Monthly Archives: June 2022

Chicken Parmigiana- “Pizza Style”

Hi everyone,

Welcome Summer 2022!

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I wanted to share with you the special dinner I made Bob for Father’s Day this past weekend.

I hope all the dads, grandpa’s, godfathers, dad’s to be and pet dads had a wonderful day!

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I knew restaurants would be crowded for Father’s Day and we would be staying home, so I was thinking about a meal that I could make for Bob that would be a surprise. Something I could make at home that wasn’t on the usual dinner rotation, and then the lightbulb went off.

A few years ago, before my heart transplant and Covid arrived, Bob and I spent many days and nights in NYC visiting restaurants, museums, Broadway plays, and yes, even tourist sights. We love NYC.

One afternoon we stopped in a restaurant near Chelsea Market that was a real old-fashioned Mom and Pop red sauce Italian restaurant (sorry I can’t remember the name) and we ordered their special of the day which was chicken parmigiana but in the style of a pizza. Ground chicken with mozzarella, red sauce, and basil- plain, simple and delicious.

Recently, I have asked around on Facebook and with friends to see if anyone knew of a restaurant closer to my home that made this dish and no one could give me an answer. So, I decided for this Father’s Day I would try and make it myself.

So I did a little research on the best way to fry the chicken in a disc and gathered my ingredients and put it all together. Bob was quite surprised and enjoyed the chicken parmigiana “pizza” style as we remembered the little restaurant where we first tasted it.

It came out great but the only thing I would change next time is the size of the pizza. I only had an 8″ cake pan and a 10″ high-sided skillet and the chicken crust came out a little thicker than I would have liked so I would prepare this again using a 10″ cake pan and fry it in a 12″ high-sided skillet next time. But we were very happy with the results and I wanted to share this recipe with you…..

Chicken Parmigiana – “Pizza Style”

Ingredients:

1 lb. of ground chicken

3-4 cups of Breadcrumbs (I made my own from Italian bread and seasoned them myself) but you could use packaged Italian seasoned breadcrumbs or panko or a combination of both breadcrumbs styles- your choice. —– Season the breadcrumbs with dried parsley and some grated cheese for extra flavor.

6 large eggs, beaten and seasoned with salt and pepper

2 cups flour, seasoned

Shredded mozzarella cheese or thin-sliced mozzarella

Additional grated cheese for serving- I use Locatelli cheese

1 cup red sauce – I used homemade sauce but you could use jarred sauce or canned pizza sauce.

6 leaves of fresh basil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp poultry seasoning

1/2 tbsp garlic powder

1/2 tbsp oregano

dried parsley

3 cups peanut oil (I use that to fry) but you could use canola or a light olive oil

COOKS NOTE: any leftover eggs and seasoned breadcrumbs can be combined and fried. My grandmother called these “egg cutlets” and they are crispy and delicious. Give them a try…

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Materials needed:

I prefer a 10” round cake pan (I used an 8 ” cake pan for this pizza)

12” deep-sided round skillet or saute pan

2 large metal spatulas

Wire rack

3 aluminum half-size steam table trays (for easy clean-up for the breading station).

Pizza stone or cookie sheet

Directions:

Let’s get ready to prep… this meal takes two days

In a bowl, season your ground chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and poultry seasoning

Make the crust– use a cake pan lined with plastic wrap and add the seasoned ground chicken. Mold the chicken into a thin circular disc. Then wrap in the plastic wrap and place in the freezer overnight.

READY FOR THE FREEZER

The next day, prepare your breading station. I used 3 aluminum half-size trays for flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs

Take the chicken out of the freezer and do not thaw

(Food saver gloves can come in handy now)

Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour until fully coated then shake off the excess.

Next drop the chicken disc into the eggs, coat fully, and shake off excess

Then into the breadcrumbs. Pat the breadcrumbs into the chicken but be gentle not to break the chicken disc. Fill all the areas on both sides until there is no more egg or chicken visible. The disc has to be fully coated in breadcrumbs.

Then wrap the disc and put it back in the freezer for another hour to firm up.

Once the hour is over, remove the chicken from the freezer and work quickly before it starts to thaw.

Heat the oil on medium in a high-sided skillet or sauté pan (approx. 1 inch of oil in the pan). When the oil is hot ADD the frozen chicken disc, it should sizzle immediately.

COOKS NOTE: you can tell when the oil is hot enough by placing a wooden spoon in the oil- when bubbles appear, the oil is hot enough to fry…

When the edges of the chicken start to look golden, with the two metal spatulas, gently lift the chicken from the skillet onto a plate. Place another plate over it and gently flip the chicken.

Now gently slide the chicken back into the oil and fry the 2nd side until fully brown.

Remove the chicken and let it dry on a wire rack.

At this point, preheat the broiler to high

Place the chicken on a pizza stone or cookie sheet pan and assemble the chicken like a pizza……. Add sauce, then grated cheese, and then shredded mozzarella.

Place under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown. Garnish with fresh torn basil.

Cut and serve as a pizza. Side dishes to complement the pizza can be salad or sauteed broccoli rabe. Enjoy!

I hope you try this recipe and enjoy every bite!

To finish our Father’s Day celebration, I bought Bob a chocolate mousse cheesecake with a thick ganache topping to complete the celebration.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” “share” and JOIN  DishingwithDiane.com 

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IT WAS A GREAT MEAL

Eggplant Two Ways

Hi everyone,

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I just wanted to share a repost for some eggplant recipes….. I purchased 4 small eggplants this week and couldn’t decide what I wanted to use them for and it was a toss-up between eggplant stacks and eggplant boats.

Since the eggplants were small and I couldn’t decide, I prepared the eggplants as both, stacks and boats.

I made simple fried eggplant slices and stacked them with mozzarella and tomatoes (no sauce needed) and topped them with roasted peppers.

This is a simple meal similar to Eggplant Parmigiana but without the need for tomato sauce and baking.

The easy recipe for fried eggplant stacks can find a home on your Summer Barbecue Buffet Table as an appetizer or a side dish.

The second recipe is Eggplant Boats stuffed with sauteed ground beef, or sausage (out of the casing), or a combination of both mixed together, with the addition of grated cheese, tomatoes, basil, oregano, and a mozzarella topping. This makes a great entree for lunch or dinner served with a side salad.

Cooks Note: I sometimes add sauteed mushrooms to the mix, but it is great with or without.

I hope you give both recipes a try this summer when the eggplants are plentiful. The recipes are below:

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Fried Eggplant Stacks with Tomato, Mozzarella, and Roasted Peppers.

Ingredients:

2 medium-size eggplants or 4 smaller eggplants

6 eggs, lightly beaten

Italian flavored breadcrumbs or homemade breadcrumbs

Grated Locatelli cheese (you can also use Parmesan)

Salt and pepper

Dried oregano or parsley to taste

1 lb. thinly sliced fresh mozzarella 

4 medium fresh tomatoes (heirloom or vine)

Olive oil for frying

Fresh chopped basil (optional)

Roasted peppers (optional)

Directions:

Slice the eggplants into ¼ inch rounds.

Set up a breading station with egg and breadcrumbs

Place the beaten eggs seasoned with salt and pepper in a shallow bowl with a rim. Add a little water to thin out the egg.

Blend grated cheese into the breadcrumbs and add dried oregano.

Dip the eggplant slices into the eggs, then into the breadcrumbs. Set aside on a cookie sheet. Be careful not to overcrowd the cutlets on the cookie sheet; the breading could fall off the cutlet.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the eggplant in batches, turning them when the edges get brown. Transfer the cooked eggplant to a paper towel-lined cookie sheet.

Cooks Note: change the oil in the skillet when it starts to get black from all the cooked breadcrumbs that fall off. You don’t want that burnt taste on your eggplant slices.

While the eggplants are draining on paper towels – cut your mozzarella into rounds (or you could buy pre-sliced mozzarella) and cut your tomatoes into rounds- width is your choice. I also added some roasted peppers as a topping (optional).

Start your stacking- eggplant slice, mozzarella slice, tomato slice, and repeat. Top with roasted peppers if using.

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Stuffed Eggplant Boats

Ingredients:

2 small long eggplants

(1 lb.) pkg. of ground beef or ground turkey

(1 lb.) sausage meat, out of the casing

3-4 fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped, or use grape tomatoes (halved)

4 tbsp. grated cheese

6 basil leaves, shredded

Sprigs of parsley, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

Olive oil

Mozzarella cheese, shredded for topping eggplants

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Wash the eggplant, cut them in half lengthwise, and scoop out the flesh. Salt the cavities, put the eggplant in a baking pan, cover the pan with aluminum foil, and bake for 20 minutes (they should be soft but not mushy)

Add the flesh from the eggplant to a food processor and pulse just a few times to make small pieces to fill the eggplant.

Heat ¼ cup olive oil with the garlic. Season the ground meat and sausage with salt and pepper and add to the oil and sauté until it begins to turn brown.

Add the diced eggplant. Cook for 5 minutes over a medium flame, then increase the heat and add the tomatoes and the basil leaves.

After 5 minutes, turn off the burner, and stir in the parsley and grated cheese. Check the seasoning.

Stuff the hollowed-out eggplant with the filling, top with shredded mozzarella and heat them in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes.

Serve them hot or warm

Cooks Note: the extra filling can be cooked in another pan or saved in the refrigerator for another meal.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” “share” and JOIN  DishingwithDiane.com 

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Welcome Summer – Favorite Burrata Salad

Hi Everyone,

Hope you are all well.

Today I want to Welcome the month of June and to me, that means summer is here…

I don’t know what it is about June 1st that makes me so happy. When I was a child it was the anticipation of the end of school and summer break and I guess I never outgrew that excitement that the summer months with hot days spent at the beach, picnics, and enjoying lazy summer days with family and friends were approaching.

For the last few years, I have had my own little celebration on this day and I always make my favorite “Summer Salad” to get me in the summer mood.

The salad ingredients are tomatoes (preferable heirlooms in gorgeous colors of yellow, red, green, and amber) and burrata cheese, and peaches drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil leaves, and a touch of balsamic glaze.

Sometimes I put the salad on a bed of arugula, but without any lettuce is just as good. So I wanted to share this salad with you today.

For those who are not familiar with burrata cheese, it is an Italian cow milk cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer casing is solid cheese, while the inside contains stracciatella and cream, giving it an unusual, soft texture.

If you don’t have burrata, you can use mozzarella balls also known in Italian as “Ciliegine” (cherry size- see below) or mozzarella pearls (very tiny), or any soft cheese of your choice.

The company “BelGioioso” sells both burrata and mozzarella in containers in most supermarkets.

Here is a guide to Soft Italian cheese so you can choose a substitute for your salad…

For an added bonus, serve this salad with your favorite grilled or toasted bread to soak up the juices from the salad. My choice is always Madonia Bakery (Bronx, NY) fennel and golden raisin bread. Use your favorite artisan bread of choice.

I am listing the ingredients but not the amounts because that depends on how many people you are serving.

Ingredients:

  • Burrata cheese (or mozzarella balls aka in Italian “Ciliegine”)
  • Tomatoes (preferably Heirloom)
  • Fresh peaches
  • Fresh basil leaves (whole or chiffonade)
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dried oregano (OPTIONAL)
  • Arugula (OPTIONAL)

Cook’s Note: serve with toasted or grilled Italian bread or artisan bread of your choice

Enjoy your salad and your summer.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” “share” and JOIN  DishingwithDiane.com 

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.