Thursday, February 25, 2010

February 25th - Chicken Breast with Prosciutto and Sage


A colleague and I were having a conversation today about what we'd love our ideal job to be.   It came about because we were discussing the fact that I still don't have a real-full time job...just two part-time jobs (which unfortunately DO NOT make a full-time job!)  I thought at this point in my life, I would have already "grown up" and  decided.  But, after pondering this question, I've realized that I'm still no closer to solving this childhood dilema.

It got me thinking about the days of long ago (or not really so long ago) when I was a banker.  The money I made was really good, although I wasn't quite happy or challenged in my job.  Would I go back, just for the money?  On the one hand, it would be nice for a change not having to worry about how I'm going to scrounge up the money for the mortgage.  But on the other hand, do I sacrifice the love for what I do?   I gave up money to persue a passion, now do I have to give up the passion to persue money?

My days of working 60 hours a week in a kitchen to make someone else rich are over.  I don't think I'd ever go back to late nights, weekends, and holidays.  It's fine for some, but not me.  I don't want to be yelled at by some executive chef who thinks I'm not talented because I haven't spent 20 years in the industry.   I don't want to get paid $12 an hour to make a wedding cake that's going to  make someone else $600-700.

Then I think,  I should open my own business.  I could spend 60 hours a week working for me.  I could charge people a lot of money for cakes or desserts or meals.  However, that would mean I would have to take a financial risk that not only affects me, but Brian as well.  Can I put someone else through that just to make myself happy?

The Facts Are These:  I have put myself into a field I love working in.  I would never want to deal with anything that's not food related.  I'm really glad I went to culinary school and have had the experience to be a chef and pastry chef.   Now, I just need to find my realistic dream job within this field (oxymoron?).

I've decided my ultimate dream job would be a buyer for Williams-Sonoma.  How awesome would that be?  Still culinary related, but I'd get to travel, and pick out some cool stuff for W-S to sell, and keep the store ahead of the trends.  (Sorry W-S, you're just now getting into the donut craze?)  Notice, though, that realistic and ultimate are two seperate things.  

Ugh...ramble ramble ramble.  This is an issue that isn't going to get resolved tonight. Let's get to the food. 

Chicken: $4.50
Oil: Had
Onion: Had
 Carrot: Had
Celery: Had
White wine:  $5.00
Prosciutto: $1.57
Sage: $2.49

Total:  $13.56

The Results:

Fast:  It took about 20 minutes total from prep to cooking the dish (a little longer than I thought it would after reading the recipe).

Easy:  Your basic saute and simmer.  The chopping is the hardest part.

Fresh:  Yes.  Definitely fresh.  The combination of the veggies, the sage, wine, and prosciutto work well together to make interesting flavors.

Overall:  I did think that this recipe was missing something.  I've learned throughout my cooking experience that usually when you taste a dish and it's "missing something", it's usually an acid (such as lemon juice or apple cider vinegar).   Since the wine was already acidic enough, I added a  tablespoon of dijon mustard to the sauce.  It totally pepped up the recipe. 

I'm excited to report that tomorrow is cocktail time!!!  It actually sounds very tasty.  I will definitely need it after my full day of prepping for the French dinner with a boat load of students.   Calgon, take me away!

1 comment:

Director Ron said...

Oh Mark... Give us a couple of hours and a few bottles of wine (Seriously!) so you and I could have a LOOOONG conversation about this topic. When can you come up to WI so we can do that? Oy!