Friday, March 23, 2012

Thursday's Dinner

I thought I would use up the food I had on hand.  So I made these "chicken nuggets."

Chunks of chicken breasts were dredged in flour, then coated with eggs.

 Next they were dragged through toasted Panko crumbs which were tossed with grated Romano cheese, salt, and a tablespoon of olive oil.

The nuggets were perched on a rack to dry.

Then they baked in a 450 degree oven for 12 minutes, turning once.

Then served with honey mustard.  Cute.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Chicken In Every Pot

After a very stressful week we were happy to celebrate St. Patrick's Day at T and J's with six friends.

First we had Manhattans along with smoked salmon.

Then, of course, there was corned beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread--all washed down with a wee bit of Guiness stout and Harp lager or a mixture thereof.

All of this was followed by a Bailey's Irish Cream Cheese Cake and Irish Coffee

A good time was had by all. So you can imagine why, while anticipating another stressful week ahead,it was the comfort and simplicity of chicken that I wanted for dinner on Sunday. I decided on a dish from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food, Braised Chicken with Red Onions and Carrots. I tried to link to Martha's recipe, but it was not yet available.  This link, although not credited to her, is her recipe. This one is my adaptation.

Braised Chicken With Red Onions and Carrots
Adapted by a Recipe by Martha Stewart from Everyday Food
Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1whole chicken, 3 1/2- to 4 pounds, cut into eight pieces and patted dry
Salt and pepper
1 large red onion, cut into 8 wedges, root end left intact
1 pound carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large Dutch oven heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to pot, skin side down.  Cook until skin is browned, about 8 minutes. Turn and cook another 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate and set aside.

Add onion and carrots to pot, season with salt and pepper and cook until onion and carrots are slightly golden, about 5 minutes.  Add wine, scraping up browned bits. Return chicken to pot, skin side up, and add 1 cup water. Bring to boil, cover and transfer to oven.  Cook until chicken is cooked through, about 35 minutes.

Radishes with sweet butter and sea salt before dinner

I like to cut my chicken into 8 pieces, but because this chicken was just over 3 pounds, I left the legs and thighs attached. I leave a little bit of breast meat attached to each wing, and cut each breast half in two. 

 The chicken has been sauteed and vegetables added.  It is now ready for the oven.  Of course, you may finish cooking this on top of the stove. But once in the oven, it gave me time to clean the cooktop, thus making after-dinner clean up a breeze.

As I said the chicken was small, so it really would not have served four for dinner, and there was too much water added. If I make this dish again, I would remove the cooked chicken pieces and reduce the liquid to a thicker sauce or use less liquid.  Any way, it was a tasty dish.

Have a good week.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Eggs Again--Frittata

When on Friday night I found myself with two beautiful red peppers and a half a carton of eggs, the eggs became the centerpiece of our dinner yet again. This time it was a frittata.

The versatile frittata is simply an open-faced Italian omelet. The Italian frittata,which is flat and round, is cooked over low heat until it is firm and set. It is never runny, and it is cooked on both sides. Its fillings are limited only by your imagination.

In a large non-stick skillet, coated with olive oil, I sauteed the sliced peppers and an onion until soft.  Then I seasoned them with salt and pepper.

 I beat 5 large eggs with salt, pepper and a large handful of grated Pecorino cheese.

I poured the egg mixture over the vegetables and turned the heat to low. Without stirring, I let the eggs cook over low heat until only the top was runny.  Now the fun part--remember, the frittata is cooked on both sides. Some people flip the frittata with a flourish to finish the cooking.  I was never that brave.
I would always turn it over on a dish, then slide the frittata back into the pan. Marcella suggests running the pan under the broiler for 20 seconds without browning the frittata.  But the easiest for me now is to allow the frittata to finish cooking in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes or until set.

This is nice with a green salad and a crisp white wine.

You might enjoy seeing these variations by Georgia and Miryam.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Dinner Tonight--Egg Crepes

Are you tired of cooking the same old thing? Are you looking for something different? Just a few simple ingredients can create a delicious meal, and these crepe-like eggs rolled around a cheesy filling make a perfect Lenten supper. This dish is very low in carbohydrates and gluten free. Next time you are wondering what to cook, why not give this dish a try?

Baked Egg Crepes
Inspired by a recipe by Giada De Laurentis
Makes 6  8-inch crepes
Serves 2

3 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
Unsalted butter for frying pan, baking dish and for dotting crepes, about 3 Tablespoons
1/2 cup marinara sauce

Beat the eggs, milk and salt and pepper in  a bowl.  Heat an 8" nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, and brush skillet with butter.

Pour about 3 Tablespoons of the egg mixture into the pan, quickly swirling to coat the bottom. Cook until the egg crepe is set, about 1 minute.  Turn crepe with small spatula or your fingers, and continue to cook for about 30 seconds.  Slide cooked crepe onto plate. Continue making and stacking crepes one at a time until the egg mixture is used, adding butter to pan as necessary.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Butter a baking dish large enough to hold all of the crepes without them being squashed together. Mix grated cheese and salt and pepper to taste into ricotta.  Arrange 1 egg crepe on work surface. Place 1/4 cup ricotta mixture in the center of the crepe. Roll up the crepe and place, seam side down, in baking dish.  Repeat with the remaining crepes and cheese. Dot surface with butter and cover with foil. Bake for about 15 minutes until heated through.

Before serving, remove foil, and spoon some marinara sauce over crepes.  Sprinkle with additional grated cheese if you like.  Serve with a green salad and crusty bread.