Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"It squeaks when you bang it"

I’ve been pretty excited since getting a subscription to Gourmet (Birthday present from my bro/sis in-laws) and Cooking Light (Christmas present from the LOML). It’s fun to flip through the pages, but I have resolved (well, not an official New Year’s resolution or anything) to actually cook some of these dishes this year (or at least after April 15th)!

Well, last night we tried Parmesan and Sage crusted Chicken (substituted for Pork) with Creamy Polenta and Sautéed Broccoli Rabe (or Rapini) out of December’s Cooking Light. I knew this was going to be a juggling act to try and have all three dishes finish at the same time, and I came pretty close. If I had to do it all over again, I would have waited until the chicken and rapini were done, before cooking the polenta (it can get too hard pretty fast . . . that’s . . . what . . . sorry, can’t resist).

For those not familiar with Polenta, it’s basically an Italian version of Grits, and the instant version literally takes 2 minutes to cook. This recipe called for Mascarpone, which was good, because I’m not sure what else I can use the leftover Mascarpone I have for (yes, I realize I could make a Tiramisu, but this is busy season, I don’t have all day).

I had never eaten Broccoli Rabe before, but it’s kind of like a cross between Broccoli and a Turnip Green. Everything I’ve read on the internet describe it as a “bitter” green, but I thought it was very tasty and not bitter at all. I may have just found a new favorite vegetable side dish?? Before sautéing, I boiled the rapini for 3 minutes to take the edge off. Then toss with a little olive oil, minced garlic and lemon juice and you have some tasty greens.

All in all, I’d say the meal turned out pretty good. Sadly, as Busy Season “heats up” I don’t know how much time we’ll have for these meals . . . (cue Debbie Downer “wah, wah, wah . . .”)


Auntie D. said...

Looks delicious! Glad to see that you have discovered broccoli rabe (well known in the east). I have a suggestion for future boneless chicken or shrimp; have you ever used Panko crumbs? They have Italian flavored Panko crumbs by Progresso. It makes the crunchiest coating you could ever imagine. First you dredge chicken in flour, then egg, then crumbs. Outstanding! Mimi/Auntie D.

jccvi said...

Broccoli Rabe is some good stuff. I had it for the first time when I ordered garlic broccoli from a vietnamese restaurant and it came out looking not at all like we expected. Really good though.

Interestingly, I think broccoli rabe was the original sub topping among Italian dock workers on the east coast. So if you're ever stuck with some leftovers, it's culturally acceptable, even slightly cosmopolitan, to throw that stuff on an Italian roll.

May I add that I really like the direction you're taking the blog. I can talk about food with way more authority than music at this point in my life.

Alex said...

JC6, you have no idea how happy I am to get your endorsement! Good trivia on the Italian sandwich topping, too.

PS – have you seen the “teaser” trailer to $5 Cover??