I have a confession: I like cheap, cheesy mystery novels. My passion for these books probably began with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. More recently, I discovered those fun mysteries that incorporate food or drink into the mysteries and include recipes at the conclusion of the story. That combination is perfect for recipe and mystery aficionados like myself.
Despite the way I drool while reading through the recipes, this week is the first time I’ve actually tried making one of those recipes. My goal in making “Dominic Chin’s ‘Chitalian’ Chicken Lo Mein” was to have a good recipe for Chinese food that doesn’t involve a high-sodium, high-preservative boxed mix. For anyone interested in making the recipe, you can find it in A Brew to Kill by Cleo Coyle (and any of the Coffeehouse Mysteries by the same author are great fun to read).
To survive as a dinner recipe in my house, a meal has to be easy to prepare and tasty. Skillet meals like this lo mein do require a bit more babysitting than I usually do, but since the chicken is marinated and the noodles can be cooked in advance (like during naptime), the method remains uncomplicated. The ingredients were also foods, spices, and sauces I generally have in my pantry. For my preferences, chicken lo mein was already a success.
However, since I chose to change from my family’s usual and much-loved chicken and broccoli fried rice, I knew my husband would be tougher to convince. He knows what he likes and he likes what he knows; but I got a “this is good,” when I asked what he thought. I also got another “I like it,” about mid-meal and a “Thanks! That was great, Babe,” as he took his plate to the sink. Normally, only lasagna and pot roast get that many compliments in one meal. As an added bonus, while our son didn’t clear his plate (a feat reserved for pizza and spaghetti), he ate without complaint or prompting… until he remembered his bucket of Halloween candy sitting in the kitchen. This recipe is getting added to the box of favorites!