Monday, June 21, 2010

Bon Appetit Potato and Sausage Roast (a recipe that evolved to become potatoes that go with fish)

1 3/4 lb. small red potatoes cut into 1-inch dice
2 large red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch dice
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed, cut into 1-inch dice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/4 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
1 lb. chicken or turkey sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 425 F. Combine first five ingredients in 2 large baking pans. Mix to coat with oil. Season with salt and generous amounts of pepper. Bake 20 minutes. Divide sausage between two pans; bake until potatoes are tender with crusty outsides and sausage is cooked through, about 30 minutes more.

Pat's Version

1 3/4 lbs. potatoes, red russet or Yukon gold, cut into 1-inch dice
2 large red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch dice
1 or 2 large sweet onions, quartered and cut into wide slivers
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 1/2 lbs sweet Italian sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces

Seasonings: I've used lemon pepper and garlic salt with a little paprika for color; Old Bay Seasoning can be added for a bit of a bite; Emeril's Essence, Original Flavor, is great. And I always use a generous amount of fresh-ground pepper.

Spritz the pans with no-stick spray and follow baking directions above. If using glass (Corning or Pyrex) baking dish, lower heat to 375F and allow extra time for potatoes to brown.

My version of just the potatoes without the sausage

8 potatoes (2 for each serving desired), peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
1 green or red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch dice
Half a large sweet onion, cut into slivers
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Arrange all in shallow baking dish and mix to coat with oil. Sprinkle with sea salt, fresh ground pepper and a generous sprinkling of Emeril's Essence, Original Flavor, on top. Bake at 400F for 45 minutes, turning potatoes with spatula halfway through baking. Potatoes should be brown and stick easily with fork.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Chocolate ice cream (recipe from Mom-Mom -- need I say more?)

You first need to invest in an electric ice cream maker and remember to have plenty of ice cubes on hand -- about six trays -- or a small bag of ice cubes from convenience store.

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup Hershey's cocoa
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Salt -- takes about a half carton.

Mix all ingredients (except salt) together in electric blender and blend until smooth. Pour the chocolate liquid into ice cream maker container and start ice cream maker. Alternate layers of ice cubes, salt, ice cubes, salt to the top of the ice cream maker. It takes mine about 30 minutes to churn one batch of ice cream.
When finished, pour into eight small plastic containers with lids and freeze.

To vary the recipe, substitute fresh sliced peaches for cocoa and double the vanilla. Or strawberries, or just vanilla.

Breaded Chicken (any thin pieces?)

Technically, this is not a recipe, just instructions on how to make good breaded chicken that beats in taste, nutrition and price any frozen ready-made breaded chicken from a grocery store.

4 pieces, boneless breast of chicken, cut lengthwise into thin slices OR Perdue Perfect Portions, trimmed of veins and cut thin. Buy Perdue boneless chicken breasts, Harvestland or other organic brand, or thin sliced Perdue (no need to slice it) or Perdue Perfect Portions. Don't buy store brand chicken.

Progresso Italian or Herb bread crumbs or Panko bread crumbs
One egg
Olive oil

Remove all fat and veins from chicken, then pound between two slices of wax paper till very thin. Coat bottom of heavy fry pan with olive oil. Put egg into shallow bowl and whip with fork until frothy. Dip chicken slices first into egg, then into bread crumbs to coat. Saute chicken in oil over medium-high heat, turning until golden brown on all sides.

Be careful, thin slices burn easily.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Margherita Chicken (because every menu needs an Olive Garden dish)

Margherita Chicken

4 chicken breasts cut into 1- to 2-inch slivers
4 plum tomatoes, chopped into small pieces
2 packs of fresh basil, cleaned and chopped fine
Olive oil
1/2 cup white cooking wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup heavy cream
Flour, salt and pepper
Mozzarella or parmesan cheese

Use one chicken breast for each serving. This serves four -- one for one serving, two for two servings, etc. Reduce liquid ingredients proportionately for number of servings.

Coat pieces of chicken in flour mixture in a plastic bag. Shake to thoroughly coat chicken. Brown chicken in olive oil over medium-high heat in a large fry pan. Add basil and stir till chicken is brown on all sides.

Add wine and scrape browned bits off bottom of pan with wooden spoon or spatula. Reduce heat to low and add broth. Cook for a few minutes (5-10) then add chopped tomatoes and stir. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is bubbly and tomatoes are soft. Last add cream, stir, and turn off heat. Cover and let simmer a few minutes. Serve over pasta and top with cheese.

Sherried Chicken (the dish commonly known as 'Fettucini')

4 boneless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes
1 stick butter or margarine
1/2 cup flour
1 Tablespoon paprika
3/4 cup sherry cooking wine
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 cup light cream (or heavy cream if you want it super-rich)

12-16 ounces of linguini or fettucini, cooked
1 stick butter (not margarine, only butter) melted
1 cup grated parmesan
1 cup heavy cream

Combine flour and paprika in shallow bowl or plastic bag and dredge chicken pieces in mixture so that chicken is thoroughly coated. Melt butter or margarine in shallow saucepan on medium-high heat. Add flour and stir till pieces are lightly browned on all sides. Add sherry and scrape pan so that browned pieces combine in sauce. Add broth, reduce heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Turn off heat or reduce to very low and add cream. Stir until blended.

Meanwhile, cook pasta. Drain and combine in bowl with melted butter, parmesan and cream. Toss till pasta is coated and creamy. Serve in bowls, top with chicken in sauce.