Monday, July 12, 2010

Chicken Breasts with Mushrooms and Cream Sauce

Chicken Breasts with Mushrooms and Cream Sauce

From: Sugar and Spice

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I cut mine in strips)
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
Big pinch white pepper
5 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. minced shallot or green onion
1/4 lb. diced or sliced fresh mushrooms
1/8 tsp. salt

For the sauce:
1/4 cup white or brown stock or canned beef bouillon ( I used beef broth)
1/4 cup port, Madeira or dry white vermouth (I used white)
1 cup whipping cream
Salt and pepper
2 Tbs. freshly minced parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rub the chicken breasts with drops of lemon juice and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Heat the butter in a heavy, oven-proof casserole dish,(I used a skillet and transfered later to a casserole dish) about 10 inches in diameter until it is foaming. Stir in the minced shallots or green onion and saute a moment without browning. Then stir in the mushrooms and saute lightly for a minute or two without browning. Sprinkle with salt.

Quickly roll the chicken in the butter mixture and lay a piece of buttered wax paper over them, cover casserole and place in hot oven. After 6 minutes, press top of chicken with your finger. If still soft, return to oven for a moment or two. When the meat is springy to the touch it is done. (I just stuck it in a casserole dish and cooked until it was done. Perhaps I ruined it, but I thought it rocked.)

Remove the chicken to a warm platter, leaving mushrooms in the pot and cover while making the sauce, 2 to 3 minutes.

To make sauce, pour the stock and wine in the skillet (or casserole dish) with the cooking butter and mushrooms. Boil down quickly over high heat until liquid is syrupy. Stir in the cream and boil down again over high heat until cream has thickened slightly. Off of the heat, taste for seasoning, and add drops of lemon juice to taste. Pour the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately. (I served mine over rice)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tomato and Corn Pie

If this doesn't tell you how bad I've been about keeping this blog updated, I made this dish back in August or September. It is hard to catch up when you cook a lot but take a break from blogging for long periods of time. EEEK!

This was fantastic and worth sharing with you regardless of how late this post is. I loved the fresh flavors. It screams summer!
Tomato and Corn Pie
From: Smitten Kitchen2 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbs. baking powder
1 3/4 teaspoons salt, divided
3/4 stick (6 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus 2 tsp. melted
3/4 cup whole milk
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 3/4 pounds beefsteak tomatoes (I used romas)
1 1/2 cups corn (from about 3 ears), coarsely chopped by hand or lightly puréed in a food processor, divided
2 Tbs. finely chopped basil, divided
1 Tbs. finely chopped chives, divided
1/4 tsp. black pepper, divided
1 3/4 cups sharp Cheddar,coarsely grated, divided

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and 3/4 tsp salt in a bowl, then blend in 3/4 stick cold butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until it resembles coarse meal. Add milk, stirring until mixture just forms a dough, then gather into a ball.

Divide dough in half and roll out one piece on a well-floured counter into a 12-inch round, 1/8 inch thick. Either fold the round gently in quarters, lift it into a 9-inch pie plate and gently unfold and center it. Pat the dough in with your fingers trim any overhang.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in middle. If your kitchen is excessively warm (mine always is in the summer) go ahead and put the second half of the dough in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

Whisk together mayonnaise and lemon juice.

Cut an X in bottom of each tomato skin and blanch in a large pot of boiling water 10 seconds. Immediately transfer with a slotted spoon to an ice bath to cool. Peel tomatoes, then slice crosswise 1/4 inch thick and, if desired , gently remove seeds and extra juices.(Since I used romas instead of beefsteak tomatoes I didn't do this. Had I used a juicier tomato I would have done so.) Arrange half of tomatoes in crust, overlapping, and sprinkle with half of corn, one Tbs. basil, 1/2 Tbs. chives, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. pepper and one cup of grated cheese. Repeat layering with remaining tomatoes, corn, basil, chives, salt, and pepper. Pour lemon mayonnaise over filling and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Roll out remaining piece of dough into a 12-inch round in same manner, then fit over filling, folding overhang under edge of bottom crust and pinching edge to seal. Cut 4 steam vents in top crust and brush crust with 2 tsp.melted butter . Bake pie until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes, then cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pie can be baked 1 day ahead and chilled. Reheat in a 350 degree oven until warm, about 30 minutes.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sausage and Spinach Penne Skillet Supper

Sausage and Spinach Penne Skillet Supper
From: My Kitchen Cafe

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 lb. Italian-style turkey sausage, casings removed (I couldn’t find turkey sausage so I substituted mild Italian pork sausage)
3 cloves garlic, minced finely
3 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed and finely chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
12 oz. (about 3 1/2 cups) penne pasta
1 (6-oz.) bag baby spinach
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot and add the sausage. Cook until lightly browned and no longer pink about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the water, broth, sun-dried tomatoes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the pasta. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook at a strong simmer, stirring often, until the pasta is tender and the liquid has thickened, about 15-18 minutes. If you find the liquid is absorbing too quickly and the pasta is still undercooked, add a bit more water in small amounts until the pasta is cooked thoroughly.

Stir in the spinach, a handful at a time, and cook until wilted. Off the heat, stir in the cheese and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Couscous and Feta Stuffed Peppers

Couscous and Feta Stuffed Peppers
From: Smitten Kitchen

1 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2/3 cup couscous
4 extra-large or 5 large bell peppers, mixed colors
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise then sliced across thinly
1 small yellow squash, quartered lengthwise then sliced across thinly
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese, about 1 cup
3 Tbs. tomato paste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a small baking dish with Pam. Bring the broth to a boil in a saucepan, add the couscous, cover and remove from the heat.

Cut the tops off of the bell peppers and scoop out the seeds and membranes. Place peppers upright in a baking dish and roast them for 15 minutes or so, until they soften, then remove them from the oven until the filling is ready.

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet. Add onion, zucchini, yellow squash, fennel seeds, oregano, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Remove from heat and stir in the tomatoes, chickpeas and tomato paste. Using a fork, scrape the couscous into the skillet and toss with the vegetables. Stir in the crumbled feta. Fill peppers with the couscous mixture. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Arugala Ravioli with Homemade Pasta Sauce

Arugula Ravioli with Homemade Pasta Sauce
From: Smitten Kitchen

2 Tbs. olive oil
2 large shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. arugula, washed, dried, coarse stems removed and coarsely chopped
3 Tbs. breadcrumbs measured from 2 slices or one half of a roll, pulsed in the food processor until reduced to soft crumbs
1/3 cup finely grated Romano cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg yolk (reserve egg white for sealing)

1 half-batch of fresh pasta or 1 package of wonton wrappers
1 egg white beaten with two tablespoons of water to seal ravioli

To prepare the filling, heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Saute shallots and garlic for 7-10 minutes or until they are soft and translucent, but haven't browned. Add arugula, turning and stirring it frequently, until it had cooked down and its water as mostly evaporated, but it hasn't lost its color, approximately 3-5 minutes. Let the mixture cool, then add the bread crumbs and romano cheese. Season filling as needed with salt and pepper. Add the egg yolk, stirring mixture until well combined. Set aside.

Fill prepared pasta dough as directed by manufacturer if using a pasta machine/ravioli maker. Or, if using wonton wrappers, line a cookie sheet with foil and spray it with Pam. Lay wonton wrappers on cookie sheet a few at a time. Brush wrappers with egg white. Spoon a generous tsp. of filling in the middle and fold wonton in half diagonally. Press edges firmly to seal.

Cook Ravioli in boiling water a few at a time so they don't stick to each other. Typically they are done when they start to float, it only takes a few minutes. Serve with homemade pasta sauce.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Chicken and Couscous Salad

This was so good. I never would have expected the flavors to compliment each other so well. The only thing I would do differently is add more pineapple next time. That was my favorite part.Chicken and Couscous Salad

From: Treasury of Cooking Healthy

1 can (14 .5 oz.) chicken broth
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. curry powder
1 cup uncooked couscous
1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cooked (I will leave the chicken out in the future. I just preferred it without.)
2 cups fresh pineapple, cubed
2 cups cucumber, seeded and cubed
2 cups red bell pepper, cubed
2 cups yellow bell pepper, cubed
1 cup celery, sliced
1/2 cup green onions, sliced with tops
3 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
3 Tbs. water
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 Tbs. fresh mint or 1 tsp. dried mint
lettuce leaves, optional

Combine chicken broth, cinnamon, nutmeg and curry powder in a nonstick dutch oven or large nonstick saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in couscous; remove pan from heat and let stand, covered for 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with fork; cool to room temperature.

Cut chicken into 1/2" pieces. Add chicken, pineapple, cucumber, bell peppers, celery and green onions to couscous; toss to combine.

Combine vinegar water, oil and mint in a small jar with a tight fitting lid; shake well. Pour over couscous mixture, toss to coat. Serve immediately in lettuce lined bowl. Garnish as desired.