Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Pioneer Woman's Chicken Scallopine

Pasta is my weakness and add a creamy sauce?  I'm done!  When I saw Ree's recipe for Chicken Scallopine I had to make it.  The verdict - creamy, savory and delicious!  I followed her recipe exactly except that I added a diced shallot with the mushrooms, added half of the wine and half chicken stock, and served with fresh fettucine.  Ree said people will fall in love instantly, and I did!

by Ree Drummond

1 pound Linguine ( I substituted fresh fettucine)
6 whole Boneless, Skinless, Trimmed Chicken Breasts
Salt And Pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 Tablespoons Butter
12 ounces, weight White Mushrooms, Sliced Thin
1 cup Dry White Wine (I used 1/2 cup wine and 1/2 cup chicken stock)
Chicken Broth (optional)
1 whole Lemon
½ cups Heavy Cream (can Use Half-and-Half)
1 teaspoon (heaping) Capers
Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley
Parmesan Cheese, For Topping
(I also added 1 diced shallot)

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Flatten chicken breasts to uniform thickness. Salt and pepper both sides, then dredge in flour. Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry chicken breasts until golden brown. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Add shallots and saute until slightly softened (my suggestion not in original recipe). Throw mushrooms into the pan and stir. Immediately pour in wine and chicken broth (optional), and then squeeze juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon. Stir to deglaze the pan, and then cook vigorously for 1 minute, until sauce reduces.

Pour in cream and stir, then add capers and parsley and stir. Turn off heat. Stir and add salt and pepper to taste. Don’t under salt!

Place pasta and chicken on a platter and top with every last drop of sauce. Generously sprinkle Parmesan Cheese over the top.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chicken, Red Beans and Rice

I love making comfort foods in the wintertime.  I am also trying to keep meals on the healthy side.  I spotted this recipe in the current issue of edible Jersey Magazine and thought that it would be perfect.  A little bit of spice from the cajun seasoning and andouille sausage combined with scallions, green peppers, and some sweetness from peaches, and brown sugar.  Chicken and red beans for protein - yum!  The recipe is compliments of Joe Brown of The Melange Cafe - an excellent South Jersey (suburbs of Philly) restaurant.  I want to buy Joe's cookbook after making this recipe!  Perfect dish for a cold night and sure to satisfy a craving for some Louisiana cuisine!  Perfect for the Super Bowl also since the Saints are in it!

Chicken, Red Beans and Rice
by Joe Brown of The Melange Cafe

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each), pounded
Pinch each of salt and pepper; flour
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup sliced andouille sausage
1/4 cup medium diced green pepper
1/2 cup diced scallions
1 cup canned dark red kidney beans
1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
4 cups cooked white rice
1 peach, sliced or 1/2 cup canned sliced cling peaches in syrup

Season each breast with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Lightly flour.
Heat oil in a large sauté pan over a medium-high heat. Add chicken and
sauté for about 2 minutes per side. Add sausage, green pepper, and scallions.
Sauté for 2 minutes. Add beans, garlic, cajun seasoning, brown
sugar, and thyme. Stir until well combined. Add stock, rice, and peaches.
Simmer until stock is fully absorbed, about 10 minutes. Serve chicken
over rice and garnish with sour cream. (Serves 4)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Salmon with Tomato and Leek Salsa

4 portions of boneless salmon
salt and fresh ground black pepper
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 leek cleaned, trimmed, and chopped finely
2 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro, chopped

Season the salmon with salt and fresh pepper. Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan. Add the salmon and sear it until it is nicely browned. Turn the salmon and cook until it is just barely done. Remove the salmon from the pan and keep warm. Meanwhile add a little more olive oil to the pan, next add the leeks and saute until slightly softened. Next add the tomatoes and lemon juice and heat through. Season to tast with salt and pepper. Add the cilantro. Serve the tomato and leek salsa with the salmon.

Inspired by this New York Times recipe

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Quick and Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce

I love eggs benedict when I am in the mood for an indulgent breakfast. Poached eggs, Canadian bacon, a lightly toasted English muffin, topped with buttery, lemony goodness - yum! I was intimidated by hollandaise sauce before I began making this perfect blender recipe from The only change that I make is to use a pinch of cayenne instead of hot pepper sauce. Be sure to get the butter nice and bubbling hot.

My favorite local breakfast restaurant (Mariner's Cove) makes Eggs Florentine Benny which substitutes sauteed spinach and a fresh hunk of feta for the Canadian bacon. I am going to make them at home one of these mornings!

3 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 dash hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™)
1/2 cup butter

1.In the container of a blender, combine the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice and hot pepper sauce. Cover, and blend for about 5 seconds.
2.Place the butter in a glass measuring cup. Heat butter in the microwave for about 1 minute, or until completely melted and hot. Set the blender on high speed, and pour the butter into the egg yolk mixture in a thin stream. It should thicken almost immediately. Keep the sauce warm until serving by placing the blender container in a pan of hot tap water.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Garam Masala Chicken

Garam masala translates from Hindi as "hot mixture." However, the spice mixture is not hot as in hot pepper (such as cayenne or scotch bonnet) hot. It refers more to the intensity of the spice mixture. The garam masala spice mixture varies by region in India but usually contains black & white peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves, long pepper, black cumin, cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, star anise and coriander seeds. It is absolutely delicious. If you haven't tried it, please do! This recipe is adapted from "Garam Masala Chicken with Roasted Vegetables" from Aida Mellencamp. I use less oil, less salt, and add the vegetables halfway through the cooking time. Otherwise, I follow the recipe. By adding the vegetables a little later, they still are nicely browned but have a little "bite" to them instead of being mushy. Also, by adding them later, I mix them with some of the chicken drippings, eliminating the need for added oil. The yogurt makes the skin nice and crispy and beautifully browned. I also have skipped the marinating process before and it was still fantastic. My whole family loves it!

Oh, and RG - I hope that things are going well at IR!

1/4 cup peanut oil
4 teaspoons garam masala
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, sliced
8 medium garlic cloves, smashed
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 (4 to 5 pound) whole chicken
1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, halved
1 pound butternut squash, large dice
1 medium red onion, large dice
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt (I use Greek)

In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup oil, garam masala, ginger, garlic, and 1 tablespoon salt. Place chicken in a large baking dish or plastic bag, loosen the skin from the breast and legs of the chicken and, using your hands, spread a good part of the mixture underneath. Rub the remaining mixture inside the chicken cavity and over the skin. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Loosely cover, refrigerate, and let marinate 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.

Arrange the rack in the center of the oven and heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove chicken from marinade, let any excess drip off, and reserve marinade. Let chicken sit at room temperature while oven warms up, about 30 minutes.

When the oven is heated, place chicken, breast side up and roast until skin begins to brown about 45 minutes. Toss potatoes, squash, and onions with the remaining marinade and season with salt and pepper. Add the vegetables to the roasting pan with the chicken (approximately half through the cooking time). Brush yogurt on chicken and continue roasting until chicken is well browned, juices run clear when inner thigh is pierced with a knife, legs move easily in the joint, and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the thigh registers 160 to 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about another 40 to 50 minutes. Let chicken rest at least 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Spice Rubbed Grilled Pork Chops

Getting up early and commuting 38 miles each way to work after having been off for a nice long break - well ugh! The cold weather and short days - ugh again! I wanted a quick and healthy recipe for pork chops using the ingredients that I had on hand (the last thing I wanted to do was head out to a supermarket). I love the combination of pork and rosemary. So, when I saw this recipe for "Simple Rosemary-Rubbed Pork Chops" on The Kitchn, I gave it a try. My husband really enjoyed these - I love that they were tasty, healthy, and a breeze to make. A simple spice mixture of rosemary, brown sugar, salt, pepper and cumin - perfect! I used an indoor grill pan and served it with roasted brussels sprouts - my favorite!

Lighter Sesame Noodles

This delicious, light and healthy pasta dish was made by my daughter Ashley. Not only is she smart, she can cook too! I have enjoyed having her home for the break. It will be hard to let her go again but she is loving every minute of college which makes it easier. I chopped the onions and garlic just to keep her company while making this. I love that the recipe calls for whole wheat pasta and plenty of veggies. Very tasty and guilt-free! Oh, and my talented daughter Cailyn took the photo!

Lighter Sesame Noodles
Recipe Courtesy of "Everday Food"

Serves 4
Coarse salt
12 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets, stalks peeled and thinly sliced
2 red bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

1.In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti 3 minutes less than al dente. Add broccoli, bell peppers, and onion. Cook until pasta is al dente and vegetables are tender, 3 minutes more. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta and vegetables.
2.Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together peanut butter, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, oil, garlic, and red-pepper flakes. Add hot pasta and vegetables; toss to coat, thinning sauce with a little pasta water, if necessary. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Terrific Turkey Chili

Okay, it is officially time to lighten up! Well I am sort of easing into lightening up (note the large dollops of full fat sour cream, generous sprinkling of cheddar cheese, and the tortilla chips). I have tried many chili recipes but this is the one that I keep returning to. I stumbled upon it quite a few years back on It is super easy to throw together and the amount of heat is easily adjusted. It is so tasty and I love that it is made with ground turkey instead of beef. The zucchini is a really nice addition as well. The changes that I make to the original recipe include adding a can of red kidney beans (drained and rinsed), one 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes with zesty green chilis instead of crushed tomatoes, and a generous handful of frozen corn. I'm craving another bowl!