Friday, February 20, 2009

Other Good Eats from Last Weekend

Rather than bore you with a bunch of posts about different cooking adventures over the weekend I am going to put them all in one post.  I will also be putting a few links in rather than retyping whole recipes and claiming them as my own, like I do most of the time.

I made three different, excellent meals from Friday through Monday.

The first meal I made was Tyler Florence's Shrimp Scampi, garlic bread, and Caesar Salad with a home-made dressing recipe from the Joy of Cooking cookbook.  The scampi wasn't the best I've ever had.  It felt like I was just eating shrimp with noodles, so I will have to find another recipe for that.  The Caesar salad, however, was amazing.  The dressing was perfect- you must add the anchovies, they really add the zip you want!

Caesar Salad Dressing
Mash together in a small bowl until a paste is formed:
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 t salt

Whisk in:
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 large egg
1 t Worcestershire sauce
4 anchovy fillets, mashed to a paste
salt and black pepper to taste

Add in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

I then ended up putting this all in a food processor to make it really smooth.  My "pastes" weren't quite pasty enough.  I really need to get a mortar and pestle.

The second meal I made was Cider-Vinegar Chicken from Rachael Ray, smashed red potatoes, and green beans with cherry tomatoes.  This meal was good, but it was all very brown to me.  I think I should have done a different veggie side; I know green beans and tomatoes are green and red, but on the plate they just didn't seem that way.  I should have done a cucumber salad or something.  Other than that, the meal was great.  It also made for some really flavorful leftovers.

Cider Vinegar Chicken

4 6oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
black pepper
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 T fresh thyme leaves, from 4 sprigs, leaves stripped and chopped
3 T honey
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups chicken stock or broth

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 2 T of the EVOO.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the hot skillet.  Brown the chicken on both sides, 3 minutes per side.  Remove and reserve the meat, covered with foil.  Ass another T of EVOO, the onions, thyme, honey and the garlic.  Season the onions with salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently for 7 to 8 minutes.  You want the onions to get really brown and caramelized.  Add 1/2 cup of the cider vinegar and the stock.  Turn up the heat to high and bring the liquids up to a simmer.  Once at a simmer, return the chicken to the skillet.  Cook the chicken in the sauce for about 10 minutes, flipping the chicken over halfway through the cooking time.

Arrange the chicken breasts on dinner or serving plates.  Pour a generous amount of sauce with the onions over the chicken breasts.  Enjoy!

The last meal I made was Alton Brown's baked stuffed flounder along with a  salad using the leftover Caesar salad dressing.  This was an Alton Brown recipe that I actually enjoyed!  I love his show and his methods, but for some reason his recipes are really hit or miss in my book.  The was definitely a keeper!

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