Get new posts by email:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Rosie Daley's Un-Fried Chicken

This is a finger lickin' dish from Rosie Daley's book, In The Kitchen With Rosie, that I've been making for years! I owe many thanks to spa-trained Daley, who helped Oprah lose all that weight back in the mid-90's, and taught me a wonderful methodology to use when making any kind of food. What joy I found back then, discovering ways to make perfectly reasonable meals that are low-fat and health-conscious--there is so much flavor cleverly incorporated into Rosie's creations, using spices that are probably already in your pantry.

Instead of dealing with removing the skin from chicken drummers and breasts as the recipe below suggests, I just buy boneless chicken breasts. I also skip the whole ice bath process and thaw my chicken until it is malleable but still cold, so the yogurt will cling to the chicken before being marvelously, lightly breaded with proportions of the spice ingredients that best suit your fancy!

Rosie Daley's Un-Fried Chicken
Makes 12 pieces
Light vegetable oil cooking spray
3 whole chicken breasts, halved and skin removed
3 1/2 cups ice water
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt

1 cup dried Italian bread crumbs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Coat a baking sheet with 3 sprays of the vegetable oil.
Put the chicken in a large bowl with the ice water. Put the yogurt into a medium bowl. Set both bowls aside.
Toss all the breading ingredients into a large, tightly-sealing plastic bag. Seal and shake well to mix.
Remove 2 pieces of chicken from the ice water. Roll each piece in the yogurt. Put the chicken into the plastic bag, reseal, and shake to coat thoroughly. Transfer the breaded chicken to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the process until all 12 pieces are breaded. Spray the chicken lightly with the vegetable oil.
Place the baking sheet on the bottom shelf of the oven and bake for 1 hour, turning the pieces every 20 minutes to allow even browning.
Serve hot or at room temperature.

The finished dish! Go green and dress with haricot vert as I did, seen here. Thanks, Rosie!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Next Magazine - Between The Bread

The line may be long come lunchtime at Bottino (246 10th Ave, 212-206-6766, pictured here, but the wait never is. The folks that work there move fast! From the list of sandwiches, the tuna with chopped red onion is my go-to, on a bed of peppery arugula and tomato and nestled between slices of your choice of Tuscan white (my favorite), baguette, wheat, focaccia or multigrain. I wouldn’t say no to the Prosciutto and mascarpone sammie with basil, either.
A rare, thinly sliced roast beef deli sandwich is the perfect thing to take out at Lunch Box (886 Ninth Ave, 212-489-9642, The meat is stuffed in a chewy baguette with frilly lettuce, American cheese, horseradish sauce and creamy avocado. Do consider sharing: this one is better suited for two.
Gird your loins. The Mish Mash at Mile End Sandwich (53 Bond St, 212-529-2990,, the Noho outpost of the Jewish delicatessen, is a bit of a mess and hardly your typical breakfast nosh. They throw scrambled eggs in an onion roll with some salami—naturally a beef frank goes there, too—and caramelized onions for what is undoubtedly a resounding finish.
Alobar (46-42 Vernon Blvd, LIC, 718-752-6000, has a Duck Confit “Sloppy Joe” that layers smoked ricotta, a trifle of truffles, onions marinated in red wine and a sunny-side up duck egg between the bread. In case you’re feeling skittish, mixed greens are on the plate to provide a delusional balance.
Outrageous Rocket Pig (463 W 24th St, 212-645-5660, took off a few months ago as a new venture from chef Ralf Kuettel of Trestle on Tenth. The menu is a straight shot, specializing mostly in the huge and heavenly Rocket Pig Sandwich with spice-rubbed pork, red-onion jam and mustard-y sauce on an exquisite ciabatta roll. Rocket Pig hot sauce comes on the side, along with a house-made pickle. When there’s “No More Pig” they put out a sign saying so, and that happens quite often.
Txikito (240 Ninth Ave, 212-242-4730,, pronounced chee-kee-toe, is a tiny, intimate little shoebox with one of the most gleefully shameless burgers in town. The El Doble, set amidst the  usual Basque creations of of Eder Montero and Alex Raij, is only available during lunch, so if you can’t make it during work—play hooky!
The boys are also doing their stuff at El Quinto Pino (401 W 24th St, 212-206-6900,, featuring fantastic, sumptuous sea urchin (or briny peanut butter as I often call it) laced with a gently biting mustard oil pressed in the middle of the most delectable warm and crusty bread from Tom Cat bakery in Brooklyn, which apparently delivers to this joint exclusively.
Lyon (118 Greenwich Ave, 212-242-5966, presents a well-executed taste of Lyonnaise fare, in the dusted-off space formerly known as Bruxelles. The Croque Monsieur is not as good as it was during the previous occupancy, but the Croque Madame with smoky ham, cheese and béchamel topped with a fried egg just might make you forget.
A mere 12 clams gets you a pint of brew and a Shorty Cheesesteak at Shorty’s (576 Ninth Ave, 212-967-3055, Choose a Stella Artois and order the Shorty with the works. It arrives as if sent down from the heavens above, tidily wrapped in swaddling paper with everything kissing a scrumptious Italian Hoagie Roll from Philly’s own LeBus Bakery. Grilled onions (sandwiches are served ‘witout’ them unless you ask), Wiz (their version of Cheese Whiz), shredded lettuce, sliced tomato and a side of mayonnaise are all beyond.

First published in part in Next magazine

Friday, August 10, 2012

Grill, Un-interrupted


Baby and I are probably the only people you have perhaps ever encountered who travel with their own meat and basting brushes. To clarify, we were heading to the wilds of Maine with a fine grilled menu in mind and were unsure of the cuts of beef we may find there, and as we were renting, who knew what cooking utensils the kitchen might hold? We at least were assured that there would be a grill, as transporting that might prove to be cumbersome.

Behold our lovely centerpiece, composed of driftwood and curls of birch bark that we found along the shores of Muscongus Bay...

and frilly ferns, great leaves, twigs, tiny pine cones and berries from along the hill next to our pot that would soon hold roasted corn.

Grilled Romaine lettuce!

Tonight's Menu
Roasted Pepper S'mores--an old Martha Stewart classic that I've been making for years. Splitting a variety of brightly colored peppers in half (try to keep them hinged), remove the seeds. Stuff with slices of mozzarella cheese and sprigs of rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil inside and out, with ground salt and fresh black pepper. Close up the peppers and get to grilling until cheese has melted and the peppers have those lovely char marks. 
Roasted Corn--brush your ears, husks and all, with olive oil and roast on the grill for at least 45 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel and delight in smoky revelry, rolled in lots of butter.  
Grilled Romaine Lettuce with Lemon-Anchovy Vinaigrette--click here and add anchovy paste to the dressing and sub lemon juice for the Champagne vinegar. Brush your greens with vigor before tossing on the grill.
Chimichurri Steak--click here for a version of the sauce with Rib-Eye steaks. Ours were flank cuts.
Strawberry Shortcake--nothing easier than the best berries you can find with some cream of tartar biscuits and Cool Whip!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme - For Dinner!

As Baby is off to an exotic locale for work over the next few weeks, I wanted to create a celebratory bon voyage dinner. While plotting the simple, summery sit-down, I realized I had inadvertently composed a paean to Simon and Garfunkel with my four basic components: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme! Since the classic tune from The Graduate is one of Baby's favorites, I felt I'd chartered an appropriate course for our courses.

Tonight's Menu
Gin Daisy Cocktail
Parsley & Mint Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Rosemary Chicken with Truffled Wild Mushroom Polenta and Crispy Sage
White Peach Sorbet with Thyme

I set the table in a gentle palette of green and cream with the towering bouquet of flowers and touches of gold found in the cups, saucers and plates.

Patrician Depression plates revealed unbelievably intricate, hand-stitched antique doilies beneath that Baby and I found in Thomaston, Maine. When spread across the table, threading the centerpiece, the doilies also served as a magnificent runner.

Battery powered votives in cups and saucers from a chocolate service set lent a genteel touch from a yesteryear, without any clotting wax!

The Gin Daisy finds it origins from the Prohibition era libation, I believe. Though the cocktail features grenadine for sweet and club soda for fizz added to combat the gin, I just cut to the chase and shook extraordinary Brooklyn-distilled Dorothy Parker gin (infused with such things as cinnamon and hibiscus) with cracked ice, poured it into a martini glass and added a topper of sparkling SANPELLEGRINO Limonata, with a frilly mint garnish. Delicious!


A simple parsley and mint salad was up first, the dressing easily made. Squeeze the juice from half of a lemon, incorporate a finely chopped shallot, and whisk together with a tablespoon or so of Dijon mustard and a good shot of olive oil (about half a cup). Season this with freshly ground black pepper and throttle in a self-contained vessel for about 30 seconds. A wicked trick and no blender required=nothing much to clean up!

Pre-cooked polenta came out of a hefty tube, and was tamed by herb bouillon in a risotto pan. I had sauteed wild mushrooms in butter and black truffle oil in a separate saute pan and they were tossed in next, given due time to mingle. In the same saute pan I'd used for the mushrooms, I crisped a few fronds of sage that would be added in later.

Warming up the grilled chicken that had been marinated in olive oil and rosemary, with a filigree of fresh rosemary...

The polenta with wild mushrooms and crispy sage provided a fine cushion for the plated conclusion.

Frozen slices of white peaches (any pre-packaged bag of frozen fruit would do nicely too) went into the Vitamix blender for dessert, after they relented slightly to more temperate conditions. Spooned into small footed bowls, with a drizzle of blueberry honey and laces of thyme, our refreshing confection quite settled our Scarborough fare.

Do enjoy!

Soundtrack: Billy Vaughn, Blue Hawaii; Lalo Schifrin, Mambo in Paris; Art Pepper, Surf Ride; Joni James, Like 3 O'clock in the Morning; Sarah Vaughan, Sarah Sings Mancini.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Next Magazine - Paella de Mariscos

Executive chef Alex Garcia’s Latino-American cuisine enlivens the flavor of the Upper West Side with A.G. Kitchen. He was kind enough to share his recipe for a sprawling fish paella that will not only delight your guests, but will also have them diving in for seconds!

Paella de Mariscos
Yield: 6 servings
Olive oil, for sautéing
Two white onions divided: one diced large, one diced small
Two green peppers, divided: one diced large, one diced small
Two one and a half-pound lobsters, heads removed and reserved, tail sliced into one-inch thick pieces, and claws cracked
Eight ounces large shrimps, peeled and cleaned, shells reserved
One cup canned tomato sauce
Half cup white wine
Two cups clam juice
Two cups water
Two bay leaves
Two cups Arborio rice
Twenty-four little neck clams
Twenty-four mussels
Eight ounces sea scallops, cleaned
One package Latin Spice Co. paella seasoning

In a large stockpot, add enough olive oil to thinly coat bottom of pan. Sauté large diced onion and large diced pepper until translucent. Add lobster heads and shrimp shells. Cook until color starts turning red. Add tomato sauce, white wine, and one bay leaf. Add clam juice and water. Cook for at least two hours, then strain. In a medium stockpot, sauté small diced onion, small diced pepper until translucent. Add rice, calms, mussels, second bay leaf, and a pinch of saffron. Add all strained seafood stock and cook until rice is soft, approximately twenty minutes. Add shrimps, scallops, and lobster. Cook approximately eight minutes.

Grilled Calamari Salad Garnish
4 calamari tubes, cleaned, grilled and sliced in 1/3” rings
½ red onion, julienne
1 plum tomato, cut into petals and julienne
1 T olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

A.G. Kitchen is located at 269 Columbus Ave. Visit for more info.

Photo Credit: Gustavo Monroy

First published in part in Next magazine

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Deb's Whoopie Pies

I'm not sure if you know about Whoopie Pies. I grew up with them in New England, and they seemed to have skipped over to Pennsylvania without much notoriety between the states or beyond. Please let me know where you're from and if you've ever had these creamy, chocolatey treats. Our neighbor Debbie just down the road from our place in Friendship, Maine shared her recipe for Whoopie Pies to be featured on Evenings With Peter. She doubles the whole shebang because people always want more! Thanks so much Debbie!

Deb's Whoopie Pies
1/2 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. flour
1/3 c. Hershey cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c. milk

Oven 350 degrees
Beat shortening, sugar, egg and vanilla until fluffy. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add alternately with milk to shortening mixture. Drop dough by tspoons on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes or less depending how moist you want cookies.

4 TBS softened butter
4 TBS shortening
1 c. marshmallow creme or Fluff
1 1/3 c. confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat until fluffy. Cut your pies in half and slather on the filling for a perfect sandwich!