The size of a kitchen in a small Manhattan apartment can certainly serve a disappointing blow to aspiring foodies and gourmands. With such a limited amount of space, the kitchen is increasingly less prioritized in the apartment search, leaving chefs ill-equipped and rendering the once simple act of preparing one’s own food almost inefficient and archaic. As somebody who is personally guilty of ordering in many more meals than I’d like to admit, I’m always looking for easy and quick recipes that I can prepare in my tiny kitchen — withoutexpanding my waistline or offending my palette.

My good friend Mike and I keep a tradition every week where we eat a home cooked meal at his awesome place near Gramercy Park. The tradition involves him cooking and me arriving on time to eat whatever he’s prepared. Mike loves the basics and he has a particular affinity towards Italian food so he suggested chicken francese and penne vodka. (I know I mentioned avoiding expanding waistlines, but I really can’t say no to Italian. Ever).

Another foodie friend, Ben, sent over some recipes from Philadelphia (where he currently resides, bless his heart). Ben is a born and bred New Yorker and always had a gourmet palate. When he’s not frequenting hot restaurants during his weekend escapes back to New York, he’s whipping up gourmet feasts in his Philadelphia apartment. Though the price tag on his Philly digs is considerably more affordable than its New York counterpart, he still has a relatively small space to work with. That obviously hasn’t been an issue for Ben however, who last week sent me his latest recipe: panko crusted Chilean sea bass.

Recipes for a small kitchen-

Here’s a photo of Mike and his Chicken Francese 

Chicken Francese:

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes


    • 4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 11/2 pounds)
    • All-purpose flour, for dredging
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 4 large eggs
    • 3 tablespoons water
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 lemon, with rind, cut in thin rounds
    • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 1/2 lemon, juiced
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley


Put the chicken breasts side by side on a cutting board and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them. Pound the chicken breasts with a flat meat mallet, until they are about 1/4-inch thick. Put some flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. In a wide bowl, beat the eggs with 3 tablespoons of water to make an egg wash. Heat the oil over medium-high flame in a large skillet.

Dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off. When the oil is nice and hot, add the cutlets and fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden, turning once. Remove the chicken cutlets to a large platter in a single layer to keep warm.

Toss the lemon slices into the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the wine, broth, and lemon juice, simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the sauce slightly. Roll the butter in some flour and add it to the skillet, this will thicken the sauce. Stir to incorporate and dissolve the flour. Reduce the heat to medium-low and return the chicken to the pan; place the lemon slices on top of the cutlets. Simmer gently for 2 minutes to heat the chicken through. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

Mike found this (and many other recipes) on Food Network. Read more at:

Ben’s Panko Crusted Chilean Sea Bass

Served with sauteed vegetables and wild rice


Take 1/2 lb Chilean sea bass filet and coat with equal parts mayonnaise and whole dijon mustard mixture. Then top with panko bread crumbs. Bake at 400 for 20 min.

To prepare wild rice (you can find packages of wild rices, brown rice, and basmati rice, etc. at food stores such as Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Fairway, Gristede’s, etc.)  bring water to a boil and boil rice for 25 minutes. You can also microwave the rice in water for 15 minutes on high (just make sure the water doesn’t all evaporate!)

To prepare asparagus and sunchokes (or vegetable of your choosing) just bring a pan to medium-high heat and sautee with olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary for 5 minutes until cooked.