Classics, Comfort food, Dinner, Gluten-free, Poultry

Chicken Cacciatore

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For those who know me and also read my recipes, you might have noticed that I cook with whatever is lying around.  I rarely “follow” recipes, most of it is by smell, look and taste.  Nevertheless, I love collecting cookbooks and my inner scientist can respect the importance of a well written “protocol”/”recipe”.  So I dusted off a cookbook that I got for Christmas and cooked this recipe–with a few changes

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Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 pounds of chicken breast, cut into cubes

1 large onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

8 oz mushrooms, sliced

1 tsp of rosemary

1 small can of chopped tomatoes

salt and pepper

(original recipe called for fresh rosemary, chicken thighs and tomato paste)

Method:

Heat oil in a skillet, season chicken with salt and pepper and saute till browned.  Set aside.

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Add onions, garlic, mushrooms and rosemary to skillet.  Season with salt and saute till softened.

Add chopped tomatoes and 1/4 cups water.  Return chicken to pan.

Cook on low heat till sauce reduces.

Serve with crusty bread.

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Appetizers, Gluten-free, Mexican, Sides

A fresh snack – Tomato Avocado Salsa

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I am obsessed with avocados! Sometimes I get sushi just for the avocados.  Just because it’s winter does not mean I am not going to eat something summery.  It is a really healthy snack and it goes great as a topping for tacos–look at my previous post for pulled pork tacos.

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You will need:

1 avocados, chopped

2 tomatoes chopped

1 jalapeno, minced

1 bunch of cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 (or 2) limes

1tsp of cumin

1tsp of garlic powder

salt to taste

Mix, everything !!!

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I like to eat it by the spoonful, but for a more civilized take on it, you could include some chips to the party

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Dinner, Poultry

Chicken with Tomatoes, Artichokes and Basil

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Over the past few days I had been reading several Italian recipes and pinning recipes on pinterest.  This recipe was inspired by all the chicken dished I had come across—I am sure somebody somewhere has already made this, but it was the first time I made it and it was delicious.  Suprisingly light– and even though the tomatoes were out of season and there was a foot of snow on the ground, it still tasted good.  I cannot wait to make this recipe with fresh seasonal recipes in the summer.  Enjoy !

Ingredients:

1lb of thinly sliced chicken breasts

¼ cup of flour for dredging

2 Tbsp of Olive oil

2 roma tomatoes, diced

1, 8 oz can of artichokes, sliced in half

2 tsp of minced garlic

10-12 basil leaves, sliced

Salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to season

½ cup dry white wine (something you can drink with dinner)

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Method:

Season the flour with salt and pepper and dredge chicken breasts.

Heat oil in a pan and and fry the chicken till golden brown on medium heat—then set aside.

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In the same pan add garlic, tomatoes and artichokes and sauté till tomatoes soften and fall apart.

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Add the chicken back into the pan, season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and basil.

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Fill the pan with wine and transfer the pan into a 350F oven and finish cooking for another 15min.

Serve straight form the oven with bread or pasta !

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Italian, Poultry, Quick Dinner

Chicken with Tomatoes and Fennel

The original recipe was made with Red Snapper but I changed it to chicken since its cheaper and I had the other ingredients on hand.  It is a quick one pan meal that goes well your choice of grains ( rice, quinoa, or even some crusty bread).  It is fresh and light, perfect for a nice lunch. So here goes.

Ingredients:

1 lb chicken ( breasts or thighs)

1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved

1 fennel bulb, sliced

1 Tbsp of dried basil, thyme and tarragon. ( the original recipe called for Herbs de Provence)

salt and pepper to taste

approximately 1/2cup (or less) to white wine–use something that you would drink !

Method:

Preheat oven to 375F

Arrange the sliced fennel on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.

Top with the chicken pieces in one single layer

Next add the tomatoes.

Sprinkle the whole arrangement with the herbs and salt and pepper

Cover the bottom of the dish with white wine, the ingredients should not be submerged in it, just enough to create a liquid bath to allow the ingredients to steam in.

Cover the dish with tin foil and bake for 30 min or till the chicken is cooked through.

For the 5-10 mins, remove the tin foil broil on high.

Serve hot/warm with your choice or grains and enjoy this light and simple meal !

 

Salad

Summer Crab Salad

When it is really hot and humid outside nothing is better than a cold salad with fresh seasonal produce.  This is a simple salad, best eaten at room temperature (or cold) and tastes better if it sits in longer in the dressing.  If you are not a crab fan, it can easily be interchanged with shrimp, grilled chicken, lobster meat, scallops or even hard-boiled eggs.

Ingredients:

1 hass Avocado, diced

1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved

16 oz of chunk or flaked crab meat

1 quarter of a red onion

5 springs of cilantro

1 lime

1/4 cup of olive oil

salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper to taste ( I like it spicy so more pepper for me)

Method:

Wash and drain the crab meat and marinade it  with the zest of one lime, garlic powder and cayenne.

Chop the avocado and tomatoes and set aside.

In a food processor or blender, make the dressing by pulsing together the onion, cilantro, juice of 1 lime and the oil.

To assemble the salad, add the dressing to the tomatoes and avocado and finally toss in the crab.

Plate up and enjoy !!!

Comfort food

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

So much for warm weather.  It’s all about April showers nowadays.  Cold and raw.  So its time for some serious comfort food.  What better than Tomato Basil Soup.  The roasted idea, well that was Ina Garten’s.

Ingredients:

1  28 oz can of crushed tomatoes

2 medium sized onions diced

1/2 Tbsp of crushed garlic

1/2 Tbsp Olive oil

2 tsp of crushed dried rosemary

2 cups chicken stock ( or vegetable stock, your call)

5-7 Fresh Basil leaves, torn

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 F

Add all the ingredients except stock and basil in a roasting pan.

Roast for 40 min, stirring once, half way through.

The tomatoes and onions will carmelize and become very thick.  This is how you can concentrate all the yummy flavors.

Add into a blender with the stock and puree untill smooth.

Transfer to a pot and add the basil.  Let the soup simmer for 5-10 mins.

Serve hot with crusty bread, grilled cheese or goldfish crackers–however you like your Tomato Basil Soup !!!

Salad

South of the Border Salad

Remember those super fresh tomatoes that I got on sale and I made that fresh Tomato Basil Salad with??? Well, this is the second recipe with the grape tomatoes.  Extremely fresh but a very different flavor palette.  Hope you ya’ll like it.

Ingredients:

1 pint of grape tomatoes

1 can of corn (I really wish I found good fresh corn, but no luck)

1 tsp of cumin, oregano and garlic powder

1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper

1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

1.5 Tbsp of Lime juice.

Method:

Wait for it , wait for it……..mix the spices, oil and lime juice in a bowl.  Then add the sliced tomatoes and drained corn.  Toss and refrigerate overnight to allow for the flavors to marry.  Enjoy for lunch the next day ! It is that simple !

Note: Last year during the summer I added drained black beans and chopped green peppers and mixed it with pasta to make a Mexican style Pasta salad.  Go crazy with this ! It is a really versatile salad.  You can even add grilled chicken, hard boiled eggs or even bacon !!!!

Salad

Tomato Basil Salad

When fruits and vegetables are fresh and in season, keep it simple.  Let the natural taste shine through.  I got two pints of grape tomatoes and this is ont thing I love to do with them, a fresh salad.  It is so good that I had a WHOLE pint for lunch and did not want anything else.  I do have another pint in the fridge, let’s see if I want to do something else with it–I might just make the salad again simply because it was THAT GOOD !

Ingredients:

1 pint of grape tomatoes, sliced

6-7 leaves of fresh basil

1/2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp of balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste.

Method

I mix the oil and vinegar and the sliced basil and set it aside for a while.  This gives the flavors a chance to mix and marry into one another.

in the meantime I slice the tomatoes

Add the tomatoes into the oil mixture and toss to coat

Season with salt and pepper.  I like to freshly cracked black pepper and I go heavy on it, just because I love the kick–please adjust to personal taste.

Enjoy !

Appetizers

Roasted Relish

You know how sometimes you buy a 2 lb bag of onions and even if you store it in the fridge they tend to go bad and you haven’t even used half the bag????? Well, this is my solution to it.  An onion relish!  I sometimes make onion jam (maybe I will post that later when I make some), but the weather is warming up and I am in grilled food mood.  This roasted relish goes great with the crab cakes and I also top my burgers with.  Toss it with some baby spinach for a warm salad or mix it with some sour cream to make a great dip– it is quite versatile.

Ingredients

3 medium onions, sliced

1 14oz can of tomatoes

1 tsp of cayenne pepper

2 Tbsp of brown sugar

1 tsp lime juice

2 tsp of dried oregano

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1Tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Toss all the ingredients in a bowl and spread it out in a single layer on a cookie sheet.

Roast for 30 min at 400F, tossing every 10 min and rotating the cookie sheet.

Enjoy !