My Favorite Meal

My Favorite Meal

Like anybody who considers themselves a foodie, I like different dishes from all over the world. My friends all joke that I’ll try anything at least once, even if everyone else thinks it shouldn’t even be called food. You never know what you’re going to like unless you at least taste it. That’s my motto, anyway. There is so much out there the average person would think was weird or exotic and avoid it just because. Luckily here in New York City, there are people from all over the world who bring their different dishes here and let the rest of us experience their culture first hand.

It’s really amazing.

But there’s always a favorite dish, right? Something that brings you comfort or reminds you of a specific person. Every time you eat it, it takes you back to a special moment or brings out a certain emotion.

For me, that’s chicken cutlets. It’s a pretty straightforward meal, and it was always popular at my house. When my mom was frying the cutlets, I always knew. The smell would greet me on the stoop before I even opened our front door. Have you ever seen those cartoons where somebody floats through the air because of a visible scent? That’s what it felt like to me. Other kids would make fun of me at school when I had leftovers because the paper bags she sent me to school with weren’t strong enough to stop the scent, either. But I didn’t care. They were worth the teasing.

Cutlets are pretty simple to make. You pound chicken breast flat, dip it in beaten eggs, coat them with breadcrumbs and then fry them in oil. Just a few ingredients and you have a great chicken dish. The best part is that because they are so “plain,” they are quite versatile. You can add them to all kinds of things and make a complete dish. They go great in sandwiches, with tomato sauce and some mozzarella cheese as Chicken Parmigiana, even on pizza! There was a restaurant near me for a while that used to serve a chicken cutlet sandwich with fresh spinach on focaccia bread. They also made a great Fra Diavolo pizza with chicken cutlets on it as well. It was heaven.

Although, I have to say that my favorite will always be my mom’s, made with some mashed potatoes and some corn. If there were ever a dish that tasted like home to me, this would be the one. I make them myself now that my mother has passed on, but it is nothing like when I was younger and would be smiling before I even walked in the house. It is a little different when you have to do all the work I guess. It does remind me of her and of everything that made her such a wonderful person, though.