(basil, mint and thyme)
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
i went to the third annual cupcake cookoff hosted by the brooklyn kitchen last evening. there were sixty entries that ranged from banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting topped with bacon bits, to vanilla citrus cake with mascarpone frosting, to mexican hot chocolate cupcakes.
my favorite, aesthetically, was a vanilla cupcake with strawberry frosting topped with bluebirds and ladybugs (at left) by cake hero. she got my vote. i also really liked the 24-carat cupcake (at right). this was a carrot cake cupcake with cream cheese frosting.
cupcakes aside, my favorite part about the event was that all proceeds benefited the greenpoint soup kitchen.
(below: creamsicle cupcakes & mexican hot chocolate cupcake)
Thursday, May 7, 2009
my friend taylor makes the best chicken marsala. i've been begging him to send his recipe to me for months. alas, he hasn't, so i improvised based on observation and taste. below is the result. taylor (seen at right enjoying . . . something) always serves his chicken marsala with breaded zucchini, and who am i to break tradition?
2 chicken breasts - pounded flat (to approx 1/2 inch thickness)
1/2 cup onions - finely chopped
1 1/2 - 2 cups mushrooms - sliced
1/4 cup (or more) marsala wine (ironically, taylor always uses the "taylor" brand - its also the cheapest)
1/4 cup scallions - sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
enough all-purpose flour to lightly coat chicken
pre-cooking prep: after pounding chicken breasts, pat dry, rub down with salt and pepper and lightly coat in flour.
place olive oil in medium-hot skillet (large enough for the chicken breasts to lie flat). add onions and saute until onions are soft (5-7 minutes). add butter, raise heat and add mushrooms. saute over medium-high, adding marsala wine if the mushrooms get dry. cook for approx 7-10 minutes. add chicken, more marsala and brown chicken on both sides. salt and pepper dish to taste as you cook. just before chicken is fully cooked (10 minutes or so), add the scallions, allow to slightly cook (3-5 minutes). remove from heat, rest 5-7 minutes, serve.
2 cups zucchini - thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons finely ground bread crumbs
2 tablespoons onion - finely chopped (or grated)
3-4 tablespoons parmesan or pecorino cheese (grated)
salt & pepper to taste
add above ingredients to a large mixing bowl. toss until breadcrumbs and cheese are evenly distributed amongst the zucchini. saute over medium heat until zucchini are cooked through (or longer if you want them crispy). the zucchini can also be baked at 375 for 15-20 minutes.