Skillet Mediterranean Chicken

Ingredients

1 large boneless skinless chicken breast (about 225 g)
1/2 tsp each dried tarragon and dried oregano
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
85 g broccolini
half sweet yellow pepper, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil

Method

  1. Place chicken on cutting board. Holding knife blade parallel to board and with opposite hand on top of chicken, slice chicken horizontally all the way through to form 2 cutlets. Sprinkle both sides of each with tarragon, oregano, salt and pepper.
  2. In large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tsp of the oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, turning once, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to plate.
  3. In same pan, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Cook Broccolini, yellow pepper, garlic and olives until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add chicken and wine. Cover and simmer until chicken is no longer pink inside and Broccolini is tender-crisp, 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and sprinkle with feta and basil.

Makes 2 servings.

Source: Canadian Living

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Vegetarian Risotto Primavera

Ingredients

generous 6-1/3 cups vegetable stock
8 oz fresh thin asparagus spears
4 tbsp olive oil
6 oz young green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
6 oz young zucchini, quartered and cut into 1-inch lengths
generous 1-1/2 cups shelled fresh peas
1 onion, finely chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
generous 1-5/8 cups risotto rice
4 scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths
2 oz butter
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp snipped fresh chives
2 tbsp shredded fresh basil
salt and pepper
scallions, to garnish (optional)

Method

  1. Bring the stock to a boil in a pan, then reduce the heat and keep simmering gently over low heat while you are cooking the risotto.
  2. Trim the woody ends of the asparagus and cut off the tips. Cut the stems into 1-inch pieces and set aside with the tips.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over high heat until very hot. Add the asparagus, beans, zucchini, and peas and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until they are bright green and just starting to soften. Set aside.
  4. Heat the remaining oil in a large, heavy-bottom pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, or until it starts to soften. Stir in the garlic and cook, while stirring, for 30 seconds.
  5. Reduce the heat, add the rice, and mix to coat in oil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes, or until the grains are translucent.
  6. Gradually add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time. Stir constantly and add more liquid as the rice absorbs each addition. Increase the heat to medium so that the liquid bubbles. Cook for 20 minutes, or until all but 2 tablespoons of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is creamy.
  7. Stir in the stir-fried vegetables, onion mixture, and scallions with the remaining stock. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, then season to taste with salt and pepper Stir in the butter, Parmesan, chives, and basil.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the risotto to a warmed serving dish, garnish with scallions, if liked, and serve at once.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Source: Risotto

Spanish-style Cod with Onion and Bell Peppers

Ingredients

1 lb cod fillet or similar white fish, such as haddock, skinned
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, sliced fine
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
1 red and 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
salt and white pepper
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp sugar

Method

  1. Cut the fish into bite-size pieces.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet and fry the fish until just done, then transfer it to a glass or ceramic dish.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet, add the onion, and cook until soft but not browned.
  4. Stir in the mushrooms and peppers and cook for a further 1 to 2 minutes -the vegetables should remain crisp.
  5. Spoon the vegetables over the fish and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  6. Pour the vinegar and water into the skillet and bring to a boil. Add the sugar, stir until dissolved, then pour over the fish and vegetables. Allow to cool then cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Serve with crusty olive bread.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Onions

Somen Nests with Eggplant and Shiitake Mushrooms

Ingredients

2 small eggplants, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
12 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3-1/2 oz fresh enoki mushrooms
1 teaspoon dashi granules
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon white miso
1 tablespoon mirin (sweet rice wine)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup Japanese soy sauce
11 oz dried somen noodles

Method

  1. Blanch the sliced eggplant in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to a plate and weigh down for 15 minutes to press out any remaining liquid. Pat dry.
  2. Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and reserve the liquid.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the eggplant slices in batches until golden brown on both sides. Remove.
  4. Add the enoki mushrooms and cook for 10 seconds. Remove.
  5. Stir in the dashi, sugar, miso, mirin, reserved liquid, water, soy sauce and shiitake mushrooms and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Cook the somen noodles in boiling water for 3 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  7. Place nests of the noodles onto plates, top with eggplant slices and the mushrooms, and drizzle with the sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Food Style – Noodles

Napa Valley Basil-Smoked Burgers

Ingredients

2/3 cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons basil pesto
2 pounds ground sirloin
1/4 cup Zinfandel wine
1/4 cup lightly packed minced fresh basil
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup fine fresh Italian bread crumbs
8 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and finely chopped
1 to 2 teaspoons garlic salt
6 large seeded sandwich rolls, split Vegetable oil for brushing on grill rack
8 fresh basil sprigs, moistened with water for tossing onto the fire
6 slices Monterey jack cheese
red leaf lettuce leaves
6 large tomato slices, about 1/4-inch thick
paper-thin red onion slices, separated into rings
fresh basil sprigs (optional)

Method

  1. In a grill with a cover, prepare a medium-hot fire for direct-heat cooking.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and pesto. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, combine the sirloin, Zinfandel, minced basil, minced onion, bread crumbs, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic salt to taste. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the meat mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into round patties to fit the rolls.
  4. When the fire is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Toss the moistened basil sprigs directly onto the coals, then place the patties on the grill, cover, and cook until browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes.
  5. With a wide spatula, turn the patties and cook until done to preference, about 4 minutes longer for medium-rare. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill to toast lightly and top each patty with a cheese slice to melt.
  6. Spread the mayonnaise on the toasted rolls. On the bottom half of each roll, layer the lettuce, burger, tomato slice, and onion ring. Add basil sprigs, if desired, and cover with the roll tops.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: James McNair’s Burgers