Dinner / Food Reviews / Health / Recap / Recipes

Real Food

We’ve been eating a little better lately. Better as in actually preparing real food again instead of resorting to microwaved nachos or cold cereal. I accept that there are periods in everyone’s life when actual home-cooking just doesn’t fit in the schedule, yet I’m very glad we seem to be coming out of one of those “fend-for-yourself” periods. Time is more plentiful now that I’ve gotten the hang of how to plan my work-days, and as a result I’m feeling more balanced and more adventurous in the kitchen. You know what they say, when life hands you lemons, make lemon chicken and eat a platter of fruit and cheese!

Actually Daniel, not I, made a version of my mom’s lemon chicken like this:

Ingredients:
2 large boneless skinless chicken breast (about 1lb), pounded and cut into 6-8 cutlets
1 Tbsp lemon pepper seasoning
1 tsp thyme flakes
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp poultry seasoning or herbs de Provence
Use whatever flavors you want but just make sure lemon is the most prominent – no need for salt since lemon pepper seasoning includes it
1 cup white or whole wheat flour for coating
1 whole lemon, juiced
3-4 tbsps butter
Directions:
1. Pound chicken between two pieces of Saran wrap to 3/8 thickness and use kitchen sheers to cut into 6-8 cutlets
2. Combine all dry seasonings (except flour) in one shallow dish or gallon Ziploc bag. Add chicken and coat evenly.
3. Pour flour in separate dish or bag and then transfer seasoned chicken to flour. Coat evenly and generously.
4. Melt half to 2Tbsp of the butter in large saute pan over medium high heat (6-7). If you don’t have a pan large enough for all the cutlets, do this in two batches as to not overcrowd the pan. They can be snug, but they should be on layer.
5. When pan sizzles when sprinkled with water, place chicken in pan and let cook for 2-3 minutes or until browned. Let it do it’s thing!
6. Reduce heat just slightly (up to one notch lower). Add remaining 1 Tbsp butter and flip chicken to cook 2-3 min or until browned on second side.
7. Squeeze half the lemon over chicken, jostle the chicken with tongs and cover with lid immediately for 2 minutes – this will deglaze the pan and keep it moist.

8. If done, remove to serving platter and scrap up the yummy bits of pan. If not, flip, squeeze remaining half lemon over chicken, cover again until juices run clear.

While Daniel did all of that ^^^^, I assembled the appetizer and made a salad of green beans and tomatoes with a dijon vinaigrette that I found in my new book I talked about in a this post. I think I could get into this sous chef thing.

I did, however, pull my weight in the below dish of broiled flank steak with roasted powerhouse (okinawan) potatoes and other veggies. We have only eaten red meat a handful of times in the year and half we’ve been here because we don’t have a grill. I attempted broiled steak just one other time and it was a total bust, so I was reluctant to try again. I’m glad I did though! Thank you Kelsey, for the tips!

In case you are wondering, if I were only allowed one food for rest of my life, I would chose those luscious potatoes. So velvety with absolutely nothing on them!! Did you know that man can survive on just potatoes and water?

broiled flank steak

broiled flank steak

Next on the menu was roasted turkey breast (bone-in). It was more like a bone in my side. I was disappointed to open the 3lb package to find about 1.5lbs of back and rib with absolutely no meat. It made the cooking time hard to read and it turned out a little dry even though I brined it for 8 hours in water, brown sugar, salt, bay leaves, cloves, lemon zest, allspice, and fresh herbs from my garden. Yes, MY GARDEN! complete with basil, thai basil, mint, cilantro, sage, rosemary, thyme and tomatoes. I’m going to start talking to them because I hear that helps them grow…

Even though we’ve been cooking more, it’s still nice to have someone else do it for us! Daniel and I met some friends, Shannon and Alex, at the beach about 8 months ago. Would you believe they are from Tennessee too?! Anyway, at the time, Shannon was talking about his passion for cooking and desire to open a traditional wood-fire style pizza trailer. Guess what opened up at the corner just last week!!?? Quite the entrepreneur and chef (he makes his own dough and uses only the freshest ingredients). He had a line on opening night! Good thing the oven is so hot that his pizza’s cook in just two minutes!

Congrats Shannon! We’ll be regulars 🙂

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