Memorable Quotes:

"A Bearnaise sauce is simply an egg yolk, a shallot, a little tarragon vinegar and butter, but it takes years of practice for the result to be perfect." Fernand Point

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Chicken Mozzarela Melts with Cherry Tomatoes

INGREDIENTS:
4 Boneless, skinless chicken-roast halves (each 6 ounces), butterflied
6 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
12 Ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
1 Cup halved Peppadew peppers, plus 1 tablespoon brine. (We used cherry tomatoes)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
6 ounces of mozzeralam, 6 slices
1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup packed fresh baby arugula
Grilled crusty bread

Directions:
1. Pound chicken between pieces of plastic to a scant 1/4 inch thick. Heat grill to medium high. Combine 1/4 cup olive oil and garlic in a large cast iron skillet; place on grill. Cook until golden about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and Peppadews; season with salt and pepper. Cook until mixture thickens slightly and tomatoes burst, about 12 minutes. Remove skillet from grill; cover grill to reheat, 5 minutes.
2. Drizzle chicken with 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill until charred in spots, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip, top with cheese and cover grill. Cook until cheese melts and chicken is cooked through, 1 minute. Transfer to a plate; spoons tomato mixture over top. Top with basil, dress arugula with remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and Peppadew brine. Serve atop chicken, with bread.

COOKS NOTES:
I did not use the out door grill. I cooked inside using a grill pan. Peppers and tomatoes were cooked in cast iron skillet.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Portuguese Custard Tart "Pastel De Nata"





Ingredients:
1 (500 gram) packet of puff pastry
225 ml (8oz) milk
3 tablespoons plain flour or 2 tablespooons corn starch
200 grams (7 oz) granulated sugar
1/2 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 egg yolks

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a 12 cup muffin tin and line bottom and sides with puff pastry.

In a saucepan, combine mile, corn flour, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla. Cook, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.

Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove the vanilla bean.

Fill pastry-lined muffin tin with mixture and bake in preheated oven for 7-9 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is lightly browned on top.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Skillet Spanish Chicken and Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 1/3 cups instant brown rice (certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1 quart canned tomatoes with liquid
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup pitted and sliced green olives
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled queso fresco

Directions

In a large skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Transfer to skillet, and sauté until lightly browned, 4–5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm.
Add garlic and onion to skillet, and sauté for 1 minute. Add bell pepper, and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add rice, and stir until lightly toasted and combined with vegetables.
Add tomatoes with liquid, chili powder and cumin to skillet and stir to combine. Using the edge of a wooden spoon, break apart any larger tomato pieces. (If rice is not covered by tomato liquid, add an additional 1/4 cup water.) Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer.
Place chicken on top of tomato-rice mixture. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off heat, and let sit on stovetop, covered, for 5 minutes.
Add olives and cilantro to chicken-rice mixture, and toss and fluff with a fork. (If desired, remove chicken to ease stirring, then return to skillet.) To serve, sprinkle queso fresco over top of chicken-rice mixture and divide evenly among serving plates.
Nutrition Information
Serves: 4 |  Serving Size: 1 cup rice mixture + 1 Spanish chicken breast
Per serving: Calories: 333; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 68mg; Sodium: 363mg; Carbohydrate: 21g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 39g
Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 332mg; Iron: 8%; Vitamin A: 18%; Vitamin C: 52%; Calcium: 8%

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Shredded Chicken in Wing Sauce

Ingredients:
8 ounces of shredded chicken (I used CostCo shredded roasted white meat chicken)
3/4 cup of Frank's Wing Sauce
1/3 cup of low sodium chicken broth
1/2 package of ranch dressing mix
2 teaspoons of brown sugar

Directions:
Combine the Frank's wing sauce, broth, dressing mix and brown sugar in a small pot. Bring to a low simmer and add the shredded chicken. Cover and let simmer on low for about 10 min.

Serve with rice and some coleslaw.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Mom's Irish Soda Bread

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups unsifted all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 Cup Currents (softened in warm sherry)
1 Cup Buttermilk
1 Tablespoon butter

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375.

Using solid shortening (Crisco), grease the surface of a small baking sheet. Set aside until bread is shaped. Assemble all the ingredients for the soda bread. (Make the bread the same day you plan to serve it).

Put flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a sifter; sift over a large bowl. Add softened butter and cut into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or fork until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Add currents and toss thoroughly.

Pour buttermilk into the mixture all at once. Gently toss the mixture until all the ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix. Using hands gently gather mixture together and press firmly into a ball.

Put dough on a lightly floured pastry cloth or board and knead gently with the palms of your hands until dough is smooth. (About 1 minute). Shape into a smooth round ball and place on the prepared baking sheet.

Using hands, flatten ball into a circle that is about 7 inches in diameter. The dough will be about 1 1/2 inches thick. Press a large floured knife across the center of the loaf and cut about half way through the dough. Repeat at right angle to divide the loaf into quarters. YOU DO NOT CUT ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE LOAF!

Bake bread for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom and sides with a wooden spoon.

Remove to a wire rack to cool. Brush the top with melted butter and later dust with flour.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Skillet Chicken with Roasted Carrots

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 5 small red potatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeds removed
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup unsalted chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
Directions
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 5 minutes or until golden brown. Turn and cook 2 minutes. Remove chicken from pan. Place carrots and potatoes, cut side down, in pan; sprinkle with thyme. Place pan in oven; bake at 425°F for 10 minutes. Return chicken to pan; top with lemon slices. Bake at 425°F for 12 minutes. Remove pan from oven. Place chicken and vegetables on a plate.
Combine 1/2 cup milk, flour and lemon zest in a bowl. Return pan to medium-high heat (do not wipe out pan). Add flour mixture, remaining 1 cup milk and stock to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; cook 3 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken and vegetables to pan. Sprinkle with parsley.
Nutrition Information
Serves: 4 |  Serving Size: 1 chicken breast, about 3/4 cup vegetables, and 1/2 cup sauce
Per serving: Calories: 377; Total Fat: 9g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 111mg; Sodium: 401mg; Carbohydrate: 30g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 46g
Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 593mg; Iron: 18%; Vitamin A: 73%; Vitamin C: 30%; Calcium: 16% 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Garlicky Bacon and Spinach Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:
1/2 teaspoon of olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
4 cups baby spinach leaves
4 cups baby arugula
4 center cut bacon slices
8 (1 ounce) rustic Italian bread slices
2 ounces (1/2 cup) of shredded mozzarella cheese
2 ounces fontina cheese shredded about (1/2 cup)

Directions:
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil and swirl to coat. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute, add the spinach and arugula and stir until wilted. Remove spinach and garlic from pan. Cook the bacon in the pan.Then remove bacon.

Top 4 bread slices evenly with cheese, bacon pieces, spinach mixture, and the remaining 4 bread slices.

Heat pan over medium heat. Add sand which espouses to drippings in pan; weigh down with a plate, cook for 2 minutes on each side.