Greek Chicken

DF, GF

With spring in the air I can’t help but think of recipes that cater to the warmer weather and fresh spring ingredients.  Herbs are one of the first crops of the season.  They grow just as quickly in pots in the city as they do in a garden in the burbs.  And they add so much flavor without any added calories or fat, which is one thing on everyone’s mind as bathing suit season approaches.  This recipe can also be prepared on an outdoor grill, so versatile and delicious its one everyone should have in their back pocket.

greek chicken

Greek Chicken
4 chicken cutlets
1/2 c olive oil
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/4 c mint, chopped
1/4 c oregano, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a resealable plastic bag and allow to marinate over night. When ready to prepare heat 2 tbs olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot add chicken cutlet and cook 5 minutes per side or until browned and cooked through.

Lemon Chicken

DF, GF

it’s been a while since i last posted.  unfortunately a stomach bug got the best of me, needless to say writing about food didn’t feel like the best thing to do.  but the good news is that i’m back and better than ever.

i’m going to be quite frank with you…i’m not very good at writing my own recipes.  what i am good at is taking other’s ideas and transforming them into something else.  sometimes that something else will be a close relative to the original, while other times you can’t even see the slightest trace from the first dish.  so when i had chicken starring back at me, i thought back to yesterday’s Today show.

Ina Garten presented a simple, but surely flavorful lemon chicken.  i could have taken the recipe as is, but instead i looked at what it could become.  all the ingredients were cleverly chosen, and i knew better than to mess with them…besides this is Ina we’re talking about.  it’s the process that i tinkered with.

i chose to marinate my chicken.  i find chicken breasts can be a little tough; lemon juice is a sure way to combat any of those issues.  i discarded the sautéed garlic and used fresh uncooked instead.  once it goes in the oven the garlic will perfume the chicken and oil.  to make it easier i also thought to change how the ingredients were listed.  i hope you like this as much as i did.

lemon chicken
1/2 c olive oil
5 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 c white wine
zest of 2 lemons
juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on
salt and pepper

in a large baking dish add the garlic, white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt. marinate for 4-6 hours, or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

pat the chicken skins dry then brush with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. cut one of the zested lemons in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.

bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned. if the chicken isn’t browned enough, put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Vegetable Bolognese

V, GF

by the time i get to friday i want a nice big bowl of pasta, and i’ve been wanting to try giada’s vegetable bolognese …what a match made in heaven.  it’s a nice substitute for a traditional meaty bolognese, and all the veggies kept the dish very light.  the following recipe is my version, and when i say “my version” i just left out some ingredients that i didn’t have on hand.

Pasta with Vegetable Bolognese
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
6 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon chopped dried oregano leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 ounces cremini mushrooms
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1 pound short cut pasta
1/4 cup parmesan, freshly grated

cook the pasta according to package instructions. drain and add to sauce when pasta and sauce are ready.

place the carrots, onion, bell pepper, and garlic in a food processor. pulse the vegetables until finely chopped but still chunky. place the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. add the chopped vegetables, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. add the fresh mushrooms, and tomato paste and continue cooking, stirring to dissolve the tomato paste, until the mushrooms are softened, about 5 minutes. add the red wine, cook for 3 minutes. add mascarpone cheese and stir just until the cheese is incorporated. toss with Parmesan and serve.

tips:

  • when it says to chop the carrots, onions, bell pepper, and celery just do rough chop (big pieces).  that way you’re leaving most work for the food processor, but you’ll help it along.
  • you already should know how i feel about parmesan. (see tips for penne a la carbonara)
  • short cut pasta means: rigatoni, campanelle, farfalle, penne, etc
  • want to bulk it up even more?  add some ground meat.
  • most times fresh herbs are best, except for oregano.  fresh oregano is very strong and can be quite over powering.  so in this instance i say use dried.
  • cremini mushrooms are also known as “baby bellas”  or baby portobello mushrooms.  don’t have them?  substitute button mushrooms.
  • complete the meal with a simple side salad.
  • the original: giada’s rigatoni with vegetable bolognese
  • need more help?  email me at avavmail@gmail.com

P.S. hopefully soon i’ll have my camera back and i’ll put up pics.  it’s easier to make anything once you know what it’s suppose to look like.