Tag Archives: Sauté

Hole in the wall

Lemon-Caper Chicken

I love to stumble across hole in the wall restaurants, that’s usually where you find the best food. I have two very favorites, one is a roadside joint outside of Austin, Texas that serves the best burgers on homemade sourdough rolls. The second is The Red Bar in Grayton Beach, Florida. For those of you who vacation here, your probably thinking that this is no hole in the wall because in the summer the wait is 2 hours or more for a table.

But The Red Bar does a hole in wall right. A simple 5 item menu presented on a chalkboard, only cash is accepted and you feel like you’re in a psychedelic den from the 60′s. My favorite dish is the panned chicken, of course that means fried and covered with a buttery sauce – here’s my take with out the psychadelic den.


1 lb chicken breast, thinly sliced or pounded to about 1/4″ thick

1 tsp olive oil

salt and pepper

flour for dredging

1 1/2 cups + 1/4 cup chicken broth, low-sodium

1 tbsp cornstarch

3 tbsp capers, drained

1 tbsp butter

juice of 1 lemon

In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge lightly in flour. Place chicken in hot oil, cooking for 5 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove chicken and set aside.

Add 1 and 1/2 cups chicken broth to pan to deglaze, stirring up all the bits from the bottom. Let reduce for about 5 minutes. In the meantime, mix cornstarch and 1/4 chicken broth in a small bowl. Add to reduced chicken stock and stir until sauce is thickened.

Add juice of one lemon, capers and stir of butter. Add chicken back to pan and let simmer in sauce for about 10 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

If you prefer the sauce to be thinner, just add a little more chicken broth.


I usually serve this dish with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and oven-roasted asparagus but the chicken is also good over a whole grain pasta.

Stay tuned tomorrow and I fill you in on how to make the mashed potatoes and asparagus.

Pecans or pecans?

Pork Tenderlion Medallions with Mustard Sauce & Pecans

When I was in college I volunteered myself to cook for a dinner party my Nana was hosting. Looking back, I was pretty confident to cook an entire meal for my Nana and her friends. These were the same ladies whose recipes appeared in one of my beloved cookbooks, Gazebo Gala. The recipes were deep in southern traditions, full of butter and of course delicious.

My menu was as follows:

Pecan Crusted Chicken Breast with a Dijion Sauce, Broiled Stuffed Tomatoes, Asparagus and Chocolate Tarts.

Once I had sauteed the chicken and it was ready for the oven – we realized the oven was stuck on broil! My dinner was literally going to go down in flames. I calmly sat on the stoop to smoke a cigarette ( this was college!) and came up with a game plan. I  decided to rotate the chicken, tomatoes and rolls under the broiler until I got them finished. It worked and the dinner party went off with out a hitch.

The chicken recipe called for 10 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of safflower oil. Not only that but the chicken was entirely coated in pecans! To say the least it was a very decadent dish.

I came up with this healthier version a few years later. You could use chicken but I prefer using pork tenderloin.


1 lb pork tenderloin, visible fat trimmed, sliced into 1 inch pieces

salt and pepper

canola oil spray

2 tbsp low sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup light sour cream

2 tsp dijion mustard

2 tbsp pecan pieces, toasted

chopped parsley for garnish

Pound pork into 1/4 inch medallions, season both sides with salt and pepper.

Coat pan with canola oil spray and over medium heat cook medallions about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Turn heat to low and add chicken broth to deglaze pan, scraping the bottom to get up all the bits of flavor. The add sour cream, mustard and salt and pepper. Stir until a smooth consistency being careful not to boil sauce.

Serve pork medallions with mustard sauce and topped with a few toasted pecans pieces and chopped parsley.


I use light sour cream for this dish – be careful not to get too hot or the sour cream will seperate.

I usually serve the medallions with whipped sweet potaotes and sauteed spinach. Tonight I was in a hurry so I heated up a package of  quinoa & whole grain brown rice.