All of the Lights

It’s been a while hasn’t it. It has been so busy these last months, that I honestly forgot I had a blog! Between life, projects, and the incredible amount of new music out as of late, I have just been so overwhelmed. Still trying to write a song, thing to set up a couple YouTube channels, managing multiple social media account… it never ends! They don’t tell you this in the 101 books. The don’t tell you how hard and time consuming it is, thankfully it’s still fun, and I love it. I’ll keep doing it until it is not fun anymore. I just need to time manage myself better. Always a work in progress.

Since the unplanned hiatus (part 2) there has been so much happening. Hundreds of new singles, some tour announcements, album releases, and a BBC special or two. Oof! Not including Stranger Things 2 and other strange Hollywood confessions, it has been non stop. With all the new music out, you’d think I’d be talking about the new Taylor Swift album or maybe Sam Smith. Perhaps even Julia Michael’s collaboration with Clean Bandit I Miss You. But I thought I’d throw it back a bit to 2010. A Kanye track.

I’m not an avid Kanye West fan but every once in a while I find myself listening to BBCR1 and a track comes on that catches my ear. Thanks Grimmy for this one. The song today is All of the Lights from Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. What is so cool about this song is that it is a two parter. It has an interlude that plays around with the hook that is sung by Rihanna in the actual track. It has a rich cello and and piano, all supported by more strings. When played in succession with the track it acts as a cinematic intro preparing for the confident entrance of the horns. For me, other than the composition of a Kanye song, the most impressive part is the amount of heavy hitters he can squeeze on one track. All of the Lights has Rihanna, Elton John, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Fergie, and so many more. IT’S INSANE! All in all its is the perfect blend of pop, rap/hip-hop, and film score, borderline Hans Zimmer. (I wouldn’t be surprised if Hans was guest producer on the track).  Because of the triumphant horn section I like to play this cut when I have a lot to get done, like this weekend.

Those who know me, my weekends are heavy booked, though I go nowhere (not socializing). Saturdays and Sundays are my clean and cook days. Saturday was mostly running errands and hanging out with my sister to plan out/sort out our YouTube channel venture. Still trying to figure out a name for ourselves. Sunday I cooked my lunches for the week. It is usually always the same thing with some tiny variation, but I always return to my Parisian Salad. This salad is a discovery I made on my trip to Paris last May. At la Grande Epicerie they have prepared foods and one of them was this fresh chicken and potato salad. I absolutely love it. I ate it everyday. No joke. That and smoke salmon. When I got back I was craving it so bad that I thought I’d try and recreate it. AND I DID! It nearly tastes exactly the same, mine however doesn’t have cherry tomatoes and romain lettuce. I’ve served it to friends and family and everyone wants the recipe so I thought I’d share it with today’s post.

PARISIAN SALAD

1.5 lb yellow mini potatoes
2-4 cloves garlic
olive oil
salt
dried rosemary
dried parsley
1 skinless chicken breast
2-4 bay leaves
Poultry Herb mix
1/4 fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (real stuff)

  • Preheat oven to 375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or aluminium foil.
  • Cut the potatoes in thin disks (no bigger than 1/4 inches). Pro Tip: you can use a mandolin to speed up the cutting. Toss cut potatoes in olive oil, salt, rosemary, parsley and pepper to taste until fully coated.
  • Spread potatoes on baking sheet in one layer. While keeping the paper still on the cloves, crush the garlic with the back of a knife and put 1-2 on each baking sheet. Bake for 10 mins, then rotate pan and bake for another 10-15 minutes until potatoes are done. (some will be crispy, some will be golden, that’s perfect) let cool 5 mins.
  • Pro tip: You can cook the chicken while waiting for the potatoes – Cut the chicken in half (butterfly). Place chicken pieces at the bottom of a medium pot in a single layer. fill the pot with water (or chicken broth) to cover with an inch or 2 more). Add bay leaves, salt and pepper to taste and a large pinch of Poultry Herb mix. Stir gently.
  • Bring to a boil, the reduce temp and simmer for 10 minutes, slightly covered. Turn off the gas and leave for 10-15 more minutes. Strain chicken discarding cooking liquid and bay leaves.
  • Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and transfer to bowl. Transfer cooled potatoes to same bowl reserving garlic cloves. Mince garlic and add to chicken-potato mix. Add parsley, Parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix, if too dry add a bit of olive oil.

Voila! Parisian Salad!

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