|Who can resist tomatoes that look like this?|
After I made these golden-seared chicken breasts with their moist center of plump ripe tomatoes, melted cheese and pungent garlic sauce, I wondered if I could call this an original recipe. But when, exactly, is a recipe an original? This is a hard question to answer because there don’t seem to be any hard and fast rules. Interestingly, copyright laws don’t give a lot of help here. From what I have read, while most cookbooks are themselves copyrighted, the individual recipes can’t be. The theory is that recipes are in the “public domain”. This relies on the idea that several people can, at any time, come up with the same thing—ingredients and cooking techniques being pretty well universal. What copywriting a cookbook does is to bar copying every recipe out of that cookbook, in the same order, and then trying to make money out of your purloined manuscript. But how then do people win Recipe contests? Aren’t they all variations on something else someone else has done? That’s factually correct. People who win things like the Pillsbury Bake-Off generally do so by adapting a recipe, changing up its key flavors but keeping the cooking method pretty much one that’s tried and true. The starting point for this recipe was one in Gourmet but the ingredients differed from the cheese to the tomatoes to the spinach I served with it.
The kick-off point was using yet another boneless, skinless chicken breast to create something quick, delicious and easy. And lets face it, boneless skinless chicken breasts are particularly quick and easy. It’s the delicious part that needs frequent help. Here it is the first week of autumn and we still have wonderful tomatoes everywhere we look. Since I know we are about the head into the season where I will have to confine myself to the grape or cherry varieties, I want to use every wonderful tomato there is left before the first frost strikes. I also had a half a boule of Buffalo Mozzarella in the fridge that I wanted to use.