the recipe sharer

Archive: Jun 2014

Sticky marmalade chicken breast

We are marmalade addicts, so this is right up our street, especially on a busy day when there’s not much time to spare preparing dinner. Very low fat too.

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4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 pint (8 fl oz) chicken stock
4 heaped tbsp fine (or coarse) cut marmalade
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp dried thyme

Season the chicken breasts well with pepper and salt.
Fry the chicken in the oil for 8 to 10 mins turning once until golden on each side.
Add the chicken stock, marmalade and thyme and simmer for 5 to 10 mins.
Remove the chicken and boil the sauce hard to reduce to a syrupy sauce, then pour over the chicken and serve.

* Boiled rice is a lovely catch-all for the sauce too.

Chicken breast in Stilton sauce

This is another easy chicken breast meal.  If you can’t find Stilton cheese, use another blue cheese.

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 Serves 2,  but can be augmented easily, just watch the amount of chili
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 fl oz dry white wine
17 oz creme fraiche
1 small red chili, de-seeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh chives, chopped fairly fine
6 oz Stilton cheese, crumbled
olive oil for frying

Fry the onion and garlic gently in a little olive oil until softened
Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and add them to the pan, cooking for about 8 mins until they begin to cook through.
Add the wine and simmer until reduced to about 1/3 of the amount of original liquid
Add 13 oz of the creme fraiche and stir thoroughly
Simmer until the sauce begins to thicken, add the chili, chives and Stilton cheese a little at a time. Stir until all the Stilton is added and melted.
If the sauce becomes too thick, add more creme fraiche or if it is too thin, continue to reduce until the  desired consistency is achieved

Chicken breasts stuffed with olives and goat cheese

I get more requests for the boneless, skinless chicken breast than anything else!   Here, chicken breasts are stuffed and then seared until golden-brown. The pan sauce is made separately, which both saves time and prevents the stuffing from getting into the velvety sauce.  Although really tasty, the sauce is optional, depending on how much time you want to devote to the dish. I have made it both ways very successfully.

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Serves 4
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/2 lb. total)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 oz. fresh goat cheese, at room temp
2 Tbs. coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
1-1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbs. minced shallots
1-1/2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs. lower-salt chicken broth

With a sharp knife, cut a wide pocket into the thickest part of each chicken breast half, taking care not to cut all the way through. Season the chicken evenly on both sides with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper total.
In a small bowl, mix the cheese, olives, and 1 tsp. each lemon zest and rosemary. Stuff the pockets with the cheese mixture and pin each shut with two toothpicks. Spread the flour in a shallow bowl and dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess.
Heat 1 Tbs. of the butter and the oil in a 12-inch heavy-duty skillet over medium-high heat until the foam from the butter subsides. Add the chicken and cook, flipping once and adding another 1 Tbs. of butter halfway through cooking, until golden-brown and cooked through (reduce the heat to medium if necessary), 14 to 16 minutes total. Transfer to plates and remove the toothpicks. You can put them in the oven on low at this point, to stay warm, or even finish cooking at 300 F for 10 mins or so, if you like.
While the chicken cooks, melt 1 Tbs. of the butter in an 8-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and boil until syrupy, about 3 minutes. Add the broth and boil for 1 minute more. Off the heat, whisk in the remaining 3 Tbs. butter, 1 tsp. zest, and 1/2 tsp. rosemary. Serve the chicken drizzled with the sauce.

Fast and easy baked creamy tarragon chicken breast

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I was asked recently if I had a really easy and quick boneless chicken breast dish and realized I hadn’t posted one of the simplest ones around.

Serves 8 but is easily halved.
1 cup creme fraiche
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 heaped tbsp fresh tarragon leaves, chopped roughly or 4 tsp dried tarragon, crumbled
4 cloves garlic, sliced lengthways
salt and pepper
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a 13″ by 9″ baking dish, stir together all the ingredients except the chicken.
Season the chicken breasts well with salt and pepper then add them to the mixture, turning to coat well and arrange in one layer.
Bake the chicken in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes or until cooked through.
Can’t get much easier than that!

Easy Thai pork satay

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As you probably know by now, I am an Asian food freak, especially anything with coconut and lemongrass.
This is so tasty and tender with super flavors and is pretty simple to to throw on the bbq. Ideally a charcoal fire would be better, but if you have a gas bbq that is fine.

Makes about 10 skewers
1 cup coconut milk
3 tbsp chopped fresh lemongrass (outer leaves pulled away, and only the tender inner stalks used)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp chopped galangal or fresh ginger if you don’t have galangal
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 & 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 & 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin (I roast my own)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1lb  pork fillet, cut into 1/4″ thick sliced (silverskin removed)

Puree 1/2 cup coconut milk, the lemongrass, coconut oil, galangal/ginger, sugar, turmeric, coriander, salt, cumin and cayenne in a food processor.
Toss the paste and pork slices in a bowl, coating well and chill for 4 hours or more.
Thread 3 slices pork each on to 10 skewers, spoon the remainder of the coconut milk onto the meat and grill, turning until charred, about 7 minutes.

 

 

 

 

Gorgeous Greek gazpacho with feta cheese

This is such a lovely, refreshing and vibrant dish on a hot summers day and so easy as there’s NO COOKING!!
I saw Ina Garten making this on the Food Network and immediately ran to the computer to get the recipe. It’s richer and more interesting than the usual slightly watery and one dimensional gazpachos one gets in many restaurants.
When we start our kitchen remodel in a couple of months, this will be a staple, along with several other great chilled soup recipes as we will be without the kitchen for 2 months.

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 Serves 8 to 10
2 thick slices day-old bread, such as Ciabatta
6 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp freshly chopped oregano leaves
2 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
5 tbsp red wine vinegar
5 tbsp good olive oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 red onions, chopped
1 seedless cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and chopped
4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
3/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1 (46 oz) can good tomato juice, such as Sacramento
4 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 oz good Greek feta cheese, small-diced, not crumbled

Place the bread, garlic, oregano and parsley in a food processor and process until everything is finely chopped.
Add the vinegar and olive oil and process again until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
Place the peppers, red onion, cucumbers, tomatoes and olives separately in the food processor and process until very coarsely chopped. Add to the mixing bowl.
Add the tomato juice, salt and pepper and stir well. Taste for seasoning, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours for the flavors to come together nicely.
Fold in the feta and serve chilled.

Polenta with mushrooms and truffle oil

This recipe is from the incomparable Yotam Ottolenghi and his book “Jerusalem” is one of my 5 “desert island” recipe books.
So easy and with such bold, earthy flavors. All that needs to be served with this is a simple salad.

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Serves 2  (but can easily be augmented)
4 tbsp olive oil
¾ lb mixed mushrooms, very large ones halved
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tbsp truffle oil
1 pint ( 16 fl oz) vegetable or chicken stock
3 oz polenta (instant or traditional)
3 oz Parmesan, grated
2 – 3 tbsp butter
1 tsp finely chopped rosemary
1 tbsp chopped chervil
4 oz Taleggio cheese (rind removed), cut into 1/4” slices
salt and black pepper

* There are two types of polenta meal (or cornmeal) available – a quick or instant variety and the traditional, slow-cooking one. For most purposes the quick polenta is good enough. Either one can be used for this dish.
Heat up half the olive oil in a large frying pan. Once hot, add half of the mushrooms and fry for a few minutes, or until just cooked; try not to move them much so you get golden-brown patches on their surface. Remove from the pan, and repeat with the rest of the mushrooms and oil. Off the heat, return all the mushrooms to the pan and add the garlic, tarragon, thyme, truffle oil and some salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Bring the stock to the boil in a saucepan. Slowly stir in the polenta, then reduce the heat to the minimum and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. The polenta is ready when it leaves the sides of the pan but is still runny. If you are using instant polenta this shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes; with traditional polenta it could take up to 50 minutes (if it seems to dry out, add some more stock or water but just enough to keep it at a thick porridge consistency).
Preheat the grill (broiler) to high. When the polenta is ready, stir in the Parmesan, butter, rosemary and half the chervil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the polenta over a heatproof dish and top with the Taleggio. Place under the grill until the cheese bubbles. Remove, top with the mushrooms and their juices, and return to the grill for a minute to warm up. Serve hot, garnished with the remaining chervil.

Chilled lemongrass and cilantro soup

Thanks to the wonderful and foolproof Delia Smith for this refreshing, zingy soup for those hot summer evenings.
Delicious before a dinner even in a soup shooter. it’s even nicer when the soup and the bowls or shooters are chilled when serving.

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Serves 4
4 thick stems lemongrass
2oz fresh cilantro leaves
5 green onions, finely chopped
2 oz butter
2 medium onions
10 oz new potatoes, scraped and chopped small
5 fl oz whole milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Firstly, strip the cilantro leaves from the stalks and reserve both the leaves and the stalks.
Lemongrass is dealt in exactly the same way as leeks; trim the root and the tough top away, leaving 6 inches of stem, remove the outer skin and chop quite finely. Then do the same to the green onions.
Gather up all the trimmings from both, wash them and put them into a saucepan together with the cilantro stalks, some salt and 1 1/2 pints water and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes to make a stock.
To make the soup, melt the butter in a large saucepan, then add the chopped lemongrass, onions (reserve the green onions until later) and potatoes and keeping the heat low, let the vegetables sweat gently, covered for about 10 minutes.
After that, pour in the stock through a strainer, discard the debris from the strainer and add the milk and about 3/4 of the cilantro leaves.
Season with salt and pepper, bring the soup up to a simmering point and simmer very gently for about 25 minutes.
Allow the soup to cool a little before pouring it into a food processor or blender, puree it, then pour it through a strainer into a bowl.
When it’s cold, cover and chill thoroughly until you’re ready to serve it.

Serve in chilled bowls or soup shooters.

You can add an ice cube to each bowl if you like and sprinkle in the rest of the finely chopped cilantro and the green onions as a garnish. FYI, in my picture there is no garnish other than a blob of whipped sour cream and a mini basil leaf which is also nice, but more minimalist.
Make sure you serve this soup chilled!

Glazed chorizo with figs

This dark, gooey, sweet, spicy mixture is rich and sumptuous and a great dish for a starter with some toasted bread slices.
You don’t need much and it definitely has the “wow” factor in flavor.

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 Serves 6 to 8
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. Spanish chorizo, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red onion, sliced lengthwise
2/3 cup red wine
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup good liquid honey
1 1/2 cup dried figs, trimmed and quartered
1 stick cinnamon
3/4 tsp. whole cloves

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion and chorizo and stir for about four minutes, until the garlic and onion is soft and starting to brown.
Add the honey and stir vigorously for approximately 30 seconds, being sure to coat all the ingredients.
Add the wine, vinegar, dried figs, cinnamon and cloves. Heat to a simmer and let simmer for approximately 30 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and created a glaze for the chorizo and figs.
Serve immediately, or let cool and reheat for serving.

 

 

Salami chips with sour cream and basil

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Last night we had close friends for dinner and I made these as an hors d’oeuvres with drinks. They were super.
The recipe comes from Giada de Laurentiis.

Our starter was “Papaya,avocado and prawn salad with a Raratongan curry mayonnaise” followed by “Garlic studded beef pot roast”, both of these recipes being on my blog. I highly recommend them as they are always highly successful and foolproof for a casual dinner party.

Salami chips with sour cream and basil

The crispy salami slices turn into a bacony bite and the cool sour cream and fragrant basil is a lovely contrast.
Makes 24, but beware they go fast.

24 thin slices Italian dry Genoa salami (about 4 ounces)  Pre-sliced is okay.
1/3 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line 2 heavy large baking sheets with aluminum foil. Arrange the salami in a single layer over the baking sheets.
Bake until the salami slices are amber brown, watching closely to ensure they brown evenly, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Transfer the salami crisps to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to absorb the excess oil. Set aside to cool.
Spoon a dollop of sour cream on top of each salami crisp. Sprinkle the basil over and serve.

Do-Ahead Tip: The salami crisps can be made 8 hours ahead. Store in airtight containers and keep at room temperature. How easy its that!