Chicken Piccata

The first time I ever tasted lemony chicken piccata was on my second trip to Italy.  It was in Vatican city at a little Italian restaurant where our tour group ate the meal family style  I’ve enjoyed this dish every since.

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Starts with some melted butter in a pan.  This will be used to cook the chicken. 

I dreged the chicken in some flour, salt and pepper.  Then into the pan to brown.

Once browned, they were taken out of the pan and set aside.  Time to make the sauce.

To the pan, with all the brown bits of flavour goodness, I added fresh lemon juice, white wine and capers.  Perhaps this isn’t a true piccata. I added a hint of dijon for some extra tang. I let it simmer for a bit, then added the chicken back to finish.

Once the chicken is cooked through, I always use a meat thermometer, the chicken is ready to be plated.  This instance, I paired with with some pasta.

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Dinner is served! =)

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Winterlicious 2016

This edition of Winterlicious brought us to Pulcinella Ristorante in South Etobicoke.  Pulcinella specializes in regional Italian dishes, serving seafood, game meats, risotto, pasta and pizza for lunch or dinner.

The menu was expansive!

CHEF’S SOUP OF THE DAY
or
MARIO SALAD
mixed greens with cherry tomatoes, red onion, olives & lemon vinaigrette
or
BEEF CARPACCIO
aaa strip-loin, shaved parmigiano, cracked black pepper

TROUT
boneless filet with farro, cherry tomatoes, capers & black olives
or
NEW YORK STRIP
aaa, truffled compound butter, chive mash potato, market veg
or
CINGHIALE
slow braised ragu of boar, basil, fresh rigatoni, shaved caciocavello cheese
or
CIOPPINO
fisherman’s stew of shrimp, bay scallop, calamari, fish filet, tomato broth & sarde fregola pastina

BANANA BREAD PUDDING

served warm with caramel sauce
or
TIRAMISU
whipped mascarpone, kahlua, espresso and lady fingers
or
CHOCOLATE GANACHE CAKE
deep, rich and decadent

First the wine, a delicious Pinot Noir

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Appetizer – Beef Carpaccio.  Thinly shaved beef, lightly peppered and salted, with slivers of parmigiana and spicy arugula.

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Main course – Cioppino

For dessert – Chocolate Ganache Cake

From the first sip of wine to the last bite of cake, this was a lovely meal.  The beef carpaccio was classically made pairing the thinly sliced raw beef with parm and arugula.  I was in love with the cioppino.  An endless bowl of seafood – mussels, calamari, shrimp, scallops and fish in a fragrant and tasty tomato broth.  Little bits of pastina with every bite.  So good, it had to be shared.  A sweet ending with the chocolate ganache cake.  Now, I expected something a little different.  I was expecting a chocolate cake with a ganache icing.  Instead, the cake was more of a mousse cake.  Very rich and decadent.

The restaurant itself was lively and full.  When we arrived, they had live music for the first little while and then the sounds of laughing and conversation took over.   People feasted on pizza and salumi boards.  It all looked so good.  The servers were friendly and attentive, ours full of jokes.

If you ever find yourself in South Etobicoke, checkout this fine Italian establishment.  You won’t be let down.

=)

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast

I think this attempt at cooking came after watching an episode of You Gotta Eat Here.  The host was at a restaurant where the chef was making stuffed chicken breast.  I thought to myself, I feel like making that.

So then the question became what did I have  in my fridge that I could use to make stuffed chicken?  Well, obviously I had chicken.  I also had some spinach, blue cheese and bacon.  I thought what great ingredients to use as stuffing!

Well, one thing about me is that as much as like to play girl scout and be prepared and ready with a plan, I do often times change my mind last-minute.  And that is what happened in this case.  Stuffed chicken turned into bacon wrapped chicken.

The first thing I did was slice the chicken breast in half and with a mallet, flatten it slightly. I then seasoned with salt and pepper and layered spinach leaves down.  On top of the spinach, layer some blue cheese.  Now the fun part, wrapping it all with bacon.  IMG_2613_Fotor_Collage

Each chicken piece took about two strips of bacon, three if I was feeling generous and wanted full coverage.  Then it all went into the oven to bake until the chicken reached 165 degrees and a few minutes under the broiler to crisp up the bacon. Then you have it, bacon wrapped chicken breast. =)