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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Arugula/Spinach Pockets and Chicken with Sausage

I had some pie dough left over and thought about an appetizer I had recently seen in a magazine. Mine did not look like the magazine' on.

The mixture....

The arugula, spinach, goat cheese and chopped onion mix was placed on a square of a prepared pie dough (a square was one-half of one half of what was in the container), which was folded in half and then pinched on the ends. It was baked at 400 degrees until the pie dough was done.

The pockets

I thought it would be a nice substitute for a salad and bread. The taste far surpassed the look of the finished pockets which resembled bloated bow ties! When I try it again, I will use puff pastry or phyllo.

The Chicken with Chicken-Jalepeno Sausage

The flattened chicken tenders were browned in evoo. The prepared chicken-jalepeno sausage was cut into rounds and added to the skillet and browned. I then added chicken broth, lemon juice and reduced the liquid. Cherry tomatoes were stirred in immediately prior to serving.

The wine. Sancerre
. It really held up to the chicken-sausage dish.

We both agreed that the pockets (prepared with puff pastry) and the wine would have been a complete dinner!


Friday, May 24, 2013

Pasta with Mushroom Sauce and Crisp Zucchini

I have made a version of this several times and as you may recall I have always tried to perfect the crispy parmesan coated zucchini strips that perch on top. I may have to go back to Rome Italy to find out how this was done at "Madeleines..."

But what I did differently this time was make the parmesan and zucchini separately and I think I am getting closer to the taste and texture of what I had in Rome.

The Parmesan Crisps: I followed instructions that I had read a few years ago in a cooking magazine - shred the parm and lay on wax paper or parchment paper in small circles (about the size of a 50 cent piece) and bake in a 400 degree oven until they crisp. Let them cool and then remove from the paper.

The Zucchini Strips: The zucchini strips were cut on the thinnest setting of a mandolin, tossed with evoo and roasted in a 400 degree oven on a cookie sheet for 15 minutes, then cooled on a paper towel .

The Entree: Pappardelle with Mushroom Sauce.
The sauce used both fresh cremini mushrooms and a dried mixture of mushrooms. To start the sauce I sauteed garlic and onion in evoo until soft and then added the fresh mushrooms. The dried mushrooms were softened in hot water and then added (with the liquid) to the pan. The liquids, chicken broth, cream sherry, madeira, french demi glace were added, reduced, added and reduced. The sauce was seasoned with fresh thyme and ground black pepper. The pasta was cooked according to the package.

The pasta was topped with the sauce, the zucchini and the crumbled parmesan crisps.

I can taste this pasta dish as I type!

The Wine: Carpazo Brunello di Montalcino


Monday, May 6, 2013

Orange Roughy Piccata and Rice "Pilaf"

Not as tasting as Chicken Piccata, but mighty close...

First a salad

My husband and I both like "Greek Salad." The taste varies with the types of olives and nothing beats really good Feta. Most times I do not use lettuce but here I used romaine with the onion, tomato, olives and cucumber; and topped it with plenty of crumbled Feta. The dressing was evoo, white wine vinegar, dried oregano and fresh ground black pepper.

and the piccata

I lightly dredged the orange roughy in flour seasoned with fresh ground black pepper and then browned it in evoo. I carefully removed the fish from pan. I sauteed garlic in evoo, and added white wine and chicken broth. When the sauce began to reduce I put the fish back in the pan, added the capers and simmered until fish was thoroughly cooked.

The side: Rice "pilaf
." I referenced a couple of rice "pilaf" recipes from cookbooks and ended up sauteeing pine nuts, slivered almonds, and onion, tossing in diced roasted red pepper, the cooked basmati rice and and seasoned the mixture with tumeric.

Wine: 2010 Baileyana Chardonnay