We’re walking a fine line between sick and well here and you’re guess is as good as mine which side of the line we’re going to come down on. Eventually we’ll be on the well side, I’m sure but is that going to happen by tomorrow? Or will we spend our President’s Day watching Ponyo and Charlie and Lola. Again. I guess this makes me glad that I went hardcore on the Ironman and finished up my biking and running in the first two weeks. I’m 3/4 miles into the swim and not sure how that’s going to work out since marathon training is *supposed* to start tomorrow, but I’ll do my best. Hope you are having as much fun with it as I am. Thanks again, Christy, for letting me be part of this!
Blessedly, I was feeling well enough this evening to make a citrus-y dinner of lemon risotto and chicken piccata. I’ll share the recipes in a minute, but before that, are you ready for the final Ironchef meal of the Run Bike Swim Cook Challenge? I hope so. This week you’ll need to make a dessert — I thought it fitting since it’s the last “course” — using beans. Not vanilla beans. Not coffee beans. Not jelly beans or string beans. Just your standard high protein, low fat garbanzo/kidney/black/pinto/navy/cannellini/whatever beans. (You can use vanilla beans and jelly beans in addition, of course, but they don’t count to fulfill the challenge.)
This may be a little self-serving since I have a recipe I’ve been wanting to try for ages, but I guess that is one of the perks of being Christy’s co-host. And I know there have got to be some great ways to get some extra protein in with your dessert. E-mail me your recipes and Ironman stats next Sunday for the re-cap: lizzie (at) themotherrunner (dot) com.
Lemon Risotto adapted from Smitten Kitchen
3 T butter
2 T olive oil
3 medium-large shallots, chopped
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups arborio or other medium/short grained rice
1 cup freshly grated parmasean cheese
zest of 2 large lemons
juice of 1 large lemon
2 T minced fresh parsley
Heat the chicken broth in a large pot over medium heat until it simmers. Turn off the heat and cover to keep warm. In another large pot, melt 1 T of butter with the olive oil over medium heat. When it has melted, add the shallots and let cook until tender, 5-6 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice begins to brown, 2-3 minutes. Ladle a cup or so of broth into the rice and stir constantly until the broth is absorbed. Add another cup. Continue stirring until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat until all the broth has been added and the rice is tender. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, cheese, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
(Or, if you are me and you have a pressure cooker, you add the broth all at once, put on the lid, heat the pot until the rocker is rocking gently and let it rock for 5-6 minutes. Then release the pressure by putting the pot under cold water. Take off the lid and proceed to add in the remaining ingredients.)
Chicken Piccata from The New Best Recipe
(This is a family favorite. Much quicker and less complicated than it looks. We have it several times a year.)
2 large lemons
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I usually use 2, sometimes 3)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 T vegetable oil
1 small shallot minced, or 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 T small capers, rinsed
3 T unsalted butter, softened
2 T minced fresh parsley
Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and set a large heatproof serving or dinner plate on the rack. Heat the oven to 200 degrees.
Halve 1 lemon pole to pole. Trim the ends from one half and slice it, crosswise, into 1/8-1/4 inch slices; set aside. Juice the remaining half and whole lemon to get 1/4 cup juice; reserve.
Sprinkle both sides of the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. Measure the flour into a shallow baking dish or pie plate. Working with one cutlet at a time, coat with the flour and shake to remove the excess.
Heat 2 T of the oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Lay half of the chicken cutlets in the skillet. Saute the cutlets until lightly browned on the first side, 2- 2 1/2 minutes, then turn and cook until the other side is lightly browned as well, 2- 2 1/2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer the cutlets to the plate in the oven. Add the remaining 2 T oil to the skillet and repeat the process with the remaining cutlets.
Add the shallot to the now-empty skillet and return the skillet to medium heat. Saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds (10 for garlic). Add the broth and lemon slices, increase the heat to high, and scrape the pan bottom with a wooden spoon or spatula to loosen the browned bits. Simmer until the liquid reduces to about 1/3 cup, about 4 minutes. Add the reserved lemon juice and caper and simmer until the sauce reduces again to 1/3 cup, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and swirl in the butter until it melts and thickens the sauce. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.