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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Layered Mediterranean Chicken Breasts



It seemed like a clever idea...instead of stuffing the chicken breasts, use flatten pieces of chicken and layer with the filling.
It was tasty, but as you can see from the picture the chicken breasts looked a little stiff, or more like flat bread. My error was grilling the chicken breasts and because they were so thin I could not leave them on the grill long enough to brown. Because I still like the idea of layering, the next time I will brown the chicken in a hot skillet. I am sure they will look a tad more appetizing.

I adapted the recipe from Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken Breasts in the the June issue of Cooking Light.

Entree: Layered Mediterranean Chicken Breasts. To the stuffing of red bell pepper, feta cheese, kalamata olives, and basil, I added minced garlic, oregano and additional olives. After grilling, the breasts were alternated with the stuffing, covered with foil and heated, for about five minutes in the oven, just enough time to warm the filling.

Side: Sauteed Squash and Zucchini. The veggies were sauteed with shallots, garlic and herbs de provence.

Wine: Hook and Ladder Pinot Noir

Enjoy,
Jo

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Jo's Crabcakes




These crabcakes are my own recipe. I consulted other recipes, in my cookbooks and on line, and took a little from here and a little from there ...and no I did not measure exact amounts, so if you prepare this recipe you will have to use "your own judgement"...don't you hate that phrase!!

Let's start with the first course: A Different Greek. The usual "greek salad" ingredients, tomatoes, cucumbers, onion and olives were tossed with a dressing that mixed the feta cheese with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Italian oregano, and fresh ground pepper.

Entree: Jo's Crabcakes. The canned crabmeat (sorry I forgot to note the brand, but will check it out at the grocer and report later) was mixed with chopped shallot, chopped red bell pepper, two small slices of chopped zucchini, mayo with olive oil, baking powder, worceshire sauce, grated Parmesan, lemon juice, fresh herbs, two egg whites, bread crumbs, and a slight dash of cayenne.

I tried to bake them, following the healthy instructions of Rosie in the Oprah's Favorite Recipes, but either I did not have enough bread crumbs or most likely I had too many other ingredients for them to form appropriately. So after baking for about 5 minutes on one side and unable to flip them intact, I quickly heated a skillet with oil and seared the cakes for about 3 minutes per side. I do not regularly critique my dishes, but these were as tasty a crabcake that I ever had!

Side: Baked Sweet Potato Fries. Cut the potatoes to desired length and width, toss with olive oil and roast in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until done.

Wine: Cutrer

Enjoy,
Jo

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Torts with Arugula and Cherry Tomatoes



The June issue of Cooking Light has a recipe for Orecchiette with Roasted Peppers, Arugula and Tomatoes. It looked and sounded appealing but I had torts in the pantry and only needed a single serving, so I adapted this recipe.

Entree: Tortellini with Arugula and Cherry Tomatoes. Arugula, and halved cherry tomatoes were mixed with the cooked three-cheese torts and topped with shaved Parmesan.

The dressing consisted of olive oil, pinot grigio vinegar, dried herbs de Provence, fresh basil, minced garlic and fresh ground pepper.

Enjoy,
Jo

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Black Bean Soup with Chicken



This dish was inspired by a framed letter posted in George's Restaurant in LaJolla California. The letter was signed by Rosie Daley, author of "In the Kitchen With Rosie, Oprah's Favorite Recipes." I remembered that I had the book at home and made a note to try it after returning from our trip to Torrey Pines.

The major difference between Rosie's recipe and mine was that she made her soup "from scratch" using dried balck beans and I used canned Black Bean soup.

The Soup:
The chicken breasts were roasted along with several cloves of garlic in the oven. While the chicken was roasting, onions, celery and roasted red bell pepper were sauteed. Added to the saute were Worcestershire Sauce, white wine, chicken broth and herbs (basil and thyme). This mix was then added to the canned black bean soup.

The roasted chicken was chopped and added to the soup to heat and mix the flavors.

Side: Crusty Bread, Roasted Garlic in Olive Oil. The garlic that was roasted with the chicken was served whole in the olive oil.

Enjoy,
Jo

Friday, June 11, 2010

The New Look and Feedback??



I have changed the background for my blog. I think it enhances the photos...but what do you think?
Is the red background and white text easier to read? More difficult?
Does it make the dishes more appealing, less appealing or have no impact?

The photo above is from one of my early blogs...and the one that I have been using as my "logo" on my blog cards. If you have another favorite photo from the "yo jo..." let me know.

Coming soon:
Black Bean Soup with Chicken
Torts, Arugula and Tomatoes
My Own Recipe for Crabcakes

Here's hoping to hear from you
Jo

Halibut with Peach Salsa





This is another dish inspired by the June issue of Cooking Light. I closely followed the recipe and the grilling directions. Not only do I need a new stove, the Weber grill although only six years, has been blown off the deck twice during high winds and does not seem to be operating at its best. So I no longer can rely on my instincts when it comes to time and temperature.

Entree: Halibut with Peach Salsa. The salsa consists of yellow peaches, red bell pepper, green onions, arugula, lemon juice, oregano, habanero pepper and garlic. The marinade for the halibut consists of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, fresh ground pepper. The halibut is grilled and served with the salsa.

Side: Crusty bread

Wine: Sonoma Cutrer

Post Course: Array of Cheeses. With the cheeses Raincoast Crisps, olives, peach salsa and olives were served.

Wine: Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir

Enjoy,
Jo

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Potato Salad with Arugula and Lemon




The June issue of Cooking Light magazine had several interesting recipes. Not being a potato salad fan but a fan of anything arugula the Lemon-Arugula Salad was something I just had to try. I served it along with a grilled salmon sandwich and green beans.

Potato Salad with Arugula and Lemon: I followed the recipe except I used Pinot Grigio Vinegar instead of Sherry Vinegar, and eliminated the salt. My version of the salad consisted of Yukon Gold potatoes, shallots, arugula and olive oil, lemon rind, lemon juice, vinegar, and fresh ground black pepper.


Salmon Sandwich: The salmon was grilled and topped with a spread of chopped tomato, onion, red bell pepper and mayo. It was served on a ciabatta bread.

Green Beans: The green beans were cooked, cooled and tossed with previously prepared pesto.

Beverage: Bottled Panna water with slices of orange and lemon

Enjoy,
Jo

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Panko Crusted Talapia with Lemon Sauce




A light entree and side allow for a more substantial appetizer. On this particular evening, dinner would be late and I had the ingredients for one of my favorites...baked Brie. For large gatherings I use a full round of brie, but this evening I had a wedge which was plenty for two. My guest and I shared it on the deck enjoying a Manhattan (guest) and wine (me).

Appetizer: Baked Brie Roll out puff pastry dough. A full sheet for a whole round and a partial sheet for a wedge. Spread honey mustard on the pastry and then place the wedge of brie in the middle of the pastry sheet. Fold the pastry dough over the wedge, poke fork holes in the pastry and place on an ungreased cooking sheet. For time and temperature check pastry box. I always serve this with Hot Pepper Raspberry Preserves from Rothschild Farm.

Entree: Panko Crusted Talapia with Caper Lemon Sauce. The panko crumbs are tossed with oil and herbs. The fish fillets are placed in a roasting pan and the crumbs are patted in and sprinkled around the pan. Bake until the fish is flaky.

The sauce is a mixture of chicken and seafood demi glace, chicken broth and fresh lemon juice. When the sauce is reduced stir in the capers. To serve, top the fish with a slice of fresh lemon and then pour the sauce over the fish.

Side: Broccoli. The broccoli is cooked in chicken broth in the microwave for two or three minutes.

Wine: Hook and Ladder Sauvignon Blanc

Enjoy,
Jo

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Chicken, Mushrooms, Wild Rice and Asparagus





I am back and yes that is a picture of Torrey Pines in LaJolla California. The views and the course were spectacular. I will not regale you with my golf game but will only say that there were at least 75 sand traps on the South Course and I was in at least 50 of them. And yes there is a relation to food and dining. One evening as I sat with my husband, sipping Veuve Clicquot, over looking the 18th hole and gazing into the sunset over the Pacific Ocean I was convinced it just didn't get any better...but then the next day we were paired up with a culinary arts professor from Utah who shares my belief that it is about dining not eating. We managed to talk between shots and I was awed with his description of his dinner the night before...with great and loving detail he described each course and the ingredient in each offering. And...And...I finished 18 strokes better than my first round! (I was only in two sand traps!)

Prior to leaving I prepared the following dinner:

Entree: The wild rice was cooked in chicken broth. Using the left over chicken Marsala (thawed) I tossed in roasted asparagus and served over the rice.

Wine: Robert Stemmler 2006 Caneros Pinot Noir

Before closing I want to welcome my newest follower, Marcus from Hook and Ladder winery. He called me back, sold me a case of wine and joined my blog!

Enjoy,
Jo