Wednesday Unwind - Cooking with Parker at The Pinehills

April 01, 2020     Food & Community

Hello and welcome to the Wednesday Unwind!

Just like you, all of us at The Pinehills miss each other, our families, friends, and neighbors while we Stay at Home. And, we miss our visits from you, too. Right now, more than ever, we need to remain calm and steadfast. Maybe even bring some new joy into our daily routines. So, as an alternative to the more stressful messages out there, we have created the weekly Wednesday Unwind. A tidbit of life at The Pinehills, featuring food, culture, insights from friends who work or live here, and other Pinehills-y diversions.

We hope these moments provide some calm and comfort in your day.

The Pinehills Team

This week, we invite you watch Parker Cooks at The Pinehills, with TV host Parker Kelley (of Home, Life, and Style airing Sundays on WCVB-TV Channel 5 ABC) and Super-Chef, David Becker (of Sweet Basil in Needham, Juniper in Wellesley, and Balani in Waltham) as they cook a delicious meal in our very own Summerhouse kitchen.

Food has been at the heart of The Pinehills since the beginning. We believe the best way to create home and community is to gather interesting people around the table and serve them a delicious meal. While we have to put that on pause for a while, this is a pretty fun, virtual alternative.

Settle in for some extreme nesting, enjoy, and most of all, stay healthy. <3

Recipes From the Cookbook:

Thrown out of an Italian Kitchen: Recipes from Sweet Basil, by Chef David Becker

Red Sauce

Yield: around 2 quarts


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced about 1 cup
  • 2 Spanish onions, diced about 2 cups
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced about 1 tablespoon
  • 2 (28 oz) cans of your favorite whole tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 cup water
  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over high heat until smoking hot. Add the carrot and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes, until beginning to caramelize. Add the onions, sauté for 5 minutes, until beginning to caramelize, and then add the garlic. Continue sautéing the mixture for 5 more minutes, until the vegetables begin to toast on the outside. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs, and water, bring to a boil, decrease the heat, and simmer for at least 20 minutes to cook away the acid. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

If storing for use later, transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to one week. Alternatively, red sauce can be frozen for use at a much later time.

Greek Salad

Serves: 4 to 6


  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced about 1 tablespoon
  • pinch kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, rinsed and shredded
  • 1 cubanelle pepper, seeded and sliced into 1/4-inch-wide strips
  • 1 English cucumber, deseeded and sliced into 1/4-inch-long strips
  • 2 vine ripened Tomatoes, wedged
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1 tablespoon marinated onions
  • 1 cup croutons

Though you can probably find a version of the salad at most local pizza joints, I still love to serve it. When combined with a tangy lemon vinaigrette like the Greek dressing, the crisp veggies are all very refreshing.

To prepare the dressing: place the lemon juice, feta cheese, basil, garlic, and salt and pepper in a small container that is deep enough to accommodate an immersion blender. Then, use the blender to combine the mixture, slowly adding the olive oil to emulsify the dressing. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.

To prepare the salad: in a large bowl, toss the lettuce with the dressing. Then, top with the pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, onions, and croutons, and serve.

Chicken Parmigiana

Serves: 4 to 6


  • 4 (8 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • olive oil, enough for frying
  • all-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 2 (8 oz) balls fresh mozzarella cheese, diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Place the chicken cutlets, 2 at a time between two large sheets of plastic wrap. Use the smooth side of a meat mallet to pound them to about 1/4-inch thickness.

Arrange the flour, egg wash, and breadcrumbs in 3 shallow bowls. Heat 1/4 inch of olive oil in a large skillet. Dust the chicken with the flower, dip in the egg wash, and then dredge in the breadcrumbs. Place the chicken in the heated oil and fry until golden brown. Turn over and cook for 10 more seconds. Transfer to dry paper towels to drain the oil.

Putting it all Together

Ladle the red sauce into a large casserole dish. Lay the chicken in the red sauce, and then top with mozzarella. Bake in the oven until the cheese is bubbling and brown.

Serve with your choice of pasta or polenta.

Tags: Wednesday Unwind, Kitchen

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