Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Warm Almond Cherry Cake

The other night it was chilly here. I have to say the "other night" because the weather here is like a revolving door. One day freezing the next beautiful. On one of the chilly nights, we enjoyed a nice piping hot bowl of homemade chicken soup. Since the only thing we were having was soup, I thought it would be nice to have dessert. This cake was the perfect comfort food to follow our soup. The dessert reminded me of a cobbler, although the bottom is definitely cake like. It had the flavor of a pound cake but not quite as dense. The great thing about this cake is you can use any frozen fruit you have on hand. I happened to have a mix of organic cherries and berries. This was really quick to throw together. Its one to remember for unexpected company or if you just want something sweet following dinner, since its ingredients I always have on hand.

Warm Almond Cherry Cake

Serves 6

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pie plate
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pie plate
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) frozen cherries, thawed and dried
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate (4-cup capacity); set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in almond extract. With mixer on low, blend in flour mixture (do not overmix).
  3. Transfer batter to prepared pie plate; scatter cherries and almonds on top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
Source: Everyday Food Magazine.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Coconut Pancakes with Orange Mango Compote


I am in the process of organizing the numerous recipes I have clipped over the years. Not an easy task if you would see the mound of paper I have amassed! During this process, I came across this Cooking Light recipe for coconut pancakes with orange mango compote. This sounded like a perfectly decadent Sunday morning breakfast. The recipe conjured up wonderful memories of our tropical vacations. I found organic coconut flour at my local natural foods store. I've never worked with coconut flour before. I have to say it smells delicious when you open the package. Per the package, this flour is very high in fiber, low in digestible carbohydrates, a good source of protein and gluten free as well. Coconut flour can be used to replace up to 20% of the regular flour called for in a recipe. These pancakes were great, but I was a little disappointed that they still didn't have as much coconut flavor as I was hoping. I'm thinking of adding some coconut extract to the batter next time or possibly looking for a coconut syrup. I'm thinking using coconut oil in place of the canola oil would also up the coconut flavor. Even without a defined coconut flavor or a blissful view of the islands, this was still a great meal. The compote added a nice touch and a punch of citrus flavor. I served this with maple roasted bacon and fresh squeezed blood orange juice. Now I need to figure out what to make with my remaining coconut flour.

Coconut Pancakes with Orange Mango Compote
  • Compote:
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped, peeled, cored red apple (about 1 medium)
  • 1 cup chopped peeled mango (about 1 medium)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1/3 cup chopped orange sections
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

  • Pancakes:
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 1/3 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour or all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large egg

To prepare compote, combine first 7 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 8 minutes or until fruit is tender. Combine cornstarch, 1 tablespoon water, and lime juice in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk; stir into fruit mixture; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

To prepare pancakes, lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flours, baking powder, granulated sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Combine coconut milk, fat-free milk, oil, and egg in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring with a whisk (batter will be thick).

Pour about 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto a hot nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet; spread gently with a spatula. Cook 2 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges looked cooked. Carefully turn pancakes over; cook for 2 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Serve with the compote.

Source: Cooking Light, March 2007

Turkey Meatball Pasta Bake

I have had this recipe on my list of recipes to try since October. After making it last night, I wish I had made it much sooner! This was really good. I would call it Italian with a southern twist. What else would you expect from Paula Deen? Being Italian, the idea of putting both red peppers and green onions in my meatballs is a foreign concept to me. We also typically don't add cream cheese or sour cream to our baked pasta dishes. Somehow though, the combination of these ingredients works really well in this dish. I saved time and used my favorite jarred marinara sauce. I would recommend using two jars if you go that route. Don't hesitate like me, head to your kitchen and make this one right away, your family and friends will thank you!

Past Favorite Pasta Bakes:
Cheesy Baked Penne with Cauliflower and Creme Fraiche
Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage
Penne with Roasted Vegetables

Turkey Meatball Pasta Bake

Makes about 8-10 servings

1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup panko (I was out so I used plain breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup minced green onion
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
1 large egg
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (I used a mix of thyme, basil, and oregano)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 16 0z box rigatoni noodles, cooked and kept warm.
1 8 0z package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
Zesty Tomato Sauce, recipe follows (I used Newman's Own Marinara Sauce)
1 8 0z package shredded mozzarella cheese (I used an Italian cheese blend)
1 5 oz package grated Parmesan ( I used about 3 oz plus some of the Italian cheese blend)

Preheat oven to 350. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a cooling rack over pan. Spray rack with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine turkey, breadcrumbs, green onion, bell pepper, egg, garlic, parsley, Italian seasoning, and salt. Shape mixture into golf ball-size balls; place on prepared cooling rack. Bake 15-17 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside.

Lightly grease 13x9 inch baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine hot cooked pasta, cream cheese and sour cream, stirring to combine. Spoon half of mixture into prepared baking dish. Top evenly with half of meatballs. Spoon half of Zesty Tomato Sauce over meatballs. Sprinkle evenly with mozzarella cheese. Repeat procedure with remaining noodle, meatballs and sauce. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve immediately.

Note: This dish can be made a day ahead of baking. It can also be prepared and frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator before baking.

Zesty Tomato Sauce
Makes about 6 1/2 cups

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced freshly parsley
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic; cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until onion is tender. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

Source: Cooking with Paula Deen/September/October 2008.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers-Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts

I'm really glad Anne of Anne Strawberry chose these tarts for the Barefoot Blogger's March recipe choice. This is a great recipe to have in your file and one that is so versatile. Its perfect to serve for a girl's luncheon with a salad or soup or to use as an appetizer or first course with an elegant dinner. You could certainly make them smaller for bite-size appetizers. The combination of ingredients that could be used with these is also endless. I'm not a big fan of caramelized onions so I would probably leave them out next time. I also would love to play around with the idea of a caprese tart using tomatoes, mozzarella and basil or a tart with a combination of brie with pears and maybe some rasperry jam. I know this is a recipe I will adapt many times over. I served mine for dinner alongside a chicken caesar salad.

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts
  • 1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) puff pastry, defrosted
  • Good olive oil
  • 4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (2 large onions)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, plus 2 ounces shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • 4 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese (recommended: Montrachet)
  • 1 large tomato, cut into 4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices
  • 3 tablespoons julienned basil leaves

Unfold a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it lightly to an 11 by 11-inch square. Using a 6-inch wide saucer or other round object as a guide, cut 2 circles from the sheet of puff pastry, discarding the scraps. Repeat with the second pastry sheet to make 4 circles in all. Place the pastry circles on 2 sheet pans lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are limp and there is almost no moisture remaining in the skillet. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the wine, and thyme and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Remove from the heat.

Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/4-inch-wide border around each pastry circle. Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork and sprinkle a tablespoon of grated Parmesan on each round, staying inside the scored border.

Place 1/4 of the onion mixture on each circle, again staying within the scored edge. Crumble 1 ounce of goat cheese on top of the onions. Place a slice of tomato in the center of each tart. Brush the tomato lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with basil, salt, and pepper. Finally, scatter 4 or 5 shards of Parmesan on each tart.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. The bottom sheet pan may need an extra few minutes in the oven. Serve hot or warm.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Vanilla Pudding Pops

The cutest, smartest and most adorable two year old on the planet is teething! I'm completely unbiased as you can tell! Thank goodness this is the last time as we are just waiting for those pesky bottom two year molars to come through. Poor guy is having a rough time of it with these. So, I thought some homemade popsicles might just make things a little easier. These vanilla pudding pops from Martha Stewart were really easy to make and I would say they scored a 10 with my toddler! I like being able to make things like this, so I can control the ingredients. There is nothing artificial or unnatural in these popsicles. I highly recommend this popsicle mold from Sur La Table. I'm planning on making some fruit based popsicles once we finish these. These are the perfect accompaniment for our afternoon walk to the park to feed the ducks.

Toddler Friendly Meals:
Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina
Chicken with Roasted Vegetables
Three Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
Chunky Chai Spiced Applesauce
Banana Coconut Ice Cream

Vanilla Pudding Pops

Makes 10

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  1. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl; set aside. In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually whisk in milk, mixing until ingredients are dissolved. Whisk in egg yolks.
  2. Whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until the first large bubble sputters. Reduce heat to low; continue to whisk, and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat, and immediately pour through sieve into bowl; stir in vanilla.
  3. Divide mixture among ten 3-ounce ice-pop molds. Chill in refrigerator until cool and thickened, about 1 hour. Insert pop sticks, and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours and up to 2 weeks. Run molds briefly under warm water to release pops
Source: Everyday Food.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers-Brownie Pudding

I cannot put into words how amazingly delicious this dessert is! Definitely a chocolate lover's dream. I was so excited when Tia of Southern Eh? picked this recipe. It"s one of the first recipes I flagged when I purchased Ina's Back to Basics cookbook. This recipe alone is worth the price of the book! I love brownies and I love chocolate pudding so this recipe combined the best of my favorites. This is great for a dinner party because it can be made ahead and is pretty simple to make. The pudding has a crisp brownie like crunch with a soft almost molten cake like interior. As Ina would say, "how bad could that be?"

Brownie Pudding
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the dish
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup good cocoa powder (I used green and black organic cocoa powder)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean ( I used 1tbsp vanilla bean paste)
  • 1 tablespoon framboise liqueur, optional
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter a 2-quart (9 by 12 by 2-inch) oval baking dish. Melt the 1/2 pound of butter and set aside to cool.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed for 5 to 10 minutes, until very thick and light yellow. Meanwhile, sift the cocoa powder and flour together and set aside.

When the egg and sugar mixture is ready, reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla seeds, framboise, if using, and the cocoa powder and flour mixture. Mix only until combined. With mixer still on low, slowly pour in the cooled butter and mix again just until combined.

Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared dish and place it in a larger baking pan. Add enough of the hottest tap water to the pan to come halfway up the side of the dish and bake for exactly 1 hour. A cake tester inserted 2 inches from the side will come out 3/4 clean. The center will appear very under-baked; this dessert is between a brownie and a pudding.

Allow to cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Source: Ina Garten, Back to Basics, Clarkson Potter, 2008.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ina's Turkey Meatloaf

I've already professed how much I love a good meatloaf. I've seen several great reviews of Ina's turkey meat loaf and knew I had to try it. I liked the idea of using ground turkey versus the traditional beef for a change. I cut this recipe in half, but you could always make the full recipe and have leftover portions to freeze. We had quite a bit leftover even with halving this one. This was simple comfort food at its best. The meatloaf was moist and flavorful and had a slight tang to it, I'm assuming the tanginess came from the Worcestershire sauce. This one will definitely go into our meatloaf rotation along with my other favorites. I also liked Ina's trick of putting a pan of water in the oven to keep the meatloaf from cracking. It worked like a charm! I served this with Ina's Sauteed Broccolini.

Favorite Meatloaf Recipes:
Bubby's Meatloaf and Red Pepper Sauce
Italian Meatloaf

Turkey Meatloaf
  • 3 cups chopped yellow onions (2 large onions)
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 5 pounds ground turkey breast
  • 1 1/2 cups plain dry bread crumbs
  • 3 extra-large eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a medium saute pan, over medium-low heat, cook the onions, olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme until translucent, but not browned, approximately 15 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste and mix well. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, eggs, and onion mixture in a large bowl. Mix well and shape into a rectangular loaf on an ungreased sheet pan. Spread the ketchup evenly on top. Bake for 1 1/2 hours until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F. and the meatloaf is cooked through. (A pan of hot water in the oven under the meatloaf will keep the top from cracking.) Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold in a sandwich.

Source: Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, Clarkson Potter, 1999.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers-Sauteed Broccolini

One of this month's Barefoot Blogger's bonus recipes was sauteed broccolini. Its been a long time since I've had broccolini so I was intrigued to try this recipe. It would have been an ideal match with the Chicken Picatta from last week. Since I didn't think of that pairing, I decided to pair it with Ina's turkey meatloaf. The broccolini was really easy to prepare and the flavors were great. Thanks to Mary of Meet Me in the Kitchen for picking this one and allowing me to add a new vegetable to my repertoire. I will definitely make this one again. Now, I need to get to the store and purchase more eggs so I can make this month's other bonus recipe, brownie pudding! Yum!

Sauteed Broccolini

1 bunch broccolini

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 lemon, zested

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Blanch the broccolini in a large pot of boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain immediately and immerse in a bowl of ice water.

Melt the butter in a large saute pan. Add the lemon zest and garlic and stir. Drain the broccolini and add it to the garlic mixture and heat for 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper, and toss well before serving.

Source: Ina Garten/Food Network.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Baked Potatoes with Yogurt and Sour Cream

I recently watched an episode of Barefoot Contessa where Ina made company pot roast and baked potatoes. When I decided to make the pot roast I just happened to have some Greek yogurt and chives in the refrigerator that I needed to use. A dinner menu was made! This recipe is not really rocket science but I really liked the combination. It made an ordinary baked potato with sour cream just a little more special and something you could serve with steak or at a dinner party with minimal effort. Its also a great use for Greek yogurt, one of my new favorite ingredients.

Favorite Barefoot Contessa Side Dishes:

Butternut Squash Risotto
Sauteed Carrots
Chive Risotto Cakes

Baked Potatoes with Yogurt and Sour Cream
  • 4 Idaho russet baking potatoes
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, plus extra for garnish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Wash the potatoes and place them directly on the oven baking rack. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until very tender when pierced with a skewer.

Meanwhile, combine the yogurt, sour cream, chives, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and place in a serving bowl. Garnish with extra chives. Chill.

When the potatoes are done, cut them down the middle and squeeze both ends. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve the hot baked potatoes with the cold chive dressing.

Source: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, Clarkson Potter, 2008.

Company Pot Roast

This recipe for company pot roast is from Ina's newest cookbook, Back to Basics. The recipe is a little different than most pot roast recipes I have seen, in that at the end you puree half of the vegetables and liquid and add it back to the gravy. The flavors of this dish reminded me more of a beef burgandy than a traditional pot roast. Overall, this was a good dish and definitely a good dish for a cold day or a casual get together. So now I have a good Italian style pot roast recipe and this French recipe, but still no tried and true old fashioned American style pot roast recipe!

Company Pot Roast

  • 1 (4 to 5-pound) prime boneless beef chuck roast, tied
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour
  • Good olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 2 cups chopped celery (4 stalks)
  • 2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 to 4 leeks)
  • 5 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 cups good red wine, such as Burgundy
  • 2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes in puree
  • 1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 3 branches fresh thyme
  • 2 branches fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Pat the beef dry with a paper towel. Season the roast all over with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Dredge the whole roast in flour, including the ends. In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the roast and sear for 4 to 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn and sear the other side and then turn and sear the ends. This should take 4 to 5 minutes for each side. Remove the roast to a large plate.

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the Dutch oven. Add the carrots, onions, celery, leeks, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned. Add the wine and Cognac and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, bouillon cube, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the thyme and rosemary together with kitchen string and add to the pot. Put the roast back into the pot, bring to a boil, and cover. Place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is fork tender or about 160 degrees F internally. Turn the heat down to 250 degrees F after about an hour to keep the sauce at a simmer.

Remove the roast to a cutting board. Remove the herb bundle and discard. Skim off as much fat as possible from the sauce. Transfer half the sauce and vegetables to a blender or a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree until smooth. Pour the puree back into the pot, place on the stovetop over low heat, and return the sauce to a simmer. Place 2 tablespoons flour and the butter in a small bowl and mash them together with a fork. Stir into the sauce and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring until thickened. Taste for seasonings. Remove the strings from the roast, and slice the meat. Serve warm with the sauce spooned over it.

Source: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, Clarkson Potter, 2008.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

BB-Chicken Picatta and Skype Cook Along

For this month's Barefoot Blogger recipe, Tara of Smells Like Home and the founder of Barefoot Bloggers, and I took a technological leap. We hooked up on the Internet with a web cam via Skype and cooked this recipe together. It took a bit of foresight to go this route, I had to prep all my ingredients ahead of time and read through the recipe to have all the equipment ready. However, I ultimately think this helped me prepare the recipe faster and more efficiently. This is something I am going to try to do more often. Despite a few technical difficulties, it was really fun. We were able to discuss the recipe in real time and bounce ideas off of each other as we cooked. We both had the same initial reaction to the sauce--way to sour. I was a bit worried about the sauce before I even started the recipe as many reviewers complained the lemon was overpowering. I only used 1 lemon instead of the two called for based on those reviews, but would probably cut that to half a lemon next time So with a potential problem at hand, Tara and I put our heads together and doctored the sauce with more wine and butter and it turned out great! It was really nice to have someone to cook with and something I would love to do again. Thanks to Lindsey of Noodle Nights and Morning Muffins for picking this recipe. Its a good easy weeknight dinner. My husband especially loved this dish. I served mine with buttermilk mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

Chicken Piccatta

2 split (1 whole) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 extra-large egg
1/2 tablespoon water
3/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
Good olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons), lemon halves reserved
1/2 cup dry white wine
Sliced lemon, for serving
Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving

Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and using a rolling pin pound to 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.

Mix the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a shallow plate.

In a second plate, beat the egg and 1/2 tablespoon of water together.

Place the bread crumbs on a third plate.

Dip each chicken breast first in the flour(shaking off the excess) and then in the egg and bread crumb mixtures.

In large saute pan over medium to medium-low heat, heat 1 tbsp olive oil.

Add the chicken breasts and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until lightly browned.

Place them on the sheet pan and bake in preheated oven for 5 to 10 minutes.

For the sauce: wipe out the saute pan with a dry paper towel and return to medium heat.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and add the lemon juice, wine, the reserved lemon halves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Boil over high heat until reduced in half(2 minutes or so).

Remove from heat and add in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir to combine.

Discard the lemon halves spoon the sauce over chicken breasts once plated.

Garnish with lemon slices and fresh parsley.

Source: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa At Home, Clarkson Potter, 2006.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Chicken with Artichokes and Angel Hair

This recipe from the March 2009 issue of Everyday Food embodied all the traits I admire about the magazine's recipes; it was simple, fresh and easy. This recipe comes together really fast. Even faster if you are able to find chicken cutlets at the store. My store did not have any so, I resorted to pounding out my chicken breasts with my trusty meat mallet! I loved how light this dinner was. I would make a few changes to this recipe next time. I would not rinse the capers or artichokes. I think the brininess that is the trademark of these ingredients was lost. Since no additional salt is added to the dish, I think it could really use the punch of flavors of these two ingredients. Also, I would double the chicken stock so I would have more sauce. My chicken quickly absorbed what little sauce I had left after the reduction. Finally, I would squeeze fresh lemon over the top to brighten all of the flavors. This dish lends itself really well to many variations. I think tomatoes would be a nice addition. I can imagine eating this on my patio this summer with a nice glass of pinot grigio! It was as good as any restaurant dish.

Chicken with Artichokes and Angel Hair

Serves 4.

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 thin chicken cutlets (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts packed in water, rinsed, drained, and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons rinsed and drained capers
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces angel-hair pasta
  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves
1. Set a large pot of salted water to boil. Place flour in a shallow dish, and season with salt and pepper. Dredge cutlets, shaking off excess. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Cook chicken in batches, adding remaining oil as needed, until light golden, 1 to 3 minutes per side; transfer to a dish.

Add broth to skillet, and bring to a boil; cook until reduced by half. Add artichokes, capers, and the chicken with any juices. Gently swirl to combine, and bring just to a boil. Remove skillet from heat. Swirl in butter, and cover to keep warm.

3. Add pasta to boiling water. Cook until al dente; drain. Serve chicken and sauce over pasta, topped with parsley.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Chicken Soup with Parsley Dumplings

My husband was a bit under the weather this past weekend and it was cold and blustery so I decided some good comfort food was called for. This recipe is one I have made several times in the past and had forgotten about. I came across it this weekend and knew it was the perfect recipe to make. This recipe makes a very hearty soup. I prefer to use homemade broth to lend more flavor. Luckily, I had one last batch of Ina's chicken broth in my freezer! If you need a little pick me up, this soup is just what the doctor ordered!

Chicken Soup with Parsley Dumplings

Serves 6

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/4 pounds total), each cut into 3 pieces
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 pounds total)
  • 4 medium carrots (about 3/4 pound), cut on the diagonal into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock ( I used homemade)
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup low-fat (1 percent) milk
  1. Bring 2 quarts water, chicken, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf, stock, and 1/8 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium pot; skim froth. Reduce heat to medium-low; gently simmer 20 minutes. Add thyme.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, shallot, zest, parsley, and cheese in a medium bowl. Add butter, and blend in with fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk, and stir with a fork just until a dough forms.
  3. Roll dough into 1-inch balls; add all at once to simmering broth. Cover; simmer, undisturbed, until the dumplings are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Divide soup among six bowls.
Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2004.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Banana Cinnamon Chip Muffins

I had three bananas sitting on my counter that were quickly getting past their prime. No longer suitable for eating, I was eager to find a quick recipe to use up these bananas. Luckily, Mollie over at Reading, Riting and Recipes provided me with the perfect inspiration and recipe! The original recipe makes banana bread. I made muffins and adjusted the cooking time in half. I was all set to add chocolate chips when I realized I had some cinnamon chips left in my pantry. I thought the cinnamon and bananas would be a great combination. I also added 1 tsp of instant espresso powder to give a little kick to the muffins. These were really good. This is the best banana bread/muffin recipe I have made to date. I highly recommend them!

Other Favorite Muffin Recipes:
Quinoa Muffins
Morning Glory Muffins
Spiced Carrot Muffins

Banana Cinnamon Chip Muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 1/3 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 package Hershey's cinnamon baking chips
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  • Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, and instant espresso powder, stirring with a whisk.

Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla bean paste; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Spoon batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. or muffin pan Bake at 350° for 1 hour (30 minutes for muffins) or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Source: Adapted from Cooking Light and Reading, Riting and Recipes.