White Chicken Chili

This is so my kind of meal once the weather starts to turn a little colder. It’s made with a store bought rotisserie chicken and this chicken chili is all made in one pot on the stove-top. It’s filling and the different peppers add a wonderful mix of flavors to the chili. You’ll need a large dutch oven sort of pot for this and you’ll have some left overs for sure depending on how many people you’re cooking for.

I crumbled some tortilla chips on top of my chili and added a dollop of sour cream which added to the flavor. Cheese is also a wonderful topping here.

Of course if you hate cilantro you can eliminate it and be careful cutting the peppers, the seeds and ribs in the pepper hold all the heat. It’s your call how spicy you’d like it. I like spicy but don’t really use the seeds and I keep it mild and more family-friendly because you never really know how spicy it can get adding the seeds and ribs. I also use rubber or latex gloves while cutting and be careful not to touch your eyes till you’ve completely washed your hands. If I want heat I can add a shot of Chohula to my own.

This chili does thicken considerably as it sits. If you make it ahead of time, you may want to add broth or water depending on how thick you like it.

Leftovers are great and this chili can be frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat it on the stovetop over medium-low heat and you may want to add some broth or water to it as well.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

4 cups chicken broth, divided

2 15 oz. cans white beans (cannellini)–drained and rinsed

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

1 jalapeno pepper , seeded and minced

2 medium poblano peppers, seeded and diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tablespoon ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ancho chili powder

Kosher Salt to taste

1 Rotisserie chicken, skin removed and shredded

3/4 cup frozen corn

1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice, from one lime

*1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro –we like it a lot but not everyone does I know so just omit it

Optional Toppings:

Sour Cream

Crushed Tortilla Chips

Shredded Pepper Jack or Cheddar Cheese

Lime Wedges

Directions:

Get all ingredients chopped and ready to cook.

In a food processor , blend 1/2 of the beans (1 can) with 1 cup of the chicken broth and set aside with the remaining drained beans

Add the olive oil to a large pot or Dutch Oven and heat it over medium high heat. Add the onions, jalapeño pepper and poblano peppers and cook, stirring frequently until soft about 4-5 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so, then add the cumin, coriander and ancho chili powder and continue to cook, stirring frequently for another few minutes. Add the Chicken Broth, pureed beans and app. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes.

Stir in the shredded chicken, reserved whole can of beans, corn and lime juice; bring back to a simmer and cook until everything is heated through, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt . Stir in the chopped cilantro. It will be somewhat soupy still and that’s OK. The longer it sits the thicker it will get. I let it cook for probably an hour or so and If it’s too thick you can add a little water. It’s really a chili so I like it thick but it’s totally up to you how you like it.

Butternut Squash and Farro Salad

This salad came together in a wonderful way. I have made Butternut Squash Salads before but not this way. I am not gonna lie it has a bit of prep work, some of which can be done ahead of time. You can make it all ahead of time and just put together right before you’re going to eat it. I was serving for lunch so just woke up early and did it all except for the Farro which I made the night before. I know this salad seems complicated but it’s really not. I promise.

This salad is delicious as is for the vegetarians or add some grilled chicken, steak or fish for a complete meal. I added grilled chicken for this lunch.

As long as you don’t dress the salad you’ll have yummy leftovers. Arugula may get wilted so I don’t add till right before serving.

Delicious meatless meal as is.

This is how I did it — Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 lb. butternut squash — cubed into small 1/2″ cubes ( see photo)

1 cup Farro cooked — I probably used about 1 1/2 cups for salad

4 Tablespoons sherry vinegar– divided

Cayenne Pepper

1/2 cup dried cherries or raisins / craisins , cranberries or whatever dried fruit you prefer– I used cherries because I like them bestie a salad but golden raisins or any dried fruit would be fine

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

2 large shallots, sliced thinly

5 Tablespoons olive oil plus — 3 for dressing and 2 for butternut squash / shallots

Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 oz. smoked gouda — small diced pieces — you can use whatever cheese you like and as much or as little as you like I happen to buy smoked gouda and it worked out perfectly

Arugula — I prefer baby arugula if you can find it — I used app. 3 cups but feel free to add as much or as little as you like here

Salad Dressing:

4 Tablespoons Sherry vinegar – divided — 2 for soaking dried fruit and then 2 more for dressing

  • see directions below

2 teaspoons grainy mustard

3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

pinch of Cayenne Pepper

Kosher Salt and Pepper

combine all ingredients whisk together and emulsify and add a pinch of cayenne pepper and a little salt and pepper

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Toss squash and sliced shallots in a bowl with about 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil add salt and pepper and spread evenly onto a sprayed baking sheet. Bake until tender and browned , about 30 – 40 minutes . Set aside to cool when done.

Put the cherries or whatever dried fruit you’re using in a small shallow bowl with 2 Tablespoons of the Sherry Vinegar and let sit for at least 15 minutes– let them soak just toss them every once in a while. Remove the cherries after 15 minutes and drain them with a bowl underneath to reserve the liquid — you should have 2 Tablespoons and add 2 more Tablespoons of sherry vinegar and follow above directions for the dressing.

Cook the Farro — I made 11/2 cups and that’s all you really need is 1 to 1 1/2 cup cooked farro

Let the farro and the squash cool down completely. Mix in a big bowl with cheese, walnuts, dried fruit, and right before serving add the arugula so it doesn’t wilt . Add as much or as little of the arugula as you want.

I let everyone add their own dressing or you can dress salad and serve. I also added grilled chicken which of course is your call.

I would say this salad serves 4-6 .

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner-Mustard and Balsamic

 

 

 

I made this for dinner the other night and I have to say it was very delicious. I used boneless skinless chicken thighs, of course you can use any cut of chicken you’d like.  All I needed was the chicken and the fresh rosemary.  I had all the other ingredients on hand. You will need to marinate for about 1/2 hour and cooking time is about an hour, no need to marinate over night which is part of what I loved about this recipe.  Balsamic Vinegar and Dijon Mustard and a few other easily obtainable ingredients make this a no fuss recipe.  This recipe is for 8 boneless skinless thighs but feel free to double it up, I used about 10 thighs . It would be perfect on the grill as well. I used my oven and I have to say we both loved this recipe. It is sort of a Balsamic Chicken with a hint of mustard. 

I will say that sometimes I don’t have rosemary and have all the other ingredients and it is just as tasty! So no worries if you don’t like Rosemary or if you just don’t have it in the house. I couldn’t find any fresh Rosemary yesterday so it had none! All Good!

The chicken would also be wonderful on day 2 as a leftover in a salad!

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

8 boneless chicken thighs or 1 package of thighs about 1 – 1 1/2 lbs. you can double recipe but you probably don’t need to double olive oil — maybe 3/4 cup for double but double down on everything else if you’re doubling

1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard ( make it heaping)

1/4 cup of Balsamic Vinegar

1/4  cup of Olive Oil 

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice ( I average lemon)

2 Tbsp. Fresh Rosemary chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

app.  1/4 tsp. of kosher salt, I just sprinkled lightly over the chicken and about 6 grinds on the pepper mill. If you’re doubling recipe you will obviously need more salt and pepper

Directions:

In a bowl, combine the mustard, vinegar, garlic, rosemary and lemon juice. Slowly add in the olive oil with the mixture while you whisk–to emulsify.

Place the chicken in a container or Pyrex  (don’t use metal). I sprinkled about 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt over the chicken tops.  Pour the marinade over the chicken and mix around so chicken gets a good covering on all sides.  I left it out for 1/2 hour and let it marinate, you can refrigerate it.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Transfer the chicken to a sprayed ( cooking spray ) baking dish and empty any remaining sauce on top of it.

Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes  or until the chicken is cooked through. It got a nice crust without drying out the chicken after one hour. If you’d like for maybe 2 minutes you can put under the broiler but watch it carefully so it doesn’t char too much, I do this sometimes if it doesn’t have a nice crust from baking it.  Depending on your oven and the size of your chicken 1 hour should do it. If you’re working with breasts you’ll have to cut into chicken after 50 minutes to check for doneness depending on the size of your breasts. Haven’t tried it on the grill yet but I can’t imagine this would be anything but delicious, just don’t burn it up!!!!!

Once cooked I spooned a little cooked marinade over the chicken and rice! and served with burnt brussels this time out or any vegetable will do.

Yummy!

Sheet Pan Chicken –Meditteranean Style-String Beans and Potatoes

I love one pan and one pot dinners! Just amazing! This is an easy no-fuss meal cooked in the oven on one sheet with a marinade that has a distinct Mediterranean flavor from the lemon juice, olive oil and oregano.  Use chicken thighs or legs , I prefer dark meat for this but if you insist on using white meat –go ahead. Some green beans and potatoes make this a one pan staple. Delicious and Nutritious. Did I mention super easy to clean up?  You’ll need a rimmed baking sheet for this recipe.

Enjoy! this is for 2 +people but you can double for 4. It will probably feed 2+ but depends on your people. This is what I did for the 2 of us. We ate the whole thing! no leftovers! If you are making for a larger crowd (4 or more) either use a very large baking sheet or 2 baking sheets — don’t crowd the pan.

Ingredients:

6 smallish chicken thighs — usually 1 package will do perfectly

1/2 lb. baby red potatoes I quartered them but if they are very small you can cut in 1/2 If they’re too big they won’t cook in 45 minutes so smaller is best.

1/2 lb. green beans , trimmed

2 Tbsp. olive oil plus for marinade

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, I salt chicken liberally and potatoes because they tend to be bland –see notes below on salt and pepperimg_3437

*2 Tbsp. Chopped Fresh Parsley – totally optional along with some slices of fresh lemon for beautiful presentation

Marinade for the Chicken- Marinate for about an hour

app. 1 package of chicken thighs– bone in , skin on . When I say 1 package it is usually a little under 2 lbs ( 6 smallish thighs)  which is more than enough for 2 people. Usually about 6 chicken thighs in a package depending on the size of thighs.

1/4 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

Juice of 1 lemon- I used juicer because I wanted to make sure I got every drop

1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tbsp. dried oregano

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper , to taste–I used 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and about 10 grinds on the pepper mill for the marinade

In a large Ziploc Bag, combine chicken, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and oregano; season with app. 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds (10-12) of freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Marinate for at least an hour, turning the bag occasionally. Remove the chicken from the marinade by draining it, discard the excess marinade.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a large size baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place potatoes and green beans in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Top with chicken in a single layer. Salt is an important component here–I sprinkled a light amount over chicken and potatoes and string beans –probably another 1/2 teaspoon and a few grinds of the pepper mill

Place into the oven and roast until the chicken is completely cooked through, should register 165 degrees with a meat thermometer after about 1/2 hour -45 minutes. After I check for readiness I place under the broiler for a few minutes, till skin is golden brown and a little charred ( but not too charred) watch chicken for signs of burning.

Serve immediately, you can garnish with lemon slices and parsley for a beautiful presentation!

Enjoy

This was my finished pan last night! Delicious.
And always delicious served with some homemade cranberry sauce!

Italian Wedding Soup made with Chicken Meatballs

It is most definitely soup season again. the chill in the air makes it the most perfect time of year to start making soup for dinner again. even if you live in a warmer climate this is a most wonderful meal. Paired with a salad and some crusty bread you have a very heartwarming meal.

Italian Wedding Soup with Chicken Balls

This is one of my absolute favorite recipes. It is a soup , which is also a full meal. It is hearty and pretty healthy.  It is one of my staples from September through April. It freezes well and you can just take it out of the freezer the night before, and you’ll have a wonderful meal the next evening. When you defrost it you will probably want to add broth/water to it. add a little at a time till you get the consisitency you like. Enjoy:)

Ingredients: chicken meatballs

1 lb. ground chicken–I prefer chicken to turkey but you can use turkey as well!

1/2 lb chicken sausage, casings removed–if you can’t find chicken sausage use pork sausage it’s delicious! 

3 slices whole wheat bread for bread crumbs ( I put into food proccesor with steel blade for crumbs) I remove crusts it should be app. 1 cup of bread crumbs

2 teaspoons minced garlic ( 2 – 3 cloves)

1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano ( fresh is best) but whatever you have will do

1/4 cup grated Parmesan ( again nothing beats fresh) but whatever you have will do here as well

3 tablespoons milk

1 extra large egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Soup Ingredients:

 

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small -medium yellow onion minced

1 cup diced carrots ( 3 )

1 cup diced celery (2 stalks)

10 cups chicken stock

1/2 cup dry white wine( use whatever you have open)

1 cup small pasta tubetini, ditalini, stars, elbows etc. 

5 ounces fresh spinach, washed and trimmed

*fresh dill ( I love the flavor) add at your own discretion about 1/4 cup minced fresh dill.

Directions:

preheat the oven to 350 degrees  put parchment paper on a cookie sheet.

for the meatballs, place the ground chicken, sausage,bread crumbs, garlic, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, salt and pepper  all in a bowl and mix well with a fork.  I use a teaspoon, and make 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls and drop onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet. you should have about 30 to 40 small balls. bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. set them aside. (I made about 30 balls, they were a little larger this time out)

For the Soup:

 heat the olive oil over medium – low heat in a large heavy bottomed soup pot ( Le Creuset type pot) Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until softened, about 10 minutes, don’t brown. Add the chicken stock and wine and bring to a boil, at this point I let soup cook a while to soften the vegetables, app. 1 hour. ( a low simmer) if you’re in a hurry you can probably do the whole soup in 1/2 hour , veggies will be soft enough to eat. if some of the liquid evaporates you can always add a little more broth.

chicken balls out of the ovenItalian Wedding Soup cooking

 Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook another 6 – 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Sometimes I just cook the pasta up in a separate little pot and pour the soup over the pasta when I plate it up, this helps with the freezing just the soup and meatballs and the pasta stays al dente. Add the meatballs and simmer for another minute or so. taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for another minute or so, the spinach will just wilt. Ladle into soup bowls and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Skillet Chicken with Lemons and Onions a la Ina Garten

I absolutely love this recipe and I must admit to making a few small changes but if you want to see her original recipe you can google it. You’ll have to buy a chicken some place that will be able to spatchcock it (butterfly it)– Whole Foods butcher will do this as well as your local butcher. Then when you get home and are ready to cook with it just press down on the chicken and sort of flatten it out. You’ll also need a cast iron pan large enough to hold it. I used a 12″ size pan and it was perfect. Believe me this is one of the most satisfying meals I can think of. Serve with whatever sides you like — we had homemade cranberry sauce , rice pilaf and roasted string beans. Perfection on a plate. Ina Garten has created some of the best recipes for home cooks today. The ingredients are all accessible and the presentation is beautiful and the food is delicious. This particular way of roasting a chicken is particularly delicious. This is what I did the other night and it was nothing short of fabulous.

Enjoy and thanks again to Ina Garten.

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds

Kosher Salt and Freshly ground coarse black pepper

1 Lemon — sliced 1/4″ thick slices

2 large garlic cloves, minced she says thinly sliced but I prefer to mince

1 yellow onion, halved and sliced 1/4 ” thick

1/3 cup good olive oil

1 app. 4 lb. chicken, backbone removed and butterflied ( spatchcocked)

1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio

Juice of 1 lemon

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees

Place the thyme, fennel seeds, 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt and 1 Teaspoon pepper in a mini food processor and process until ground.

Pour the olive oil into a small glass measuring cup and add the herb mixture and set aside

Distribute the lemon slices on bottom of 12″ cast iron skillet and distribute the onion and minced garlic on top of the lemon slices.

Place the chicken on a separate baking sheet and pat it dry then turn the chicken skin side down and using a brush add about 1/2 the olive mixture to chicken. Turn the chicken skin side up, make sure it’s dry using paper towels ( very important for crispy skin) and brush remaining mixture all over the top of the chicken. Place chicken on top of the onions and lemons skin side up.

Roast the chicken for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and pour the wine into the pan but not on the chicken just into the area that’s open around the chicken. Roast for another 10-15 minutes until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 155-160 degrees.

Remove the chicken from the oven and sprinkle with the lemon juice, cover the skillet tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes. Cut the chicken into quarters or however you like and serve hot with pan juices, cooked lemon and onions.

Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken is one of my favorite Chinese food staples in the restaurant and takeout. I decided to make it myself and this is what I did.

It really came together rather quickly even though there are so very many ingredients.

Really delicious and served over brown rice or white rice or any rice or no rice.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

For the Marinade:

2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon Dry Sherry

2 Teaspoons Corn Starch

1- 1 1/2 Chicken Tenders or Breasts cut into app. 1 -2 ” chunks– boneless and skinless chicken breasts

For the Sauce:

1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon Hoisin Sauce

1 Tablespoon Asian Sesame Oil

1 Tablespoon Corn Starch

1/2 Teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes — use less if you like it very mild–this did not make it spicy hot but use at your own discretion

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/3 cup water

For The Stir-Fry Chicken

3 – 3 1/2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

3 cloves garlic –minced

1 large red bell pepper , diced

2 stalks celery — I diced but you can slice thinly into small pieces do whatever you prefer with it

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

5 scallions, white and green parts — I diced but you can slice thinly here too

1/3 cup whole roasted unsalted cashews

 

Directions:

Marinate the chicken . In a medium size bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, dry sherry and cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add the cut up chicken and toss to coat. Let it stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. I did this step and then proceeded with the rest of the recipe.

Prepare the sauce: In another medium bowl whisk together all of the sauce ingredients until the cornstarch is dissolved.

Heat a large non-stick skillet or a regular skillet ( spray first with cooking spray) Heat till very hot then add 1 Tablespoon of the oil and swirl to coat. Add the bell pepper, celery and salt . Cook and stir frequently until slightly softened and starting to brown, app. 5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and set aside.

Add an additional 1 Tablespoon of the vegetable oil to the pan and set over high heat again. Add half of the chicken ( don’t crowd it) and brown on one side about 2 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces and continue cooking for another 2 minutes — just till chicken is cooked through. Transfer this chicken to bowl with vegetables. Add another tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan and add the remaining chicken and cook the same way as first batch. Add app. 1/2 Tablespoon more oil to the pan along with the garlic and scallions and cook stirring the chicken for another minute. ( if pan still has enough oil you can omit this 1/2 Tablespoon of Oil)

Add the rest of the chicken and vegetables to the pan along with the sauce. Reduce the heat to low and cook until chicken and vegetables are cooked through and the sauce is nice and thick about a minute or two depending on the size of your chicken chunks. Stir in the nuts — I keep them whole or you can chop up. Taste and adjust seasonings but I thought it was just perfect. The sauce will thicken as it sits so if necessary put a few tablespoons of water if too thick.

I served over rice and we ate it right away so sauce was just perfect. If you prepare early the sauce may thicken.

Loved this recipe and will definitely add to my rotation . It seems like a lot of work but honestly it came together rather quickly.

 

Creamy Tomato Soup with Parmesan Crisps

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Parmesan Crisps with Tomato Soup

 

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Soup at the beginning of the cooking process

 

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Parmesan Crisps

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Tube of Tomato Paste–I love the tubes

FullSizeRender (27) FullSizeRender (26)FullSizeRender (23) FullSizeRender (24)One of our most favorite soups is Tomato Soup. I love the creaminess in this soup and the texture and tang of the tomatoes. I added parmesan crisps to the top which only add another layer of “deliciousness” to the soup. I did add 1/2 cup of heavy cream mostly because I had it in the house but also because over the whole recipe it’s just a little bit of richness that goes a very long way. I suppose you can omit it but I wouldn’t. We loved it just the way it was and I have 2 large containers that went into the freezer for another night’s meal. The parmesan crisps are super easy and all you’ll need is some grated parmesan. Croutons would work well as well. One of our most fav meals for lunch or dinner is a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup.

*you’ll need an immersion blender and a Dutch Oven type of pot with a tight fitting lid.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter

1 whole onion, finely diced

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 minced garlic clove

3 whole Large Carrots, Peeled and finely diced

2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste–the tubes make life so nice and easy

3 Cans Whole Tomatoes — 28 oz. each–Italian whole plum tomatoes with their juices

32 ounces , Vegetable or Chicken Broth

1 cup water

1/2 cups Heavy Cream

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil ( approximate amount) you can eyeball and you can use more for garnish if you’d like

Grated Parmesan if you want to make the Parmesan Crisps (recipe to follow soup recipe)

Directions:

In a large Dutch Oven kind of pot ( Le Creuset) , heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat, then add onion, garlic and carrots. Stir and cook till vegetables soften but be careful not to burn the garlic and onions. This will take app. 5 minutes.

Add tomato paste and incorporate it into the vegetables with a wooden spoon. Cook for another 3 minutes or so.

Add canned tomatoes with their juice, broth and water. Stir together and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for at least 30 minutes. I had time so I allowed it to simmer for about an hour. The longer the better.

I then turned heat off and allowed to cool for a few minutes before using immersion blender. Be careful because hot soup can burn. I gave it a quick few minutes with the immersion blender , the tomatoes completely broke down because they had cooked so long. You can leave some texture in the tomatoes if you like chunkier pieces.

Add the cream, salt and pepper to taste, I used about 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and about 12 grinds on the pepper mill. You should taste for salt to your own particular taste. Add the basil and simmer for another 5 minutes or so. I then topped with parmesan crisps and they just kind of melted in to the soup which was just divine.

Parmesan Crisps:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1 heaping Tablespoon of Grated Parmesan onto a silicone or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Pat each teaspoon down a little, leave about 1/2″ apart. Cook for  3- 5 minutes till edges turn brown and crisps are golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes and lift off cookie sheet.

Clams and Spaghetti–White Sauce

I made this recipe for the first time back in 2014 and highly recommend it for a quick and delicious meal.IMG_6286IMG_6287 (2)IMG_6283 (2)It is super easy and not intimidating at all. I got the recipe from Jessica’s Seinfeld’s book The Can’t Cookbook even though I know how to cook.  

Pick up Clams at your local fish store and just follow instructions for cleaning. I love Clams and Spaghetti and this is so easy to make you won’t believe it!

http://www.doitdelicious.com this is Jessica Seinfeld’s site or you can just buy the book “The Can’t Cookbook”.

Ingredients:

2 dozen littleneck clams

3 cloves garlic

app. 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon blanc. I actually used what I had open which was a Pinot Grigio

1 box spaghetti, you can use any kind of spaghetti you like. I actually had bucatini style in the house so that’s what I used

3 Tbsp. Olive Oil

*if you’d like a little heat and you should know your audience because mine didn’t so I put on table for those who wanted to add heat. If you are adding add app. 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

Kosher Salt , to taste. I have to say I added almost no extra salt at all.

You’ll need a large deep pot to cook clams in. I used my Le Creuset Pot.

Directions:

I placed my clams in a colander and I put the colander in a larger bowl in the sink and I filled the bowl with cold water. I let the clams soak for a few minutes, then rubbed with my fingers to dislodge any dirt; then drained the clams. Throw away any clams that remain open or were smashed. ( my clams were pretty clean) I purchased them clean from Whole Foods. Any Fish Store will clean them for you, but always run them through this process to remove any residual sand, etc.

Smash the garlic and chop it . Chop the Parsley. Measure the Wine. Place all your ingredients near to the stove.

Cook Pasta according to directions on box.

Place a large pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium. Pour in 2 Tbsp. of Olive Oil until it heats up and shimmers ( a few minutes) Add chopped garlic to the pot, and cook , stirring , for at least a minute, until you can actually smell the garlic breaking down. Don’t Burn!!!! Now add the wine and the clams and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and you’ll want a fairly high flame, probably medium-high . Cook clams until they open, I probably cooked for about 10 – 12 minutes. Looked so beautiful! Add the parsley and the red pepper now if you’re using. Throw away any unopened clams, they are no good.

Once pasta is al dente and drained I transferred to a large serving bowl and added 1 Tbsp. of Olive Oil to pasta, top with clams. Sprinkle if you’d like a tiny bit of coarse salt now if you feel it needs it. I did not need to add any additional salt or pepper. Adjust to your taste.

Amazing!!!! and did I mention Super Easy!!!!!

Shrimp Scampi–Classic

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Finished Product

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Getting Ready to Cook

This is one of my all time favorite recipes and the easiest, quickest to prepare. Buy shrimp from a reputable fish store or Whole Foods type of market and have them clean and de-vein them. My husband Joel is an ex-seafood guy and he always cleans and de-veins the shrimp. It is a collaborative effort in our house.  Once the shrimp and prep is done this recipe takes all of 15 minutes to cook.

Ingredients are simple and you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry. Directions are super simple and so easy to follow, you will look like a “super chef” and impress the pants off of everybody!

This is a wonderful meal for Christmas/New Years if you’re celebrating at home.

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

2 Tablespoons olive oil

4 minced garlic cloves

1/2 cup dry white wine–use whatever you have open as long as it’s not too fruity, if you don’t want to use wine use chicken broth or vegetable broth

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper– about 10-12 turns on the pepper mill

1 1/2 lbs. large or extra large shrimp .shelled– we are big fans of Mexican White Shrimp and I used under 10’s which means there are approximately 10 to a pound.

1/2 cup ( app.) chopped fresh Italian parsley

Freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon

*pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Cooked Pasta or Rice — I used brown rice this time around

Directions:

In a large skillet, melt butter along with olive oil. Add garlic and saute until fragrant , app. 2 mins.

Add wine or broth, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper and bring to a simmer.

Let wine reduce by half, app. 3 minutes.

Add shrimp and saute until the shrimp just turn pink, 2-4 mins. on each side depending on their size. Squeeze the lemon over the shrimp, I stirred the shrimp in the sauce one final time and served over brown rice with a sprinkling of parsly.

This shrimp would be delicious served over pasta as well.

Enjoy!