Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Sage-Cream Sauce

Deeeeelicious! This is a crunchy crusted chicken breast with lots of flavor. The Sage cream sauce is worth the extra effort and I do say the meal is worthy of company. I served this with oven roasted potatoes and veggies on the side.
Funny story though, as I was cooking this meal Sophie was uncharacteristically occupied, usually she is right under my feet in the kitchen wanting to see what I'm doing. This time she was happily toddling in and out of the kitchen and around the house. At the time I was enjoying the peace and quiet, until later I realized the reason she was so content was probably because she was up to something naughty. I scanned each room in the house looking to see any destruction Sophie might have caused, and to my complete lack of surprise she had unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper all over the bathroom floor. Not only was it everywhere but torn into little tiny pieces by her little tiny fingers. I am still finding itty bitty pieces all over the house. In fact Matt found a pile of it carefully placed in one of his shoes, I suppose it's what she though to be the perfect hiding place.
So go cook up and enjoy this meal as I am highly recommending it, but keep an eye on those little ones, cuz you never know what their little minds will think up next.

For chicken: Makes 4 servings

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 egg whites
2 tsp. corn starch
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup coarse dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. parsley
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
zest of 1 lemon, minced
3 Tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise and lightly pound each piece between plastic wrap to an even thickness.
Blend egg whites, corn starch, and lemon juice with a fork in a wide shallow dish and set aside.
Combine bread crumbs, cheese, parsley, salt, pepper and zest in a second wide shallow dish ( a dinner plate works) and set aside.
Dip chicken pieces in egg mixture then in crumb mixture, pressing the crumbs on, to make sure they stick. After crusting the chicken let it sit at room temperature for 20min to set the crust.
Next saute chicken in oil, in a large nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat for 3 min. or until golden brown and crisp. Carefully turn each chicken piece with spatula and transfer skillet to the oven to finish cooking. Roast chicken just until done about 8 minutes.

For Sage-Cream sauce: Makes: 1 cup sauce

This sauce seems pretty versatile and I imagine it would be tasty over most chicken, fish, pastas etc...

1 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp. shallot, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine, white cooking wine or white grape juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
4 tbsp butter
1-2 tsp. fresh minced sage
salt, white pepper, and cayenne to taste

Saute shallot in 1 Tbsp butter in small sauce pan over medium heat just until soft, 2-3 min.
Add wine, cream, broth and lemon juice and simmer till reduced by half 8-10 min.
Whisk in 4 tbsp butter 1 tbsp at a time, stirring constantly. Do not add more butter until previous addition has completely melted ( I don't know why, that's just what the recipe says).
Finish sauce with sage and seasonings and serve over crusted chicken.

Hope you enjoy the meal :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lime and Honey Glazed Salmon with Basmati rice and broccoli

I found this recipe in "Bon Appetit" magazine, the ingredients sounded like an interesting combination and the picture of it looked yummy so I decided to try it. As for how it actually turned out is a little bit of a different story. It tasted good but I'm not necessarily in love with this recipe. I think there are tastier ways to prepare salmon. It has a zesty lime flavor but I found the cilantro and soy sauce to be a bit overpowering (although I'm not a huge fan of cilantro, so maybe that was more of a personal issue.) I didn't dare change the recipe at all since the flavor combination was slightly unusual, and although I was skeptical....cooking everything in one pot turned out splendidly, but not a pretty as the picture in the magazine. So the final verdict? If the combo of ingredients sound appealing to you than I would suggest giving it a try but if you're a little unsure than pass on this one and maybe the next recipe will be a surefire winner.

Prep time: 35 Min. Total time: 55 Min. Serves: 4

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons finely grated lime peel

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

4 teaspoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

3/4 cup sliced shallots (about 3 large)

1 1/2 cups basmati rice

3 1/4 cups low salt chicken broth

4 (5 to 6 oz) salmon fillets

1 bunch broccoli cut into long stalks

Preheat oven to 450. Whisk together lime juice, lime peel, honey, soy sauce and 2 tablespoons cilantro in small bowl and set aside.

Heat oil in large deep ovenproof skillet or casserole dish (with lid) over medium-high heat. Add shallots and saute until beginning to soften and brown, about 5 min. Stir in rice, then broth and bring to A boil. Cover skillet tightly with lid and place in oven. Bake for 10 min. (rice will be almost cooked and most of the broth will be absorbed, if the rice looks dry add 1/4 cup water)

Remove skillet from oven and sprinkle rice lightly with salt. Sprinkle salmon fillets with salt and pepper and arrange on rice pressing in lightly. Tuck broccoli in around fish, with stems anchored in rice. Spoon 1 tablespoon lime mixture over each salmon fillet. Cover skillet and return to oven. Bake until salmon is opaque in center and broccoli is crisp tender, about 8 to 10 min. Drizzle remaining lime mixture over fish and rice, sprinkle with additional chopped cilantro and serve from skillet.

As for the skillet the recipe refers to I used my cast iron dutch oven (Pictured below). This is my favorite pot because it is so versatile. I use it for everything. I highly recommend acquiring one of these pots for your kitchen. The bad news, they are expensive. A good dutch oven can run anywhere from $50-$150. The good news, if you hurry the R.C. Willey outlet store (on 90th South and Redwood Road) has them on sale for 25 bucks until the 7th of November. So hurry up and go get one :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

November 2nd Menu

Here's what I'm planning for this weeks menu...

Parmesan Crusted Chicken with sage cream sauce,
and oven roasted potatoes

Lime and honey glazed salmon with rice and broccoli (this is supposed to be a one pot meal, we'll see how it goes)

And last but not least....Pan seared petite sirloin with a red wine reduction.

Recipe postings are coming soon and I'll let you know if any of these are worth trying....