Archive for February, 2010

February 28, 2010

Roasted Chicken and Asparagus

This is a versatile recipe and you can switch it up using different veggies, and serve with pasta or rice, and switch up the dressing you use – lemony vinaigrette or a tarragon vinaigrette. 

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half to make thin breasts
1lb. asparagus
2 shallots sliced
1T herbs de provence
juice of one lemon
1t. dijon mustard
1/4c. olive oil
salt and pepper
1T capers, drained

Cover a large cookie sheet with foil. Set oven to Broil.

Set the asparagus on one side of the pan drizzle with oil and salt and pepper. Season chicken with salt and pepper and herbs de provence and set on the other side of the pan.

Cook for 8 minutes and then turn the chicken and toss the asparagus.

Meanwhile make pasta or rice and dressing.

Make dressing : mix lemon juice, mustard, salt and a pepper. Whisk in oil.

Finish cooking chicken until cooked through and asparagus browns just a bit.

Remove from oven and drizzle with dressing. Serve over rice or pasta.

February 28, 2010

Apricot Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Wrapped in Prosciutto

Apricot Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

This is a recipe a friend gave me, and told me to try. I had made a bacon wrapped pork tenderloin and it reminded him of this recipe, so I’m giving it a try now. I was a little hesitant at first because I’m not a huge fan of fruit in savory foods but this was really good! It’s good enough that I’m sharing it here and will make it again! It’s fairly simple and it doesn’t take too long either!

Wine Pairing – My friend says a Spicey Pinot!

Ingredients (Serves 4)

1/3 cup dried apricots
1 T. unsalted butter
2 shallots, minced
2 T. fresh sage, minced
3 T. pine nuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup. (4 oz.) Mascarpone cheese
1 lb. pork tenderloin
8 slices prosciutto
1/2 cup dry white wine

Soak the apricots in warm water for 2 hours or more.  Drain and finely chop. (I skipped this step because I got Trader Joe’s Apricots and they are pretty plump and not tough and too dried out)

Preheat the oven to 400F. 

In a small mixing bowl, combine the sage, pine nuts, apricots and all but 1 T. of the mascarpone.  Don’t mix yet…

In a sautee pan over medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the shallots for 5 minutes, or until golden. Add to the apricot mixture now mix well.

Make a deep slit down the side of the tenderloin from end to end, cutting nearly all the way through.  Open the butterflied meat and spoon the stuffing along the middle of the cut.  Fold the tenderloin around the stuffing.

Lay 4 pieces of string and place the stuffed tenderloin on top, with the open/stuffed side facing up. Place the slices of prosciutto, slightly overlapping, on top of the tenderloin, then tie the strings to hold it all together. 

Place the meat in a small roasting pan and roast for 30-45 minutes (temp registers 170° in stuffing and in thickest part of tenderloin), basting with the wine halfway through.  Remove from the oven and let rest on a warm platter.

Over medium heat, bring the pan juices to a simmer and whisk in the remaining 1 T. mascarpone.  Whisk well.  Remove from heat. 

Cut the strings and slice the tenderloin crosswise into 4 pieces.  Place them on a platter and drizzle the sauce over each piece.

A slice

(Note: I used pancetta because I didn’t have proscuitto, they are so similar so it turned out really good still!)

February 27, 2010

Stuffed Artichokes

Today I bought small artichokes from Trader Joes so I could make a stuffed artichoke recipe I saw the other day.  After I searched and searched for the recipe I couldn’t find it again, or anything close to it. So I used two artichokes tonight and have two more for tomorrow (and after I get some italian sausage and red peppers from the store tomorrow I will make another version).  Lots of people make their artichokes whole stuffed with a mixture of garlic, bread crumbs, parmesan, parsley, and little lemon juice. I used this mixture and added pine nuts and pancetta.

Trim the artichokes like you would normally (That is: using scissors trim the prickly points off the leaves and using a peeler, peel the stem. Then remove the small tough leaves at the bottom). Cut the ‘chokes in half and remove the inner-most thin leaves and the “hair.”

Squeeze half a lemon over all artichokes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and olive oil.

Mix 1/4 c. bread crumbs, 1/4c. parmesan, 1 minced clove of garlic, fresh parsley, and small palm of pine nuts (I know not very exact).

Divide the mixture among the artichoke halves. Chop 3 slices of pancetta and place on top of artichokes.

Place artichokes in a shallow baking dish. Pour in 1/2c. white wine and 1/2c. water. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until tender.

Stuffed Artichokes


February 25, 2010

Sirloin Steak Rolls

With spring showing signs of life lately I’ve been thinking more about steak so here is another recipe. Simple weeknight dinner and it’s kid-friendly. I’m always looking for easy dinners on the weeknight so I don’t spend all night making dinner and doing dishes. I served this with the Ranch Potatoes and salad. I’m also addicated to the potatoes!

1 package of thinly sliced sirloin tip steak
1 red bell pepper
4 green onions
3T soy sauce
2T water
2T rice wine vinegar
1T sugar

Place steak (one or two at a time) in a plastic bag. Pound until about 1/8th of an inch thick.

Slice red bell pepper into strips. Sautee in a pan with a little olive oil, until peppers are cooked most of the way through, add 1T of soy sauce and cook 2 minutes.

Slice green onions lengthwise and then in half crosswise. Add one green and one white part and few pepper slices (this will differ depending on the size of steaks) and roll up in steak. Secure with a toothpick.

In a sauté pan heat 1T oil and brown steak on all sides. I take the toothpicks out once they are browned on all sides, at this point they will stay rolled up and you can cook the side the toothpick stuck out.

Mix the remaining soy sauce, water, sugar, and vinegar in a bowl. Remove rolls from pan and add sauce. Let the sauce cook down a bit to create a syrup-like consistency. Pour over the rolls and serve.

Sirloin Steak Rolls

February 17, 2010

Marinated Skirt Steak

This is a recipe I got while in Sonoma at my FAVORITE winery – Mazzocco. Great wine and great food! This was the place we got to barrel taste and go into their vineyard and get a lesson on how to prune vines. I can’t wait to go back. I bet it’s so beautiful there right now…ahhh good times!

This is so super simple (yes John it really is!)

3 parts soy
3 parts teriyaki
3 parts red wine
1 part pineapple juice
Skirt steaks
(I used one steak and 1/3c soy, teriyaki, and wine and about a 1/4c. juice)

I make it the night before and then flip it once in the morning. Cook it on the grill to your liking – I like Med Rare. about 6 minutes per side. That’s all so easy huh!

Here are a few side ideas:

Grilled Veggie Salad
Roasted Ranch Potatoes

You can also turn this into an appetizer by thinly slicing the meat and placing on top of sliced baguette pieces…YUM YUM.

February 17, 2010

Grilled Veggie Salad

This is such a good refreshing salad. I love grilled veggies so this is right up my alley. I got the inspiration while watching Ellie Kreiger on Food Network this weekend. I’m sure she has a recipe on Food Network that is similar. You can mix up the veggies – portabella mushrooms would be good or summer squash too.

1 small egglplant
3 small zucchini
1 red bell pepper
1 red onion
1/4 cup goat cheese or feta
1/2 lemon

Slice eggplant and onions into rounds 1/2 inch thick; zucchini quarter lengthwise; and red bell pepper quartered. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on BBQ and cook until veggies get char marks and are cooked through (some may need more time than others – eggplant).

Cut eggplant and onions in quarters, zuchhini in half and cut red bell peppers in slices. Toss together. Squeeze lemon over veggies with salt and pepper and then toss in cheese.

Grilled Veggie Salad

February 17, 2010

Roasted Ranch Potatoes

These are so simple for easy weeknight dinners and SO good. My daughter will even eat these potoatoes and she doesn’t usually eat potatoes unless they are french fries (Yes I know! How does she not like potatoes?!?!?)

1 lb. small yellow potatoes
1 package of ranch dip mix (or dressing mix, the dip is better)
1/4 c. olive oil

Wash potatoes. Place potatoes in a shallow ovensafe dish. Drizzle with olive oil and toss. Sprinkle half the packet of ranch dressing over the potatoes and toss again.

Bake in the oven at 425° for about 25 minutes. toss during cooking. Make sure large potatoes are cooked through.

Roasted Ranch Potatoes

February 1, 2010

Chicken Tacos

In my younger days my friends and I went to a local bar ate $1 Tacos and drank Corona on Tuesdays…mmm…ah the olden days! LOL. Anyway just a little reminiscing.

So I felt a taco fix was necessary, it’s usually a summer food to me, for whatever reason I don’t know… but I’m ready for warmer weather. If I haven’t said already, by this time of winter I’m ready for warmer weather! 🙂 I’m going to take some skiing lessons this year though so I can get my daughter in lessons and learning next year. Maybe then I’ll like winter better – if I don’t break anything…ha ha ha 

Here is a new recipe inspired by an Eating Well recipe I read, with my own spin on it of course. It’s fast and easy for weeknights. This recipe makes about 8 tacos.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

4 limes
1/2 bunch of cilantro
1 jalepeno

1 avocado
3 roma tomatoes
1 white onion
1 clove garlic

package of corn tortillas

Squeeze limes in a glass pan, add roughly chopped cilantro and thinly sliced jalapeno. Mix in salt and pepper. Add chicken breasts and marinate overnight, turn chicken part way through marinating.

In a hot pan add the tomatoes whole and cook until charred on all sides.

Cut tomatoes in half and remove seeds. Chop into bite-sized pieces. Slice avocado and chop cilantro.

Slice onion into thin wedges and finely chop garlic. Add onion and garlic to pan and saute for 2 minutes. Slice chicken into thin strips. Cook in pan with onion and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until cooked through and browned. Add chopped tomatoes and cook another 2 minutes. Stir in chopped cilantro.

I like to toast my tortillas on the stove to get a little char on them…MMM. If you have a gas stove set the flame to medium and place a tortilla on the flame and move around to get a little toasty action on it…like this:

Separate taco filling among the tortillas and top with sliced avocado and cotija (my favorite!) and serve with a lime wedge….scrumptous!