Monday, August 30, 2010

Turkey Pesto Sliders


As I do my meal planning, I've been going straight to Annie's blog to see what's cooking. I don't think I've made anything from Annie we haven't LOVED. So, I was perusing and this was on the front page. Mostly ingredients I had on hand, this seemed like a perfect easy supper.

It was! These were really delicious, so easy to make (I kept trying to get my son to come help, but Daddy distracted him with a computer game), and so cute! I know my picture doesn't at all do the sandwich justice, so just head over to see Annie's pictures.

Our grocery store sells whole wheat slider buns, so I got those. I also used olive oil mayo. I think this would be delicious with a roasted red pepper on top, but we didn't have any around!

Turkey Pesto Sliders
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6 slider buns
6 slices of turkey deli meat
6 slices of provolone cheese
3 tbsp. pesto
3 tbsp. mayonnaise
2 tbsp. butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Line a baking sheet with foil or a silicone baking mat. Split the slider buns and lay a folded slice of turkey on the bottom half of each bun. Layer each with a slice of provolone. In a small bowl, combine the pesto and mayonnaise in a small bowl and mix until blended. Spread a thin layer of the pesto mayonnaise on the inner side of the top half of each bun. Replace the top bun over the cheese to assemble the sandwiches. Brush the tops of the buns lightly with melted butter. Bake 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the sandwiches are warmed through.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Chicken and Artichokes in a White Wine Sauce


Tonight, I was simply too exhausted to cook. We went away for the weekend, and have been running a TON since we returned (we're car shopping, which really messes with meals when you're working around the schedules of two little boys who want to nap and eat), so we've been eating a good amount out. When I said that I was soo tired, and wanted to just sit for a minute (for what felt like the first minute of the day), my wonderful husband said he would cook.


So, he's the one who made this. As he was finishing up, he said he really hoped the meal tasted as good as it smells because it smelled so good.

It was very good. Way to go, Annie! The problem with ours was that the chicken was a little bit overcooked; he ended up not eating much of his chicken, but devoured the sauce.

I couldn't tell you what modifications he made other than this:
We used Pinot Grigio that had been sitting in our fridge for awhile, probably to the point of being vinegar.
We had beef stock in the fridge; I'm pretty sure he used that for the chicken broth.

Chicken and Artichokes in a White Wine Sauce
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½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. herbes de provence (or a combination of other dried herbs such as basil, parsley, oregano, thyme)
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (2 chicken breasts total)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 (14 oz.) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup chicken broth
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Minced fresh parsley, for serving
In a pie plate or shallow dish, combine the flour, dried herbs, salt and pepper and stir with a fork to blend. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture. Using tongs, coat the chicken breast halves in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. Remove the chicken to a plate; cover and keep warm.
Add the butter to the pan and warm until melted. Add the mushrooms and artichokes to the pan and cook until most of the liquid is released from the mushrooms and the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
In a liquid measuring cup, combine the white wine, chicken broth, and reserved tablespoon of flour; whisk until smooth. Add the mixture to the skillet, cooking until it is warm and slightly thickened. Return the chicken to the pan to warm through and cover with sauce. Serve the chicken with sauce spooned over the top, and garnish with grated Parmesan and fresh parsley as desired.
Source: adapted from Proceed With Caution, originally from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, Bridal Edition

End of Summer Pasta

I found this recipe in my Parents magazine this month, and was so happy that it used lots of the veggies we've been given from friends' gardens this summer. I was very excited about this, expecting it to be delicious, but it wasn't. It probably isn't the fault of the recipe; the eggplant tasted very weird and mushy, so it was either overcooked or it was bad. We tossed it and had leftovers. I have lots of red onion around, so I added some of that in with the garlic, but otherwise followed the recipe as written.

But anyway, maybe it would be very good for someone else to make!

  • 1/4 cupextra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 mediumeggplants, cut into 1/2 to 1-inch chunks
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb.farfalle or other dried pasta
  • 6 small or 3 mediumtomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2 to 1-inch chunks
  • 1 to 2 tsp.thinly sliced garlic
  • 1/2 cupfreshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Chopped fresh basil for garnish (optional)

1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the eggplant, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and stir occasionally until it's browned and tender, about 15 minutes.

2. Add pasta to boiling water and prepare as directed. While its cooking, add the tomatoes and garlic to the eggplant mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is nicely softened, about 10 more minutes.

3. When the pasta is done, drain and toss with the eggplant sauce and Parmesan. Adjust the seasoning and garnish with basil if you like.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

BBQ Chicken Pizza

This was first made in our house almost a year ago. I, however, not only didn't make it, but I also didn't even taste it. Newly pregnant, I was too tired to cook that day and the smell of the chicken turned my stomach. I finally got around to making it again, and it? Is awesome. This was fantastic and it will be going into our pizza rotation.

I used Bulls Eye Original BBQ sauce. I picked it because it had no HFCS, but the flavor is just awesome. It was perfect in this recipe.

Some alterations I would make to this is that, as written, it uses WAY too much BBQ sauce. I put 1c on the chicken as a marinade and a thin layer on the pizza itself. I should have just used the marinade and been done with it.

From $5 Dinners. Original recipe here.

2 chicken breasts
1 cup BBQ sauce
Homemade Pizza Crust (used our recipe, posted here)
1/2 large red onion
2 crushed garlic cloves
1/2 - 1 cup BBQ sauce

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dice chicken breasts and pour 1 cup of BBQ sauce over the pieces. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Saute chicken pieces in skillet over medium high heat for 8-10 minutes, or until chicken has cooked through.
2. Prepare homemade pizza dough.
3. Meanwhile, saute chopped red onions and garlic in 1 tsp olive oil for 4-5 minutes, or until onions become more opaque.
3. Roll pizza crust onto pizza pan or baking stone. Top with 1/2 - 1 cup of BBQ sauce and spread around with spoon.
4. Top with cooked diced chicken and sauted red onions. (Top with 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese!)
5. Bake about 20 minutes.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Grilled Chicken Fajita Fettucine

I found this recipe over on Mel's blog and decided it looked like something to try.

As I'm cooking it, there are a few changes I'd suggest:
1. Start the pasta sooner than the recipe suggests. My water was just boiling when everything else was finished. A good time might be about the time you put the chicken on the grill.
2. Don't slice the chicken before marinating. I wasn't even thinking about this, but it would have been so much easier to grill a whole breast and then slice afterward.

Grilled Chicken Fajita Fettuccine
Printable Version with Picture
Printable Version

*Serves 4-6

Marinade Ingredients:
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon apple cider or red wine vinegar I used apple cider
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Pasta Ingredients:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into fajita-sized strips
1 tablespoon vegetable, canola or olive oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced into half moons
1 green pepper, sliced into thin strips I used a cubanelle pepper
1 red pepper, sliced into thin strips
8 ounces white button mushrooms, quartered
4-6 ounces crumbled feta cheese (Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack or cheddar could easily be subbed here)
1 pound fettuccine
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
Sour cream for serving

In a small bowl, mix the marinade ingredients together. Place the chicken strips in a ziploc bag, pour the marinade over the chicken and seal the bag. Refrigerate and marinate for 4-8 hours.

Grill the chicken strips until they are tender and cooked through (alternately, you could saute the chicken in a hot skillet to cook or broil in the oven). Set aside and tent with foil to keep warm.

Start a large pot of water to boil. When boiling, add a tablespoon of salt and the fettuccine. Cook until the noodles are tender, according to package directions. Drain.

While the water is heating and the noodles are boiling, in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat the 1 tablespoon oil and add the onions. Cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms begin to give off their liquid and start to brown (by now, the onions should be nearly finished cooking). Add the bell peppers and saute until they are crisp tender. I like my bell peppers barely cooked so they retain their sweetness and crispness, but cook them however you like.

Return the noodles to the pot and toss with the chicken, vegetables, half of the cheese and cilantro. Serve the pasta with a dollop of sour cream, if desired, the remaining cheese and additional cilantro. For a prettier presentation (rather than serving from the pot), after combining all the ingredients in the pot, dump the pasta onto a large serving platter or bowl.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mushroom Ravioli with Marsala Sauce

I saw this on Lauren's blog and figured it would be a great one for us to try. My husband is a huge Marsala fan, and often orders mushroom ravioli when we go out to eat, so I figured I'd give it a try. Like Lauren, I bought a package of Buitoni's Wild Mushroom Agnolotti. I was toying with getting two packages, since I figured one wouldn't be enough for the three of us, but at $5.49 a package at my store, instead made a few side dishes. We had broccoli and bread (all I had was sourdough, which wasn't a great choice, but we definitely wanted something to mop up that delicious Marsala sauce) on the side.

Oh wow, this was outstanding. This was a very different Marsala recipe from ones I've made previously, and it was delicious.

All three of us enjoyed this one, and it was particularly fast and easy to make. Go to your store and make this tonight!

Here's the recipe for Marsala sauce, which she took from the Food Network site.
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Add olive oil to heavy hot saucepan. Add onions, garlic, mushrooms, saute until mushrooms are tender. Add flour and cook about 1 minute then deglaze pan with Marsala wine. Add beef stock and cook until thick and flavors are blended.

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