27 Jun 2013
in Lunch, Main Dish
Tags: chicken, mozzarella, Quick and easy
Here’s an easy and really tasty weeknight meal that you can have on the table in about 30 minutes. The chicken coating is crunchy and delicious, the cheese is deliciously stringy and melted and the sauce is whatever you want it to be-home made or jarred-it’s up to you. I prefer home-made but since I was out I used some jarred sauce. I like having them in the pantry to use in a pinch.
I opted to forego the pasta that’s usually served with this and just have some steamed veggies and a salad with it. I didn’t miss the pasta.
There’s no neat pretty picture of this with the cheese ‘just so’ and the sauce dribbling ever so seductively down the plate. I slapped this piece on my plate, took 2 pics, and then dug in. If you were as hungry as I was and smelled this delicious stuff you would’ve done the same 🙂
Skillet Chicken Parmesan
- 1-1.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat and cut and/or pounded to equal thin pieces about 1/2 inch thick.
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup AP flour
- 2-3 cups Panko
- a few tbsp olive oil
- Italian seasoning
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2-3/4 cup thinly sliced fresh mozzarella
- 3-5 cups marinara sauce (your preference on amount and type of sauce)
- Place flour in one shallow bowl, the eggs in a 2nd and the panko in a 3rd and place the bowls next to each other. Season the flour and panko with salt, pepper and italian seasoning.
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a non-stick skillet (large enough to hold the chicken in 1 layer or almost all in one layer-a little overlapping is ok) over medium/high heat.
- Take 1 piece of chicken, roll it around in the seasoned flour to coat it, shake off the excess, dredge through egg then roll in the panko to coat. Place in the pan and cook until first side is browned and crispy, then flip it over and do the same for the other side until it’s cooked through thoroughly. Set aside and keep warm.
- Repeat with each piece of chicken. You may place more than one piece in the pan but do not crowd it.
- Pour the sauce into the same pan and set over medium/low heat until thoroughly heated then place the pieces of chicken back in, ladle some of the sauce over the top of the chicken and then top the chicken with mozzarella and either cover with a lid and leave it on the stove until the cheese is melted or place in the oven (if you have an oven-safe pan) until cheese is melted.
- Serve immediately.
You may also serve over pasta or then put the chicken into a hero roll for a great sandwich.
26 Jun 2013
in Condiment/Topping, Dessert
Tags: balsamic vinegar, chianti
These beautifully tart, sweet and tangy strawberries are perfect over ice cream, cake, frozen yogurt or just by themselves. They are so versatile! A perfect summer treat.
I’ve mentioned the cookbook Twelve a few times on this blog. It has such wonderful seasonal recipes. One of those recipes is what I based this one on. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I don’t recommend making this more than 2 or 3 hours ahead of serving as the berrys will become mushy, but allow at least 30 minutes for marinating before serving. Hight quality chianti and balsamic vinegar are so important here.
This past weekend I attended a family party at my Grandmother’s house and served this for dessert (doesn’t my she have beautiful plates?) over a rum cake that I purchased in the Caribbean in April. It was delicious!!
Chianti & B alsamic Strawberries
- 1 lb container fresh strawberries
- 3/4 cup chianti
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup superfine sugar plus extra for sprinkling
- Wash strawberries, cut green tops off and cut into halves or quarters or leave whole if small. Put strawberries into a non-reactive bowl (like stainless steel).
- Add the other ingredients except for the sprinkling sugar and let marinate at least 30 minutes before serving (up to 3 hours).
- Top the cake with the strawberries, drizzle a bit of the wine sauce and then sprinkle with a bit of sugar.
24 Jun 2013
in Side Dish
Tags: cheese, green beans
I love green beans. I always have. When I was little I loved eating them raw and I still do. Now that I’m old enough to use the oven I also roast them. Roasting is my preferred method of cooking them too as I basically like them cooked through but still very crisp. As you can see in the photo below I grated some cheese on top. YUM! Could it be any easier? Cut each end off, throw them onto a baking sheet, sprinkle a little of this and a little of that and then **abracadabara** they’re done. The answer is ‘no’. It cannot be any easier. This recipe is a basic guide. Use your imagination. If you like spicy try a touch of hot sauce or cayenne pepper. Try other salts. Try other peppers. Use onion powder instead of garlic powder. Or just leave them plain. Green beans are totally fun.
Roasted Green Beans
- As many fresh green beans as you (and whoever else is with you) will eat, washed and ends trimmed and beans relatively dry.
- Olive oil to drizzle over them
- kosher or sea salt to sprinkle
- white pepper to sprinkle
- freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
- whatever else you think appropriate
- Pre-heat oven to 425F.
- Spread beans on one layer on a baking sheet. Put them close together.
- Drizzle oil, salt, pepper and any other spices you like on them then toss with hands to evenly coast the beans with the oil and spices then spread them out evenly.
- Bake for about 10-15 minutes-until desired crispyness has been met.
- Put them on the plate or in the bowl and sprinkle with the cheese.
21 Jun 2013
in Appetizer, Condiment/Topping, Dessert, Side Dish, Snack
Tags: apricot, dipping sauce, rum
Wow!! What a flavor this sauce has. Sweet and tart from the apricot and just slightly rummy-just enough to taste. It’s delicious! I wish I had made this earlier in the week when I made the baked sweet potato fries-it would have been delicious on them.
I made this recipe for the a recipe swap that I’m involved in with some other great blogger friends which is hosted by Sarah from http://tasteofhomecooking.blogspot.com. This swap’s theme was ‘cooking with alcohol’. The recipe below is from Jen at www.becomingpigzilla.com (what a cute name!!), originally from Food Network.
Apricot & Rum Dipping Sauce
- 1/2 cup apricot preserves
- 2 tbsp dark rum
- Put both ingredients into a small sauce pan. Cook for 10 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.
I cooked this down longer than the original recipe instructed as I wanted it to be a little thinner-more of a glaze consistency as you can see below. I heated up some spring rolls that I had in the freezer but you could put this on anything-grilled chicken, shrimp etc…
Check out the rest of the swap recipes here:
20 Jun 2013
in Appetizer, Side Dish
Tags: fries, sweet potato
Every once in a while I get a taste for fries. Since I’m not big on frying and since I like sweet potatoes more than regular ones I like to make these from time to time. They’re crunchy and oh so tasty and guilt free-no frying!! They couldn’t be simpler and you can make a trillion combos with them-different spices on them, different dipping sauces etc… I usually just make them with olive oil, kosher salt, white pepper and garlic powder. Simple and very yummy!
This time around, on a small plate, I put a small bit of each of the following to dip the fries in: ranch dressing, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, tomato ketchup, banana ketchup (brought home from St. Lucia in April and delicious) and some garlic chili sauce. I like dipping variety I guess. Each were tasty but the dijon and banana ketchup are my faves.
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into even 1/4 inch sticks
- 1-1.5 tsp olive oil
- sprinkle of kosher salt
- sprinkle of white pepper
- sprinkle of garlic powder
- Pre-heat oven to 425F.
- Place potato sticks in a bowl and toss with olive oil and salt.
- Lay the fries on a baking sheet so that they are not touching and sprinkle the pepper and garlic powder over them evenly and to taste.
- Bake for 15 minutes turn them over and bake for another 15.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with additional salt if desired.
- Serve immediately.
Helpful notes: the more uniformally you cut the sticks the more uniformally they will cook. Sometimes the fries cook faster than the last time. Moisture level maybe? Who knows. In any case keep an eye on them for the last 15 minutes to make sure they don’t burn. Don’t line the baking sheet with anything.
19 Jun 2013
in Lunch, Main Dish
Tags: coconut, curry, rice, shrimp
Let me start by saying that, if given the chance, I’d eat panang chicken over coconut rice from my local Thai take out place every day for forever. It’s just something that I really love-creamy, spicy, over slightly sweet super fragrant rice. It’s fantastic.
That being said anything that has the red curry and coconut combo like the panang chicken gets a fast pass to the front of my ‘to make’ list. It’s just so tasty! This is a great weeknight dish. It’s very tasty, only dirties one pan and is fast to make-maybe 15 minutes start to finish. Up or lower the amount of the red curry you put in to your own taste. I also added a few squirts of sriracha too. I used 21/25 shrimp and they were just the right size. I found the original recipe on skinnytaste.com while trolling the net for some new recipes with shrimp. Here’s my adaptation. The rice is my recipe.
Thai Red Curry Coconut Shrimp (over coconut jasmine rice)
Ingredients for curry:
- 1 tsp vegetable or canola oil
- 4 scallions, chopped-whites and greens separated
- 3 tbsp Thai Red Curry paste
- 2 large garlic cloves, put through a press or finely diced
- 1lb shrimp (21/25) peeled and deveined
- coconut milk, light, 1 6oz can
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- sriracha if desired
- 1 tsp fresh cilantro, ripped into small pieces
- kosher salt to taste
Ingredients for rice:
- 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
- 1.5 cups water
- 2 tbsp light coconut milk (take out of the can for the curry)
- unsweetened flaked coconut, cut into small pieces
Instructions for curry:
- In a large non-stick skillet heat the oil on medium/high heat. When hot add the white scallions and red curry paste and sautee for one minute or until the curry becomes very fragrant.
- Add the garlic and shrimp and cook about 3 minutes. Add salt if desired.
- Pour in the coconut milk amd fish sauce and stir to evenly combine and then simmer for about 3 minutes.
- Taste sauce and add more curry or sriracha if desired.
- Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the cilantro and remaining scallions.
- Serve immediately over rice or plain.
Instructions for rice:
- Prepare the rice with water as per the package instructions on the stove.
- When cooking time is up add the coconut flakes and milk and stir.
I used the last of the cilantro that I’ve been growing for this recipe. Do you know that when cilantro has hit it’s end it flowers? Well I didn’t. The flowers are very pretty and very delicate. I looked all of this up online and found out that this is normal and when the flowers go away the seeds left are the coriander seeds. I knew that cilantro and coriander were from the same plant but it’s amazing to see it all going on right in my own flower pot.
17 Jun 2013
in Dessert, Snack
Tags: caramel, fleur de sel, marshmallows, rice krispies
When I received the email from Heather letting me know the theme for this month’s What’s Baking challenge was ‘salty and sweet’ I immediately thought of the Vanilla Fleur de Sel Caramel that I make (recipe here). It’s so so so delicious. I thought about baking it into brownies (but I’m not all that much of a chocolate fan), I thought about making cupcakes and using that over the frosting and the list went on and on. Then bing!!!bing!!!bing!!! Rice Krispie treats came to mind. Yummy-sweet marshmallowy crispy goodies plus the gorgeous caramel? Yes, please. The only problem was that I’d never actually made RK treats even though as a kid I ate tons. So I looked at the recipe on the Rice Krispie website and saw that wow it’s easy. So here we go.
They’re very slightly salty, marshmallowy, crispy, a touch vanilla-ey and subtlety caramelly. These are sticky. They’re gooey. They’ll ruin your diet. And you’ll love every minute of it 🙂
I’d say these took about 45 minutes not including the cooling time. That includes making the caramel (so easy!) and the Krispie treats.
Dreamy Vanilla Sea Salt Caramel Krispies
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 10oz package of marshmallows
- 6 cups Rice Krispies
- 1/4-1/3 cup Vanilla Fleur de Sel Caramel
- non-stick cooking spray
- waxed paper
- Lightly spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with the non-stick spray and set it aside.
- Pull off a sheet of waxed paper about the size of the pan and set it aside.
- In a pan (large enough to hold all ingredients and stir them) over low heat melt the butter then add marshmallows and stir until they’re melted completely (I used a metal spoon).
- Add the Rice Krispies and stir until evenly combined with the marshmallows.
- Stir in the caramel and mix until evenly combined. Start with the 1/4 cup and add a little more if you want to.
- Pour the mixture into the pan and use the spoon and waxed paper to press it evenly into the pan.
- Set the pan aside for it to cool and set. Store in airtight containers.
Heather from www.hezzi-dsbooksandcooks.com was the host. Thanks Heather!
10 Jun 2013
in Lunch, Main Dish
Tags: chicken, hot sauce
The name says it all. It’s a pow!pow! in the mouth. This chicken has some heat- but it also has a ton of flavor and a some sweet so everything’s balanced out nicely.
While this dish does have to cook in the oven for 1 hour the prep time and initial cooking take no more than 25 minutes-unless you’re really really really slow. Then allow a few minutes to reduce the sauce.
Pow! Pow! Chicken
- 1.5lb boneless skinless chicken breast, trimmed of any fat and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3 tsp canola oil
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Arrowroot (optional-for a sauce thickener if needed)
- Sliced scallions (optional-for garnish)
For the sauce:
- 1/3 cup Franks Hot Sauce
- 1 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark is fine)
- 1 tbsp water
- 3 tsp cider vinegar
- Season chicken with salt and pepper and place into a large ziplock bag. Add the cornstarch, smush around to coat, and set aside.
- Pre-heat the oven to 325 and find a baking dish who’s base is large enough to fit all of the chicken in one layer.
- Place the eggs in a shallow dish and set aside.
- Combine all ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside.
- In a skillet over medium heat place 2 tsp of the oil and wait for it to get hot. When hot start to cook the chicken pieces in batches as follows until all are cooked: shake off excess corn starch, coat in egg, shake off excess and brown in pan one minute on each side then place in baking dish. Do a few pieces at a time being careful to not crowd the pan.
- When all chicken is in the baking dish pour the sauce over it and place in the oven. Cook for 30 minutes then turn the pieces over and cook for another 30 minutes.
- When the oven time is finished remove the dish from the oven. Place the chicken on a plate and pour the remaining sauce into a small sauce pan. Put the chicken back into the dish and back into the oven (which is now off) to keep warm. Cook the sauce over medium/low heat until thick and reduced, stirring continuously. Add arrowroot if you have it and if you need it.
- When the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon remove the dish with the chicken from the oven, pour the thickened sauce over it and stir to combine.
- Garnish with sliced scallions if desired and serve over rice or plan.
This recipe falls into the category of ‘who knows where it came from’. If it’s yours or you know please email me through the contact information tab and I’ll give proper credit.
07 Jun 2013
in Lunch, Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish
Tags: burrito, mexican
I admit I’ve never had a burrito bowl. I hear a lot about them but never actually ate one. I mean I guess, essentially, it is just really a salad of sorts but with the contents of a burrito without the actual burrito. Ok.
So for this month’s swap with the Mexican theme hosted by Sarah at http://tasteofhomecooking.blogspot.com I was given the burrito bowl from Jenni’s blog doughseedough I was pretty excited. It looked delicious and I love burritos! It didn’t disappoint. What a great recipe. It came together pretty quickly (it took less than an hour including all prep and rice cooking from start to finish on a weeknight) and was just good all around. Jenni’s recipe called for brown rice but since I’m not really a fan I used white. I also added some green chilies and corn. That’s what was so nice about her recipe-the ability to add or remove something to taste easily. So go make one to your taste!!!
- 1 cup white rice, cooked
- 1/2 lime, zested and juiced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped small
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast trimmed of fat and cut into evenly sized strips about 1 inch thick
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp granulated dried onion
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Goya Salsita Chipotle sauce (optional)
- 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped small, guts removed
- 1/4 red onion chopped very small
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can yellow corn, drained and rinsed
- 1 small can green chiles, drained and rinsed
- Fat free sour cream
- Freshly grated cheddar or monterey jack cheese
- Sliced avocado
- Hot sauce (same as above or different)
- Cook rice according to package instructions. When cooked stir in half of the cilantro, half of the lime juice and half of the lime zest. Set aside.
- In a small bowl mix the chili powder and other spices through the italian seasoning and set aside.
- In a skillet set over medium/high heat warm the oil. When hot add the chicken and cook until cooked through. Place the chicken on a cutting board and chop into small pieces. Put it back into the same pan.
- Into that pan add the spices from step #2 and stir to combine for a minute until spices are fragrant. Into the same pan add the beans, corn and chiles and lower heat to medium/low to heat the new ingredients and stir to evenly distribute the spices. If desired add a few splashes of salsita for a kick.
- In another small bowl mix the tomatoes, the remaining cilantro, zest and juice of the lime and the onion and stir. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
- Assemble your bowl! Start with some rice on the bottom, some chicken and bean mixture, some of the tomato mixture and top with whatever you’d like!
I made mine this way: rice then chicken mixture then grated cheese (so it would melt-YUM), tomato mixture, sour cream. I sliced half of an avocado and put the pieces around the plate.
This recipe makes about 2 medium sized soup bowl’s worth.
Check out the other great swap recipes here:
06 Jun 2013
in Side Dish, Uncategorized
In my opinion Yukon Gold potatoes are the best for baking because they’re so creamy and nutty tasting. It couldn’t be easier to bake them either. I love cheddar cheese on these too. Such a simple topping but it adds a nice extra bit of flavor.
Baked Yukon Gold Potatoes
- 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and dried and poked with a fork all over
- vegetable oil
- a few small pats of butter
- 1/4 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese (not pre-grated)
- Pre-heat oven to 400.
- Line a small baking dish large enough to hold both potatoes with foil.
- Rub the oil all over the potatoes and place them into the dish.
- Bake for about 1 hour or until fork tender.
- Remove, cut many times down into the potato and stick in the butter pieces and some cheddar cheese and then push it back together a bit so it melts in there. Oh hell, sprinkle a little extra cheese on top too if you want to.
- Plate and serve.
I served these with One Great Steak and Roasted Green Beans