Now Or Never

BLOG | Trevor's resolution: to become the next Jamie Oliver

Things are changing at Trevor's house. His wife is going back to work after a year-long maternity leave, and Trevor's now in charge of dinner. His resolution? To become a master chef. Or at least, not a disaster chef.
Now or Never host Trevor Dineen and his new year's resolution for 2017 (Now or Never)
First things first: I'm not an awful cook. I know that you shouldn't marinade chicken in milk, or put cayenne pepper on a salad.  So basically, I'm not dumb. But I don't have the cooking confidence that my wife has. She's one of those people who can look in a fridge that has 11 seemingly random unpairable items, and make it into an amazing dinner dish within the hour. If it were me, we would be having 11 different plates of random food for dinner that night. 
People love tapas, right?

But starting this new year, I have to challenge myself more. Our son is now 372 days old (it's a rule that parents can never just say "one year old" I think). After a year of being coddled and loved by mom at home, he is off to daycare (or as he likes to call it "the place where Mommy and Daddy abandon me") and my wife is back at work.

Trevor's resolution is to learn to cook for his wife Allie and son Jack. (Courtesy Trevor Dineen)

Any parent who has gone through this knows how hard this transition is, especially for the mother. So to help out more, I want to start making more dinners around the house. 

Now I know what you're thinking. "She is so lucky to have your scrambled eggs for dinner every night, they are so tasty." And they are. Pure heaven. But she's apparently one of those "picky eaters" who doesn't just want to eat eggs every night for a year.

So now I'm on my own personal journey to become a master chef. Or a good chef. Or let's say a good-ish cook (we'll go with that). 

My first meal was poached chicken pasta with garlic, ginger, rosemary, ricotta cheese, steamed peas and corn and a side of screaming toddler. 

Poached chicken with fusilli à la Trevor (Trevor Dineen)

It turned out well. But as the chef, I felt like a Democrat watching the polls on election night — just sweating. I don't think average people get that stressed while cooking a meal.

If you have any go-to recipes you think are tasty and delicious, and will keep my anxiety down, send them my way. I'll be sure to send you a Tupperware dish of leftovers when I'm done. (Food travels well by mail right?)

Poached chicken with pasta (recipe courtesy of Brandon Boone)

1. Boil a large pot of water. Once it's boiling, add a healthy dose of kosher salt (1-2 tbsp). Add pasta and cook according to pasta instructions.

2. In a large skillet or frying pan, dump a couple of cups of chicken broth/stock, a few slices of lemon, some sliced garlic or ginger if you're feeling fancy, a few peppercorns, and a bay leaf. If you've got some rosemary or thyme lying around, throw some in too.

3. Bring this all to a boil. Once it's boiling, reduce to low, throw in the chicken breasts, cover with a lid, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

4. Drain the pasta (remember to keep a cup of the pasta water in reserve) and throw it in a big bowl. Chop the cooked chicken into cubes and throw it in. Add a couple of handfuls of cheese (ricotta, marscapone, or feta) and a couple of cups of cooked/steamed vegetables (peas, corn or broccoli). Toss it all with sea salt and pepper to taste and VOILA!  If it needs a little more moisture toss with some of the pasta water.