Learning to cook has never been simpler—or more delicious—thanks to The Haven’s Kitchen Cooking School, the new cookbook from the visionary culinary educator Alison Cayne. Each of the book’s nine parts centers around a key cooking lesson—take the eggs chapter or the soups chapter, for instance—and the rigorously-tested recipes are sure to become daily favorites.
Below is a look at two recipes from the cookbook. If you’re into the dishes you see here, join us on Wednesday, July 5 at 6 p.m. for our July Cookbook Club. $75 per person includes a cooking demonstration as well as a copy of the cookbook. Grilled Sausage with Flatbread, Charred Scallions and Chimichurri and a gorgeous fruit galette will be on the menu; get in touch with your local store for more details.
Grilled Chicken Paillard
Although this recipe is written for a grill pan, you can also use an outdoor grill. Just note that the chicken will cook more quickly than on the stovetop, so keep the grill set on medium heat—not too high, or the cutlets will char too much. The serving possibilities are endless. Try over a bed of arugula or grains with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon or Chimichurri (recipe follows). Use a very sharp knife to butterfly the breast.
Two 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Fine sea salt
- Lay the breasts on a cutting board and butterfly them: Press your nondominant hand flat on top of a chicken breast with the thinner side toward your pinky finger. Starting at the thick side, slice the breast horizontally in half, so it opens like a book. Be careful not to cut all the way through; you want about ½ inch of muscle holding it together on the thin side of the breast. Butterfly the second breast.
- Spread the breasts open, lay them between two pieces of parchment paper, and pound them with a meat tenderizer or a rolling pin until about ½ inch thick. Pounding chicken not only tenderizes the meat, it also speeds up the cooking time and keeps the meat juicy.
- Temper the breasts for 10 to 15 minutes. While they come to room temperature, preheat a grill pan over high heat. Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken. This will keep the breasts from sticking.
- When the pan is hot, gently lay the breasts on it and generously shower with salt. Make sure there’s enough room—about 1 inch—around each breast; this will ensure that the meat gets a proper char and does not steam. Do not touch the chicken for 3 minutes. This allows the meat to form a crust, which will help it release from the pan. Try to flip the breast: if it sticks, the chicken hasn’t seared yet. Give it another minute and try again.
- Flip and cook the other side for 3 to 4 minutes. When flipping the chicken, move it to a new spot on the pan (which will be hotter).
- Remove from the heat and rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. Serve as desired.
This recipe calls for a food processor. However, you can use a mortar and pestle or a blender. Keep in mind, chimichurri is meant to be chunky, so pulse the items rather than puréeing completely.
Makes about 1 cup
2 cups packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
Juice of 2 limes, plus more as needed
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt
- Place the parsley in the bowl of a food processor with the garlic, oregano, and lime juice and pulse until roughly chopped.
- Add the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pulse until chunky, about 15 seconds.
- Check the seasoning and add salt and/or lime juice if needed. While it’s wonderful freshly made, chimichurri can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Serves 6 to 8
1 small ciabatta loaf (about 6 cups cubed)
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt
1½ pounds ripe tomatoes, ideally a variety of heirlooms
1 small red onion
1 English cucumber
Grated zest and Juice of 1 lemon
½ bunch of basil, leaves torn
½ bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut or tear the ciabatta into 1-inch pieces. In a large bowl, toss the bread with the ¼ cup olive oil and a pinch of salt until coated. Let the oil soak into the bread for 3 minutes.
- Place the bread pieces on the baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
- While the bread is toasting, prepare the tomatoes by cutting them into fork-sized wedges and tossing them in a large bowl with a few pinches of salt. Salting the tomatoes creates a liquid, which gets absorbed by the croutons, softening them a bit and giving them flavor.
- Cut the red onion down the middle from pole to pole, peel, and then cut into thin slices. Soak in ice water until you are ready to toss and plate the salad; this helps maintain the crunch and tempers the pungency. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, cut off the ends and discard, then slice into 1/4-inch half circles.
- Add the croutons to the bowl of tomatoes and toss gently to combine.
- Drain the red onion and place in the bowl with the tomatoes. Add the cucumber and lemon juice, and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss gently with your hands.
- Add the basil and parsley and toss gently again.
- When ready to serve, season the salad with grated cheese and lemon zest.
Excerpted from The Haven’s Kitchen Cooking School by Alison Cayne (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2017. Photographs by Con Poulos.