This past weekend, Bertie and I enjoyed a delightful dinner at my parents' house, as we do each weekend.
We were both quite pleased to smell the aromas of Chicken Piccata as we came into the house. I've also been quite fond of a good Piccata and the spiciness of the capers in the sauce.
With Chicken Piccata, the chicken breast is butterflied and tenderized between two pieces of wax paper. The chicken is then seasoned and dredged in flour before being browned in butter or olive oil. The sauce is made using the pan drippings, lemon juice and white wine (or champagne). Shallots or garlic can be added with capers and slices of lemon. After reduction, butter is stirred in to finish the sauce and give it a creaminess which is quite delightful.
Traditionally, Chicken Piccata is served with pasta. In our case, we enjoyed it with a lovely angel hair pasta topped with a tomato sauce which came alive with the flavor of roasted eggplant.
Fresh broccolini was a perfect addition to the meal.
Boston Cream Pie!
Why is this delightful dessert called a pie when, in reality, it’s a cake? No one is quite sure, but there are two reasonable explanations. To begin with, this dessert is said to have originated at Boston’s Parker House Hotel, the creation of French Chef M. Sanzian in 1856. Some say that, in the mid-Nineteenth Century, pie tins were more readily available than cake tins, and so the confection was christened as a pie.
Another theory is that the Boston Cream Pie is a reinterpretation of an Early American dessert known as “Pudding-cake Pie” and that the word “pie” remained attached to the later version.
Regardless of its name, it’s wonderful stuff. After all, a pie by any other name, etc…
A fluffy, golden, round cake is split down the middle and filled with a lovely pastry cream (crème pâtissière) or custard. The whole cake is then glazed with chocolate ganache and served in wedges.
That’s another argument some use for the name “pie.” I’ve read that it’s called a pie because it’s sliced in wedges like a pie. However, I refute this, too. In what other logical manner would you serve a round cake?
And, so, as we enjoyed this beautiful Boston Cream Pie this weekend and, after devouring as much as we wanted, we discussed why it’s called a “pie.” We couldn’t find an answer. But, we didn’t care. Once you’ve had a bite of this wondrous treat, all is right in the world.