I won’t even begin to suggest that the Julia Child and Jacques Pepin hadn't already taken their places among the giants of the aforementioned culinary explosion by the time I was watching them in the early nineties (and later in reruns as a nostalgic adult) on their terribly endearing take on classic French cuisine. They were (and still are) my favorites.
Jacques, especially, with his impossibly easy way as he chops food faster and more perfectly than anyone I've ever seen – cooking “fast food” his way. And what a way it is. I can only describe it as French, or maybe more appropriately, southern French, since the recipes are always made au feeling and always look so effortless and…easy.
Just exactly the kind of cook I would hope to become – one who not only cooks well, but with feeling and with instinct – the kind of cook who cooks fearlessly.
One of the things I love most about the food Jacques and Julia would make together was that it really looked like food. The term food porn had not entered into the lexicon and while I love beautifully styled food, I also loved the way you knew that, even if it wasn’t placed perfectly on the plate - just so - Julia and Jacques' food was, simply delicious.
So I present to you something that pales in comparison to the cuisine that Jacques and Julia might have made on their show but reminds me of them because it’s simple, unfussy and in a word, delicious. The kind of food I'd like to see on the American dinner plate...no offense to Rachael.
(adapted from Spark Recipe and suggested by the Bee)
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (10 oz.) bag prewashed spinach
1 (145 oz.) can chopped tomatoes and green peppers (brand: Rotel)
2-3 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Preheat the oven to 375*F. In a glass baking dish, place the spinach evenly over the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper to season and place them over the spinach. Pour the can of tomatoes and green peppers evenly over the chicken breasts. Place in the center of the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the chicken breast is cooked through. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, remove the baking dish and sprinkle the chicken with the parmigian reggiano. Return to the oven and cook until the cheese has melted and the chicken is cooked through.
NOTE: Ok, people. I have to tell you. I eyeballed this recipe and the amounts listed above are my best guess as to the correct ratio. So just do your best guess, too. Cook it au feeling.