Sunday, April 10, 2011

Menu#28: Zucchini Sticks, Creamy Tarragon Chicken accompanied by Individual, Fresh Baked Rosemary Bread Rounds

The Gutsy Cook's Club Menu #28 chosen by Raymond of Just Desserts has all the elements for a dinner you could entertain with pride. My husband has been working all week and now on the weekend trying to get lighting to work in (5) high-rises . . . by Sunday night (tonight). The Friday was horrible. He and his crew worked from 5 in the morning until midnight Friday night so work didn't restart until Saturday at noon. Saturday, I had this dinner ready for him to eat when he got home at 1 am (actually that would be early Sunday morning, right?). We are both commercial electricians by trade but Larry, over the last 20+ years, has worked into Superintendent and General Foreman, meaning he leaves when the job is done, and working because finishing the job with why systems installed did or did not work falls at his feet. As tired as he is, the best support I can give is a hot meal when he gets home. Thank you Raymond for the wonderful choice, he loved every bite!

I am finding my eye for detail and clarity is lacking when I'm tired. The chicken basking in a creme fraiche sauce with sauteed shallots, garlic, and white wine was tender and delicious. The creamy sauce was a darker brown color, because of the reduction for thickness, and a Parmesan risotto was served along side.

Dinner was:

  • Baked Zucchini Sticks with panko flake coating
  • Individual Loaves of Rosemary Bread (use double-acting yeast for fast rising; these bake in 20 minutes)
  • Creamy Tarragon Chicken
  • Parmesan Risotto

Zucchini Sticks
2 large zucchini sticks
1 1/2 cups Italian Panko Flakes
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
2 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Wash and dry zucchini.  Cut them into sticks about 3 inches by 1-inch.

Mix the Panko flakes with the cheese, and lemon zest in a quart size Ziploc bag.

Beat the eggs in a bowl.  Put the flour, salt and pepper seasoning in another quart-sized Ziploc bag.

In batches, coat the zucchini by shaking the sticks in flour, then dip in the egg bath, then shake in the Panko flake mixture bag.  Set on a silicon matted jelly roll pan or Pam sprayed baking sheet.  Continue until all zucchini sticks are coated.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 12 minutes then broil for 1 minute to finish crisping the coating to the right shade of brown.

Serve with a dipping sauce.  I served with a Ranch dip.

Rosemary Bread

 1 (1/4-ounce) packet fast-rising active dry yeast
2 t. sugar
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing and serving
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 Tablespoons dried rosemary
1 t. fine salt
1/2 t. kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

Stir the yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup warm water (98 to 108 degrees F) in a stand mixer bowl.  Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add 1 Tablespoon olive oil, the flour, 1 1/2 tablespoons rosemary, the fine salt and 3/4 cup warm water; stir with the dough hook until a dough forms.

Knead with the dough hook on medium-high speed, adding flour if the dough sticks to the bowl, about 8 minutes.

Brush a large bowl with olive oil.  Add the dough, cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until more than doubled, about 1 hour.

Brush 2 baking sheets with Olive oil.  Generously flour a work surface; turn the dough out onto the flour and divide into 4 pieces.  Working with one piece at a time, sprinkle some flour on the dough, then fold the top and bottom portions into the middle.  Tuck the corners under to form a ball.  Place seam-side down on a prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough, putting 2 balls on each baking sheet.  Let stand, uncovered, until more than doubled, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Bake the loaves 10 minutes; brush with the remaining 1 Tablespoon Olive oil and sprinkle with the kosher salt and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon rosemary.  Continue baking until golden brown, about 10 more minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool.  Serve with olive oil seasoned with pepper.

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