Posting by Sarah’s husband, Joe:
Sarah had a very odd day yesterday. A bad start of the day followed by a promotion at work. In any event, she needed a nice hot meal when she walked through the door. So I went to work at producing a nice, satisfying yet healthy meal.
It is very hot in Philly right now, so I wanted to keep the food fresh and light but enough to satisfy Sarah’s crazy-day-induced voracious appetite. So first the chicken:
Two organic chicken breasts dipped in an egg wash and coated with roasted cornmeal. (I put some smoked salt in both the egg wash and the cornmeal to bring out the cornmeal’s toasted flavor.)
Four small tomatoes on the vine (you can substitute two normal tomatoes) cut alternately into 1/4 inch slices and wedges
One avocado, diced
A handful of baby spinach
One clove of garlic, chopped
One half of a medium-sized onion
Juice of one lemon and a bit of the zest
Extra virgin olive oil
Good balsamic vinegar
Walnut oil (or any nut oil to accent the nutty flavor of the cornmeal)
First, I sauteed the chicken breasts in a cast iron pan just to brown the cornmeal and create a bit of a crust. I then moved them to a small metal casserole pan that had been heating in a preheated 375-degree oven. I poured in a bit of chardonnay, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. I covered the pan with foil and put it into the oven for the chicken to cook through and to absorb the wine’s flavor, appoximately twenty minutes.
Shortly before the chicken was done I put the dices avocado in a medium bowl. I added salt, pepper, lemon juice, zest, olive oil, walnut oil and balsamic vinegar. Saute the garlic in some oil until it just starts to turn brown. Add the tomatoes and the onions. You just want them to heat though not cook down. Salt and pepper to taste and add to the avocado mixture. Chiffonade the baby spinach into 1/2-inch strips. (A chiffonade is when you take any green leaf vegetable or herb and put a few leaves together and roll them like a cigar. Then, while rolled, you take your knife and slice strips of the leaves.) Add to the bowl and mix well. Spoon this over the chicken breasts when you serve.
Boil some gnocchi until they start to float. I used Trader Joe’s parmesan gnocchi. Remove from the water to a strainer. In a bowl, add sliced prosciutto and small slices of manchego cheese or any similar cheese. When the gnocchi have cooled a bit, add them to the bowl. Add salt pepper and a bit of olive oil- just enough to coat. Serve on the side. (This is the only non-gluten free of the three dishes.)
The potatoes were simple, and if you are a regular reader of this blog you’ve seen them before. Slice some fingerling potatoes on the bias. Slicing on the bias allows more of the surface area to brown. Boil until fork tender, then fry in vegetable oil until brown. Remove and drain. I salted them with some nice red Hawaiian sea salt to add to the presentation.
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