Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Polenta Crusted Chicken, Tricolor Salad, Bartlett Pear, Toasted Hazlenuts

Chicken and salad is about as basic as it gets.  With a little more effort you make that ordinary dish amazing. This recipe feeds three, costs about $15 dollar and takes 30 minutes or less.

Polenta Crusted Chicken
1 cup fine ground polenta (cornmeal)
1 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
thin sliced chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1/3 cup vegetable oil

In a large frying pan start the oil on medium heat and let heat for 10 minutes.  While heating the oil, mix the polenta and the flour.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in bowl with beaten eggs, then coat the breast with the polenta mixture.  Push hard  for a good crust.  Dust off excess crust and fry in heated oil for about 5 minutes on each side or until golden.  Let sit on paper towel.

Tricolor Salad
1 head of Radicchio
1 head Belgian Endive
1 bunch of arugula
1 Bartlett pear, diced
1/4 cup of hazelnuts, chopped and toasted

Balsamic Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons real 25 yr old balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 small shallot, diced
1 pinch marjoram
salt and pepper
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Mix the ingredients for the dressing in a large salad bowl.  Add Salad season with a little salt and pepper and toss with the vinaigrette.  Serve the Chicken Down and the salad on top.  The warm chicken and salad combo makes for a tasty and health dinner.  Thanks to Pad and Dre for coming thru to enjoy.  Buon Apetite!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Stripped Bass, Sunchoke Puree, Purple Asparagus, Fava Beans, Pan Brown Butter

The earthy flavors of sunchokes, favas and asparagus match nicely with a buttery stripped bass filet.  The healthy and delicious meal costs $35, feeds four and takes about and hour.

Sunchoke Puree
1 lb sunchokes, peeled and large diced
1 shallot, rough chop
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cream fraiche (or cream cheese)
salt and pepper

Start sunchokes and shallot in a medium pot with cool water.  Bring to a boil and let cook 15 minutesmor until the sunchokes are fork tender.  Remove from the heat and strain, reserving 4 teaspoons of the water. Puree in a blender with the reserved water, olive oil and cream fraiche, add salt and pepper to taste.

Purple Asparagus
Peel the bottom half of the stalks and trim to even length.  Blanch the asparagus (boil then cool in ice water) for 5 minutes.  Sautee with a little butter and olive, salt and pepper for a few minutes before serving.

Fresh Fava Beans
1 lb fresh fava beans, removed from pods
Blanch the beans for 5 minutes.  This makes it easy to remove the skin covering the bean.  Once the skin is removed sautee in a little butter and olive oil along with salt and pepper for 3-4 minutes before serving.

Pan Seared Stripped Bass with Pan Brown Butter
Sear the fish on medium high in a large sautee pan along with olive and a little butter, about 4 minutes on each side or until golden.  Once fish is cooked toss a few teaspoons of diced onion or shallot in the pan along with  2 tablespoons of butter.  Let cook on medium until the butter starts to brown slightly and shallot gets cooked, about five minutes.  Add a touch of sherry or red wine vinegar and mix well.  Spoon over the fish.

Thanks to my boys Pad, Casey and Dre who came through to eat and watch game 1 of the playoffs.  Buon Apetito!