Friday, October 23, 2009

Rosemary Balsamic Chicken Salad

4 boneless chicken breast halves (or thighs--cook longer if using)
1/2-3/4 cup good balsamic vinegar
1-2 tsp. (or more if you like it) Dijon mustard
3-4 Tbsp. brown sugar or honey
Fresh rosemary and thyme--to taste, about 1 Tbsp. each
(if using dry herbs, only 1 tsp. and crush in your palm before adding)
Freshly ground black pepper
1-2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 Tbsp. cold butter

Mix the vinegar, mustard, sugar, garlic, and herbs in a bowl or large ziploc bag. Add the chicken breasts. Refrigerate for thirty minutes, or up to several hours. (The longer you marinate, the more tender and juicy the chicken.)

Heat a large skillet over med-high heat. Drizzle a little olive oil to cover the bottom of the skillet. When oil shimmers, the pan is ready. Remove the chicken from the marinade, but reserving the marinade for later. Sear the chicken breasts for about 2 minutes per side, or until dark brown. Lower heat and add the reserved marinade. Continue to simmer over low heat until the chicken has cooked through and the marinade has started to thicken. You may add chicken broth at this time. Add the amount you want according to how thick or thin you want your sauce.

Remove chicken from skillet and place on a warm plate. Cover with foil and set aside. Let the sauce thicken a little more. Adjust seasonings--more sugar if you like it sweeter, etc. When the sauce has thickened to desired consistency, add cold butter and whisk it quickly into the sauce to incorporate it.

Serve over romaine lettuce with candied pecans, dried cranberries, Parmesan cheese, green onions, and applies. The sauce can be used as the dressing.

Tortellini Sausage Soup

3 links Italian sausage
4 cloves pressed garlic
1 onion, diced
½ c. water
2 cans chicken broth
½ c. apple cider
1 16-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 c. sliced carrots
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 medium zucchini, grated
8-10 oz. package cheese tortellini
2 Tbsp. dried parsley

If you're using link sausage, remove the casings and crumble into a large soup pot. Begin cooking sausage over medium heat, stirring frequently. If your sausage is pretty fatty, you'll want to drain it when it's about halfway cooked. Meanwhile, chop onions and garlic and add to the sausage. Continue cooking until onions are translucent and your sausage is cooked. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, juice, water, chicken broth, carrots, oregano, and basil. Cover and simmer for 1/2 hour. Add parsley and zucchini and simmer for another 15 minutes or so.
Add the tortellini and cook until tender, and then serve with bread and freshly-grated Parmesan.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

This is kind of a cross between a pecan pie and a chocolate chip cookie. It was very tasty!

1 unbaked 9 inch deep dish pie shell (if using a frozen shell, defrost before using)
2 large eggs
1/2 C flour
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C packed brown sugar
3/4 C butter, softened
1 C semi sweet chocolate chips
1 C chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat eggs in large mixing bowl on high until foamy. Beat in flour, sugars. Add butter. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Spoon into pie shell. Bake for 55-65 minutes. Cool on wire rack and serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chicken Gyros

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4" strips
2 Tbsp. finely chopped dill
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 large onion, thinly sliced
a few tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper

Place everything in a gallon-size freezer bag to let it marinate. Let the chicken marinate anywhere from 1/2 hour to overnight.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a little olive oil. Saute the chicken and onions until chicken is cooked through.

To serve--place some of the chicken on the pita, top with tzatziki and a little fresh lemon juice. Fold up and enjoy!

Tzatziki (Yogurt Dill Sauce)

1 large container Greek Yogurt
1/2 seedless cucumber, grated and drained (see note and picture below)
2-3 Tbsp. fresh dill, finely chopped
4 scallions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1-2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
a drizzle of olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper--to taste

Combine all the ingredients and chill for several hours to allow flavors to meld. Yields about 2 1/2 cups.

Note: Cucumbers are so full of water that it is necessary to let them drain in a sieve before using in the yogurt sauce. You may even notice up to 1/4 cup liquid in the bowl after draining.

Cococut Curry Chicken

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed, diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons sugar
salt and pepper to taste

1. Assemble ingredients
2. Dice onion & cut up chicken. Season chicken with salt & pepper.
3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add curry and mix thoroughly. Let flavors meld for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Stir in onions and garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Add chicken, tossing lightly to coat with curry oil. Reduce heat to medium, cook for 5-7 minutes, till chicken is mostly cooked through.
5. Transfer mixture to heated crockpot. Add coconut milk, tomatoes and sugar, stir. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours.
6. Cook 2 1/2 cups of rice according to package directions. Serve sauce over rice. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Butterscotch Pecan Sandies

3 cups unsifted flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 & 1/3 cup unsalted butter ( I use a little less and decrease salt to 1/2 tsp if using salted...)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 cups butterscotch chips (I don't use quite that much...)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Combine flour and soda in small bowl.

Cream butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla in large mixing bowl on med speed until light. Beat in
egg until fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add flour one cup at a time, until just combined.
Stir in pecans and butterscotch chips.

With small scoop, form balls of dough less than one inch in diameter. Place on baking sheets,
allowing 2 inches between cookies. Flatten balls to about 1/4 inch thick. Bake for 8-10
minutes or until the edges just begin to brown. Tops should remain pale. Store in
airtight container.