Monday, February 27, 2012

Chicken Saltimbocca with Artichoke Sauce

What's not to love about chicken wrapped in prosciutto? This recipe is courtesy of Sara Moulton, but I simplified it a bit.

Makes 4 Servings
Hands-On Time: 35 Minutes
Total Preparation Time: 45 Minutes

Suggested Accompaniments
spinach sautéed with garlic chips and couscous

4 boneless, chicken cutlets
12 large fresh sage or basil leaves (optional)
2 to 3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
1/3 c unbleached all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 T extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c dry Marsala or sherry
One 14-oz can artichoke hearts
1 c Homemade Chicken Stock
T unsalted butter

Put 3 sage leaves on each chicken cutlet. Wrap a piece of prosciutto around each chicken cutlet; press until they adhere.

On a plate or in a pie dish, add the flour. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Coat the chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over high heat until hot; reduce the heat to medium. Sauté the chicken for 2-4 minutes per side, or until the pieces are golden and just cooked through; remove them to a plate and cover them loosely with aluminum foil. Repeat with the remaining oil and chicken.

Add the Marsala to the skillet; bring it to a boil, scraping up the brown bits at the bottom of the pan, and simmer for about 1 minute, or until the pan is almost dry.

Drain and coarsely chop the artichoke hearts (about 1 1/3 cups). Add them to the skillet along with the chicken stock and simmer until reduced by half. Return the chicken to the skillet and simmer just until reheated. Add the butter to the pan and swirl until it has melted. Divide the chicken among 4 dinner plates; spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.

My hubby and I found that there was a little too much artichoke in the sauce, so next time I think I'll add just half a can.

Jalepeno Popper Chicken Breasts

How did I not think of this one? If you love jalepeno poppers, you'll love this chicken dish. It is so simple and only calls for three ingredients. This recipe is also courtesy of the Rachael Ray magazine.

1/4 cup chopped pickled jalepeno chiles
6 oz. room temperature cream cheese
2 skin-on, bone-in split chicken breasts

Mix jalepenos into cream cheese. Spread mixture evenly underneath chicken skin; season with salt and pepper. Bake on parchment-lined baking sheet at 400 degrees until cooked through. 30-35 minutes; crisp skin under broiler. (I didn't need to that final step. The chicken skin was pretty crispy just baking in the 400 degree oven.)

Buttermilk Ranch Chicken

This recipe is courtesy of the Rachael Ray magazine. This chicken dish was very flavorful without having a sauce. I mean who isn't always looking for a new chicken recipe, right?

1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonaise
1/2 tsp. dried mustard
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
1/2 tsp. dried dill
salt and pepper
4 thin cut chicken breast cutlets
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Combine all ingredients up to oil; marinate for 45 minutes or overnight. (I placed the marinade and chicken in a plastic storage bag in the morning and let it marinade all day until I was ready for dinner.)

In large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat; brown cutlets on both sides until cooked through; about 7 minutes. Serves 4.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja

I have decided to make my life easier by making one Crock Pot recipe a week. I love this Cuban dish and I love it even more when I can just throw everything in my Crock Pot and forget about it. I love the olives that are added to this dish at the end. I have never had this in ropa vieja (translation = old clothes), but I like the brinyness it adds. Serve over white or yellow rice. Another Food Network Magazine recipe.

• 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
• 3 tablespoons ketchup
• 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced (with seeds)
• Kosher salt
• 1 1/2 pounds skirt steak or flank steak (I prefer skirt)
• 2 bell peppers (1 red, 1 green), sliced 1/2 inch thick
• 1 small onion, thinly sliced
• 3 tablespoons chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives, plus 1 tablespoon brine from the jar
• Cooked white rice, for serving

Combine the tomatoes, ketchup, vinegar, garlic, cumin, jalapeno and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker. Add the steak, bell peppers and onion and toss to coat. Cover and cook on low, undisturbed, 8 hours.

Uncover and skim off any excess fat. (I accidentally forgot to do this step. Or did I? I didn't really notice a lot of fat hanging out on the surface anyway.) Coarsely shred the meat with 2 forks, then stir in the olives and olive brine. Serve over rice.

Per serving: Calories 464; Fat 16 g (Saturated 6 g); Cholesterol 83 mg; Sodium 837 mg; Carbohydrate 39 g; Fiber 4 g; Protein 38 g

Blackened Salmon with Blue Cheese Sauce

I am always looking for salmon recipes. I love the fish, but sometimes it can end up dried out. This recipe keeps salmon nice and moist while adding a little heat. I used my trusty cast-iron skillet because, well, it's perfect for blackening, but any oven-safe skillet will do here. The blue cheese sauce is equally good over roasted potatoes and roasted asparagus. I have offered two blue cheese sauces below. One is original to the recipe, while the other is a healthier one, which I used. Recipe courtesy of The Food Network.

• 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
• 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
• 2 tablespoons paprika
• 2 tablespoons salt
• 1 1/2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil, for frying
• 4 (6-ounce) portions skinless and boneless salmon fillets

Blue Cheese Sauce:
• 1/4 cup white wine
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 3/4 cup blue cheese crumbles

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine the Italian seasoning, black pepper, paprika, salt, and cayenne. Season each piece of fish with the rub.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter and oil. Once the butter has melted, add the fish and cook about 2 minutes per side.

Transfer the whole pan to the oven and cook for another 4 to 6 minutes.

For the sauce:
Place the white wine into a medium saucepan and reduce by half. Add the heavy cream and allow to reduce. Add the blue cheese and whisk until smooth. Serve on top of the salmon.

Lighter blue cheese sauce:
Mix equal amounts of blue cheese crumbles and lowfat butter milk. Stir with a fork while breaking up the blue cheese, until smooth. Add a splash of worchestershire sauce and a spoonful or so of light sour cream, if it needs a little thickening.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cheesy Hash Brown Bake

This might just be the most perfect dish for leftover chili. During the Fall/Winter, my husband makes chili about half a dozen times. He always makes a ton and we have leftovers for the entire week. Sometimes we top baked potatoes with leftovers or make chili dogs, but this might be our new fave. So the next time you have leftover chili, try this quick and easy dish. Recipe courtesy of Everyday Food.

4 cups leftover chili
1 bag (16 ounces) fresh or frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed if frozen
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
Coarse salt and ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425, with rack set in upper third. Divide chili among four individual baking dishes (10 to 12 ounces each). Set aside.
2. Place potatoes in a double layer of paper towels; squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
3. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, cheese, and cilantro; season with salt and pepper. Scatter potato mixture over chili. Place baking dishes on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until potatoes are golden brown and chili is bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve.
Cook's Note
You can also make this in a 2-quart baking dish. Bake in an oven heated to 425 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil if the top browns too quickly.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Super Bowl 2012 Snacks

Here are two items I am making for Super Bowl Sunday, in case you need a couple of ideas. First up is a Beer-Cheese Dip from Food Network Magazine.

Pulse 1/2 pound cubed extra-sharp white cheddar in a food processor until finely chopped. Add 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder, a pinch each of salt and sugar, and 1/2 cup pilsner beer. Process until smooth. It's as easy as that. Serve with pretzels, crackers, chunks of bread, and veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, celery, cooked potatoes, etc.

The second dish I am making is Bacon-Cheddar Crescent Pinwheels, utilizing Pillsburgy refrigerated Crescent rolls.

1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
2 tablespoons ranch dressing
¼ cup cooked real bacon pieces or 4 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
½ cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese (2 oz)
¼ cup chopped green onions (4 medium)

Heat oven to 350°F.
If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough; press each into 12x8-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough; press each into 12x8-inch rectangle.
Spread dressing over each rectangle to edges. Sprinkle each with bacon, Cheddar cheese and onions.
Starting with one short side, roll up each rectangle; press edge to seal. With serrated knife, cut each roll into 8 slices; place cut side down on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.