Chicken Parmigiana with Spaghetti

Ingredients

2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, finely diced
1 small onion, finely diced
1 tsp Italian herb seasoning
1 bottle (660 mL) strained tomatoes (passata)
half sweet red pepper, diced
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
450 g boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
350 g spaghetti
3 tbsp chopped fresh basil

Method

  1. In saucepan, heat 1 tsp of the oil over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring, for 1 minute.
  2. Add carrots, onion and Italian herb seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.
  3. Stir in strained tomatoes, red pepper and a pinch each of the salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Place one chicken breast on cutting board. Holding knife blade parallel to board and starting at thickest long side, slice horizontally to make two thin cutlets. Repeat with remaining chicken. Sprinkle both sides with remaining salt and pepper.
  5. In large nonstick skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook chicken, turning once, until golden, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  6. Spoon 2 tbsp of the tomato sauce over each chicken cutlet, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake in 400°F (200°C) oven until Parmesan is melted and chicken is no longer pink inside, about 10 minutes.
  7. While chicken is baking, in saucepan of boiling lightly salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and toss with remaining tomato sauce to coat.
  8. Stir in basil. Serve with chicken.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Complete Chicken Cookbook

Beet Spaghettini with Toasted Walnuts and Cheese

Ingredients

3 large unpeeled red beetroots, about 1-1/2 lbs
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
8 fresh sage leaves, divided
3/4 cup water, divided
1 Tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt, plus extra
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus extra
1 lb pkg spaghettini
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra
1/2 fennel bulb, finely diced, fronds reserved
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese or feta
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
  2. Scrub beetroots thoroughly and cut into quarters. Place in ovenproof saucepan with tight-fitting lid. Add garlic, 4 sage leaves, and 1/4 cup water to pot. Cover tightly and bake in oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until beetroot wedges are very tender when pierced. Remove from oven and, with slotted spoon, remove beetroot to separate bowl to slightly cool. No need to peel.
  3. In high-speed blender, place beetroot wedges along with baked sage leaves and roasted garlic. Add 1/2 cup water, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, and pepper and pulse until mixture is creamy and thick enough to coat cooked pasta evenly. Add a splash more water if mixture appears too thick.
  4. Fill large saucepan with water and add generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Stir in spaghettini, and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes.
  5. Heat oil in skillet. Add diced fennel and gently saute over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until pale golden. Transfer to plate.
  6. In skillet, add a splash more oil, if needed, and add remaining sage leaves. Fry until crisp but not darkened. Set aside.
  7. Drain spaghettini well and return to saucepan. Pour beet sauce overtop and gently fold together to evenly coat until beautifully rosy coloured. Gently stir over low heat until warm.
  8. Serve warm in shallow bowls. Scatter diced fennel overtop. Top with crumbled cheese and toasted walnuts. Garnish with fennel fronds and add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Drizzle with a little extra balsamic and a splash of olive oil, if you wish, and serve piping hot.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Alive magazine

Vegan Lobster Mushroom Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

1 ounce dried lobster mushrooms, soaked overnight, water reserved
1/2 pound uncooked cavatappi pasta
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup mushroom soaking liquid, strained well
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs

Cheese Sauce

1 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons ume plum vinegar
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon mashed roasted garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon mellow white miso
1/8 teaspoon salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place a baking dish on top of a half sheet pan.
  2. Remove the mushrooms from water (reserving liquid), squeeze to drain, and add to a strainer. Rinse mushrooms to remove any grit. Chop into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Strain reserved soaking liquid through a paper towel and set aside.
  3. Into a blender, add cashews and water and blend until smooth.
  4. For the cheese sauce, into a blender, add cashew cream, oil, vinegar, nutritional yeast, roasted garlic, lemon juice, miso, and salt and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserving some cooking water, drain pasta, then return it to the same pot.
  6. In a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil. Once shimmering, add shallots and salt, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add chopped mushrooms and stir. Add mushroom soaking liquid and water and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid has almost evaporated and mushrooms are soft, about 30 minutes.

  8. Pour mushroom-shallot mixture and cheese sauce into a pot. Gently mix everything together, adding a little pasta water to make the sauce silky. Carefully pour the entire mixture into the preheated baking dish.
  9. Combine breadcrumbs and remaining oil in a small mixing bowl, stir until completely incorporated. Sprinkle on top of mac and cheese and bake for 30 minutes, until the top is crispy and sauce is bubbling. Let stand for at least 10 minutes to cool, then serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Veg News

Italian-style Roasted Beef with Prunes and Port

Ingredients

1 beef triangle tip (tri-tip) or top round roast (about 2 lbs), trimmed of fat
1-3/4 cups port
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 can (14-1/2 oz) beef broth
2-1/2 cups pitted prunes
2 packages (about 10 oz each) frozen tiny onions, thawed
1 pound dried farfalle (pasta bow ties)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
oregano sprigs
salt and pepper

Method

  1. Set beef in a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Set aside.
  2. In a 3- to 4-quart pan, combine port and sugar. Stir over medium heat just until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  3. Measure out 1/3 cup of the port mixture to use for basting and set it aside.
  4. Add broth, prunes, and onions to port mixture remaining in pan. Set aside.
  5. Roast meat in a 450°F (230°C) oven, basting 4 times with the 1/3 cup port mixture, until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest part registers 135°F (57°C) for rare (about 35 minutes). After 25 minutes, check temperature every 5 to 10 minutes. If pan appears dry, add water, 4 to 6 tablespoons at a time, stirring to scrape browned bits free from pan bottom. Do not let drippings scorch.
  6. While meat is roasting, bring prune mixture to a boil over high heat. Then reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, until prunes and onions are very soft (about 30 minutes). Remove from heat and keep warm.
  7. When meat is done, transfer to a carving board, cover loosely, and let stand for about 15 minutes.
  8. In a 6- to 8-quart (6- to 8-liter) pan, bring about 4 quarts (3.8 liters) water to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in pasta and cook until just tender to bite, 8 to 10 minutes. (Or cook pasta according to package directions.)
  9. Drain pasta well. Transfer to a large rimmed platter, mix in garlic and chopped oregano, and keep warm.
  10. Pour any meat drippings from baking pan into prune mixture. Also add any meat juices that have accumulated on board. With a slotted spoon, ladle prunes and onions over and around pasta. Transfer cooking liquid to a small pitcher.
  11. To serve, thinly slice meat across the grain and arrange over pasta mixture. Garnish with oregano sprigs. Offer cooking liquid to pour over meat and pasta and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Low-fat Italian Cookbook

Noodle Baskets with Chicken Lime Salad

Ingredients

peanut or corn oil, for deep-frying
9 oz fresh thin or medium Chinese egg noodles

Chicken Lime Salad

6 tbsp sour cream
6 tbsp mayonnaise
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
grated rind and juice of 1 lime
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, poached and cooled, then cut into thin strips
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed and sliced
salt and pepper
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
several fresh basil leaves, torn

Method

  1. These impressive-looking baskets are not difficult to shape and cook, but allow yourself a few practice runs first.
  2. To shape noodle baskets, you can use 2 spider web slotted spoons from an Asian store. Spread the noodles out and place in a mesh spoon. Then place a second mesh spoon over the top and hold the two handles tightly together as you dip the baskets into the oil.
  3. Alternatively, you can buy a special set of 2 long-handled wire baskets that clip inside each other, which you can buy at gourmet kitchen stores. Dip the larger wire basket in oil, then line it completely and evenly with one-quarter of the tangled noodles. Dip the smaller wire basket in oil, then position it inside the larger basket and clip it into position.

  4. Heat 4 inches oil in a wok or deep-fat fryer to 350-375°F/ 180-190°C, or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds.
  5. Lower the baskets into the oil and deep-fry for 2-3 minutes, or until the noodles are golden brown. Remove the baskets from the oil and drain on paper towels.
  6. Unclip the 2 wire baskets and carefully lift up and remove the small one. Use a round-bladed knife, if necessary, to prise the noodle basket from the wire frame. Repeat to make 3 more baskets. Let the noodle baskets cool, then fill and serve, or store in an airtight container for several days.
  7. To make the salad, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, ginger, and lime rind. Gradually add the lime juice to taste. Stir in the chicken, carrot, cucumber, and seasoning to taste.
  8. Cover and let chill. Just before serving stir in the herbs and spoon the salad into the noodle baskets.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Noodles