Yesterday was (ironically) National Bikini Day. I say “ironically” because it followed a day here in the US when many lose all inhibitions and overindulge in all things on the holiday buffet table. I know I enjoyed some grilled tri-tip smothered in chimichurri and generous pieces of cake myself. Thankfully, the scale was kinder than I anticipated the next morning.
On July 5th, 1946, Louis Réard set the modern summer on fire with his newest incarnation on bathing suits: the bikini. Named for the Bikini Atoll wherein atomic bombs were tested, the bikini grew in viral popularity (beginning with the French women – mais bien sûr) despite the initial resistance from the Catholic Church deeming it overtly sensual.
Nowadays though everyone who wants to own it in a bikini, must first own it in the kitchen too. I haven’t confidently worn a bikini in public in a few years. Personal challenges in recent years have hindered my progress a bit, but I’m slowly coming back to my own. I don’t necessarily need to be 100 pounds like I was back in college, but any improvement in how my clothes fit is a win in my (current) book (hence the recent switch to a more gluten free lifestyle).
Last night, we took the opportunity to commemorate the day with this delectable Spanish-inspired Grilled Oregano Chicken over Tomatoes dressed in Chile-Fennel Oil from Bon Appétit Magazine. The marinated chicken was tender and juicy while the simply-dressed tomatoes were piquant and sassy. It’s hard to tell whether I was just really enjoying the tomatoes as they were presented or I just really like dressed tomatoes in general. Either way though, I was prepared to lick my plate if there weren’t more to be had.
I served the chicken alongside smashed potato quarters. I cut up two small potatoes, sprayed them with black truffle olive oil cooking spray, and dusted them with smoked paprika & chili powder. I cooked them at 350° for 30min. I pulled the pan out of the oven and used the back of a fork to smash down each piece. I returned the pan to the oven for 10min.
Don’t let all the different ingredients intimidate or deter you. This unique dish is at once comfortable and exciting. To add a little more zip to your plate, you can do like we did and grill the onions instead of discarding them!
What is the most exotic dish you’ve ever made?