Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spanish-Style Pork Chops with Chorizo and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Green Beans

Howdy do to all my blogging buddies. Hope you are all having a great day. Only one more day until the weekend so hang in there! I know I haven't been a very good girl the last few days, and left you guys hanging with no recipes. Monday night I had no one here to cook for, and since the point of this little adventure is to get opinions on the recipes so I can let all of you know, I figured I would just take a night off. I will also take this time to let you know that I will not be posting any recipes next week, I know, it will be hard to make it through without me right? I feel the same way. However, my dear sweet boyfriend is taking me to VEGAS so, although I will be heart broken not posting to you all, I think you can understand how EXCITED I am for next week to get here!!

Now, lets get down to business. Sunday night was recipe #218 Spanish Style Pork Chops with Chorizo and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Green Beans. If you read the last post you will realize that the other meat in the bag that was left behind at the grocery store by your truly was the pork chops for this recipe. So I felt some added pressure that this better be a good meal since poor Kevin had to drive all the way back to the store to get the main ingredient.

My whole family loves chorizo, we lived in Southern California for most of my kids' lives, as well as my own. So chorizo and egg burritos on the weekends were something we all looked forward to. We are trying to initiate Kevin into the burrito fan club. You know the whole if you mix just about anything with eggs, cheese, and hot sauce, it goes great in burrito line of thinking? So far he is not buying it, but I am not giving up!

So we got the chorizo cooking and immediately I am happy with the smells coming from my kitchen. Then you blend the roasted red pepper sauce in the food processor and YUMMM it just made my mouth water. Kevin even said it smelled terrific.

I did stick right to the recipe on this one, believe it or not! The only thing is I feel I over salted a bit. I didn't take into account the salt in the chorizo, so make sure you taste the final sauce before you salt.

I was lucky that my grocery store had preground chorizo in their meat case. If your grocery store doesn't carry Spanish chorizo you could substitute the Mexican chorizo, just be aware that Mexican chorizo is fattier and melts into a sauce really, not like ground meat. You also could use linguica. 

I did the pork chops in a cast iron skillet and transfered them to the oven like it called for. But I feel the chops were a bit overdone going by the times listed in the recipe. Kevin felt the same, but Seth and Melissa said they felt they were just fine. Jessi by the way wouldn't even eat them so we have no input from Miss Picky Pants. I mentioned to the family that I felt it was over salted but again the kiddos told me they thought it was really good. 

So all in all it is an iffy review dear friends. I am not sure if I am much help if you use my information to guide you on whether or not you should make this recipe. On the one hand the roasted red pepper sauce was awesome, in fact I am currently trying to think up a recipe I can incorporate the sauce minus the chorizo in. I can say I think the pork chops should be cooked less time. I did get the inch and a half thick pork chops but it was just too much time. It would definitely be too much time for a thinner chop. We also felt the green beans should be cooked a couple of minutes longer.

Here is the finished product. I love it when you can see the steam coming off the plate.

Spanish-Style Pork Chops with Chorizo and Red Pepper Sauce and Green Beans 


  • 2 tablespoons EVOO, plus some for drizzling
  • 4 1 1/2 inch thick boneless center cut pork chops
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (half a palmful)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/4 pound chorizo, casing removed, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped (from about 4 good sized sprigs)
  • 1 16 ounce jar of roasted red peppers, drained
  • 1/2 cup flay leaf parsley leaves (a couple of generous handfuls)
  • 1/4 dry sherry or dry white wine (eyeball it)
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed (available ready prepped in sacks at many markets)
  • crusty bread, to pass at the table

Preheat oven to 350

Heat a large skillet over meduin-high to high heat. Add the 2 tablespoons EVOO. Season the chops with the paprika, salt, and pepper. Place the chops in the skillet and sear the meat to caramelize, about 2 minutes each side. Transfer the chops to a rimmed cookie sheet and place in the oven to finish off, 8 to 10 minutes, until the meat is firm to the touch, but not tough. Remove from the oven and let the chops rest, covered with a piece of aluminum foil, for a few minutes.

While the chops are in the oven, return the skillet to medium heat. Add the diced chorizo and cook, stirring frequently, for two minutes. Add the garlic, onions, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook chorizo and onions for about 3 minutes.

Bring an inch or two of water to a boil in another skillet with a lid.

Process the roasted peppers and the parsley in a food processor until smooth. Add the sherry to the chorizo and onions and stir, then pour in the roasted red pepper puree.Cook for another minute or 2, until the puree is heated through.

Place the green beans in the boiling water. Salt the water and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the beans are just tender. Drain and dress the beans with a drizzle of EVOO, the lemon juice, and salt and pepper.

Place a chop on each dinner plate, top with the chorizo and roasted red pepper sauce, serve with green beans and crusty bread for plate mopping.

serves 4

Pork Chop

Monday, March 28, 2011

Chicken Cutlet Parmigiano with Warm, Fresh Grape Tomato Topping, Pesto, and Mozzarella

Hello my fine food loving friends! I woke up today in a wonderful mood. Possibly it was because there was actually a tiny bit of blue sky showing, or could it be that last nights dinner was an off the chart winner? Both help, but the latter made me so happy. I had the whole gang here last night and everyone, I mean EVERYONE, went on and on about how much they loved this meal! Jessi even went so far as to say it was two thumbs up and she wished she had three thumbs so she could really show how much she loved it.

This recipe was a bit of a pain at first though and I was wondering if I really even wanted to make it. Let me explain, I normally shop at the local Albertson's. I knew I had seen turkey breasts and turkey cutlets there in the past so I was not nervous about finding the ingredients I needed. Boy was I wrong. I went to do my shopping and could not find a package of turkey ANYTHING in the store. I also could not find a couple of things for other recipes but I will stick to just this story for now.

So off I go to the other side of town. Even though I don't live in a very large town I will still complain. I get to QFC and they don't have turkey breast anything either! Ggrrrrr why do they have to make it so difficult? I tell myself I have all week to get them so I go on with my weekly shopping, putting my quest for turkey cutlets on the back burner.

Now fast forward to yesterday, yes I waited until the last minute, and Kevin and I are back at Albertson's. I found whole turkey breasts and turkey legs, but still no cutlets. I know one of the guys that works in the butcher block so I asked what was up. He asks around. All the info I can get is they used to carry turkey cutlets, which I already knew, but for some reason they no longer do. Now I am in a pinch knowing I am scheduled to make this recipe that night. I look down and see chicken cutlets. Ok, not much difference except size really, so I grab them and we get on with the rest of our shopping.

We get home and both grab bags and put the items away. When the time comes to start dinner I go searching for the chicken cutlets and can't find them anywhere. I call Kevin to the kitchen so I can ask him if he put them somewhere, and he didn't bring them in either. He searched the car and then we both realize we had to have left them at the store. Kevin jumps in the car and heads back to Albertson's. Of course they are no longer there. Someone not only got 2 pounds of free chicken cutlets, but they got 4 1 1/2" center cut boneless pork chops too!

Poor Kevin calls me to tell me this and to ask what exactly I needed because the butcher was going to cut it for me. He picked up what we needed and headed home. He is so wonderful!

Anyway, now you can see the fiasco this recipe started out as. All of that aside, as long as you have all of your ingredients and don't leave them behind anywhere, you should be fine. This recipe is a bit more work than the last few, but it isn't really that much work, as it is so worth it!

Ok, we are on recipe #57 for those that have the book. I of course made a couple of slight changes, but not much. I sliced my grape tomatoes in half so they would cook out more and be like a sauce. It might not have been necessary, but with non tomato lovers in your family, you have to try to get tomatoes as close to sauce as possible. As it goes I really could have made them the correct way because Jessi just asked me to leave the tomatoes off of hers.

I also kept the onion, garlic, tomato topping simmering for pretty much the whole time I was cooking. I think it came out fabulous as did everyone else. Possibly the other way will give you more of a fresh tomato flavor (as the recipe suggests) but we liked it this way. Next time I may try to get the tomatoes closer to a fresh flavor.

Kevin helped as I cooked the cutlets and we ended up with a little assembly line from flouring to placing them on the cookie sheet to broil in the oven. Here is what they looked like at this point.

Don't they look good? I was so excited by this point I almost wanted to eat one before it went in the oven!

I made a simple side of asparagus and dinner was ready!! I think next time I will make my homemade pesto instead of the store bought though. Fresh just has much more flavor. 

Just looking at the picture makes me want more but Seth took the last one home with him last night. I had to make do with left over Italian Style Garlic Shrimp for lunch. Poor me right?

Turkey Cutlet Parmigiano with Warm, Fresh Grape Tomato Topping, Pesto, and Mozzarella

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (lighter than EVOO), plus some for shallow frying.
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs (three overflowing handfuls)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (a couple of handfuls)
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves (a generous handful), chopped
  • 2 pounds turkey breast cutlets
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, red or yellow or a mix
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken stock
  • 1 cup store bought, good quality pesto sauce (the refrigerated stuff)
  • 1 large ball fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced or grated
For the grape tomato topping, preheat a medium size skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook until the onions are translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.

While the onions are cooking, set up the breading station for the cutlets. Place the flour in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, thoroughly beat together the eggs with a splash of water. In a third shallow dish, combine the bread crumbs, Parmigiano, and the parsley. Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a large skillet, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan, over medium to medium-high heat. Season the cutlets with salt and pepper on both sides and turn lightly in the flour. Thoroughly coat the cutlets in the egg and then in the breading, and add to the hot oil. Cook the cutlets in a single lasyer, in 2 batches if necessary, for 3 or 4 minutes per side, until the juices run clear and the breading is evenly browned. Remove the cooked cutlets to a plate lined with a paper towel.

To the skillet with the onions, add the grape tomatoes and white wine or stock. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes start to burst and the wine has reduced by half.

Preheat the broiler.

Arrange the cooked cutlets on a cookie sheet. Top each cutlet with a little of the warm tomato topping, top that with a little pesto, then top that with 2 slices of mozzarella cheese. Place the cookie sheet under the broiler and broil until the cheese warms and melts but has not browned. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 (very hungry people)

Parmigiana Chicken Cutlets on Foodista

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Italian Style Garlic Shrimp, Or In Other Words YUMMMMM!

Please forgive me dear friends for missing Friday nights recipe. I would hang my head in shame however, I had an amazing date night with Kevin so I can't feel bad. Sometimes a girl just has to have fun. I will tell you that I had some fantastic scallops with a bacon onion sauce that I will figure out the recipe for if it kills me! For those of you that follow my other blog, Bobbi's Bitchin' Kitchen, it will be there soon I promise.

But back to the reason we are here. I picked up last night where we left off and made recipe #147 Italian Style Garlic Shrimp with Cherry Tomatoes and Thin Spaghetti. I have to admit I was a bit nervous. I have really never cooked shrimp before. I have done all kinds of fish, clams, muscles, scallops, but for whatever reason I have never cooked shrimp. I knew that if you overcook it they are rubbery and awful, so I just was a bit worried. But this is a recipe that, if you follow the directions, you can't mess it up. It was great! My nerves gave way to a very hungry tummy as I was cooking.

I had a houseful last night. Kevin, Jessi, Seth, and Melissa were all here for dinner. Everyone gave this recipe their seal of approval, even Jessi, my pickiest eater. My Dad just doesn't like seafood so he was out of this one. All of us, except Jessi of course, thought the addition of some red pepper flakes would be fantastic in this. But as it stands it is still a terrific meal. You know we just like things a bit hot in this house.

I actually followed the recipe very closely, believe it or not. Like I said I was nervous so no going crazy for me this time. The only things I did were, used two pounds of shrimp instead of one. Which if you do make sure and double the lemon zest and juice. I also used grape tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes because I think they are sweeter. I think I have told you that I am not the biggest fan of tomatoes, at least raw tomatoes, but grape tomatoes are great.

So in my wrap up here I will say MAKE THIS RECIPE!! This was a master recipe too and the variations sound just as yummy, Spanish Style Garlic Shrimp, and Greek Style Garlic Shrimp......stay tuned for those, I know I am excited!

Oh, and I know that you are not supposed to use cheese with seafood, but I sprinkled some Parmesan cheese on mine and it was fabulous!

Italian Style Garlic Shrimp with Cherry Tomatoes and Thin Spaghetti


  • 1 pound thin spaghetti
  • 1 pound small shrimp, deveined and peeled, tails removed
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest plus the juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 1/4 cup EVOO (4 times around the pan)
  • salt
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 4 scallions
  • 1/4 cup white vermouth or 1/3 cup dry white wine (eyeball it)
  • 2 handfuls flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 20 fresh basil leaves, torn or shredded
  • course black pepper
Heat a large pot of water for the pasta, when the water boils, salt it and cook the pasta al dente.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Season the shrimp with the lemon zest, lemon juice, and a little salt. Add the EVOO to the the hot pan and then the shrimp. Cook for a minute, then add the garlic, tomatoes, and scallions and toss, cooking for another minute or two until the shrimp are firm and pink. Add the white vermouth and the herbs. Turn off the heat. Drain the pasta well and add to the sauce. Toss and combine the sauce with the pasta and season with salt and black pepper.

Serves 4 (very very hungry people)

Garlic & Shrimp Pasta on Foodista

Friday, March 25, 2011

Switching Things Up In A Curry

Hello my fellow foodies! Hope this afternoon is treating you well. If you can tell I am in a wonderful mood! The sun is shining here in my little corner of Washington, and there isn't a rain cloud in sight. Oh happy day!!

OK, back on track, last night's recipe. Well last night was supposed to be recipe #57 Turkey Cutlet Parmigiano with Warm, Fresh Grape Tomato Topping, Pesto, and Mozzarella. Sounds yummy no? Well, we still don't know since Miss Forgetful over here forgot one of the ingredients for the recipe. Well actually I drank it. It called for white wine and I, not realizing I needed it for last nights recipe, drank the last glass of it a few nights ago. I guess that will teach me to pay attention right?

So here I am, in a bit of a panic, it is time to start cooking and I have no idea what I am going to make. My son Seth was here and his answer of course was to order pizza, ummm no. It was hard to explain to him that I am cooking every night so I can share the experience and information here on my blog. He just thinks I am crazy.

Now I grab my calendar and see what the next recipe is. OK, recipe #147 Italian Style Garlic Shrimp with Cherry Tomatoes and Thin Spaghetti. Sounds awesome......dang it....the shrimp are frozen....UGH....NEXT? Saturdays recipe, #40 Mostly Green Curry Chicken over Coconut Jasmine Rice. Do I have everything I need for it? BINGO gang we have a winner!! 

This was a wonderful finish to a crazy chaotic start. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this one. I have only cooked with coconut milk once before, a parchment wrapped chicken with veggies in coconut milk, and it just didn't do anything for me. But I jumped in feet first to get this one done, determined it was going to be good. WOW was I right! Not only was it good, it was fantastic! Kevin ate all of his bowl and finished mine, and Seth had quite a bit as well. I sent some home with him for Melissa because we both said it was one she would love.

I stayed close to the recipe on this one. I switched a yellow bell pepper for the green one, but hey the recipe said "mostly" green right? I used a large jalapeño pepper and finely chopped it. I am not sure if it was a typo or the step was just omitted for some reason, but it only says to cut it in half and seed it. Possibly I was supposed to use it in the cooking and then remove it before serving, but it didn't say that either so I made a judgement call. You know most of us here like things spicy so I was more than happy to have that jalapeño in there. 

I also added 1/2 cup cilantro instead of the 1/4 cup it called for. That was just because, well, I love, love, love cilantro so I couldn't help myself. With the scallions, I sliced about 5 or 6 because I used the green tops in place of the chives for the Aussie Meat Pie recipe. I like onions, so it worked well.

Last but certainly not least, the hot sauce. To me curry needs to have a bit of a bite. I don't mean it needs to bite your head of, but a little nibble at least is needed. The recipe says to use Tabasco to taste but, like I said in Aussie Meat Pie posting, I use Franks Red Hot or Sriracha. I used the Franks this time and a good amount. Probably about 10 to 12 shakes of the bottle. I made sure and salted well too. 

End YUMMINESS!!! Kevin said this is definitely a keeper and I 100% agree. The picture isn't the prettiest but trust me the taste is GREAT!

Oh oops I also doubled the rice part of the recipe, we like starch in this family! I think it was a good idea and you will still have enough coconut milk.

Mostly Green Curry Chicken over Coconut Jasmine Rice

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 13 1/2 ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 6 to 8 ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts chopped into bite sized pieces.
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced 
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño, cut in half and seeded
  •  3 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • zest and juice of one lime
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves (a handful), chopped
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves (a couple of handfuls), chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • hot sauce, such as (I say Franks Red Hot) Tobasco, to taste

In a sauce pot combine 1 cup of chicken stock, 1/4 cup of the coconut milk, and the jasmine rice. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 to 18 minutes. Turn the heat off and keep the rice covered until ready to serve.

While coconut jasmine rice is cooking, preheat a large non-stick skillet over high heat with about 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Add the chicken pieces, spreading them evenly across the the pan, and brown chicken on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the browned chicken to a plate and reserve. Add the last tablespoon of the vegetable oil to the pan. Add the green bell peppers, onions, garlic, jalapeño, ginger, and broccoli florets. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the veggies start to wilt. To the skillet add the remaining coconut milk and 1/2 cup chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat, and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken back to the skillet, and return it to a simmer for about 2 more minutes. add the lime juice, lime zest, cilantro, scallions, parsley, and frozen peas. Stir to thoroughly combine. Simmer a minute more to heat the peas, taste, and adjust the seasoning. Add some hot sauce if you like heat. Serve over coconut jasmine rice.

Serves 4

Curry Chicken

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Aussie Meat Pies, Made Quick

Boy, when Rachael said made quick she really meant it! These "pies" are super easy and super quick to make. Again, not so many ingredients, so not a lot of slaving away to be done over the meal. I did add some minced garlic to the recipe, as per Jessi's request. I don't think there is much we cook with out onions and garlic in it!

The meat smelled great after cooking with the onions and garlic and then you add the brown sugar, tomato paste mixture and it went from great to YUM. I love it when the food smells so good you want to just eat it out of the pot! I do suggest that when you bake the pastry dough sheets that you do it on parchment paper or a very good nonstick cookie sheet. I had a bit of a "stickage" issue with mine.

I think this would be great if you added some spice to the ketchup on top too. I mean if you don't like things spicy by all means the regular ketchup is great. But for those that like it a bit hot I would add some of your favorite hot sauce to it. I use Frank's Red Hot a lot or Sriracha hot sauce (you can find it in the Asian isle at your market).

Last impressions on the recipe are that it tastes great, it is easy to make, and my kids gave it two thumbs up, oh so did Kevin too! I will say I think this makes a great lunch recipe more so than a dinner one though. But either way, bring your appetite!

Aussie Meat Pies, Made Quick

  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, defrosted but kept chilled (recommended brand: Pepperidge Farms)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO 
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (eyeball it)
  • 1 rounded tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 rounded tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning as in McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • ketchup for garnish 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives

Preheat the over to 400

With a sharp knife, cut the thawed but chilled puff pastry sheets into 4 square, 8 squares total, and arrange on cookie sheet. Season the squares with a little salt and pepper. Bake the puff pastry according to the package directions or until golden brown all over, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Let it get really hot so the meat will caramelize when it hits the pan. Add the EVOO, then the butter. When the butter melts into the oil, add the beef and really work at breaking it up as it browns-get the bits all nice and tiny. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the flour. Cook mixture a minute more. In a small bowl combine the Worcestershire sauce with the tomato paste and brown sugar, then whisk in the stock. Whisk the seasoned stock into the pan. Stir into the meat and combine. Season the meat with grill seasoning and reduce the heat to low.

When the pastry squares are ready, assemble the pies. Place a square of pastry in the bottom of a shallow bowl. Top with one quarter of the meat mixture and another square. Place a large dollop of ketchup in the center of the top pastry and sprinkle the "pies" with chives to garnish, then serve.

serves 4

Ground Meat Pie

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Couple-of-Minute Steaks and Potato Ragout

Hhhhmmmmm what to say about this one? I had never made "minute" steaks before, or even knew what they were. I had cube steak before and wasn't real fond of it so that was why I opted for the "minute" variety. Although after I cooked them last night my Dad told me he had always heard cubed steak called minute steak so who knows?

All I can say about minute steaks, at least the ones we had, which were eye of round, they are meat. Edible meat? Not so much! I cooked them medium rare but seriously could not even chew one bite and get it down. They were so tough and so chewy with absolutely NO flavor. They also were super small so there is no way this recipe would feed 4 people. At least not the people in my house.

Now those of you that have been reading for a bit know how Kevin feels about any steak other than ribeye. It is simple, he feels there IS no other steak besides ribeye. After last night he is more sure of that than ever!

The potatoes were good though. Maybe if I had gotten some small thin cut ribeyes it would have been a good meal, but a meal of just potatoes? Bad, bad, bad...

I will suggest that if you make the potatoes, which I think you should, make SURE you dice them small. The recipe says 1/4 inch dice and I didn't listen so well. Many of mine were closer to 1/2 inch and they just weren't done all the way through, but the flavors were great. Kevin said this was a keeper as a side dish recipe. I used little yellow tomatoes in place of regular cherry tomatoes. I cut them in half and let them sit face down on the pan surface for a bit to make them really sweet. That was a good idea.

The most I can say about this recipe is, thank goodness it is over. I will post it so you can get the potato part, and if you choose to make it please use a better cut of meat! Oh and I would recommend using McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning in place of the black pepper.

Couple-of-Minute Steaks and Potato Ragout

4 minute steaks or cubed steaks
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
black pepper
4 tablespoons EVOO
2 medium sized baking potatoes cut in 1/4 inch dice
4 sprigs of thyme leaves, chopped
1 sprig of rosemary leaves, chopped
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes cut in half
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Season the minute steaks with the Worcestershire sauce and some pepper. Let the steaks hang out while you start the potato ragout.

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with about 2 tablespoons of the EVOO. Add the diced potatoes to the skillet and spread them out in an even layer. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and let them brown for about 2 minutes, resisting the urge to shake or stir the pan. Once browned on one side, go ahead and give the skillet a stir and shake. Then leave it be for another 2 minutes. Add the thyme, rosemary, onions, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Add the white wine and chicken stock, bring the mixture up to a simmer, and cook until potatoes are tender, 5 to 6 minutes more.

Once the potatoes are almost tender, preheat another large skillet over high heat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of EVOO for the minute steaks. Season the steaks with salt and then add to hot skillet. Sear the steaks for 1 to 2 minutes per side.

While the steaks are cooking, add the cherry tomatoes and parsley to the potatoes. Toss and stir to incorporate. Heat the tomatoes for about 1 minute. Turn the heat off and add the cold butter, stirring constantly until the butter has melted. Serve the minute steaks with the potato ragout.

serves 4

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Prosciutto, Garlic, and Herb Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Tarragon Pan Sauce

WOW what a mouthful right? Well that is EXACTLY what you will think when you eat this chicken.....WOW. To use Rachael's words YUMMMO!!! From the small list of ingredients, to the simplicity of the recipe, to the combination of the flavors, this recipe has it all. All of the things that make a recipe awesome. The hardest thing about this recipe is pounding the chicken out and thats what I have my handy dandy sous chef/boyfriend Kevin for. I am a lucky girl!

This is one of those recipes that just made me hungry reading the ingredients. You know how some recipes just click in your head, while others you may see a few things on the list that are kind of "iffy" to you but the recipe as a whole sounds good? This is definitely the former! It was great from reading, to making, to eating. 

Jessi said she wasn't fond of it the "her palate must be to immature to appreciate it" but in between a lot of "mmmm-ing" with a few pauses to say OMG this is good, Kevin's and my palates were having a good time. What is funny, well kind of, is that I was so excited about making this recipe that I forgot to plan a side dish. So as the chicken is merrily sizzling away in the pan I all of a sudden realized YIKES I need something to go on the plate with this awesome chicken. I ransacked my pantry but my mind was blank so I hesitantly grabbed a bagged pasta side dish that I had in the pantry as an easy make for my Dad or Jessi on a night that Kevin and I aren't home to cook. Kevin threw it together and plopped it on the plate with the chicken. Kevin took one bite of it after he had been eating the chicken and said, "That stuff doesn't even belong on the same plate as this chicken"! Jessi's under developed palate thought it was awesome. I can't believe that is how I used to cook, if you can call it that, let alone eat for a lot of years.

I stuck pretty close to the recipe on this one. I used two slices of prosciutto per breast and a well rounded tablespoon of cheese. I also used two well rounded tablespoons of chopped tarragon leaves. Kevin pounded the chicken out to somewhere between 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch thickness and I cooked it for about 5 minutes per the four sides. It came out perfect. The cheese was nice and warm and creamy and the chicken was a little crispy on the outside. I fell in love with tarragon too!

And the final product.....

Prosciutto, Garlic, and Herb Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Tarragon Pan Sauce.

4 6 ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts halves
4 slices prosciutto di parma
4 ounces (1/2 cup) garlic and herb cheese, such as Boursin
3 tablespoons EVOO
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, chopped

Place a chicken breast in the center of a plastic food storage bag or 2 large sheets of wax paper. Pound out chicken from the center of the bag outward using a heavy bottomed skillet or mallet. Be firm but controlled with your strokes. Repeat with the 3 remaining breasts.

Place one slice of prosciutto on top of each pounded chicken breast. Place a quarter of the garlic and herb cheese on top of each prosciutto slice. Wrap and roll the chicken over the stuffing. Secure the meat with toothpicks. Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with the EVOO. Season the stuffed rolled chicken with salt and pepper. Add the breasts to the pan and brown on all sides cooking for 10 to 20 minutes. The meat will cook quicker because it is thin. Remove the breasts; add the butter to the pan, then the flour. Cook for a minute, whisk in the white wine and reduce for another minute. Whisk in the stock and tarragon and return the chicken to the pan. Reduce the heat and simmer until ready to serve. Remove the toothpicks and serve whole or sliced.

4 servings

Chicken Breast


Monday, March 21, 2011

Three is a Charm?

Hi gang, sorry I haven't posted! I know it has been three days. Fifty lashes with a wet noodle for me huh? No excuses, just put the laundry and house cleaning on the top of the list and didn't realize there was as much to do as there was! YIKES! Who's been making all of these messes?

Ok, now we have three recipes to go over. So look at it as a bonus right? Three is a lucky number!

Friday night was recipe #50 Big Thick Hearty Thighs. Only three of us ate that night, and I didn't get the report from Seth until the next day because he took it to work, he works nights, and ate it there. But when he does that I can always count on someone else from his work weighing in on how they liked the recipe. So far they are a nice crowd to feed!
Seth, as well as his boss, like this one. I felt I may have under salted it but for some reason my taster wasn't working very well and I just kept thinking it is missing something but couldn't put my finger on it. Usually I am Johnny on the spot when it comes to salt, and I salted and peppered the thighs liberally before I put them in the pan, plus salted again a bit later on. I just kept feeling like something was missing. But Kevin said he liked it and it makes a nice broth for sopping with some crusty warm french bread yummm can't go wrong with that right? I would suggest trying this recipe but just stay on top of the salt and see if that was my issue. 

Another nice thing about the recipe is it is inexpensive. So if you are like me, and don't have a lot of money to throw around for crazy recipes, this is a good one for you! I did add slightly more garlic than the recipe calls for. My family LOVES garlic, plus the cloves Rachael has on the show are always nice and big. Mine, well, not so much. I also added and extra tablespoon of thyme leaves.

Alas, I neglected my duties of taking a picture so the recipe will have to suffice. 

Big, Thick, Hearty Thighs

2 tablespoons EVOO
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
black pepper
1 small yellow onion
5 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves chopped
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups chicken stock
3 medium to small red  bliss potatoes, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 cup frozen peas
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves chopped

Preheat a large skillet or wide soup pot over medium high heat and add the EVOO. Season the chicken thighs liberally with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the skillet and brown on both sides for about 3 minutes. Scoot the browned thighs to the edges of the pan, making some space in the center of the skillet. Add the onions, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook stirring frequently for 2 minutes.

Add the wine and the chicken stock, turn the heat up to high, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the potatoes and stir everything together. Cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove lid and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add the peas, lemon juice, lemon zest, and parsley, and cook for 1 more minute just to heat the peas through. Serve with crusty bread. 

Chicken Thigh

serves 4

Night Number 2
The next recipe is #7 Chipotle Mac-N-Cheddar. It is a twist on the Master Recipe #4 Mac-N-Cheddar with Broccoli.
Four out of the six people that I can be feeding any given night, enjoy spicy food. I expected this one to be a bit hot with the "C" word (chipotle) in the title. I am still remembering how hot the ribeyes were and a bit nervous about making things so spicy only a few of us can eat it. It is a fine tap dance I do but I try.
Actually this one was not hot at all. Just enough spice to make it warm and yummy, but not enough to burn your tongue off. Seth, Melissa, and Kevin all said it was great and would even suggest adding a bit more chorizo to the recipe. I had it but was afraid it would be too much. They said I could have even add an extra chipotle pepper. So if you want to warm it up a bit give that a try. I will say this recipe is a nice one for people looking for something other than *yawn* Mac-N-Cheese. I love most of Rachael's spins on Mac-N-Cheese and this was just another one to add to the list.
FYI a little hint for the chipotle peppers in adobo. This comes from Rachael so I can't claim it myself, once you open the can and use the peppers you need, place the remaining peppers and sauce in a snack or sandwich baggie and roll like a tube then pop in the freezer. The next time a recipe calls for chipotles in adobo BAM you drag it out of your freezer and grate a bit off with your cheese grater. Rachael says it is about 1 tablespoon per pepper.  
Again, I hang my head in shame, no picture for your viewing pleasure.
Smokey Chipotle Mac-N-Cheddar


  • 1 pound macaroni elbows or cavatapi corkscrew shaped pasta twists
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, plus some for drizzling
  • 3/4 pound chorizo, 1 package, casing removed and diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced fire roasted tomatoes, drained
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 chipotle in adobo and their juices, chopped or 1 tablespoon ground chipotle chili
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 cups shredded smoked Cheddar


Place a pot of water on to boil for macaroni. When it boils, salt water and cook pasta until a little under done, just shy of al dente.
While pasta cooks, place a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and chorizo. Brown the chorizo then add the canned tomatoes to the pan and heat them through. Remove from heat and reserve.
While chorizo begins to cook, heat a medium sauce pot over medium-low heat. Add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, then add onions and chipotles and cook 3 to 5 minutes to sweat it out and turn the juices sweet. Raise heat up a bit, add the flour and whisk together until mixture bubbles up. Cook 1 minute more. Whisk in milk and stock and raise heat up a little more to bring the sauce to a quick boil. Once it bubbles, drop heat back to a rolling simmer sauce to thicken, 3 to 5 minutes.
Drain macaroni or pasta. Add cooked pasta back to the large pot.
Add cheese to milk sauce and stir to melt, a minute or so. Stir in chorizo and tomatoes and season sauce with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over cooked pasta in large pot and toss to combine. Transfer to a large serving platter, garnish with chives and serve.
serves 4

Chipotle Peppers

Macaroni and Cheese

Night Number 3
Now we are on to recipe #74 Turkey (or Chicken) Croquettes with Spinach Mashers and Pan Gravy. This recipe right off the bat reminded me of Thanksgiving. That is because I used to always make turkey croquettes from the left over turkey. I wish I had found this way to make them a long time ago! I made them with a rue and then you had to grind the turkey and let it all set in the fridge....blah blah blah. This was like a little Thanksgiving party in my mouth.
I would suggest chopping the veggies very fine. I did the "rustic" chop and that made them too big. I also felt 1 pound of spinach was too much so I grabbed a 5 ounce container and I will say that is as much as I would want in the potatoes. But that is the only negative thing I will say about this recipe. If you like "Turkey Day" make this one!!!
And YAY!! I have a picture!

  • Turkey or Chicken Croquettes with Spinach Mashers and Pan Gravy

  • 3 large starchy potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 package (about 1-1⁄3 pounds) ground turkey breast or ground chicken
  • 2 celery ribs and their greens, finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning (eyeball it in the palm of your hand)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme (from 5 to 6 sprigs)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (a handful)
  • Coarse black pepper
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups plain bread crumbs
  • 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil (eyeball it)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2-1⁄2 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1⁄2 cup cream or half-and-half
  • 1 pound triple-washed baby spinach leaves
  • Prepared whole-berry cranberry sauce, to pass at the table
Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Put a lid on the pot and bring the water to a boil. Salt the water and cook the potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes. While the potatoes cook, make the croquettes. Place the turkey or chicken in a bowl. Add the celery, onions, poultry seasoning, thyme, parsley, salt, pepper, and egg yolk. Combine and form 8 patties. Coat both sides of the patties in the bread crumbs. Heat the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Cook the patties for 5 minutes on each side. Remove the croquettes to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
Reduce the heat under the skillet. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to the skillet and melt, then whisk in the flour. Cook the roux for a minute or two. Whisk in 2 cups of the chicken stock and bring to a bubble. Thicken for a minute or so and turn off the heat. Season the sauce with a little salt and pepper.
Drain the cooked potatoes and return to the hot pot. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, the remaining 1/2 cup of chicken stock, and the cream. Mash and season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Fold in the spinach leaves until they wilt into the potatoes.
To serve, pile the spinach mashers on plates and top each portion with 2 croquettes and a spoonful of gravy. Pass the cranberry sauce at the table.
serves 4
I will update the menu page and then can't wait to report to you on all the great stuff coming up this week!

Chicken Croquettes

Mashed Potatoes