Thursday, May 10, 2012

Some more healthy food choices

I love my whole chickens!  I picked one up and removed the breasts for the chicken saltimbocca (below) and I broke down the rest to make some chicken stock (and chicken salad for sandwiches for lunch the next day).  I had the pot of stock simmering away for a few hours on the back burner, so it was right there when I needed a couple ladles full for the sauce I made for the saltimbocca.

I made this chicken saltimbocca, which was easy, quick and delicious!  Its chicken that's pounded out to about 1/8 inch thick and I sliced each chicken breast in half and made 4 smaller ones (out of 2 chicken breasts).  Lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, then I placed a few sage leaves on each, a slice of prosciutto and a grating of Gruyere cheese.  I rolled them up and secured with a toothpick.  Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to finish them.  When it came time to cook them I heated a skillet with butter and oil then browned the chicken on all sides.  I ladled in some chicken stock and a squeeze of lemon juice to deglaze, cover the pan and simmered gently for about 8-10 minutes to cook the chicken through.  Remove the chicken to a warm oven, add some fresh sage leaves to the pan and reduce the stock and lemon juice that's in the pan to a nice, slightly thicker consistency then swirl in a tablespoon of butter off the heat.  Spoon the sauce over the chicken once it's plated. 

I made a salad using baby Swiss chard, baby spinach and baby kales, grapes, tomatoes and walnuts.  I also made a walnut-Graham cracker "soil", we had at a restaurant recently.  I crushed some walnuts and Graham crackers to a powder and added a little cinnamon and a pinch of salt.  This "soil" is placed under the salad and it's a nice surprise that you get under the salad.  

Zucchini two ways
I made this raw salad by cutting long strips of the outside of the zucchini until you get to the softer center (which I used differently), and tossed with a dressing made of a baby bit of grated garlic, white wine vinegar, honey, salt, pepper and olive oil.  I chopped up the center of the zucchini and sauteed it in a little butter and olive oil to brown, season with salt and pepper.  Good stuff.

I happened to be watching my favorite chef show, French Food at Home, Laura Calder and she was doing a show on being Thrifty with French food.  She made this quick lentil soup.  Here is her recipe, I followed the general idea but topped it with some prosciutto that I cooked in a skillet briefly to brown it slightly.

These Bosc pears looked so good at the store so I got them just figuring I'd put them in a salad or something but I did this instead.  I poured the rest of a red wine bottle in a pot (maybe it was about 2 small glasses worth and dissolved about 2/3 cup of sugar and water to cover the pears.  I peeled the pears and left them whole and added them to the pot.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover for an hour or so until it's tender when you Pierce it with the tip of a knife.  I let it sit in the liquid to cool slightly, remove the pears and reduce some of the liquid until a syrupy consistency.  I spooned it over the top and let it fall onto the plate.  

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