Blue Cheese Burgers

Blue Cheese Burgers.

Blue Cheese Burgers.

We have a wonderful burger restaurant in our town that we go to on occasion.  They grind their own beef mixture from grass-fed cattle, and it’s juicy and so flavorful.  Using this great beef they come up with some very interesting burgers with unique toppings.  One of my favorites is their blue cheese burger.  This is not your standard burger with blue cheese on top.  Instead it’s crumbled and added to the meat mixture.  When the burger is cooked, the cheese melts, adds its flavor to the other seasonings and makes this burger so moist and juicy that it runs down your fingers and into your hands.

Can't wait for the first bite.

Can’t wait for the first bite.

Licking your fingers is allowed because you don’t want to waste one drop of that deliciousness.  Well, I have been wanting to replicate this burger at home for some time now, and last weekend I did just that.  It may not be an exact copy, but close enough that I was more than satisfied with the result.  We cooked them on the grill, but they would be just as good cooked in a hot skillet on the stove-top.  I would recommend serving them on the best buns you can find.  A good burger deserves a sturdy roll to capture all that goodness.  This burger will definitely be “in your face”. 🙂

Even if you don’t like blue cheese one little bit, you will most likely enjoy these burgers, because there is no strong flavor of blue cheese, but the overall flavor is just perfect.  If you would like a more pronounced flavor of blue cheese, increase the amount that you put into the meat mixture.

An added benefit to adding the cheese to the beef is that you can use a leaner cut of ground beef and still get a moist and very flavorful burger.  These burgers can be served with your favorite toppings.  I served them with sliced tomatoes and lettuce, and a little mayo on the bun that had been toasted.  These have zoomed to the top of my list of favorite burgers.  In fact I have already made another batch to freeze.  It’s so easy to pull out the number you need for a meal, and they’re pan ready.  Just defrost, cook, and eat!!  Exactly what summertime calls for!

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BLUE CHEESE BURGERS

Yield;    makes 12 burgers

Ingredients:

Mixing up the beef mixture.

Mixing up the beef mixture.

  • 3 pounds lean ground beef
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh chives or green onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce, or more to your taste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon spicy mustard ( such as Gulden’s)
  • 12 French rolls or buns

Directions:

1.  In a large bowl, mix ground beef, blue cheese, chives, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, salt, and mustard.  Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

2.  Gently shape burger mixture into 12 ( 1/2-inch-thick) patties.

You will want to keep a few of these in your freezer.

You will want to keep a few of these in your freezer.

3.  Preheat an outdoor grill to high heat.  Oil the grill grate.  Grill patties 3 minutes/side for medium well; and 5 minutes/side for well done.  Serve on rolls, with toppings of choice.

Serve with fresh corn for a great summer meal.

Serve with fresh corn for a great summer meal.

 

SOURCE:    Carolyn’s Originals

 

 

Shrimp-Mango Stir-Fry

Shrimp-Mango Stir-Fry

Shrimp-Mango Stir-Fry

Every time I make an Asian-inspired meal from Cooking Light, I wonder if this will be the one that’s a bit off, the one that doesn’t quite come together.  And without fail we sit down to something fabulous, in a way I hadn’t ever considered before.   By now I should know better, the folks who design recipes at Cooking Light magazine seem to always get it right.

This one was no different.  It looks like a very simple shrimp stir-fry with noodles, and it is really, but mango?  with shrimp?  Yes, yes, and yes!  Add some sliced peppers and onion, plus ginger and I find it hard to describe the complexity and absolute deliciousness of this dish.  I swear it’s the ginger that brings it all together, so please don’t leave it out.

Shrimp-ly Delicious!

Shrimp-ly Delicious!

This recipe is meant to serve four, but two of us ate it all, with no regrets.  It’s that good!!

The other good thing about it is that it can be made quickly like most other stir-frys.  Slice, chop, measure and mix all the ingredients in advance and once you turn on the burner, cooking commences and it’s done in a flash.

SHRIMP-MANGO STIR-FRY

Yield:   serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 5 ounces uncooked rice noodles, or soba noodles

    A diverse mix of ingredients!

    A diverse mix of ingredients!

  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
  • 1 cup sliced yellow onion
  • 1 cup sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 cup cubed peeled ripe mango
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves
Slice, chop, measure and mix before starting to cook.

Slice, chop, measure and mix before starting to cook.

Directions:

1.  Prepare noodles according to package directions.  Drain.

2.  Combine 3 tablespoons water and next 4 ingredients (through cornstarch) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Set aside.

3.  Combine red pepper, black pepper, and shrimp in a medium bowl; toss to coat.

4.  Heat a wok or a large skillet over high heat.  Add  1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add shrimp mixture; cook 3 minutes or until shrimp are almost done, turning once.  Remove shrimp mixture from pan.IMG_7695

5.  Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add onion, bell  pepper, and ginger; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Return shrimp mixture and juice mixture to pan.

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Add mango; cook 1 minute or until liquid thickens slightly and shrimp are done.

Add mango last.

Add mango last.

 

Sprinkle with basil.  Serve over noodles.  (I mixed mine right in with the shrimp mixture.)

Sprinkle torn basil on top.

Sprinkle torn basil on top.

 

I can't believe we ate the whole thing!!

I can’t believe we ate the whole thing!!

 

SOURCE:  Cooking Light Magazine

Glazed Salmon with Couscous

Glazed Salmon and Couscous

Glazed Salmon and Couscous

Let’s go fishing!   I’ll bring the fishing poles if you’ll bring your boat.  I’ll pack a picnic lunch and some cold drinks,  and enough insect repellent to take care of any bugs within miles.  Oh, yeah, bait!  Would you stop on your way to the river and pick some up? Oh, and be sure to bring your camera.  We have to get some pics of our catch to post on F.B.

That reminds me—Do you know how to bait the hook?    Oh, me neither.   Well, I guess we’ll need to find someone to help us with that.   On second thought,  why don’t we just go shopping instead and stop by the local fish market for a nice piece of salmon on our way home.  Sounds like a plan to me 🙂

When we get home it will only take a few minutes to get dinner ready because the salmon is so easy to prepare with this recipe.

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GLAZED SALMON

Yield:  Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1  1/4 cups water
  • 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 cup uncooked couscous  (In my version, I used the larger size pearl couscous, and followed cooking time on the package.)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

    Whole-grain mustard and chopped shallots.

    Whole-grain mustard and chopped shallots.

  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, about 1 inch thick
  • cooking spray

Directions:

1.  Preheat the broiler.  Line a jelly-roll pan with foil, and coat with cooking spray.

2.  Bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Stir in 1/8 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. pepper, and couscous; cover.  Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes.  Stir in dill, rind, and juice.  (If using Israeli or pearl couscous, following cooking directions on package.)

3.  Heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add olive oil and butter; swirl until butter melts.  Add shallots; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add wine to pan; bring to a boil.  cook 2 minutes;  stir in mustard and brown sugar.  Remove pan from heat.

Sautéing the shallots.

Sautéing the shallots.

4.  Arrange salmon fillets, skin sides down on the prepared jelly-roll pan.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 tsp, salt and remaining 1/4 tsp. pepper.  Spread half of mustard mixture evenly over fillets.  Broil 6 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.  Spread remaining half of mustard mixture over fillets.  Serve salmon with couscous.

You can round out this meal nicely with the addition of a green vegetable such as haricots verts, or asparagus.

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Tortellini and Broccoli Salad

Tortellini and Broccoli Salad with Bacon

Tortellini and Broccoli Salad with Bacon

There’s a certain kind of math that goes on in my head every time I stare into my refrigerator and try to decide what to make for dinner.

It goes something like this:  6 eggs,  1/2 bag of cheese tortellini, part of a head of broccoli, 1 stick of butter, some leftover chicken soup, a block of cream cheese, 4 slices of bacon, and  half a loaf of Italian bread.

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There’s also a strange correlation at work–the less time I have and the hungrier I am, the harder it is to process all this math.  Let’s see, if  I scramble the eggs and mix them with warm garlicy broccoli, and sprinkle toasted bread crumbs over the top, would that work?

Oh, wait–how about if I cook the tortellini, mix it with broccoli, and treat the mixture like macaroni salad with a mayonnaise dressing.   Top if off with a sprinkle of bacon?    Yes, now is there enough mayonnaise?   Do I have a lemon?   And what’s this?—one romaine heart hiding at the back of the crisper drawer!   Perfect, I’ll serve the salad on a bed of romaine.  Whew!  That was a tough one.

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I’m wishing you the same kind of success when this happens to you. 🙂

TORTELLINI AND BROCCOLI SALADIMG_7632

Yield:   Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 8 0z. refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Romaine lettuce or spring greens mix
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled (vegetarians can omit bacon)

Directions:

1.  Cook tortellini according to package directions.  Add broccoli florets in the last 5 minutes of cooking time.   Drain, and rinse with cold water to stop cooking action.  Transfer to a mixing bowl.

2.  In a small bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients, i.e.. mayonnaise through salt.  Pour this over the tortellini and broccoli, and mix well to coat evenly.

3.  On a large platter or serving dish, arrange the salad greens,  Spoon the tortellini salad on top.   Sprinkle with crumbled bacon and serve.

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This salad is good slightly warm or at room temperature, or thoroughly chilled.  Try it on a warm day when you want a quick, cold meal.

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SOURCE:   Another of my own creations!

Linguine, with Garlicky Kale and White Beans

 

Linguine with Kale and White Beans

Linguine with Kale and White Beans

This dish gets its flavor from lots of garlic.  Ya gotta love garlic!!  It makes the most bitter greens taste divine.  As it cooks and becomes sweeter, so do the greens lose their bitterness, and become silky and tender.  Pasta, greens and beans—typically an Italian-style meal.  All you need to think you’d “died and gone to heaven” is some Parmesan cheese dusted over the top, some crusty, toasted bread and a glass of white wine.  SIGH!

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Extremely easy to make with only five ingredients, and taking only about 30 minutes to prepare, this is a dish to put on the table when you’re in a hurry, but you want your family to be well fed on a healthy meal.  I used fresh leaf kale in my preparation, but you could speed up the process by using packaged prechopped kale, found in the produce department of most supermarkets.  Other than the kale, you probably have everything else to prepare this dish already in your cupboard.

I like the fact that only 1/2 pound of pasta makes 4 generous servings, because of the addition of the healthy kale and beans.  Calories are low/serving (381);  and the whole nutritional profile of this dish is impressive:  Fat, 11.8 g;  Protein, 13 g;  Carb, 58 g;  Fiber, 5 g; Cholesterol, O g; Iron, 4 mg;  Sodium, 34 mg.;  Calcium, 121 mg.

LINGUINE WITH GARLICKY KALE AND WHITE BEANS

Yield:   Makes 4 servings of about 1 3/4 cups  (calories:  381)IMG_7334

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces uncooked linguine
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh garlic
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 cups chopped kale (about 8 oz.)
  • 1 ( 15-ounce) can unsalted cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • grated Parmesan cheese at the table (optional)

Directions:

1.  Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.  Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

2.  Heat oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat.  When garlic begins to sizzle, add 1/2 cup water and the kale;  cover and cook 5 minutes or until kale is tender, stirring occasionally.

Cook the kale with garlic and a little water.

Cook the kale with garlic and a little water.

3.  Add beans, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and salt; cook 1 minute or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

Add beans and cook to warm through.

Add beans and cook to warm through.

Add drained pasta and 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid to pan;  toss to coat.  Add the remaining cooking liquid if needed to liquify further.  Transfer to serving bowl and sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper over the pasta.  Serve immediately with grated Parmesan if desired.

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SOURCE:   Cooking Light

 

 

Broccoli Mac and Cheese with Bacon

Broccoli Mac and Cheese with Bacon

Broccoli Mac and Cheese with Bacon

Comfort Foods!  Just those two words bring to mind certain foods that we grew up with, or crave at one time or another.  Maybe you’ve had a bad day, and just want a familiar meal that you know you love.  Perhaps it’s mid-winter, freezing cold, and you want something to eat that feels like being wrapped up in a warm quilt.  Or you just broke up with your boyfriend, best friend, or had to have a pet “put to sleep”.  You want food that will make you feel better, if that’s possible.  Food that gives you comfort is naturally called “comfort food”.

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Well, here’s a question that I’ve been pondering;  do you crave comfort foods in hot weather?  Aren’t comfort foods warm foods that give you a “warm fuzzy”?  I can’t think of any cold foods that do that, and in hot weather don’t we usually want cold foods to cool us off, so where do comfort foods fit in?

That is the dilemma I faced last week.  The weekend had served up warm, sunny days in the mid to high 80’s.  It was hot, we ate salads!   Come Monday, the temperature is in the 60’s, and its raining, cold and damp outside.  Then I go for my dance lesson, where every move I make gets corrected, and I can’t seem to do anything right.  (That’s an exaggeration, but it felt that way).  And to top it all off, I forgot to take something out of the freezer for dinner.  Does this day qualify for a comfort meal?  I thought it did.

This recipe for a variation on Mac and Cheese is my solution to wanting, no needing, something comforting to eat, but little time to prepare it, so let’s call this “Quick Comfort Broccoli Mac and Cheese with Bacon”.  Even though the calendar tells us it’s late spring or early summer, this dish was perfect for my needs.  And Mr. D.  loved it too, saying it was fabulous, and “hit the spot”.

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Note:  included here is a trick I learned at one time:  a little bit of turmeric enhances the color, making you perceive the sauce as cheesier than it actually is.  It adds no additional flavor of its own, it’s only there for color, so if it’s not in your cupboard, just omit it and use a yellow cheddar cheese.

BROCCOLI MAC AND CHEESE WITH BACON

Yield:  Serves 4IMG_7492

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces uncooked large or regular elbow macaroni
  • 3 cups prechopped broccoli florets
  • 3 bacon slices, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)
  • 1 cup 1 % low-fat milk
  • 1 jar Alfredo Sauce with cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:

1.  Cook pasta according to package directions, adding a little salt to the water.  Add broccoli to pan during last 2 minutes of cooking.  Drain.

Add broccoli to end of pasta cooking time.

Add broccoli to end of pasta cooking time.

2.  While pasta cooks, place bacon in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat;  cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally.  Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon.  Reserve 1 1/2 teaspoons drippings in the pan.  Add chopped garlic and the turmeric, if using.  Cook 1 minute, stirring throughout.

3.  Combine the milk with the Alfredo sauce, stirring with a whisk to blend well. Add to skillet with garlic, and mix together.  Bring to a simmer, and add 3/4 cup shredded cheese.  Stir to melt and blend in the cheese, stir in half the bacon.  Taste sauce and add salt and pepper if needed.

Making the cheese sauce with Alfredo sauce.

Making the cheese sauce with Alfredo sauce.

4.  Add the drained pasta and broccoli,  toss to coat.  Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese and remaining bacon over the top.

Add macaroni and broccoli to cheese.

Add macaroni and broccoli to cheese sauce.

Preheat the broiler to high.   Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts and just begins to brown.  If time allows,  this dish could be baked for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the top a little browned.

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Broccoli Mac and Cheese served with a salad.

Broccoli Mac and Cheese served with a salad.

 

SOURCE:   a Carolyn’s Originals

 

 

Orange Beef and Broccoli

Orange Beef and Broccoli

Orange Beef and Broccoli

On rare occasions we like to order Chinese take-out, and one of our favorite dishes is beef and broccoli.  The rice comes separate and I can limit or not take any rice if I choose not to, so I feel this is probably one of the healthier entrees that is available.

With this recipe I’m woking (pun intended) a little on the wild side, because I haven’t attempted to make this dish before now.  I don’t own a wok as the recipe suggests using, but any large heavy skillet will do fine.  The most time consuming aspect of the recipe is preparing the ingredients.  Have everything chopped, sliced, measured and ready to go before you start cooking, because once you turn on the heat, the cooking goes quickly.

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Orange rind and five-spice powder flavor the dish with sweet notes that are countered by a hit of red pepper’s heat.  Decrease the pepper for anyone who would prefer to walk on the mild side.  Serve rice on the side.

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I’m really enjoying using the asian seasonings I’ve acquired and now making use of.  They provide salty, sweet, sour, and spicy flavors.   Some essential basic ingredients that you might consider for your pantry are:  Siracha, a spicy chile sauce that saves you the time of working with fresh chiles;  brown sugar, an easy way to add instant caramel notes and some sweetness; lower-sodium soy sauce that provides deep umami notes;  dark sesame oil, intensely tasty oil that coats food with savory richness;  and rice vinegar, more mellow than most vinegars, only a splash brings flavors into balance.

Some basic seasonings for asian cooking.

Some basic seasonings for asian cooking.

ORANGE BEEF AND BROCCOLIIMG_7299

Yield:    serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound flank steak, trimmed  ( I used a strip steak)
  • 3/4 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
  • 2 cups small broccoli florets
  • 1  1/2 cups vertically sliced onion
  • 8 (1-inch) strips orange rindIMG_7301
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup unsalted beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lower-sodium so sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions (garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (garnish)
  • 1 package precooked white rice such as Uncle Ben’s

Directions:

1.  Sprinkle steak evenly with five-spice powder, black pepper and salt.   Heat a large wok or skillet over high heat.  Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil to the pan; swirl to coat.  Add steak;  cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned.  Remove steak from pan; let stand 5 minutes.  Cut steak across grain into thin slices.

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2.  Return pan to high heat.  Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, swirl.  Add broccoli, onion, rind, and garlic; stir-fry 3 minutes or until lightly browned.

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Combine broth and next 6 ingredients (through red pepper) in a bowl stirring with a whisk.  Add stock mixture to pan; cook 1 minute or until slightly thickened.

3.  To serve, spoon some rice onto a plate, top with 3/4 cup broccoli mixture and 3 ounces beef.  Sprinkle evenly with green onions and sesame seeds.

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SOURCE:   Cooking Light

 

Bacon-Cheddar Chicken Tenders

Bacon-Cheddar Chicken Tenders

Bacon-Cheddar Chicken Tenders

Kids love chicken nuggets or chicken tenders, but how about adults?  Do you love them, too?  I know I do, yet I hardly ever think to make them.   With the laid-back holiday weekend just past, I wasn’t doing any heavy-duty cooking.   I just wanted to eat foods that were easy, and able to lend themselves to a picnic on the back porch.   No fancy serving dishes, or china plates with this meal.

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So with a package of boneless chicken breasts on hand,  I cut them into “fingers” and came up with this way of cooking them in the oven that resulted in crispy cheesy chicken dippers that were so easy to make and seriously delicious to eat.  These are friendly to kids and adults alike.  They can be used for snacking or as the basis for a whole meal, as I did here.  They were served with my mashed potato salad, celery and carrot sticks and ranch dressing to dip them in.  Mr. D. thought they were wonderful, and claimed the left-overs for his lunch this week.   What was the perfect dessert with this meal?   Brownie sundaes, of course 🙂

BACON-CHEDDAR CHICKEN TENDERS

Yield:   4 servings

Ingredients:

Line up pans in the order chicken will be dipped.

Line up pans in the order chicken will be dipped.

  • non-stick pan spray
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup plain panko crispy bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese, about 2 oz.
  • 1 (3-0z.) jar cooked real bacon bits
  • 1 pkg. uncooked chicken tenders, or skinless, boneless breasts, cut into strips
  • Ranch dressing for dipping, or make a chive and sour cream sauce, or
  • For sauce with a kick to it, try equal amounts mayo and sour cream plus add some sriracha sauce to it.

Directions:

1.  Heat oven to 400*F.  Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray.

2.  In a shallow foil pan or bowl, place the flour;  in another similar pan or bowl, place the egg.  With a wire whisk, lightly beat the egg with 1-2 teaspoons of water.

3.  In another deeper container, place the panko crumbs, cheese and bacon bits.

Panko, bacon, cheese mixure.

Panko, bacon, cheese mixure.

Dip the chicken first into the flour to coat, then the egg, and then into the crumb mixture, turning to cover all sides.  Place chicken on the cookie sheet.

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4.  Bake 15 – 20 minutes, turning once, until chicken is no longer pink in center and bread crumbs are golden brown.  Serve with dipping sauce.

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SOURCE:  A major adaptation of a recipe from Pillsbury

Greek-Style Chicken Breasts

Greek-Style Chicken Breasts

Greek-Style Chicken Breasts

Do you like to buy olives from the olive bar in the supermarket?  I love them, and frequently buy an assortment to have on hand.  I like to include olives in a mixed green salad, or add them to the salads I prepare for our lunches.  As luck would have it,  I had just returned from my grocery shopping on the very day that I came across this recipe for Greek-Style Chicken that called for kalamata olives.  With the olives on hand I knew I had everything necessary to prepare this fantastic entree.

Grilled Chicken goes Greek!

Grilled Chicken goes Greek!

Besides being very tasty, this meal can be prepared in just about 30 minutes.  The recipe as it was printed contained a recipe for herbed potatoes, and when I cooked the chicken, I prepared the herbed potatoes as well.  So I’m including them here for you also.  This meal goes together so easily and is really good.  I would not hesitate to serve this to guests, who would think you spent longer on its preparation than you actually did.  Many of you may be grilling now that summer has officially arrived, and the chicken would be lovely cooked out on the grill, then topped with the onion-tomato-olive mixture.

GREEK-STYLE CHICKEN BREASTS

Yield:   Serves 4

Ingredients:IMG_7168

  • 4  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1  1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1  3/4 cups vertically sliced onion
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 12 – 14 pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, halved and sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano  (or 3/4 tsp. dried)
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
Tomatoes and olives ready for the pan.

Tomatoes and olives ready for the pan.

Directions:

1.  Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.  Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done.

Grilling the chicken

Grilling the chicken

2.  Heat a large skillet per medium-high heat.  Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add onion and garlic, sauté 4 minutes.

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Add olives and tomatoes;  cook 3 minutes or until tomato begins to break down, stirring occasionally.

 

This smells fantastic!!

This smells fantastic!!

Remove pan from heat; stir in parsley, oregano and lemon juice.  Top chicken with tomato and olive mixture; sprinkle feta evenly over chicken.

Spoon sauce over chicken and sprinkle with feta cheese.

Spoon sauce over chicken and sprinkle with feta cheese.

 

HERBED POTATOES

Place  1 1/4 pounds baby gold potatoes – or medium yukon gold potatoes, quartered – in a large saucepan.  Cover with water and cook 14 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain.

Combine 1 tablespoon melted butter, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl, storing with a whisk.  Add potatoes and toss to coat.  Garnish with parsley or oregano leaves, if desired.

If you have extra time you can roast rather than boil the potatoes.  Toss them in the vinaigrette mixture, and bake at 400*F for 30 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes.  This is what I did to get the version you see below.

Oven Roasted Potatoes

Oven Roasted Potatoes

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SOURCE:   Cooking Light

Baked Gnocchi with Chicken

Baked Gnocchi with Chicken

Baked Gnocchi with Chicken

Rotisserie chickens are so useful when you want to cook a dish requiring cooked chicken.  Whenever I buy a rotisserie chicken we always have the first meal from it as you would any roast chicken with appropriate side dishes and/or salad.  But the amount of cooked chicken that is left is a sizable quantity–I can usually get two more meals from it.  (Remember there are just two of us here.)  So that gives me plenty of opportunity to search out recipes that use cooked chicken in them.

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Besides making good use of the rotisserie chicken, this recipe also includes gnocchi, those little Italian potato dumplings that I’ve already introduced you to here.  It also includes fresh baby spinach and mushrooms in a very light cream sauce. The casserole is baked and then briefly run under the broiler, so the Parmesan cheese on top gets browned and crusty. As you can see by what’s left, we loved it!

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BAKED GNOCCHI AND CHICKEN

Yield:   Makes 4 servings

Chicken, gnocchi, spinach and mushrooms in a light cream sauce with cheese.

Chicken, gnocchi, spinach and mushrooms in a light cream sauce with cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1  1/2 cups whole milk ( I used 2% milk.  The added fat in the milk helps to thicken the sauce.)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 rotisserie chicken, skin removed, meat cut into small pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1  (16-oz) package potato gnocchi
  • 1  1/2 cups loosely packed baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)

Directions:

1.  Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425*F.

2.  Heat the olive oil in a deep ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.  Transfer to a plate, and reuse the skillet.

Browning the mushrooms.

Browning the mushrooms.

3.  Melt the butter in the skillet over low heat; add the flour and cook, whisking, 3 minutes.  Whisk in the milk and chicken broth until smooth; simmer, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.  Whisk in 1/2 teaspoon salt and the nutmeg.

Making the sauce .

Making the sauce .

4.  Add the chicken, mushrooms, gnocchi and spinach to the sauce and stir until coated and the spinach wilts.

Add chicken and gnocchi.

Add chicken and gnocchi.

Stir in the spinach.

Stir in the spinach.

Sprinkle with the parmesan, transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes.  Turn on the broiler; broil until lightly browned on top, about 3 more minutes.

The cheese topping gets browned and crispy,

The cheese topping gets browned and crispy,

Make a salad to go with it and you've got a meal.

Make a salad to go with it and you’ve got a meal.

SOURCE:   Food Network Magazine