So I haven't done much blogging over the past week because I finally graduated and on Monday I started my first big girl job as an Architectural Engineer! I flew out of Philly two days after graduating, to head to the midwest for a couple of weeks at headquarters before heading back to the NYC office.
While I love traveling and seeing new places, I've really been missing cooking at home. Before I left, I made a really yummy meal for my family with grilled chicken & peach salsa accompanied by green beans gremolata. I love adding something indulgent to boring vegetables, like a decadent hollandaise to asparagus or gremolata to what would otherwise be boring green beans. They were super simple to make and so good, with crunchy panko, garlic, butter, parsley, and a hint of lemon zest.
Green Beans Gremolata
1 lb green beans
2 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lemon, zest only
1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 tbsp olive oil
Place a large pot filled 3/4 with water over high heat, and bring it to a boil. Next to the stove, place a large bowl filled with iced water (you're going to blanch the beans in it). Once the water is boiling, bring it down to medium heat and add 1 tbsp of kosher salt as well as the green beans. Allow them to cook for 3 minutes and then using a slotted spoon transfer them into the iced water (this makes the cooking process stop). Once they've sat in the iced water for a minute, transfer them to a paper towel and set them aside.
To make the gremolata- in a small bowl melt the butter then add the minced garlic, lemon zest, chopped parsley, the panko, as well as a bit of salt and pepper. Mix them together with a fork until they're perfectly combined.
Next, place a large saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the dried green beans to the pan and saute them for a couple of minutes so they'll warm through and gain a little bit of color.
Finally, transfer the sauteed green beans to a serving platter and pour the delicious gremolata over the top. Enjoy!
I've been crazy busy preparing for my move to New York, welcoming my new niece, and getting ready for graduation that cooking delicious meals hasn't been in its usual spot on my list of priorities! However, I did have a chance to whip together these fabulous mojitos last night for everyone to enjoy along with our grilled dinner.
I thought it was a great idea to add some mint to the simple syrup, to give it that extra minty flavor that I love. They were so easy to make, and so refreshing- the perfect summer cocktail.
The Perfect Mojito
1 bunch mint
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 lime, cut into wedges
2 cups ice cubes
8 oz white rum
2 cups club soda
slices of peach, optional
In a small sauce pan over medium heat, add the cup of sugar, the cup of water, as well as 10 mint leaves. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, once its boiling stir it frequently until the sugar dissolves, which should be within a couple of minutes. Remove it from the heat and set it aside.
In a large pitcher, muddle (or crush) the remaining mint leaves (about 15) in the bottom of the pitcher. Also add 1/2 cup of the mint simple syrup, 2 cups of ice, 2 cups of club soda, the juice from the wedges of lime, and 8 ounces of rum. Stir it a few times to ensure that it's well mixed and enjoy!
As my collegiate career comes to a close, I'm reminded of how it began for me. Five short years ago, I was left anxiously waiting at home for two months after all of my other friends began college, because Drexel's classes don't begin until late September. I was left with an excess of time during the day, which led me to watch the Food Network incessantly. This inspired me to create recipes by some of the greats: Bobby Flay, Ina Garten, and Tyler Florence. My first whack at cooking outside of my comfort zone was Bobby's chicken paillard. Much to my parent's delight (and maybe a bit of surprise), it was delicious. I cooked up a storm for my last weeks spent at home, and eventually I created this wonderful blog two years ago. Today, chicken paillard is a simple dish that I make if I'm lacking creativity in the kitchen, but it will always remind me of when my love of cooking began.
The word paillard may evoke the idea that the dish is complicated, but it just means that the chicken has been pounded flat. I took it beyond the traditional grilled paillard, and breaded it with a combination of panko and grated parmesan cheese. I also went the extra mile and topped it with a lemon dressed arugula salad and crispy shallots. In total this dish takes less than 20 minutes to prepare and cook, and it's the perfect combination of indulgence and freshness.
Parmesan Chicken Paillard
4 chicken breasts
1 cup flour
1 cup panko
1 cup parmesan, grated
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large shallots, sliced into rings
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cups arugula
Take your chicken breasts, and use a meat tenderizer to pound them until they're thin. If they are really thick to begin with, butterfly them first (cut them horizontally 90% of the way through then spread it apart).
Next, set up a little station for yourself with the flour on a large plate, then eggs in a bowl (whisked), and another large plate with a mixture of the panko, parmesan, as well as a bit of salt and pepper. Start by placing the chicken into the flour until they're completely coated, then into the egg, and finally into the panko-parm mixture.
In a large saute pan over medium heat, add the two tablespoons of olive oil. After the oil has heated, add the breasts two at a time to the oil for 3 minutes per side, or until they're no longer pink inside. Continue to do this with the last two breasts.
Meanwhile in a small saute pan over medium heat, add the 1/4 cup of olive oil. While that's heating, toss the shallot rings into the flour until they're coated. Add the coated shallots to the hot oil for a minute or two per side, or until they're golden.
Finally, in a small bowl toss the arugula with the juice from the lemon. To plate the dish, top the cooked chicken with the arugula and crispy shallots.