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Chicken Piccata with Artichokes

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On Wednesdays, we’ve started focusing on meals that require only one piece of cookware—usually a fry pan, sauté pan, Dutch oven or baking sheet—so you don’t have to deal with washing a sink full of dishes before dinner is even ready.

In this recipe chicken piccata, a traditional Italian dish that typically consists of thin chicken cutlets that are pan-fried and topped with a pan sauce made with lemon juice and capers, is updated with the addition of meaty artichoke hearts. For extra vegetables, add a few handfuls of fresh spinach along with the capers.

Serve this dish over a plate of orzo or other small pasta shape for soaking up the delicious sauce.

Chicken Piccata with Artichokes

 

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) total

1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) all-purpose flour

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

3 Tbs. olive oil

2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 jar (6 oz./185 g) artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and quartered

1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) dry white wine

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) low-sodium chicken broth

Juice of 1 lemon

2 Tbs. capers, rinsed and drained

1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Butterfly the chicken breasts and cut them in half. Working with one chicken breast half at a time, place the chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and, using a meat pounder or other heavy, flat object, gently pound to an even thickness of about 1/4 inch (6 mm).

Pour the flour onto a large plate and season it well with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess. In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil until very hot but not smoking. Working in batches as needed to avoid crowding, add the chicken and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides and opaque throughout, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Return the pan to medium-high heat; do not wipe the pan clean. Melt 1 Tbs. of the butter with the
remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the garlic and artichoke hearts and sauté just until the garlic is soft, about 1 minute. Stir in the wine, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Stir in the broth, lemon juice and capers. Reduce the heat to medium, bring to a gentle simmer and whisk in the remaining 1 Tbs. butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes more. Stir in the parsley. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Return the chicken to the pan and turn to coat each piece with the sauce. Cook just until the chicken is warmed through, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

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Three-Layer Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Baking batter in three 8-inch (20-cm) round pans results in a gorgeous carrot cake that is sure to impress guests. Here we have spread just a thin layer of frosting on the sides so that the cake underneath shows through for a modern presentation, but you can coat the cake entirely with the frosting if you prefer.

Three-Layer Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

For the cake:

3 cups (15 oz./470 g) unbleached all-purpose flour

1 Tbs. baking soda

1 Tbs. baking powder

1 Tbs. ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp. kosher salt

3/4 tsp. ground allspice

5 eggs

1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) plus 2 Tbs. vegetable oil

1 cup (8 oz./250 g) granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups (12 oz./375 g) firmly packed brown sugar

3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) buttermilk

1 1/2 lb. (750 g) peeled and shredded carrots

1 cup (4 oz./125 g) toasted chopped walnuts

1 cup (3 oz./90g) toasted flaked coconut, plus more for garnish

 

For the frosting:

1 1/2 lb. (750 g) cream cheese, at room temperature

6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) (3 oz./90 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 3/4 cups (7 oz./220 g) confectioners’ sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Position a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour three 8-inch (20-cm) round cake pans.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and allspice. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar and buttermilk until blended. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture just until combined. Fold in the carrots, walnuts and coconut.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the racks and let cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the cream cheese frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy. Reduce the speed to low, add the
confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract until well blended.

Place 1 cake layer on a serving platter. Spread about a quarter of the frosting over the top of the cake. Place another cake layer on top of the first and spread another quarter of the frosting over the cake. Top with the third cake layer, and spread the remaining frosting decoratively over the top and sides of the cake.

Serve immediately, or cover with a cake dome and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature and garnish with coconut flakes before cutting into slices and serving.

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Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

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Crumbly cinnamon streusel ribbons the center and crowns the top of this tender cake. Ideal for serving to friends invited over for coffee or at a weekend brunch, it can be made in a tube pan, or, for a more decorative look, in your prettiest Bundt pan.

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

For the streusel filling

2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 Tbs. all-purpose flour

1/3 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

3/4 cup (3 oz./90 g) chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the batter

2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 oz./390 g) all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups (10 oz./315 g) granulated sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups (12 oz./375 g) sour cream

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour a 10-inch (25-cm) tube pan or Bundt pan.

To make the streusel filling, in a small bowl, combine the butter, flour, brown sugar, nuts and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender or fork, mix until crumbly. Set the streusel aside.

 

To make the batter, in a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

To make the batter by hand, in a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, beat together the butter and granulated sugar until light and creamy. Mix in the eggs and vanilla, beating until smooth. Add the dry ingredients in 3 batches alternately with the sour cream and stir with a rubber spatula just until the batter is almost smooth.

 

To make the batter using an electric mixer, in a large bowl, beat together the butter and granulated sugar on medium-low speed until creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients in 3 batches alternately with the sour cream and mix on low speed just until the batter is blended and almost smooth.

 

Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with the rubber spatula. Sprinkle evenly with half of the streusel filling. Cover evenly with the remaining batter and sprinkle with the
remaining streusel.

 

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out of the pan and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Serves 12.

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Gingered Rhubarb Crisp

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Fresh ginger adds a warm, spicy bite to this classic crisp with a crunchy oat topping. We like to serve this comforting dessert on a rainy spring evening topped with vanilla ice cream. As the ice cream melts onto the warm crisp, it offers a nice contrast in temperature and texture.

Gingered Rhubarb Crisp

1 1/2 lb. (750 g) rhubarb stalks, cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) slices

3 oranges

1 cup (8 oz./250 g) granulated sugar

3-inch (7.5-cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz./235 g) all-purpose flour

3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) quick-cooking rolled oats

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Vanilla ice cream for serving

Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).

Place the rhubarb in 9-by-13-inch (23-by- 33-cm) baking dish. Finely grate the zest from one of the oranges and add it to the dish. Squeeze 2/3 cup (5 fl. oz./160 ml) juice from the remaining oranges and add it to the dish along with the granulated sugar. Toss the rhubarb mixture well, then spread it out evenly in the dish.

In a bowl, using a fork, stir together the ginger, flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon and salt. Add the melted butter and stir until the ingredients are evenly moistened. Sprinkle the oat mixture evenly over the rhubarb. Bake for 15 minutes.

Loosely cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and continue to bake until the topping is browned and the juices are thick and bubbling around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Let cool, uncovered, on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes.

To serve, spoon the warm crisp into bowls, top with scoops of ice cream, and serve immediately. Serves 8.