Picky-Eaters Club Favorites

My husband is a member of the Picky-Eater’s club. We’ve been together for eight years, so I’ve managed to overcome this to some extent and live a normal foodie life. Basically, I cook for me, unless he expressly asks for something he wants. He fends for himself (usually in the form of takeout). However, we have a few recipes – standbys, if you will- which do please Mr. Stump.

1. Spaghetti with Meatballs and Red Sauce

Unlike normal people, my husband prefers things out of a jar, can or package. We use Francisco Rinaldi pasta sauce (frequently on sale for $1/can at the local Giant). I have been able to sway his taste buds into liking Dreamfields pasta, but it’s pricey. We often use Whole Wheat thin spaghetti instead because it’s available in bulk at BJs. He likes Mama Lucia’s frozen meatballs. We just nuke ’em.

2. Fried Chicken and Mashed Potatoes, with a green vegetable (usually broccoli)

My fried chicken is pretty great. Recently, I tried variations on the recipe for breading, with much success. I can now make Parmesan fried chicken, add extra spices such as black cumin, or add flaxseed for texture. Charles is pleased as long as it’s fried. I use peanut oil exclusively for fried chicken. It just tastes better than way. I make my mashed potatoes by boiling them, then adding milk/butter/salt/pepper and using a hand mixer to mash them. Charles douses them in ketchup, but sometimes I’ll add garlic to my own after he’s taken his serving. I use the standard flour + egg + breading steps, and aim for golden brown. I like mine fried a little crispier, but, as Minnie Jackson pointed out in The Help, I don’t burn no chicken.

3. Broccolini with Edamame and Lemons

This time we tried broccolini.

I found a great recipe in this month’s Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. Basically, I blanched the broccolini to get it crisply green, in salted water for two minutes. Then I tossed in a handful of edamame and let this simmer for another two minutes or so. Meanwhile, I thinly sliced a lemon and sauteed the pieces in butter for about five minutes, then added the drained broccolini/edamame to it and sauteed for a few minutes further. I added a pinch of ground red pepper and stirred it in, then served it hot. Charles went nuts! We’ll definitely be going back to this recipe again.