I have not made piccata in forever, but I had a hankering, so I made this last night. It is the best piccata I've ever made! Note that I used scallions because I didn't have parsley!
Course Main Course
Keyword breaded chicken piccata, chicken piccata
Prep Time 20 minutesminutes
Cook Time 20 minutesminutes
1pkgThin sliced chicken breast (4-6 pcs)or filet 2 yourself for 4 pcs; the packs have both large and small pcs, which I prefer
1cupOrzoI like DeLallo #65 (large size)
2Lemons, zest and juice in separate bowlsSlice off 4 1/4" slices after you zest. About 2 Tbl zest and 1/4 cup juice
3clovesGarlic, mincedabout 1.5 Tbl
1smallShallot, mincedabout 2 Tbl
2/3bottleCapers and brine2oz bottle, about 2 Tbl, or use the whole thing if you really love capers!
2/3cupWhite winedry wine or dry sherry would work
2Eggs, whisked with 2 Tbl wateregg wash
1/2cupcornstarchin bowl big enough to dredge chicken
1/2cuprice flouryou can sub 1/4 A/P flour if you don't have rice flour
1cuppanko with a large pinch of lemon zest, 1/2 tsp salt and 2 Tbl EVOO
1/4cupgrated parmesanmix with panko
4TblButterin 2 2Tbl chunks
1/2cupCanolaor any neutral oil
3TblParsley, choppedOR a couple of scallions, thinly sliced on bias
Grated parmesan garnish
Put 2-3 cups of water in a sauce pan w/ lid for orzo. Park on stovetop.
Set up dredge station:Bowl 1 is cornstarch, rice flour, 1 tsp salt, mix thoroughlyBowl 2 is egg washBowl 3 is panko with zest, salt and EVOO, mix thoroughly
In a large heavy skillet, put EVOO, Canola and 2 Tbl butter over medium heat. You should have about 1/4 inch of oil to shallow fry the chicken cutlets.
Start breading procedure with chicken. Flour, egg, panko. Press the panko on. This will be a light breading.
When oil is heated (you can check with a thermometer if you like, anything over 175ºF is fine), monitor the heat. Med heat should be OK - it should NOT be smoking hot! Lay the cutlets in the oil gently away from you. Do not crowd the pan. The sound you hear should be a light sizzle, not a raging sizzle. You're going for golden brown, not dark brown and you don't want to overcook the chicken.
Turn on heat for orzo water. When boiling, add 2 Tbl salt and a tsp or so of chopped garlic. Cook orzo for about 10 mins, until done but still has a little bite to it.
Continue cooking cutlets until they are golden brown. It should take about 4 mins (2 each side) for large pcs and 3 mins for small ones. You'll turn them ONCE. When cooked, put on a plate with a paper towel and don't forget to sprinkle with salt while they are hot.
When all the cutlets are cooked and resting, the orzo should be done, drain it and put a little EVOO in it to keep it from sticking together. Lid it and set aside.
Set aside the used oil and get out another skillet (nonstick is fine). Put over medium heat with the other 2 Tbl chunk of butter.
Cook shallot and garlic until softened, do not brown.
Add wine and cook a couple of minutes.
Stir in 2 tsp cornstarch to the reserved lemon juice (this is a slurry) and add to pan. Stirring constantly.
Add capers and brine, continue to stir. Add lemon zest.
This will probably get pretty tight, so you'll need to add a bit of water to keep it saucy. I added about 1/2 a cup all together. Just add one Tbl at a time until your consistency is that of a light sauce. This should yield about a cup of sauce. Add in a Tbl of parsley after you kill the heat.
Add salt to taste. You want the sauce to be pretty aggressive since it is flavouring the pasta as well as the chicken.
To assemble, put about 3 Tbl of orzo on plate, then lay a cutlet atop that. Put a lemon slice on the cutlet. Spoon 2-3 Tbl of sauce over the lemon and on the pasta. Garnish with some grated parmesan and more parsley (or scallions).
We’ve cut down the drinking, which has helped with sleep and overall health. Not doing much for my overall attitude, tho.
We’ve got a list of inexpensive places to visit here in town that we never have, or like and want to revisit. Since we are still digging out of $20k of CC debt (thanks a ton, MinuteMan), we can’t afford to have an actual vacay. But it’s been so long since we’ve had one, I guess it doesn’t matter any more, right? Sure. Sigh. Here’s our list of ATL attractions:
Carter Center (never been!)
Cyclorama/Atlanta History Center (never been! it is in a new location in Buckhead)
Atlanta Zoo (haven’t been in decades)
Polaris (restaurant atop downtown Hyatt, never been!)
Sundial at Weston, IF they ever turn on the rotation again (thanks, tourists, for fucking this up for all of us)
Botanical Garden (haven’t been in a decade)
Fernbank Science Center (haven’t been in over a decade, this is the small original one with the planetarium and observatory)
Fernbank Museum (never been! I still call it “the new Fernbank” LOL)
Delta Flight Museum (just found out about it!)
Millennium Gate Museum at Atlantic Station (went a few yrs back for a Japanese exhibit, going to see the Bruno Zupan show coming up!)
MODA (Museum of Design Atlanta in Colony Square) waiting for the next exhibit
It’s another year of staycation for us and that makes me sad. I’m just in a constant state of sadness and defeat these days. As I posted a while back, I’m just TIRED of everything.
Nick’s new job is coming along. He’ll be getting a raise in a few weeks. My prep job is fine, but I’ve blown out my right ring finger (trigger finger), so we’ll see how long I can continue – that is my knife grip hand. OF COURSE something happens to ruin it. OF COURSE. We’re slowly, every so slowly, getting ahead of bills. We had $400 extra after rent this month, which hasn’t happened in YEARS. As long as I can limp along at the prep job, my income will continue to beat down the CC debt.
We need so see the dentist (4 yrs), I need to see the gyno (3+ yrs), Shasti needs her check up (she’s on schedule), but as always, we have to pick and choose due to money concerns. Dentist is about $400 for both of us, gyno is about $200 and Shasti will run me about $150 for whatever she needs – thankfully her gums are OK. Oh, and I also desperately need a haircut, which is $80. I am tired just thinking about all this. Sigh.
I’m just existing. I am depressed. I’m going to see if I can find a yoga class we can take, maybe that will help at least get our bodies unwound a bit. I have been thinking about some creative artsy things to do, but my depression is keeping me from even bothering. I’ve had some level of depression since the Pub Debacle™, it is sometimes worse than others. We are in a worse phase, which is typical for this time of year. I have begun doing a one card tarot pull every day. So far, not much in the way of help from that. I’m probably too unfocused to get anything from it, but I’m trying to set a habit. Got a new deck for xmess, so why not? I also got some books about the sabbats, in an effort to reignite my witchy side.
I’ve been trying to cook more as well. I’ve got less free time now, so I try to cook early in the week, like today (Sunday) and tomorrow (Monday). Cooking is still a salve to my raggedy soul. Guess I should see what I can cook this week. Ciao.
I had cauliflower and golden beets without a plan, so when you've got extra veg: make soup! Roasting the veg really brings out the flavor and keeps a good texture. This is a very easy recipe. See notes for variations!
Cuisine American, Indian
Keyword cauliflower, Curry, golden beets
Prep Time 10 minutesminutes
Cook Time 45 minutesminutes
Servings 41 cup servings
Immersion blender or counter blender
1headCauliflower, cut into 1" floretsabout 3 cups
4smallGolden Beets, 1" diceor two large ones
EVOO and S/P
1smallOnion, dicedabout 2/3 cup
2clovesGarlic, mincedabout 2 tsp
1TblbutterI use salted
1TblChicken bouillon skip if using chicken stock, add more salt
1 1/2TblFlourto thicken; optional, but it does add body, too
zest of one lemonoptional
4cupswateror chicken stock, +/- to your desired consistency
2tspsugaroptional, to taste
Heat oven to 425ºF.
Put cauliflower and beets on a sheet pan, drizzle with EVOO and season with S/P. Put in oven for about 45 minutes, until the veg is cooked through and has a little browning. Cauliflower may get done before beets, depending on how you cut them, if that happens, just pull off the cauliflower and cook beets until soft.
While the veg cooks, put the butter, onions and garlic in a saucepan over medium heat. Sweat until soft, then add bouillon (if using), curry, and turmeric to veg and cook a couple of minutes. Then add flour and cook that for 3-4 more minutes.
Add a cup of water (or stock) and the lemon zest (if using) and bring to boil. Turn off heat. Let this stand while the veg finishes cooking.
Once the veg is done, add to saucepan with 2 more cups of water (or stock), then blend to desired consistency with immersion blender. Add water to get the consistency you like.
Check seasoning and add sugar if you want to bring out the sweetness of the beets a bit more. Serve!
To make vegan, simply drop the butter and bouillon. Adjust the seasonings. To make gluten free, drop the flour and use another thickener if desired, or reduce liquids. I used bouillon because I didn't have any stock thawed. Bouillon is a real flavor booster as long as you monitor your salt levels. I think this recipe benefits from using bouillon rather than stock.
2023 came in with lots of stress and anxiety for me.
We’ve been using QuickBooks 2019 Mac since, well, 2019 and the file was getting wonky – it was not saving all our work. This file is over a decade old and very large (over 100mb). SO, we got nervous and decided we’d go to the fucking subscription shit, since we had been told there is no more desktop software support for Mac. LIES. So we tried the online crap and it sucked. Not only would the file not import correctly, the whole online interface sucks balls. In our wisdom of trying this over the holidays, Intuit had the file for weeks and we got very behind. I was having anxiety attacks over this. FINALLY, I got a great tech, who told me there are, indeed, versions of QB for Mac available (20, 21, 22!!) and we absolutely do NOT have to go online. The exact opposite of what the sales weasel said. SO. I canceled the online, we got our fixed file back and we’re rocking on. WHEW.
It has become very apparent that Nick can not handle the POAS load that we’ve been trying to carry. So, we have pretty much shut that shit down and will concentrate on MPB, conventions and the MANY project cabinets we need to get done. Between his fibro and new job, he is just not able to do all these things. It was making me very stressed out, too. Our long distance client in Buford has finally found a specialty support company for all the redemption games, so that is off our plate now, too, which is AWESOME. We were SO relieved when the owner said she found a new support company! Redemption games (Claw, Skee Ball, etc.) were never in our wheelhouse to begin with. Now we can concentrate on fixing her logo and doing some graphics for her – IN OUR WHEELHOUSE!
I’m not impressed with the beginnings of 2023 – the Mercury Retrograde has pretty much fucked all that up, but hey, the bar is now low!
I am pretty much caught up with TEV as of today, which eases my anxiety quite a lot. I need to get the anxiety under control, it is disrupting sleep and causing Lil Tummy™ to be so restrictive I can barely eat. Oh, but no weight has been lost because my Irish peasant genes say:
“Dunna ya worry, lass, we’ll keep ya plump as a partridge to outrun those murderous English bastards!!”
Fucking genes. Sigh.
Today I’m feeling pretty much in control and the anxiety is down by, oh, 80%. But did I sleep well last night? Of course not! And I’ll bet that will continue all week. What I really love is sleeping fine the week I was off from the Prep job, and the night before my 8am shift last week, I get zero sleep. AWESOME. My body is a fucking ASSHOLE.
Today I’ll finish striking the xmess tree and packing all that away. I’ll be thinking about what else I want to change about this year while I do it. There are THINGS. Wish me luck!
As always, I’m pulling over the books I didn’t get to last year and I’m full out dropping a couple that I just could not finish. In process or finished reads are in BOLD. They are not really in any particular order.
I read 31 (and 3/4) books in 2022, a number I’m very happy with. I hope to meet and/or top that this year.
After reading the synopses of these, they are dropped for 2023:
Land of Big Numbers, Te-Ping Chen
Empire of Pain, Patrick Radden Keefe
Things We Lost to the Water, Eric Nguyen
Intimacies, Katie Kitamura
As of Nov 28, I’ve read 35 books (counting GNs) and I’m currently reading Gwendy’s Final Task and The World We Knew. :)
Surprise gifts: Garlic and Sapphires, Ruth Reichl. NYT food critic’s memoir. Really enjoyed it!
Comfort Me With Apples, Ruth Reichl. Another memoir. Very good, but a bit more personal that the one above. This woman hung out with the chefs that we venerate these days: Alice Waters, Jonathan Waxman, Wolfgang Puck – hell, she was even besties with Danny Kaye, who was an amazing gourmet cook!!
Making It So, Sir Patrick Stewart. YES! Got my preorder and started! SO GOOD. Of course, I read it in his voice! He starts at the beginning, in England during WWII when he was born. LOVE IT! (But I will say, it is very much geared towards theatre nerds than Trek nerds.)
Holly, Stephen King. About Holly from the Mr Mercedes books. This character will not let him go!
Book Nick picked up: Gwendy’s Final Task, S King and Richard Chizmar. Final book of the Trilogy: Gwendy’s Button Box, Gwendy’s Magic Feather and this book. It’s NOT AT ALL what I expected, but good in a Stephen King kind of way.
Pulled from a donation pile: Brave New World, Aldous Huxley. Surprisingly readable, considering he’s English and the book is old. HOWEVER, the notion of children being encouraged to “play erotic games” does squick me out a bit. The whole premise is using pleasure and conditioning to control the population. Creepy, man.
Goodwill hurl! (late Aug)
On Gold Mountain, Lisa See. I always get her books.
Wake, Lisa McMann. Some creepy story about people invading your dreams.
A Cat Is Watching, Roger A. Caras. Author is a wildlife authority and this is a book about cats!
Preserving the Harvest, cookbook with tons of canning/preserving info.
Chinese Cuisine, cookbook of authentic Chinese recipes, directly translated from the Chinese. Cool!
Born Standing Up, Steve Martin. His autobiography/memoir. I’ve read some of his fiction – he’s a good writer.
The Revenant, Michael Punke. Yes, the book that the movie is based on.
Drowning Ruth, Christina Schwarz. I think I may have read this long ago? Looks interesting even if I have.
Teachings of Zen, Thomas Cleary. Just curious about Zen.
The Rules of Magic, Alice Hoffman. As I’ve said, I like her writing, so I picked this one up, too.
Ollie’s Graphic Novel HURL Aug 6!
Book: Memories of the Future, Siri Hustvedt. Sounded interesting. Started this (9/6) and while it’s called a novel, it is actually a memoir!! And a GOOD one, too! She’s got a conversational tone rather like Mary Karr and I am IN LOVE with this book!
GNs: Get Jiro!, Anthony Bourdain. I think I’ve got the comics of this? It’s Tony, I’m IN.
Fables: Farewell Last of the series, will hold on this.
Fables: Happily Ever After
Fables: Snow White
Fables: Storybook Love All Fables GNs/collections are done by various writers and artists, but ALL these are Willingham, Buckingham and Leialoha.
Books brought forward:
Fear, Bob Woodward. Yes, THAT Bob Woodward. Nick picked this one, but I’ll read it, it’s about T****.
A Country Road, A Tree, Jo Baker. WWII historical fiction set in Paris. VERY English, which to me, means rather dry and boring. I’ll probably get through it. See next!
To The Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf. I didn’t count this as READ in 2022, I’m about 1/4 into it… Probably won’t finish. VERY English. Blech.
Paper Son, S.J. Rozen.
Fifth Chinese Daughter, forgot about this one, it’s my treadmill book. Finished this one. It’s dry, but OK. You really have to remember it’s written in the 40s and in the Chinese way: third person – even tho it’s an autobiography. It’s odd.
Jasmine, Bharati Mukherjee. This is a short novel and a fast read. The story is pretty good, nothing special. It’s a story about an Indian girl’s journey from a poor, remote Indian village to New York, then to Iowa. The pacing is good, I’d recommend for a good summer read.
The Distance Between Us, Reyna Grande.
The Good Demon, Jimmy Cajoleas.
The Silver Star, Jeannette Walls. This is NOT a memoir, unlike the two books of hers I read last year. I like her voice, I hope it carries into fiction. 8/7 Almost finished. It is a retelling of her rather terrible childhood with different characters. It reads well, but has not much new to offer as far as her stretching her writing abilities.
The Interior, Lisa See. NOT a Chinese historical fiction, more of a mystery. Just started this one Dec 20, so it won’t be finished this year. It’s pretty good. It’s a mystery within a historical setting.
Island of Sea Women, Lisa See. This historical fiction is about the island of Jeju, a Korean island where the women open dive into the sea for food and products to sell. It is a matriarchal society, which is interesting in itself. I picked this one up randomly at Ollies. It is typical See, except for being Korean rather than Chinese. This novel starts during the Japanese occupation of Korea and the island of Jeju (1930s-40s) and covers the decades into the 21st century. It’s a good read.
OLLIES HURL Jan 23!
Fairest: Return of the Maharaja Graphic Novel, various writers and artists. This is an offshoot of the Fables series, which I LOVE for the art! The stories are usually pretty engaging, too. This one is really good! It’s a collection of the comics series for this story line. Excellent!
The World That We Knew, Alice Hoffman. Set in WWII Germany and France. A Jewish girl leaves her home in Germany with a golem her mother had created for her. History AND magic. A good read so far!
Crush, Cathy Alter and Dave Singleton. This is a collection of essays from famous people and their first crushes. It’s pretty interesting. Not a page turner, but good! Almost done with this one, I recommend it.
Burn the Place, Iliana Regan. This is a memoir by Michelin star Chef Iliana Regan. It’s about her life and how she ended up being the renowned chef she is today. It’s a good read! It is about growing up queer AND being a chef, so a great twofer.
The Road Home, Richard Paul Evans. I was hesitant to start this one when I discovered it was the third of a trilogy AND it had a whiff of religion to it, but I started it today and it’s oddly good – no religion so far. Perhaps I resonate because I am familiar with Route 66, but the author also has a conversational tone that reminds me of Stephen King a little bit. It’s my treadmill book and will be a quick read! Good read, does not require reading the first two. Skirts religion nicely. Continue reading “2023 Reading List”