Look at those glossy boneless, skinless, featherless, characterless chicken breast strips! Could they… taste like food?
They could. They stand up against my hot sidedish variant on black-bean-and-corn salad. Since the key ingredient is lime drink and the “salad” is sultry, today’s act is Shwayze (listen), a hip-hopper so hot that the song about impulsive intercourse in uncomfortable locations is the one not labeled “explicit lyrics.”
Cut red potatoes into chunks and microwave in a little water to get much of that pesky cooking out of the way. I need six minutes for a soup bowl of potatoes. Get them diced and into a pan that holds a drizzle of hot olive oil. Wiggle your hips to the beat. This is West Coast hip-hop, so pelvic thrusts would not be inappropriate.
The chicken strips were marinated overnight in Simply Limeade (ingredients: water, sugar, lime juice, natural flavors). The marinade is critical to getting that glossy caramelized surface. So is tossing them into their own pan with its puddle of sizzling olive oil. If oil pellets don’t fly, you ain’t ready to fry. (More accurately, if oil don’t spatter where it may, you ain’t ready to sauté.)
Shwayze is two people: Aaron Smith (the dark one who raps dirrrrrty lyrics but does not get into trouble) and Cisco Adler (the hairy one who acts on the dirrrrrrrty lyrics). Neither of them drains a few spoonfuls of canned black beans and canned corn in order to throw them in with the hot potatoes. Perhaps they should.
The secret ingredient about to be added to the potatoes, beans, and corn is Embasa canned Salsa Verde. Add enough to moisten the starchy delights in the big pan–be warned, it’s hotter than the usual mild red salsa. Also hotter than salsa is the secret reason I often find West Coast hip-hop entertaining (other than a dirty mind). Despite hip-hop’s rep for referring to women as bitches and hos, there’s a subgenre that is celebratory–or at least cheerfully lascivious–of women as desirable, sexually powerful, and charming. One can fault the characters in the songs for lack of witty repartee but not for enthusiasm.
Juicy! That’s how the chicken strips turned out. As for the potato-bean-corn mixture… I’ve made multiple variations since, including scrambling an egg in it for breakfast and substituting tortilla chips for the potatoes in a pass at chilaquiles. (Making passes had to figure somewhere.)
Since I’m wallowing in sex metaphors for food, let’s wrap up with food metaphors for sex, particularly since lime figures heavily.