Last weekend I met someone new... we'll call him a person of interest and leave it at that for now. I invited him over for dinner, then panicked over what to make. I had a lot of people putting in their two cents about what I should cook-- including my entire office. I was reluctant to cook anything remotely resembling Italian, since he comes from a big Italian family, and I'm less than gourmet level in my chefness. The CEO of the company I work for offered to pick up some fresh mozzarella, basil and tomatoes from a market near his house in Jersey. We decided as a group I couldn't go wrong with chicken, some sort of starch, a vegetable, and the tomato/basil/mozz to start. The morning of my date, my boss called me from the checkout line at the market-- along with my app ingredients, he also bought organic chicken, lawry's seasoning salt, fresh chives, rosemary and parsley, fresh green beans, garlic, onion, sea salt, an orange and lime, olives, a hard cheese for crumbling, orecchiette pasta, strawberries, dipping chocolate, "and an african violet centerpiece... it was only $1.99!" What a guy! Everything I needed for my dinner, top to bottom. He gave me instructions for how to put everything together, and sent me on my way. I picked up a baguette from the bakery near my apartment, and set to work.
The chicken went into a glass casserole dish. I squeezed half of the orange over it, added the lawry's seasoning salt, rosemary, parsley, minced garlic, and a drizzle of olive oil. That went into the oven at 350* for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, I put the pasta on to boil, nipped and cleaned the green beans, and cut up the tomatoes and mozzarella. I sautéed minced garlic, butter and olive oil to toss the pasta in, adding a dash of sea salt, cheese crumbles, and some chopped basil and parsley to the mix.
I was running out of time before he arrived, so I cut up the bread, arranged the tomato/basil/mozzarella and olives on a plate for the table, and ran to change and touch-up my makeup. I threw the green beans in for a quick steam and pulled out the chicken. A little spritz of lime to the chicken, and butter and lime on the beans, and voila! Probably the tastiest, nicest dinner I've ever made. Yay!