One Pan Herbed Chicken Dinner

IMG_0846This is a great go-to recipe for family meals or anytime you want to spend more time with the people in your kitchen than you do preparing a meal and cleaning up!  It can also be adjusted for quantity easily.  This is a large pizza pan which was perfect for 8 chicken breasts, with potatoes alongside. Add a green vegetable or a salad if you wish, but the idea is to keep things simple.

One Pan Herbed Chicken Dinner

8 boneless skinless chicken breast

1/2 cup olive oil  – drizzle in more if you need it.  The idea is to coat the chicken and potatoes

8-10 small red potatoes,  halved

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano – remember if you use dried herbs instead of fresh, you must reduce the amount

garlic salt

freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put chicken in the bottom of a large bowl. Add potatoes, sprinkle with garlic salt, then pour olive oil over all. With your hands, turn the pieces of chicken and potatoes to coat thoroughly, adding more olive oil if ecessary.  Scatter the chicken and potato pieces in a large baking dish, or cookie sheet with sides. Top with chopped rosemary, oregano, and a few grinds of pepper. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, uncovered.

Experiment with other herbs – chopped fresh basil or dried thyme with some thin lemon slices added while baking.  There are many variations!

Mahi Mahi Poached in Olive Oil with Tomato, Olive, and Rosemary Salsa

IMG_0799

Before I was married (over 50 years ago!), I rarely ate fish cooked any way but fried.  My personal favorite was fried shrimp. Mother avoided most fish, but loved fried catfish. My parents owned a small cafe where my father cooked delicious foods, but I don’t remember his ever serving seafood other than fried fish and shrimp. Daddy loved fried oysters, and liked to make oyster stew with fresh oysters when he cooked at home, especially at Christmas. I still enjoy fried oysters, shrimp and catfish with hush puppies. But now, we enjoy a variety of fresh fish cooked in many ways.  For quick family suppers, my go-to methods of preparation are grilling and baking.  We grow fresh herbs in our garden, so often have fish paired with fresh dill, rosemary, or thyme. When This recipe was originally published Coastal Living. I did a search and found several versions online. I had never poached fish in olive oil before and wanted to try it  The results were delicious so it won’t be the last time I use this combination of flavors or this method of cooking.  The following is the way I adapted the Coastal Living recipe.  And yes, we do live on the South Texas Gulf Coast.

Mahi Mahi Poached in Olive Oil with Rosemary and Tomato Salsa

2 (4-6 ounce) Mahi Mahi filets

2 cups olive oil

sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

4 Roma or Compari tomatoes (small, but not cherry tomatoes), halved

2 Tablespoons capers

1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped

1 Tablespoon champagne or white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Heat olive oil in flat sided deep skillet.Place tomatoes in oil, cut side down, along with 1 sprig of rosemary.  Cover and simmer gently for about 10 minutes, or until tomatoes are tender  Remove tomatoes to plate to cool.  Rinse fish and pat dry before sprinkling with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Lower fish carefully into flavor infused hot olive oil and poach  8 to 10 minutes or until fish is cooked through and flakes easily with fork. Remove from oil and place on serving dish.

While fish is cooking, put tomatoes in bowl and mash with fork or a few swirls of an immersion blender.  Add capers, chopped Kalamata olives, chopped rosemary, and vinegar.  Spoon this mixture over fish in serving dish and garnish with a whole sprig of rosemary.

 

 

Cheese, Apple, and Amaretto Omelet

 

IMG_0780

I love the farm fresh eggs I get from All We Need Farms in Needville, TX.  I never get tired of finding new ways to use them.  Last Saturday I made our version of this omelet from a recipe found online in several places and also in one of my favorite cookbooks:  Breakfast in Bed Cookbook, which features recipes from Bed and Breakfast Inns in the Northwest U.S. and British Columbia.  This one is served at Blackberry Inn in Seal Rock, Oregon.  Even if you can’t drive the Pacific Coast Highway north and have a stop there, treat yourself to a visit to Seal Rock here:  www.sealrockor.com/1900_s.html

Notes for assembling ingredients:  If you prefer, substitute 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract for the Amaretto.  Choose apples that are firm and sweet but slightly sharp.  We like apples that are available now called Ginger Gold, an apple with the bite and rich taste of just harvested fall apples. If the name Ginger Gold is unfamiliar, that’s because it is a recent addition to the list of apple varieties. It was discovered growing among the twisted uprooted trees in a Virginia orchard in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Its ancestors are the Golden Delicious and Albermarle Pippin apples.

Cheese, Apple, and Amaretto Omelet

OMELET

4 eggs

2 tablespoons half and half

dash salt & pepper

1 Tablespoon butter for cooking omelet (if you choose, you may spray the pan with cooking spray)

FILLING

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons sugar

1 large golden delicious or Ginger Gold apple, peeled and sliced

1 tablespoon amaretto liqueur or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Cook’s note:  I added an extra tablespoon of amaretto in order to have a little syrup left to pour over the omelet on the plate.  If you

1 1/2 ounces cream cheese

IMG_0781

 Melt butter in a small skillet. Stir in sugar and sliced apple and saute until apples are tender. Remove from heat and add liqueur or extract. Keep warm.

Beat together egg, half and half, and seasoning. When ready to cook omelet, melt  butter in omelet pan and pour in egg mix.

Cook, pushing raw egg to outside edge, when eggs are set, with a slotted spoon, spread apple mixture over eggs and dot with cream cheese.  Slide onto serving plate and divide for 2 servings.  You may prefer to cook half of the ingredients first, repeating with remainder for a second omelet if you want 2 individual servings. If you have used extra Amaretto for flavoring, drizzle this over the top of omelet.

IMG_0782

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zuppa Toscano

IMG_0725

September is here, school has started, fall colors are showing up all over, and although our temperatures certainly don’t reflect it yet, I begin to think of Pumpkin Spice coffee, refresh my supply of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, and pull out our favorite soup recipes. The first time I had this soup, it was at a local Olive Garden, and in my opinion it remains as one of the best items on their menu.  There are many recipes for it to be found online and in various cookbooks, including one that claims to be the Olive Garden copycat recipe. which uses chicken bullion cubes and water.  I prefer my version, using herb seasoned chicken broth, and Tuscan Kale from our garden.

Zuppa Toscano

1 pound Italian Sausage (we like spicy, but use mild if you prefer)

4-6 Russet Potatoes chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes

4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed before mincing

4 cups Chicken Broth

2 cups Tuscan Kale or ruffled kale, leaves stripped from tough center stem, then stacked and rough cut. If you like smaller pieces of the green, stack the leaves, roll them together and shred into thin strips

1 cup heavy whipping cream

Crumble sausage and brown in large soup pot or Dutch oven. Cook and stir until browned. Add chopped onions and garlic and cook until onion softens. Add chopped potatoes and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Pour in chicken broth and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes.  Add kale and cook several minutes. Tuscan Kale has a thicker leaf, but if you use the ruffled kale generally found in supermarkets, cook for only a minute or so. Slowly add cream and cook until heated through. Serve with breadsticks or a loaf of peasant bread such as Ciabatto.

If you would like to make this using your slow cooker, here are the modified directions:

Brown sausage and add chicken broth, garlic, potatoes, red pepper, and onion in slow cooker.

Add chicken broth,covering the vegetables and meat.  Cook on high 3-4 hours (low 5-6 hours) until potatoes are soft.

Before serving, add kale to the pot, stir, cover, and cook on high for 30 minutes.  Add cream and continue heating for a few minutes until heated through.  Serve and enjoy!