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Serve chicken cutlets with tart orange sauce and olives

The Free Press WVSauteed Chicken Cutlets with Tart Orange Sauce and Olives [ .... ]  Read More
The Free Press WV

Now that my kids are on their own and cooking for themselves, both have thanked me for passing on one technique in particular: how to cook a thin piece of protein and make a pan sauce from the drippings. It is indeed a quick, easy and affordable skill with endless variations. It also guarantees a deeply delicious entree. Consider this recipe — chicken cutlets topped with a tart orange sauce — the template for the technique.

Whenever you use it, you have to start with a thin piece of protein to ensure that it cooks quickly and evenly. Here I’ve chosen thinly sliced chicken cutlets. If the only breasts available at your supermarket are large and thick, bring them home, pop them in the freezer for 30 to 40 minutes (which firms them up) and then, very carefully, slice them in half width-wise to produce two thinner cutlets. If you’d prefer pork to chicken, just buy half-inch-thick boneless pork chops and trim off any excess fat.

Before sauteing the meat, you’ll need to dredge it in flour. This step prevents the meat from drying out by coating and insulating it. (Both chicken breasts and boneless pork chops are very lean.) It also serves to thicken the sauce when the protein is added back to the pan. My flour of choice is Wondra, a venerable brand favored by my grandmother that was magically designed not to lump up in gravy. It also produces a nice light coating for the cutlets.

After you’ve browned the cutlets in a little oil and moved them onto a plate, there’ll be some concentrated juices sitting on the bottom of the pan. To deglaze the pan and dilute the brown bits, you’ll need to add liquid, usually something acidic. Wine is traditional, but a little vinegar and/or citrus can also do the job. Here I call for sherry vinegar, but balsamic, red, white, or cider vinegar would be fine, too.

Next you’ll add some chicken broth, then reduce the liquid a bit before returning the cutlets to the pan to finish cooking them gently as the flour coating thickens the sauce. The last touch? Add some butter to enrich and thicken the sauce a trifle further. That’s it. You’ve landed a delicious entree on the table in just 30 minutes.


Sauteed Chicken Cutlets with Tart Orange Sauce and Olives

Start to finish: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

1/4 cup all-purpose flour (preferably Wondra)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets, preferably thin sliced

Kosher salt and black pepper

1 orange, peeled and cut into sections plus 1/3 cup orange juice (preferably fresh)

1/3 cup sherry vinegar

1 cup chicken broth

1/3 cup chopped pitted green olives

Spread out the flour on a piece of parchment on the counter. In a large, nonstick skillet heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the cutlets on both sides with salt and pepper and coat them with the flour, shaking off the excess before adding them to the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the chicken until lightly golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

Add the orange juice and sherry vinegar to the skillet and simmer until reduced by half, scraping up the brown bits in the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken broth and olives and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes. Return the chicken to the pan, along with the orange segments and any juices from the plate and simmer very gently, turning the chicken over several times, for 2 to 3 minutes until it is just cooked through. Do not let the liquid boil.

Transfer the chicken to 4 plates and simmer the sauce until it has thickened. Add butter to the skillet and swirl the pan just until the butter is incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste and spoon the sauce over the chicken.

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Nutrition information per serving: 283 calories; 109 calories from fat; 12 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 83 mg cholesterol; 533 mg sodium; 13 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 27 g protein.

Adore pumpkin cheesecake? Make a portable version

The Free Press WV

With a tangy, rich flavor and velvety consistency, cheesecake’s characteristic qualities make it well-suited to variation: Lemon cheesecake, chocolate cheesecake, and berry cheesecake are all common. But our favorite variation might just be pumpkin cheesecake.

We love the way the tangy cream cheese offsets the warm-spiced pumpkin, and we set out to create a streamlined version in the form of a pumpkin cheesecake bar.

To avoid a soggy, heavy bar, we knew the key would be to remove excess moisture from the canned pumpkin, so we cooked the puree on the stovetop to reduce it. This step also concentrated its flavor and enhanced its sweetness so it wasn’t overshadowed by the cream cheese.

Adding pumpkin pie spice to the puree as it cooked allowed its flavor to bloom. We thought a gingersnap crust would be a fitting match for the pumpkin filling; but while the flavor of the crust was great, we found that the crushed gingersnaps baked up unappealingly hard.

To get the flavor of gingersnaps without the tooth-breaking snap we used the traditional graham crackers and simply added ground ginger to the crackers to spice them up.


PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE BARS

Servings: 24

Start to finish: 3 hours

1 (15-ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin puree

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon salt

15 whole graham crackers, broken into 1-inch pieces

1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) plus 1 1/3 cups (9 1/3 ounces) sugar

1 teaspoon ground ginger

8 tablespoons butter, melted

1 pound cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 large eggs, room temperature

Cook pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, 6 to 8 minutes. Let pumpkin mixture cool for 1 hour.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 F. Make foil sling for 13 by 9-inch baking pan by folding 2 long sheets of aluminum foil; first sheet should be 13 inches wide and second sheet should be 9 inches wide. Lay sheets of foil in pan perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over edges of pan. Push foil into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing foil flush to pan. Grease foil.

Process graham crackers, 1/4 cup sugar, and ginger in food processor to fine crumbs, about 15 seconds. Add melted butter and pulse until combined, about 5 pulses. Sprinkle mixture into prepared pan and press firmly into even layer. Bake until just starting to brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Let crust cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat cream cheese and remaining 1 1/3 cups sugar on medium-low speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice, vanilla, and pumpkin mixture and mix until combined. Increase speed to medium; add eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Pour filling over crust and spread into even layer.

Bake until edges are slightly puffed and center is just set, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cheesecake cool completely in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours. Using foil overhang, lift cheesecake from pan. Cut into 24 pieces before serving.

Dog Spent a Week on a Floating Couch in Flooded House

A bright spot in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence: A dog name Soshe will be reunited with her owner after being trapped in a flooded house in Pender, NC, for almost a week, People reports. Soshe’s owner, stuck in another city, got in touch with the Humane Society of Missouri’s Disaster Response Team, which was on the scene in North Carolina, asking for help, per KHOU. Twice, traveling by boat, a Humane Society team attempted to locate Soshe’s house, but the floodwaters were too high. On the third attempt, they located the house late last month, having to paddle half a mile after their boat’s engine broke down. They heard a dog barking inside the house. Two rescuers forced the door open and found Soshe sitting on a couch that was floating in the living room. In addition to saving Soshe, according to KHOU, the Missouri Humane Society team rescued several other dogs, chickens, and horses during its 10-day deployment. Check out video of Soshe’s rescue.

A nutty and dense coffee cake that’s pure decadence is here

The Free Press WV

This ultra-rich coffee cake is pure decadence, from its nutty topping and dramatic swirls of cinnamon sugar to its supremely moist, dense crumb. We cut softened butter into the dry ingredients for a tight, velvety crumb, and sour cream delivered distinct tang.

Sprinkling a simple streusel over the batter in two layers created a dramatic swirling effect, and topping the cake off with more streusel (this time boosted with butter and pecans) gave it a crumbly crust.

A fixed-bottom 10-inch tube pan (with a 10 cup capacity) is best for this recipe. Note that the streusel is divided into two parts_one for the inner swirls and one for the topping.


SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE WITH BROWN SUGAR-PECAN STREUSEL

Servings: 10-12

Start to finish: 1 hour 15 minutes (plus 2 hours 30 minutes cooling time)

Streusel:

3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour

3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed (3 1/2 ounces) dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1 cup pecans, chopped

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces and chilled

Cake:

1 1/2 cups sour cream

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and softened but still cool

For the streusel: Process flour, granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and cinnamon in food 7/8processor until combined, about 15 seconds. Transfer 1 1/4 cups flour-sugar mixture to small bowl and stir in remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar; set aside filling. Add pecans and butter to food processor and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 pulses. Set aside streusel.

For the cake: Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 10 inch tube pan. Whisk 1 cup sour cream, eggs, and vanilla together in medium bowl.

Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add butter and remaining 1/2 cup sour cream and mix until dry ingredients are moistened and mixture resembles wet sand with few large butter pieces remaining, about 1 1/2 minutes. Increase speed to medium and beat until batter comes together, about 10 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Reduce speed to medium-low and gradually add egg mixture in 3 additions, beating for 20 seconds and scraping down sides after each addition. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until batter is light and fluffy, about 1 minute.

Using rubber spatula, spread 2 cups batter in bottom of prepared pan and smooth surface. Sprinkle evenly with 3/4 cup streusel filling (without butter or nuts). Repeat with another 2 cups batter and remaining 3/4 cup streusel filling (without butter or nuts). Spread remaining batter over filling, then sprinkle with streusel topping (with butter and nuts).

Bake until cake feels firm to touch and skewer inserted in 7/8center comes out clean (bits of sugar from streusel may cling to skewer), 50 minutes to 1 hour, rotating cake halfway through baking. Let cake cool in pan on wire rack for 30 minutes. Gently invert cake onto rimmed baking sheet (cake will be streusel side down); remove tube pan, place wire rack on top of cake, and invert cake streusel side up. Let cool completely, about 2 hours, before serving.

To make ahead:

Cake can be wrapped in aluminum foil and stored at room temperature for up to five days.

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Nutrition information per serving: 532 calories; 237 calories from fat; 27 g fat (12 g saturated; 1 g trans fats); 120 mg cholesterol; 382 mg sodium; 69 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 43 g sugar; 7 g protein.

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