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Posts Tagged ‘quick’

I came up with the idea for this dish when I was desperately hungry in the grocery store tonight at 8 p.m. after a yoga class that nearly was the end of me. I planned on making sauteed grouper but of course by that time at night the seafood counter was down to one last sad fillet that was not coming home with me.

I picked up a few organic chicken breasts and decided to make Brie and Apricot Chicken with Almonds. Then I realized that I didn’t have apricot preserves and brie was going to run me at least six dollars. I started brainstorming ideas for what I could make with what was in my fridge.

And that’s how these delicious Sauteed Greek Chicken Breasts were born. I had all the ingredients on hand at home to make a Greek-inspired chicken dish. Rather than stuffing the chicken breasts, I took the lazy way out and made a tasty topping. It worked perfectly. The topping added so much flavor to the chicken. I pounded the chicken out thin to ensure that it cooked quickly, evenly and stayed tender and juicy.

I served the chicken with quick cooking couscous and green beans. This was a very simple meal for a weeknight that was on the table in less than 20 minutes. Both of us really enjoyed this dish and I will be adding it to my quick weeknight dinner repertoire.

One Year Ago: Broiled Blue Cheese and Bacon Tomatoes

Sauteed Greek Chicken Breasts
(Recipe source Bakin’ and Eggs)

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts, rinsed, trimmed and patted dry
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion,finely diced (or one small onion)
1/4 cup kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 lemon wedge
1 tablespoon (total) fresh basil and/or oregano, minced (or substitute 1 teaspoon dried)
2 ounces feta, crumbled

Directions:

Place chicken in a large Ziploc bag or between two sheets of wax paper and pound to about 1/4-inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour flour into a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in the flour and shake off excess.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add olive oil and heat until shimmering. Place chicken in oil and saute about 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and internal temperature is 160 degrees. Remove chicken from skillet and let rest on a plate, loosely covered with foil.

Add onion to skillet and saute for about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic, olives and sundried tomatoes and cook for another minute or two. Add broth and a squeeze of lemon and stir, scraping up brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in fresh herbs and feta and spoon mixture over chicken.

Yield: 2 servings

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I have been all about Josie’s blog, Pink Parsley, lately. I think we have really similar cooking/eating styles and I’ve just gotten so much inspiration from her the last few months. I’m pretty sure that I have at least 10 recipes from her blog starred in my Google Reader right now. I’m having so much fun cooking things that are not from Gourmet even though I have made two recipes from The Gourmet Cookbook since 68 Days of Gourmet ended!

Our standby preparation for grilled chicken is simple – olive oil and a Dizzy Pig rub. I thought that this recipe would be a fun way to mix up our grilled chicken and use rosemary from my new herb garden (which I’m proud to say I’m keeping alive – I’m remembering to water the herbs and keeping the little plants happy!). I placed the chicken in the marinade before work and later that night Brandon grilled it on the Egg while I prepared goat cheese mashed potatoes and roasted broccoli. The only changes I made to the recipe were slightly increasing the rosemary in the marinade because I just love it so much and using chicken breasts instead of thighs. A simple and delicious dinner.

I will definitely be keeping this simple marinade in my repertoire!

Rosemary Grilled Chicken
(Recipe source Pink Parsley, originally adapted from Southern Living, September 2008)

Ingredients:

2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (increase if you want more rosemary flavor!)
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, trimmed of excess fat
1/2 lemon

Directions:

Combine the garlic, oil, mustard, vinegar, honey, salt and rosemary in a shallow dish or large ziploc bag.  Add chicken and turn to coat.  Marinate, chilled, for at least one hour or up to 24 hours.

Prepare grill and heat to about 350-375. Grill chicken breasts about 8 minutes per side or until an internal temperature of 160 has been reached.  Remove chicken from grill, cover with aluminum foil and allow to rest 10 minutes. Before serving, top with the juice from half of a lemon.

Yield: 4 servings

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When our friends Graham and Cristen visited last month they came with all kinds of South Georgia goodies – a bag of Vidalia onions, local honey and tons of fresh mint from their garden. I was eager to find a recipe that used lots of fresh mint and after looking around for a while I settled on Jumbo Shrimp with Mint and Basil Pesto from Giada De Laurentiis.

I have to be honest here…it’s been fun to search for recipes from sources other than Gourmet although Epicurious is still my number one choice for online recipes. I’m actually not a huge fan of the Food Network (and I hate their website – not user friendly…I digress) but I do usually like most of Giada’s recipes and this one was great.

You can easily have this dinner on the table in under 20 minutes – especially if you follow my lead and serve it with cous cous. The pesto is very flavorful and the mint and basil complement each other nicely. I did not have time to make it to the bulk bins to purchase pine nuts and was not about to pay $10 for a small amount of them at my normal grocery so I substituted toasted walnuts. The recipe calls for pan sautéing the shrimp but I also think they would be great on the grill. We loved this simple dinner and I enjoyed the leftovers served atop a bed of lettuce for lunch the next day.

I made up the cous cous as I went. I sautéed diced onion and minced garlic in olive oil in a small saucepan and then added in whole wheat cous cous, water and salt. Once the cous cous had absorbed the liquid, I stirred in feta, diced tomatoes and chopped fresh basil and mint.

A great summery dish using the herbs in your garden!

One Year Ago: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – my go-to oatmeal raisin cookie recipe. So good!

Jumbo Shrimp with Basil and Mint Pesto
(Recipe source, Giada De Laurentiis – Everyday Italian)

Ingredients:

3/4 cups lightly packed fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 pounds uncooked jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Combine mint, basil, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. With the machine running, gradually add 1/4 cup of olive oil, until well blended. Transfer pesto to a medium bowl and stir in the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Toss shrimp with the extra-virgin olive oil in a large bowl to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss again.

Heat a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in two batches, add the shrimp and sauté until just cooked through, about 3 minutes, careful not to overcook. Toss shrimp pesto to coat.

Yield: 6 servings

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 57

Yes, that is meatloaf in the picture above. Random, I know, but would you believe that Gourmet has a plethora of meatloaf  recipes? Shocking. So I bought ground beef at the store this week with intentions of making burgers topped with pimento cheese but we ended up going over to my in law’s on Monday to watch the NCAA Basketball Championship and had burgers there. That left me in a scramble to come up with a dinner using ground beef and the ingredients in my pantry.

Enter meatloaf. My epicurious.com search of Gourmet’s ground beef recipes yielded a lot of meatball and meatloaf recipes. Since I’d already conquered meatballs for 68 Days of Gourmet, all signs pointed to meatloaf. Most meatloafs use a mixture of beef/pork/veal but I was able to find this recipe using only ground beef. And while this meatloaf wasn’t really a stand out dinner it was extremely easy and economical and the bacon slices on the top definitely jazzed it up a bit.

No more meatloaf talk. Yesterday I ran 3.5 miles with Sullie. Beautiful weather, miserable conditions. The pollen in Charlotte right now is out of control. I’m not exaggerating. Apparently it’s the worst pollen Charlotte has had since they started tracking it in the 90s. Everything is yellow. While I was running I could feel myself breathing in pollen. Not good. Of course I woke up coughing and sneezing this morning. No fun. But in other running news, I did register for the Marine Corps Marathon!

Taught BodyPump this morning and went to a hot vinyasa yoga class this evening at Y2 Yoga. The lovely Sarah Keach was teaching (check out her super fun blog!). I usually can’t attend her class because I teach BodyPump Thursday nights but I switched for Tuesday evening this week and subbed for someone this morning so my evening was free! It was a great class with extremely challenging abdominal work and long holds in standing split. Like Sarah kept telling us, it was only one hour and we could rest when it was over! :)

So happy that tomorrow is Friday! Hope you’ve all had a great week!

One Year Ago: Bacon Wrapped Filet (funny coincidence)

Traditional Meatloaf Topped with Bacon
(Recipe source Gourmet, April 1993)

Ingredients:

1 large egg
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
3 tablespoons ketchup, divided
5 saltine crackers, crushed fine
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground chuck
2 slices of bacon, halved crosswise

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl whisk together the egg, onion, bell pepper, 2 tablespoons of ketchup, saltine crackers, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Add the chuck and blend the mixture with your hands until it is just combined (do not overmix). Form the mixture into an 8- by 4-inch loaf in a shallow baking pan, spread the remaining tablespoon (or a little more) ketchup over it, and drape the bacon pieces across the loaf. Bake the meat loaf in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees (mine took about 40 minutes).

Yield: 4 servings (Gourmet says 2 but this definitely could have served 4 for us. More power to you if you can eat 1/2 pound of beef!)

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 68

Are you thinking what I was thinking when I first saw this recipe? Gourmet has a recipe for Cornflake Fried Chicken? I was really shocked! I knew it was something that Brandon would love and I had some cornflakes in the pantry that needed to be used. I made several modifications to the original recipe that included dredging in flour before egg and adding spices to the cornflakes. I decided to bake mine instead of frying it and it turned out great. We did a taste test with Brandon’s fried and my baked and while the baked was definitely missing out on the “fried chicken” taste it was okay with me! Chicken breasts are so big when you pound them out so I saved half of mine to eat over a salad for lunch tomorrow.

I taught BodyPump tonight at the Y. There were 32 people in the class! So exciting. I’m going to yoga tomorrow morning – so looking forward to it after two days out of the studio. After work, Brandon and I are working on making chocolate butterfly wings for the butterfly cupcakes I’m making for my niece’s 2nd birthday Saturday. I am so thankful to have his help with the wings because he just has so much more patience with this type of thing. We’re heading to Sole for a late dinner to take advantage of their Charlotte Restaurant Week menu.

We have a really good chance of getting some snow this weekend! We’ve had two close calls this winter but no snow yet so keep your fingers crossed :)

Cornflake Fried Chicken
(Recipe adapted from Gourmet, July 2008)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup flour
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups cornflakes
Paprika or cayenne pepper, optional
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Pound out chicken to 1/2 inch thickness (in a plastic bag or between two sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper).

Set up three shallow bowls. Put flour in the first and season with salt and pepper. In the second bowl, whisk together egg and milk. In the third bowl, crush cornflakes and toss with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and cayenne and paprika to your liking (about 1/2 teaspoon) if desired.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot.

Meanwhile, season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Dredge in flour mixture, shaking off excess flour and then dip in egg mixture, then in cornflakes, pressing to help adhere.

Fry chicken, turning once, until golden and just cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes total. Internal temperature should be 160 degrees. Drain on paper towels.

*Note – I baked mine on a wire rack at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes, until internal temperature reached 160.

Yield: 2 servings

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 31

I hope everyone had a nice weekend. Mine was full of cooking, house hunting, cleaning and working out. Saturday morning started off with a bowl of oats full of apples, peanut butter, raisins and ground flax while I updated my blog with the seared scallops from Friday night’s dinner. Then I headed out for a quick 3 mile run with Sullie before meeting with our realtor to look at houses.

On Saturday night we finally tried Lebowski’s for dinner. It’s a local bar and grill that actually has great food. I had two sliders – one turkey burger and one “beef on weck.” I’d never had a beef on weck before – delicious! I also had a side of garlic fries because I heard they were the thing to order. This was a big splurge for me – I’m usually all about the sweets and pass on fried food – but they were totally worth it. They had some great looking salads and healthier fare that I’ll have to check out next time. We’ll definitely be going back to Lebowski’s!

When we got home I put together an overnight French toast to have for breakfast the next morning. I was not feeling French toast after our feast but my feelings had changed Sunday morning when I woke up! I’ll be blogging about the French toast soon. It was the perfect weekend treat.

Sunday was devoted to mostly cleaning and organization (our apartment desperately needed it) and of course, my 90 minute hot yoga class at Charlotte Yoga with my very favorite teacher, Suzanne. I look forward to this class all week! Seriously amazing. I saw on the schedule that Grace, the founder of Charlotte Yoga, was assisting in the class so I knew I’d better get there early. I’m so glad I did, the class was packed and they ended up having to send about 20 people away. The room was packed with almost 50 sweaty, hard working yogis!

I actually planned on making Duck a l’Orange last night for 68 Days of Gourmet but I just did not have the energy for it after my day of cleaning and the yoga class. I ended up making Teriyaki Chicken with the chicken breasts I got on sale at the grocery Friday. I was browsing chicken breast recipes from Gourmet online and thought this looked simple and healthy. Brandon and I decided that while this was a nice basic dinner it wasn’t anything special. Neither one of us is super fanatical about teriyaki chicken but if you are then this is a great recipe for you to try. It’s so simple, healthy and the homemade teriyaki sauce is way better than the stuff you buy in a bottle. We didn’t dislike this; it’s just not something I think we’ll make again. I adapted this by changing the sauce to pretty much double it after reading a lot of reviews to do so. Was definitely necessary. I also used boneless skinless chicken instead of boneless, skin on.

So the duck is on the agenda for tonight. Wish me luck! This is my first time preparing duck. Blog update to come soon!

Teriyaki Chicken
(Recipe adapted Gourmet, May 1990)

Ingredients:

5 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger root
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon medium-dry sherry (I did not double this as I’m not the biggest fan of a strong sherry taste)
2 tablespoons white-wine or rice wine vinegar
1-2 garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Directions:

In a large, shallow dish, whisk together soy sauce, ginger, honey, Sherry, vinegar and garlic. Pound chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper to about ½ inch thickness. Place chicken in marinade and turning to coat. Marinate for at least 20 minutes, turning once.

Preaheat the broiler to high. Transfer chicken to the oiled rack of a broiling pan, reserving marinade. Broil about 6 inches from heat for 5 minutes. While chicken is cooking, boil the reserved marinade until reduced by half. Remove chicken from oven and flip chicken breasts. Brush marinade on tops of chicken and return to broiler for 5-8 more minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, careful not to overcook.

Yield: 2 servings

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 19

I have said this before but I have to say it again. Weekly menu planning and shopping makes life so much easier. I have converted so many friends to this practice and believe me, it’s life changing. First, you save tons of stress by not having to worry about what to make for dinner and having time to make it to the store. Second, you save money by planning meals based on weekly specials and only making one trip. On average I spend between $65-$80 a week on our groceries. Whenever I go to the store for just one meal, I never leave without spending $20-$30. That would quickly add up if you were making nightly trips. Also, if you don’t already have a plan, there’s the added temptation to go out instead of cook.

All that said, tilapia was on sale for $3.99 a pound this week. It was just too good of a deal to pass up and tilapia is one of the few fish that I can get Brandon to eat without grumbling. I found this recipe on Epicurious and was surprised to see that it had received 456 reviews and had a 4-fork rating. It sounded like something we’d really enjoy. This recipe was so simple to make. You could have this on the table in 20 minutes – easy. The chili lime butter was so full of flavor and wonderful melted over the pan sauteed tilapia. Brandon told me at least 5 times during dinner that he loved this preparation and wanted to add it to the regular rotation. We also decided that the chili lime butter would be good melted over grilled flank or skirt steak.

Don’t be scared of the peppers in the butter. The flavors are very balanced and it’s not overly spicy. I had a couple bites with some kick but nothing too bad. The lime juice and zest really add a brightness to the dish. This is a great fish dish to add to your collection.

Chili Lime Tilapia
(Recipe adapted from Gourmet, July 2003)

Ingredients:

FOR CHILI LIME BUTTER
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon shallot, finely chopped
1 teaspoon lime zest, finely grated
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon minced fresh Thai or serrano chile (preferably red), including seeds (I used jalapeno because it’s all I had)
1/2 teaspoon salt

FOR FISH
6 (5- to 6-oz) pieces skinless tilapia fillet or farm-raised striped bass fillets with skin
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

FOR THE CHILI LIME BUTTER
Mix together the butter, peppers, shallots, lime zest and juice and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

FOR THE FISH
Rinse fish and pat dry. Generously salt and pepper and then dredge in flour and shake off excess. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and heat until shimmers. Carefully place fish into skillet and cook about 2-3 minutes per side, until fish is golden brown and reaches an internal temperature of 135 degrees.

TO SERVE
Serve each piece with a dollop of chili lime butter. The butter will melt and spread over the fish.

Yield: 6 servings
(I made the full recipe of butter and only 2 tilapia fillets. We had a little bit of leftover butter but not tons – we are fatties and it was delicious! We kept spreading more on! :) )

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