12 March 2020

Cooking Through A Cookbook {The Defined Dish}

Hey y'all,

One of my goals I set for my 30th year is to finally cook through a cookbook. I really enjoy cooking and have always wanted to cook through one similar to Julie and Julia. Well, it's happening. I recently picked up Alex 's The Defined Dish cookbook (on sale for $18) and wrote down every recipe I wanted to try. Well, the list is almost 60. That means I have a set meal plan already done for 1-2 recipes a week.
Since these are in the cookbook I will not share the recipes unless they are also released on Alex's blog but I thought I would start sharing what I cooked over here, and some of my thoughts on the dish regarding flavor and ease.

Here's what I cooked so far:

Chicken Piccata.

This was an amazing dish and very simple. It's perfect for a quick weeknight meal. It also kept well for leftovers. It is also Whole30 compliant if you are doing an elimination diet. I love that Alex's recipes are clearly labeled so I can easily make swaps if I want to keep the dairy low for my lactose intolerance. Also, a lot of the recipes are naturally gluten free for those that have an intolerance or allergies. This recipe is posted on her blog here including a video to how to make the dish.

2 pounds skinless boneless chicken cutlets *see note
1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more as needed
1 tablespoon ghee
3 garlic cloves minced
2 tablespoons capers drained and rinsed, plus more for serving
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or 1 lemon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley for serving
Season the chicken cutlets on both sides with the salt and pepper and set aside.
Pour the arrowroot starch on a large plate or in a wide bowl. Lightly dredge each individual cutlet in the arrowroot flour until evenly coated, then shake off any excess. Place the dredged cutlets on a clean plate and continue until all are complete.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches so as to not overcrowd the skillet, carefully add the cutlets and cook until golden brown on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. The chicken does not need to be completely cooked through, just golden brown. Transfer to a parchment-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken, adding more oil to the pan if necessary.
Reduce the heat to low, add the ghee to the skillet, and swirl to evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring to prevent burning, about 30 seconds. Stir in the capers, chicken broth, and lemon juice. Increase the heat to a simmer. Nestle the chicken into the sauce and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is tender, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if desired. Garnish with the parsley and serve.

Lemon Rosemary Shrimp.

This has been the only dish I haven't been in love with. While good, I have made a better shrimp dish. It might have been something between the wine plus the lemons.

Hibachi Chicken with Magic Mustard Sauce.

Y'all this was amazing! I loved this dish and while I didn't make the magic mustard sauce, I served this with brown rice and this yum yum sauce you find in the refrigerated dressing section. I also add a bit of this No-Soy Teriyaki sauce to the chicken while it cooked. You can find the full recipe on her blog here including the magic mustard sauce but I did just the stir fry.

2 lbs. boneless skineless chicken thighs (trimmed, and cut into 1 inch chunks) *I used chicken breasts since I prefer them.
1/2 white onion thinly sliced
8 baby bella mushrooms stems removed and cut into fourths
1 large zucchini cut into thin, short strips
1 carrot cut into thin, short strips *I just cut up baby carrots I had on hand
2 tbsp. avocado oil
1 tbsp. ghee sub butter if not Whole30
kosher salt to taste
black pepper to taste
1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the oil and when very hot (it should be just smoking), add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Spread the chicken in a single layer and cook until all sides are golden brown and the chicken is cooked through, tossing occasionally, about 7 minutes.
When chicken is cooked through, use a slotted spoon to transfer onto a plate. Set aside.
In the same skillet, add the ghee and melt. Then add the onions, carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally until just cooked and slightly tender (you don't want them too soft, I like a little crunch to mine still), about 4 minutes.
Add chicken back into the skillet with the sesame seeds. Stir and saute for 2 more minutes.

Steak House Caesar.

Yum. I was worried about this Caesar since my Mom makes an amazing Caesar salad but YUM. I have been having Caesar salads all week with the leftover dressing since this makes a ton and the recipe is only 2 servings. This is her dressing on her blog for Caesar dressing but the Steak House version is a bit different. I will also say that I always skip the anchovies when I make caesar salad at home. This was the perfect Sunday supper when I wanted to treat myself and forget about any Sunday Scaries.

Overall, all of the recipes have been very easy and quick which I appreciate. A lot are also only 2-4 servings which for me cooking for one person is the perfect amount for a meal and leftovers.

Do you have a favorite cookbook?


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