Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Foodie Files

I come from a long line of foodies…in fact I dare say it’s one of the things that binds us together.  Like other families, we have our fair share of arguments and disagreements.  Unlike other families, said fights are as likely to be about who is responsible for bringing lite syrup into the house as anything else.  We’re passionate about making, eating, buying, sharing and talking about food.  And we do all of the above…a lot.

I had a light bulb moment a few short weeks ago while narrowing down ideas for what would eventually become our weekly editorial calendar.  If Design-Muse is a reflection of me in any way, to not include a space for cooking would seem almost dishonest.  I may not be a professional chef or even a terribly experienced home cook, but what I lack in credentials I make up for in enthusiasm.  And as I’m finding out, passion does count for something.  It actually kind of counts for everything.

My plan for The Foodie Files is to present original recipes I’ve created, tweaked and tried throughout the week.  This isn’t just a space to post recipes that sound good to me- if I haven’t made it myself, it simply won’t make the cut. 

Due to the snow (and, more specifically, Nashville’s general lack of plows and salt), I had to come up with a recipe using only what I could find in my cabinets and refrigerator.  This presented an interesting, but very realistic challenge.  I was at a loss until I noticed the surplus of pistachios, at which point I realized how much I like the phrase ‘pistachio encrusted’.  From that point, it was pretty much game on.  I’d never attempted encrusting something in pistachio before, but it seemed as good a time as any to try.  I had a pretty small crowd of three (including myself) to feed, and there was more than enough to go around but you can adjust the measurements below if you're feeding more.  I was really pleased with the results, which went a little something like this….


6 pieces of chicken tenderloin
½ cup crushed pistachios
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs   
1½ tablespoons honey
1 egg
¼ cup flour
Salt & Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Crush pistachios by placing them in a Ziploc bag and pressing with a spoon.  Try to resist the urge to pulverize them…one good squash over each area of the bag should do. 

In a shallow bowl, combine pistachios and Panko breadcrumbs.  Mix until both ingredients are evenly distributed. 

In a separate bowl, combine your egg and honey.  Mix well.

In yet another bowl, pour your flour.

Lightly season your chicken tenderloins with salt and pepper then coat them in flour, egg, and crumbs (in that order). 

Coat the bottom of a large skillet with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and heat over a medium-high setting.  Allow a few minutes for your oil to heat up- the amount of time it takes will vary depending on the type of pan and stove you’re using.  For this recipe, you’ll want the oil to be hot enough to brown the outsides of the chicken…if it doesn’t sizzle when placed in the pan, bump up the heat just a tad until it does. 

Once both sides are browned (about 2½ minutes per side), lower your heat to just below medium and allow chicken to sauté for an additional 15 minutes. 

The finished product should be salty, sweet, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.  I served the chicken alongside spinach gnocchi with butter sage sauce and a Caprese inspired salad with crispy pancetta but it’s versatile enough to work with many different sides (when in doubt, protein + greens + starch = meal).  Let me know if you get a chance to give it a go!


Unknown said...

I'm going to try this chicken...ASAP. Looks awesome!

Unknown said...

Love this. Real Italians make something good from whatever is available

Anonymous said...

This looks so good....I cannot wait to try it!

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