Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Karma Karma Karma-lized Onions

I have been craving chicken parmesan the last few days, and then voila!  Melissa Clark writes a column for the New York Times ("All the News that Fits, We Print) extolling the homey virtues of alla parmagiana dishes.  Feels like a sign from God, or at least Lidia Bastianich.

Today has been the Grand Opening for the Kissimmee Lakefront, and judging by the number of motorcycles zooming up and down this street, it has been well-attended.  Living and working as close to the beautiful, revitalized lakefront as I do, I can enjoy it anytime.  Of course, living as close to the lakefront as I do, I am able to hear the entire live concert from upstairs without leaving the comfort of my home. For a moment there, I thought they had set up in my parking lot.  Since I don't care much for crowds, this turned out to be an ideal way to enjoy the music.  Also the Magic were losing - AGAIN - this time to the Dallas Mavericks, despite us having some terrific players like Nikola Vucevic, Victor Oladipo, and Elfrid Payton.  I could not spend another minute in front of the television.

The news has been horribly depressing with reports from the Middle East and continuing attacks from those murderous Islamic terrorists in ISIS, but one tiny little glimmer of hope came from an article in the sports section.  Yes, it looks like the head coach, Jacque Vaughn, is about to be fired.  Now I don't wish unemployment on anyone, but the truth of the matter is that he has done an absolutely horrible job, and finally someone in Magic's management woke up, smelled the coffee, and noticed the vast banks of empty seats in Amway Center.

Back to the chicken parm ... I don't have a recipe for chicken parm.  I'm not sure there is such a recipe.  Chicken parm is one of those instinctive Italian recipes that is all about the method rather than the ingredients.  You bread the chicken using flour, eggs, and bread crumbs.  You fry it.  You layer it with tomato sauce and cheese.  You shove it in the oven.  That's Italian.

Of course, it helps if you know to pound the chicken a bit ... and to make sure the oil is hot enough so that the crust seals around the chicken, rather than falling off into the pan - and the sauce should be simple and a bit acidic - and the quality of the cheese you use really matters, and it might be worth your while to hand-grate the Parmigiano-Reggiano, and to hand-tear the fresh mozzarella.

Or I could be a pal and give you the link to Melissa Clark's recipe archive at the New York Times and you can check out her recipe (well, she calls it a recipe).

Speaking of recipes, that's not a hiccup in the title.  We're doing caramelized onions again, but with a slight twist.  Since I expect this batch to come out even better than last week's, I wanted to share it onblog.

And that's about all I will be cooking today.  We met family at Perkins for a late breakfast, and while the company was very pleasant, and the service was good, the kitchen was slower than a crippled turtle and the food was just meh.  We ran a few errands, and I ran out of steam, so I passed on the food shopping, but not before we made an appointment for Rob to get his eyes checked, and a few purchases for me.

I don't know if I was more excited about the chocolate or the new crockpot.  The spiffy new crockpot, 9 x 13 inches just like the perfect casserole dish, just the right size and shape for lasagna and eggplant parm.  And the new flavors of chocolate ... all tucked away now in my little upstairs fridge.

Oh, and the onions?  Forget the onions.  Came out the same.  Good and sweet.  Maybe I will get around to incorporating them into a risotto.  Tune in tomorrow.

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