Thursday, February 19, 2009

Top Chef + Weeknight Dinner

In Top Chef news, I really enjoyed Emeril as a judge. I know he was one of the first 'celebrity chefs' and he seems to have his fingers in many pies (TV, houseware line, magazine articles, etc.) but I can definitely say that the tasting menu at the New Orleans Fish House in Las Vegas was one of the finest meals I've ever eaten. He knows how to run a restaurant and make his customers happy, and I've only heard great things about his other places.

As for the actual challenge, I personally think that KitchenKen should've gotten the win, if only for the cocktail. Both his and CrazyCarla's dishes were spot-on, but I think he should've gotten the nod because his cocktail was more complex and matched better than Carla's (then again, I'm judging this by what I see, not what the judges taste). However, I'm a bit iffy about this season - I feel that the producers have more of a say, as BorkBorkBork is still around, giving the audience a villain to root for in the finale (based on last night's challenge, it should be KitchenKen, CrazyCarla and the Prophet in the final).

Prediction: CrazyCarla completes the Cindarella story and takes out the baldies. Put it on the board.

Life has been busier than most, with just less than 3 months to the end of graduate school. It's kept me busy, and my cooking hasn't been super-interesting. After the jump you'll find an easy recipe for prosciutto-sage chicken breasts with sauteed spinach. Even you could make this one, Eric.

Chicken with Prosciutto and Sage (serves 4)
1/4 cup AP flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 sage leaves, whole
4 chicken cutlets
4 thin slices prosciutto
4 tsp olive oil
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp cold butter

4 sage leaves, minced

Mix flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.
Place a sage leaf on each chicken cutlet.
Wrap a prosciutto slice around each cutlet, covering the sage.
Dredge the chicken cutlets in the flour, shaking off excess.
Heat 2 tsp oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high. Cook 2 cutlets until cooked through and golden brown, 3 minutes per side. Put in a warm oven (lowest possible temp) to keep warm.
Repeat with remaining oil and cutlets.
Add wine and broth, reduce to 1/4 original volume over high heat . Remove from heat, cool for 1 minute, then stir in cold butter and melted sage. Spoon sauce over cutlets on serving plates.

Sauteed Spinach with Raisins
1 tbsp oil
1.5 lb spinach leaves
1/4 cup raisins (I use regular, golden is more traditional)
salt and pepper

Warm oil in a skillet. Add 1/3 spinach, stir and wilt, then add another 1/3, stir and wilt, and add remaining spinach, stir and wilt, 3-4 minutes total. Remove from heat, stir in raisins, season with salt and pepper, and serve.