Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Covid Cafe: Six Weeks In, Embracing the Sheet Pan

Good morning, chefs of Covid Cafe. We've been isolating for six weeks now, and we're so happy for your company here. It was a snowy walk to the cafe this mid-April morning, but we've got a big fire started in the fireplace so pull up a chair.

Rob returns today. He writes: Planned dinner was chicken piccata but after cleaning all day, decided to make it simple. I’m embracing the sheet pan method.

I looked at several piccata recipes and planned the strategy. No dredging in egg and flour and frying.
Just put 1/4 cup (or less) of flour into a plastic bag, add some paprika, garlic powder, grated Parmesan, and Italian seasoning. Give it a couple shakes. After pounding the chicken to an even thickness, toss the meat in the flour bag.

Melt a stick of butter in your sheet pan with the oven at 400 degrees. Let it get good and golden brown.  Pour some chicken stock and a good amount of lemon juice into the browned butter.

Lay in the chicken and some cubed potato, sprinkle with capers, and add sliced lemons. Roast for about 15, then add some green veggies.  I used asparagus, but green beans, broccoli, or whatever would work. When you add the veggies, baste everything with the sauce. Another 15 minutes and done!
(Loving the one-pan method on a busy day, Rob. Thank you for sharing.)

Who will trim this man's hair?
(NB: Art is wearing a possum fur-lined hat from NZ)

Speaking of sheet pans, after six weeks without a cookie I saw this Smitten Kitchen recipe for Salted Peanut Butter cookies. Three ingredients and no flour? Ready set go.

Mixed by hand and baked 12 per day, leaving more dough tomorrow (and the next day). Or you could just go for it and bake them all at once. I'll cut the sugar in half next time.

Some like them round and some like 'em flat.


By Edward Thomas
Often I had gone this way before:
But now it seemed I never could be
And never had been anywhere else;
'Twas home; one nationality
We had, I and the birds that sang,
One memory.
They welcomed me. I had come back
That eve somehow from somewhere far:
The April mist, the chill, the calm,
Meant the same thing familiar
And pleasant to us, and strange too,
Yet with no bar.
The thrush on the oaktop in the lane
Sang his last song, or last but one;
And as he ended, on the elm
Another had but just begun
His last; they knew no more than I
The day was done.
Then past his dark white cottage front
A labourer went along, his tread
Slow, half with weariness, half with ease;
And, through the silence, from his shed
The sound of sawing rounded all
That silence said.

Remember those arugula seeds I planted in the spinach box with lid? 
They were out last night and are happy and flavorful under a layer of snow.

Words to live by

Jason Mraz


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