Friday, August 28, 2009

Herb Chicken Paillard and Garden Fresh Salad.

It has finally warmed up in New York and actually feels like summer. As the heat climbed today I thought a salad would be a perfect lunch. We could sit outside, enjoy the garden and dine on a fresh crisp summer inspired meal. I picked fresh oregano, rosemary and thyme, tore them into pieces and mixed them with garlic, lemon, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
I marinated chicken cutlets in this mixture for about 30 minutes while I cleaned the last of the radicchio and lettuce from the garden.
When the grill was hot, I lightly cooked the chicken just a few minutes on each side.
I served it on the greens garnished with radishes, cucumber, red onion and wonderfully flavorful grape tomatoes. I tossed it with a Dijon Vinaigrette and garnished it with chives from the garden and a bit of grated cheddar cheese. Served with a glass of Rose and a piece of Herb Slab from Acme Bread in San Francisco, it was a perfect lunch to begin a relaxing vacation!
Herb Chicken Paillard
Download and print recipe

6 chicken cutlets, sliced thinly
A few sprigs of oregano, thyme and rosemary
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Juice of one lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Pull the herb leaves from the stems, give them a
rough chop and place in a medium size bowl.
Peel the garlic clove and squeeze it through a garlic press into the bowl. Add the olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice, sea salt and pepper. Whisk to blend. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Allow the chicken to marinate at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the grill, when hot add the chicken. It will cook fairly quickly. When it is marked by the grill give it a turn and cook just another minute or two until done.

Dijon Vinaigrette

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a jar and shake to blend.
I wrote this blog a month ago and never published it. I became caught up in my daughters Vietnamese drama and lost all track of blogging. It's a little late, but better late than never!

All text and pictures are property of The Gypsy Chef

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Doorways of Dulwich and Plum Cake

I just spent a fairytale week in Dulwich. When I arrived, I found the Princesses safe and happy. The drama was over and I was able to relax and enjoy my surroundings.
On nightly walks I would photograph the lovely houses that seemed too beautiful to be real.
Even though these were row houses with similar architectural details, the owners had painted the doors and had landscaped the front gardens to reflect their taste.
Each house was a bit different, but charming in it's own way.
Several had front gates, always left ajar as if they were saying "Welcome!"
One had simple details but was brought to life with flowers and a stone walk.
One particular group had details cut into the porch roof.
Every door in every set of row houses were always painted different colors.
Marble columns and ornamental grass graced the entrance of this lovely home.
Sometimes the front entrance would boast stained glass.
This particular door seemed very Madison Avenue with it's gray paint, but the bittersweet curling around the front entrance helped keep it's English flavor.
This enchantress had everything I desire. Tumbling roses, stained glass, marble columns, a brass knocker and a front gate. I'm not sure how to break it to the owners that I'm moving in......
Today, as I sorted the pictures, I kept thinking of Plum Cake. Maybe it was the prune plums from the farmer's market with their greens, purples and reds. Maybe it was a week spent enjoying tea and cake. Either way, I thought a Plum Cake would be a perfect "Welcome Home " treat for my Princess.

Plum Cake
Printable recipe pdf

This is an adaptation of a New York Times recipe published 30 years ago. It calls for a 15 1/2 inch x 10 1/2 inch jelly-roll pan. That I have never used, but I have used a 10 inch, fluted, removable bottom tart pan. Today I used 8, small 3 inch removable bottom tartlette pans.

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons double acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, cold cut into pieces
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk

8- 3 inch tartlette pans, greased and dusted with flour
6 plums quartered, pit removed
1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon, stirred together
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Juice of one lemon

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter cutting it in with a pastry blender, until it resembles coarse meal.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk, add to the flour mixture and stir until combined well. With floured hands break the dough into 8 even pieces. Press these into the tartlette pans.
Place 3 pieces of plum, cut side up on to the dough. Sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar mixture, lemon juice and melted butter.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until the plums are cooked through and bubbly. Allow to cool. Serve with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or simply dust with powered sugar.
Perfect for dessert or breakfast, my Princess loves this cake morning, noon and night.
All pictures and text are property of The Gypsy Chef.