Never quite follows the recipe. Doesn't really measure. Tastes with her fingers. Somehow, it always works.

In which we’ve gotta go fishin’

Posted: June 24th, 2008 | Author: johanna | Filed under: Johanna | 1 Comment »

I started trying to post this last night. I failed. I was really tired, and I just wasn’t feeling it. So today, to make up for everything that I’ve failed you guys on, I’m posting today!!

Also, I’m a horrible cliche. I’ve come home from work, and I’m sitting on the couch, in my underwear, drinking a beer. It’s a great way to be. Trust me. Now if only my woman would come home and cook me dinner. Oh wait….

Anyways.
Because we’ve been racing around trying to find out if we can move, and generally acting like nutcases, there has been cooking, but no time for my typical writing about the cooking. So, I will do my best to catch up.

Sunday night we made a dish that Jesse and I had been thinking about for a few days, and something that I’ve been thinking about for almost 2 years.
First…. a quick story. When I first moved to Brooklyn, my father came down to help me paint my room and bring down the last of my stuff. After we finished, we went out for a late lunch, at this little bistro with an outdoor garden just down my street. It’s called Fada, in case you wondered. My dad got pasta bolognese, and I got a Nicoise salad, with seared tuna.

It changed my life.
I’ve spent all my bistro meals since just hoping for something like that…. and so far it hasn’t been replicable.

So, when Jesse suggested an entree salad with fresh tuna for a meal this week, I decided to go for it because I was hoping to replicate that salad. It didn’t go quite as well as planned, but that’s because I think that salad was a lost chord. Anyways.

On Sunday night, we went for that salad again, roughly. We had baby spinach, arugula, tomatoes, and the tuna. We drizzled the tuna with olive oil, and sprinkled it with salt and pepper before searing it for about 90 seconds per side. We got about half a pound, which was definitely the best way to have luxury tuna on a budget. It was beautiful, and when it was sliced and laid on top of the salad, I felt really proud of what we’d made.
We also had boxed tomato and roasted red pepper soup, to which I added a special combination of salt, pepper, cumin, curry powder, and chili powder. It is lovely, and it makes everything taste kind of warm and homey.

Monday I went into Whole Foods on a lark, and found out that they had corn on the cob, 3 ears for $1!! This is a good start to the season. So, I bought some corn, some wild rice, and some chicken cutlets, and made dinner when I got home — I started by replicating my wild rice risotto, only I cooked it even slower than usual, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the wild rice stuff just doesn’t get mushy and creamy like the arborio rice does. But, it was still pretty yum-tastic. I also boiled the corn, and made Musty-Crusty Chicken.

Don’t worry, it’s not nasty.
Musty-Crusty Chicken :

Chicken Cutlets — get as many as you need to feed the people you’re feeding. Two big ones fed 3 of us.
Dijon Mustard — I used Grey Poupon, and I’m not afraid to name drop. You enough to coat the outside of your cutlets.
Bread Crumbs — Again, you need enough to coat and crust the outside of the cutlets. I used Panko, but a combination of bread crumbs and Panko would work well too, as would just breadcrumbs. Put them in a pie plate, or in a big pile on a plate, or whatever, and season them with salt and pepper.

I put my big pan on about medium heat, with some olive oil.

I sprinkled Salt, Pepper, and Poultry seasoning on both sides of the chicken cutlets. Then, I took my jar of mustard, and using the same hand each time, I scooped out a couple fingers full of mustard, and threw it onto the chicken, not touching it. Then, smear it around with your other hand. I suppose you could do it with a spoon or a spoon-u-la, but I’m big on touching my food.

When both sides are coated, smash the chicken into the pile of bread crumb-age, so that it’s well-coated on both sides. Then, put the chicken cutlets into the pan, and let them fry. They should be golden brown and deeeelicious on both sides…. I’d suggest covering the pan for a little while to promote the cooking of the chicken from the inside.

The corn is pretty self-explanatory…. boil a big pot of water and have your boyfriend shuck the corn…. or you can do it, but why? Anyways, when the water boils, throw your shucked corn in there for 8-10 minutes, and you’ll have corn on the cob.

IT was great.

Last night’s dinner plans changed when we got home from Whole Foods at 10:30 and the pizza dough was still frozen. So, I made fried eggplant rounds.

Fried eggplant is a beautiful thing, but I’ve learned that it’s a bit of a dicey thing. Salting the eggplant is essential, to draw out some of the water that’s hiding inside the eggplant on the sneaky-sneak. I sliced it into about 1/2 inch thick slices, round-wise. Then, I sprinkled it with salt and let it sit for about half an hour. Then, I rinsed it off and patted it dry. Like making basically anything fried, I dipped the slices in egg, and then in a combination of bread crumbs and panko which was seasoned with salt and pepper. You really have to pack the breading on, I’ve learned.

I fried them in olive oil. I would not recommend frying these in olive oil. Use sunflower or vegetable oil. However, these were pretty darn good. I kind of love fried eggplant a lot. And now that I know that I can do this quite well, I’m totally doing this again. Expect to see this at Two Chairs, if you’re there. And go for it. It’s delish.

We’re working on dirtying as few dishes as possible, which we’re going to have to do, since we’re moving this weekend and we’re trying to pack our dishes up as soon as posisble. And everything else. So expect limited posts until we’re settled. But after that…. expect amazingness. I hope.



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