When I’m making a meat dish that’s breaded I skip the flour, beaten egg and bread crumb process. I streamline it by making a slurry of cornstarch and egg white to hold the bread crumbs. This creates a well coated piece of meat and the coating won’t separate from the meat while cooking.
4 boneless chicken breasts pounded to about a 1/4 inch thick
salt, pepper, garlic powder
2 egg whites
1/4 cup of corn starch
2 tablespoons of cold water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups bread crumbs
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
Part skim mozzarella cheese ( not the fresh kind, it’s too watery for this purpose)
1 tomato, sliced
Heat the oven to 250 degrees.
Use a skillet large enough to hold 2 pounded chicken breasts. You will need a cookie sheet to put the chicken in the oven
Season the pounded chicken with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Beat egg whites, water and corn starch together. Dip the chicken breasts in the corn starch mixture then dredge in bread crumbs. Saute in oil for about 4 minutes each side on medium high heat until the chicken is cooked through.
Drain the chicken on a paper towel then put cooked chicken on a cookie sheet and top with sliced cheese (please don’t put the paper towel in the oven) . Place in warm oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese. Sear the tomatoes and place on top of the chicken breast, sprinkle with parsley and serve with lemon wedges and a salad.
I’ve been curing and smoking my own bacon (insert yo mama joke here) for quite a few months and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever learned to do in the kitchen. It’s so good that I’ve totally given up on purchasing bacon from the grocery store. Here’s the recipe, let me know if you give it a try, I think you’ll be happy that you did.
We’ve been out of bacon for a quite a while, which I don’t mind because we don’t need to eat it everyday. If it’s in the house it WILL be eaten so it’s best not to have it available all the time. My people were starting to crave it. My Mom asked why I didn’t bring any on my last visit and my youngest son has been walking around the house singing the bacon pancake song (yes, that’s a real thing) so I had to get a batch started. It’s not difficult to make but it is time consuming. It takes over a week but it’s well worth it.
My latest batch is finally ready and this is what we did with it:
2 Cups of fresh tomatoes chopped into1 inch pieces
1 shallot thinly sliced (2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Mix all ingredients together and let marinate refrigerated for about an hour
BACON AND ROSEMARY KETTLE CORN
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon bacon fat
½ cup unpopped popcorn kernels
¼ teaspoon fine salt
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup bacon, finely chopped and cooked until crisp
½ teaspoon fresh rosemary chopped
Use a large heavy bottomed pot with high sides and a lid. Please be careful.
Add canola oil, bacon fat and three popcorn kernels into the pot ( these three kernels are used to test the heat of your oil), cover and heat over medium/high flame. When the popcorn kernels start to pop your oil is ready to add the rest of the popcorn kernels, sugar and salt. Cover and shake the pot to keep the kernels from burning, carefully moving the pot off and on the heat.
Here’s a quick photo tour of the kick off of Roswell (GA) River Food Truck Weekends at Don White park. It was a small round up of trucks with Pressed for Time, Masala Fresh and Hail Caesar. We ate well and got a little exercise, fun all around. Don White park is super active with people heading to the river to go kayaking, rafting and all sorts of watery fun. The family wants to go back next weekend for tubing…we’ll see.
Last night my husband and I took a quick trip to Tennessee…well not really. We to a trip to the King Plow Art Center to attend an event to promote Tennessee Tourism. It was a lovely event with LOTS of pork (check the Instagram video), barbecue sauce, cupcakes and moonshine. There was lots more than that but that’s what I remember. Oh, and the music was great, check out my Instagram video for a listen. The hospitality was wonderful and exhibits, like one of Elvis’ Jackets and a belt buckle, were great.
Our family had been contemplating a summer trip to Tennessee and after tasting Muddy’s Bake Shop’s coconut Chess Pie I’d like to go right now. Super cute Kat Gordon and her equally cute brother Kip brought a huge variety of sweets and everything was delicious. EVERYTHING. Reminiscing about their sweets make me want to drive to Memphis tonight.
I even asked the park ranger promoting tourism of historic Civil War sites if she referred to the Civil War as the “War of Northern Aggression” she smiled and said “No, none of the rangers do”. That made me smile.
The moonshine was strong and the pulled pork was tender, what more could you ask for? All in all a good night, check the Pics below:
Small farmer’s markets are popping up all over and I love to drop by and browse the freshness. I’m so happy to see the wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and other products that you may not find in large chain grocery stores.
I had been looking forward to visiting Serenbe for months. The idea of this sustainable community with great architecture and farm to table dining is the perfect way for a chef (me) and an architect (him) to spend the day. The skies opened up and dumped buckets of torrential rain on us during our nearly hour and a half long drive, but thanfully once we arrived at beautiful Serenbe the skies cleared up nicely. I made a 6:15 dinner reservation at The Farmhouse at Serenbe but we arrived at about 4:30 that afternoon so we could take a walking tour of the village.
We drove past the Inn and the Farmhouse restaurant and parked near the more densely built village with shops. I’m so jealous of this walkable community, I’d love to walk from my home to a gallery or coffee shop to meet friends. Density has its benefits.
I could stroll through these streets for hours looking at the beautiful front gardens at Serenbe. The mature, slightly overgrown greenery keeps the walkways shaded making a cool, pleasant journey. The kids wanted to explore the trails that wound through the community so we descended a stairway behind a courtyard. It was BEAUTIFUL…and humid, I was sweat glistening like a rose covered in morning dew when we climbed the stairs out of the trails.
We stopped in at the Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop during our stroll. The kids each got brownies and my husband got a cinnamon roll. I didn’t get anything because I knew I was going to order dessert after dinner. There were no raves about the treats, so I didn’t feel bad for skipping them. I purchased a jar of muscadine preserves to bring home from Blue Eyed Daisy, I’m looking forward to tasting it on some biscuits, maybe with a little country ham.
And now finally to dinner at The Farmhouse. After our little hike I was SO ready to relax with bottomless mimosas (YES, that’s right, I said bottomless) and munch on some fried chicken. Fried chicken that none other than Martha herself claims is “The Best”, high praise indeed.
The restaurant is BEAUTIFUL, not overdone, not kitschy just lovely. Like the rest of Serenbe we just felt so good being there.
Dinner looks good. The chicken is golden and plump, the collard slaw looks bright and fresh. The beans are whole which is a good sign that they are not overcooked. The spoonbread looks fluffy and inviting, not weepy or runny, all good signs for a wonderful meal. I was excited until I dug in. I really wanted to like it, but…
It wasn’t bad. That’s the best I can say about it. I cut into the chicken to take a bite expecting a bit of crunch from the light coating, but there was nothing. I expected the chicken to have the deep rich flavor of a family farm raised chicken ( check my Chicken Challenge post on family farm vs factory farm raised chicken herehttp://wp.me/p2eCV7-71 ) that got to peck and scratch in an open pasture, ( I mean, we ARE dining in the Farmhouse, after all) but there was none. I hoped for some seasoning, some herbs, SOMETHING…there was salt and only salt, not too much, but just salt. The chicken was moist, and that was good, especially for a boneless chicken breast. This meal made me sad. It wasn’t bad, it was just sad.
While the kids and I all had the fried chicken, my husband ordered the country fried steak so I got to taste that as well. It was tender and slightly more flavorful than the chicken…I think they added a bit of black pepper to this. Again there was no crunch from the coating, just a bit more of it. A cheese souffle was offered as the vegetarian entree, but none of our family chose it for dinner.
The sides did not help much. The collard slaw was the best of them, fresh and tender collard greens with julienne carrots and an insignificant dressing. The spoonbread was bland and the bean salad was, well… bland. Again, nothing was offensive , nothing tasted bad it was just bland, boring and yes, sad. These three sides were the only ones offered on the streamlined menu.
We ordered two strawberry cobblers for dessert, the kids shared one and my husband and I shared one. Each came with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. The “cobbler” consisted of a dense, gummy sweet dough on the bottom, cooked sweet strawberries on top of that (sad) dough and then the vanilla ice cream on top. No crispness at all to the crust and some cooked strawberries, it’s like they didn’t even try.
Dinner was a bit of a let down after a beautiful day. If we return to Serenbe it will be on a Saturday so we can enjoy the farmers market, art galleries and other shops. We’ll bring a picnic lunch.
It was our turn to host movie night last weekend and I wanted to make an appetizer that could be done ahead (it’s even better done the day before) and still taste and look great. I made this pickled shrimp dish on Friday and served it on Saturday in a large bowl, but it would have been equally as good served in individual glasses.
2# medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Vegetable oil for sautéing
2 cloves chopped garlic
½ of a red onion, sliced thin (about ½ a cup)
1 yellow or orange sweet bell pepper, sliced thin
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
¾ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh lemon juice, peel in long strips and reserve the rind (no pith please)
½ cup of red wine vinegar
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh chives, chopped
Pat the shrimp dry and season with salt, paprika, cayenne and garlic powder. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large sauté pan and heat over medium/high heat.
Sautee the shrimp with garlic in batches until they turn pink and curl. Cool the shrimp in the refrigerator, then, layer the shrimp with onions, peppers and lemon rind.
Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar Worcestershire sauce and oregano and pour over the shrimp mixture.
Marinate the shrimp in the refrigerator overnight up to 2 days. Add fresh chopped parsley and chives when ready to serve.
Aged provolone cheese ( make a frico by grating the provolone onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. I cracked black pepper over it and baked at 400 degrees for 5-6 minutes until just lightly browned. It will be pliable for a few seconds so you can bend it into shapes)