Both my husband and I love to eat and to cook and we wake up thinking about what we will do for dinner. But then again, we also live in New Orleans where amazing food surrounds us every which way we go. I think New Orleanians find any reason to eat and eat well. And the amount of garlic and seasoning we use in this city should be a crime. Although after Hurricane Katrina many contemplated moving away to other cities, their love of good food kept them here.
Being from Argentina, I have grown up eating Argentine food which is basically Italian food. I think I seduced my husband into marrying me with my osso bucco and homemade gnocchis. He, on the other hand, tends to cook more eclectic foods, having worked under some of the best chefs in New Orleans, including John Harris of Lilette Restaurant and Emeril Lagasse.
AJ and I hardly ever go out to dinner and choose instead to cook at home with the kids and have family dinners which may range from something very easy and simple to something quite sophisticated. This is the thing that has kept us together especially through the difficult times after Hurricane Katrina.
So I thought that from time to time, I may share some of my favorite, family recipes with you. There will be no formal ingredients or quantities as I tend to improvise with "a dash of this and a dash of that." But just email me if you have any questions.
On Saturday, AJ and I took the kids to an afternoon matinee of Puss In Boots. If you haven't seen it, it is so cute and that Antonio Banderas still makes my heart skip a beat, I tell you.
We got home close to dinner and we had not really planned on much since the kids and AJ (and me) have had a horrible cold for the past week which makes us all just want to take long naps and pass the tissue box around.
But it was Saturday night and I was determined to have a nice family dinner - cold or no cold. And comfort food was the name of the game.
So I made one of my all time favorite Argentine dinners which I grew up with -- Milanesas. "Milanesas" gets its name from "Milan" and are essentially Italian (or Argentine) wiener schnitzel, or panned veal cutlet. In Argentina, we make Milanesas with very thin beef instead of veal (Argentines use beef in everything!) but sometimes, if you are fancy, you will make them with chicken which I love.
Soooooo, I decided to make Milanesas de Pollo (or Chicken Milanesas).
And here is the recipe:
Take boneless and skinless chicken breasts and slice them in half lengthwise so that you get 2 thin chicken cutlets from one breast. You can also cut this step by buying thin chicken cutlets.
Setting aside the chicken, finely chop some Italian parsley and a couple of cloves of garlic together.
Add this mix of garlic and parsley to a bowl with two eggs and beat the mixture together. Add the chicken cutlets and let marinade for an hour or so in the refrigerator.
Take one chicken cutlet at a time from the bowl(making sure that not too much egg mixture drips off when you take them out) and bread them with seasoned Italian bread crumbs.
Take the breaded cutlet and fry it one at a time in about 1/4 inch of olive oil until they are golden brown on both sides.
I love mine a dark golden brown.
Once they are fried, place them on a plate with some paper towels so that any remaining olive oil drains off.
At this point, I squeeze some lemon juice on them and keep them warm in a low oven while I fry the other cutlets.
Once they are all fried, you serve them up with a side dish. In Argentina, it is customary to serve them with mash potatoes (Milanesas con Pure), but on Saturday, I served them with Angel Hair Pasta that I tossed with some fresh basil pesto sauce and with some whole garlic cloves which I had roasted in olive oil (did I mention we live in New Orleans????)
The garlic not only does wonders for a cold but it also wards off vampires. So we killed two birds with one stone. No vampires were flying by our house on Saturday with all the garlic we ate, I tell you!
Sprinkle a little Parmesan on the pasta and here you go!
Milanesas de Pollo with Basil Pesto Pasta and Roasted Garlic
Unfortunately, we still have our colds, but at least we ate well and went to bed happy.