Ooooh, a third new post, I must really be back! To be honest, with the hectic summer I had with all that cooking in the hot sun, most of it done during Ramadan when I was fasting, this feels so good. It is therapeutic; just the action of typing out a sentence or two, or editing a photo whilst listening to music, the cooking’s a bit chaotic but for the most part, it’s been wonderful to get back to blogging and catching up with old friends.
I know I have been a bit erratic visiting everyone but I promise, I’m coming! I have finished my events for the year, I think and am looking forward to concentrating on my website, visiting all of you and maybe throwing a party or two.
Today’s post is not so much about the recipe, though the Herb Grilled Chicken is pretty delicious and became quite the hit this summer, it’s more about the experiences and adventures I had this summer.
One such adventure was had last week at a metal workshop where they work with….metal. I should say, not just work, but design and create, the most amazing things with metal.
I was, for lack of a better word, gobsmacked, at their workshop, their products and the great people who worked there. Since this was an evening event for a design association, they had transformed their big, old metal shed into the most graceful, rustic venue for the dinner/meeting. The textures, colours and ‘vibe’ were eclectic, artistic and so original.
The huge metal workshop tables were covered with colourful, floral prints, and while metal cutting and fabricating tools hung on the underside, vibrant, yellow sunflowers adorned the top side. The whole cold metal, warm fabrics, sunny flowers and the earthy, rustic feel, played so well together and worked beautifully.
As much as I loved the whole atmosphere, I loved their creations even more. So much talent and passion in this place and it can be seen by the way they talk about what they do. Raw Urth is located in Fort Collins and they basically design anything with metal. They are local artisans and if you are looking for something that’s unique, different and custom made, then you need to check them out.
Why is it that in this day and age, the craftsmen and the artisans are often overlooked? The ones who produce works of art, one of a kind pieces with so much passion that it can be seen in every stroke of their paint brush, every nail or every carved line; in a slice of artisanal bread or a cup of perfectly, crafted coffee. Even modern technology has its artists because I see beauty in a sleek, elegantly designed Aston Martin, or a shiny, gleaming Harley thundering off in the distance (I’m still working on getting mine, I figured I’d fix my knees first so I could ride the dang thing). My heart skips a beat when I see beautifully, crafted audio speakers or huge, powerful amplifiers, that fill the room with such a precise and soul wrenching sound. All these designs and creations require a desire for perfection. But in all this modernity, we seem to have forgotten the true art of creating and crafting. It’s so much easier and cheaper to go to IKEA or order from Amazon or walk into a Starbucks. And yet, thankfully, we still have these souls who take the time to create, carve and cultivate.
I have a good friend, who I don’t see very often and talk with even less, but we’re friends nevertheless, and on one rare occasion where we had the opportunity to converse, he showed me what he can do. What he can do, and do very well, I might add, is work with wood. He showed me photos of his past jobs: cabinetry and wood work. It made what I do seem incredibly insignificant! I just throw a bunch of ingredients together and hope for the best but here he was, all artisanal and cool, I was, I am, in awe. I knew he did this on the side but I didn’t know he was this brilliant.
I noticed something in my conversation with him that day, and I know this is true of anyone who loves what they do, the passion with which he spoke when he was telling me about the jobs. The ones who create the most beauty are the ones who put all of themselves into it; they are passionate, they are perfectionists and they are principled. I’d like to think I have passion, and I know I’m a perfectionist, but I’m a bit dodgy with the whole principles thing at times 🙂
So, what do you think? Are food bloggers artisans? Are we special in some way?
So, moving on to the recipe, the marinade and the sauce for this chicken is very much like a chimichurri and a Moroccan chermoula. I kind of didn’t stick to any hard and fast rule and mixed and matched so I didn’t want to call it either but it is inspired by them both.
The chicken was marinated in the sauce for about an hour and then grilled and served with more sauce on the side. I know it tastes good because everyone told me so. And it does, it’s quite excellent.
Serves: 6 servings
- ½ cup cilantro, packed
- ½ cup parsley, packed,
- ½ cup mint, packed
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar, or any vinegar
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or a chilli
- 6 chicken breasts, sliced or butterflied in half
- Put all the ingredients for the marinade and the sauce into a food processor and whiz till pureed and blended.
- Check for salt, pepper and sweetness.
- Adjust the vinegar for more or less tartness.
- I like a bit of honey to take off the vinegary edge but if you like it tart, you can omit the honey.
- In a plastic baggie, drop the butterflied chicken breasts.
- Add a ¼ cup or so of the sauce to marinade the chicken.
- Zip the bag and mix the marinade around to coat the chicken.
- Leave for an hour.
- Fire up the grill, and grill the chicken breasts till done.
- They shouldn't take too long since the breasts were sliced to be thin.
- About 10-15 minutes on the first side and about 7-10 on the other side depending on the thickness.
- Pull off the heat and allow to rest awhile.
- Serve with the herb sauce on the side.
So, I found this quote the other day and thought it quite appropriate, I’ll leave you with it. Have a great week.