03 January 2010

Veal Piccata = HEAVEN

First things first: 2nd wedding anniversary celebration!! Woot woot!

Now that I have that out of the way, wait--let me put away the balloons and streamers, and get down from this chair.

Okay. Veal Piccata. It's heaven.

I found some lovely veal cuts and immediately decided on this one. I even crossed off an already planned meal and a handful of ingredients I was going to buy about 30 seconds after I spotted them. I usually make this dish with chicken since it's cheaper, but I decided a little celebration deserved a little splurging. This isn't the rich, sinful version since I prefer a lighter sauce, but it's still pretty darn indulgent.

Veal Piccata
(adapted from Eating Well)

4 veal cutlets or around 1 lb. (see note below)
2 tbsp. + 1/4 cup flour
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil
10 oz. baby bella mushrooms, quartered
2 tbsp. chopped fresh garlic
1/3 cup white wine
2 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp. capers
2 tsp. butter
6 oz. whole wheat pasta

1. In a bowl, whisk 2 tbsp. flour into chicken broth and set aside. Season veal cutlets with salt and pepper and coat with flour, shaking off excess. Cook cutlets in a large skillet coated with olive oil, about 2-3 minutes each side. Remove cutlets from the pan and keep warm.
2. Add mushrooms to skillet and cook until browned, about 4-5 minutes, and transfer mushrooms to another plate. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta until al dente while mushrooms cook.
3. Add white wine and garlic to skillet and cook over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Stir in broth and flour and lemon juice. Season with a pinch of salt to taste, and simmer until sauce thickens.
4. Stir in the mushrooms, butter, parsley and capers, and then toss cooked pasta with about half of sauce. Serve chicken on pasta and spoon remaining sauce over chicken.

01 January 2010

Forget Take-Out: Healthy Lemon Chicken at home for a healthy New Year

Entering a new year, I rarely ever make resolutions because they just don't seem plausible. I am, however, making one resolution: save money and eat out less. This is an easy resolution to keep since I don't eat out often and I budget my meals carefully every Sunday. But...I have an occasional addiction to kick.

I think I've mentioned my weakness for Chinese takeout before a number of times on this blog, but it deserves reiterating. I LOVE CHINESE TAKEOUT. Tortilla chips are my kryptonite and takeout is my secret love (not to be confused with my crushes on baby bok choy and mini muffins).

In my quest to reinvent a healthier version of takeout, I once again looked to my trusty friends at Eating Well. If you haven't checked out their recipes, you should. They're awesome.

Lemon Chicken Stir-Fry
(reprinted from Eating Well)

1 lemon
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
10 ounces mushrooms, halved or quartered
1 cup diagonally sliced carrots , (1/4 inch thick)
2 cups snow peas , (6 ounces), stems and strings removed
1 bunch scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces, white and green parts divided
1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1. Grate 1 teaspoon lemon zest and set aside. Juice the lemon and whisk 3 tablespoons of the juice with broth, soy sauce and cornstarch in a small bowl.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate with tongs. Add mushrooms and carrots to the pan and cook until the carrots are just tender, about 5 minutes. Add snow peas, scallion whites, garlic and the reserved lemon zest. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Whisk the broth mixture and add to the pan; cook, stirring, until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add scallion greens and the chicken and any accumulated juices; cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.