Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Five days was just too short of a visit to Charleston. Actually it would be incorrect to say I went to Charleston, because I never left Mount Pleasant, where my daughter lives. This trip (my third) we didn’t take in any of the sites or even visit downtown. Instead we fixed up Melissa’s new apartment to make it more homey, enjoyed good meals, and talked and talked and talked. Sometimes until 3 in the morning.
We spent one full day at the beach on Sullivan's Island, which was like re-capturing summer for me. It was about 75 degrees with a light breeze. My Southern Girl thought it was freezing and spent most of the day curled up on the beach with a beach towel wrapped around her legs and a cabled hoodie sweater (with the hood up!).
Meanwhile I relaxed in just my bathing suit and read the entire O, The Oprah Magazine, cover to cover. Then while Melissa napped, I went swimming in water that was warmer in October than the water on Cape is in August and took a long walk on the beach. Here are the treasures I found:
Flowers that looked like morning glories were growing in the dunes. They were so pretty.
That night I cooked a replica of the lemon chicken with artichokes and shitake mushroons the Hubby made a few weeks ago that was simply awesome. It was one of those meals that you think about again and again, so I couldn’t wait for my daughter to try it. I had to make a few changes to the Kitchen Genius’s recipe. The original meal had fresh baby artichokes from Trader Joe’s, which I couldn’t find at the Bi-Low supermarket so I had to substitute canned.
But most importantly the original recipe used Trader Joe’s Lemon Pepper Pappardelle Pasta (which might be the BEST pasta in the whole world!). Unfortunately the Southern Girl doesn’t eat pasta. Ever, if she can help it. Since she loves squash of any kind I substituted spaghetti squash for her benefit, which was good, but really you must try the Trader Joe’s pasta if you want this recipe to be so good you’ll dream about it. Here's the spagetti squash version:
I can’t be the only person who dreams about food. What meal have you made lately that you actually think about and can’t wait to taste again?
Lemon Chicken with Artichokes and Shittake Mushrooms
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into two inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3 shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 package raw baby artichokes (about 15)
1/2 pound shitake mushrooms
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon fresh sage, finely chopped
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons butter
Trader Joe’s Lemon Pepper Pappardelle Pasta, cooked according to package directions
Peel all of the outer leaves from artichokes until just the yellow center remains. Cut green tops and stems off and cut in half. Keep in a bowl of water with 3 tablespoons lemon juice until ready to use to keep from browning.
Put flour, salt and pepper on a plate and mix lightly. Wash chicken and pat dry. Heat olive oil and butter in skillet with metal handle over medium high heat. Dredge each piece of chicken in flour and put in hot skillet in small batches. If you overcrowd the chicken it won’t brown properly so be patient.
Cook chicken until brown, about four minutes on each side. The chicken will not be fully cooked. Place cooked chicken on a plate. Turn heat down to medium and cook artichokes in skillet for about 7 minutes or until tender. Add a little more olive oil and add shallots, garlic and shitake mushrooms to skillet. Cook for about four minutes.
Add wine and whisk skillet to deglaze it. Add chicken stock and sage and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken, artichokes, lemon juice and butter and stir. Put skillet in 350 degree oven while pasta cooks (or simmer on stove top).
Serve over pasta. Top with fresh grated Romano cheese if desired.
Click here for a printable recipe