RSS Feed

Category Archives: main dishes

Grilled Chicken Caprese

Burrata and Grilled Pesto Chicken

This recipe is from Half Baked Harvest, my favorite food blogger! It’s easy, simple and quick!

Make a marinade with pesto for the chicken. Skewer it with tomatoes. Grill. Serve on a platter with burrata, mini mozzarella balls and more pesto marinade. Tieghan serves it with grilled bread, but it’s also yummy on pasta!

To see more photos of this dish and to read more about it go to http://HalfBakedHarvest.com

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2/3 cup pesto
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes or more
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • Salt, pepper, and chili flakes
  • 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 8 ounces burrata or more
  • 1 cup mini mozzarella balls or more

Directions

  1. To make marinade in a small jar combine pesto, balsamic vinegar, honey, lemon juice, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Cover and shake it up!
  2. In a medium bowl combine half the marinade and the chicken. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and mix well.
  3. In another small bowl combine 1 tablespoon olive oil and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper
  4. Thread the chicken and tomatoes on skewers. Grill over medium high heat till chicken is just done and tomatoes slightly char. Don’t over cook! Grill just a few minutes to the internal temperature of 160 degrees F. No higher!!
  5. Break open the burrata onto a platter. Add mozzarella balls and then the chicken and tomatoes on or off the skewers. Drizzle remaining marinade over it all. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic if you want. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and chili flakes. Top with torn basil leaves.
  6. Serve with thick slices of grilled bread. Spread and pile the toppings on the bread or pasta
  7. Voila!

Grilled Chicken with Yogurt Marinade

Yogurt Marinated Grilled Chicken Thighs

The New York Times has given me so many inspirational recipes and this is one of them! Quick and easy. I doubled the recipe to make leftovers for my kids to take to their homes. Making easy recipes my family likes encourages them to try something new too!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 2 cloves minced garlic or more
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or more
  • 1/2 teaspoon or 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme or more
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large lemon, ZEST AND JUICE

Directions

1. In a large bowl whisk together all ingredients except lemon juice and chicken.

2. Add chicken and mix well. Cover and refrigerate 3-24 hours

3. Remove from frig 30 minutes before grilling

4. Clean grill grates and coat them with a bit of oil. Grill on high to medium high heat until done or reaches internal temperature of 165 degrees, about 6-8 minutes per side.

5. Place chicken on a serving platter. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper and pour lemon juice over all. Add chopped parsley and lemon wedges if you like

Absolutely delicious!!

Mediterranean Style Chicken

Voila!

Custard Baked Eggs

Pickled Red Onion & Custard Eggs
English Muffin Egg Sandwiches

Joanne Chang & Food52 is the inspiration for this recipe. Theirs was a Breakfast Sandwich made with brioche buns and hot sauce and lettuce. I also like these custard eggs with Pickled Red Onions and a salad or some sautéed veggies like zucchini.

Here’s the recipe for their eggs

Ingredients

  • 9 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup half & half
  • Butter for the pan
  • 6 slices cheddar cheese optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 F
  2. Butter an 8-9 inch square baking pan
  3. In a medium bowl whisk eggs and salt
  4. Add half & half and whisk again
  5. Pour eggs into buttered pan
  6. Place pan of eggs into a larger size pan and then pour hot water into the outer pan to reach halfway up the sides of egg pan
  7. Place foil over eggs or cover with a baking sheet
  8. Bake 20-35 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean
  9. Cool 10 minutes and slice into 6 squares with a sharp knife
  10. If adding cheese, lift squares out of pan and place in another baking pan. Cover with cheese slices. Return to oven until melted.
  11. Serve on buttered brioche buns with lettuce and hot sauce or serve with Pickled Red Onions and sautéed zucchini

Lemon Marinated Fish Salad

Lemon Marinated Lin Cod

We discovered Lincod from Alaska which we buy frozen from an Alaskan fisherman. Whitefish or walleye or any other mild flavored fish would work too.

This recipe is adapted from an Italian recipe that uses salted cod or bacalao

Ingredients

  • 1 pound whitefish or cod, grilled
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 3 green onions sliced

Directions

  1. Season fish and grill till just done
  2. Set aside to cool
  3. In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar
  4. Stir in parsley, capers and green onion
  5. Taste the marinade and add more of any ingredient to your taste. I prefer the tart lemony flavor,
  6. Gently break apart fish into smaller pieces about bite size. Don’t make them too small
  7. Pour marinade over fish and toss gently
  8. Serve room temperature as an appetizer or as a main dish. It can be eaten with a fork or on crackers, Naan or sliced baguette,

Voila!

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup with Croutons and Cheese

You may think this soup is not popular in the real France, I did. But I was wrong! It is a classic hearty meal served all over France with pride and love! It will always be popular and on the menu!

I have made many versions of French Onion Soup including recipes from Julià Child, Everyday Parisian, This French Life, La Cuisine Paris, and The Original Dish. This recipe is a combination of techniques with Julia Child’s being the main classic source.

Here are some differences between the recipes I’ve tried.

Some recipes don’t add flour as Julia does. I think the browned flour adds depth to the flavor and a tiny bit of thickening to the broth.

Others use more onion or a variety of onions. I prefer using only yellow onions in this soup. Sweet onions end up being condensed in a not good sweet flavor.

Bay leaf and sage are often omitted and sometimes thyme is added. I like the sage and bay flavors. They’re richer.

Red or white wine? I’ve seen both in recipes. I prefer the earthy flavor and fragrance of sherry.

Chicken or beef broth? Homemade or store bought? Many new chefs like the lighter flavor of chicken broth. Classic French onion soup is made with homemade beef broth. I don’t have time for that. The Better Than Bouillon Roasted Beef Base is what I use. It’s a great beef concentrate paste you mix with hot water. The professional kitchens use it and it can be found in most grocery stores in the soup section. Their Organic Chicken Base is also very good

After spending several weeks in France I’ve learned that torn croutons are easier to eat than a large slice of toasted bread floating on top of the soup. The croutons don’t need to be brushed with oil before roasting either. Just tear the baguette into 1-2 inch pieces and bake at 425F 5 minutes or less, until lightly toasted on 1 side. They crisp up further when cooling.

The grated cheese can be any hard strong flavor cheese like Swiss, Emmental, or Parmesan. Emmental is Swiss Alpine cheese and is the classic. Mozzarella is too stringy when melted.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 pounds yellow onions, not sweet onions, peeled, halved and sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 8 cups hot beef broth, Better Than Bouillon Beef Base mixed with water
  • 1 cup dry sherry
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 French baguette
  • Grated Swiss cheese, Emmental, Comté or Parmesan. Not a real stringy cheese

Directions

  1. In a heavy 4 quart saucepan or casserole melt butter. Add onion and mix well.
  2. Cover saucepan and cook over medium low 15-20 minutes, stirring at times, until soft and translucent.
  3. Raise heat to medium high and remove cover. Add salt and sugar. Stir on and off. You will caramelize the onions to a deep golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  4. Lower heat to medium, stir in flour and cook about 2 minutes until flour is lightly browned. Remove from heat.
  5. Whisk in 1 cup broth and blend well. Add remaining broth, sherry, bay and sage. Heat to simmering for 40 minutes. Season to taste.
  6. This makes 8 big servings. It freezes well!
  7. To make individual gratinéed style, tear some bread pieces from a baguette. Enough to cover the surface of each bowl. Place bread on a baking sheet in a 425 degree oven and bake 2-5 minutes. Watch closely. Crisp and very slightly brown the top side. They will crisp up further as they cool.
  8. Place oven proof bowls on a baking sheet. Fill each with the soup. Cover the soup surface with croutons. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
  9. Place under broiler 2 minutes or just until melted or slightly browned.
  10. Serve each soup bowl on a dinner plate.
  11. Voila! There you have it!
Browned Sautéed Onion
Browned Flour and Onion
French Onion Soup
Toasted Croutons
Onion Soup Gratinéed with Cheese, Broiler Ready
Voila! Bon Appetit!

Citrus Baked Fish Fillet

Halibut Filets Nestled in Citrus

I love this quick and bright flavored method of cooking fish. It’s a recipe from “Salt Fat Acid Heat” by Samin Nosrat, a most informative cooking instruction and creative foolproof cookbook! This is a slow-roasted process that insures even perfect cooking. Just don’t bake it too long

I used clementines I had on hand. Samin recommends blood oranges or Meyer lemons. I did use the lemon zest for the oil rub as she directed. Her recipe was for salmon while I used halibut or whitefish. In her cookbook it’s called Slow-Roasted Salmon

Halibut Ready for Baking

Ingredients

  • 2 – 4 oz halibut fillets
  • Salt for seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 thinly sliced orange, any variety

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 225 Degrees F
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment
  3. Arrange orange slices in 2 areas about the size of each fillet
  4. Lightly salt the fish on both sides
  5. Nestle the fish on the orange slices
  6. In a tiny bowl combine oil and lemon zest
  7. Rub the oil mixture over the fillets
  8. Place in oven. Slow roast at 225 F about 15 minutes or just until fish begins to flake when you poke it with a knife

Use any quantity of fish you want. Samin Nosrat used a 2 pound fillet of salmon with 1 tablespoon lemon zest and 2 tablespoons olive oil in her recipe. She also used blood oranges or Meyer lemons as her bed of citrus.

Samin Nosrat also recommends pulling any salmon fish bones out with a tweezers before preparing it. Great idea, right?!

If you’re roasting a 2 pound salmon fillet, plan to slow-roast for about 40 minutes or just until thick part begins to flake when poked with a knife.

I hope you give this recipe a try. Let me know what you think!

Voila!

Italian Tomato Sauce

Tomato Sauce After Simmering 4 Hours
Tomato Sauce at the Beginning of Cooking

The Antoinette Pope School predates Julia Childs cooking school and was popular in Chicago mid century. My mother took lessons there in the 1940s and 1950s. These classes were taught by a couple who were French and Italian.

Here is my adaption of the recipe from their cookbook, The New Antoinette Pope School Cook Book by Antoinette and Francois Pope

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 4-28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2-3 teaspoons salt
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 3/4 cup red dry wine, like Cabernet, optional

Directions

  1. In a large tall cooking pot heat oil over medium heat
  2. Sauté onion and celery over low heat until softened. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, less than a minute
  3. Add seasonings and sauté less than a minute
  4. Add tomatoes and stir well. Bring to a boil. Simmer covered 4 hours
  5. Be careful not to scorch bottom of pot. Tomatoes burn easily! Stir often
  6. Add wine during last 30 minutes of cooking

This freezes well and can be used with many Italian style foods

Italian Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

Voila!

Skillet Speedy Ravioli Lasagna

This recipe is super quick, especially if you use a prepared tomato sauce. My sauce is from a combination of a red pepper sauce I made and a store bought Italian tomato sauce. This recipe here is from Food 52 and includes their sauce.

Everything is made in one skillet. The ravioli is frozen cheese ravioli. It is cooked in the sauce. Then part of the pasta is removed from the pan. Cheeses are layered and the ravioli is returned to the skillet, topped with more cheese and baked in the oven. Easy!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Pinch or so dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 28 ounce can tomatoes
  • 2 large fresh basil leaves plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds frozen cheese ravioli
  • 8 ounces or 2 cups mozzarella, preferably fresh
  • 2 tablespoons or so shaved or grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F and place a rack in center of oven.
  2. Pour your sauce into a large oven proof skillet or make it as follows in the same size skillet. Add 1 cup water to your sauce.
  3. To make this sauce: Heat the oil over medium heat. Add garlic and stir 1-2 minutes until softened but not browned. Add tomato paste stirring until darkens slightly, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add red pepper flakes, tomatoes, basil, sugar, salt, pepper and 1 cup water. Increase heat and bring to a boil.
  5. Add frozen ravioli to sauce and cook over medium heat, stirring gently, until the sauce is very thick and the ravioli just tender, about 15 minutes.
  6. Spoon half the ravioli and sauce into a bowl.
  7. Arrange the remaining ravioli in an even layer. Sprinkle with half the mozzarella. Arrange remaining ravioli and sauce on top and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
  8. Bake the lasagna until bubbly and cheese is lightly browned, 10-12 minutes. Use your broiler if it doesn’t brown in that time frame. Scatter extra basil leaves on top and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Voila!

Thank you again Food52!

Gumbo

Cajun Gumbo sprinkled with Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning

This recipe is from Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen cookbook. We’ve added shrimp this time, but this original recipe is without shrimp

For a big crowd we double the recipe. One recipe makes about 3- 4 quarts. We enjoy it either with the traditional rice or a crusty bread

The most unusual part of this recipe is making the roux. You can purchase roux at some grocery stores or specialty shops. Making it is not difficult, but it is surprising. The first time I made it I was certain I made a mistake and threw it out! The real flavor of gumbo comes from the roux. It is a pungent flavor on its own, but combined with the seasonings and other ingredients it’s divine!

This gumbo has a lot of broth that is not thick. It is full of flavor and is a dark color. You can make your own homemade chicken stock or broth. Or you can use store bought chicken stock. Or you can make a stock using a concentrate like Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Stock base. These store versions can be salty, so limit your added salt if you use these types.

If you have the shrimp shells, simmer them in about 2-3 cups of water or so for 30 minutes. Strain the shells through a fine mesh strainer. Use this as part of your 7 cups of stock if you use shrimp

Ingredients

  • 1 pound large shrimp with shells reserved, optional
  • 6 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
  • Salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 – 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder, plus another 1-2 teaspoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • 7 cups chicken stock ( including 2 cups of shrimp shell stock)
  • 1/2 pound andouille smoked sausage, cut into 1/4- 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Hot rice, optional
  • Sliced green onion
  • Tony Chachere’s Original Cajun Seasoning, optional

Directions

  1. Remove excess fat from chicken. Rub a generous amount of salt, garlic powder, and cayenne on both sides of each piece, making sure each piece is evenly covered. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl combine onion, green pepper and celery. Set aside.
  3. In a paper or plastic bag combine the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Add the chicken pieces and shake until the chicken is well coated. Reserve 1/2 cup of the seasoned flour.
  4. In a large heavy skillet heat 1 1/2 inches vegetable oil until very hot (375-400F). Fry the chicken until the crust is browned and the meat is cooked, about 5-8 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
  5. Carefully pour the hot oil into a glass measuring cup, leaving as many browned particles in the skillet as possible. Scrape the pan with a metal whisk to loosen any stuck particles. Return 1/2 cup of the hot oil to the skillet.
  6. Making the roux: Place the pan over high heat. BE VERY CAREFUL! This burns if it splashes on your skin! Using a long handled metal whisk gradually stir in the reserved 1/2 cup seasoned flour. Whisk constantly until the roux turns a dark red-brown to black color. This is where I thought I made a mistake! It isn’t though. Do this cooking with a fan in a well ventilated area. It takes about 10 minutes to reach the brown color.
  7. Remove from heat when you’ve reached the right dark chocolate brown color. Immediately add the vegetables, stirring constantly until the roux stops getting darker. Return pan to low heat and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly and scraping the pan bottom well. You may even use a metal spatula to do this scraping.
  8. Meanwhile place the stock in an 8 quart stock pot and bring to a boil. Add roux mixture by spoonfuls to the boiling stock, stirring until dissolved between each addition. Return to a boil, stirring and scraping the pan bottom often.
  9. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir in the garlic and andouille. Simmer uncovered about 45 minutes, stirring often toward the end of cooking. Add as an option 1-2 teaspoons garlic powder and cook another 30 minutes to mellow the flavor.
  10. While the gumbo is simmering, cut the chicken into larger bite size pieces. When the gumbo is cooked add the chicken. Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, cayenne and garlic powder. Add the shrimp if desired
  11. To serve ladle 1 1/4 cups gumbo into a large soup bowl. Then using a scoop or mold place a rounded 1/3 cup of cooked rice in the center of the gumbo. Garnish with sliced green onion and a sprinkling of a cayenne pepper seasoning mix like Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning.
Seasoned Chicken Thighs
The Cajun Trilogy: Celery, Green Pepper & Onion
Diced Vegetables
Coat seasoned chicken in seasoned flour
Fry Chicken in Oil
Drain Fried Chicken on Paper Towels
Scrape and Keep Bits of Breading in Skillet as You Add 1/2 Cup Oil
Add 1/2 cup Seasoned Flour, Scrape and Stir Carefully Till Dark Brown
Light Rouxs
Dark Roux is Best for Gumbo
Andouille, Chicken and Vegetables Ready to Add to Gumbo
Adding Vegetables to Roux (I Used Red Pepper too)
Veggies Cooking in Roux
Add Roux to Simmering Broth
Add Andouille and Garlic to Simmering Gumbo
Add Chicken to Gumbo
Add Shrimp to Simmering Gumbo
Gumbo! Voila

Shrimp Arrabbiata

Spicy Saucy Shrimp Arrabbiata

Sip and Feast posted this fantastic recipe which was perfect for our love of spicy foods! I didn’t have the hot pickled peppers, so I substituted jarred roasted red peppers. Also I didn’t have fresh basil so I used dry. I didn’t have canned plum tomatoes so I used smaller cans of diced tomatoes and hot fire roasted tomatoes. All worked well!

Arrabbiata is an Italian word meaning angry and refers to the spiciness of the chili peppers. This sauce is usually made of garlic, tomatoes, and dried red chili peppers cooked in olive oil. It’s served with pasta or in this case shrimp and crusty Italian bread. Dave and I are limiting our carbs, so we ate the shrimp and sauce with a green salad! Perfecto!

Here’s his recipe. It’s heavenly!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound extra large shrimp
  • 1 28 ounce can plum tomatoes or a 14.5 can of fire roasted tomatoes and a 14.5 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 2 medium pickled hot cherry peppers or 1/2 cup roasted red pepper pieces
  • 1 tablespoon cherry pepper vinegar from pepper jar
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or more
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or more
  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • Crusty Italian bread if desired or pasta!

Directions

  1. Pat dry with toweling thawed shrimp and place in bowl with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Place in fridge.
  2. Chop garlic cloves in half. Chop cherry peppers in bite size pieces. Julienne the basil. Break plum tomatoes apart with hands.
  3. In a saucepan heat 4 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat and sauté the garlic 2-3 minutes or just until beginning to turn golden. Add the cherry peppers and sauté for 1 minute more. Add the tomato paste and break up with a wooden spoon.
  4. After about 5 minutes the paste will start to break down, add the plum tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon oregano. Mix throughly and let the sauce cook covered or partially covered for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Don’t burn or overcook!
  5. In a clean sauté pan heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil on medium high heat and sauté shrimp 3-4 minutes until pink and cooked through. Add 1 cup of sauce to the shrimp and cook for 1 minute mixing well.
  6. Taste the sauce and the shrimp. Add extra spices as you like.
  7. Remove the Shrimp Arrabbiata from the heat and add the basil. Serve the extra sauce with the shrimp and with crusty Italian bread or pasta.
Thank you to Sip and Feast!