Stuffed Chicken Breast

2017-04-17 18.04.57

 

Stuffed Chicken Breast

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
― Julia Child

This is one of those “I can’t believe healthy tastes so good” recipes and that’s due to it not being your “traditional” stuffing of stale bread and spices.

Now to be honest I don’t have the slightest idea where this recipe first came from but it is one that I have NOT tampered with (much to my wife’s delight) and it is so good that I don’t feel the need to try and change it however feel free to put whatever spin on this dish you like.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 boneless/skinless Chicken Breast
  • Handful of Spinach roughly chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 4 ounces dried Sundried Tomatoes
  • 8 ounces Goat Cheese 
  • 2 small Shallots – chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°
  2. In a non reactive bowl cover the Sundried tomatoes with boiling water and set aside for 20 minutes.
  3. In the thickest part of the chicken breast cut a pocket being careful not to cut all the way through.
  4. Mix the remaining ingredients together and stuff into the pocket of each breast.
  5. Lightly sprinkle the outside of the chicken with salt and pepper and put in the oven for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……….

                         Bon Appetit

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet potato pie

  • Servings: 2 nine inch pies
  • Difficulty: easy
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For this recipe I decided to go back to the beginning and make the very first thing I ever learned to bake —- the iconic and oh so good sweet potato pie!

Now when I first heard about this dessert some 20 something years ago I thought “man people were nuts”… I mean really…. potatoes in a dessert? Well I tell you the very first bite had me hooked and the only sad part is I don’t make it nearly enough.

As you can see in the photo (Note to self: Get a different camera) the pie is lacking the one element my family and friends missed and that is whipped cream but seeing as how it was Thanksgiving and I was in the middle of doing about 18 other things I was forgiven. Maybe the next time.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 4 Large sweet potatoes – peeled and diced
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 stick of melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4  teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 nine inch ready to bake pie crusts

Putting it all together:

  1. Boil the sweet potatoes until fork tender
  2. When cooled place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl
  3. Add the remaining ingredients except the milk
  4. Using a hand blender mix all the ingredients until smooth
  5. Add the milk and mix until incorporated
  6. Pour equal amounts of the sweet potato mix in the pie crusts
  7. Place in a 350 degree convection oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the middle clean
  8. Let cool and dig in

So there you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”.

Until next time……….

                              Bon Appetit

 

Salad Nicoise

  • Servings: “1”
  • Difficulty: “Easy”
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This classic appetizer was the First course of my Culinary School Practical Exam and although it looks difficult it really isn’t. The biggest pain is getting all the components together and then figuring out how to plate it. This was my design—- simple but classy at the same time. Now you may notice the Tuna is well done when it should be rare and that is because my “taster”wanted her Tuna and her Steak well done without realizing that well done Tuna slices terribly and falls apart which makes plating a wee bit difficult….. aw well…. did the best under the circumstances.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • Mixed greens—- small bunch
  • Potatoes— Fingerling 3
  • Green beans washed and trimmed— 8
  • Tuna (yellow fin)—- One three ounce piece
  • Anchovy fillets—- 1-2 depending on size
  • Black olives— Pitted 6
  • Hard cooked egg, sliced or quartered—- 1 egg
  • Tomato wedges—- 4
  • Chopped parsley for garnish

For the vinaigrette:

  • 40 ml Olive oil
  • 10 ml White wine vinegar
  • Chopped garlic— 1-2 cloves
  • Salt and white pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together for the vinaigrette and set aside.
  2. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until just fork tender
  3. Slice and grill the potatoes just until there are grill marks.
  4. Dress with a little of the vinaigrette and refrigerate
  5. Cook the bean in boiling salted water.
  6. Drain, cool and dress with a bit of the vinaigrette
  7. Line a small salad bowl with the mixed greens
  8. Plate the green beans and potatoes how you like
  9. Grill the Tuna until it is rare. Cool and slice
  10. Place the Tuna on the top of the mixed greens.
  11. Arrange the Anchovies on top of the Tuna
  12. Arrange the tomato wedges, olives and egg around the plate as you wish.
  13. Sprinkle with some of the chopped parsley
  14. Serve cold.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”.

Until next time…….

Bon Appetit

 

 

 

Taco bake

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So another successful meal has been planned, cooked and served and everyone enjoyed it immensely. You’re now putting away the leftovers and you wonder just how or when you will use them.

That’s the thought that ran through my head the other day as I was putting away the leftover Taco meat and fixings because the manufacturers of the Taco kits NEVER give you enough tortillas for the amount of seasoned meat you inevitably wind up making and so you’re left scratching your head on what to do. You could put it into a freezer bag and freeze it flat for the next time but when is the next time you will be making Tacos? You could do a Mexican style omelet for Breakfast the next day or you could do what I did and use it for a Midnight Snack.

This dish is so simple to make, mainly because it is using leftovers, and it is a “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”.

Ingredients:

–  Leftover seasoned Taco meat

–  Thin sliced potatoes

–  1/2 Half diced Spanish onion

–  Half a cup of Shredded cheese –  Tex Mex style works best.

–  Two teaspoons of Parsley

–  1/4 Cup Salsa

Method:

–  In the bottom of  an Oval shaped Ramekin or similar type dish lay the sliced potatoes

–  In a medium sized bowl mix the seasoned Taco meat, onion and Salsa

–  Pour the meat mixture over the sliced potatoes

–  Top with the shredded cheese and parsley

–  Bake in a 350 degree oven for approx 30 minutes

There you have it. A “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”.

So until next time………

Bon Appetit

Butternut Squash soup

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One of the very first soups I ever learned to make was Butternut Squash which in itself is rather amazing because I don’t like squash any other way but in soup. One of the great things about this Gourd is its versatility. It can be cubed, mashed, baked, grilled and made into soup but as I said the only way I will eat it is in a soup. The other great thing about this soup is that you can add almost anything you want in order to, as the Great Emeril Lagasse would say “kick it up a notch”. Things like Leeks, Curry, Bacon, Apples—- you’re limited by your imagination.

So here’s my version of a “simple but tasty” soup that is great anytime of the year.

Ingredients:

–         1 Large Butternut squash peeled seeded and rough chopped

–         3 Large Yukon Gold (or any other yellow potato) peeled and rough chopped

–         1 Medium White onion, peeled and rough chopped

–         4 Cups Chicken stock

–         1 Cup 35% Heavy cream

–         ½ Cup all- purpose flour

–         ¼ Cup butter

–         Salt and White pepper to taste

–         4 Tablespoons Olive oil

Method:

–         Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven

–         Melt the butter in the oil

–         When the butter has melted whisk in the flour and make a roux

–         Add the chicken stock, a little at a time, and whisk until smooth

–         Add the onions, squash and potatoes and bring to a boil

–         Reduce heat and simmer on medium until the squash, potatoes and onions are fork tender

–         If you have an Immersion blender blend  until smooth if you don’t have an immersion blender then use a Blender and blend the soup in small batches

–         Put the soup back in the pot and add the cream and stir until incorporated

–         Leave the soup simmering on medium for approx. 5 more minutes and the heavy cream will start to thicken the soup

–         Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy

So there you have it a “simple but tastey” AND inexpensive soup that really takes no time at all to make but looks and tastes like you have been at it all day.

See you next time…….

                            Bon Appetit

Corned beef hash

Dreamstime photo

 

 

This is one of those dishes that people really only think of as a breakfast item but in fact is one that is extremely versatile as well as very inexpensive and can be served morning, noon or night.

If you are like me I have neither the time nor the space to pickle my own Brisket and wind up with scratch made Corned Beef so this is one of those rare moments when I will use— gasp—- pre packaged food.

Ingredients:

  •       2 -12 ounce Cans Corned Beef
  •          2 -18 Ounce cans of diced potatoes
  •          2- 8 ounce cans of mushrooms
  •          1 Medium white onion diced
  •          3 or 4 healthy dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  •          2 Garlic cloves minced
  •          3 to 4 tablespoons of Olive oil
  •          Pepper to taste
  •          4 Eggs

Method:

  •          Heat the oil in a large non- stick pan
  •          Add the potatoes and sauté over medium high heat until they are crispy and just about fork tender
  •          Add in the onions, mushrooms and garlic and continue to sauté until the onions start to become translucent – about 4 minutes
  •          Break up the Corned Beef and mix it very well with the rest of the ingredients
  •          Mix in the Worcestershire sauce and the pepper.
  •          While the Corned Beef mixture is cooking fry or poach your eggs.
  •          When the eggs are finished spoon some of the Corned Beef onto a plate, top with an egg and enjoy. If you feel ambitious you can also toast some bread to have with the meal. I should also point out that I don’t add Salt because           the Corned Beef is rather salty to begin with.

Now the reason I mentioned that this was an inexpensive dish to make is because when I used to make it the total cost was under $15.00  and it fed four of us.

So I hope the next time you want something “simple but tasty” that also is inexpensive you will give this one a try. Oh and my thanks to Dreamstime for the awesome photo.

Until next time……..

                              Bon Appetit