Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Newest Old Love: Sara Moulton's Back!

I am finished with the Food Network. Oh I watch the channel, I even get sucked into to their "Next Food Network Star" programming. Sadly, this leads to watching the show of the next "Star" (which is in quotes for a very good reason) and wishing that you were the kind of lush who plays drinking games on a Sunday morning because "chef's" narration is largely telling me to take some of this "here" and a bit of that "there" until I don't know the difference between the two anymore.

But that's all over now. I have a new love: Sara's Weeknight Suppers. Back in the day, I used to watch Sara Moulton, on what had to be one of the first call-in cooking shows (Cooking Live, if you are old enough to remember). Then the Food Network decided to trade chefs for "talent" and I spent years watching inferior shows. But now, my local PBS station is rescuing me from getting sloshed before lunch. Sara Moulton has a new show, oh glory Hallelujah.

Why I love this show:
1. Sara Moulton actually knows how to cook. CIA trained. Executive chef for Gourmet magazine.
2. She gives helpful tips (the marinade will permeate the meat faster if you leave it all on the counter instead of putting it in the fridge).
3. She knows me. In the first episode she was making four meals out of two, by repurposing the leftovers (and not by making two disgusting meals, as Robin Miller would have you do). She mentioned exactly how happy you'd be when you get home at 6 o'clock and realize you already have dinner mostly made. If I found two already cooked lamb chops in the fridge I'd think the damn food fairy came.
4. She doesn't try to bullshit you. She made nachos for dinner. With a disclaimer that she couldn't believe she was trying to pass this off as a recipe, but on a Friday night, who really cares anymore. At no point did she try to tell you that your nachos would be the centerpiece of a Cinco de Mayo feast that would be so Yum-O that your neighbors would anoint you with EVOO for being the one true queen of Mexican cuisine.
5. Her recipes work and are delicious. Case in point, these chickens. Loved the chickens Sara.
6. She really doesn't seem like an asshole and is pro-women in the workplace. Unlike some other chefs talent I could name.

So come on over, be converted. You don't need that Food Network cable crap. Just good old public programming and you can learn to love cooking shows again too!

adapted from Sara's Weeknight Meals

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
zest of one lemon
1/2 t salt
1 t oregano
black pepper
1/8 t water
extra virgin olive oil
for a super quick pan sauce: 2 T butter and a dash of white wine

Trim your chicken breasts and remove the tenderloins. Add a drizzle of olive oil, lay a bit of plastic wrap over the chicken and pound until uniformly thin (maybe about as thin as a tenderloin). In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, salt, oregano, a few turns of the pepper grinder and the water. Using the back of the spoon, mash it up until it forms a paste. Rub the olive oil that you drizzles onto the chicken before all over the breasts, adding a teaspoon more if needed. Then divide the rub evenly between the two breasts. Carefully rub this all over the chicken. Don't leave clumps because it will be very strong. I put the rub on my tenderloins too. Then set it all aside to sit for 30 minutes. Right before you're ready, add 2 teaspoons olive oil to a pan and heat to medium high. Add your breasts and tenderloins and cook 3-5 minutes a side (the tenderloins will need less the breasts may need more depending on how thin you pounded them). If you are making in a pan and want a super quick pan sauce, remove the chicken to plates, add 2 T butter and a dash of white wine, let it burble, scrape off the chickeny bits that are stuck to the pan and pour it over. Delicious.


mamacita said...

Love Sara Moulton, and not just 'cause she's a shorty like me. In other good news, Jacques Pepin is back on PBS, too.

JMLC said...

Oh, this post made me laugh and snort water out of my nose! You're so funny. And I both remember cooking live and love Sara!

For the record the only thing I now watch on Food TV are the competition shows- and not religiously. I do have a soft sport for Robert Irvine. Steady, reliable, almost bald... you know me. Plus, he doesn't so much cook as bark orders at others to do so. Kind of my style....

mom said...

I gotta say, I do like Robert Irvine too. Maybe it's the accent. But he can cook and he doesn't even try to be cute like some I could name. And, BTW, how is Guy Fieri a cook- I've only seen him eat (and eat and eat and...)

JMLC said...

I do think it's the accent and lack of cuteness. He just so.... in charge. Which in real life I would probably hate. On tv, it works just fine.
Ironically, Guy is actually pretty well-trained (stupid chefography sucked me in once) which makes me not mind him as much. But I still won't watch him since I find him annoying. Plus, his food is really NOT good for you. At all.

Anonymous said...

You just made this for us and it was a big hit. I made Ina Garten's teequila/lime chicken with a 24 hour marinade and a lot of hype but it was NOWHERE near as good as this. Dad especially liked yours (and Sara's) better. Thank you.


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