Saturday, March 5, 2011

French-Italian Dinner

"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are." - Anselme Brillat-Savarin

French and Italian dishes are incredibly tasty, but can be intimidating to cook. This dinner marries both cuisines, and is simple to make.

The Menu includes: Pear and Roquefort Salad (French), Roasted Balsamic Vinaigrette Chicken (Italian), Lemon Rice.

For the salad:
  • Whatever salad greens preferred (a Spring Mix works well)
  • Ripe Pears, sliced (Bartlett or D'Anjou)
  • Crumbled Roquefort cheese (can be left out if not desired)
  • Toasted Walnut halves
  • Homemade Mustard Vinaigrette dressing (recipe below)
Cut and/or clean the greens, and lay a portion on each salad plate. Clean and slice the pears into long slices. Make the mustard vinaigrette dressing and toss the pear slices in it to coat. Place about three to four pear slices on each plate of greens. Sprinkle with walnuts and Roquefort crumbles and serve.

Homemade Mustard Vinaigrette:
  • 3 tbsp. Champagne or White Wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper 
In a medium bowl, whisk vinegar, mustard and egg yolk. Slowly whisk in olive oil to create an emulsion. Mix in salt and pepper to taste.

For the Chicken:
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. parsley
  • 1 tsp. Thyme
  • salt and pepper
In a small bowl, whisk vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Clean the chicken, and combine with the vinaigrette in a large Ziploc bag. Seal securely and toss to coat. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove chicken from Ziploc bag and arrange in a large greased baking dish. Roast until chicken is cooked through, 1 hour. If chicken browns halfway through cooking time, cover with foil and continue to roast. Transfer to a platter when done.
Whisk chicken broth with pan drippings. Drizzle sauce over chicken and sprinkle with lemon zest, parsley and thyme, and serve with Lemon Rice (recipe below).

For the Rice:
  • 1 bag of rice (Jasmine or Brown are best)
  • 1 stick of Butter
  • 1 - 2 lemons, depending on how many servings are needed (1 medium-large lemon will work for two servings)
Cook the rice according to the directions on the package,  for as many servings as needed. Zest and squeeze the juice of the lemon(s). Once the rice water has almost completely evaporated, cut a portion of butter and mix in with the rice (about 1 tbsp. of butter per serving), along with lemon juice and zest (about 1 tbsp. of juice and zest per serving). Mix until the butter has completely melted and all liquid has evaporated, without burning the rice. Serve with the chicken immediately.


1 comment:

  1. J+M+J

    Sounds delish! I LOVE lemon! I think I'll have to try making this meal soon!