Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Chicken Marsala

For many years, I have wanted to make chicken marsala. But I wasn't sure where to find marsala wine. Then I realized - duh - a wine store. And guess what? They have it at the Trader Joe's wine store! So a week later, I made this. If you've never had chicken marsala before, you should try it. It's so good! Whip up this chicken with mushrooms (one of my favorite things ever) in a delicious, light sauce and have a happy dinner time!

This is especially fun to make for dinner if you've had a rough day - pounding out chicken breasts is extremely therapeutic. Start by laying out the chicken on a cutting board

then covering with cling wrap and pounding with a meat mallet until each chicken piece is about 1/4 inch thick.

Pour the flour in a bowl and season with salt and pepper, according to your own taste. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When it's hot, dredge the chicken piece in flour, shake off the excess

and place in the pan.

You don't want to crowd the chicken, so you may need to do this in batches. Cook the chicken for about 5 minutes before turning it.

Cook another 5 minutes on this side, then remove to a platter, and repeat with the rest of the chicken.

Now reduce the heat to medium and add the mushrooms.

Saute for 3-5 minutes until the mushrooms have released their juices and they turn darker in color. Then add the wine

and cook for a minute or so til it reduces slightly. Then add the chicken broth.

Now use your spatula or wooden spoon to scrape up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan - that will help flavor the sauce.

Once the liquid has cooked down a bit, add the butter.

Stir to melt the butter, then return the chicken to the pan and let simmer in the sauce for a minute or two to warm the meat through.

Spoon the chicken onto a serving platter and cover with the mushrooms and sauce, then sprinkle with parsley. And feel relief that you know now where to buy marsala wine.

One year ago: Jamabalaya
Two years ago: Cherry Oatmeal Muffins
Three years ago: Vanilla Chip Cranberry Blondies

Get more great recipes at Cast Party Wednesday, What's Cooking Wednesday, Hearth and Soul, Whole Foods Wednesday, It's a Keeper, Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday, Food on Fridays, Friday Food, Foodie Friday (#2), Foodie Friday (#3).

Chicken Marsala

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup olive oil
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Put the chicken breasts side by side on a cutting board and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them; pound with a flat meat mallet, until they are about 1/4-inch thick. Put the flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. When the oil is nice and hot, dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess. Slip the cutlets into the pan and fry for 5 minutes on each side until golden, turning once – do this in batches if the pieces don't fit comfortably in the pan. Remove the chicken to a large platter in a single layer to keep warm.

Lower the heat to medium and add the mushrooms to the pan. Saute until they are nicely browned and their moisture has evaporated, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Pour the Marsala in the pan and boil down for a few seconds to cook out the alcohol. Add the chicken stock and simmer for a minute to reduce the sauce slightly, scraping the bottom of the pan to get up all the browned bits. Stir in the butter and return the chicken to the pan; simmer gently for 1 minute to heat the chicken through. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

Recipe Source: Adapted from the Food Network

Monday, May 28, 2012

Blueberry Chicken Salad

Now that we're having warmer weather (not consistently, but at least it's warm occasionally!) I like to have some lighter meals that are suitable for summer. Chicken Salad is one of those meals - and this version is colorful - with red pepper, celery and blueberries - as well as tantalizing to your tastebuds.

It comes together super quickly, and can be served over greens or in a croissant, pita or other bread like surface...

In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, green onion, red pepper

and celery. I like to have small pieces of celery, so I slice it lengthwise in quarters before slicing it crosswise.

For the dressing, in a small measuring cup, combine the yogurt, mayonnaise

lemon zest and salt. mix it up good, then add to the chicken mixture and stir it up til the chicken and vegetables are coated. Add the blueberries.

Gently fold the blueberries into the chicken mixture. Mound the salad on lettuce

or spoon into pita pockets or onto some other bread that you like.

Let the summer weather continue!

One year ago: Raspberry Chocolate Oat Bars
Two years ago: Coconut Macadamia Triangles
Three years ago: Toasted Almond Granola

Find more great ideas at Mix it Up Monday, Mop it up Monday, Mangia Monday, Mouthwatering Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, Tasty Tuesday (#2), Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday (#3), Tuesday Talent Show.

Blueberry Chicken Salad

2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
6 oz. plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. salt
8 cups mixed greens or pita pockets or croissants

Set aside a few blueberries for garnish. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, celery, red pepper and green onion. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the yogurt, lemon zest, mayonnaise and salt and mix well. Pour dressing over chicken mixture and stir well to combine. Gently fold in the remaining blueberries.

Serve the salad mounded on top of mixed greens and garnish with additional berries. (Alternatively, spoon into pita pockets or onto croissants.) Serves 4-5.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Banana Bread Pancakes

Two banana-centric postings in one week - I think it's clear that I love all things banana. These delicious pancakes would make a fabulous breakfast on any weekend, but especially a holiday weekend. Fit them into your meal planning and you won't be sorry!

Start by combining the milk, eggs, vanilla and mashed bananas

in a large measuring cup or batter bowl. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon,

nutmeg, baking powder, salt and brown sugar.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet,

and stir until combined and smooth. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. When it's hot, pour about 1/3 cup batter per pancake on the skillet.

Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the tops of the pancakes form bubbles.

Carefully flip the cakes over and cook for another 2 minutes.

Serve hot with butter and syrup!

One year ago: Banana Split Crepes
Two years ago: Almond Pear Coffee Cake
Three years ago: Fruited Pork and Veggie Kebabs

Find more great stuff at What's Cooking Wednesday, Cast Party Wednesday, It's a Keeper, Full Plate Thursday, Sweet Tooth Friday, Foodie Friday, Food on Fridays, Friday Food, Foodie Friday (#2).

Banana Bread Pancakes
2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
2 Tbsp. butter, melted

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add in milk and vanilla, stirring to combine. Add in mashed bananas and mix. Add in melted butter and stir until batter is somewhat smooth.

Heat a skillet or griddle on medium heat. Using a 1/3 cup measure, spoon batter into rounds and cook until bubbles form on top – about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for a minute or two more. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve hot with butter and syrup. Makes 12-16 pancakes.

Recipe Source: Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bananas Foster Souffle

It's my favorite Monday of the month again - Secret Recipe Club reveal day! I have a well-documented love of bananas, so it was easy for me to choose the recipe from NY City Eats. Lacy devised this delicious concoction giving all the flavors of bananas foster in an impressive souffle! Plus it gave me an excuse to pick up some cuter than cute mini ramekins at Marshall's -a win/win all around, wouldn't you say??

Start by preparing your ramekins - grease them well (I just used cooking spray) then dust with sugar on the bottoms and sides.

See, I told you they were cute! Place the dishes in the fridge until you need them later. (I found it easiest to keep them all on a small cookie sheet.)

Now, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and swish it around a little bit until it starts to brown. Add in the brown sugar

and 1 Tbsp. of the white sugar

and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is dark brown. This will take about 5 minutes. Then add the bananas

and stir until they're completely coated. Turn off the heat, then add the cinnamon, lemon juice and rum.

Now use your immersion blender to smooth out the mixture. A few small chunks are ok, but you want it pretty well pureed.

Let this mixture cool completely.

Then beat the egg whites until frothy; add the salt and cream of tartar and beat on high speed until soft peaks form, which will take at least 5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining 2 Tbsp. sugar, one tablespoon at a time, and continue to beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, several more minutes. (I really hope you have a stand mixer!)

Now gently fold half of the egg whites into the banana mixture.

Then add the rest of the egg whites and fold them in until they're all incorporated. It should look like this:

Now spoon the mixture into your prepared ramekins.

Bake the souffles for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. And don't open the oven!!! The souffles will puff up beautifully -

and then fall relatively soon after you take them out of the oven.

So serve immediately, and enjoy these delightful treats!

One year ago: Lemon Ricotta Blackberry Muffins
Two years ago: Easy Crab Cakes
Three years ago: Cashew Chicken

Find all the great Secret Recipe Club reveals below. For even more great ideas, visit Mangia Monday, Menu Monday, Mouthwatering Monday, Mop it Up Monday, Mix it Up Monday, Seasonal Inspirations, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, Tasty Tuesday (#2), Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesday (#3), A Little Birdie Told Me, Crazy Sweet Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Sweet Treats Thursday, Bake with Bizzy.

Bananas Foster Souffle

2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
1 1/2 ripe bananas, chopped into small pieces
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. gold rum
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
pinch of cream of tartar

Generously butter 3 6-ounce ramekins, and dust the bottom and sides of the dish lightly with sugar. Place in the refrigerator until needed.

Brown the butter in a saucepan, over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar and the brown sugar, stirring constantly until the mixture becomes a dark brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add the chopped bananas and stir until well coated.

Remove from the heat, then stir in the cinnamon, lemon juice, and rum. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add the salt and cream of tartar, and continue beating until soft peaks form. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until stiff peaks form about 5 minutes. With a rubber spatula, fold half of the egg whites into the banana mixture. Then fold in the remaining egg whites and mix well.

Fill each ramekin to just over the top, with a peak in the middle. Bake the souffles at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes, until brown on top and firm. Serve immediately!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Strawberry and Cream Danish

I needed to pull together a quick, yummy breakfast treat to take to a brunch recently. I knew I had some crescent rolls in the fridge, so I threw some delicious filling ingredients together and voila! A decadent, easy, quick and impressive danish, perfect for this month's Improv Challenge! Someday, I'd like to make the dough from scratch, but when time is of the essence, the packaged kind makes it convenient.

If you want, you could substitute blueberries, raspberries, or a combination for the filling. I used strawberries cause I had them on hand.

Start by making the fruit filling. Combine the sliced strawberries,

1/4 cup sugar,

cornstarch and water

in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until slightly thickened. You'll want to mash up the strawberries a little bit with your spoon. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, egg and remaining 1/4 cup sugar

and blend on medium speed until smooth and creamy.

Unroll the crescent rolls and place on two baking sheets. Press the dough together so that the seams are not apparent anymore. You'll still see the lines, but just make sure you don't see the pan!

Spread half of the cream cheese down the center of one crescent roll sheet.

Top with half of the strawberries.

With a sharp knife, cut 1-inch slits on each side of the crescent roll dough

then carefully lift the dough up on both sides to meet in the middle.

Now repeat the process with the other pan of dough.

When both danishes are complete, bake for 15-18 minutes or until the dough is golden brown.

While it cooks, make the icing by whisking together the powdered sugar, milk and almond extract.

Let the danishes cool on the pan for about 15 minutes, then drizzle

with the icing.

This is so beautiful

and so delicious.

Pour yourself a cup of coffee, tea, milk, water, or just stand at the counter and devour this.

But do share. You have plenty to share.

One year ago: Gingered Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Two years ago: Sweet Potato "Fries"
Three years ago: Apple Slaw

Find more great recipes at It's a Keeper, Full Plate Thursday, Bake with Bizzy, Sweet Treats Thursday, Foodie Friday, Food on Friday, Friday Food, Sweet Tooth Friday, Foodie Friday (#2), Foodie Friday (#3).

Strawberry and Cream Danish

2 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. water
2 packages refrigerated crescent rolls
1 - 8 oz. package reduced fat cream cheese (or regular)
1 egg
1/2 - 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1-2 Tbsp. milk

Combine strawberries, 1/4 cup sugar, cornstarch and water in a small saucepan and cook over medium low heat. Smash up the berries slightly while they cook, and cook until the mixture is thickened.

In a small mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese, remaining sugar and egg until smooth. Spread out the crescent rolls on two baking sheets and press the seams together.

Spread half the cream cheese down the center of one crescent roll sheet. Top with half the strawberry mixture. Using a sharp knife, cut 1-inch slits in the dough, then fold the dough strips over the filling. Repeat with the other crescent roll to make a second danish.

Bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes or until dough is golden brown. Cool on the pan for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the icing by whisking together the powdered sugar, almond extract and milk. Drizzle the icing over the danishes. Makes about 20 slices.

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