I started the weekend off right with a delicious homemade meal. Friday evening Pat and I went to WholeFoods to grab an array of fresh produce and chicken as well as an ample amount of wine. We spent the night cooking up a delicious storm of panzanella, chicken cutlets in a white wine, lemon, butter sauce, and... fiddleheads. (Pat's addition, obviously.)
The dinner turned out to be amazing. The panzanella, (recipe here) was a tantalizing delicacy with layers of texture and flavor, even though I wasn't able to grill the bread and left out the fennel bulbs. Unfortunately I couldn't find heirloom tomatoes either so I substituted with Campari tomatoes, which were still delicioso.
The chicken was excellent. It was my first time making chicken cutlets so I was a little nervous. OK, a lot nervous. If you knew me, you would know that chicken is not my strong suit. I once accidentally served raw chicken to a friend during my time at Culinary School and I have been scarred ever since. "But Sir, I thought you ordered the Salmonella?" Talk about mortification.
This time I had much better results thanks to the simple recipe and flavorful lemony sauce. I have decided that cutlets are going to be my go-to cut of chicken. They are super easy and only take 15 minutes or so to cook. More importantly, they are safe. It's easy to check if a cutlet is done, not so much a whole bird.
Together we made a great team. I handled the panzanella and chicken, and Pat kept me happy by feeding me wine and cheese. He also cooked the fiddleheads as I had no idea what to do with them. Apparently these unfurled fronds of a young furn were Pat's favorite vegetable growing up. If you knew him, this would not come as a surprise. They were pretty tasty but I think their firm and crunchy texture is the most interesting part. Here's an inside peak to our fabulous dinner:
Garlic head for roasting
Prepping the panzanella salad
The finished product
Cooking away the cutlets
Concentrating intensely. Chicken makes me do that.
The cutlets simmering in white wine, lemon, butter, and stock. When the cutlets were cooked I took them out and added more wine, stock and lemon juice then reduced it to make a nice creamy sauce.
The finished product garnished with basil
The chicken and panzanella complimented each other nicely. It was a perfectly sized meal and I definitely plan on making it again.
The piglet emerged late Saturday night when after a party in Silver Lake, I stopped at the local 7- Eleven to purchase 6 small boxes of cereal and a bag of Cheetos. I ate the cheetos on my drive home and devoured a box of Coco Krispies and Pops just before bed. Ooops.
The next morning I started the day with my favorite Sunday activity - a trip to the Beverly Hills Farmers Market. I found a lot of great things but some of my favorites were the clover sprouts, heirloom tomatoes and baby artichokes. Being surrounded by such fresh and healthy produce made me feel good and could tell my inner piglet was subsiding. Or so I thought...
Then I saw it. The new panini stand that had recently opened. And oh how I love a good panini. I couldn't help myself and I'm glad that I didn't because it was amazing. We sat outside and listened to the musicians as we ate these delicious sandwiches hot off the grill.
Breakfast Panini filled with eggs, arugula, sun dried tomatoes, cheese, avocado and pesto spread.
Sunday evening ended with a dilemma. I wanted to stay in and cook a healthy meal but Pat wanted to go out. So we struck a deal. In order to meet half way it was decided that I would make a fresh salad, and Pat would pick up a pizza to share. I cut up all the fresh veggies we had bought earlier such as broccoli, tomatoes, sprouts, avocado, bell peppers, and lettuce while Pat went and picked up the pizza. I also cooked up the baby artichokes which were freaken amazing.
Baby artichokes. How cute are these?
I followed this recipe exactly but added lemon juice and Italian seasoning at the end instead of garlic or pepper. Next time I think a lemon and garlic aioli dip would be a wonderful addition.
These taste just like artichokes but you can pop the whole thing in your mouth without worrying about the leaves or the prickly parts.
It would have been a good combination of health and indulgence except we didn't share a pizza. We both ate our own personal pizzas (non personal size.)
Happy piglet #2
All in all I'm pretty sure the piglet inside triumphed. Oh well, back to the gym ;)