I hosted my book club for dinner the other night and made a meal that I ended up loving. I’d made 3/4 of it before but not as complements to each other and the chicken dish was totally knew to me. Going into planning the meal, I found that there were three vegetables I really wanted to serve: asparagus (asparagus righth now is in season and just glorious), zucchini, and broccoli. I wasn’t too interested in any other “starch” like a potato or pasta dish and a Martha Stewart Everyday Food recipe for buttermilk baked chicken also looked especially good. So, the final menu I came up with was the chicken, zucchini fritters (I love these. It’s from a Martha recipe and I put a full lemon’s zest in it and do not include parsley), broccoli salad, and then chocolate chess pie for dessert. Here are the recipes in case you want to try any of these dishes in your kitchen:
Buttermilk Baked Chicken (serves 6)
Zucchini Fritters (serves 4)
1 pound (about 2 medium) zucchini 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon (1 lemon) freshly grated lemon zest 10 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, stems removed and leaves finely chopped, plus more sprigs for garnish (optional) 1 medium clove garlic, minced 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Using the large holes of a box grater, grate zucchini into a medium bowl. Add salt, lemon zest, chopped parsley, garlic, pepper, and eggs. Mix well to combine. Slowly add flour, stirring so no lumps form.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until oil sizzles when you drop a small amount of zucchini mixture into the pan. Carefully drop about 2 tablespoons zucchini mixture into pan; repeat, spacing fritters a few inches apart.
Cook fritters until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Turn fritters, and continue cooking until golden, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer fritters to a plate; set aside in a warm place. Cook remaining zucchini mixture, adding more oil to pan if necessary. Garnish with parsley sprigs and lemon wedges, if desired; serve.
Crunchy Broccoli Salad (from Healthy Cooking magazine)
8 cups fresh broccoli florets 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced 1/2 cup dried cranberries 3 tablespoons canola oil 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar 2 tablespoons sugar 1/4 cup sunflower kernels 3 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, onions and cranberries. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar and sugar; drizzle over broccoli and toss to coat. Chill until serving. Sprinkle with sunflower kernels and bacon. Yield: 10 servings.
Chocolate Chess Pie
1 stick butter 1 1/3 cup sugar mixed with 1/4 cup cocoa 2eggs 1 small (5 oz) can Carnation sweet milk 1 tsp vanilla 1 pie shell
Melt butter. Add sugar mixed with cocoa. Beat in eggs. Add milk and vanilla. Beat well again. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Cook at 325 degrees for 50-60 minutes.