Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dinner tonight... Sauteed Chicken with Mushrooms and Green Beans

If I had more time, I think I could probably write a pretty good ode to the shitake mushroom. Shitakes are, by far, my favorite fungi. I discovered them in the mid-nineties, around the time that I decided to give mushrooms a chance in general. Unlike your everyday button variety, shitakes have a stronger flavor and a better, springier texture. They're sort of woodsy, if that makes sense. Regardless of the adjective, I can say without hesitation that I just love them and could probably eat them every day. Mr. Fritz, I learned tonight, doesn't quite share my passion for the mighty shitake. Although he enjoyed their flavor more than previous shrooms I've slipped onto his plate, the texture sort of stopped him cold. ("It's like chewing a snail," he noted.) Sigh.

Mr. Fritz does enjoy a good green bean, however, so tonight's meal, Sauteed Chicken with Mushrooms and Green Beans from (where else?) the November issue of Everyday Food actually worked well for us both. I served him a few of the mushrooms along with a lot of green beans (that's his plate below) and then in turn did the opposite on my plate. End result? One happy mushroom eater (me) and one happy green bean eater (Mr. Fritz) with a touch of balance for us both as well. Good times.

This meal came together in just a few minutes. To prepare it, you set some green beans in a steamer basket over an inch or so of boiling water. Once the beans are in the pot, cover and reduce heat to low. Let the beans steam for 4-6 minutes. Meanwhile, saute chicken cutlets in a little olive oil over medium high heat for 3 minutes per side. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Toss the mushrooms into the now chicken-less skillet along with a tablespoon of butter, saute for a couple of minutes until they soften, add chopped parsley, fresh lemon juice and a little more butter and you're done. To plate, set the green beans alongside the chicken, then top the chicken with the mushroom mixture. The result? Crisp green beans, good (if standard) chicken, and truly fabulous mushrooms (the lemon, butter and parsley really enhanced them!). Yum! And all in around 10-12 minutes. I'll definitely make this again.

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