Growing up enjoying my parents’ and grandparents’ comfort foods taught me early on about taste. It was always hard for me to go on a traditional diet. I had been led to believe that I had to sacrifice flavor to shed a few pounds, so that effort never lasted very long. This girl likes good food! I am not one of those people who gets so busy with my day that I suddenly think to myself, “Wow, I forgot to eat lunch!” That never happens to me. Never. I think about food all the time, so making peace with eating is a daily battle for me. I won’t say I’ve completely figured it out, but I will say that right now, I win that battle more days than I lose it, and I believe that’s the key.
In my first two cookbooks, my mom, my sister, and I wrote about our family history- recipes that had been passed down for generations. My life now focuses on finding new recipes that feel like classics and on applying healthy twists to foods that my family already loves. Trisha’s Table is just that- it’s what we eat at my house. It’s variety and balance.
In adopting a healthier lifestyle, I’ve had to make some peace with my genuine love for fried chicken. I didn’t give it up, but I’m down to eating it only a couple of times a year. This healthier, unfried version of the South’s favorite bird allows me to enjoy the comfort of fried chicken year round, without all those added calories and fat! Buttermilk is lower in fat than whole milk and is a natural tenderizer for the chicken, too.
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce (I like Tabasco)
- 1½ cups multigrain panko bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half
- 1 lemon, quartered
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a medium shallow bowl, combine the buttermilk and hot sauce.
- In a separate medium shallow dish, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper and submerge in the buttermilk mixture.
- Remove, allowing the excess to drip off, then dredge in the bread crumb mixture, pressing to adhere.
- Lay the pieces flat on a nonstick baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Then bake the chicken until crispy and brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Squeeze the lemon over the chicken before serving.
For me, coleslaw usually conjures up images of big gatherings and huge serving bowls. Everybody’s coleslaw is different. Our “big” party version of this recipe includes shredded carrots, but my mama used to make this simpler coleslaw when it was just us—not a big crowd. I like how she snuck a little Dijonnaise in there for a subtle kick. This recipe makes only a couple of cups, but you can certainly do the math and make as much as you want if you’re feeding a crowd.
Time to prepare: 15 Minutes
Time to cook: Chill for 30 minutes
- 2 cups cored and thinly sliced green cabbage (¼ small head)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup sweet relish
- ¼ small onion, sliced in half lengthwise and then crosswise into ¼-inch slices
- 1 tablespoon Dijonnaise
- ¼ cup mayonnaise (I like Hellmann’s)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, mix together the cabbage, lemon juice, relish, onion, Dijonnaise, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.
For more of Trisha’s amazing recipes, check out her book, Trisha’s Table.