Sunday, October 31, 2010

Chicken with Penne & Capers / Greenbeans in a Lemon Dressing

Fried Chicken Cutlets and Penne with Onions & Capers


I took two chicken breasts each cut in half (so that I ended up with four pieces). Then, take out any pent up aggression by pounding the chicken thin and so that it would have an even thickness. Season the cutlets with garlic salt, italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Dredge the chicken in flour, dip in a beaten egg, and then dredge it again in flour. This will provide a thicker coating than the single coat of flour. Fry the chicken breasts in olive oil until golden and delicious.

The next step in the process is saute a vidalia onion (largely sliced) in olive oil. Then add a couple tablespoons of flour to the pan and let brown. Next, add 2 cups of chicken stock and ~1 tbsp of capers (just the capers and not the liquid). Toss in freshly cooked penne and serve. I added a dollop of ricotta cheese and lemon slices in the plating.

Fresh Green Beans in a Lemon Dressing

I trimmed the ends of the green beans and then tossed them in a pot of salted boiling water to cook for a couple of minutes. While they were cooking away, I made a lemon dressing by combining olive oil with fresh lemon juice (in roughly equal parts) and seasoning with salt and pepper. Then just toss the hericot vert in the dressing and serve.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomato and Mushroom Penne/Failed Lasagna Attempt

I had these great ambitions of making my very first lasagna! ...but alas, I fought the lasagna noodles and the lasagna noodles won. If you ever plan to make lasagna, either make sure you have a pot large enough to cook the pasta in or only cook a few noodles at a time. I tried to make all of them at once in a pot that was (looking back) entirely too small. The noodles ended up sticking together and they tore when I tried to separate them. I'm not going to let a little noodle mishap spoil my dinner plans! 

  • 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes with basil
  • 1 box of penne
  • ~2 tbsp of italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • red wine vinegar
  • 1 pint mushrooms (washed and sliced)
  • ~1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 lb of sweet italian sausage
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • ~2 cups of shredded italian cheese blend
  • olive oil
Add a little olive oil to a large skillet and begin to cook the sausage. After a couple of minutes, add the mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes. After the ingredients have cooked for a little while, add the tomato sauce, italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and a few swirls of vinegar. Allow the sauce to simmer for a few minutes so that the flavors can develop and give it a taste to see if the seasoning needs to be adjusted at all. Next, combine the tomato sauce, ricotta cheese, and cooked pasta together and spread in a large dish. Top with the shredded cheese and bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and brown.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Spicy Baked BBQ Chicken and Sweet Potato Fries

I love baking my dinner because you can set it and forget it with minimal prep time.

For the Chicken:
Season the chicken with black pepper, cayenne pepper (spicy!), seasoned salt, paprika, chili powder, cumin and garlic salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes (or maybe more if you're using large chicken breasts). Baste with your favorite barbecue sauce during the last 5 minutes of the cooking.

For the Fries:
Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into sticks. Lightly coat in canola oil and sprinkle with seasoned salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Place the fries in a single layer on a pan and put in the oven. Since I was baking the chicken at the same time, I put the sweet potatoes in at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Once the chicken was done, I raised the temperature to 450 degrees and cooked the fries for another 15 minutes. In they end they tasted good, but were a little droopy. I think that I'll have to go back to the drawing board with regard to the time and temperature for the oven to try to make them a little stiffer.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Simple Cole Slaw Recipe

  • 1 small cabbage (shredded)
  • 1 carrot (shredded)
  • 1 cup of greek yogurt
  • 2-3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • salt and pepper
I feel like most basic cole slaw recipes call for mayo, but I decided to substitute yogurt to make it a little healthier. People's tastes for cole slaw vary wildly - some people like it sweet, some people like it tangy,  some people maybe even like it spicy (*wink-wink*). Go forth and use this recipe as a base, and feel free to adjust it to your liking.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ravioli with Tomatoes and Shallots

Another semi-homemade marvel! Take a store bought pasta and bring it to life with this simple way to dress it up. You can use this idea with ravioli or any other pasta you might have on hand.

  • ravioli or any other pasta of your choosing (I used sun dried tomato, mozzarella and basil ravioli)
  • 1/2 pint or so of grape tomatoes (halved)
  • few tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 shallot (large dice)
  • 1 tbsp of italian seasoning blend
  • salt and pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the tomatoes, shallot, italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Add the freshly cooked ravioli and toss with tomato and shallot mixture. Enjoy!