Mondays at work are always a lot of housekeeping days. Client has purchased more alstroemerias at the market, so first order of business is to cut and arrange at the locations throughout the house that were not changed last Saturday.
I am feeling in the mood for some “comfy food” to counteract the rainy day we face today. Mr. Client is gone most of the day so I cannot run my menu by him, but I believe he will enjoy this offering. Jerked chicken (my recipe is on the mild side tonight) is accompanied by homemade cornbread with bits of fresh corn, baked sweet potato laced with butter and cinnamon and a side of tomatoes and cucumber. Ya mon!
Mondays at work are always a lot of housekeeping days. Client has purchased more alstroemerias at the market, so first order of business is to cut and arrange at the locations throughout the house that were not changed last Saturday.38.800105 -77.044791
The clients ask for an early lunch as they are meeting with their general contractor and designer at 1:00pm. So I quickly throw together a sandwich of lettuce, gruyere, chicken breast, chili mayo and butter accompanied by a tossed salad with mixed greens, asparagus, mushrooms, fennel, green onion, Gorgonzola and vinaigrette. No complaints.
Original plans were for gluten-free appetizers for four between 6-7pm tonight. Mid-afternoon I am advised by Mr. Client that only one guest will be joining them for hors d’ oeuvres. At 5:10pm, Mr. Advises that guest will be joining them for dinner in house, not just hors d’oeuvres. Thank God I have two proteins thawed out!
Cocktails will be accompanied by chicken satay with peanut dipping sauce and crudités with a light homemade ranch sauce.38.800101 -77.044768
Arriving to work at 10:40am is a luxury. My tired body needed a good rest and I needed to recharge my mind with some new menu ideas. After finishing a little cleanup from the previous day, I find out that the clients will be entertaining for both lunch and dinner today. Luckily, I have two chicken breasts in the fridge that will be perfect for a lunch for four. Mrs. compliments me on the previous days’ cheese pies, but reminds me gently that Mr. cannot make a habit of such decadence, lest he balloon up like a blimp. My lunch today will be much lighter to ease her worries.
Orzo salad with cranberries, pecans, scallions, Kalamata olives, parsley and lemon zest dressed ever so lightly with a lemony olive oil vinaigrette over mixed baby greens is circled with medallions of chicken breast marinated with basil, oregano, lemon, salt and pepper. Hello spring!
Clients head out for a couple hours after reminding me that they have a lot of leftovers in the fridge that need to be used up. I survey the leftovers, pasta, pasta, gumbo. I am planning a stuffed pork tenderloin for dinner. I decide to take up my employer’s challenge! I will repurpose the fettucini Alfredo by lightening it up with a lemon-pepper-parsley pesto. That will be my dinner starch. Steamed broccoli with olive oil and lemon and a lightly dressed side salad will round out the meal.
I stuff the tenderloin with a mixture of chopped prunes, port wine, Dijon mustard and parsley. It is seasoned with salt and pepper, dressed with olive oil and set aside for one hour in the fridge.
The pork is cooked at 375° in a convection oven for 50 minutes. After resting for ten minutes it is ready to slice and plate. It is moist and juicy and the accompanying herbaceous and lemony fettucini complements it nicely.
Today I faced the daunting task of outfitting a mostly barren kitchen with the pantry and food items required to cook two meals a day for my new clients. After re-examining the contents of the spice drawer, I moved on to searching out kitchen hardware. The brand new, extremely sharp Wusthof knife set brightened my spirits…temporarily. The kitchen I will occupy for the next 30 days has no food processor, KitchenAid mixer, mandolin, immersion blender , deep fryer or panini press. Alas, there are no nonstick fry pans, no large stock pots…
What have I gotten myself into?
This kitchen will test my culinary mettle. In fact, I have often commented ( mostly while living in houses that did not have gas cooktops) ” a good cook can cook well in any situation”….even just a campfire!
After returning from my hour long grocery shopping trip, I download all the goods and continue to organize my new work space the way that makes sense to me. I speak with the clients about lunch preferences and set in to make the lighter lunch they request. You can seldom go wrong with a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup. My version is Cream of Tomato Basil with a ham, cheddar, gruyere and smoked pepper Sandwich.
Following lunch and cleanup, I run several of my dinner entree ideas past my clients. It appears I have chosen wisely at the supermarket! All of the menus are approved. My clients have a friend in town who will be joining them for dinner this evening. However, they will be dining out…I guess the first rule of being a Personal Chef is being able to be flexible!
I offer to prepare hors d’oeuvres, a fruit and cheese plate and some of my favorite greek pastries, tiropitas . A double batch of the savory pastries will serve me well for Easter Day snacks. These buttery goodies have never disappointed!