Friday, February 12, 2016

Maine Lobster Stew


It was the summer of 1992 and I had just graduated high school when my best friend asked me to go to Maine with her. She wanted to visit a guy she liked who had recently moved. I wasn't all that excited about it, to be honest. I knew we would have a great time together, but I was really only going along so she could see her crush. As it turns out, my dad had a business trip planned to Boston for later in the summer, so we all went there for a few days of sight-seeing and Red Sox baseball before my friend and I took the short bus trip up to Portland, Maine.

When we got there we met up with her friend who took us to his fraternity house where we would be staying for a few days. It was summer so most of the guys weren't there, and that's probably why my parents let me go!! It was pretty quiet so my friend and I were just sitting out front when all of the sudden this little red car came screaming down the street and into the driveway - windows down, music blaring, and a cute guy driving. I soon found out that his name was Jon and he had a strong Maine accent and used words like "wicked" and "pissah." I was immediately smitten. And get this - not even 24 hours later I told my friend that this guy was the guy I was going to marry.

Fast forward almost 24 years and here we are... married almost 13 years with this adorable little five and a half year old who has so much energy, personality, will try anything, and has no fear. And as for my husband, he still has that awesome Maine accent. 


So it should come as no surprise that my husband loves lobster. I love hearing his stories of having lobster races with his brother when they were kids before his mom would drop the lobsters into a pot of boiling water. Lobster was a part of life, not a luxury purchase, so to this day, he can't believe how expensive lobsters can get down here in PA. He was so used to getting cheap, fresh lobster whenever he wanted.

Several times when my father-in-law would come for a visit, he would bring us cooked lobster meat packed in dry ice. We made things like lobster rolls, lobster omelets and pasta with lobster. But for years my husband talked about his desire to make lobster stew. One night we were talking about our Christmas dinner menu ideas and he immediately said he wanted to make lobster stew.

I quickly learned that lobster stew doesn't have any meat or veggies - it is simply lobster meat in a warm cream base. But the way the stew base is created is what makes it so special. The word "stew" in lobster stew is more like a verb than a noun.

For weeks he researched recipes, analyzed them, pointed out what he liked and didn't like, until he found the most authentic recipe that reminded him of the lobster stew he used to eat in Maine. Then came the search for the perfect Maine lobsters. He visited a few seafood stores before deciding on one and placing his order.



The cooking of this lobster stew became a major spectator event in our house that would last for 2 days. My husband had his game face on and we were all so excited to watch this come together. Every step, beginning with my father-in-law walking in with his large lobster pot that traveled all the way from Maine and my husband bringing home the lobsters to watching him ladle the finished product into bowls brought oohs and aahs. And you should have heard everyone when he brought the perfectly plated bowls to the table!


There were a lot of steps to making this stew. First he had to cook the lobsters. Once they chilled in ice water, he was able to tear off the tails and claws and then remove all of the meat from the claws and tails.

He wants me to note here that a lobster has 2 claws, a crusher claw and a ripper claw. The crusher claw has molar looking teeth and is bigger and more rounded, while the ripper claw is longer and skinnier and has smaller, spiny teeth. He decided to chop the crusher claw meat and leave the ripper claw whole. That's what you see in the picture of the bowl of stew - everyone was able to get a full ripper claw in their stew.



So once the meat is removed, he cooked the lobster bodies in butter, sherry, milk, and cream. This would become the base for the stew. This lobster body and milk mixture then sat in the fridge overnight.


The next day, he removed the bodies, strained the milk mixture and slowly reheated it. The lobster meat was cooked in butter before adding it to the liquid.



After adjusting seasoning and adding lemon juice, the stew was done. He took his time perfectly spooning the stew into our bowls, making sure that everyone had a lot of meat and one full ripper claw. Isn't that an impressive looking bowl of yum???


It was almost too pretty to eat. I couldn't stop taking pictures of it!

This was my first experience with lobster stew. Actually, the only 2 people at the table who had ever had the opportunity to enjoy lobster stew were the 2 Mainers - my husband and father-in-law. Everyone else at the table couldn't stop thanking my husband enough for making this, that is in between "mmmms" and other compliments to the chef, of course.

I found the broth to be rich, velvety and savory while sweet from the lobster, with a bit of nutty, almost oakiness from the sherry.




This stew really isn't difficult to make - all of the steps are simple. It is time consuming, though, and you need to be patient while removing all of the meat from the lobsters. But other than that, if you follow the steps and take your time, I think that any home cook could master this one. And with Valentine's day falling on a weekend this year, it might just be the perfect time to try it. What's more romantic than lobster?


Lobster Stew
Source: Lydia Shire, as seen on Portland Monthly
 (the only change Jon made to this recipe was to use 5 one-and-a-half pound lobsters instead of 6 one-pound lobsters)

Ingredients

  • 5 each 1.5lb Maine lobsters
  • As needed, salt
  • 12 Tbsp butter (separated, 8 Tbsp and 4 Tbsp)
  • 1 cup medium or dry sherry
  • 6 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 pinch cayenne 
  • 1-2 pinches paprika
  • To taste, salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 sprigs parsley, leaves only, cut into strips
Directions, Day 1
  • Bring a very large pot of salted water to a boil
  • Plunge the lobsters into the boiling water and boil until just cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice-water to prevent them from cooking any longer, keeping them submerged until completely cool.
  • Drain the lobsters and separate the tails from the bodies, setting the bodies aside. Crack the shells and remove all of the meat from the tails and claws (keep the ripper claw meat whole for beautiful presentation!!).  Chop the meat into large chunks (again, except that ripper claw); cover and store in the fridge until day 2. 
  • Melt 8 Tbsp butter in a large heavy bottomed pot (he used our Dutch Oven) over medium-high heat. Add the lobster bodies and tail shells and cook, stirring often, until the shells turn a deep red, 5-8 minutes.
  • Add sherry and boil for 2 minutes, and then add the milk and cream and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until milk and cream reduce by one-quarter and thickens slightly, 20-25 minutes. Add cayenne, paprika, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove pot from the heat and set aside to cool. Once cool, cover and refrigerate overnight. 
Directions, Day 2
  • Strain the milk mixture into another medium pot, discarding the bodies and solids, and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. (My husband notes that the next time he makes this he will heat the mixture just a touch before straining in order to soften any of the fats to save them from being discarded). 
  • Meanwhile melt 4 Tbsp butter in a large skillet. Add the lobster meat and heat until warmed through, 3-5 minutes, and then transfer the meat to the pot with the milk mixture. 
  • Add lemon juice and adjust seasonings. 
  • Divide stew between 6 bowls (this made more like 8 servings) and garnish with parsley. 

We served the stew with homemade no-knead crusty bread which was perfect for sopping up the broth. Our second course was jumbo lump crabcakes with roasted garlic smashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. 





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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with a Garlic Aioli


With Valentine's Day coming, I thought this would be the perfect time to share this recipe - Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes.

Cooking at home can be so much fun together, and can also help you keep your money in your wallet. These cakes are much easier than you may think and turned out to be about $3/each - much better than the $22-$35 you can pay at a nice restaurant. So I say cook at home, take the savings and put them towards a nice bottle of wine.

I love jumbo lump crab meat and often order crab cocktail at a good restaurant. If that isn't on the menu, I'll go for crab cakes, and in my opinion, the best crab cakes are full of lump crab meat with little to no filling. I had crabcakes at McCormick and Schmick's in Atlantic City, NJ a few months ago that were seriously all crab meat, no filling. I don't know how they held up but they did, and they were fabulous.



After that dinner out, Jon and I started discussed our plans for Christmas Dinner. He decided he wanted to make Lobster Stew (keep your eyes open - that post is coming soon!!), so I thought a seafood feast would be perfect, with jumbo shrimp cocktail as the appetizer course, lobster stew as the soup course, a green salad, and jumbo lump crab cakes with garlic smashed potatoes and roasted asparagus as the main course. Oh, and then there was dessert - my dad's pumpkin cheesecake and cookies. Can you say food coma?! So worth it though! 

Ok - back to the crab cakes. While Jon went in search of the perfect stew recipe, I consulted my dad for his favorite crab cake recipe. Turns out he uses the Legal Seafoods recipe, so that is what I used.

These were ridiculously easy to make. I bought 2 containers of the jumbo lump crab meat at Costco and made 20 cakes. That was double what I needed to serve everyone at Christmas dinner, so I was happy to find out that they reheated perfectly in the oven the next day. 

I made a garlic aioli to serve with the cakes - savory, creamy, and bright. I could have eaten the aioli on its own.
Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes
Source: The Legal Sea Foods Cookbook
The recipe below uses 12 oz crab meat and will make 4 crab cakes. I used 2 large containers from Costco (22 oz ea, I believe), adjusted the other ingredients accordingly, and made 20 cakes.
Ingredients (for 4 crab cakes)
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 c plus 1 tsp mayonnaise
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Worcestershire sauce to taste
  • Good dash hot pepper sauce such as Tabasco
  • Old Bay Seasoning to taste
  • 12 oz fresh lump crab meat
  • 1/2 c fine-crushed saltine crackers
Directions
  • In a large bowl mix together the dry mustard, horseradish, Dijon, mayonnaise, egg, Worcestershire, Tabasco, and Old Bay
  • Gently stir in the crab meat and crackers
  • Cover bowl and place in the fridge for an hour. 
  • Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray; preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Divide the crab mixture into 4 portions and shape into patties. Place on the sheet. 
  • Bake in the center of your oven 20-30 minutes, until nicely browned. 

Garlic Aioli
  • 3/4 c mayonnaise
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or mashed into a paste
  • 1 green onion, minced
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
  • A few grates of the lemon rind
  • Kosher salt, to taste
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Chill before serving. 
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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Creamy Chicken Chili



A few weeks ago my friend Sarah posted a recipe for Creamy Chicken Chili and I immediately knew I had to make it. I have a Chicken Chili recipe that I make and really enjoy - it is full of different kinds of peppers, tomatillos and beans - but something about turning that into a creamy dish sounded so, so good.


I read through the recipe and decided to rewrite it a bit. While I have used canned chilies, I prefer fresh. I also decided to roast half of the chilies for a deeper flavor.

Instead of chunks of chicken, I decided to go with shredded. Additionally, I mashed half of the beans to add to the creamy texture which let me cut back on the amount of cream and sour cream I used. I adjusted the spices to our liking, as well.

This chili is completely different from my chicken chili, and it's not just the cream. This one was smokier and had deeper flavors and textures. While I still really love my original recipe, I loved a lot about this one too and honestly don't know which I prefer! So I'll just say that I'm really happy that I now have 2 great chicken chili recipes to choose from, and I have a feeling I'm going to have to flip a coin to choose between the two the next time I want chicken chili!

Creamy Chicken Chili
Adapted from: A Taste of Home Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thirds
  • 1/4 tsp each salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper
  • 1 sm onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Poblano pepper, cut in half (seeds removed if you don't want it to be too spicy). Half chopped, the other half kept in one piece for roasting.
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper, cut in half (again, seeds removed if you don't want it to be too spicy). Half chopped, the other half kept in one piece for roasting.
  • 1 can Great Northern or Canellini beans (the original recipe calls for 2 cans - this is your preference)
  • 14.5 oz low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 c light cream
  • 1/2 c light sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Handful of cilantro
  • Grated Monterrey Jack cheese for serving
  • Optional for serving: tortilla chips, rice, quinoa
Directions
  • Place the half Poblano and half jalapeno over an open flame (I do this on the grate of my gas stove; in the warm weather I would use my grill). Keep on the flame until the skin is completely charred. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic. Let sit for 10 minutes. Remove from the bowl and peel off the skin. Chop and set aside.
  • Season the chicken with the salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and cayenne.
  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook 2-3 minutes per side, letting it get nicely browned.
  • Add the onions and garlic; saute 2 minutes.
  • Add all of the chopped peppers (roasted and raw); stir.
  • Move everything to the outside edges of your pot and add half of the beans. Using a handheld potato masher or back of a large fork, roughly mash the beans. 
  • Add the rest of the beans and the broth; bring to a simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. 
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and shred it with 2 forks or in your stand mixer. Return the chicken to the pot and stir. 
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the cream and sour cream. 
  • Return the pot to the stove over low heat and adjust salt if needed. Stir in about 2 Tbsp of the chopped cilantro. 
  • Serve topped with cheese and cilantro over rice or quinoa, or with tortilla chips.
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Monday, February 1, 2016

Easy Beef Enchiladas


My go-to enchilada recipe gets rave reviews. I have been making it for years (wow - I posted the recipe in 2007, my first year of blogging) and still haven't tired of it. But every time I make it I think about all that cream cheese and cheese... there has to be a healthier way.


That's when I found this Skinny Mom recipe for easy beef enchiladas. Unlike my enchilada filling, this one is straight forward - beef, peppers, onions, and no cheese. There is enough cheese on the outside that you don't miss it.

You can use canned enchilada sauce or try this easy homemade enchilada sauce. To bulk it up, add some more veggies, like chopped broccoli, spinach, or corn. Serve them with these easy homemade refried beans or some sauteed corn and peppers.



Easy Beef Enchiladas
Adapted from: Skinny Mom

Ingredients


  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/4 tsp each chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 green onion, diced (instead of canned green chiles
  • 2 Tbsp of your favorite salsa
  • 1 10 oz can red enchilada sauce (or homemade sauce)
  • 3/4 c Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • 8 flour tortillas (cut off the ends so they aren't rounded at either end, but straight to fit nicely into the dish)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  • Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over high heat
  • Add the beef and cook, chopping into smaller pieces with a spatula, until almost browned
  • Add the onions, pepper, and spices. Saute until cooked through
  • Mix 2 Tbsp of salsa and 2 Tbsp of the cheese into the beef mixture
  • Put a small layer of enchilada sauce in your baking dish
  • Spoon the meat mixture (one large scoop each) onto the center of a tortilla; roll and place seam side down in the baking dish
  • Repeat with remaining tortillas
  • Coat the tortillas with the enchilada sauce and sprinkle with the remaining cheese
  • Bake until hot and bubbly, approximately 20 minutes
  • Sprinkle with the green onions and serve



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Saturday, January 30, 2016

On the Menu - Week of 1/30/16

When I was meal planning this week, I tried to focus on making dual use of ingredients. One dish I had in mind called for some cilantro, so I found another dish to make that also uses cilantro so it doesn't go to waste.

Not only do I try to plan based on ingredients, I also like repurposing leftovers. My husband isn't a big fan of straight leftovers unless it is chili, meatloaf, or stew. So I'm always trying to get creative with mhy leftovers. Some examples -
 - Roasted or grilled pork tenderloin can become these Chinese Pork and Mushroom Wraps
 - Any type of risotto can become Arancini, risotto balls
 - Make extra rice one night and use it for Fried Rice another night
 - Leftover mashed potatoes can be used to make Potato Pancakes or Shepherd's Pie
 - Leftover cooked chicken can be used in a variety of soups or casseroles
 - And of course, meatballs make great Meatball Subs!

So when you are planning, think about how you can cook extra of a side to make it into something else later in the week, or how you can repurpose your main dish into something else. I hope this tip will help you with your meal planning!

Now here is our menu for the week -

Saturday: Meatloaf, Scalloped Potatoes and roasted broccoli

Sunday: Leftovers!

Monday: Creamy Chicken Chili - a new dish I'm trying based on a friend's recomendation

Tuesday: Leftovers. I may make some taquitos or enchiladas out of the leftovers depending on how the dish turns out

Wednesday: Breaded Pork Chops, buttered noodles and a veg

Thursday: Chicken Parm, spaghetti, and salads

Friday: Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers - I have been carrying these over for a while and hope I can finally make them this week.

Soup for the week - something with Quinoa and cilantro, using up ingredients from the Creamy Chicken Chili

Happy Cooking!

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Escarole & White Bean Soup


When I was buying the escarole for this soup recipe I realized that I had never cooked with it before. It's not a green I would think of to just saute with dinner, and I have mostly seen it used in soups and salad mixes. I knew what sort of flavor to expect, so I was looking forward to using it in this hearty but healthy soup.

I found the recipe on the Eating Well site. I read the recipe and immediately changed some things, including the amount of broth. They called for two 14-oz cans of broth, but I knew there was no way a full head of escarole and 2 cans of beans mixed with 28 oz of broth would end up a soup. I wanted something brothy (and you can see from the picture it is still a veggie packed soup) so I doubled the amount of liquid and changed the amounts of the veggies.

I really, really liked this soup as it was very filling and satisfying. The garlic added a great kick and the escarole really held up, adding nice texture. This is a perfect vegetarian soup, but if you want to turn it into a meaty meal, saute some hot Italian sausage and add it to your bowl. I prefer cooking the sausage separately, anyway, instead of in the soup so the soup doesn't get too greasy.


Escarole & White Bean Soup
Adapted From: Eating Well

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 sm carrot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 48 oz vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 can small white beans
  • 1 head of escarole, washed well and chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: shredded Parmesan cheese for serving
  • Optional: cooked, crumbled hot Italian sausage, for serving


Directions

  • Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat
  • Add the onions, garlic, celery, carrots and tomatoes; saute 4 minutes
  • Add the Italian seasoning and broth; bring to a simmer and let cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the beans and escarole, season with salt and pepper to taste, and simmer until the escarole is just tender, about 5 minutes. 
  • Optional: serve with cheese and/or sausage



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Monday, January 25, 2016

On the Menu


I started a new type of post last week - On the Menu.  I shared my menu for the week and a tip for meal planning - be flexible. I had to take my own advice last week. After shopping for a week of fresh meat and ingredients, my daughter got sick and it all went out the window. 

I immediately froze the chicken and short ribs, used the fresh veggies and herbs for different dishes later in the week, and ended up making my weekend meals at the end of the week. You always have to be ready to adjust because, well, that's life!

This week I have some carry over meals from last week, as well as a few new things. Here's what's cooking this week - 

Sat/Sun during the blizzard: Guinness Beef Stew and No-Knead Crusty Bread
Monday: French Onion Braised Chicken and sauteed baby greens
Tuesday: Chicken Pot Pie Pasta
Wednesday: Guinness Pulled Pork and Cole Slaw
Thursday: Leftovers made into nachos
Friday: Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers
Soup for the Week - a new recipe, Italian Orzo and Spinach with Fire Roasted Tomatoes

Have a great week!! 
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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Snowed-in? Let's Cook!


Finally, a full month into winter, we are expecting our first big snowstorm of the season. And from the looks of it, this could be a BIG one! 

The very first thing I think of when a big snowstorm is coming is what will I cook? We will be snowed in for a day or two, and with lots sledding, snowball fights and snowman making expected, we will be hungry! Here are some of my favorite things to make while looking out my kitchen window at a beautiful winter wonderland. Most of these meals also make great leftovers and are even better on day 2. 


Hands down, my favorite cold weather dish is this Guinness Beef Stew. It has a slight kick from the cayenne, and deep, rich flavor from the Guinness. 


This no-knead crusty bread pairs perfectly with the stew. Even better, it's such an easy recipe that even a non-baker like me can't mess it up. 


Sticking with the Guinness theme, this Guinness Pulled Pork is my favorite way to prepare pulled pork. Put it on a sandwich with some homemade cole slaw, BBQ sauce, and pickles. 



Chicken and dumplings. My mouth waters just thinking about this dish! 


I love lasagna (who doesn't?). Instead of a traditional recipe, try this Sausage, Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna



Grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch is a must. I love the heat from this Fire Roasted Tomato Soup. 


Instead of grilled cheese with your tomato soup, try these bite sized Baked Ham and Cheese Pinwheels. 


I personally love a good chowder for a hearty lunch. Bacon makes everything better, and it is just perfect in this Potato and Corn Chowder with Bacon

We can't forget about a hearty breakfast before going out to shovel and snowblow. I love a good fritatta, like this Asparagus Ham Frittata or a Broccoli-Red Pepper-Potato Frittata.  
huuhg


These Whole Grain Apple Cinnamon Pancakes are made with flaxseed and will definitely fill your belly (without the guilt!). 


Happy Cooking! 


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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Chicken Kiev


My husband requested Chicken Kiev for dinner a few weeks ago and I honestly had no idea what it was. Before I looked it up, I pictured Chicken Kiev being one of those old fashioned chicken dishes you would find on an early-bird diner menu. However, after googling I was really excited to try it - crispy rolled chicken stuffed with a savory butter? Ok!


I went in search of the best recipe. My friend at The Way the Cookie Crumbles recommended the Cook's Illustrated recipe. I liked a lot about the recipe, didn't like some (like making my own bread crumbs and using tarragon in the butter), so I wanted to read a few more before deciding. That's when I found Alton Brown's recipe. It was a touch simpler and called for frying the chicken, whereas the CI recipe baked the chicken for 45 minutes. I decided to take what I liked from each recipe, added a few things of my own, and used a combination of frying and baking for a total of 15 minutes cooking time.

Although there are several steps, this dinner can easily become a weeknight meal if you prep everything ahead of time. I made the butter the day before we planned on having this chicken for dinner - here is what it looked like after being in the fridge overnight:



I also trimmed my chicken and got it pounded out. An hour before dinner I stuffed and rolled the chicken and put them in the fridge, so all that I had left to do was bread and cook the chicken. You could easily roll the chicken the night before and just store it in the fridge until you are ready to start cooking.



We liked this so much that we made it twice in a month. I'm glad we decided to fry the chicken - it got so crispy and sped up the baking time. And the butter - oh that butter kept this chicken so moist and tender. You could really season the butter any way you like - I see a lot of options for changing up the flavors with this one.



Chicken Kiev
Adapted from both Cook's Illustrated and Alton Brown (see links above)

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced shallot
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • Flour for dredging (approx. 1/2 c)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c breadcrumbs seasoned lightly with salt and pepper
  • Light olive oil for frying
  • You will need one pan for frying. For baking you will need a cookie sheet with a cooling rack resting on it. 
Directions
  • Make the butter: Mix the butter, parsley, garlic, shallot, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper. Once mixed, place on a large piece of plastic wrap and form into a log. Roll the wrap around the butter and plan in the fridge overnight. 
  • Prep the chicken: trim your chicken (if needed) and pound it out as thin as possible without ripping (approximately 1/4 inch). 
  • When you are ready to roll the chicken, cut the butter into 4 equal sections. Lay one piece of chicken on a cutting board lined with plastic wrap and season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Place one section of the butter just below center of the chicken. Fold the side edges of the chicken in over the butter, fold the end over, and then roll the chicken to completely enclose the butter (use the plastic wrap to help you roll it tightly). Seal with a toothpick if needed. Repeat with remaining chicken. Refrigerate the chicken for at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight. 
  • Once you are ready to cook, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet. 
  • Put out three dishes for breading. Place the flour in one, the eggs, beaten, in the second, and the breadcrumbs seasoned with salt and pepper in the third.
  • Heat the oil in a large saute pan. You want just enough to coat the pan generously, but not too much that you are deep frying sections of the chicken.
  • Roll each chicken breast in the flour, shaking off any excess. Coat in egg, and then roll in the breadcrumbs. 
  • Once the oil is hot (about 350 degrees), place the chicken in the pan. Cook chicken on each side until brown, about 1-2 minutes per side. 
  • Once browned, place the chicken on the cooling rack and put in the oven to finish cooking, about 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. 
  • Let rest 5 minutes before serving. 




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Friday, January 15, 2016

On the Menu

I'm going to start a new series of posts this year - On the Menu. I'll share with you my meal plans for the week, along with a few tips on meal planning with each post.

I start my meal plan by writing out the days of the week and making notes about our schedule. If my husband has a dinner meeting one night I know I only need to plan a meal for 2 or eat leftovers. When my daughter has her weekly dance class on Wednesday night I know that we will have leftovers or my husband will cook if he is home. I like being able to look at my week and pick which days I'll make big meals that will give us leftovers for those busy nights when dinner may have to happen later.

This week I was able to plan for a full week with everyone being home. I know that may change, so the plan has to be flexible. But for now here is what I have - 

I hope you all have a great weekend! If you have a meal plan for the week or even the next few days, please feel free to share it! 


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