David Sammarco Catering
Graduate of Johnson and Wales Culinary Institute. Best instructional cable show in the U.S.A.
Let us use chicken cutlets for an example in regards to introducing the employment of this technique. Everyone knows that the process is quite involved. Whether they are for chicken parmigiana, chicken cutlets with nice garlic mashed potato, vegetable and gravy, or cutlets for a sandwich. By the way, chicken cutlets with mashed potatoes; vegetables and chicken or brown gravy is one of my favorite meals. It's very popular Down South as well. There are many dishes you can do with chicken cutlets. You can Parmigiana it, brown gravy it, Milanese it, mayo lettuce and tomato it, then put it on a nice sub roll. A homemade chicken cutlet is a beautiful thing folk!!
Yes folks, to make cutlets the right way
is fairly involved. (Kidding). Check it out!!
Let me tell you this folks that the standard breading procedure and frying process is a fair amount of work. Not to mention it can mess up your clean kitchen considerably. But do not fret. I will explain to you a way for you to prepare hassle free, quick and easy meals during a busy week.
OK, here we go. Like I said earlier in this Column, pick yourself a rainy Saturday afternoon, or a day that you know you have a bit of extra time on your hands, it is a plus to have the kitchen to yourself as well. In other words, if you know that you have about three to four hours at home alone, (being alone in your kitchen is also a beautiful thing folks) your all set. This is what you're going to do to make life during the workweek a bit more bearable. OK, still using chicken cutlets for example. Trim the fat off them, then pound them out, by placing them on a stable surface, with saran wrap underneath and over them. Grab a mallet, or meat tenderizer, lightly pound them. Put them in a bowl; move them to the side. Get rid of the cutting board; make sure you sterilize it, as you had raw chicken on it.
Now set up your flour, egg wash, and
seasoned Italian breadcrumbs. Use containers that are square and long
and wide enough for the flour and crumbs, use a deep bowl for the egg
wash. Now pass your chicken cutlets through the flour, shake off excess,
hit it in the egg, now pass it through the crumbs, and shake off excess
crumbs. Remember; try to keep one hand dry and one hand wet, other wise
your hands will become a gooey mess. Now fry your cutlets in medium
hot oil, until golden brown, make sure the oil is not too hot, other
wise your cutlets will turn black, this is not good. You want them a
light golden color. You should make a ton of these cutlets. Let's say
there are four in your family, I would make around forty-eight Cutlets.
That would be six Cutlets per dinner, you would have enough Cutlets
for eight dinners. You say to yourself, forty-eight cutlets, wow, that's
a lot of work.
OK, so here is what you do. Put that rainy day aside, or a day that you know you have three or four hours to yourself. Cook your food, cool it, package it, label it, and freeze it. So here we go, make believe it's Sunday night, it's going to be a crazy week, but that is nothing new. The following is a system to prepare a Chicken Parmigiana dinner on Monday night. Sunday Night, take out a package of chicken cutlets and a container of tomato sauce out of the freezer, put them on a shelf in your refrigerator. Then when you come home Monday night, Pre - heat your oven to 375, put your water on for your favorite pasta, don't forget to put a little salt and oil in it. Put your sauce on a simmer, take your cutlets, out of the refrigerator. Place your cutlets on a non-stick baking sheet, heat them for 15 minutes, take them out, sauce them, put a nice slice of Provalone cheese on each cutlet. Put your pasta in the water. Put your cutlets back in the oven, and cook them until the cheese is a light golden color. Fix your salad, while the pasta is cooking. Drain the pasta, when done, don't over cook your pasta, there is nothing worse than mushy pasta, toss it with a little olive oil. Cover it with saran wrap and put it on the table. Put your bread, Romano cheese and salad dressings on the table. Put your hot Tomato sauce in a bowl, and put it on the table. Take your cutlets out of the oven and put them in a nice serving platter and put them on the table. Call your family to the table and enjoy the meal, and thank the table!!
Folks that whole process should take no more than 45 minutes, from the time you start to the time you sit down to eat. But just think how long it would have taken to prepare this Dinner if you tried to make the Cutlets and Sauce from scratch that same night. You'd be eating somewhere around 10:00pm!! The same method can be applied to all the foods, mentioned previously in this article. As well as cooked chicken for whatever you want. Cooked stew beef, for stew, just come home, boil your vegetables, drain the water, add the gravy, add the hot beef, make it all hot, serve it over rice or buttered egg noodles, your golden. There you go folks, I hope I shed a bit of light on this, great technique, for those hectic weeks we all have once in a while. Until next time, stay healthy, happy and well fed. Also folks feel free to check out my Band playing in and around Metro Boston at; www.davesammarcoband.com - We do a mix of Rock, Pop, Country and Blues. Speaking of which, we just played The House of Blues in Cambridge. I hope you are having fun with your Culinary Pursuits, OK Folks - Good luck and have fun.
IT'S RECIPE TIME AGAIN
Hi folks. The following recipes are just a few of my favorites. I hope you find them easy to prepare, as well as pleasing to the palate. Lets jump right into them. Good luck and have fun!!!
WHITE CLAM SAUCE
METHOD OF PREPARATION
3 pounds fresh cleaned, Mussels
METHOD OF PREPARATION
Tasty Little Tips:
Ok Folks, that's it for this segment, Until next time Stay cool, Happy and well fed.
Hi folks. Hope your culinary pursuits have been productive and satisfying. In this column, I will explain some terms that we see on menus from time to time. It is also my goal to take The mystery out some of these terms and to show you just how easy preparing these dishes can be. We are talking styles here folks, styles of Francaise, Piccatta, Scampi, Cacciatore and Marsala. Some folks might believe that you could only make a Chicken Francaise, or Chicken Piccatta, or Shrimp Scampi, when in actuality these are only styles of preparation and many different items can be prepared in these styles. Here they are in a nutshell.
1.Francaise, in the style of France, likes French toast. Francaise is typically any item that is first dusted in seasoned flour, dipped in egg, then fryed till golden brown, in hot oil, the oil is then drained out, then we add soft, not melted butter, lemon, parsley, and a dry white wine, and reduce the sauce until it is thick and creamy. For Francaise we mostly use, Chicken, Veal, Shrimp, Filet of Sole, Sea Scallops. Salt and pepper to taste!!
2. Piccatta, is done the same way as Francaise, except we add, a hint of garlic and /or shallots, capers, and the egg is left out. Again, the same variety of meats, chicken and Seafood can be used.
3. Cacciatore - Any items that are prepared with fresh mushrooms, onions, peppers, fresh parsley, basil, dry white wine, tomatoes, and a little salt and pepper, with a hint of zing that would come from adding a bit of crushed red pepper flakes. A Cacciatore sauce should be a tad zesty, the veggies in it should be al dente, the sauce should not be too thin, or too thick.
4. Scampi, anything can be Scampied, Scampi is a style, a sauce, method of preparation etc, as are all the other styles previously mentioned. Scampi is prepared the same way as Piccatta, except we leave out the Capers. Imagine that folks, just by simply leaving out the Capers, we get a completely different dish, or style if you will this is the essence of these segment folks. Just by adding or leaving particular ingredients out of certain dishes, we come up with totally different dishes. That a folk, to me, are a beautiful thing, this is also, what I believe, cooking, as a whole, is all about. The simplicity of cooking and food preparation is truly wonderful!
5.Marsala, made the same way as Piccatta,
except we leave out the Capers, and instead of
1. Always heat your pans before you cook
OK Folks, that's it for this segment, I have to go make Linguini with Bolognese Sauce for my Family. Till next episode, stay happy and well fed!
Food as a healer.
But cooking and preparing meals for friends and family is a great way to keep the excitement of summer rolling on through the year. You might say, but Chef Dave, how in Sam Hill, can cooking make us feel like summer is always here. My answer, Food is a wonderful thing, food heals, food makes us feel content, it satisfies our hunger, and it satisfies not only physical needs, but emotional needs as well. I know if I am having a so called, "One of those days, to little time, to many errands, etc" I take myself out for a quick lunch, either Thai, Chinese, Mexican or Italian, and boy I'll tell you, the rest of the day still might present a considerable challenge, but that little lunch break, really gives extra momentum to get me through the rest of my day. I don't know about you folks, but most of my days start at 7:00 am and end at 12:00 PM and I know I am not alone. For me eating right is important, and not only does it have to be good for me, but also it has to taste good. The tasting good part is the part that makes us feel happy. Who wants something that is really healthy for us but taste's awful, why not have both in one meal? Like a nice broiled Boston Schrod, Salad with Balsamic dressing and steamed rice. Fajitas, meat or meatless are super healthy, just leave out or cut down on the sour cream and cheese part. Linguini with red or white clam sauce is perfect, just go easy on the grated cheese, and make sure you use olive oil. Chicken cacciatore, seafood marinara, ziti marinara, turkey meatballs or meatloaf, ratatouille is all low fat and tasty. So is stir-fried chicken and veggies, or just stir-fried veggies without the meat as well as just about any unfried Thai or Japanese item. Eggplant or turkey submarine sandwiches, light on the cheese and Mayo, are also fine. When I get a turkey sub, instead of everything Mayo, I get it with a little olive oil, pepper and oregano, drizzled on top. The following foods are tasty and healthy for us. Why eat tofu pups or boiled chicken all the time when you don't have too. You see folks; everything about food is wonderful. Its powers to heal and satisfy are tremendous. Just a few weeks ago my friend called us, and said she was going through a tough time in her life. My Wife and I decided to have her over for Dinner, I scooted out of the house, got a bottle of her favorite wine, grabbed some lobsters, Shrimp, (our friend loves seafood) Corn, flowers, I cooked, while my wife made a nice salad and set the table. When our friend walked in the house, the smile on her face could have lit up the darkest night.
We sat down, we ate, we laughed, she talked about some things that were bothering her, while my Wife and I listened and offered solutions to her situation. Three hours passed by, we were still at the table, laughing and talking, she then told us that she had been healed, that she knew what actions she had to take to resolve the problem in her life, and thanked us for the wonderful evening. Our friend now claims that, by my Wife and I, simply having her over for dinner that night, cooking for her, sitting down with her, and listening to her, that she was able to see the path that would lead her to happiness. So folks, I guess in closing food alone heals to some degree, but food and people are wonderful combination for happiness. I believe when we cook for someone, and really put our hearts into the whole experience, is to say to that person, hey look, I really care for you, you mean a lot to me, I want to make you a happy, I hope you find this meal satisfying, I hope you like the way I set and decorated the table. I am not referring to people who get paid for cooking. Although most cooks and Chefs I know, myself included, cook because we have a true passion for it, and still come home and cook for our families after doing it all day. But I am mostly talking about non-culinary professional's here folks. I am talking about Husbands cooking for Wives, Wives cooking for Husbands, friends cooking for friends, parents cooking for children and children cooking for parents. It is easy to heat up frozen dinners, or open up a few cans of beef stew, or pick up a pizza, but to cook from scratch is where the caring really shines through!! So Folks, is it time to show someone or some people just how much you care for them ??
Till next time, Stay well and eat well !!