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06-06-2014

chicken picatta

I’ve been working hard to improve my sauce game in recent years.  This recipe is a great example of how a simple pan sauce can take chicken breast to the next level.   Sorry I didn’t take more (and better) photos but we ate it too fast.  🙂  Trust me though – this dish is super delicious.  I serve it with wide egg noodles for sopping up the sauce, as well as green beans sauteed with onions, garlic and a dash of white wine.

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Butterfly and cut chicken breast into cutlets.  Season with salt and pepper, then saute cutlets in a little butter and olive oil until well-browned on both sides.  You may have to do this in batches depending on size of your pan.  The pan will get dark and slightly scary with cooked bits but don’t worry – that’s the good stuff!  When the chicken is down browning, set it aside on a plate.  Then add three cloves minced garlic to the pan.  Stir for a couple seconds.  (ps.  have your deglaze sauce ready beforehand).

Deglaze pan with sauce base (juice of two lemons, zest of one lemon, 1/2 cup chicken stock, 1/2 cup dry white wine).  Scrape up all those brown bits as it simmers.  Let that cook off the alcohol for a couple minutes.  Then add the chicken breasts back in the pan, along with all the juice at the bottom of the plate.  Then add a well-whisked mixture of 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1 tablespoon flour.  Let the chicken and sauce come together a bit.  I usually turn it down to low, cover and simmer a couple minutes.  But just briefly.  Don’t overcook it at this point.  Just enough to thicken the sauce and bring everything together.

Take the lid off, garnish with capers and chopped parsley.  Enjoy!

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03-15-2014

linguine with clam sauce

This dish is seriously addictive.  Umami out the yang.  I’ve made it for a few dinner parties and somebody always ends up scraping the bottom of the bowl with a piece of bread.  Every last bite gets devoured.  Purist might balk at my version….but who cares when it’s so delicious.

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Note: I’ve never made this with canned clams so I’m not sure how it would convert.  Plus the liquor from the fresh clams is integral to the sauce.  They are miraculous little flavor-makers.

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03-10-2014

best homemade caesar salad dressing

Oh savory, anchovy-y, rich goodness.  You’re my favorite.

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I recently went on a mission to make perfect a homemade Caesar salad dressing.  I’ve made some attempts in the past but somehow the proportions were always off.  But this time, we may have a winner.  My husband’s exact words were “holy f*#%@ that’s good.”

In a food processor (I use my mini-chop) put in a large peeled garlic clove, 1 tbs dijon mustard, 2 tbs mayo, 1/2 tbs anchovy paste, 1 tbs balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp worchestershire, couple lugs of olive oil, juice of half a lemon and a few grinds of pepper.  Tweak these proportions to your taste.  Wazz this up, then add 1/4 t0 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of vegetable oil.  Wazz this to combine.  Now you’ll have to play with it a bit to get the consistency right.  I usually add a dash of water to smooth it out too.  No salt though. The anchovy and cheese lend plenty of that.

My crouton strategy is: brush thick slices of store-bought olive oil ciabatta bread with olive oil.  Toast in the oven a bit.  Rub with a cut-in-half garlic clove.  Chop into perfect bites.  Assemble your salad with your favorite lettuce, veggies, protein, etc.

Basically, this dressing would make a shoe taste good.

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