I have been so intent on the garden and taking pictures of it that I have been neglecting my other passion, cooking, for a bit. Not having the children at home as much and my hubby working like a superman, I hadn’t felt the urge to really cook anything exciting. However just last night, I was inspired to do something different with chicken cutlets. We have a commercial size Viking stove, it’s not something that you deep clean everyday because the parts are heavy and they don’t fit easily in the sink, so when it comes time to clean, it is pretty much several hours worth of dismantling, scouring, rinsing and reassembling. Once your Viking stove is all sparkly clean, there is no way that anyone would want to sauté anything on the stovetop for at least one day. This desire to keep the stovetop clean led me to be inspired with the chicken, though they were nice and thick, they were still skinless and boneless, quite capable of coming out dry and chewy if not approached with care. Armed with my trusty iPad, I perused the web on my quest for ideas on how to bake naked chicken cutlets, lacking a backbone, without losing their tenderness. Seek and you shall find. I found the recipe on cooks.com, baked chicken with a mustard, mayonnaise sauce. It could not be easier, preheat the oven at 350, combine 2/3 cup of mayonnaise with a 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and 2 tbsps of Dijon mustard, slather it onto the chicken breasts and dredge them in Italian flavored breadcrumbs. Your fingers will be messy but you put the cutlets into a baking dish and bake them for, it said 30 minutes, I forgot them and when my nose reminded me that they were in the oven, it was 50 minutes, which with the thickness of the cutlets was the right cooking time after all. The kids loved it, it was tender and juicy and not messy. Thank goodness for my nose, I have to say that with the more experience that I have baking and cooking I have come to realize that cooking times aren’t accurate at all, they are really just guidelines. You really have to trust your nose and your fingers to touch and smell when something is done.
I had my phases, for example; there was the Nancy Drew collection, the Agatha Christie collection, the Anne of Green Gables series, Little House of the Prairie series, the Black Stallion series and of course Greek mythology, in its entirety. I don’t have a favorite, I loved them all.