Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Try some of these idea's for dinner...

Tapinade and spinach stuffed chicken breast with roasted potatoes and onions

Pound out chicken breast and cut them in half if they are really big ones; have ready some baby spinach sauteed in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper; also have ready kalamata olive tapinade that you buy or it's just finely chopped kalamata olives with garlic (anchovies and olive oil if you like); season the chicken with a little salt and pepper then spread on the olive and spinach; roll up and use a tooth pick to secure; with a fork beat up a couple egg whites in a bowl and have ready some corn starch; dust the chicken with corn starch then coat with some egg white; place into a non-stick skillet and brown on all sides to get crisp; place in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until it's cooked through and the temperature reads 165 degrees.

For the potatoes; cut the potatoes with or without the skin into desired "fry shape" and coat with olive oil then sprinkle on the salt and pepper; do the same with sliced red onion; spread on a sheet pan; roast in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes tossing a few times for even cooking.


A tartine is an open faced sandwich on toast.  I had lots of cheese, tomatoes, an avocado I had to use up, some leftover tapinade (from recipe above), fresh herbs an a couple slices of prosciutto.  So what do you do with all these bits of ingredients?  Here you go... think of it like pizza but much easier and quicker...

Basil pesto and roasted chicken pasta salad

I roasted a whole chicken and removed the chicken from one breast and about that amount of dark meat, tossed it with some basil pesto and let it soak in, then chill; boil the pasta and while it is hot, I tossed it with the basil pesto to coat, chill; to make the basil pesto I smashed a small garlic clove and added it to the food processor and processed; add a handful of pine nuts and a couple good handfuls of fresh basil leaves and process; add about 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and the juice of 1 lemon, process; add olive oil while the food processor is running until you get a sauce consistency; season with salt and pepper to taste; you may want a bit more lemon or cheese, you be the judge. 

To bring it all together toss the chicken and the pasta into a bowl and add cherry tomatoes (sliced or whole), toasted pine nuts, chopped sundried tomatoes and fresh basil. 

I like this served this at room temperature, but cold is good too.

Eggplant ravioli with roasted haricots vert, onion and mushrooms in a basil pesto sauce

I had made these ravioli a month or two ago and they were sitting in the freezer ready for me to boil.  I had some pesto leftover from the "pesto chicken pasta" I made so this came together easy!!!  I roasted the mushrooms, onion and haricots for about 25-30  minutes at 400 degrees just with olive oil, salt and pepper.  So I tossed all the components together and grated some Parmesan cheese over top.  This was excellent with a glass of red wine!!

Shittake mushroom caps with Gruyere and Thyme

I have this thing for mushrooms all of a sudden, which is good because they are so good for you.  I also made some regular stuffed mushrooms using button mushrooms, with a shittake, shallot, fresh bread crumbs, parsley and goat cheese filling (which I didn't take a picture of for some reason).  I had 3 shittake mushrooms left over so I decided to just simply cook them in butter and olive oil for a few minutes then remove to a baking dish cap side up and topped each one with a few small slices of Gruyere then under the broiler to melt the cheese; remove from the oven and top with a bit of fresh thyme from the garden.  Good stuff!

Turkey and Bella mushroom burgers with guacamole, tomato and onion

If I didn't tell you, you would have thought that was beef!  Not at all...I took a whole package of Bella mushrooms; cleaned and trimmed them then into a food processor with a shallot; cook this mixture in olive oil with salt and pepper; once its good and cooked down add fresh thyme and check for seasoning; let it cool then add a pound of ground dark turkey meat; season and fry up a small bit to make sure it's perfect; form into patties.  I made some guacamole by simply chopping up an avocado and mix in some salt, lime juice and cilantro.  These buns were skinny whole wheat and spelt buns you will find at Whole Foods.

Brie on fresh Baguette slices topped with apricot pepper jelly

I saw Laura Calder (French Food at Home show) make a sandwich of just butter and Brie on a Baguette so I did something similar, made without the butter but with the apricot pepper jelly I just came across, and sliced for an appetizer instead of her "hogie" style for a train ride.  Nice with drinks, it's like a big cracker with cheese and jam.

Chocolate crepes with cherry Creme Anglaise

I kept seeing these chocolate crepes in my new book "La Tartine Gourmande".  I finally said OK, it's time to make these.  She (Bea) suggested serving them with thickened creme anglaise which is basically ice cream before it's churned, thickened with a little cornstarch.  I just got these great cherries and wanted to use them.  I did that by infusing some cherry flavor into the milk as I was making the creme anglaise.  You usually heat milk and scrape the seeds from a vanilla bean, add seeds and the bean to the milk, then let it sit covered off the heat for 30 minutes, then strain out the bean.  I added some crushed cherries along with the vanilla bean to give it a pink color and of course the flavor.  Here is her chocolate crepe recipe.  For the thickened creme anglaise heat to just under a boil 1 cup of whole milk, 1 vanilla bean, cut open and scraped and about 10 cherries cut open and crushed slightly; cover and let steep for 30 minutes; whisk together 3 egg yolks and 2 Tbsp sugar until lightened in color and ribbon-y; add a tsp of corn starch to the egg yolk mixture and stir in; strain the milk and heat it gently until you see bits of steam; slowly whisk in the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture and then back into the pan; place over low heat and stir with a wooden spoon; once it coats the back of the spoon it's done, this takes about 5-7 minutes; I folded in some chopped cherries and filled the chocolate crepes with the creme anglaise, topped with powdered sugar.

Raspberry, lady finger and creme anglaise triffle topped with whipped cream

I had some creme anglaise left over from the chocolate crepe dish so I just layered in the fresh raspberries, anglaise and lady fingers then topped with sweetened whipped cream.  I let it sit overnight to get the lady fingers really soft (like a tiramisu) yum!

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