Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chicken Parmigiana



I made this recipe last week for our Valentine's dinner. It was fabulous. I have talked about it all week long. I will let you go to her website for pictures, because they are much better than mine.

This is the first time I have ever used her recipes, but it was delicious! As a sidenote: I used chicken broth as a substitute for the wine.


4 whole (up To 6) Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Trimmed And Pounded Flat
½ cups All-purpose Flour
Salt And Pepper, to taste
½ cups Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
¾ cups Wine (or chicken broth)
3 cans (14.5 Oz.) Crushed Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Sugar
¼ cubes Chopped Fresh Parsley
1 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 pound Thin Linguine

Preparation Instructions

Mix flour, salt, and pepper together on a large plate. Dredge flattened chicken breasts in flour mixture. Set aside. At this time, you can start a pot of water for your pasta. Cook linguine until al dente.

Heat olive oil and butter together in a large skillet over medium heat. When butter is melted and oil/butter mixture is hot, fry chicken breasts until nice and golden brown on each side, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Remove chicken breasts from the skillet and keep warm. Without cleaning skillet, add onions and garlic and gently stir for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and scrape the bottom of the pan, getting all the flavorful bits off the bottom. Allow wine to cook down until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.

Pour in crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Add sugar and more salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cook for 30 minutes. Toward the end of cooking time, add chopped parsley and give sauce a final stir.

Carefully lay chicken breasts on top of the sauce and completely cover them in grated Parmesan. Place lid on skillet and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer until cheese is melted and chicken is thoroughly heated. Add more cheese to taste.

Place cooked noodles on a plate and cover with sauce. Place chicken breast on top and sprinkle with more parsley. Serve immediately.

Also, for a really good cookie bar for dessert. You won't regret it!


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cafe Rio-like Salad

For some reason I can't comment on this blog anymore? Has anyone ever had something like that happen? I can't comment randomly on a few friends blogs, but my comments never ever post on this one, so just so you know, I still read and I've tried several of your recipes and they are good. Liz's potstickers where tasty, and there where lots of other things that I typed comments on that looked so good, but my comments dissapear as soon as I click to post it. ANYWAY...

It's a labor of love, but so worth it. Here ya go:

Cafe Rio-like Salad


1 Tbsp. oil
1 cup long grain rice (2 cups chicken broth... add more if it boils out too fast.)
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
juice of 2 limes
2 tsp. crushed garlic

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add rice, cilantro, and garlic. Saute 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add broth and lime juice and bring to boil. Then reduce heat and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed by the rice (about 20 minutes). You could use a rice cooker


pork roast
1 (16 oz.) bottle of salsa
1 can coke
2 c. brown sugar

Place pork in crock-pot and fill it half way up with water. Cook roast on high for 5 hours. Drain off water. Cut pork in thirds. Mix together ingredients (salsa, coke, brown sugar) and put on top of pork. Cook an additional 3 hours on high. Shred pork with forks. Leave it on low until ready to serve. (I tend to use a less sugar, like half that amount.Still tastes fine to me.)

[Cafe Rio Chicken]
3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 c Italian dressing
1T minced garlic
1 T chili powder
juice from one lime
1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped

Throw it all in the crockpot for at least 6 hours. Stir it every now and then. If you need more liquid add some chicken broth during cooking. Just don't let it get too dry.

1 packet hidden valley ranch buttermilk dressing
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. mayo or sour cream
2-3 tomatillas (peel off outer leaf/shell)
1 tsp. crushed garlic
¾ bunch fresh cilantro
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
juice from 1 lime (about 2 tsp.)
salt & pepper

Blend all ingredients in the blender. Refrigerate.
*TIPS: don't use miracle whip or fat free. It will taste like yucky off brand ranch with something weird going on. Use real regular Mayo and I usually just get a little pint of buttermilk, they are only like 50 cents.) Even if you think you don't like cilantro, do not omit the cilantro. That is what makes it taste the way it does. It took me two tries to figure that out. (Turns out I don't hate cilantro, I just don't like it by itself or as a garnish.)

We don't by prepared tortillas anymore, just because after buying the "cook yourself" type you can find in the deli section of the grocery store, the prepared and finished type taste like paste. Get the cook yourself type, you'll be so glad you did and it will taste more authentic. I haven't found a perfect method for homemade tortillas yet, I can't get them thin enough, but we're still working on that one.

So... Tortilla, Rice, Beans (black or pinto!), meat, chopped romaine lettuce, crispy tortilla strips, guac, and instead of pico de gallo I just add a little drop of fresh cut salsa. You can usually find it in the produce section. Then top with dressing.

We can eat off of this for several days. I usually separate the cooked meat into 3 freezer safe containers and freeze it to use for next time and it cuts down on prep time.

Whole Wheat Bread

Whole Wheat Bread
(perfected by Scott's Dad Randy Black)

3 1/ cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup gluten flour
1 T + 3/4 tsp instant yeast
2 1/2 cups steaming hot tap water (120-130 F)
1 T salt
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup honey or sugar
1 1/4 T lemon juice
2 1/2 cups more whole wheat flour

Mix first 3 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour, gluten and yeast in a mixer with a dough hook. Add water while mixer is on and mix for 1 minute. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Add salt, honey oil and lemon juice. Beat for 1 minute. Add last flour one cup at a time, beating in between each cup. Beat for 10-15 minutes until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Beating it for the full 10-15 minutes will make a very soft dough.

Heat oven to lowest temp. (170 F). Turn dough onto an oiled counter top and knead together. Divide and shape into two loaves and shape into oiled bread pans. let raise in warm oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the dough reaches the top of the pan.Do not remove bread from oven. Turn oven up to 350 F and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on racks.

Makes two large loaves.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Artichoke Chicken with Roasted Potatoes (and Asparagus)

This recipe is sooooo good. It's from Pampered Chef's 29 Minutes to Dinner cookbook.

Artichoke Chicken with Roasted Potatoes

6-7 small red potatoes (or 4 large russets)

2 cups water

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 teaspoons rosemary herb seasoning mix, divided*

2 teaspoons olive oil, divided

*Rosemary Herb Seasoning Mix

2 teaspoon crushed rosemary

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Artichoke Topping

1 cup chopped artichoke hearts (about 4 hearts)

4 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

¼ c. Parmesan cheese, divided

4 teaspoons mayonnaise

Preheat the broiler to high. Meanwhile, cut potatoes into quarters. Place the potatoes, water and salt into a covered, microwave safe dish. Microwave on high for 6-8 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Drain and set aside.

To make the artichoke topping. Chop the artichokes and parsley, place in a small bowl. Grate the cheese; set aside 4 teaspoons for later use. Add remaining cheese and mayonnaise to the artichoke mixture and mix well.

Cut each chicken breast in half to make 4 thin portions. Sprinkle both sides of each piece with 1 teaspoon of the seasoning mix. Add 1 teaspoon of oil to a large oven-safe skillet. (Do not use non-stick cookware.) Heat the oil over medium high heat for 1-3 minutes. Meanwhile, add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and remaining 1 teaspoon seasoning mix to the potatoes. Stir to coat.

Place the chicken and potatoes**, cut side down, into the skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until chicken is golden brown. Turn both the chicken and potatoes over; cook an additional 3-4 minutes until the chicken is golden brown. Remove potatoes from the skillet; set aside to keep warm. Spread the artichoke topping evenly over the chicken breasts; sprinkle with reserved cheese. Place the skillet as close as possible to the heating element; broil 4-6 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the chicken registers an internal temperature of 170F. If the topping starts to brown too quickly, adjust it in your oven. Carefully remove the skillet from the broiler. Serve the chicken with the potatoes.

** I didn't have a large enough oven-safe skillet, so instead I roasted the potatoes and asparagus in the oven while I cooked the chicken on the stove top. Once the chicken was ready to be broiled, I switched the oven to broil and finished cooking the potatoes and asparagus while the artichoke topping browned. Everything turned out great.

Turkey Bacon Avocado Panini

I love panini's! Today when I was looking at blogs I saw somebody had made a homemade panini and really wanted one. Am I the only one that struggles with what to make for lunch everyday? It seems like most choices are quick and unhealthy. Anyways, I thought of this for lunch and it turned out great.

It isn't really a recipe, but more just whatever you would like. I put turkey meat, bacon, avocado, mozzarella cheese, and carmelized onions and peppers.
This is a picture of the peppers and onions. I like them to be just starting to carmelize. They are sweet and still really delicious. Anyways, after I had layered the sandwich together, I buttered both sides and pressed in my George Foreman grill.
It was delicious. Alex ate it up too. He is a really good eater. I think it would have been better with pepper jack cheese and maybe a chipotle sauce. Does anybody know how to make one or a good chipotle sauce to buy? I really like it in restaurants, but haven't ever had it at home.