily eliminated. I think the key to this recipe is that she has you brine the chicken for an hour, which transformed the drabbest meat on the planet into something pleasantly salty and alluring.
I like this book and its plain, satisfying dishes. As always, once I get started with a book, I want to try everything.
On another subject, you know that hideous moment when you go to take a picture with your phone and it reverses and suddenly you’re treated to the image of your own face from a severely unflattering angle that accentuates double chins and wrinkles? I’ve always thought there should be a name for that moment and when this horrible thing happened to me the other day as I was preparing to photograph lamb chops it came to me: Screamshot. Genius. I told Owen, who was the only other person in the house, about my new word, and he looked at me with utter disdain. He said everyone in the world was already familiar with the phenomenon and “screamshot” was an incredibly dumb name. Why would anyone want to scream?
There’s a word for someone who asks that idiotic question: sixteen.
Mark prefers “Shudder Shot.”