August 2017

Chicken Paillard (ish)

chicken-paillard-ish

Chicken paillard is one thing I see on a menu and always just keep on scrollin’.  In most circumstances, I don’t really want a pounded-thin breast of chicken atop ‘lightly dressed’ greens when I’m out to dinner. Lightly dressed? I LOVE RANCH. The full fat kind.

But recently, I’ve been trying to cook more simply during the week. Simple stuff. Relatively healthy. Not 7 million sides. And I opened my eyes and heart to chicken paillard and you know what? It’s just lovely. I breaded mine, but you could easily skip that step. I’m just trying to make sure I hang on to those last 4 pounds of baby weight.

Recipe

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin or butterflied
  • 1 cup italian bread crumbs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • s&p
  • olive oil
  • 1 bag butter/bibb lettuce
  • sunflower seeds
  • This lemon vinaigrette

Start by coating each of the chicken breasts in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Coat a large nonstick pan with olive and heat to medium high.  Working in batches, cook the chicken breasts about 3 minutes per side.  While the chicken is cooking, toss the lettuce with some sunflower seeds and lemon vinaigrette (I like to ‘heavily dress’). Serve the chicken ‘atop’ these greens.

The Best Lemon Vinaigrette

the-best-lemon-vinaigrette

Lemon vinaigrette is something that didn’t even slightly appeal to me until about two years ago. I just couldn’t get on the lemon bandwagon except for the sliver that they put in my cosmopolitan.  Then I went to Eatzi’s one day for a heavy dose of sampling (SW pepper dip and cinnamon roll, mainly), and I went crazy and got the lemon dressing on my salad. I was immediately obsessed. So much so that I called Eatzi’s later that day and asked what ingredients they put in it (which I’m sure was a much appreciated phone call for a place that is bustling with customers morning, noon, and night). To my surprise though, the guy couldn’t have been nicer and actually told me what was in it. He didn’t have the measurements, but this was certainly a good start. So now I make my own and we douse our salads in it. It doesn’t taste EXACTLY like Eatzi’s, but it’s darn close. And that’s how I officially stepped on the lemon bandwagon. Except lemon cake. I will never be a fan of lemon cake. Cake should never include fresh/healthy produce, IMO.

Recipe

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 large)
  • 6 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 1.5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher/coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 minced garlic clove
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Mix all the ingredients together, whisk or shake hard to combine and thicken, and serve it on everything! PS this would probably be a great summer chicken marinade.

Dinner Party Series: August

dinner-party-series-august

I’m failing on the blog front lately, but I can’t help it. My twins are BUSY and I’m hanging on by a thread. Not just from keeping up with them all day long, but making sure they’re learning and growing each day – that’s a challenge. Or maybe that’s just pressure moms put on themselves unnecessarily; babies used to literally grow up in caves and they were still helping their moms hunt for dinner by the age of 5.

Anyway, this dinner party post is too late. You really only have 8 days left to use it. Just kidding! Because I’m selecting grilled pizza for this month, and pizza is good ALWAYS. And I’m using grilled pizza for this month because we just went to a dinner party at my friend Annie’s house and grilled pizzas were the theme, and it was perfect. It was so much fun, really interactive, and at the end we got to eat PIZZA. I also feel like we all really bonded over the stressful yet satisfying act of rolling out pizza crust into something reasonable looking.

I’m offering two approaches here – buy the pizza stuff and make the salad, or make the pizza stuff and buy the salad.

Menu

Appetizer: Simple platter of roasted nuts and summer fruit

Pizza:        Homemade grilled pizza here and here or buy all the stuff    somewhere like Jimmy’s Food Store in Dallas

Salad:        Italian Chopped Salad or buy a prepared/bagged salad at the store

Dessert:    Brownie Bottom Cheesecake

To execute:

  1. Bake cheesecake the day before.
  2. If making pizza, prepare the dough the night before or morning of. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Prepare nut/fruit plate before guests arrive.
  4. Prepare salad before guests arrive.
  5. When ready to grill pizzas, roll out the dough, brush with oil, and grill on high heat first without the toppings. When dough crisps up, add toppings and return to grill until cheese melts.