Chicken and Ratatouille



Today I reached for the Binder. The Binder is filled with magazine and newspaper recipes I have collected since we have been married. My Mom had a drawer in the kitchen for her recipes. I have a Binder. I pulled out a recipe from Bon Appetit June 2008. Grilled Chicken and Ratatouille. Our grill is not completely operational so I did this on the stove top.

Chicken and Ratatouille (2 servings) -

Ingredients-
1 small zucchini, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1 small eggplant, peeled, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 red bell pepper, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1 small onion, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
3/4 cup grape tomatoes, cut in 1/2
2 tbsp olive oil
1# boneless chicken breast
1 1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar

Method-
Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a saute pan. When it the oil is hot add the onion and peppers. Saute for about 4 minutes. Add the zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes. Saute until cooked through. Seasoning with salt, pepper, oregano, basil, crushed red pepper (optional), and parsley.

While the vegetables are cooking, salt and pepper the chicken breasts. In another saute pan heat a tbsp of olive oil. When it the oil is hot add the chicken. Saute until cooked through. Slice the chicken crosswise into 1/2 inch slices and serve with the ratatouille.

My Favorite Hot Dog Recipe


The buns are buttered and seared. 
The hot dogs are seared and then topped with cheese. 
What is not to love about this dinner. 
Oh okay, it is not the healthiest meal we have had but darn it was good. 
All things in moderation in what I like to live by. 
You can find the recipe here.

Monday Night Chicken



Are you ready for some chicken? I came up with this recipe as I was driving home tonight.
  1. Slice boneless chicken breast into strips. 
  2. Toss chicken strips in a bowl with a beaten egg.
  3. Coat the egg coated chicken strips with flour.
  4. Put chicken in saute pan with hot olive oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken through browning all sides.
  5. Add a knob of butter and about a half cup of white wine, pinot grigio. Let the wine cook off.
  6. Add fresh chopped parsley, thyme and oregano.
  7. Cover the pan and simmer on low for 4 minutes. 
  8. Adjust salt and pepper.

This got rave reviews. And dinner was on the table in less than 30 minutes. Not bad for a Monday night.

It's 10 PM And I Am Making Cookies


My sister called at 9pm and said she was stopping by tomorrow with our niece and God Daughter, Elenora. So what is a great aunt suppose to do? Of course bake cookies!

Spaghetti Squash Mediterranean-Style


This was super easy to prepare after work. Especially as I did all the prep work yesterday. I roasted the squash and cut up all the vegetables. Tonight it was just some sauteing and heating up the squash. I did not have feta cheese so I used Cheddar and Mozzarella and Parmesan. This was pretty darn good! The recipe is from AllRecipes.com.


What Can I Say...


Anthony Bourdain died today. When I read his book, Kitchen Confidential, I was inspired by the voice he used in his writing.  It was honest and raw.


He was a punk rocker chef who made it to the big time. So sad he decided to leave us.

Did You Say Bacon?


Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! In less than 30 minutes!!!! Oh, this was really good. I found this recipe on RealSimple.com. Pan Seared Chicken Cutlets with Summer Succotash. The chicken was perfectly moist. I did make a couple of changes in the recipe. I did not use Lima Beans. Someone in the house is not a fan. I substituted frozen peas. Speaking of frozen, I used frozen corn in place of the ears of corn. And the bacon was an added treat.


From RealSimple.com, Pan Seared Chicken Cutlets with Summer Succotash -

Ingredients-
4 thick-cut slices bacon, chopped
4 6-oz. chicken cutlets
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
½ teaspoon black pepper, divided
5 scallions, thinly sliced, green and white parts separated
3 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 4 ears)
2 cups frozen lima beans, thawed
¾ cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Parsley leaves, for serving

Method-
Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in skillet.

Season chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and  teaspoon pepper and cook in drippings over medium-high until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Add scallion whites to skillet and cook, stirring, until softened, 1 minute. Add corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in lima beans and stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced and nearly dry, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in vinegar, scallion greens, bacon, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Serve with chicken and top with parsley.

Deconstructed Stuffed Zucchini



When I make Stuffed Zucchini I always end up with more stuffing than will fit in the zucchini halves.


This is my solution to the problem. Deconstructed Stuffed Zucchini. The zucchini was sliced lengthwise. I sliced them about 1/8" thick. Or I tried to slice them as thin as I could. 

The filling was simple. Sauteed diced onions in olive oil. Remove the casing from hot and sweet sausage and add the meat to the saute pan. Cook the meat through. Add one 14 oz can of diced tomatoes. Season with oregano, basil, parsley, salt, and pepper.

I sprayed a square Pyrex baking dish with cooking spray. I put a layer of the sliced zucchini in the pan and topped it with the filling. Some shredded Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top and then put a layer of zucchini on top. I used 2 zucchini and had enough for the top and bottom layers. 

I topped the zucchini with breadcrumbs, parsley, and Parmesan Cheese.

It baked at 375˚ for 35 minutes. 

It was delicious. The zucchini cooked nicely and the seasoning was spot on.

Let's Go Straight to Dessert


Today I realized I have not baked cookies in a while. The last time might have been Easter. It's June 3rd. I am going through cookie baking withdrawal. I felt like making biscotti. Of course, I used all the nuts when I made granola this morning. I found a simple recipe for Vanilla Biscotti. The recipe also called for Almond Extract. I added Chocolate Chips to the mix. These came out perfect. I took them out of the oven from the 2nd bake after 15 minutes. I did not want them too crunchy.

I know I will sleep better tonight knowing there are cookies in the cookie jar.




From King Arthur Flour, American-Style Vanilla Biscotti Recipe-

Ingredients-
6 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 large eggs
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
coarse white sparkling sugar, for sprinkling on top, optional

Method-
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) one large (about 18" x 13") baking sheet.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, almond extract (if you're using it), and baking powder until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Beat in the eggs; the batter may look slightly curdled. At low speed of your mixer, add the flour, stirring until smooth; the dough will be sticky.

Plop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Divide it in half, and shape it into two 9 1/2" x 2" logs, about 3/4" tall. Straighten the logs, and smooth their tops and sides; a wet spatula or wet bowl scraper works well here. Sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired, pressing it in gently.
Bake the dough for 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven.

Using a spray bottle filled with room-temperature water, lightly but thoroughly spritz the logs, making sure to cover the sides as well as the top. Softening the crust just this little bit will make slicing the biscotti much easier. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

Wait 5 minutes, then use a sharp chef's knife or serrated knife to cut the log crosswise into 1/2" to 3/4" slices. Or cut the biscotti on the diagonal, for fewer, longer biscotti. As you're slicing, be sure to cut straight up and down, perpendicular to the pan; if you cut unevenly, biscotti may be thicker at the top than the bottom, and they'll topple over during their second bake.

Set the biscotti on edge on the prepared baking sheet. Return the biscotti to the oven, and bake them for 25 to 30 minutes, until they feel very dry and are beginning to turn golden. They'll still feel a tiny bit moist in the very center if you break off a piece, but they'll continue to dry out as they cool.

Remove the biscotti from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool. Store airtight at room temperature; they'll stay good for weeks.

Yield: 30 to 40 biscotti, depending on size.