Today at work, someone asked me if I like to cook.
It’s not an odd question, rendered even less odd considering what exactly it is that I do. And yet I understand the confusion. Let me explain.
I work for the production portion of a company that makes step-by-step video recipes. My job involves planning the filming of said recipes, grocery shopping, researching, filming, pre-editing and inputting these recipes into a software system. By lunchtime, I’m usually either starving or suffering from phantom indigestion. (It’s a real thing. I also suffered from it when I was a waitress and briefly became immune to the smell of caramelized onions.)
I can only assume that not everyone who works at my company is all that into food. People get jobs in their field, not necessarily because they like what the company is doing. I can think of at least a dozen examples of friends working for companies and carrying out marketing, commercial or editorial duties without being particularly interested in whatever the end goal of the company is. But when I started at my current job, it was as a translator, and if I was attracted to this particular translating job over the hundreds of others I could find all over Craigslist, it was because it was about food.
I haven’t been terribly present on this blog in the past few months, even in the past year. I’ve had a hard time coming up with things to say, not to mention finding the time to say them. But regardless of the lack of time, energy or inspiration, I still love writing, and I still love food.
So, in response to my co-worker, “Yes.” I do like food, cooking, writing about food, writing about cooking, reading about food, reading about cooking… I love it all. And now that I’m finally out of school and finally (!) have my visa in hand, I hope that I’ll be able to make the time to do the things that I really love, and that means a lot more cooking.
But first, a small work-related anecdote. I’ve become quite famous amongst my work friends for my seasonally inappropriate dressing. I’ve decided it’s summer, and so I’ll wear sandals, even if it’s, in all honesty, far too cold for that sort of malarkey. But it’s summer, technically, and so summer it shall be. Before summer is truly over, I wanted to share this recipe. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll add that tonight I made a piping hot bowl of jambalaya to keep warm. But this salad is quite delicious and very pleasant on a warm evening with a glass of rosé. If we end up with a few more days of Indian summer somewhere down the line, I might just make it one last time.
Peach, Goat Cheese, Coeur de Laitue (serves 2)
2 fresh peaches
1 Tbsp. butter
4-6 1-ounce rounds of fresh goat cheese
1 tsp. oil
3 Tbsp. plain breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
3 hearts coeur de laitue or other soft green lettuce
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
Slice the peaches into wedges. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and allow to froth. When the frothing subsides, add the peaches in one layer. Allow to cook gently, without moving, for about two minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the salad. Cut the hearts of lettuce (or tear if you’re from one of those French families that doesn’t allow the cutting of lettuce). Salt the lettuce.
Combine the oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a jar. Shake to combine.
When the peaches have cooked two minutes, turn them to the other side and allow them to continue to cook. When they have finished cooking on the second side, remove them to a plate. Set aside.
Wipe out the pan with a paper towel and add the oil. Allow it to heat.
Meanwhile, prepare two small bowls, one with the breadcrumbs and the other with the egg. Add about a tablespoon of water to the egg and whisk to combine. Dip each goat cheese round in egg, then season each side with salt and pepper before dipping it into the breadcrumbs to coat on all sides. Place the goat cheese rounds in the skillet and cook 1-2 minutes per side, until crispy and golden.
Dress the salad and toss. Arrange the peaches and goat cheese over the top. Serve with rosé.