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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What Did Recipe Girl Cook This Weekend?

What did Recipe Gurl cook this weekend??......Her ode to fancy in minutes and Trader Joe's ready made pizza dough...
Saturday Night: Chicken with Wine

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, sliced into 8 cutlets and pounded thin
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 10 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

Directions:

  1. In a shallow bowl, combine the flour and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Coat the chicken, shaking off any excess.
  2. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the chicken and cook, turning once, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add 1/2 tablespoon butter and the mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes; transfer to the plate of chicken. Stir in the shallot and the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Add the wine and chicken broth and simmer until reduced by one-third, about 5 minutes.
  3. Return the chicken and mushrooms to the pan, add the thyme and cook, turning, to heat through; season with salt.

This is Rachel Ray's quick and healthier version of coq au vin. It turned out great, but I did make a few tweaks, the recipe says to use chicken breasts cut into 8 cutlets and pounded thin, to save time I just bought thin sliced chicken breats. Instead of fresh thyme I used 1/2 tsp of dried thyme. Also, I cooked the shallots for longer than a minute, I probably did about 3 minutes to develop the flavor more. When adding the chicken back in, I recommend leaving the chicken and mushrooms simmer in the wine and broth mixture for at least 10 minutes to soak up the flavor. For sides I quartered red baby potatoes, drizzled them with olive oil, kosher salt, and dried dill and cooked them in the oven at 425 for 20 minutes. I also popped asparagus in the oven at the same temp for 15 minutes, i just drizzled them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little lemon juice. Cook both of these in the oven at the same time along with this easy chicken dish and you have a faked fancy dish in 30, I mean come on, anything that I can used presliced mushrooms with is a winner.

 
Sunday night: Sausage, Pepper and Onion Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound refrigerated pizza dough
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound hot italian sausages, casings removed
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 red bell peppers, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven, place an inverted baking sheet on top and preheat to 500°. Using oiled hands, stretch the pizza dough to fit a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and pour out any remaining grease. In the same skillet, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the onion and peppers and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and the rosemary.
  3. Scatter the sausage, onion and peppers across the pizza dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border. Dollop with the ricotta and sprinkle the parmesan on top; drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Set the baking sheet on the inverted baking sheet in the oven and bake until the crust is crisp and golden-brown, about 20 minutes.
This turned out better than I thought it would. Every time I try to make a pizza I end up with a soggy crust, but thanks to my new buy from Crate and Barrel, the 16' Pizza Crisper http://www.crateandbarrel.com/kitchen-and-food/pizza-pans/16%22-crisper/s488569 (had to get myself a little something while I was buying about 5 wedding gifts) the crust turned out perfectly, I totally recommend it, well worth the $16 bucks. I think Target also has something similar as well. I tweaked a couple things in this recipe that I think made a big difference. I used Trader Joe's ready made whole wheat pizza dough which I think is the greatest thing ever, you buy it in the refrigerated section and it's all ready for you to roll out. All I did was spray the pizza crisper with non-stick spray and kneaded it out on the pan with my hands. Instead of pouring the olive oil over all of the toppings like the recipe says, I poured the olive oil on the crust before putting any of the toppings on to make sure the crust didn't turn out dry. I didn't use rosemary, instead I put about 1/4 tsp of fennel seed in the pan and let it cook for about a minute before adding the peppers and onions. Lastly, I don't really like the consistency of ricotta cheese, so I used fresh mozzarella instead. I added a salad on the side, drizzled it with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a little salt and pepper (to make myself feel healthy and balance out the fact that I was eating bread topped with sausage and cheese).

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