Monthly Archives: April 2012

Chicken and Pork Chops Parmesan

These are two of my favorite things. Chicken Parmesan is easier to find than pork chops Parm, but I find that most renditions are somewhat disappointing. Recently our friend Neal made a dinner and served very very good chicken Parm, just the way I like it. The cutlet should be pounded thin, dipped in egg and then in bread crumbs. Fry in olive oil till crispy and golden brown. Make your own tomato sauce, or use your favorite jarred sauce on the market, my favorite being Rao’s Homemade Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce, though I don’t love it.


Place the cutlets in a baking pan, top with good mozzarella, and sauce. Bake till cheese is melted.


Do the same with pork chops. Again, thin and crisp is the way to go.  Pork chops Parm is so good. I have only seen it on one menu in my whole  life. It was at Stella Doro’s in the Bronx.  Thealso had amazing lobster Fra Diavalo.


Strawberry rhubarb crumble

An oatmeal/flour/sugar/butter topped crust hides a mix of rhubarb, strawberries, orange juice, rind and sugar.

Baked for over an hour, very deep dish and filled with 6 cups of both rhubarb and berries.  Rhubarb needs sugar, not like a berry crumble that at peak season may not need any sugar at all.  Thickening agent is cornstarch mixed with orange juice and stirred into the fruit.

I like this with a rather large scoop of vanilla ice cream.

I want eggnog

Eggnog is one of my favorite things in the world. Either with brandy, or rum, or both, it is super rich and over the top fattening. This past winter, Roost, the great place to eat in Portland, served eggnog that was almost frozen. You could drink it but it was thick and perfect. And strong. another designated driver experience

Chicken Marbella- Silver Palate ish

chicken marbella full on

thighs, nothing like them

made the trimmed down version last week for my Diane Magazine followers. For those who want the full on recipe, with my own spin, here goes

lots of juicy, forgiving chicken thighs


olive oil

red wine vinegar

pitted prunes


pimento stuffed olives

bay leaves

peeled garlic cloves

brown sugar

chicken stock

salt and pepper

Place the chicken in a plastic bag, maybe double bag, and add the oil, vinegar, capers, olives, pitted prunes bay leaves and whole cloves of garlic and leave to marinate for 2 days in the fridge.

Place on baking sheet with sides and place all thighs along with all the marinade and prunes.

Sprinkle with brown sugar and pour chicken stock around the chicken. Sprinkle with salt and coarse black pepper.

Bake at 375 for an hour.  The chicken will be a gorgeous mahogany like color.

Panzanella Rigatoni Salad









Rigatoni tossed with garlicky sauteed bread cubes, red onion, fresh herbs, cucumber, capers, grape tomatoes and a vinaigrette with a mustardy kick

Here comes the asparagus, la la lala

Asparagus season has started and it’s time to have some fun. Here in Portland asparagus is found in expected and unexpected places, though thankfully no desserts. Yet.

But before proceeding the question of “what the hell is up with my pee when I eat asparagus?” is answered.

The smell comes from the way certain chemical compounds break down inside people’s bodies.  Namely  s-methyl thioesters: s-methyl thioacrylate and s-methyl thiopropionate.  Thioesters, like methanethiol, are primarily sulfur based except being formed from sulfur bonding with an acyl group.This is why cooking asparagus in various ways does not result in the same smelly byproduct as obviously the specific digestive enzymes that break down the compounds in the asparagus to produce the smell aren’t present. It seems that it happens to everyone but not everyone can smell it.

Anyway, roast asparagus at 450 with some olive oil and coarse salt until a bit charred looking.

Eat it like that or blend it with sauteed onions, chicken stock, some fresh dill and salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Or, do a quick stir fry with sesame oil and sesame seeds and at the last minute add some scallions.

Or, roll some Dover Sole around some skinny stalks and bake till the fish is done, with some salt and pepper and chopped garlic on top.

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Hello Mr. Croquembouche