Sunday, February 5, 2012

Chicken Piccata

Piccata is an Italian word. And thus we conclude this week's Guide to Italian Cuisine by Jen and Joe. Come back next week when we will dive into the dessert menu. 



  • 6 ounces whole-wheat angel hair pasta
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 chicken cutlets, (3/4-1 pound total), trimmed
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 10-ounce package mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons butter


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk 5 teaspoons flour and broth in a small bowl until smooth. Place the remaining flour in a shallow dish. Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper and dredge both sides in the flour. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and no longer pink in the middle, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; cover and keep warm.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they release their juices and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add garlic and wine to the pan and cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the reserved broth-flour mixture, lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in parsley, capers, butter and the reserved mushrooms. Measure out 1/2 cup of the mushroom sauce. Toss the pasta in the pan with the remaining sauce. Serve the pasta topped with the chicken and the reserved sauce.

Barley salad

Do you like potlucks? Of course you do, who doesn't. Do you like Reser's salads? Of course you don't, NO one does! Then stop buying gross "picnic salads" from Safeway and start making delicious summer salads with veggies and grains.

  • 1 cup uncooked barley
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn (or about 3 ears fresh corn)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into small strips
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Cook barley according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. In a large bowl, mix barley, corn, peppers, and onion.
  3. Mix dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Double chocolate mocha cookies

Cookies, check. Chocolate, double check. Espresso, check. These cookies have passed the quality check of the Joe test kitchen and are yumm approved. 

  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons bitter, softened and divided
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 ounces white chocolate
  1. Melt bittersweet chocolate and 2 tablespoons butter in small heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring often. Add espresso powder; stir until dissolved. Remove mixture from heat; stir in vanilla. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Beat remaining 1/2 cup butter and sugar in a large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in bittersweet chocolate mixture and egg. Gradually add flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat at low speed until well blended. Cover; refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm.
  3. Preheat oven to 375. Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten with fork dipped in sugar. Bake 9-10 minutes or until set. Immediately remove cookies to wire racks; cool completely.
  4. Place white chocolate in a small resealable plastic food storage bag; seal bag. Microwave 30 seconds per side. Knead bag until chocolate is smooth. Cut tip off bag and drizzle decoratively over cookies.