Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fresh Flavor Fast: Chicken Milanese

Tonight I went to hot yoga and weaved my way back to my house after sweating myself stupid for an hour, with vague ideas of some slapdash dinner that I'd have to run to the store to get. Then it would seem like it should come together in twenty minutes and about an hour later my sad husband would be steeping in a pool of low blood sugar self pity.

Instead(!) what did I do? I opened a copy of Fresh Flavor Fast - the second cookbook from Everyday Food. I absolutely love these recipes. They are simple, fresh, minimal ingredients, maximum flavor type recipes. I also find that if you stick to the recommended side dishes and portion sizes, they are pretty healthful.

Tonight, I looked up a recipe for Chicken Milanese to make a grocery list. But as I ran through the list - has this every happened to you? I hope it has - I realize I had every. single. thing. on. it. 

Amazing! A gift from the universe, it was.

The recipe was pretty simple. You toast the breadcrumbs while you pound out the chicken. Then you do a classic flour, egg, breadcrumb coating and bake them in the oven for about 20 minutes. Easy peasy! In the meantime, you make a delicious lemon and olive oil dressing and toss that with arugula and thinly sliced red onion. And, if you're me, rice. Toldja about the portions thing. It was brown rice though, so keep your judgement to yourself please!

Anywho, you just dump the salad right on top of the crispy, beautiful chicken. And if you use whole wheat flour you can be the smuggest Sally in the neighborhood, because you got your whole grains. And everyone know, whole grains make you special.

Courtesy of Martha Stewart's fabulous website.

Chicken Milanese with Arugula Salad

Serves 4

1 1/4 cups plain dried breadcrumbs
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 6 ounces each)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges, for serving
5 ounces baby arugula
1 small red onion, thinly sliced


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss breadcrumbs and oil until well combined; spread on sheet. Cook, tossing once, until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Place flour and eggs in separate bowls; season with salt and pepper. Place a rack on another rimmed baking sheet.
One at a time, place chicken breasts between two large pieces of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet or bottom of a small heavy pan, pound until 1/2 inch thick. Coat chicken on both sides with flour (shaking off excess), then dip in eggs (allowing excess to drip off); dredge in breadcrumbs, pressing firmly to adhere.
Bake chicken on rack, without turning, until opaque throughout, 10 to 15 minutes.
In a bowl, whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons oil and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Add arugula and onion; toss. Top chicken with salad; serve with lemon wedges on the side.

Monday, January 17, 2011

There's just something about hotels.

It may have something to do with chocolate accompanied by an adorable quote. It's not quite home- in fact, it's one human and a cavalier short- but it sure sweetens the deal.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

is it just me?

or does it seem like spaghetti and meatballs are everywhere? What is it about spaghetti and meatballs that is so comforting and delicous?

They are all over the place, from the cover of Food Network Magazine (which I had to pick up after reading The Mom Chef's awesome reviews of some of the light family dinner dishes) to Food and Wine's new collection "Our Best New Classics" (more on this awesome collection shortly):

And if you're feeling really healthy, you could try Gina from Skinnytaste's Skinny Italian Spinach Meatballs recipe:

But the one that has really caught my eye is Molly Wizenberg's recipe from the October 2010 Bon Appetit Magazine. She is such a good writer, just reading the recipe makes you feel like you're already curled up with a cozy bowl of spaghetti, your house filled to the brim with that delicious tomato sauce smell.

Yum. what else is there to say?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I'm a closet knitter.

It's true. I'm one step away from being a creepy old lady with socks that have cats on them.
But I'm trying to be a cool knitter. It calms my nerves and makes me feel like I'm still accomplishing something when I watch TV. Because I'm OCD and high maintenance and I can't just sit and watch TV, that would be lazy. You follow?

After many a scarf, I decided to try something a little more complicated and knitted this baby cardigan and booties for my beautiful friend Dana's new baby. We didn't know if it would be a girl or a boy, so now the lovely little Alexandra is the proud owner of a totally green and gender neutral wardrobe! Sorry, Alex. It means you'll be a cool girl who wears Chuck Taylors, I think.

Here's some details -  aren't the buttons to die for?


New Year, New Tampa Food Blog

So I have a bunch of new year's resolutions - get more exercise, be a nicer person, blah blah blah. But my real resolution is to start a blog about the restaurants in Tampa Bay. There are a few food blogs that I have been following down here, but it's just not the way it was in Boston, where there are more food blogs than you could shake a kimchi martini at.

So here it is, the very first post at Tampa Bites. (

Now I have to go out to dinner so I can actually write about a restaurant!

I have such a hard life.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fun with Cast Iron Skillets: German Pancake Edition

Our friends came to visit and I felt compelled to make breakfast, my most loathed meal. As I slowly woke up at 9:45, my still partially unconscious brain summoned the mouthwatering image of a German pancake from the cast iron skillet article in the May 2006 Real Simple. Not because I have a photographic memory- I really, really don't- but because I make the bacon wrapped pork tenderloin from the article at least ten times a year.

It was so easy - basically just whisking a simple crepe batter while the butter melts in the cast iron skillet in the preheated oven. The batter and is poured into the pan and returned to the oven to bake for about 15 minutes until "puffed and golden." (Only in the food world is "puffed" a lovely way to be described.)

And that's really it. Once you take the lovely golden puff out of the oven, you just top it with whatever you see fit (traditionally, lemon juice and confectioner's sugar) and if you have more than four guests (using a 12-inch skillet),  you could easily have another batch of batter ready to go.

It was absolutely delicious. The batter was light and very much like a french crepe, which makes me think you could go savory with the recipe as well for a light lunch. The endless possibilities for variations is my favorite aspect of this recipe. This time, I used lemon juice and about 2 Tbs of raspberry rhubarb jam before dusting the whole surface with confectioner's sugar. But Nutella would be amazing. Nutella and raspberry jam? Lemon curd! Fig jam and Stilton cheese? Be still my heart.

Try it, you'll live for it.


  • large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk, preferably whole
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (optional)
  • 1/2 cup fruit jam (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar


  1. Heat oven to 400° F. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs to combine. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Add the milk, salt, and vanilla and mix until incorporated; set aside.
  2. Add the butter to a large cast-iron skillet and transfer to oven until the butter melts. Remove from oven and quickly pour the batter into the hot skillet. Return to oven and bake until the pancake is puffed and golden, about 15 minutes.
  3. Drizzle the lemon juice (if using) over the pancake. Spread the jam (if using) evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the confectioners' sugar.