Saturday, July 19, 2014

Chicken Saltimbocca Style with Zucchini

Wednesday 16 July
We are very open-minded about what can go into saltimbocca, and this is an example. 
We were inspired by the fact that we had some leftover prosciutto from Saturday, and that our sage plant, which was almost killed by the winter's cold, still has a few stems that live and will regrow.  So what if there was no cheese...there was cream!  And so what if we didn't want to debone the chicken breasts and stuff will still be good if we throw them on top!
So we pre-sizzled those sage leaves and torn-up shreds of prosciutto, and set them aside.  Seasoned the bone-in chicken breasts, sautéed them in butter and oil on both sides, then added a little white wine, covered the pan, and turned the heat down so the breasts would braise for around 15 minutes.  Then flipped the breasts so they were bone side down, and braised for another 5 minutes. 
When they were done, we put them on a warm plate.  Scraped up the pan liquids, added cream, and stirred and cooked to make the sauce.  At last, poured it over the chicken, and adorned it with the prosciutto and sage leaves as a final saltimbocca touch
Oh, and in the intervals we sautéed some sliced zucchini with garlic, as a side dish.

Chorizo Fry-Up

Tuesday 15 July
Kathy and Russel brought us a beautiful prezzy of saffron from their time in Madrid; we like to think they smuggled it in past the ever-alert beagles of the customs and agriculture agency, but it's actually packaged and quite legal.  So we thought we'd use it in something with a Spanish accent.
We started by parboiling some diced potatoes and getting out the leftover canellini beans from Saturday's dinner.  
Then we cubed up two Spanish-style chorizos (Kroger Brothers' version), a big red pasilla pepper, and an onion, and chopped some garlic.
Sautéed the chorizo in a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat, then added the onions, garlic, and red pepper.  When they just turned brown, added a few pinches of the saffron and about a Tablespoon each of ground coriander and cumin, to sizzle for a bit in the Indian fashion.  We would have used a little Pimentón de la Vera, as above, but we could tell from tasting that there was plenty in the chorizo already.
Deglazed the pan with a healthy shot of sherry vinegar and a glug of cheap white wine, scraping up the browned bits, and then tossed in the potatoes to soak up the flavors for some minutes.  At the end, stirred in the leftover beans and let them get friendly with everything.

It might not be genuine Spanish food, but it sure tasted great.

Fresh Tuna Salade Niçoise

Monday 14 July
We chose Salade Niçoise as something French and summery for la fête nationale du 14 juillet.  We actually want to celebrate this at the Eastern State Penetentiary in Philadelphia, as Helene described it some years ago, though actual France was also pretty good.

First we parboiled some green beans, then new potatoes, in salted water, and dressed them with red wine vinaigrette.  Plated them on a layer of dressed garden salad leaves, strewed some Moroccan olives over the top, white anchovies on the potatoes, and in the center, an inch-thick steak of fresh albacore tuna, which we'd seared on each side and poached with a douse of white wine.  We sprinkled some capers on top, as well as the rest of the dressing from the bowl, and took this photo.  

But wait!  We almost forgot the tomatoes!  So on they went, and in we dug.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Two-Act Meal ('Murkin)

Sunday 13 July
Today we took this month's Tytus scholars out to Findlay Market for a dose of Americana, and we too indulged in the best the locale could supply. 
So tonight we boiled up a couple of ears of silver queen corn from the Farmers' Market for our first course.
For the second, over Holt's fresh lemon-pepper fettucine, we tossed a mix of heirloom tomato cubes, basil, oregano leaves, and sorrel from the garden, chopped Moroccan olives, then grated ricotta salata on top. 

Okay, sort of Italian again at the end.

Two-Act Meal (all'italiana)

Saturday 12 July
This evening we ate our canteloupe not with salami, but with actual prosciutto di Parma from Silverglade's, which now has to be our Findlay Market cheese and meat store, as our beloved Krause's closed due to their stupid, greedy landlord.  À bas les proprios avares (okay, not Italian, but we're practicing for Bastille Day).
Between courses, we ran out to a concert at the nearby Annunciation church, where we helped the Catacoustic Consort buy their resident theorbo.
Then came back to a splendid dish from Marcella Hazan: canellini and tuna with red onion, parsley, caper salt, and lots of EVO oil.  Viva l'Italia!