Sunday, October 26, 2008

Soup Sunday - Barley and Roasted Vegetable Soup

It is Sunday again so that means I'm cooking soup. I chose this recipe for Barley and Roasted Vegetable Soup found on the Epicurious web site.

I read a bunch of the reviews before starting to cook, and I also made a few small changes of my own, noted in italics below.


  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 4 large plum tomatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds), halved lengthwise (My store didn't have them, so I used 4 vine ripened tomatoes, quartered)
  • 3 medium carrots, trimmed, peeled, quartered (about 8 ounces)
  • 6 ounces fresh crimini mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1-inch wedges through root end
  • 1 red bell pepper, quartered
  • Added: 1 small yellow pepper - trying to use up what I had in the fridge
  • 1 medium zucchini, trimmed, halved lengthwise
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 cups (or more) canned vegetable broth (This soup is very thick so I ended up using 7 14.5 oz cans of vegetable broth - otherwise I would have had stew! I started with 5 cans, added 1 can when I cooked the barley, and added another can when I added the pureed and chopped veggies)
  • 1 1/2-ounce package dried porcini mushrooms, broken into pieces
  • 3 large fresh thyme sprigs (I used approximately 1 tsp dried thyme)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup pearl barley (the reviews talked about the thickness of the soup so I only used 3/4 c barley)
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Added: 1/3 c dry red wine


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Spray large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Arrange tomatoes, carrots, crimini mushrooms, onion, peppers, zucchini, and garlic on tray. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Look at this tray of beautiful veggies -

  • Roast until vegetables are tender and brown around edges, stirring occasionally, about 55 minutes.
  • Peel garlic and reserve. Coarsely chop half of vegetables and set aside.
  • Transfer garlic and remaining vegetables from sheet to large pot (reserve sheet).
  • Deglaze sheet: Add 1/2 cup vegetable broth (I used red wine instead) to baking sheet and scrape up browned bits; add to pot with vegetables.
  • Add broth, dried porcini, thyme, and bay leaf to pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover and simmer until vegetables and porcini are very tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Pour vegetables and broth into large strainer set over bowl. Transfer vegetables in strainer to processor and puree until smooth; set aside. Instead of pouring the entire pot of soup through a strainer, I simply used a slotted spoon and transferred the vegetables to my food processor in batches. The first batch turned a very ugly brown color, so with my next batch, I removed the porcini and crimini mushrooms and finely chopped them instead of pureeing. I added them to the reserved bowl of chopped vegetables.
  • Return broth and bay leaf to pot; add barley and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover and simmer until barley is tender, about 40 minutes.
  • Add reserved vegetable puree and chopped vegetables to pot; simmer until soup thickens and flavors blend, about 10 minutes. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool soup slightly. Chill soup uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm over medium heat, thinning with additional broth if desired before serving.)
  • Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

From start to finish, this soup took 3 hours to make, but the result was well worth it. The roasted veggies give the soup so much flavor and depth, and I think deglazing the sheet with red wine instead of broth helped as well. It is a very hearty soup, and would even be good with some beef in it. Unlike that episode of Senifeld, this soup IS a meal.


Pan-Browned Brussels Sprouts

Vegetables are a part of every dinner for us as I love them. While other kids were feeding their broccoli and carrots to the dog under the table, I would eat all of my veggies but hide pieces of meat under my plate. I'm lucky that Jon also loves veggies. He tried Brussels Sprouts for the first time about 2 years ago, and now we eat them about 1 or 2 times a month.

Tonight Jon cooked dinner for us - his amazing roast beef with homemade gravy. I usually steam sprouts in chicken broth with garlic, or roast them; last night I made
Pan-Browned Brussels Sprouts (recipe found on

I didn't have pine nuts but that's ok because we both don't care for nuts in our food.


  • 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts (didn't use these)
  • Added: 1 shallot, sliced


  • Trim Brussels sprouts and halve lengthwise.
  • Cut garlic and shallots into very thin slices.
  • In a 10-inch heavy skillet (preferably well-seasoned cast iron) melt 1 tablespoon butter with oil over moderate heat and cook garlic and shallots, stirring, until pale golden.
  • Transfer garlic and shallots with a slotted spoon to a small bowl.
  • Reduce heat to low and arrange sprouts in skillet, cut sides down, in one layer. Sprinkle sprouts with (pine nuts) and salt to taste. Cook sprouts, without turning, until crisp-tender and undersides are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Our roast beef and gravy were both ready, and the sprouts were taking a while to cook, so once they had browned a bit, but were still not cooked, I added approximately 3 tbsp to the pan and covered it and let them steam for about 3-4 minutes.
  • With tongs transfer sprouts to a plate, browned sides up.
  • Add garlic, shallots, and remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter to skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until (pine nuts are more evenly pale golden), about 1 minute.
  • Spoon mixture over sprouts and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.

The taste of the sprouts were similar to oven roasted sprouts, but just a bit lighter. They were crispy and golden brown on one side, and bright green and a bit tender on the outside. I always say that garlic makes everything better, so mixing garlic with butter really makes everything better!

After dinner I stayed up until 2 AM watching my PHILLIES take on the Rays, and it was definitely worth it. On to game 4 tonight!!!


Monday, October 20, 2008

Shepherd's Pie with Scallion-Cheese Crust

Comfort food..there is nothing like it. Next to mac-n-cheese, I think Shepherd's Pie is probably the ultimate comfort food. Funny thing though, I had never had it until I cooked it tonight, not that I can remember, anyway.

I browsed recipes for ideas and my mouth was watering over
this one by Michael Chiarello. My changes are noted in italics below.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound minced British lamb (I didn't use this)
  • 1 pound minced beef (I used 1.5 pounds)
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • Added: 3 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped very small (I only used one)
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms (I used what I had on hand - 6 white mushrooms, finely chopped)
  • 1 level tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (I used 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I omitted this)
  • 1 level tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh beef stock
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Mashed potatoes: 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (I used 5 medium red potatoes), 2 tablespoons butter, Salt Freshly ground black pepper (I didn't use pepper in the potatoes), I also used milk in my mashed potatoes.
  • 1 cup scallions, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 cup mature Cheddar, coarsely grated
  • Added: 1 cup frozen corn


  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or deep saute pan.
  • Brown the lamb and beef. Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon. I also disposed of about half of the grease from the meat.
  • Add the onions and garlic to the pan and saute until the onions are tinged brown at the edges - about 5 minutes. Add the chopped carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, tomato puree, thyme, parsley and cinnamon. Stir and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Next, stir in the flour, which will soak up the juice (I didn't have to do this), then stir in the wine and the beef stock.
  • Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed.
  • Return the meat to the pan and bring to a boil. Cover, turn down the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes until the lamb is fully cooked. I didn't need 30 minutes; I added a touch of flour while the meat was simmering to thicken up the liquid.
  • Make the mashed potatoes: Peel the potatoes, cut them into large even-sized pieces and place into a pot of cold, salted water. Bring the water to a boil and cook potatoes until they are tender, about 10 minutes. (Potatoes are done when a knife can easily go through.)
    When the potatoes are done, drain off the water, return them to the saucepan, cover with a clean tea cloth to absorb the steam and leave them for about 5 minutes (I didn't do this). Next, add the butter and milk and mash them to a puree. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Assemble the casserole - When the meat is ready, spoon it into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and level it out with the back of the spoon. I added a layer of corn after the meat layer. After that, spread the mashed potato evenly all over. Sprinkle the scallions on top of the potato, scatter the cheese over the scallions and bake the pie until the top is crusty and golden, about 25 minutes.
Here is the pie after assembled...

And here it is after coming out of the oven. I could have turned the broiler on for a few minutes to help brown the top, but I was too anxious to eat.

This has to be one of the most delicious, yet simple, things I have ever eaten. Again, the ultimate comfort food. I loved the seasonings in the meat and using the wine and broth really brought a lot of juiciness and flavor to the entire dish. The juices bubbled up through the edges as it was cooking - I was looking at it through my oven door and yelling to Jon how beautiful it looked!

I can't wait for snow - this meal is perfect for a snow day!

Spicy Chicken Over Linguine in a Garlic Lime Broth

For the past several months I have been hearing a lot of talk on a cooking board I frequent about a recipe for Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken (, so I decided to check it out this weekend. I found that it used all dry spices, no fresh herbs or garlic, and didn't seem to have much in the way of sauce, so I used the idea of the recipe as my inspiration for what turned out to be an extremely flavorful and juicy chicken and pasta dish.

  • 3-4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded out just a bit
  • Spices: Kosher salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, dried parsley, dried cilantro, paprika
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 c tequila
  • 1 14.5 can low sodium chicken broth
  • Juice from 1 lime (next time I'll use more)
  • Handful of chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Olive oil


  • Coat chicken in the dry spices - I simply shook the spices right onto the chicken from the spice jars and then rubbed them all in. I don't measure, but it was probably about 3 shakes from each bottle per side of chicken.
  • Heat about 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan.
  • Add chicken and cook on medium high heat for about 4-5 minutes per side. The chicken will turn a beautiful golden brown color. If the chicken is not cooked all the way through, lower your heat and continue to cook, or transfer it to the oven to finish (covered).
  • Remove chicken from the pan and add another tbsp of olive oil.
  • Add garlic, saute
  • Deglaze pan with the tequila.
  • Add chicken broth and lime juice; bring to a boil.
  • Add cilantro
  • Whisk in butter to thicken the sauce up a bit
  • Serve chicken over linguine; top with the sauce.

Wow - this was so delicious and tasty!! I can't imagine not having a sauce or broth with this chicken. The spices on the chicken gave the dish such a punch of flavor, and the broth was garlicky and spicy and so rich with flavor. I would have liked it to be just a touch thicker, and I thought about adding just a touch of cream, but the idea of cream with lime juice freaked me out a bit.

Definitely try this one - I think it's a great variation on the original.

Have a great week, and good luck to my PHILLIES as they head to Tampa for the World Series!!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Soup Sunday - Cabbage Soup

I ran into Wegman's this morning on my way home from picking up my Phillies NL Champs t-shirt (woo!). I only needed to grab a few things, and had no plans to make soup today, but then I spotted a head of cabbage and it ended up in my basket. I didn't buy any other soup ingredients, so when I got home, I made this up as I went along. Here is my recipe -


  • 1/2 head of green cabbage, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped into small pieces
  • 64 oz chicken (or vegetable) broth, low sodium preferred
  • Tomatoes; I used 2 chopped vine ripened tomatoes and approximately 4-6 oz canned crushed tomatoes (using what I had!! Next time I'll make sure to have a small can of diced tomatoes for the soup)
  • Dried thyme; approximately 1-1.5 tsp
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat olive oil in a large pot.
  • Add onions and garlic, saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add carrots, saute for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Add thyme at this time as well.
  • Add cabbage and reduce to a simmer until cabbage is cooked, about 20 minutes.
  • Adjust thyme if needed, and add salt and pepper.

Not to toot my own horn, but I think I did a pretty good job with this one! I used chicken broth, but I think this would be a fabulous vegetarian soup using vegetable broth.

Carne Guisada

After an exhausting week of late nights with Phillies baseball (oh but sooo worth it - World Series, baby!!!!), Jon's long work trip to Vegas, and my whirlwind work trip to NC, we decided to stay in on Saturday night.

We decided on red meat so I looked for inspiration for something new. Mexican flavors are always good for both of us, so I googled "Mexican beef." I found a dish called Carne Guisada - a beef stew with Mexican spices and jalapenos. I used this recipe as my base. Then, after doing some more research, I found many different variations of Carne Guisada - Puerto Rican, Colombian, Spanish, and even Tex-Mex. So I took what I liked, and came up with this.
  • 1.5 pounds of beef; I used stew meat
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 dried guajilla chilies, soaked, then seeded and chopped
  • 14.5 oz beef broth
  • Spices - chili powder, cumin, cayenne, onion powder, garlic powder, Mexican oregano, and a chili blend that I bought while at The Chopping Block in Chicago a few weeks ago (I wouldn't use the chili blend next time as the cinnamon in it seemed to stick out too much).
  • Salt, approximately 2 tsp
  • Freshly ground black pepper, approximately 1 tsp
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • Olive oil


  • Coat beef with all of the spices - don't be shy! I used the spices in this order from most to least - chili powder, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, chili blend.
  • Heat olive oil in a large stew pot. Add beef and brown.
  • Add onions, garlic, jalapenos, guajillas and stir for a few minutes.
  • Add the beef broth and tomato paste; bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.
  • Add salt and pepper; I also added a touch more chili powder after tasting it.
  • Cover almost all the way and let simmer for about 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Adjust seasonings and serve over rice (or in a tortilla).

Whew this had some heat! The meat was so tender, and it was very good, but Jon and I both agree that it was missing something. More salt would have helped, and I'm thinking that a small can of tomatoes and even some green peppers would have been good.

Even though this took about 2.5 hours from prep until dinner time, it was not a lot of work at all. I will try this again with the modifications mentioned above.

NOTE: My parents ate our leftovers and loved it, so I think this is one of those dishes, like many soups and stews, that gets better on days 2 and 3.

I had a leftover zucchini so I chopped it up and sauteed in it olive oil with a chopped red pepper, salt, and some dried cilantro. This mix was the perfect veggie side for the stew.

After dinner we watched game 6 of the Red Sox-Tampa Bay series hoping that maybe tonight we would find out who the Phillies will be playing in the World Series, but no such luck! On to game 7... this is going to be such an exciting week of baseball! GO PHILLIES!!!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Chicken Marsala with Roasted Potatoes

Chicken Marsala is something I've never made - Jon doesn't really like big chunks of mushrooms, but since he was away yesterday, I decided to experiment with it. My friend Stacey came over and I love cooking new things for her.

I browsed several recipes before deciding on
this one as it had many great reviews from cooks who have made it before. (Gourmet Magazine, June 2005, posted on


  • 1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (14 fl oz)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used half butter, half olive oil)
  • 10 oz mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced (I used a mixture of shiitake and white mushrooms)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (2 lb total)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons dry Marsala wine
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


  • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 200°F.
  • Bring broth to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan over high heat, then boil, uncovered, until reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 20 minutes.
  • Cook shallot in 3 tablespoons butter in an 8- to 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until shallot begins to turn golden, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms, 1 teaspoon sage, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated and mushrooms begin to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Put flour in a wide shallow bowl. Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour, 1 piece at a time, shaking off excess. \
  • Heat 1 tablespoon each of oil and butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté half of chicken, turning over once, until golden and just cooked through, about 4 minutes total. Transfer cooked chicken to a large heatproof platter, arranging in 1 layer, then put platter in oven to keep warm. Wipe out skillet with paper towels and cook remaining chicken in same manner, then transfer to oven, arranging in 1 layer. (I was able to cook all of the chicken at the same time)
  • Add 1/2 cup wine to skillet and boil over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, about 30 seconds.
  • Add reduced broth, cream, and mushrooms, then simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Add lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons wine and 1/2 teaspoon sage.
  • Serve chicken with sauce.

I needed to make a slurry of flour and water to add to the sauce to help thicken it. The sauce was a lot lighter in color than I thought it would be, but it was absolutely delicious. This sauce could be made on its own and poured over pork or steak, and it was even good poured over our roasted potatoes.

Roasted Potatoes

Stacey brought over some new potatoes. After cleaning them and cutting them into halves, we drizzled them with olive oil, then seasoned them with Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, fresh sage (minced), and dried thyme. They cooked on 400 for about an hour; we made sure to flip them 3-4 times during cooking.

Look at the color on these potatoes!

They were crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside, and the herbs gave them just the right type and amount of flavor.

After dinner we watched a horrible Phillies game...let's hope they have a better game tonight!! GO PHILLIES!!!

Caramelized Leek Soup

It was warm on Sunday, but I bought leeks on Saturday with the intention of making soup. I've been saving this recipe for Caramelized Leek Soup for a while. I made just a few minor adjustments noted in italics.


  • 2 pounds leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 2 bunches)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup vermouth
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth (I used about 5 cups) Use vegetable broth for a vegetarian version
  • Garnish: 4 teaspoons finely sliced fresh chives
  • Added: 1 tsp thyme
  • Added: approximately 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Added: drizzle of white truffle oil


  • Halve leeks lengthwise and thinly slice crosswise. In a large bowl of cold water wash leeks well and lift from water into a large sieve to drain.
  • In a 6-quart heavy kettle cook leeks in butter over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until some begin to turn golden, about 40 minutes.
  • Stir in sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.
  • Stir in vermouth and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is evaporated and most leeks are golden, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Deglaze kettle with 1/2 cup broth and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes more, until liquid is evaporated and leeks are deep golden. Add thyme and black pepper.
  • Add remaining 3 cups broth and bring soup just to a boil. Season soup with salt and pepper and drizzle with white truffle oil.
  • I also pulsed my immersion blender in the soup just a few times to puree some of the leeks and give the soup some thickness. The picture below is before blending, but there were still full pieces of leek after blending.

    This soup was different that what I had expected - definitely good, just different. It tasted a bit like cabbage soup. I tasted it before and after adding the thyme, and was happier with it after the addition.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Chicken with Herbed Vegetable Sauce

Today is my dad's birthday. We did the big surprise party last weekend, so tonight I decided to cook a nice dinner for my mom and dad.

I chose
this recipe for Chicken with Herbed Vegetable Sauce. I made a few minor changes, including using parsley instead of basil as my mom and I don't like too much basil in recipes. Changes are noted in italics.


  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme (I used 1 tsp dried thyme)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (I used 1/2 olive oil and 1/2 butter)
  • 2 small zucchini, cut into thin strips
  • 1 small leek (white and pale green parts only), cut into thin strips
  • 4 2-inch-long pieces celery, cut into thin strips (I didn't have any so I didn't use it, and didn't miss it)
  • 1/2 medium carrot, cut into thin strips
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup canned low-salt chicken broth (I used 1 14.5 oz can)
  • 8 large fresh basil leaves, sliced (used parsley instead)
  • I added 2 bay leaves


  • Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper and half of thyme.
  • Heat oil (and butter) in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add chicken; sauté 3 minutes per side (my chicken was thick so I left it in for about 5 min per side). Transfer to plate.
  • Add zucchini, leek, celery, carrot, garlic and remaining thyme. Sauté until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes.
  • Return chicken to skillet, nestling chicken among vegetables.
  • Pour in broth and bay leaves; bring to boil.
  • Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer chicken to platter and remove bay leaves.
  • Add basil (parsley) and boil until sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper; spoon sauce and vegetables over chicken.

I will make this again, but to thicken the sauce a bit more, I'll mix 1 tbsp butter with 1 tsp flour and whisk it into the sauce. I really don't think basil would have been the right flavor for this dish - the thyme and bay leaves were just enough, and the parsley added nice color.

We served the chicken over mashed potatoes that my dad made - he loves making mashed potatoes! The herbed sauce was so delicious over both the chicken and the potatoes. Once plated it was so colorful and beautiful, and it tasted so light and fresh.

Happy Birthday Dad!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Gorgonzola-Shiitake Risotto

It's no secret that I love cooking and eating risotto, and especially trying new ingredients and flavors. I browsed risotto recipes looking for inspiration, and liked what I read in this Giada recipe. I substituted shiitake mushrooms for the porcini mushrooms, and followed my basic risotto recipe (tried and true!).
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 c shiitake mushrooms (I used fresh; dried would work too, they would just require more soaking in the broth to soften)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 c arborio rice
  • 1/4 c dry vermouth (I was out of white wine)
  • 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 c crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/4 c shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c chopped chives
  • Salt and pepper


  • Add broth and mushrooms to a pot to heat. Remove mushrooms from broth and finely chop; set aside. Keep broth warm.
  • Melt butter in a saute pan with olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add onions, garlic, and mushrooms; saute 2-3 minutes.
  • Add rice and stir until fully coated.
  • Add vermouth, stir until absorbed.
  • Add broth, 1 ladle at a time, until all broth has been absorbed. This takes about 17-20 minutes.
  • When you add your last ladle of broth, mix in the cheeses and chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

These flavors worked so well together - a perfectly creamy and earthy risotto. I'm already looking forward to my leftovers for lunch!

Have a great weekend, and GO PHILLIES!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chicken with Creamy Chive Sauce

After being in Chicago for work for a few days and getting home at 3 AM, I was exhausted, but in the mood to cook. I turned to the Food Network web site for some quick chicken ideas, and decided on
this recipe for Chicken with a Parmesan Chive Cream Sauce.

When I was done cooking, I realized that I forgot to add the Parmesan cheese!! I think it was a good mistake though - the sauce would have been too thick with the cheese. It was just right with the cream, salt, pepper, thyme, and chives.

* I cut this in half (except for the garlic) and didn't use the Parmesan cheese. I think a 1/4 or 1/2 c chicken broth would help the sauce.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shallots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup rice, regular or instant, cooked according to package directions


  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add shallots and garlic and cook for 2 minutes stirring with a spoon.
  • Add chicken and cook 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown on all sides.
  • Add thyme and bay leaves and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant.
  • Add heavy cream and bring to a simmer.
  • Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
  • Add parmesan cheese and simmer for 1 minute or until sauce has thickened.
  • Remove bay leaves and stir in chives.
  • Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Serve over rice

I served the chicken over rice and with roasted broccoli. Jon and I both enjoyed it.

Next up, grilled filet mignon, sauteed spinach, and gorgonzola-porcini risotto.