"What's for Dinner?!" I'm always thinking about it, thought I'd share.

"What's for Dinner?!" I'm always thinking about it, thought I'd share.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Chicken Parmigiana

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves
2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
Pinch sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 11/2 pounds)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1 (8-ounce) fresh buffalo mozzarella, water drained
Freshly grated Parmesan
1 pound spaghetti pasta, cooked al dente

Coat a sauté pan with olive oil and place over medium heat. When the oil gets hazy, add the onions, garlic, and bay leaves; cook and stir for 5 minutes until fragrant and soft. Add the olives and some hand-torn basil. Carefully add the tomatoes (nothing splashes like tomatoes), cook and stir until the liquid is cooked down and the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes; season with sugar, salt and pepper. Lower the heat, cover, and keep warm.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Get the ingredients together for the chicken so you have a little assembly line. Put the chicken breasts side by side on a cutting board and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them. Pound the chicken breasts with a flat meat mallet, until they are about 1/2-inch thick. Put the flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. In a wide bowl, combine the eggs and water, beat until frothy. Put the bread crumbs on a plate, season with salt and pepper.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high flame in a large oven-proof skillet. Lightly dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off, then dredge in the bread crumbs. When the oil is nice and hot, add the cutlets and fry for 4 minutes on each side until golden and crusty, turning once.

Ladle the tomato-olive sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with mozzarella, Parmesan, and basil. Bake the Chicken Parmesan for 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Serve hot with spaghetti and Enjoy!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Lemon- Blueberry Swirled Ice Cream Sandwiches

Here is one of my favorite summer desserts!  The lemon plays perfectly with the blueberries and oatmeal.  Warning!  These are very habit forming and if not careful you could eat them all before anyone gets to try one.  Have fun!

Makes 8 servings

For lemon ice cream:
2 pint premium vanilla ice cream
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For blueberry compote:
2 cups blueberries (10 ounces)
1/4 cup sugar
2 (3-by 2 1/2-inch) strips lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch

For sandwich layers:
16 bakery style oatmeal cookies (you can make these yourself, I'm lazy so I found some amazing ones at a bakery just around the corner)

Make lemon ice cream:
Transfer ice cream to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 30 percent power in 10-second intervals, stirring, until softened, about 50 seconds total.
Stir in lemon zest and juice. Reserve in the freezer while making the compote.

Make blueberry compote:
Cook blueberries, sugar, and zest in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat, thoroughly crushing blueberries with a potato masher, until juices are released and sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes.
Stir together lemon juice and cornstarch, then stir into blueberry mixture. Boil, stirring, 1 minute (mixture will thicken).
Transfer blueberry compote to a bowl and chill until cold, about 1 hour. Discard lemon zest.

Assemble sandwiches:
Dollop tablespoons of blueberry compote all over ice cream, then swirl it gently through ice cream with a spoon. Spoon some ice cream over the bottom of one cookies.  Spread evenly using clean offset spatula. Top with second cookie to make sandwich.  Press gently and use spatula to smooth rim. Repeat until all are made (try not to eat all the ice cream while assembly is going on, I know it's very addicting) Wrap each cookie in plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.

Serve and Enjoy!

Weekly Menu July 7th - August 2nd

Saturday- "Party on the Patio"
Carolina Style Smoked Pork
Texas Smoked Beef
Chopped Salad with Sweet Onion Vinaigrette
Cole Slaw
Potato Salad with Bacon and Chives
Blueberry-Lemon Ice Cream Sandwiches

Chicken Parmigiana
Pasta with Garlic and Parsley
Green Beans with Red Onion

Turkey Enchiladas
Mexican Rice

Bratwurst with Sauerkraut
German Potato Salad

Grilled Chicken with a Rum Glazed Barbecue Sauce
Medley of Roasted Peppers with Garlic and Onions
Roasted Carrots

Mystery Night

Dinner out with Friends

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Tomato Feta Pasta Salad

1/2 pound fusilli (spirals) pasta
Kosher salt
Good olive oil
1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium-diced
3/4 cup good black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and diced
1 pound good feta cheese, medium-diced
6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
For the dressing:
5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1 garlic clove, diced
1 teaspoon capers, drained
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water with a splash of oil to keep it from sticking together. Boil for 12 minutes, or according to the directions on the package. Drain well and allow to cool. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, feta and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

For the dressing, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, salt and pepper in a food processor until almost smooth.

Pour the dressing over the pasta, sprinkle with the Parmesan and parsley, and toss well.  Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Black Bean Burgers

makes 4 patties

 1 (16 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
 1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
 1/2 onion, cut into wedges
 3 cloves garlic, peeled
 1 egg
 1 tablespoon chili powder
 1 tablespoon cumin
 1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce or hot sauce
 1/2 cup bread crumbs

If grilling, preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil. If baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly oil a baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, mash black beans with a fork until thick and pasty.
In a food processor, finely chop bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Then stir into mashed beans.
In a small bowl, stir together egg, chili powder, cumin, and chili sauce.
Stir the egg mixture into the mashed beans. Mix in bread crumbs until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide mixture into four patties.
If grilling, place patties on foil, and grill about 8 minutes on each side. If baking, place patties on baking sheet, and bake about 10 minutes on each side.

Garnish as you would any regular burger, serve and enjoy!

Weekly Menu July 14th - July 19th

Carolina Style Pulled Pork
Sweet Corn with Cilantro Butter
Cole Slaw
Garden Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Chicken Mole Enchiladas
Mexican Rice
Spicy Black Beans

Indian Curried Red Lentils with Sweet Potatoes and Vegetables
Roasted Cauliflower
Basmati Rice

Grilled Chicken with a Spicy Peach Glaze
Green Beans with Red Onions
Warm Potato Salad

Black Bean Burgers with Caramelized Onions
Sweet Potato Fries

Pan Seared Tilapia and Shrimp, Lobster Butter
Wild Mushroom Risotto
Steamed Broccoli