What sounds less appealing than boiled chicken in tuna sauce? Veal in tuna sauce! That’s the dish that inspired this week’s menu. Oh, Lord.
Meal No. 39: Romaine with Shallot Dressing; Chicken in Tonnato Sauce; Boiled Potatoes with Golden Beets; Cornmeal Cake with Blueberries and Cream
I had a lot of trouble procuring the ingredients in this week’s meal during my regular life errands. I first attempted to shop at a Food Poodle on the outskirts of Dinkytown, having stopped on our way back from a bike ride in the country. The store had no shallots, fresh thyme or canned tuna in oil. Not only did they not have any free-range chicken, which I wasn’t really expecting them to carry, but they didn’t have any bone-in chicken breasts at all.
The next day I went to Kroger and they also didn’t have any shallots or thyme. I went to the hippie store for some local chicken and they had shallots, but their romaine was hideous, so I decided to forgo the salad this week. Needless to say, none of the stores had gold beets.
Tonnato evidently means tuna in Italian. This sauce was pureed egg yolk, canned tuna in oil, anchovies, olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice. It looked very familiar. In fact, I have, on numerous occasions, cleaned up cat vomit that looked exactly like this. Perhaps if you don’t live with cats you could get past it.
The photo in the cookbook shows a thin, perfectly smooth sauce, white as the driven snow. There is no way to use these ingredients and get a sauce that color. Do they have clear capers where Martha lives?
Salt and pepper the chicken, put it in a pan with chicken broth to cover and boil/simmer until done. That’s it! No herbs or aromatics.
Cool, remove skin, slice, top with cat barf.
Actually, the sauce wasn’t bad. It mainly tasted of capers and lemon. Why not just make a chicken piccata and leave the fish out of it?
Potatoes + Beets:
Martha forbids the use of red beets in this recipe, as they would bleed into the potatoes (they are simmered together in a pot). I don’t like beets so it was fine with me to skip them. It seemed kind of pointless to cook just the potatoes, which were to have been boiled and tossed with thyme sautéed in oil.
The plan was to quick-pickle shallots and serve them over romaine lettuce. Maybe next time.
Cornmeal Cake with Blueberries:
I thought this was an odd way to end the meal, but I guess she wanted to stick with her color scheme. I made a half batch, baked in a loaf pan, and substituted whole milk yogurt for the sour cream.
It was pretty good–kind of like cornbread crossed with a biscuit in texture, with some sweetness. The Husband thought it was like a mealy pound cake.
The plain whipped cream and berries didn’t do a lot for the cake. You know what was excellent with it, though? That Jeni’s ice cream we have left over from The Husband’s birthday gift–the sweet corn and blackberry flavor was delicious with the cake.
Some macerated strawberries for shortcake would also work.
This was the last of the Summer meals!
Chicken and Tonnato Sauce: The Husband liked the sauce on its own, with something other than the chicken (in theory) so it gets a B+-. The combo is a C.
Potatoes & Beets: N/A
Cornmeal Cake with Blueberries: B as directed; A with our gourmet ice cream.