Blog Archives

Easing into Autumn {CtBF} #EverydayDorie

 

Fall is settling in. Along with cooler weather, an urge to cook more hearty meals accompanies the seasonal change. Summer’s been all about grilling and salads, raw vegetable plates and tomato tarts of all shapes and sizes. Cooler nights are getting me in the mood for pots of soup, baked potatoes, winter squash, and Brussels sprouts.

This week’s recipe for Cook the Book Fridays , Chicken and Salad Milanese Style from Everyday Dorie, is the perfect transitional dish. Chicken breasts are pounded into thin cutlets, breaded and pan-fried. The chicken is served topped with a zesty salad with a lemony dressing. Delicious! And simple too!

What’s the deal with chickens these days? The recipe calls for 4-5-ounce breasts. That’s skinless and boneless already. I bought a package of the smallest looking breasts I could find. Three skinless and boneless breasts weighed in at 1.75 pounds. That’s over half a pound each, nearly double. I solved the problem by cutting each one in half crosswise before pounding, but I also sympathized with the chicken carrying all that extra weight.

I haven’t pounded meat into cutlets in a while and was a little overzealous. Dorie said that at the restaurant where she orders a similar dish, the chicken is pounded as thin as a record (remember vinyl?) so I didn’t hold back. Unfortunately. a few pieces were so thin that when I tried to peel them off the parchment, the meat shredded. Oops!

The cutlets were double-breaded and then set on a rack to dry for an hour or so until it was time to make dinner. In the meantime, there’s time to whip up a salad. When I was ready to eat, it only took a few minutes on each side to panfry the cutlets. Hot chicken was topped with salad.

I am happy to be reminded that chicken cutlets are easy and fast to make. So many other toppings would work as a change from salad for a versatile weeknight meal.

I also made Dorie’s Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies a few weeks back. Mixed results on the cookies. The batter was so easy to stir together because it uses melted butter instead of solid sticks. I cut back a bit on the chocolate, using about three-quarters of the amount. It was looking like the volume of chocolate would be equal to the remaining ingredients, so I stopped chopping. As it turned out, Howard thought they weren’t chocolatey enough. The cookies were also HUGE, much more like the size you buy in a bakery than the size I would make at home.

 

As recommended, I chilled the dough overnight. I baked two trays of cookies at the same time. It was interesting that pan on the upper shelf didn’t spread nearly as much as the one on the bottom. I preferred the ones that didn’t spread as much, so I’d suggest baking just one pan at a time, on the upper shelf.

Overall, I liked these cookies well enough. The addition of oatmeal made for a chewier texture and slightly nutty flavor. It’s only fair to tell you that chocolate chip cookies aren’t my #1 favorite type of cookie. I hope you’ll still be my friend.

Both recipes are worth trying out. They are found in Everyday Dorie: chicken on page 109 and chocolate chip cookies on page 246.

You can find my friends’ reviews at Cook the Book Fridays. : chicken here and cookies here.

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends and Happy Indigenous People Day to the American ones.

Summer’s Swan Song {CtBF} #EverydayDorie

It’s the end of summer, and it seems like every meal revolves around corn and tomatoes. We’re trying to get our fill before the season’s over, and we’ll have to wait for next summer to come around.

I’ve been slicing tomatoes, roasting tomatoes, making tomato tarts, making sauce, and, of course, making Panzanella, or as we call it at my house, Bread Salad. I make this all the time in the summer. I start with the basics: tomatoes, alliums, toasted bread, and vinaigrette and add whatever else is around and matches my mood. Sometimes, I add capers and olives, other times avocados and corn, tailoring the herbs and the dressing match the add-ins.

This week’s recipe for Cook the Book Fridays is yet another variation: Tomato and Peach Panzanella. It’s the same idea of what I usually make with diced peaches added. The peaches gave an extra boost of late summer flavor. Of course, I had to make this without the peaches and just add them to my portion. As you might expect, Howard wasn’t into the fruit in a savory salad thing. I liked the full-blown combination. I won’t make this one again because of Howard’s rules, though I might add lemon zest sometimes. I liked the unexpected brightness it brought to the bowl.

If you want to try it, you can find this recipe on page 99 of Everyday Dorie. Other members of Cook the Book Fridays review the recipe here.