Monthly Archives: July 2011

Ciabatta Bread

Well hello again, you! Please excuse my sporadic summer blogging – what with my vacation schedule and work rolling into the busiest months, it has been difficult for me to cook, let alone blog. But here is something I baked and took on a mini-vacation for a delicious appetizer snack.

I’m no bread maker. And while this recipe turned out tasting great, especially with the toppings described later, it wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be. I’m blaming that on the fact that I didn’t have a spritzer for spritzing water on the bread every few minutes, as suggested. Psh, who has time for that kind of babysitting?

Here is my Cook’s Illustrated recipe for chewy ciabatta bread:

Ciabatta

Ingredients – sponge

  • 1 c. AP flour
  • 1/8 tsp instant (rapid-rise) yeast
  • 1/2 c. room-temp water

Ingredients – dough

  • 2 c. AP flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 3/4 c. room-temp water
  • 1/4 c. room-temp milk (I used whole milk)

Combine sponge ingredients in medium bowl and stir until a uniform mass forms, 1 min. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for at least 8 hours (overnight).

Place sponge and dough ingredients in stand mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on low until roughly combined, about 1 min. Scrape down sides. Increase speed to medium-low and continue mixing until dough becomes uniform mass that collects on the paddle, 4-6 min (note: I added at least another 1/2 c. of flour because mine was still too wet). Change to dough hook and knead bread on medium until smooth and shiny, very sticky, about 10 min. Transfer to large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temp until doubled in size, 1 hr.

Spray rubber spatula with cooking spray and fold dough over on itself from the edges inward at 90-degree turns – do it a total of 8 turns around the edges. Cover again and let rise 30 min. Repeat folding, cover, let rise another 30 min. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lower-mid position and heat oven to 450.

Place parchment paper on 2 baking sheets. Transfer dough to floured surface and divide in half. Turn one piece cut side up and dust with flour. Press dough into rough 12×6-inch shape. Fold up the sides to the center to form a 7×4-inch loaf. Place seam-side down on parchment sheet and dust with flour. Repeat with second loaf. Cover loaves with plastic wrap and let sit at room temp. for 30 min.

(Here, CI asks you to transfer loaves to a new rimmed baking sheet, but I just put them straight into the oven). Using fingertips, poke the entire surface of each loaf to form a 10×6-inch rectangle (mine were more like blobs), then spray loaves lightly with water (which I didn’t do). Bake, spraying with water twice more during first 5 min. of baking, until crust is deep brown and center of loaf is 210 degrees (seriously?), 22-27 min. When tapped, the center of the loaf will sound hollow.

Transfer to wire racks to cool to room temperature.

There was a bit too much flour on the bottoms since I didn’t transfer the loaves to a baking stone, but I didn’t care at this point. I had been baking far too long to care.

Best way to eat this bread? Name it!

My friend Krissy is always handy with her appetizers, and this one I blatantly stole from her – ricotta mixed with scallions, basil, S&P; along with chopped tomatoes with more basil, garlic and olive oil. Can you tell we have a lot of basil on hand?

I sliced and lightly toasted my bread, along with a sprinkle of EVOO and a little S&P. Then we spooned on the ricotta and followed with the tomatoes. I love the cold creaminess of the ricotta topped with the fresh, juicy tomatoes. Then the heat of the garlic and floral loveliness of basil.

It is definitely too hot to bake bread this weekend, so we are heading to the mountains, where I will be basking (and baking?) in 70-degree temps.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Soft-shell Crabs with Garlic-Caper Sauce

Soft-shell crabs are something I didn’t know existed until they became a popular deep-fried filling in sushi. I loved that rich, crunchy texture and meaty flavor wrapped inside nori. But it wasn’t until I moved to the Atlantic coast that I began seeing soft-shell crab served in more diverse settings. For example, a departure from the deep-fried preparation.

Lightly sauteed and then served with a buttery garlic and caper sauce, this recipe presents crabs with the crunch and juice that the deep-frying method offers, but without the overwhelming county-fair-like batter. I felt I could taste the crabs better when cooked this way, shells and all!

On a recent long weekend at Manteo (Outer Banks, N.C.), we visited the fish monger for fresh seafood. The soft-shell crabs had just come off the boat and were still squirming around in their pretty blue shells. We ordered two large ones for $2 each and the monger cleaned them for us.

Of course, when I took them home, I removed that yellow stuff from the gill-like area, pulled out the bubble thing and squeezed out more yellow guts. It’s all very technical, but I remembered watching something once on the Food Network about it. But of course, most people just eat everything.

Here are my nicely cleaned crabs.

Then I was ready to cook! I prepared this with a side of couscous and seared sea scallops.

Adapted from Emeril.

Softshell Crabs with Garlic-Caper Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 soft-shell crabs, cleaned and patted dry
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Few chive blades, chopped

Season crabs with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour, shaking off excess. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the oil and saute the crabs until soft, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove the crabs and set aside. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Then add the capers and white wine. Cook until wine has reduced to about 1/2. Swirl in the butter and the chopped chives. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, I put some arugula salad on the plate, then the crabs and finished with the rich and fragrant butter sauce. Really, we poured that sauce over everything. And then took our plates and wine to the back deck of our beautiful beach farm house on the cove (a friends’ – not ours!).

The crab shells were crispy but still easy to much. The sauce was so flavorful – capers add a nice salty bite to counter the butter and garlic. It was quite chic for a Southern delicacy!

It was a great way to spend the first night in a long weekend of decadence.

Enjoy your summer beach cooking, friends! xoxo

Fried Squash Blossoms

Fried squash blossoms are one of those things I’ve always wanted to make just because. Do I like squash? Heck no. Do I like deep-fried things? No more than any normal person. Do I like flowers? Not to eat.

Yet something called to me – perhaps it was that one (single) good scene in “Eat, Pray, Love” where Julia Roberts cuts into a fried squash blossom in Italy and it oozes cheesy goodness. I wanted to create that piece of art, with the crunchy exterior and fresh herbed cheese melting inside.

The batter is like a tempura – I don’t know how this limp little flower can taste that good, but the basil, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese don’t hurt. Sprinkled with sea salt, you have the perfect snack or salad-topper.

You can find squash blossoms at the farmers’ market, or better, just pick them from a friend’s (or unknowing neighbor’s) garden! Squash plants produce way too many flowers as it is. I would encourage you to use big zucchini blossoms, not the small squash blossoms that I had – they simply weren’t big enough to hold all the cheese and basil I tried to stuff inside, and most ended up ripping.

I adapted mine from an Anne Burrell recipe, which I picked for the simple flour-white wine batter. How could that be bad? Next time, I think I’ll experiment with different cheeses, just to see.

Fried Squash Blossoms

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, patted dry and cubed
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chiffonade basil leaves
  • 8 squash flowers (preferably zucchini)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • Canola oil, for frying

In a medium bowl, toss together the mozzarella, Parmesan and the basil chiffonade. Gently stick your finger inside the flower all the way to the base where the flower meets the stem and carefully break off the stamen. When doing this be careful not to rip through the flower. Squeeze 1-2 tablespoons of the mozzarella mixture into an oblong shape and gently stuff it into each flower. Squeeze the flower around the cheese to close. Reserve. Don’t worry if you ripped them a little – the batter kind of fills all the holes!

In a small bowl, combine the flour and 3/4 cup of white wine. Mix until it becomes a loose batter adding more white wine, if necessary.

Add oil to a saucepan until it reaches a depth of 1-inch. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Test the oil by dropping a couple of beads of the batter into it. When they float instantly the oil is ready. If the oil begins to smoke, it is too hot. Set up a paper towel drying situation before frying the flowers.

Dip the flowers, 1 at time, into the batter and carefully drop them into the oil. Fry on both sides until they are golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the flowers from the oil, drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Continue with the remaining flowers.

Garnish with basil, if you like. I personally loved these, even though they weren’t as cheesy as I would prefer. But that was my fault. Perhaps next time I’ll try grated mozz?

Enjoy your summer tasties, friends! xoxo

Roasted Shrimp with Fennel and Feta

This is one of those dishes that I just couldn’t photograph in a way to fully illustrate how incredibly delicious it is. A serious problem for someone always pointing a camera at her plate.

Regardless, I hope you read on, as this is one of the more beautifully delicious shrimp dishes I have made, and all in one pot. Roasting the shrimp with freshly sauteed fennel, tomatoes and herbs, topped with homemade breadcrumbs and crumbled feta cheese and a squeeze of lemon. Fresh and light and just delicious.

I adapted it from Ina Garten, of course, and my version is even simpler than hers, without sacrificing any flavor.

Roasted Shrimp with Fennel and Feta

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

  • Good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups diced fennel (1 bulb)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 c. chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch dried anise seed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, coarsely crumbled
  • 1 cup fresh torn pieces of bread
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 lemons

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in 10- or 12-inch heavy ovenproof skillet over medium-low heat. Add the fennel and garlic and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits clinging to the bottom of the skillet, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, oregano, anise seed, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to the skillet. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Arrange the shrimp in one layer over the tomato mixture in the skillet.

Scatter feta evenly over the shrimp. In bowl of a food processor, add the bread and pulse until it becomes small crumbs. Add parsley, lemon zest and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and pulse to combine. Sprinkle evenly over the shrimp.

Bake the shrimp for about 15 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through and the bread crumbs are golden brown.

Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the shrimp. Serve hot with wedges of lemon.

This totally works. The shrimp loves the lemon and lemony feta, and the fennel and tomato mixture creates a delicious sauce to hold it all. We had ours with a simple green salad and crusty bread to mop up the juices. Perfect for a summer dinner and I had plenty of leftovers for lunch!

Enjoy, friends xoxo

Tomato Pie

I have a new relationship with tomatoes now that I live in The South. I walked into the office lunch room last week and a coworker was making one of Grant’s favorite things: tomato sandwich. Tomato slices, cracked pepper, mayo, bread. A BLT without the B and the L. Okay, I thought…

Then, I went to a dinner with my closest girlfriends. We all made something and the official debutante of the group came with two tomato pies: premade pie crust + garden tomatoes + caramelized vidalia onions + mayo + sharp cheddar cheese. It was SOOOOO good. I took extra home and decided to make my own.

So I turned to my Food Network Magazine and tried their cover recipe: heirloom tomato pie. Homemade cornmeal crust, then manchego and mozzarella cheese with caramelized onions, chives, thyme and parsley; topped with farmers’ market tomatoes and baked until tender.

Just delicious. I beg you to try it – get rid of those tomatoes that are about to go too soft on your window sill. If making for a week-day, just make the crust in advance.

Tomato Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons shredded manchego cheese
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 1/4 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Fresh basil (for garnish)

Make the crust: Pulse the flour, cornmeal and fine salt in a food processor to combine. Add the butter and 3 tablespoons manchego; pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal with pea-size bits of butter. Drizzle in 4 tablespoons ice water and pulse until the dough comes together; add 1 more tablespoon ice water if necessary. Turn out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and pat into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes (or up to 3 days).

Put the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll into a 13-inch round (I had to let mine get the chill off first). Transfer the dough to a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie plate. Fold the overhang under itself and crimp the edges. Pierce the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line the crust with foil, then fill with dried beans. Bake until the edges are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and continue baking until golden all over, 10 to 15 more minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes and toss with 1 tsp kosher salt in a colander. Let drain, gently tossing occasionally.

Make the filling: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

Combine the remaining 3/4 cup manchego, the mozzarella, mayonnaise, breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons each chives and parsley, the thyme, 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and pepper, and the sauteed onion in a bowl. Spread in the crust.

Arrange the tomatoes on top. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with pepper. Bake until the tomatoes are browned, about 50 minutes.


Slice big wedges and serve with fresh basil.

There’s nothing wrong with this. The mixture of cheeses, herbs, onion, sweet crust and juicy tomatoes = the best.

Perfect for your next summer party. Enjoy, friends! xoxo

JELL-O Fruit Wedges

I swear gelatin is in again. Good thing I have all these vintage molds to use! But you don’t need a vintage mold to make a fun fruity snack to enjoy this past time. All you need is a little orange and lemon rind.

Needless to say, these treats are perfect for kiddies, or for bringing to a potluck where kids will be present.

JELL-O Fruit Wedges

Ingredients:

  • 3 oranges
  • 3 lemons
  • 1 package lemon gelatin mix
  • 1 package orange gelatin mix

Half the fruit and remove the flesh, being very careful not to pierce through the skin (otherwise the JELL-O will leak out!). Set fruit halves in muffin tray so they are held still.

Make JELL-O according to package instructions, but not chilling. Using a ladle, carefully pour orange JELL-O liquid into oranges and lemon liquid into the lemons. Chill JELL-O for at least 4 hours, or until firm.

Cut into wedges and serve!

Aren’t these fun? Love them!

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Grilled Pierogi with Kielbasa

Having heritage from a poor, Slavic country limits my desires for homeland cooking. Unlike those whose last names inspire images of grandmothers over rich stews, or handmade pastas or buttery pastries, mine is the simple Polish translation of “owl.”

My dad remembers growing up in a house full of sausages, dumplings and dark beet soups – and I remember visiting my grandparents’ house with my nose turned up at such olfactory overloads.

But here, finally, I am embracing my Polish roots and all of their carb and fatty-meats glory. And it was delicious!

Grilling pierogi is genius. Pierogi are simple dumplings usually filled with potatoes and cheese, but you can get them with all sorts of sweet and savory fillings. Available right in the regular grocery store – frozen or in the deli section. I’m sure in Chicago you can find them right outside your door.

I love the charred, smoky flavor. And added to grilled onions, kielbasa sausage and a mustard vinaigrette? Please. Can’t wait to make this for my dad next time I’m home!

This recipe is EASY and adapted from Food Network Magazine.

Grilled Pierogi with Kielbasa

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound kielbasa (I used turkey), cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, cut into 6 wedges (I used purple spring onions halved)
  • 1 pound frozen potato-and-cheddar pierogi (do not thaw)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley

Preheat a grill to medium or light your charcoals. When hot, grill the kielbasa, turning, until charred and split, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet or platter and cut into large chunks.

Meanwhile, whisk the mustard and vinegar in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil until smooth.

When sausage is off, toss the onion and pierogies with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, covered, until the pierogies thaw (soft in middle)  and the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Turn the pierogies and onion and continue to grill, covered, until the pierogies are cooked through and the onion is tender, 4 to 6 more minutes. Transfer to the baking bowl with vinaigrette.

Add kielbasa to the bowl with the mustard dressing and pierogi. Add parsley. Season with salt and pepper and toss.

We packaged ours up with some additional fixins and brought to a concert downtown. It was a great picnic meal because I felt like I was eating street food – but so much better than the traditional hot-dog stand! A few friends came by and tasted with us.

I highly recommend using charcoal to grill these – that flavor is like liquid smoke and takes this to the next level.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Holy heavenly goodness. This ice cream is elegance. Smooth – not a hard ice cream – but a soft and supple cold treat that seems always on the verge of melting into a puddle. The creaminess is punctuated by a hint of salt that swirls with the rich, nutty caramel.

For those of you who like any caramel with a salty ending, this will be a dream. I cannot love it enough.

From Ina Garten – I made the ice cream base a few days beforehand.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
  • Ice Cream Base (recipe follows)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Heat the sugar in a dry heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat the sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and swirl the pan so the sugar melts evenly, and continue cooking until it is a dark amber color. (Note: I continued to stir and it was fine)

Carefully add the heavy cream (the mixture will splatter) and cook, stirring until all the caramel has dissolved. Transfer to a heat-proof bowl and whisk in the sea salt. Set the caramel mixture over a bowl filled with ice water and stir until chilled to room temperature. Combine the caramel mixture with the Ice Cream Base and add the vanilla.

Freeze in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s directions (mine took about 30 min – it won’t be hard, but very soft and pourable). Transfer to another container and keep in freezer.

Ice Cream Base:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream

Heat the milk in a sauce pan over medium-low heat.

Prepare an ice bath by setting a 2-quart bowl over a larger bowl partially filled with ice water.

Set a strainer over the smaller bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow in color and the sugar has dissolved. Gradually pour the warmed milk into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the same saucepan you used to warm the milk. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.

Strain the custard into the top bowl of the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Add the heavy cream and stir over the ice bath until cool. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill thoroughly, preferably overnight.

Even after being in the freezer overnight, this ice cream does not become rock hard like most. And it’s not too crystalized like some homemade ice creams.

It’s like Fran’s Chocolates in ice cream form!

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Quick and Easy Pickles

Pickles! Our CSA box has provided pounds and pounds of pickling cucumbers, so I finally learned how to make pickles, out of necessity. Out of survival!

This easy and quick recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated and provides a wonderfully crisp icebox pickle. I say “icebox” because you don’t preserve the pickles, but they lasts weeks in your fridge. And the taste just gets better over time – less vinegary, more dilly.

I want to play with this recipe. Next time, I would add whole garlic cloves in the jars and perhaps a dash more salt and some chili flakes or something spicy.

These are wonderful as a snack or along with your favorite ‘mater sandwich. Grant was disappointed when I forgot them for our picnic along the Virginia Creeper Trail. But then he remembered that I made roast-beef sandwiches with fresh tomato, arugula and pesto mayo.

Quick and Easy Pickles

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound pickling cucumbers, sliced into spears
  • 1 T kosher salt
  • 1/2 c. plus 1 T chopped fresh dill
  • 1 T peppercorns
  • 1 T dried dill weed
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 1/2 c. distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 c. ice

Toss cucumbers with salt in colander set over bowl and let stand 1 hour. Discard any drained liquid.

Place 1/2 c. fresh dill, peppercorns, dried dill and garlic in coffee filter or cheesecloth and tie tightly with kitchen twine. Bring spice bag and vinegar to boil in medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low and add cucumbers. Cover and cook until cucumbers turn dull olive brown, 5 min. If some are still green in spots, push them down into the liquid and continue to cook until brown. But do not over-cook! Discard spice bag.

Transfer cucumbers and liquid to large bowl and add ice, stirring until melted. Stir in remaining T fresh dill. Refrigerate, uncovered, at least 1 day, preferably 2. I divided mine into jars with extra brine that I made to keep them moist.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Chicken Tonkatsu with Watermellon-Herb Salad

It seems like forever since I’ve written here. But a new part of my life now that I’m a Southern gal is the inevitable weekend travel to escape the heat. Everybody, and I mean everybody, heads either for the beach or the mountains every weekend here. They all have beach houses and/or mountain homes and miles of interstates to get them there. Living in Central Oregon, I pretty much stayed put, because there was plenty to do, recreation wise, in town and it was just too exhausting to drive over a mountain pass to get to a real city.

So. Much of my cooking has been done either on the fly, in between neighborhood get-togethers or at high elevations (and the occasional sea-level location).

One such weekender meal was this beautiful panko-crusted chicken cutlet served with a fresh and juicy watermelon-tomato and herb salad. I adapted the recipe from Bon Appetit’s pork tonkatsu. To be honest, it was basically chicken schnitzel, but with Japanese breadcrumbs.

Chicken breast pounded thin and dredged in Dijon-whipped eggs, then Japanese breadcrumbs and lightly fried to develop a crispy crust and juicy meat.

I don’t normally like watermelon, but I love the idea of watermelon in salads that are full of herbal flavors. I added some of our fruity CSA grape tomatoes and fresh basil and parsley to an arugula mix. All you need is a simple vinaigrette to pull this colorful salad together. Amazing!


Chicken Tonkatsu with Watermelon-Herb Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups watermelon cubes
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups (lightly packed) baby arugula or arugula mix
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • ¼ c. torn basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice plus 4 lemon wedges
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/8″ thickness
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk olive oil, 1 tablespoon mustard, and juice in a small bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Set salad and dressing aside.

Whisk eggs and 1 tablespoon mustard in a medium bowl. Combine panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper on a large plate. Season chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Dip in egg mixture, then in panko, pressing to adhere.

Working in 2 batches, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook chicken until golden brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side, adding 1 tablespoon vegetable oil after turning. Drain on paper towels.

Toss salad with dressing; season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve chicken with salad and lemon wedges for squeezing over.

We enjoyed ours with a nice, crisp glass of white wine and mountain views. It was perfect!

Oh, and our third chicken breast? It became a chicken ‘n a biscuit for the next day’s breakfast. Better than Biscuitville, y’all!

Hope everybody had a beautiful July 4th! xoxo