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Table Set in a Garden
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La Belle Cuisine
Spring Supper in a City Garden
Lee Bailey's City Food:
Recipes for Good Food and Easy Living
Copyright © 1984 by Lee Bailey (Clarkson N. Potter)
“This is a really marvelously satisfying light supper, one that I like to have
when asparagus first appear. During those few weeks I can’t seem to get enough
of this delicious vegetable, but for some reason after that my interest wanes
you don’t have a similar personal quirk, this menu may not seem too special. It
also presupposes that your guests share my enthusiasm. If I were dining alone I
wouldn’t bother with anything else, but for guests that would be going a trifle
too far, so I have added roast onions vinaigrette and Parmesan chicken (which
I suspect is bastardized Italian) along with thinly sliced toasted bagels with a
of whipped unsalted butter – some might consider this to be a perversion of the
classic bagel. The dessert is a warm banana clafouti (which is probably
bastardized French) to continue the theme.
Chicken cutlets are no trouble to prepare, but they must be chilled after
to ensure that the coating adheres. The best way to handle this is to do it in
late afternoon. After the chicken is cooked, it can rest on the back of the
stove until suppertime – being best served at room temperature. This goes for
Asparagus requires very little prepping, so you have only the clafouti to worry
about. It too is simple, but you should try to arrange your timing so it comes
out about when you have finished the main course. My method is to put the
in the oven 10 minutes before I start the asparagus. (Don’t forget to preheat
the oven.) This seems to ensure it will come out about right.”
Menu (for 6)
Italian Chicken Cutlets
[Feel free to use veal in this dish, if you like,
with Parsley, Lemon and Garlic
Roast Onions Vinaigrette with Chopped Red Onion
Toasted Thin-Sliced Bagels
[If you feel the need for more starch in
what a perfect time to add:]
Fettuccine Rene (from the Kennedy White
are cooked, they should not be refrigerated.
They are best served at room temperature.”
3 cups fresh bread crumbs, made from
9 slices firm white bread
5 medium chicken breasts, boned,
skinned, and cut in two
All-purpose flour for dusting
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup (or more) mild olive oil
Salt to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Put bread, including crusts, into a food processor or blender and process
into fine crumbs.
Spread crumbs on a cookie sheet and place it in the oven to dry out for 5
minutes, stirring once or twice.
Flatten chicken breasts by pounding with a rolling pin between sheets of waxed
paper (or have your butcher do this for you). Dust each with flour
and set aside on a sheet of waxed paper. Whisk the eggs and milk together.
Leaving the bread crumbs on the cookie sheet on which they were dried,
first dip the floured chicken in the egg (allow to drain off) and then into
the crumbs. Press slightly to make crumbs adhere. Transfer to the waxed paper as
soon as you finish. Refrigerate breaded cutlets for an hour to
make sure the coating sticks. Remove from the refrigerator 15 minutes
before you want to cook them.
Heat 1/2 cup oil in a heavy skillet until it is hot but not smoking. Sauté the
cutlets in batches for 45 seconds on each side, adding more oil as necessary.
Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and Parmesan cheese while they
are still hot. Cut into “fingers” to serve, accompanied by lemon wedges.
“This is my favorite method for cooking asparagus, both because
it is the
easiest and because it comes out beautifully and evenly
coated with butter.”
2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
and tough ends peeled
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt to taste
Wash asparagus. In a deep skillet melt butter over moderate heat.
Add asparagus spears. (Do not add liquid, as the water clinging to the washed
asparagus will be sufficient.) Cover tightly and steam the asparagus for 5
minutes, shaking occasionally. Look in to make sure it is not scorching,
turn the flame down, and cover. Cook for another 3 minutes. Obviously,
the timing will vary slightly with the size of the vegetable. Cook until
asparagus is crisp-tender; do not overcook. Salt to taste and serve
Roast Onions Vinaigrette with
Chopped Red Onion
“…I’m especially partial to onions cooked this way. They are easy to do and
have a marvelous flavor. Try them sometime puréed with steamed rutabaga
with a little butter and a few drops of Sherry vinegar added. They also
very well in a double boiler when puréed.”
6 medium yellow onions
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons safflower oil
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Put onions, unpeeled, in a pie plate lined with foil. Bake for 1 hour and
15 minutes and test for doneness with the point of a sharp knife. It should
penetrate easily once it is past the tough outer skin. Remove from oven
(or leave in the oven after it has been turned off).
Mix the vinegar with the salt and pepper, add the oils and whisk together.
Add the mustard.
To serve, peel the onions and top each with a generous tablespoon of the
vinaigrette and chopped red onion.
“Clafouti is traditionally made with fresh black cherries,
but I thought it might be fun to give this old-timer a new twist.”
5 tablespoons sugar
3 large firm but ripe bananas
2 cups half-and-half
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon finely grated orange rind [zest]
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375
Butter an 8 x 8-inch or 7 x 10-inch shallow baking dish. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons
of the sugar in the bottom. Cut each banana into 3 long
and line the bottom of the dish with them.
In a bowl beat together all the remaining ingredients, except the
confectioners’ sugar, and pour carefully over the bananas. Bake for
40 to 50 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Let cool on a rack for
15 minutes. Sift confectioners’ sugar over the top for garnish.
Featured Archive Recipes:
Spring Menu from 'The Cook and the Gardener'
Craig Claiborne's Chicken Cutlets Pojarski
Blanquette of Veal, Leeks and Peas
Veal Chops in Artichoke Cream Sauce
Veal Scaloppine with Mushroom Sauce
Asparagus, The Royal Vegetable
Asparagus Clafoutis (Daniel Boulud)
Onions in Red Wine
Craig Claiborne's Onions Stuffed with Ham
Creamed Spinach (Union Square Cafe)
Peach and Blueberry Clafouti
Sweet Cherry Clafouti
Angel Lemon Pudding
Lemon Mousse with Raspberry Sauce
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