TUSCAN STEAK with MUSHROOMS & 3 PEPPER SAUCE

TUSCAN STEAK with MUSHROOMS & 3 PEPPER SAUCE serves 4
12 ounces fettuccine
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color peppercorns, to taste
1 pound sirloin steak
2 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Wondra flour
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes (optional)
1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
1 small can baby peas (Le Seur)
Balsamic glaze, for drizzling

  • In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside. OR roast or pan fry potatoes in a separate pan.
  • Generously season steak with FRESH ground sea salt and tri-colored peppercorns.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook steak 3 minutes per side for medium rare.
  • Transfer to a plate to let rest, 10 minutes, then thinly slice.
  • Meanwhile, make Alfredo sauce.
  • Add butter to skillet and let melt.
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
  • Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute more, then add milk and simmer until thickened, 5 minutes.
  • Add parsley and Parmesan, stirring to combine.
  • Fold in peas.
  • Add tomatoes (if desired) and cook down 2 minutes.
  • Add cooked pasta or roasted potatoes to sauce and toss until coated.
  • Top with sliced steak, drizzle with balsamic glaze and sprinkle with minced Parsley.

UPDATED HUNTER CHICKEN aka CHASSEUR or CACCIATORE ala SLOW COOKER

Chasseur means “hunter” in French. Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian. So let’s just cut to the chase and call it Hunter chicken.

French hunter’s chicken is prepared using chicken that is pan seared crisp and a chasseur sauce consisting of tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, white wine, brandy and tarragon. Prior to pan searing, the chicken can be dredged in flour (I use a fine WONDRA flour). Tomato ingredients can include diced tomatoes, canned crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Other ingredients often include shallots, olive oil, chicken stock, vermouth, tarragon, thyme and marjoram. Chasseur sauce is traditionally prepared using a SLOW simmer to reduce the sauce and thicken it. Often parsley and croutons are used as garnishes. This recipe is also better as leftovers when the sauce has sat and the flavors have fully blended.

Italian hunter’s chicken is prepared using chicken pieces that are first lightly fried and then braised in the sauce. Italian cacciatore is sometimes made with rabbit or salami instead of chicken. The sauce is made with olive oil, onions, herbs, canned peeled tomatoes, bell peppers, garlic and wine. Carrots are often used to add sweetness. Garnish for the cacciatore are often olives, croutons and Parmesan cheese. After the vegetable are sautéed and the broth added to create the sauce, the chicken is returned to the pan, the heat reduced to a SLOW simmer, covered and braised for a couple hours.

In this updated version you can get the same flavor using a slow cooker, making it a weeknight possibility instead of an all day chore.

UPDATED HUNTER CHICKEN
4-6 chicken breasts
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon QUALITY tomato paste
1 cup chicken bone broth
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
6 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups baby carrots, halved or quartered depending on size
1 SMALL Vidalia onion, chopped
28 ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and then rustic chopped or crushed
1/4 cup WONDRA flour

  • Whisk together the wine, bone broth, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, garlic, onions, carrots, salt and pepper.
  • Add to slow cooker.
  • Generously season chicken with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Dredge chicken pieces with flour.
  • Nestle chicken pieces into tomatoes.
  • Sprinkle any remaining flour evenly over top.
  • Scatter mushrooms over top.
  • Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours.
  • Serve with desired garnishes

GARNISHES
3/4 cup pimiento stuffed green olives
Parmesan cheese
Crusty bread pieces

ITALIAN MEATBALLS in RUSTIC TOMATO SAUCE

ITALIAN MEATBALLS in RUSTIC TOMATO SAUCE
1/2 pound ground sirloin
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 SMALL onion, FINELY chopped
2 LARGE cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons avocado oil

  • In a large bowl mix together ground meats, seasonings, chopped onion and garlic until well blended.
  • Form into golf ball sized meatballs.
  • Heat oil in cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  • Sear meatballs, turning often, until browned.
  • Transfer to paper towels to drain.

SLOW ROASTED TOMATOES & RUSTIC TOMATO SAUCE
SLOW ROASTED TOMATOES
2-3 pounds FRESH Roma or cherry tomatoes, chopped rustic
1/4 cup chopped FRESH flat leaf Parsley
2 tablespoons chopped FRESH oregano
2 tablespoons chopped FRESH basil
Avocado oil
1 bulb garlic, sliced
1 small red onion, chopped
1 bunch green onions, sliced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 300°.
  • Cover large baking sheet with foil.
  • Arrange tomatoes, onions and garlic in a single layer.
  • Drizzle with avocado oil.
  • Season well with herbs, salt and pepper.
  • Roast for 3 hours until tomatoes are shriveled and soft.
  • Cool completely.

RUSTIC TOMATO SAUCE
Pureed Slow Roasted Tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream

  • Puree tomato mixture before running through a food mill to remove seeds and large chunks.
  • Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Add chicken broth and pureed tomatoes.
  • Bring to a SLOW simmer for 40 minutes.
  • Whisk in heavy cream and simmer 5-10 minutes more.

BAKED RICOTTA DIP

Compliments of Martha over at Seaside Simplicity I bring you her Baked Ricotta Dip. I have found A LOT of uses for the leftovers also. And yes, with just two of us there ARE leftovers. 

The first time I used the leftovers as a thin layer in my Ravioli Lasagna between the first layer of ravioli and the meat sauce.  Next time I will make a batch in a large flat baking dish that can be easily transferred to a thin layer in the lasagna.

The second time I added some leftover Cara Mia Artichoke Bruschetta from Star and 8 ounces of tomato sauce. I then served it over some simple pan seared chicken breast for a complete meal.

BAKED RICOTTA DIP
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Mix all ingredients together.
  • Pour into a 8″ greased baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with additional Italian seasoning and bake about 40 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
  • Serve with Crostini or sourdough chunks.
VARIATIONS
  • If you don’t like garlic, it can be completely omitted or decreased in amount and you’ll still have a delicious warm cheesy dip.
  • If you love a good strong garlic flavor like we do, mix an additional 4-6 cloves of minced garlic with a tablespoon of olive oil or avocado oil and pour over the top for the last 10 minutes of baking time.
  • For a slightly sweet version, omit garlic and Italian seasonings and add a tablespoon of a good QUALITY honey, with additional honey to drizzle on top, great for brunch!
CROSTINI
  • Cut French bread in 1/2 inch thick slices.
  • Brush both sides with olive or avocado oil.
  • Sprinkle with Italian seasoning (optional).
  • Bake at 400° for 3 minutes, flip and bake an additional 2-3 minutes. 

NOTES:

I didn’t have any crostini, but did have some good sourdough bread that was beginning to stale so used that and it was great!

CHICKEN PARMESAN STUFFED GARLIC BREAD

CHICKEN PARMESAN STUFFED GARLIC BREAD adapted from Tasty

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders
1 cup flour
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup avocado oil, for frying
2 large baguettes**
Prepared marinara sauce**

  • Place the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs into 3 separate bowls.
  • Roll a chicken strip in the flour, dusting off excess.
  • Dip the strip into the egg, then place into the bread crumbs, coating it completely.
  • Repeat with the remaining chicken.
  • Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat to 350˚.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Fry the breaded chicken strips until both sides are golden brown.
  • Remove from heat and drain on a paper toweling.

GARLIC BUTTER
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 LARGE cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon FRESH parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

  • Whisk everything together and set aside.

ASSEMBLY

  • Slice the baguettes into thirds or fourths, each piece should be about the same length of the chicken strips.
  • Hollow out the insides of the baguette pieces with a knife.
  • Overlap two slices of mozzarella lengthwise.
  • Place a chicken strip on the overlapping region, then fold the mozzarella tightly around the chicken.
  • Push the rolled chicken strips into a baguette piece.
  • Slice the stuffed baguette pieces into 1 inch slices, then place them tightly side-by-side on a baking sheet lined with foil.
  • Brush the garlic butter evenly over the baguette slices, making sure some drips in between the slices.
  • Wrap the foil up and over the re-assembled baguette and bake for 20–25 minutes, until cheese is melted and the top is starting to brown.
  • Remove the foil and serve with marinara!

NOTE:

  • I make a “PINK” marinara that is half traditional red marinara and half alfredo sauce with a garlic crema (recipe below) 😀  The garlic crema is also wonderful to add to any base for any pizza.
  • I also like to use a ‘par baked’ baguette from the bakery.

GARLIC CREMA
1 cup heavy cream
6 cloves to the entire bulb or garlic depending on preference, minced
Combine the heavy cream and garlic in a small saucepan.
Cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently, 10-15 minutes until thickened and fragrant.

UPDATED CHICKEN CACCIATORE

This recipe is one that is so versatile that it can feel like you are eating separate dishes on the same night.  Hubby doesn’t do cooked mushrooms.  I don’t do capers or olives. So, I make the red part of the sauce and then split it in half and prepare each half with the items we like individually. 😀

UPDATED CHICKEN CACCIATORE
6 BONELESS, SKINLESS chicken chicken steaks
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/3 cup WONDRA all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 pound sliced cremini mushrooms (optional)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, THINLY sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon FRESH and FINELY chopped oregano
1 teaspoon FRESH and FINELY chopped rosemary or thyme
One 28-ounce CRUSHED whole tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped black olives
2 tablespoons drained capers, chopped
1/4 cup torn FRESH basil leaves

  • Sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, then toss them in a bowl with the flour to lightly coat.
  • Heat the oil and butter in a large, wide pot over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  • Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove the chicken to a plate.
  • Add the onion and mushrooms to the pot and cook, stirring, until the onion is softened and the mushrooms are lightly golden, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and peppers, stirring, until the peppers are just starting to soften, about 1 minute.
  • Add the wine and bring to a boil, then cook, scraping up any brown bits, until reduced by about half.
  • Add the oregano and rosemary or thyme.
  • Add the tomatoes and their juice and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the olives and capers.
  • Return the chicken to the pot, nestling in the sauce.
  • Reduce the heat to keep the sauce at a gentle simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with the basil.
  • Serve immediately.

CREAMY SUN DRIED TOMATO CHICKEN

CREAMY SUN DRIED TOMATO CHICKEN
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup marinated sun dried tomato strips, drained of oil, reserve oil
2 tablespoons marinated sun dried tomatoes oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup white wine
3/4 cup chicken broth/stock , low sodium
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup FINELY shredded Parmesan
1 cup basil leaves, packed
Prepared pasta or mashed potatoes

  • Slice chicken breasts in half horizontally to form 2 thin steaks.
  • Generously sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Heat sun dried tomato oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • 
Add the chicken and cook until golden on both sides and cooked through.
  • Remove to a plate, keep warm.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 15 seconds until light golden.
  • Add wine.
  • Bring to simmer and scrape the bottom of the skillet to mix all the brown bits into the wine.
Let the wine simmer for 1 minute or so.
  • Add the chicken broth, heavy cream, Parmesan and sun dried tomatoes.
  • 
Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until thickened and well combined.
  • Taste sauce and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Fold in basil leaves.
  • Return chicken into pan, turning to coat in sauce.
  • Serve over prepared pasta or mashed potatoes.
  • Serve immediately with garlic bread to sop up sauce!

CHICKEN FRANCAISE

CHICKEN FRANCAISE adapted from RECIPE 30

This recipe is a flavorful pan seared breaded chicken on a rich lemony, tangy butter sauce.  Some call it French because of the wine and butter, some American and even more Italian according to Wikipedia.  What we know for sure is that it is FLAVORFUL!

4 chicken breast steaks
1/3 cup WONDRA flour
2 LARGE eggs
1 tablespoon heavy cream
FRESH chopped Flat Leaf parsley
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 cup QUALITY white wine
1 cup chicken stock
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons avocado oil
4 tablespoons butter
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Beat eggs in a large shallow dish.
  • Whisk in the heavy cream and FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Add half the chopped parsley to the egg mixture.
  • Add Parmesan cheese to egg mixture, mixing well. Set aside.
  • Heat avocado oil and half of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Dip chicken breasts in the flour, shaking off any excess and then the egg wash and then into flour again.
  • Add chicken to the hot pan and cooking 3-4 minutes per side.
  • Transfer chicken to a hot plate and keep warm.
  • Increase the heat.
  • Add wine and chicken stock, stirring to blend.
  • Add the garlic and lemon juice, cooking several minutes until slightly reduced.
  • Reduce heat to low.
  • Add the remaining chopped parsley and butter, whisking until butter is melted.
  • Return the chicken to the sauce, turning to coat for 30 seconds or so.
  • 
Garnish with parsley sprigs.

NOTE: Use medium sized flattened chicken breasts or thin chicken steaks.

SHEET PAN VINEGAR CHICKEN

SHEET PAN VINEGAR CHICKEN ala Valerie Bertinelli – update ala Tamy
1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
1 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
2 cups mixed color cherry tomatoes
3/4 cup pitted Castelvetrano (the pale green ones – I use Mezetta) olives
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic, sliced or minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • Preheat the oven to 425°.
  • Toss the onions with 1/2 tablespoon of the oil on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  • Arrange the chicken thighs on top and sprinkle them all over with the smoked paprika and salt and pepper.
  • Drizzle the vinegar on top and then roast in the oven about 15 minutes.
  • Toss the cherry tomatoes, olives, rosemary and garlic with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, a big pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the mixture to the baking sheet with the roasted chicken and continue to roast until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, 10 minutes more.
  • Serve the chicken with the vegetables and juices from the baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle with the parsley.

BAKED ASIAGO MEATBALL PARMESAN

BAKED ASIAGO MEATBALL PARMESAN

1/2 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1 cup shredded Asiago cheese
FRESH chopped flat leaf parsley, to taste
FRESH chopped oregano, to taste
FRESH chopped basil, to taste
2 LARGE eggs
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups marinara sauce
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Mix ground meats, garlic, breadcrumbs, Asiago cheese, parsley, eggs, salt and pepper together until well blended.
  • Form golf ball sized meatballs.
  • Coat a rimmed baking pan with avocado oil and place meatballs on pan.
  • Bake 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and cool slightly.
  • In a large cast iron ovenproof skillet (I use my enameled cast iron crock pot) whisk together the marinara and chicken broth.
  • Bring sauce to a SLOW & LOW simmer.
  • Add meatballs to sauce and simmer 4-6 hours.
  • Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top until completely covered.
  • Cover dish and bake 20 minutes.
  • Remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes until golden.
  • Serve with a side of pasta.

PAN SEARED CHICKEN with CREAMY TOMATO BASIL SPINACH CREAM SAUCE

PAN SEARED CHICKEN with CREAMY TOMATO BASIL SPINACH CREAM SAUCE

Boneless skinless chicken thighs smothered in an easy-to-make creamy tomato basil and spinach sauce.

1 tablespoon avocado oil
4-6 LARGE boneless, skinless chicken thin breasts
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons tomato pesto (Barilla or Classico)
1 cup tomato sauce
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach leaves
4-6 leaves fresh basil, chiffonaded
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsely
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • In a large skillet heat avocado oil over medium heat.
  • Generously season chicken thighs with FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Dredge in 1/4 cup WONDRA flour.
  • Add to hot oil and cook for 2 minutes until the top side is nicely seared.
  • Flip over to the other side and sear for 2 more minutes on medium heat.
  • Remove the chicken from the skillet to a plate and keep warm.
  • Add garlic to pan and cook 30 seconds or so until fragrant.
  • Add chicken broth, tomato pesto, tomato paste and heavy cream to skillet.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil, stirring regularly.
  • Reduce heat to low simmer.
  • Taste the sauce and add more salt and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and whisk together with 2 tablespoons of reserved flour dredge until smooth.
  • Whisk into sauce until smooth.
  • Add fresh spinach, parsley and fresh basil, stirring until spinach wilts and reduces in volume.
  • Add chicken to sauce, turning to coat, increasing heat to medium for a minute or 2 to reheat chicken.
  • Serve over pasta and spoon the sauce over the pasta and chicken.
  • Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

SPINACH ARTICHOKE RAVIOLI LASAGNA

SPINACH ARTICHOKE RAVIOLI LASAGNA  Yields 8 servings

This is a GREAT and super EASY shortcut lasagna that packs an extra punch of flavor!

3 tablespoons butter
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons WONDRA flour
2 1/4 cups WHOLE milk
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1-14 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained (see notes) and chopped
2 cups frozen spinach, defrosted, drained WELL and chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds frozen cheese ravioli (see notes)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Whisk the flour into the butter and garlic and cook until the mixture is bubbling and golden, 1 minute more. Gradually pour in the milk, whisking constantly.
  • Bring mixture to a simmer then stir in cream cheese, 2/3 cup mozzarella, and Parmesan.
  • Let simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Fold in artichoke hearts and spinach, then add lemon juice and red pepper flakes, if using, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Remove from heat. 
  • Spread a thin layer of your prepared sauce onto the bottom of a 9″-x-13″ baking dish or lasagna pan.
  • Lay ravioli in a single layer in the bottom of the baking dish, then top with half the prepared sauce and a thin layer of cheese.
  • Repeat with remaining ravioli, most of the remaining sauce and another thin layer of cheese.
  • Top with remaining sauce and cheese.
  • Bake 30 minutes, until sauce is bubbling and ravioli are tender.
  • If you’d like the top to be more golden, broil on high for 1-2 minutes.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve.

NOTES:

  • I drain and save the oil marinade to use for future meals.
  • I usually prepare half again as much sauce because we like it saucy 😀
  • By having a choice on the ravioli, it can easily be vegetarian or protein packed with a meat 😀