Monday, November 14, 2011

Hot times in the big city

I live in the Silicon Valley. Mountain View, California to be specific.  Many people might consider Mountain View the heart of the Silicon Valley... I think because Google is located here.  It has it's perks. For instance, I'm writing this blog post on a free city-wide WiFi connection provided by Google.  It's pretty helpful, since Peet's Coffee and Tea only allows one hour of free WiFi a day to their customers, and some of it's customers have blog posts and job searching to do.  Jerks.

I'm a city girl.  Probably because I grew up in a place that wasn't really a city.  Green Bay, Wisconsin might have 109,000 people in it, but it is still a small town.  I couldn't do something clear on the other side of town that my parents wouldn't find out about from Old Mr. Johnson who was friends with my Grandmother who TOTALLY saw me out at 1 AM. I mean... that never happened. I was a perfect child. And what was Mr. Johnson doing up at 1 AM anyway?

I moved to another small town to go to college. When I graduated, I moved to Santa Cruz, California which is a tiny surfing community on the Monterey Bay. Having grown up a lot in the last few years, Santa Cruz completely lost it's slacker charm, so I moved to Mountain View to find new job prospects and the feeling of a bigger community.  Still, I can't help but want something bigger.

If this picture doesn't look clean, it's because Roxy made
punch before dinner.  And Roxy's punch is probably
80 proof.  Don't drink and cook, kids.
There's a very real chance that I'll be relocating to San Francisco in the near future for work.  Which is very, very good, because every single friend that I've managed to make since I've moved from Santa Cruz has been from "the city."

This weekend, Raed and I made the short trek to San Francisco to make dinner with one such friend, Roxy, who is working on starting a shiny new company (that I think I might not currently be at liberty to talk about).

Roxy's kitchen is truly and unfairly nicer than mine.  Sorry, Roxy... but I'd kill for your cabinet space. And your gas stove. And the counter. If she wasn't letting me freely use her kitchen, it would probably be a good idea for her to lock the windows.

On the menu: homemade chicken strips and french onion soup.  People freak out when they hear homemade chicken strips, but I assure you that they're easy, customizable, and don't require fancy new equipment.  As you can imagine, they're also healthier than your average chicken strip and super tasty.  Playing with dipping sauce ideas is also super fun, especially if you're doing this for a family.  Get the kids involved.  You know they like to mix all the condiments on the table at the diner, anyway... put that skill to good use for once.

This recipe is for herbed chicken strips, but you're really only limited to your imagination.  If you like buffalo chicken strips, take the dill out of the recipe and add enough buffalo sauce to the egg to make it orange before breading the chicken.  Or, play with the herbs you add to the bread crumbs.

Dill Chicken Strips with Spicy Yogurt Sauce

For the sauce:
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup pepper sauce, I really like the Pepper Plant California Pepper Sauce for this
1 clove garlic, minced very fine

For the chicken:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups panko bread crumbs
one bunch fresh dill, chopped
8 small chicken cutlets cut into long strips
Olive oil

Place eggs and flour in separate shallow bowls.  Mix the chopped dill with Panko, and place in a 3rd shallow bowl.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Coat each strip with flour, then dip in egg, then press into the breadcrumb mixture.  Shake off the excess.

Heat about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat.  Cook the chicken in batches until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the cutlet.  Place on paper towel to soak up the excess oil.  If your pan becomes dry, go ahead and add another tablespoon of oil.  If leftover crumbs begin to burn in the pan between batches, carefully wipe the pan clean with a paper towel and begin again.

Mix yogurt, pepper sauce and garlic.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Place in the fridge covered with plastic wrap until ready to use.


  1. Danielle WisniewskiMay 6, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Lindsay this recipe is awesome! My husband and I are avid food junkies and found your blog on the Spyra website because he's applying for jobs right now. Thank you so much for this recipe and I look very forward to trying your Crispy Skinned Roast Chicken! Too bad it's already 95 degrees here or I would cook it now. :) Thanks again!

    1. Thanks Danielle! That's awesome... Spyra has taken a my time away from the blog at the moment - which is entirely unfair because I just moved to San Francisco an I've had some AMAZING meals. You can also catch me on Foodspotting in the meantime, and like the blog on Facebook because I've been trying to update there.

      Oh that chicken. So good - and yet, you need an air conditioner to pull it off in the summer. FYI, it works just as well with chicken breasts (bone in-skin on) and takes just a bit less time. You could also try it on a grill.