Every journalist has a moral obligation to accuracy in reporting. Even as the gold standard, the New York Times occasionally makes a mistake. And there’s always some alert reader to call it to the paper’s attention.
Well, I’m far from the New York Times. I don’t do fact-checking. Don’t have an editor. Don’t have two sources for everything I say.
Still it’s a little embarrassing when I screw up: Like saying I had not taken a cooking class in 30 years. When actually I did—and in my very own kitchen.
Fortunately an alert reader picked up this inaccuracy—-the alert reader being the person who taught the class: my friend Charlotte.
As she reminded me, not only did she come up from Los Angeles and teach a cooking class in my kitchen to some of my friends in Carmel; she did this twice.
I don’t need reminders of the rest. For years, Charlotte’s was my home-away-from-home for the holidays. Before there were personal coaches, she was mine—in all things related to food. This included being my personal shopper; Horrified to see the state of my pots and pans and utensils, she took me to outfit my new kitchen before I married V and moved to Carmel….. This also included providing technical support over the phone at dinnertime when almost every night occasionally I needed help with a recipe……most of which Charlotte also supplied, recipes I used practically every single night—- without which my children might have rebelled— or starved.
When Daniel moved into his college apartment and started cooking, the only thing he asked me to send him were some of Charlotte’s recipes. They’re not organized in a binder like Charlotte keeps hers—-my pages are stained, disorganized, loosely scattered with the same cover sheet she used to fax them to me in 1994 right after I got married.
I thought I’d share one—–not her chicken soup, meat loaf, Caesar salad, grilled salmon, onion rings, etc.; and not the one Charlotte would pick. But this is the one I used the most—- because it was the easiest recipe with the least number of ingredients. Also the one my kids liked best (at least until Alli stopped eating meat.)
Charlotte’s Chicken Parmesan
1 chicken cut up or boneless breasts or chicken strips (with or without skin)
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
3/4 good quality Parmesan cheese (Reggiano is the best)
1 clove garlic, squeezed
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
Combine crumbs, cheese, salt, pepper and garlic. Mix well. (you can put into a ziploc bag.)
Brush chicken with mustard.
Dip chicken parts into crumb mixture until well–coated. Or put in ziploc, close and shake well until chicken is covered.
Place chicken skin-side up in a pan that is greased or sprayed.
Bake at 375 degrees: one hour for cut-up chicken, 30 minutes for boneless breasts.
Do not turn; Good served hot or cold.
Great for kids’ lunches.
Thank you, Charlotte for being my food guru—and here’s to many more years of breaking bread/or baking bread together. Meanwhile I’m starting to wonder if I should start a food blog….