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Thursday, April 02, 2020

I was recently reading through my collection of old Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines. Yeah, really old, like from the ‘90s. I had subscriptions to both. Actually, I also had a subscription to Food and Wine, but let’s not talk about that. (I guess I was a foodie long before blogging about food became popular.) I have a huge stack of these magazines and was considering whether it was time to throw them out, to make room for all the new cookbooks I have been buying. When I was first married, I made it a priority to cook at least one new thing each month from the magazines, so I could justify my subscriptions. Although, to be honest, I was perfectly happy simply reading the recipes and drooling over the pictures. Back then, I loved using the “latest” ingredients, like basil and sun dried tomatoes, in recipes. They felt so cutting edge, and made me feel like quite the gourmet. At the time, the only cookbook I owned was Spice and Spirit.

Looking through the magazines made me realize how trendy food was, and how dated some of the recipes felt. Ingredients like wheat berries, farro, kale, soy milk and nut milks had yet to make an appearance.

Although I was nostalgic and sentimental about the fact that I had had these magazines since I was married, I just knew they had to go. I decided that I would look through each one and cut out the recipes that I really intended to make, and the rest would be trashed. Sad, but necessary. I was surprised to find how few recipes my family would be interested in eating. At the same time, I realized how recipes that show up nowadays are actually similar to the ones from twenty years ago. My December 1992 issue of Gourmet boasts sautéed Brussel sprouts with shallots, lentil soup, and linguine with broccoli rabe and lemon. These would definitely be dishes which could make an appearance on my dinner table today.

So, instead of constantly looking ahead to the latest cookbooks and “hot” ingredients, I decided to go back and dig up some oldies, but goodies, which could make an encore appearance in my repertoire. Specifically, I found a recipe written out by a co-worker, on a scrap piece of paper titled “Points for Next Year’s Audit,” from a long-ago Summer when I guess I should have been working, but was talking about dinner ideas instead! I made it for my family recently and not only was it well-received, the leftovers froze well and made a re-appearance a month later without too much protest.

Chicken Piccata

3 lbs. chicken cutlets, pounded thin

1C. all purpose flour

1/3 C. olive oil

Juice of 2 lemons

¼ C. capers, drained

½ C. dry white wine

Dredge the chicken cutlets in flour. Heat oil in a skillet, until it’s nice and hot. Fry the cutlets for a few minutes on both sides until browned. If they are very thin, they will cook quickly, so don’t overcook. If they are thicker, there is no reason to make sure they are cooked through—just brown each side. Remove from pan, and place in a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish. It is fine to stack the chicken pieces on top of each other. In the same pan (with the browned flour and chicken bits, add the lemon juice, white wine and capers. Scrape up the bits from the pan and bring to a boil. Pour mixture over the cutlets. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Serve over a bed of linguine with broccoli rabe and lemon. Simple, quick and delicious!

The linguine recipe can be found in Gourmet December 1992 LOL! Email me if you really want it!

Rachel is a Real Estate attorney, currently feeling very nostalgic as she approaches her 25th year of trying to figure out what to make for dinner. You can find The Kosher Dinner Lady on Facebook and Instagram. You can contact her at [email protected]

By Rachel Berger