The tasty secret for this dinner was a cilantro sauce that I made from the CSA offering: basically I didn’t want the herbs to go bad, so I threw a bunch of washed cilantro (stems and all) and some (ok, a lot) garlic cloves into the food processor with lemon juice and olive oil. This can be turned into a pesto by adding cheese and nuts, but I wanted more of a base, so I just left it simple.
Sauce ingredients: cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil.
Rice and Broccoli:
I put the rice (I had a basmati/ brown/ wild rice mix) in the rice cooker. When the rice cooker turns off, I threw in some broccoli crowns and closed the lid again so that the broccoli can get steamed.
Next I took about a teaspoon of the cilantro sauce, added a teaspoon of grated parmesan cheese and a touch of water to thin it out and whisked everything together. Pour it over the rice and broccoli.
First the chicken breasts marinated in olive oil with the cilantro sauce – let them be for at least a few hours.
When I cook meat or fish I always take it out of the fridge about 15-20 minutes before cooking. I believe that protein cooks better and more evenly when the starting temperature is not that cold: slapping a cold piece of meat on a super-hot pan makes the muscle fibers contract (don’t think about this 🙂 hence making for chewy dish. There are definitely people in the cooking community that will disagree with me, so do your own research 🙂
After the chicken is just under room temperature I pound it thin – about 1/2 inch or a little more. Keep the chicken in the plastic bag that you marinated it in for easy clean-up.
Heat up the grill pan until very hot. Place the chicken. Wait 3 minutes. Turn it over. Wait 3 more.
Another side dish I served yesterday was Roasted Pearl Onions with Balsamic Sauce – you can see them on the 2nd plate on the picture. The little onions bring a tangy note and would probably do very well on top of a steak.
The method is easy:
1. Preheat the oven to 475F.
2. Bring water to boil, dunk the onions for 15 seconds. Take the onions out with a slotted spoon and dunk them in ice to chill. Peel the outer layer.
3. Whisk together 1 part of each balsamic vinegar and dry red wine with about 1/2 part of soy sauce and olive oil.
4. Toss the onions with the dressing (reserve about 2 tablespoons for serving) and chopped fresh rosemary (optional).
5. Put them in the oven for about 12-15 minutes, checking often. If they stick to the pan, deglaze with more wine.
6. Serve with the remaining dressing.
Ingredients for the onions:
Pearl onions, cut in half; red wine; soy sauce; balsamic vinegar; rosemary; olive oil.