Wednesday, July 28, 2010

summer supper on the fly

On Thursday night, I got a voicemail from my friend Anne saying that she and her fiance Colin were going to be in our neighborhood tomorrow night, and would I want to cook dinner for everyone, and please don't fuss and only use what you have in your fridge. Hmm.

Before you accuse Anne of being a pushy dinner guest, you should know that I extended an open-ended dinner party invitation to them a few weeks ago. We have the cozy sort of friendship where you can just add another box of pasta to the pot, or throw another steak on the grill.

She also proposed that we all go out for dinner, but you know I wasn't going to do that.

As for only using what we had in the fridge, I wasn't about to serve them eggs and coleslaw mix. Instead, I would make what Dan and I would eat on a normal Friday night and jazz it up with a few extras.
There is a chicken recipe in the latest issue of Bon Appetit that I've become hooked on. In one pan, you saute chicken breasts with shallots, then remove them and add green beans, butter, and lots of lemon juice to make a surprisingly complex sauce. I also like adding cherry tomatoes to the mix for extra color and flavor. The first few times I made this recipe, Dan kept asking, "What is in this? It's so good." Nothing special is in it at all--it's magically delicious.

Served up with a side of couscous, some pre-dinner snacks, and plenty of Brooklyn Brewery summer ale, this was a perfect Friday night supper. So good that everyone happily sweated through each course, dabbing at their foreheads with paper napkins, talking and laughing well into the night.
Summer supper
Deviled eggs
Peach, goat cheese, and basil crostinis
Chicken with green beans, tomatoes, and lemon butter
Framboise ice cream floats

Chicken with green beans, tomatoes, and lemon butter

A tweaked version of this recipe from Bon Appetit.
(Serves 4 people)

4 boneless chicken breast halves (with or without skin)
All purpose flour
2 Tbsp. olive oil
8 shallots, peeled, chopped roughly (or 1 medium red onion, chopped roughly)
2 Tbsp. (1/4 stick) butter
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 lb. green beans, trimmed (or haricots verts)
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
2 Tbsp. minced chives (or parsley)

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper; lightly dust with flour to coat. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and shallots; sauté until chicken is golden and just cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plate.

Melt butter in skillet with shallots over medium heat. Add lemon juice and lemon peel, then green beans and tomatoes; toss. Cover and cook until beans are crisp-tender and shallots are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Return chicken and any juices to skillet; sprinkle with chives. Simmer until sauce thickens enough to coat, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer chicken and vegetables to platter, drizzle the sauce, and serve.


Sarah from 20somethingcupcakes said...

Definitely going to try this chicken. Always into simple things that come together in a magical way.

Laura said...

Lisa, this conjured up memories of the SL editor saying "summah suppahs"
remember? Java with John and Krispy Kremes? Good times.

rosiiieee said...

yum the peach/goat cheese/basil crostinis look and sound so good! i wouldn't never thought of that combination...

Anonymous said...

I couldn't find the magical rice recipe in the archives that made you dance around the room...didn't it have eggs in it?

Lisa said...

Sarah: I hope you like it. Let me know!

Laura: Ha! Of course. Now I can't say/read "summer suppers" any other way.

Rosie: Thank you! More on those next week...

Anony: I've been a bad blogger, not updating the archives. Here you go:

Anne said...

In the spirit of full disclosure, while I did mention that we could all go out if you didn't want to cook, I was secretly hoping you wouldn't take me up on that offer. Your dinners are much better than any Park Slope restaurant! The chicken was amazing, the crostinis were the perfect summer starter, and the framboise floats were as good as they sound - thanks, Lisa!

Lisa said...

Anne: Aw, thanks. You know I would cook for you guys any night of the week. We are that desperate to hang out with you.

Daniel said...

Embarrassing when I'm the only one who eats the deviled eggs.

Mere said...

Last night I had a few girls over for dinner, potluck style. It came together beautifully - I made the chicken and green beans (simple, delicious), someone was thoughtful enough to make the Peach Crostinis (OMYum) and another girl picked up lemon infused basil rice at the market. Thanks for the inspiration - we enjoyed every bite!

Lisa said...

Daniel: And yet you do it anyway!

Aunt Mere: You made my day! Thank you for reporting back. I am so glad you had a great meal.


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