Balsamic Roasted Chicken Breast

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I’m not joking, this was a 1.19 pound chicken breast.  That’s HUGE.  That’s a little over 1/2 kilo.

I used to make this fairly often several years ago, and it’s a great marinade!  If you can get your hands on a whole, cut up chicken, it makes a beautiful meal for a family and looks really stunning on a platter.  Add some mashed cauliflower to soak up the sauce, and a nice, simple salad of greens and tomato, and you’ll have a dish that “probably” won’t have any leftovers.  But if you DO have some leftover chicken, it makes an awesome topping for a salad the next day.

*tip – when using balsamic vinegar as a marinade, you do not need to use your most expensive bottle.  Save that for use as a salad dressing or drizzled over vegetables.*

Balsamic Marinade

1/4 C Balsamic Vinegar

2 T olive oil

2 T Dijon Mustard

2 T lemon juice

1 t minced garlic

1 t minced onion

1 t dried rosemary

1 t honey

pinch salt, pinch pepper, pinch hot pepper, pinch beet powder

After it cooks:  1/4 C hot chicken broth with splash of lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400 F

Whisk the marinade together and pour over the chicken breast.  I like to use a resealable kitchen storage bag, which I wash and reuse.  Marinate for at least an hour, but it’s even nicer to do it overnight.  Remove from bag and let excess marinade drip off.  Place the chicken breast, skin side up on a rack over a roasting pan.  Cook for approximately 35 minutes, brushing once during the cooking with the reserved marinade.  Remove from oven and put on a dish under a tent of aluminum foil while you prepare the sauce.

Put the roasting pan on top of the burner (make sure you are using a pan that is both oven and stove top safe!) Turn the burner to medium and pour the chicken broth into the pan.  Use a wooden spoon to scrape up all of the drippings from the pan.  Cook over medium heat until reduced by about 1/3.  Add a splash of lemon juice.  Remove from burner, pour over the chicken and serve!  This is an excellent marinade for a whole chicken as well!  Increase the cooking times by 5 minutes for the rest of the chicken (thighs, wings, legs, etc).

 

Asparagi ed Uova con Prosciutto (Asparagus and Egg with Prosciutto)

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“Velocius quam asparagi coquantur” – Ancient Roman saying that translates as “faster than cooking asparagus”.  It means that something was accomplished very quickly.  Kind of like cooking this dish!

Asparagus with egg is is a springtime favorite across Italy.  You can find it listed on the menu as a lunch item, or as a first course on a supper menu.

Traditionally it’s made with the thicker (female) stalks which are boiled in salted water and then topped with a crispy fried egg, parmegiano reggiano, and the browned butter from the fry pan.

I make mine just a little differently because I love to match up crispy prosciutto and roasted asparagus.  And you know what?  I almost bought some quail eggs because I just KNOW it would be super cute to make a little asparagus and prosciutto “bouquet” with tiny fried quail egg “flowers”.

Alas, I’m still trying to figure out what to do with all the eggs I already have, so it didn’t seem right to purchase an entire dozen of the wee little guys.  No matter how cute it would be.

Speaking of cute, here is a picture of my dog peeking out from under the table at a restaurant where I ordered this dish.

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Now we make it at home, and so can you.

Happy Spring Vegetable Recipes Everyone!

Asparagus with Egg and Prosciutto

Per person:

1 egg

Handful washed asparagus, all about the same size

1 piece prosciutto

grated Parmegiano Reggiano

salt and pepper

1/2 T to 1 T Butter

Preheat oven to 400 F

Preheated small fry pan (medium or just under), you want it pretty hot.

Wash and pat dry your asparagus to make sure there is no sand in them.  Steam for about 3 minutes over boiling water if they are the thin (male) stalks, or about 5 minutes if they are the thicker (female) stalks.  If you have JUST picked them, from your own garden, you lucky person you, you can get away with an even shorter period of time.  Drizzle with olive oil, and wrap the prosciutto around it like a bundle of love.  Place the asparagus on the baking tray with the seam side down so it doesn’t pop open or curl up.  Grind some pepper over the top.

Cook for 10-12 minutes, remove from oven and put on plate.  Top with desired amount of cheese.

*I like my asparagus crisp tender, even if it’s roasted, but feel free to cook it for a longer period of time depending on your preference.*

Add pat of butter to fry pan – it should melt right away and almost want to turn brown.  If it browns immediately your pan is too hot, so lower the heat and try again. Pour your egg in, top with some salt and pepper, and cook until the white is set but the yolk is still runny.

Carefully place the egg on top of the asparagus, and pour the remaining browned butter over the asparagus.

Serve immediately

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Herbes de Provence Cod

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It has been a while since I have posted.  There are a lot of reasons why, but if I have to look deeply at myself, a big part of it is because I thought:

What I ate is not post worthy

I’m experimenting a lot, and the recipes are good, but

Not post worthy

People like what I cooked, say they love it, but can it be replicated?  Can anyone do it?  Anywhere?

Not worthy

Wow.

Psalm 139:14 says

I will praise you; for I am fearfully (gloriously) and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and THAT my soul knoweth right well.

That’s US.  Who we are, when we agree with who God says we are.

So today, I made some fish.  And it was good. So I’m posting it.  Not because it’s fancy, takes a lot of technique, or ticks any of the current dietary things, or is post worthy, but because it was good, and after eating it, I FELT good, and a cloud lifted from my brain.

Not only that, but afterwards I ate the leftovers of a recipe I was working on that is the

PERFECT DESSERT for this meal.  I’m so excited again to work on that one, because somehow, in the days when I couldn’t figure out what to post…it was all coming together in a glorious and wonderful way.  A little bit of research showed, that when you put certain foods together, you actually assimilate all of the nutrients and AMP UP the nutritional value.

Seriously?

It’s true!

The dessert that I have been working on is super good, and fits completely with the fish I made tonight, it just needs a few tweaks and twiggles.  I made up the word twiggles but feel free to use it.

This recipe is for ONE.  Just multiply the ingredients if someone else is eating with you.

You start by laying very thinly sliced potatoes, carrots, and a little bit of onion in a cast iron pan that was heated to med low, and had a small amount of olive oil spread on the bottom.  I salted all the veg except the onion, and let the liquids come out.  Then rinsed them and patted them dry before putting them in the pan.  Some of the starch will come out of the potatoes.

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Then I laid the cod on top of the potatoes.  The cod was seasoned with garlic, herbes de provence, olive oil, and some pink salt.  I topped it with some thin sliced lemon, and drizzled some more olive oil over it all.

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After 10 minutes in a 350 F oven, I took it out and stirred up all the vegetables around the fish.

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Another 10 minutes in the oven, take out, stir the vegetables again, and cover in tin foil.  It should sit for at least 5 minutes covered by the foil tent.

I’ll do the first picture again, because all I do many times is top with a chiffonade of lettuce.  Even if it’s not just you eating, it’s fun to set out salt and pepper that has to be ground, and some olive oil.  That way everyone gets interactive with the food, even if someone else cooked it. There is always going to be someone who wants to put some hot pepper on it, so put that out also.  Anyway, have fun!

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Herbes de Provence Cod

1 piece cod approx 6 oz (I used a frozen at sea piece)

2 T good olive oil

1 T Herbes de Provence ( I used a blend from a place called gaec le frigoulet – but I can’t find a website.  It is the BEST EVER blend I ever had, and it was a place where we just stopped because I said “let’s stop here” as we drove past it on the road.

1/2 clove minced garlic

More olive oil

Mix olive oil, garlic and oil together with a fork.  Let sit for a while.

Pat your fish dry if it is very wet.  Coat each side with the herb mixture.

Drizzle with some more olive oil, and cook in oven for 20 minutes.  Take out and cover with tin foil for at least 5 minutes.

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