Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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Heirloom Tomato Salads

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Orzo And Heirloom Tomato Salad

Heirloom tomatoes are in season so I’m buying them fairly regularly. I have two, really easy and delicious salads here that can be the main course or a side dish with any protein you like. The second of the two is completely vegetarian.

Let’s talk about my first of the two Heirloom Tomato Salads. Heirloom Tomato Salad With Bocconcini And Sopressata.

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Local Grown Florida Heirloom Tomatoes

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Arugula

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The second salad is my Artichoke, Heirloom Tomato, And Orzo Salad.

Orzo And Heirloom Tomato Salad (2)

Orzo And Heirloom Tomato Salad

1). The first tomato salad is an Heirloom Tomato Salad With Bocconcini And Sopressata.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: large mixing bowl, small mixing bowl, large salad serving bowl, a 2-cup measuring cup, whisk

Ingredients:
8 cups of heirloom tomatoes, halves, and wedges (depending on whether whole or grape size tomatoes)
1 1/2 heaping cups of diced Sopressata, OPTIONAL (substitute diced Genoa salami)
1 8-ounce package of Bocconcini (mini mozzarella balls or pearls)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup *E.V.O.O.
2 tablespoons Agave nectar
1 1/2  tablespoons Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup of fresh tarragon leaves, roughly chopped

Salad Dressing:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup *E.V.O.O.
2 tablespoons Agave nectar
1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions For Salad Dressing:
Place all ingredients into a (2 cup) measuring cup. Whisk all the ingredients together until well combined.

Herb Marinade For Bocconcini:
1 (8-ounce) package of mini Bocconcini
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of Italian-flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Pinch of Kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup of *E.V.O.O

Directions:
Separate all the mini mozzarella balls and place them into a small mixing bowl along with the other ingredients. Using a spoon, gently toss to combine. Set aside.

Direction For Heirloom Tomato Salad:
In a large mixing bowl, add the tomato halves and wedges. Add the marinated bocconcini and chopped tarragon. Pour the dressing over and toss all the ingredients together. Transfer to a large salad serving bowl. Serve with your favorite bread.

2). The second tomato salad is an Arugula, Heirloom Tomato, And Orzo Salad. This one is a vegetarian salad, totally meat-free!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 6-quart saucepot, large mixing bowl, large salad serving bowl, large mesh sieve

Ingredients:
1 pound of orzo, cooked drained and cooled
2 cups of arugula leaves
4 cups of diced and halved heirloom tomatoes (depending on whether whole or grape size)
1 (14.6-ounce) jar of long-stemmed artichoke hearts, halved
1 (8-ounce) package of Bocconcini ( mini mozzarella balls
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons of Agave nectar
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl add the diced and halved heirloom tomatoes, cooked and cooled orzo pasta, halved artichokes hearts, bocconcini, arugula leaves, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and Italian flat-leaf parsley. Squeeze fresh lemon juice and drizzle the two tablespoons of agave nectar over the top, gently toss to combine. Next, transfer to a large salad serving bowl. My Artichoke, Heirloom Tomato, And Orzo Salad are so delicious you’ll be asked to make it over and over again.

*E.V.O.O. is extra virgin olive oil.

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Chicken Milanese-Updated

 

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Chicken Milanese is my favorite of all my dishes. The idea of warm chicken on top of a cool, crisp green salad, lightly dressed with lemon juice and olive oil and shaved pieces of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, makes me, well…CRAZY

All Chicken Milanese is, is a breaded chicken cutlet that’s been shallow fried in olive oil. My grandmother had her method, she would dip the chicken breasts in beaten eggs that had been seasoned, and then the chicken would be dredged in Italian bread crumbs.  I’ve updated that a bit.

To make the best-fried chicken, the chicken should be marinated in buttermilk, for a couple of hours or overnight, as a first step. It really tenderizes the chicken and then, of course, a flour or breading would follow.  I’ve decided to use a seasoned Greek yogurt as a first step then follow that up with the breading. It makes the chicken so tender and the spices really permeate the meat. Then I follow up with the breading.

I’m a really big fan of grilled chicken on top of a Caesar salad, so that gave me this idea! I’m using my favorite brand of a creamy chicken Caesar dressing as a marinade for my Milanese. The spices are already in the dressing, and I love the flavor of a Caesar dressing. This will make a great marinade and tenderizer for the chicken cutlets.

This is my Chicken Milanese-Updated.

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Chicken Milanese-Updated

 

 

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: Minimum 2 hours
Total Cook Time: 35 to 40 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: large baking sheet and rack, 12-inch sauté pan, large mixing bowl, vegetable peeler

Ingredients:
1/2 cup olive oil
1 pound of chicken cutlets (breasts)
1 16-ounce bottle of creamy Caesar dressing
2 1/2 cups of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped  (substitute 2 tablespoons of dried)

2 packages of prewashed mixed greens
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved
4 lemons
1/4 cup of *E.V.O.O.
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:
In a large bowl, marinate chicken cutlets in a mixture of Creamy Caesar dressing and 1/4 cup of finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley for 2 hours.

Note: Make sure each on the cutlets is coated on both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the frig for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Line baking sheet with foil and spray rack with non-stick cooking spray.

Remove the chicken from the frig. Pour the breadcrumbs into a large bowl with 1/4 of finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, toss to combine. Dredge each cutlet, shaking off the excess Caesar dressing, into the breadcrumbs, shaking off the excess breadcrumbs. Once they’re all breaded, set them onto the baking sheet pan fitted with a rack.

Preheat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Carefully add in the olive oil, tilting the pan away from you. Make sure the bottom of the pan is covered in oil. Once the oil has come up to temperature, ( you can test this by just submerging the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil. If you notice the oil bubbling, surrounding the tip of the handle, the oil is ready.) carefully add the breaded chicken to the pan. Don’t overcrowd the pan. You may have to do this shallow frying in batches and possibly add more olive oil. Pan fry about 2 to 3 minutes per side, just enough to get a golden brown color on both sides.

Transfer golden brown cutlets back onto the baking sheet fitted with the rack. Transfer the chicken to the oven and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked through. The internal temperature of 165-degrees F.

To serve:
Divide the mixed greens onto 4 salad plates. Squeeze about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice over each salad. Drizzle each with a couple of tablespoons of *E.V.O.O. Sprinkle each salad with Kosher salt and pepper to taste. Using a potato peeler, shave a few shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano over each salad. Top each of the cold crisp salads with 2 of the hot pieces of the Chicken Milanese. The remaining lemon juice squeeze over the chicken placing the used lemon on the plate. Serve immediately and enjoy!!! There you have it my Chicken Milanese-Updated.

*E.V.O.O. is the acronym for extra virgin olive oil.

2 Comments »

Arugula Salad With Herb Crusted Goat Cheese Medallions

Aruguala Salad Herb Goat Cheese Medallions and Seared Scallops

Herb Crusted Goat Cheese Medallions

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A simple cool crisp arugula salad with sliced red onion, fresh lemon juice, and *e.v.o.o. is perfect by itself. Now, when you top the salad with my warm herb-crusted goat cheese medallions, that takes the salad to a whole new level. Really delicious and simple to make. Let me show how I make these little gems. This is my Arugula Salad With Herb Crusted Goat Cheese Medallions.

Steve brought home a pound of fresh sea scallops. He asked me if I would pan sear a few of them for his salad. You know how it is, he just couldn’t wait to eat them which gave me the idea to add three seared sea scallops to each one of the salads.

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Below are my new garlic chives!

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Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: approx. 10 minutes.
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, parchment paper, large mixing bowl, 4 porcelain salad bowls, 2 (12-inch) non-stick sauté pans

Ingredients For Arugula Salad:
2 (4-ounce) packages of baby arugula or mixed greens, pre-washed
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
3 lemons, juiced, 2 tablespoons per salad
4 tablespoons of *E.V.O.O, 2 tablespoons per salad
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 large grapefruit, supremed (optional)

Note:  This next section is totally optional. Remove the connective tissue from each one of the scallops. Dry scallops really well before cooking.
12 large sea scallops
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter, unsalted

Directions For Seared Scallops:
In a large non-stick sauté pan, over medium-high heat, melt butter with olive oil. As soon as the butter is melted, carefully add the scallops, flat side down, into the pan in one even layer. Cook until well browned, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Using tongs, flip the scallops, and continue to cook. Using a large spoon to baste the scallops with the butter/olive oil mixture (tilt the pan so the butter/oil mixture runs to one side). Continue to cook until the sides of the scallops are firm and centers are opaque, 30 to 90 seconds longer (remove the smaller scallops as they finish cooking).

Ingredients For The Fried Goat Cheese Medallions:
2 (11-ounce) logs of goat cheese, sliced into 12 medallions 1/2-inch thick
3 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons of fresh garlic chives, minced (substitute chives)
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups of Panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons of butter, unsalted
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Directions:
Start by dividing evenly, into four porcelain salad bowls, the arugula, and sliced red onions. Cover each bowl with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to stay cold until ready to serve.

The Breading:
Place the panko, chives, and Italian flat-leaf parsley into a large mixing bowl.  Mix the fresh and dried herbs evenly throughout the Panko bread crumbs.

For the egg mixture, add to a bowl, 3 eggs, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and garlic powder. Using a fork, beat the eggs and spices together. Remove the goat cheese logs from the frig and slice into 12 1/2-inch thick medallions.

Dip the medallions, a few at a time, flipping with a fork, into the seasoned egg mixture, toss to coat. Next, carefully using a fork to transfer them, two or three at a time, into the herbed Panko, using a fork to flip the medallions.

Place the breaded goat cheese onto a rimmed baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Once all of the medallions are breaded, place the baking sheet into the frig to chill and set for 30 minutes.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat melt butter and olive oil swishing around to coat the pan. Once melted, arrange the breaded goat cheese medallions in the pan, do not overcrowd. Spread them out giving each enough room to flip. You may need to do this in two batches. Cook the goat cheese medallions quickly on both sides until lightly browned on the outside not allowing the cheese to melt on the inside.

Note, cook just until lightly brown on both sides.

Note:  If cooking in two batches, add another tablespoon of butter and oil. Bring the melted oil and butter back up to temperature before adding in the second batch of breaded medallions.

To Serve:  Squeeze fresh lemon juice over each of the prepared salads. Sprinkle each salad with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Drizzle with the *E.V.O.O. and toss. Top each with three goat cheese medallions. There you have it my Arugula Salad With Herb Crusted Goat Cheese Medallions.

Serve immediately.

*E.V.O.O. is extra virgin olive oil.

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