a blog about cents, in every form & measure

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The High Heeled Chef - series kickoff!

I am not a chef. But I do wear high heels around the house (that is, until I found out that I'd been making indents in the gorgeous blonde hardwood floors of my condo...oops)...and I love to eat.

Did you hear me? I love to eat!!! I am also a bit of a picky eater (I prefer organic, healthy, select cuts, seasonal produce, etc. and I sprinkle fiber in almost everything. I'm an old lady). I also love to make people happy - and so it follows, that I love to cook! Because I follow an exceptionally large number of food and cooking blogs and I always think back to my own experiences with cooking, eating and savoring.

My own penchant for 'yumminess' and 'doing good work' (as I like to call it the act of polishing off a plate of awesomeness) is far easier to document than it has ever been before, thanks to my iphone!  As such, I'm going to occasionally feature some of my dishes & "recipes" here. I've put apostrophe marks around the word recipes because I don't use them very often - I look at dishes & will read recipes, but unless I'm baking, I never, never use a recipe! Cook what you like, and season until it's delicious - that's how I cook. I've handrolled gnocci, simmered arroz con pollo, created pasta bolognese, and rolled out biscuits and it's all been a blast. That being said, I'm going to try to photograph my dishes & give you the basics of my 'recipe."

On Monday I made chicken paillard in picatta sauce over warm pureed chickpeae on a bed of sauteed spinach with roasted cinnamon sweet potatoes. What-a-freaking-mouthful...I know! This is basically fancy talk for saying it was cold out and I didn't want to eat cold salad and I had OD on carbs all weekend and needed to feed my body some wholesomeness.

I ate a huge plate. My hubs said "it's good" and ate it without further comment even when I asked him repeatedly if he liked it.

And so here we have it: Chicken Picatta with warm pureed chickpeas accompanied by sauteed spinach and roasted potatoes.

1) Cinnamon roasted potatoes. I 'invented' this dish because j-dawg basically dies a bit inside any time I make anything with cinnamon. SCORE! Peel and slice sweet potatoes; toss in a large bowl with a bit of olive oil, lots of cinnamon, a pinch of cayenne, a shake or two of black pepper and a dash of salt. Bake in a roasting pan in an oven set to 400 degrees.

2) Chicken. Buy thin chicken cutlets, season with pepper & a bit of salt. Dredge in flour and cook until brown in a skillet with olive oil. Remove the cooked cutlets from the pan and place in oven to keep warm (with the roasting potatoes). Swirl a pat of butter in the pan with the chicken bits & olive oil. Add the juice of one squeezed lemon (don't include the pits, smarty pants!) and a dash of wine if you have some laying around. Simma until reduced, then add a few teaspoons of Spanish capers. The term "Spanish capers" sounds lovely - imported and picked under sunshine, but I use Goya capers - same difference! Stir to combine and then add the chicken to your sauce and make sure each piece is thoroughly covered in buttery lemon caper goodness.

3) Spinach. This couldn't be easier - peel and slice some garlic cloves & saute in olive oil. Add clean, washed spinach. Don't add salt - just a dash or two of pepper!

4) Warm pureed chickpeas (fancy hummus for dummies). Open a can of imported Spanish chickpeas (a can of Goya - good stuff). Rinse thoroughly & dump in a saucepan with sliced garlic cloves in olive oil. Add a generous amount of red pepper flakes and pepper. Add salt; cover with water. Simmer until at near boil - when all your other components are done, transfer contents to a food processor and puree until smooth.

To serve: plate a bunch of spinach and then add chickpea puree. Layer chicken on top with plenty of sauce. Surround the serving with sweet potatoes. Drool a bit and then EAT (while watching tv, obviously)!

You're welcome.

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