Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Meal I Cooked This Year

For dinner tonight, we had cheese tortellini...from Trader Joe's. I did make the sauce myself. It was creamy spinach with proscuitto. I heated olive oil on medium high heat in a pan & added chopped garlic and shallots. I was moving too slowly & started to toast them a little bit, but that's okay because it adds a little more flavor & they didn't burn. Then, I deglazed with white wine & let that reduce by about half & added the spinach. I just used chopped frozen spinach that I defrosted. Add, chopped proscuitto & saute for another minute. Add 1/2 cup of heavy cream, season with salt and pepper & allow the sauce to come to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer the sauce until it thickens slightly, another couple of minutes. Finish with 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese. Add the cooked tortellini and you're good to go!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pan roasted hanger steak with sauteed mushrooms and blue cheese

Tonight's dinner was yummy. Just as the title says, I made hanger steak. I cooked it on the stove & did not pop it into the oven at all because I forgot to turn the oven on. I wasn't sure if I would be able to get it cooked to the correct temperature doing it like this, but it turned out perfect. I cooked the steaks to medium well, since we were sharing with the kids (they get to each the edges, where it's cooked further). I finished by basting the in butter. Yum.

For the mushrooms, I just sauteed them in olive oil & butter, and added chopped garlic at the end.

For the sauce, I sweated diced onions in olive oil, then deglazed the pan with white wine. In a different pan, I seared two little scraps of beef, then added the to the onions. I drained the fat off the pan, then deglazed it with red wine. I'm not really sure why I did that, but just thought I'd try. I combined the two wines, added a sprig of fresh thyme and chicken stock and let the whole thing simmer, reducing the liquid by about half. When it was time to serve the steak, I strained the liquid into a saute pan, brought it to a little boil, whisked in a little nug of butter, and seasoned with salt and pepper.

On the side, we had Brussels sprouts from a nearby restaurant, Vios, that I bought earlier today. We topped the steaks with the mushrooms and blue cheese and drizzled sauce all over. Delicious. That's what all that butter does, huh?

Tyler loves steak. Vincent loved it at this age, too.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

But, this is what we ate tonight!

Blue cheese and bacon stuffed chicken breasts. Sorry, this is an awful picture, but it was actually super delicious. Here's the link to a much better photo:

I had gotten the recipe from Williams-Sonoma, which was originally used with provolone and pancetta. I was in the mood for blue cheese, and we had bacon instead of pancetta in the house. I mean, who really just has pancetta available in their house? Here's the recipe.

1 tsp. plus 1 1/2 cups olive oil
6 oz. bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs. minced fresh sage
5 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, each about 8 oz., pounded 1/2 inch thick
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 Tbs. crumbled Maytag blue cheese
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 egg whites, lightly beaten
3 1/2 cups toasted bread crumbs
In a fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the 1 tsp. olive oil. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Transfer the bacon mixture to a small bowl and stir in the sage.

Create a pocket in each chicken breast: Lay the breast on a work surface with the pointed end away from you. Insert a long paring knife in the center of the end closest to you (the rounded end). Move the knife around to enlarge the opening, forming a pocket; be careful not to cut through to the outside of the breast. Then remove the knife. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Stuff each chicken breast with 2 Tbs. of the cheese and 1 Tbs. of the bacon mixture. Set the chicken on a wire rack-lined baking sheet and freeze for 5 minutes. (oops, I missed this step)

Put the flour, egg whites and bread crumbs in separate breading pans or shallow dishes. Dredge the chicken in the flour, then dip into the egg whites and coat evenly with the bread crumbs, pressing so they adhere. Set the chicken on a wire rack-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

In a wide pan over high heat, heat the 1 1/2 cups olive oil. Working in batches, fry the chicken until crisp and browned underneath, 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the chicken over, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the chicken is cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes more, adding more oil to the pan if needed. Drain the chicken on a paper towel-lined plate. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately. Serves 5.

**I only made 2 breasts for the amount of cheese used. Also, I did not pound the chicken breast, and I removed the chicken tenders, breaded them and fried them separately from the breast. In addition, I finished the breasts in a 400 degrees F oven for about 5-6 minutes.

For the breadcrumbs, I toasted two slices of 9 grain bread & pulsed them in a food processor. They weren't as dry as the store bought stuff, but they worked just fine.

This was quite yummy.


I have not posted about Thanksgiving, yet. Sheesh!