'Top chef' four-course Valentine's meal

February 12, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
A four-course meal for under $30 from former "Top Chef" contestant Ryan Scott.

Ryan's "Top Chef" chicken piccata with parmesan, escarole, capers and parsley.
Serves 2

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 head escarole, core removed, leaves separated, cleaned and chopped
  • 1/2 lemon zest finally grated
  • 1 tablespoon chopped capers
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1) Cut chicken breast into thirds. Place the chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap, and pound them with a mallet to an even1/3 inch thickness.

2) Place Flour on a plate. Beat egg in a shallow bowl. Combine the breadcrumbs, Parmigiano, and add 3 tablespoons of chopped parsley in a shallow dish. Line the three dishes in a row.

3) Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in the flour, coating the outside, next place them in the beaten egg, and then into the breadcrumb mixture. Using your hands pat the breadcrumbs onto the chicken. Transfer the prepared chicken breasts to a large plate or a baking sheet if available.

4) Heat large sauté pan over high heat for 2 minutes. Swirl 2 tablespoons olive oil into pan, and wait one minute. Place chicken breast in pan. Cook 3 minutes, then add 2 tablespoons of butter and cook one more minute. When bread crumbs are golden brown, carefully turn the chicken over. Reduce the heat to medium; allow the breast to cook until the second side is golden brown ensuring the chicken is just cooked through. Remove the chicken and place on a baking sheet.

5) Return the pan to medium heat and swirl 1 tablespoon olive oil into pan. Add parsley and chili, let sizzle for 30 second's. Add garlic to pan, stir a few seconds, and then add the escarole. Season with salt and pepper then sauté gently for 2 to 3 minutes, until the greens have just wilted. Season the escarole with a squeeze of lemon juice and transfer to a large platter. Place the chicken on top.

6) Wipe out the inside of one of the pans then return it to the stove over medium heat. Add the remaining butter, and cook until it is brown with a nutty smell. Remove from the heat and wait a few seconds, add capers, lemon zest, chicken stock, a squeeze of lemon, and the rest of the parsley. Season to taste. Spoon the caper brown butter sauce over chicken and escarole.

For more information, visit www.ryanscott2go.com


The popular cupcake store is offering a Valentine's Day "Sweet Smores" Special. Just mention "View from the Bay" and you'll get two "Sweet Smores" Cupcakes for $6. This special is ONLY available at the San Francisco Marina Location.
3249 Scott Street (at Chestnut)
San Francisco, California 94123
P 415 563-CAKE (2253)


Say you saw Ryan Scott's segment on "The View from the Bay" and receive $2 dollars off the sparkling wine, featured on the show. Jean-Louis Charles De Fere Sparkling Wine This special runs through Saturday, Valentine's Day, February 14th. The wine is normally priced at $9.99, but View from the Bay viewers will receive a $2 dollar discount on all bottles purchased. This special promotion is available at all Cost Plus World Market Bay Area Store locations.


Stems, With Benefits
No Valentine's Day would be complete without beautiful roses as the centerpiece. Whole Foods Market is offering its Whole Trade Roses from Ecuador for the unbelievable price of $19.99 per dozen. These are roses lovers can feel great giving each other as Whole Food Market products marked with the Whole Trade Guarantee must meet Whole Food Market's quality standards, and producers must ensure fair wages and safe conditions for workers while caring for the environment during production. By paying honest, respectable prices for these products, Whole Foods Market is enhancing the everyday lives of impoverished people around the world. For more information on Whole Foods Market Whole Trade Guarantee, click here.

Chef Ryan Scott, who has received critical acclaim for his California Mediterranean dishes, is known for creating amazing food and for infusing his events with great energy and fun. He believes in letting the seasons speak for themselves, and draws inspiration from produce picked at its peak of vitality. Besides offering his services as a caterer and instructor, Ryan donates many hours of his expertise to charitable organizations in the Bay Area. He is a catalyst for amazing culinary experiences and he gives generously from a place that is truly joyous and abundant. Ryan expressed his desire to be a chef at the early age of nine when the "toys" at the top of his Christmas list included kitchen utensils, a wok and food dehydrator. Growing up in Modesto, California, he developed a passion for the culinary arts and, at the same time, shaped his well-honed competitive side as a star player on the Los Banos High School varsity basketball team. Seeking to be the best at any early age, he entered the prestigious California Culinary Academy (CCA) in San Francisco in 1999. Ryan's professional career began with a one-year internship at the acclaimed Bistro Roxy in Reno, Nevada. In 2001 the enchantment of Hawaii and its array of opportunity compelled him to move out of the landlocked Central Valley to the island of Maui, where he dove head-first into Polynesian cuisine and took full advantage of his surroundings, eventually working with two of Hawaii's finest chefs, Peter Merriman at Merriman's Bamboo Bistro and a brief and formative stage with Alan Wong.

Following his dream to learn from the legendary Gary Danko, owner and executive chef of the celebrated Restaurant Gary Danko in San Francisco, Ryan continued his education with the CCA and became an intern in Chef Danko's kitchen in 2002. Soon after achieving his accreditations and continuing as a part-time instructor at CCA, Ryan realized his dream and worked as a line cook at Gary Danko for three years. This experience gave him the often sought-after Five-Star culinary protocols and fueled his creative spirit, bestowing him with structure and culinary spontaneity. Returning to the Central Valley in California, a place close to his heart and childhood home, Ryan accepted a position in Fresno as Consulting Chef for David Milutonvich, owner of the Manhattan Restaurant, during its reopening in 2005. Eventually the siren song of New York's culinary scene and his goal to work with the country's best chefs were too compelling to ignore, and Ryan moved to Manhattan itself. There he embarked on an ambitious and very successful adventure that took him up and down the East Coast and across the country on Greyhound buses, hitchhiking and staying with friends while staging in the country's best restaurants with their acclaimed chefs. In New York he served for several months under the mentorship of Daniel Boulud, the award-winning chef, author and restaurateur; in Chicago he worked in the kitchen with Charlie Trotter at Trotter's, as well as Tru, Blackbird and Avec; at Jasper White's Lobster Shack, Radius, and Cleo in Boston; at Primo with Melissa Kelly in Rockland, Maine; with Chef Bob Kinkead at Kinkead's in Washington, D.C; with Suzanne Goin at Luques and A.O.C in Los Angeles; and at the restaurant Alex with chef Alessandro Stratta at the Wynn Las Vegas. This whirlwind escapade covered thirty-three restaurants on the East Coast and mid-America, cementing Ryan's talents, skills and vision as a chef.

In late 2005 Ryan moved back to San Francisco to become the Chef and Manager of Myth Café, which was instantly deemed a "hot" dining spot by the surrounding neighborhood's media, advertising, and marketing elite. The Café was recognized as the city's number one dining destination by San Francisco magazine (2006). In spring 2008 Ryan competed as one of 16 chefs on Bravo's top reality show, Top Chef: Chicago. Ryan joined Mission Beach Café in June 2008, a perfect showcase for his New American cuisine.

Fall of 2008 marked Ryan's 2nd annual "Thanksgiving Bag Lunch Giveaway," where he and a team of volunteers created, from scratch, 1,500 bag lunches for people in need. Besides this event of his own creation, Ryan devotes time and cuisine to many local charities, including Meals on wheels in San Francisco, Inc., Make-A-Wish Foundation, the American Heart Association, Share Our Strength, and the Guardsman Association.