TUSCAN CHICKEN TOMATO SOUP

TUSCAN CHICKEN TOMATO SOUP serves 6

8 thick slices sourdough bread
2 tablespoons avocado oil, plus more for toasting bread 
Salad Supreme garlic bread sprinkle
2 tablespoons salted butter OR 2 seasoned butter cubes (see notes)
3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced OR 2 cups diced rotisserie chicken pieces 
1 LARGE shallot, diced 
2-3 cloves garlic, minced 
2 tablespoons QUALITY tomato paste  (I use Classico sun dried tomato pesto)
14-ounce can QUALITY diced tomatoes 
14-ounce can QUALITY tomato puree 
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth 
One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 to 2 tablespoons honey 
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, plus whole sprigs, for garnish 
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper 
One SMALL 6.52-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained 
Mini QUALITY Mozzarella balls 

  • Preheat the oven to 425°.
  • Lightly coat the bread with oil on both sides and place on a baking sheet. Bake until toasted and browned, about 10 minutes.
  • Heat the butter and oil in a soup pot over a medium-high heat. When the butter has melted and the oil is hot, add the chicken (if you’re using the raw thighs otherwise rotisserie chicken pieces are added later), onion and garlic and cook until the onion starts to brown and the chicken is almost cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and stir until everything is well coated.
  • Add the canned tomatoes, tomato puree, chicken broth, beans, honey and oregano.
  • Add in rotisserie chicken pieces, if using.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, stirring well and bringing to a simmer for 10 minutes or so until flavors are well blended.
  • Add the marinated artichoke hearts to the soup and stir to combine.
  • Tear the toasted bread into large chunks and place in the bottom of soup bowls OR use grilled cheese croutons for an extra yummy plus.
  • Ladle the soup over the bread.
  • Top each bowl with several mini Mozzarella cheese balls, chopped oregano and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

NOTES: When I buy FRESH herbs (thyme, tarragon, oregano, basil…), I chop them up and make butter cubes in my lidded silicone trays to freeze and have on hand for recipes just like this. It adds another layer of flavor.

PAPRIKA CHICKEN IN LEMON SAUCE with PISTACHIO RICE for 2

PAPRIKA CHICKEN IN LEMON SAUCE with PISTACHIO RICE for 2

2 tablespoons FRESH chopped Thyme
½ cup Basmati Rice
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoon sour cream
2 large green onions, thinly sliced, whites and greens separated
1 LARGE lemon, juiced
3/4 pound chicken steaks
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup crushed Pistachios
2 teaspoon avocado oil
2 tablespoon butter
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Adjust rack to top position and preheat oven to 425°.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add scallion whites; cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, 1 minute.
  • Stir in rice, ¾ cup water, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a low simmer. Cook until rice is tender, 15-18 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered until ready to serve.

 

  • While rice cooks, pat chicken dry and season all over with paprika, salt, and pepper.
  • Heat a drizzle of avocado oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, 3-5 min per side.
  • Transfer to a plate.
  • Wipe out pan. If you forget to do this or choose not to, your sauce will take on a red hue 😀
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the same pan over medium heat.
  • Add chopped thyme; cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  • Stir in stock and bring to a simmer, then immediately turn off heat.
  • Stir in sour cream and lemon juice.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Fluff rice with a fork; stir in lemon zest and pistachios.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Divide rice and chicken between plates.
  • Top chicken with sauce and sprinkle with scallion greens.

CRISPY CHEDDAR CHICKEN with LOADED BACON MASHED POTATOES

CRISPY CHEDDAR CHICKEN with LOADED BACON MASHED POTATOES

Golden cheesy crispy chicken is ALWAYS a recipe for success. When you add melted cheddar and BOLD spices along with a CHEESY stuffed mashed potatoes you have WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER.

CHICKEN
3/4 pound thin chicken steaks
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/3 cup FINELY shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon QUALITY season salt
scant 2 tablespoons butter
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Adjust rack to top position.
  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Lightly oil a baking sheet.
  • Pat chicken dry and season with FRESH ground black pepper.
  • Place on prepared baking sheet.
  • Evenly spread a thin layer of mayonnaise onto tops of chicken.
  • Melt butter in a medium microwave safe bowl.
  • Stir together the melted butter, Panko breadcrumbs, seasoning salt, and cheddar cheese.
  • Divide the Panko mixture evenly between the chicken steaks, pressing to adhere.
  • Roast on top rack until chicken is cooked through, 15-20 minutes. TIP: For a deep golden crust, broil chicken for the last 2-3 minutes.

POTATOES
3/4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, diced into ½-inch pieces.
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons minced chives

  • Place potatoes in a large pot with enough salted water to cover by 2 inches.
  • Bring to a boil and cook until tender, 15-20 minutes.
  • Drain and return potatoes to pot.
  • Add sour cream, 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, and 1 tablespoon butter.
  • Mash until smooth and creamy, adding heavy cream as needed.
  • Stir in half the bacon and half the chives.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.

ASSEMBLY

  • Divide chicken and potatoes between plates.
  • Top potatoes with remaining bacon and remaining chives.
  • Serve immediately.

WHITE BEAN, CHICKEN & SAUSAGE STEW/SOUP

WHITE BEAN, CHICKEN & SAUSAGE STEW
1 Johnsonville beef sausage, cut into 1/4-1/2 inch slices
1-2 large chicken breasts, cut into bite size chunks **(see notes)
2 + 1 tablespoons avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 onion, chopped or 1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
2 medium carrots, peeled, halved and sliced into half moons
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped FRESH parsley
1 tablespoon chopped FRESH thyme
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can white Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3-4 cups chicken broth **(see notes)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Garlic salt
1 baguette, cut or torn into bite sized pieces
Parmesan cheese, garnish

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add sausage pieces and cook 4-5 minutes until browned. Remove from pan to drain off excess grease.
  • Season chicken pieces with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Add to pan and sear 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Remove chicken pieces and add to sausage to drain.
  • Add remaining oil to pan along with the onions, carrots and celery mirepoix to saute 3-4 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes with their juice, rinsed beans and chicken stock, stirring to blend.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil, turn down heat and simmer 10-15 minutes more.
  • Return meats to pan along with Parsley and Thyme, stirring to blend and coat meat pieces with sauce.
  • While stew is simmering, make the croutons.
  • Preheat broiler.
  • Melt butter and whisk in garlic salt.
  • Toss croutons to coat in butter mixture.
  • Transfer bread pieces to sheet pan. Broil until golden, about 2 minutes, but watch closely to prevent burning.
  • Serve with croutons and Parmesan sprinkle.

NOTES:

  • If you prefer a soup to a stew, use the 4 cups of chicken stock.  Otherwise use 3 +/- cups to your desired consistency.
  • Often I substitute turkey breast or even rotisserie chicken pieces. If you use rotisserie chicken pieces, wait to add them until you are adding the sausage back in.

SWEET & SMOKEY PORK TENDERLOIN with CHERRY SAUCE and APPLE CARROT SLAW

SWEET & SMOKEY PORK TENDERLOIN with CHERRY SAUCE and APPLE CARROT SLAW

PORK
3/4 pound pork tenderloin
2 tablespoons butter
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon of Smokey Cinnamon Spice rub

  • Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 450°.
  • Rub pork with a large drizzle of oil.
  • Season generously all over with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Reserve ¼ teaspoon of the spice rub in a small microwave-safe bowl for later.
  • Rub pork all over with remaining spice.
  • Place pork on a baking sheet and roast on middle rack until cooked through, 18-20 minutes.
  • Let rest 5 minutes after removing from oven.
  • Let rest 5 minutes under aluminum foil.

SLAW
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
scant 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup shredded carrots
1 apple, cored and thinly sliced
2-3 green onions, sliced thin
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar.
  • Add carrots and toss to coat.
  • Set aside to marinate 10 minutes.
  • Add apples and toss to coat.
  • Add onions and season with FRESH ground sea salt and pepper to taste.

SAUCE
reserved spice rub
1/2 teaspoon champagne vinegar
4 tablespoons cherry jam** (see notes)
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon butter

  • To the bowl with the reserved spice add the jam and remaining vinegar; stirring to combine.
  • Microwave until warm, 30-45 seconds.
  • Stir in butter until melted.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Blend in sour cream.

SMOKEY CINNAMON SPICE RUB
1/2 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons sugar

  • Whisk together.

ASSEMBLY

  • After pork is rested, slice pork crosswise.
  • Drizzle sauce over pork and serve.

NOTES: Jam can be any flavor that goes with pork. I happened to have apricot in the refrigerator tonight when I made this so color is off a bit from a cherry red. 😀

PAN SEARED LEMON APRICOT CHICKEN

PAN SEARED LEMON APRICOT CHICKEN
LEMON APRICOT CHICKEN

3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons FRESH parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup apricot preserves
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 LARGE lemon
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt & ground pepper
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon butter

  • Preheat oven to 450°F with a rack in the top position.

  • Pat chicken dry, then pound to an even ½-inch thickness.
  • Season all over with FRESH ground sea salt & ground pepper.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium-high.
  • Add chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, 3–4 minutes per side.
  • Transfer chicken to a plate.
  • 
Add shallots to same skillet; reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes.
  • Add chicken stock, apricot preserves, ¾ of the parsley and the vinegar. Simmer, scraping brown bits from the bottom of the skillet, until sauce reduces to ½ cup, 5–7 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, then whisk in butter.

  • Add chicken and any resting juices back to the skillet. Cook over medium, turning chicken once, until warm and coated in sauce, 1–2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Garnish with remaining parsley. Enjoy!

SWORDFISH with LEMON PEPPER BASTING SAUCE

GRILLED SWORDFISH with LEMON BASTING SAUCE
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons FRESH chopped fresh parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground mixed peppercorns, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon (packed) grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon avocado oil
4 1-inch-thick swordfish fillets (about 6 ounces each)

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Mash butter, parsley, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon ground mixed peppercorns, and lemon peel in small bowl. Season to taste with salt.
  • Heat butter in heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Sprinkle swordfish with salt and ground mixed peppercorns.
  • Add swordfish to skillet, cooking until browned, about 3 minutes.
  • Turn swordfish over and transfer to oven.
  • Roast until just cooked through, about 10 minutes longer.
  • Transfer swordfish to plates.
  • Top with Lemon Sauce

LEMON SAUCE
1/3 cup butter
2 green onions, finely minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
a pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup FRESH squeezed lemon juice
Zest of one LARGE lemon
1/4 cup hot water
a couple drops Tabasco

  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter.
  • Add green onions and sauce a few minutes.
  • Whisk in the paprika, sugar, salt, pepper and cayenne.
  • When well blended add lemon juice, hot water and Tabasco.
  • Add lemon zest just before serving.

FENNEL CRUSTED PORK MEDALLIONS with ROASTED POTATOES and LEMON MINT GRAVY

FENNEL CRUSTED PORK MEDALLIONS with ROASTED POTATOES and LEMON MINT GRAVY

Fennel-Crusted Pork Medallions with Roasted Potatoes & Green Beans
Fennel seeds are an aromatic spice, used in savory (and sometimes sweet!) preparations. The seed comes from the fennel plant, a flowering vegetable plant that is part of the carrot family. Here, we use these seeds to make juicy fennel-crusted pork medallions served alongside roasted potatoes and crisp green beans for comfort food at its best.

adapted from Jennie Perillo at Marley Spoon

3/4 cup chicken stock
3/4 pound pork tenderloins
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped mint
1/2 pound green beans
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Yukon gold potatoes
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour
1+ 1 + 1 tablespoon avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 + 1 tablespoons butter

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Arrange rack in lower half of the oven.
  • Cover sheet pan in foil for easy clean up.
  • Scrub potatoes, then cut into even sized wedges.
  • Toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon avocasdo oil and season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Roast 12 minutes until potatoes are golden.
  • While potatoes are roasting clean wash, trim and cut green beans.
  • Toss beans with 1 teaspoon avocado oil, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, half of the minced garlic, FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Flip potatoes and add green beans to baking sheet along with the potatoes. Roast for another 10 minutes.

  • Cut pork tenderloin into 4 equal sized pieces and flatten with a meat mallet to about 1/4 inch thickness.
  • Generously season pork tenderloins with FRESH ground sea salt, black pepper and the crushed fennel seeds.
  • While vegetables are roasting, heat 1 tablespoon of avocado oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over medium high heat in large skillet.
  • Add pork to hot skillet and sear for 2 minutes on each side.
  • Return pork tenderloins to cutting board and cover with foil to rest while you prepare the gravy.
  • Sprinkle pan with flour and whisk to blend.
  • Add chicken stock, remaining garlic and remaining lemon juice to skillet, simmering to slightly thicken.
Whisk in remaining mint and 1 tablespoon butter.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook until sauce reduces slightly, about 2 minutes.
  • Season to taste and serve immediately.

 

SLOW COOKED SOY CHILE PORK CHOPS

SLOW COOKED SOY CHILE PORK CHOPS

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup SIR KENSINGTON ketchup*
1/4 cup Bragg’s liquid aminos
1-3 tablespoon red chile paste (I used Gourmet Garden)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3 pounds boneless thick cut (1-1 1/2 inches) pork chops
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup water

  • Add brown sugar, ketchup, liquid aminos, chile paste, garlic, salt and pepper (except pork chops and corn starch) in a 6-quart slow cooker.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Add pork chops, tossing to coat with the sauce.
  • Cook on low 3-4 hours.
  • Combine equal amounts cornstarch and water in a mason jar. Close the lid, to seal the jar. Shake until well blended and then shake again to create a slurry.
  • Add the slurry to the slow cooker.
  • Stir and cover, cook 1 more hour.
  • Check for doneness. If the pork chops need longer let them cook until tender and done.

NOTES:

  • SIR KENSINGTON Ketchup is a much lower sugar ketchup that is a cross between a regular ketchup and cocktail sauce – more of a kick 😀
  • Add chili paste according to your desired heat level. If you prefer it more mild add less, or omit it altogether.
  • Cook times DO vary based on your slow cooker and the thickness of your pork chops. You can also substitute thinner chops or chicken breasts, but you need to seriously alter your cooking times.

FRENCH ONION CHICKEN

FRENCH ONION CHICKEN

Adapted from Eliza Winograd at Marley Spoon

1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon cream sherry
3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped thyme
1/2 cup shredded Fontina cheese
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped small or sliced thin
1 + 1 + 1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 teaspoon sugar
FRESH ground sea salt & black pepper
apple cider vinegar

  • Heat 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil in a medium ovenproof skillet over medium-high.
  • Add onions and sprinkle with sugar, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
  • Add garlic after 10 minutes.
  • Cook, stirring, until well browned, scraping up any browned bits for 12–15 minutes.
  • Transfer onions to a bowl. Wipe out skillet.
  • Preheat broiler with top rack 6 inches from heat source.
Add 1 tablespoon of butter to skillet.
  • Generously season chicken breasts with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Add to sizzling skillet and sear 2-3 minutes on both sides.
Transfer chicken to broiler proof skillet.
  • Return onions to the skillet you just cooked the chicken in.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon of butter to skillet.
  • Add chicken stock, cream sherry and chopped thyme and bring to a simmer.
  • Add onions and garlic back into sauce while simmering to desired thickness.
  • Pour sauce over chicken.
  • Top with onion mixture and cheese.
  • Transfer skillet to top oven rack and broil until cheese is melted and golden brown, 2–4 minutes.

CHILI PORK STEAKS with CHEDDAR GRITS & GREEN BEANS

In just a few simple steps you can give your family a warm and satisfying food hug with these pork steaks coated in a warm spice rub that is seared until crusty and smothered in a rich onion gravy that tops the flavorful and cheesy grits.

CHILI PORK CHOPS with CHEDDAR GRITS & GREEN BEANS

Adapted from Marley Spoon and Theodora Kaloudis

1 tablespoon BETTER THAN BULLION concentrate
1/4 cup water
1 cup chicken broth
3 ounces grits
1/2+ cup grated cheddar
4 thin pork steaks
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 medium red onion, halved and thin sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
½ pound green beans, trimmed and halved
FRESH ground sea salt & ground pepper
1 + 1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour

  • In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, FRESH ground sea salt and a few grinds of pepper.
  • Pat pork cutlets dry, then season all over with spice rub.
  • Fill a medium skillet with ½ inch water and bring to a boil.
  • Add green beans, half the minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt to skillet.
  • Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until green beans are just tender, 2–3 minutes.
  • Drain, transfer to a bowl, and cover to keep warm.
  • In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups water and a pinch of salt to a boil.
  • Stir in grits.
  • Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until grits are tender, about 7 minutes.
  • Stir in cheese and butter until melted; season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Cover to keep warm. 

  • Heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter in skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add pork cutlets and seat until browned, about 2 minutes per side.
  • Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
  • Add onions to skillet. Cover and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.

  • Uncover skillet; season onions with a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring, until golden brown, 3–5 minutes (reduce heat if browning too quickly).
  • Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring, until toasted, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in broth concentrate, water and broth, bringing to a SLOW boil.

  • Add pork and any resting juices to skillet and spoon gravy over each piece.
  • Reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, and stir in 1 tablespoon butter; season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve grits topped with pork cutlet and green beans, all smothered in gravy.

CREAMY CHICKEN & VEGGIES with GNOCCHI DUMPLINGS

CREAMY CHICKEN & VEGGIES with GNOCCHI DUMPLINGS

adapted from Eliza Winograd at Marley Spoon

1 tablespoon FRESH chopped parsley
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme leaves
1 small can Le Seur peas, drained WELL
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
3/4 pound chicken breast strips
3 LARGE carrots, halved and sliced
1 bunch scallions, sliced thin
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 cups gnocchi
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour

  • Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil.
  • Add gnocchi and cook about 3 minutes, stirring gently, until tender and most of gnocchi float to the top. Drain well.
  • Pat chicken dry and generously season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • 
Melt butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Sear chicken tenders 1-2 minutes per side.
  • Remove chicken to a plate.
  • Add carrots, onions and garlic, stirring occasionally and cooking until softened and lightly browned, 3–4 minutes.
  • Stir in flour and cook, about 1 minute.
  • Add chicken stock to skillet and return chicken to skillet. Bring to a simmer.
  • Stir in mascarpone cheese.
  • Fold in peas and gnocchi.
  • Simmer a few minutes more.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.