Saturday, April 18, 2015

Chicken Milanese w/ Roasted Tomato Salad and Garlic Butter Pasta

I've been in a rut with my meals the last couple of weeks and was really wanting something more know...light, fresh. It took me a while to think of what would fit the bill, but this one definitely did it! A whole head of garlic, white balsamic, fresh greens, crispy chicken! It was just what my taste buds were craving! For a vegetarian option, I think eggplant would work great!

1 pint Grape Tomatoes
3 Tb Olive Oil, divided
12 oz Spaghetti
1 Head Garlic, chopped
3 Tb Butter
1 sprig Basil, chopped finely
4 Thin Sliced Chicken Breasts
Salt & Black Pepper
1 c. Milk
2 c. Panko Crumbs
1/2 - 3/4 c. Vegetable Oil
5 oz. pack Spinach and Mixed Greens
1 Tb White Balsamic Vinegar
Grated Parmesan, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut tomatoes in half and coat with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast in oven for about 35-40 minutes until blistering.

Boil pasta according to directions.

While the pasta is cooking, prep the chicken. Pound chicken breasts into ultra-thin slices. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Set up milk and panko in shallow bowls/pans for dredging. Season panko with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

When pasta is cooked, drain pasta, reserving the pasta water. On medium-low heat, heat 2 tablespoons of butter until melted, then add garlic. Let garlic cook for a bit, but don't let it brown. Stir in pasta and add reserved cooking liquid 1/2 cup at a time to make a light sauce. Season with salt. Stir in remaining tablespoon of butter and basil.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet; there should be about a 1/4 inch of oil coating the pan. Dip each chicken breast into the milk and then coat with panko, shaking off excess. Carefully place the chicken into the heated oil without moving it. Let cook on one side for about 4 minutes, until the bottom is golden brown. Then flip and cook the other side for about 2 more minutes.

Place greens in a salad bowl. Drizzle with vinegar and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and stir to coat all the leaves. Add tomatoes once they are roasted.

To serve, fill half the plate with salad and the other half with pasta. Place the chicken on top and sprinkle with parmesan to taste.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Channa Masala

Channa Masala is a quintessential Indian vegetarian dish. Amongst Indians, everyone knows it, everyone loves it. It is a great curry option for vegetarians and a great dish to have in your repertoire. It's fancy enough to serve to guests, yet simple enough to make on a weeknight for a quick meal. If you make a large batch, the leftovers will freeze and reheat wonderfully! I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does!

3-4 Tb Oil
2 Bay Leaves
6-8 Cloves
8-10 Peppercorns
4 Cardamom Pods
1 Black Cardamom Pod (optional)
2 tsp. Cumin Seeds
1 med Onion, finely diced
1 inch Ginger, grated
6-8 cloves Garlic, minced
1/4-1 tsp. Red Chile Powder
1/2 tsp. Turmeric Powder
2 tsp. Coriander Powder
1 Tb Cumin Powder
1 Tb Curry Powder
2 tsp. Salt, plus more to taste
2 cans Chickpeas
1 Chickpea Can Water
1/4 c. Chopped Cilantro
In a large dutch oven, heat oil. Add all whole spices and let sizzle. When toasty and fragrant, add onions. Sauté until translucent, then add garlic and ginger. Sauté for another minute or two. Stir in remaining spices. Once combined, stir in tomato puree and let caramelize.

Stir in chickpeas and coat with the spice mixture. Fill a chickpea can with water pour it over the chickpeas. Bring to boil, then lower heat to medium-low. Let simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more water if necessary. Let simmer until desired thickness is reached. Add cilantro and adjust salt to taste. Serve with naan, paratha, or basmati rice.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Open Faced Chicken Cutlet Sandwich with Tandoori Dressing

Well, I was back at it again in the kitchen! Desperate with a growling stomach, I needed lunch...and quick! With no leftovers that I could quickly heat up, I pulled a bunch of things out of the fridge and freezer and put this amazing open-faced sandwich together! I love creating great meals that are unplanned and without recipe. They tend to be the best ones!

2 Frozen Chicken Cutlets (Breaded)
1/4 c. Plain Yogurt
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Red Chili Powder
1/2 tsp. Cumin Powder
1/8 tsp. Curry Powder
1/8 tsp. Turmeric Powder
1/4 tsp. Coriander Powder
1 clove Garlic, minced
1/4 inch Fresh Ginger
1/2 Lime
2 Mini Naan
1 Mini Cucumber, sliced
4 leaves Romain Lettuce, chopped
6-8 Grape Tomatoes, quartered
2 Scallions, chopped
Cook chicken cutlets in oven as directed.

Meanwhile, whisk together the yogurt and all the spices. Add the garlic (I like to press mine in my garlic press). Run the ginger over your grater about 3-4 times and add that ginger paste to the yogurt. Squeeze lime juice into the yogurt and whisk together. Let sit while you prep the rest of the sandwiches.

Once the cutlets are ready, pull them out of the oven and let sit. Now cook the naan according to package directions…it only takes a couple minutes if fresh. Once the naan are ready, place each one in a plate and place a cutlet on top of it. Then top with the fresh veggies and drizzle with the yogurt dressing. Enjoy!!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Fried Vietnamese Pho

One night I had planned on making Vietnamese Pho (Beef Noodle Soup) for dinner. Earlier in the week, I went to my local Asian Market and gathered all the ingredients. Then the night of, I realized that I just wasn't in the mood for soup!  But I really needed to use up the fresh ingredients before they spoiled. SO, I got creative! I decided to make a fried noodle version of the same dish. The results? AMAZING!!

1 pack Pho Noodles (or any rice noodles)
Safflower Oil (or any light oil - Canola, Peanut, etc.)
1 pack Shaved Beef (or Pork or Chicken; Old Neighborhood Foods makes excellent shaved meat)
1 Tb Hoisin Sauce
1/4 c. Soy Sauce
1/4 c. Water
1 tsp. Sugar (optional)
1 tsp. Rice Vinegar
1 tsp Sriracha (optional)
1 med. Onion, diced
1 bunch Scallions, chopped, separating whites & greens
3-4 stems Mint, leaves separated and chopped
3/4 oz Basil, leaves separated and chopped
1/4 c. Cilantro, chopped
1/2 English Cucumber, julienned in 1/2" pieces
Lime Wedges, for Garnish
Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and lightly coat with oil to prevent them from sticking.

In a medium bowl, combine hoisin, soy, water, sugar, rice vinegar, and sriracha. Marinate the beef in this mixture for at least 30 minutes. Be sure to separate the thin slices of beef. When ready to cook, drain meat over a bowl, reserving the marinade.

In a large wok, heat the oil. Then fry the meat in a single layer (in batches if necessary) until cooked through. Set aside.

Once the meat is cooked, add the reserved marinade to the wok and let reduce to a thick glaze. Add onions and the scallion whites and cook until softened. Stir in scallion greens, mint, basil, cilantro. Add beef and noodles. It may be necessary to add a little more oil to keep the noodles from sticking and to allow them to fry a bit. When completely stirred and the noodles have had a chance to absorb the glaze and become slightly brown, remove from heat. Stir in cucumbers.

Serve hot with lime wedges and additional sriracha for those of you who like it HOT! (Like me!)