LEMON BUTTER CHICKEN

LEMON BUTTER CHICKEN
The lemon cream sauce mixed with fresh vegetables, garlic and Parmesan cheese team up perfectly with the tender and juicy chicken for a delectable savory meal that will have you coming back for second helpings!

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tablespoon sweet paprika
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided 2+1
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small bunch green onions, sliced
10-12 button mushrooms, sliced thin
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 Tablespoons fresh chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
Splash of dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Season the chicken with salt, pepper and paprika. Set aside.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large oven-proof skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add the chicken and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove chicken and set aside to rest.
    While the chicken is resting melt remaining butter in the skillet.
  • Add onions and mushrooms, sautéing until soft and mushrooms are beginning to caramelize.
  • Add garlic and cook stirring frequently about 2 more minutes until fragrant.
  • Stir in chicken broth, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, splash of wine and thyme. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Add in the spinach and parsley and simmer until the spinach and parsley have wilted and the sauce has slightly thickened.
  • Continue to cook the sauce about 5 minutes or so until the sauce thickens.
  • Once your sauce is to the desired thickness, return the chicken to the skillet.
  • Place in the oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove the dish, cover and let sit for about 5 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with buttered noodles or over mashed potatoes.

BLUE CHEESE RANCH WEDGE with SWEET & SPICY BACON

With all the recent E. Coli scares with Romaine lettuce I decided to go back to good old iceburg lettuce.  A change in lettuce brings with it a change in dressing. Here is a favorite from Damaris Phillips with very few changes. This is a PERFECT recipe for us – hubby loves blue cheese more than I do so it’s a compromise that works. I love to top it with my swwet & spicy bacon – YUMMY!

BLUE CHEESE RANCH WEDGE with SWEET & SPICY BACON
DRESSING
1 cup creme fraiche
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup FRESH basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup FRESH parsley leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons sliced FRESH chives
1 teaspoon FRESH thyme leaves, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lemon, juiced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (ALSO great with Gorgonzola)
FRESH coarsely ground sea salt black pepper
FRESH coarsely ground black pepper

  • Combine the creme fraiche, buttermilk, basil, parsley, chives, thyme, garlic, lemon juice and onion powder with a whisk in a medium bowl.
  • Fold in the blue cheese, season with salt and pepper.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.

SALAD
1 head iceberg lettuce, quartered and core removed
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar

  • Divide the lettuce wedges among 4 plates.
  • Top each with 1/4 cup of the dressing, the tomatoes, sliced green onions, sweet and spicy bacon.
  • Serve the remaining dressing on the side.
  • Eat right away!

SWEET & SPICY BACON adapted from GIADA
1 pound slab bacon, cut into 1-by-1/2-inch pieces **
1/4 cup PURE maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 tablespoons FRANK’S original hot sauce

  • Place the bacon in an even layer in a large skillet.
  • Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often with spatula until the bacon is light golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  • Whisk together the maple syrup, black pepper and Frank’s in a small bowl.
  • Pour off some of the rendered bacon fat, leaving just a small amount.
  • Return the skillet to the heat and pour the maple syrup mixture over the bacon.
  • Braise gently until the syrup thickens and glazes the bacon and the bacon is deep golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  • Serve warm.

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RED PEPPER GLAZED HALIBUT

RED PEPPER GLAZED HALIBUT
FISH
2 Halibut Fillets
FRESH ground salt and pepper
1 green onion, sliced thin

  • Adjust oven rack to 6 inches below broiler.
  • PREHEAT broiler.
  • Line baking sheet with foil.Place baking rack on top of foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Generously season fillets with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Arrange fillets on baking rack.
  • Generously brush tops of fillets with glaze.
  • Broil fillets for 2 minutes.
  • Flip fillets. Generously brush with glaze and return to oven another 2-3 minutes until they flake easily.
  • Serve with rice, potatoes or veggies of choice and remaining glaze.
  • Sprinkle with sliced green onions as garnish.

GLAZE
1/2 cup apple jelly (I use apricot a good deal of the time)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 green onions, sliced thin
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 tablespoons QUALITY honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • In a small sauce pan whisk together the jelly, red pepper flakes, vinegar, green onions, liquid aminos, honey, avocado oil, sesame oil and green onions.
  • Cook over medium heat about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until syrupy and reduced by about half.

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CHICKEN PARMESAN CASSEROLE

CHICKEN PARMESAN CASSEROLE
1/2 pound penne pasta
3/4 pound chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
Wondra flour for dredging
Fresh ground black pepper and salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/2 batch marinara sauce (recipe below)
1 1/4 cup grated Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 slices Provolone cheese

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray 9×9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Cook pasta per package directions on the al dente’ side. Drain and set aside.
  • Combine flour and seasonings in a ziplock bag.
  • Heat butter and oil in skillet until sizzling.
  • Dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture, shaking off the excess.
  • Add chicken pieces to hot oil and quickly sear all sides.
  • In a large bowl gently combine sauce and pasta with the majority of the Mozzarella and Parmesan reserving some for the top.
  • Gently fold in chicken pieces and stir to coat.
  • Spread ingredients evenly into baking dish.
  • Top with provolone slices followed by the remaining Parmesan and Mozzarella.
  • Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes.
  • Uncover and return to oven baking another 10-15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and brown.
  • Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

SAUCE
1 tablespoons avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 small red onion, chopped
24 ounce can whole tomatoes
1 KNORR beef gel
3/4 cup moscato white wine
Juice from 1 lemon
5-6 cloves garlic, finely minced into a paste
3 tablespoons Classico sundried tomato pesto
1 teaspoon fresh ground Himalayan pink salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground red pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons fresh chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil

  • Heat avocado oil in a large saute’ pan over medium high heat.
  • Add onions and garlic sauteing until tender.
  • Whisk together the beef gel, wine, pesto and juice from the tomatoes.
  • Add seasonings, blending well.
  • Add tomatoes and gently crush.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 2 hours.

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BBQ STEAK TIPS

Steak tips come from one of two areas of the cow, either the tenderloin (a more tender, expensive cut) or from the sirloin or round flap meat.

BBQ STEAK TIPS
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 small container Greek yogurt
1 LARGE red onion, halved and sliced thin
Fresh ground salt and pepper
1 1/2 pounds steak tips
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of your favorite BBQ sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed

  • Stir steak tips with yogurt and let sit 45 minutes.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Cook onion with a sprinkle of salt covered until softened and slightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon remove onions from skillet.
  • Add additional tablespoon of oil.
  • Pat steak tips dry and then generously season them with salt and pepper.
  • Add steak to the pan and cook until browned all over to desired doneness (5-20 minutes).
  • Transfer steak to platter and tent with foil.
  • Add onion back to skillet along with the broth and BBQ sauce.
  • Simmer 5 -10 minutes over medium heat until sauce begins to thicken.
  • Season to taste.
  • Whisk in butter pieces.
  • Add steak tips into sauce, stirring to coat.
  • Ladle steak tips and sauce over prepared pasta.
  • Enjoy.

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AUTHENTIC ITALIAN MEAT SAUCE

AUTHENTIC ITALIAN MEAT SAUCE

6-8 button mushrooms, trimmed and finely chopped
2 carrots, cleaned and finely chopped
1 slice sourdough bread, torn into pieces
2 tablespoons whole milk
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound lean ground beef
1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Classico sun dried tomato pesto
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained but reserve juice
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons FRESH torn basil or oregano pieces
3 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Pasta of choice

  • Add bread and milk to food processor. Process until well blended.
  • Add meat and process until well blended.
  • In a large dutch oven heat oil over medium heat.
  • Add carrots and onions, cooking until carrots soften.
  • Add mushrooms and continue cooking until mixture darkens. Be sure to scrape up all the bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add garlic, red pepper flakes and tomato pesto, cooking a couple minutes more.
  • Add reserved tomato juice.
  • Add beef mixture and cook, stirring regularly to break up beef into small pieces.
  • When beef has lost its raw coloring DO NOT CRISP BROWN BEEF**, add diced and crushed tomatoes and blend well.
  • Simmer on low 30 minutes until sauce has thickened and flavors are well blended.
  • Stir in Parmesan cheese and season to taste.
  • Serve over prepared pasta.
  • Garnish with fresh basil or oregano.

NOTE:** You want the meat to be tender so do not cook until it is dry and crispy!

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HALIBUT with HABANERO BEURRE BLANC

HALIBUT with HABANERO BEURRE BLANC serves 2
2-6 ounce halibut
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1 SMALL shallot, sliced thin
1/2 cup dry white wine (Reisling)
1 tablespoon heavy cream
2 tablespoons Humble house Habanero & Aji Amarillo Sauce
6 tablespoons salted butter, cold and cubed
lemon wedges

  • Heat avocado oil and 1 tablespoon butter in skillet over medium high heat.
  • Generously season each piece of halibut with salt and pepper. Sear each side 3-4 minutes.
  • While searing halibut, combine garlic, shallots and white wine in a small sauce pan over medium high heat abut 5 minutes until reduced by half.
  • Add Habanero sauce and cream, whisking to combine and heat through.
  • Reduce heat to LOW and whisk in cold cubed butter, one piece at a time until completely blended.
  • Plate fish and top with sauce and lemon wedges.
  • Serve immediately!

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MEXICAN COBB SALAD with JALAPENO RANCH DRESSING

I originally copy catted this recipe (literally jotting down each and every ingredient as I ate the salad) from a favorite TEX MEX haunt in Texas, Chuy’s (1982), not to be confused with Chuy’s (1975)  a favorite haunt from the west coast. For several years they had a tug-o-war over the name, but somehow they both still exist.

It has since become a family favorite that we make A LOT during the spring and summer in particular.

MEXICAN COBB SALAD
Bed of Lettuce
Grilled chicken breast, chilled and chopped
1 roma tomato, chopped
1 avocado chopped
1/8 cup chopped green chiles
1/4 cup grated jack cheese
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
Juice of 1 Lime

RE-VISTED MEXICAN COBB SALAD

AND then I originally posted this recipe for a beach party at Seaside Simplicity.   It was perfect to accommodate Martha’s Jalapeno Poppers. But that was a few years ago and then I updated it to include taco meat, black beans and marinated tomatoes. The dressing remains the key element of this salad.

JALAPENO RANCH DRESSING
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups mayonnaise
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon crushed parsley flakes
2 tablespoons Penzey’s California crushed jalapenos
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

  • Whisk all together and chill overnight before serving

CARAMEL CHICKEN

I can’t say why this is called caramel chicken, but it doesn’t really matter since I can no longer eat sugar because of my health so anything with the name caramel in the name is A-OK by me 😀 In all honesty I assume it is the rich caramel sauce you start with, but the finished product tastes NOTHING like the caramel sauce you put on ice cream.

Now, while I can’t actually eat sugar, I can prepare it the normal way and then be sure let the sauce drain from my piece of chicken so hubby can still enjoy the REAL thing.

Most of the recipes I’ve seen call for using bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces, but I like to make it with boneless pieces for easier

CARAMEL CHICKEN
3/4 cup dry Jasmine rice
1 1/2 cups water
pinch of salt

  • Prepare rice per package directions.
  • Remove from heat.

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons Fish sauce
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1+1 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons FRESH minced ginger
1 SMALL shallot, minced
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch green onions, angularly sliced
2 tablespoons torn Basil leaves

  • Over medium-high heat, melt sugar 5 minutes or so until the color of iced tea.
  • Whisk together chicken broth and fish sauce.
  • Add fish sauce broth to sugar whisking until smooth. BE CAREFUL – SUGAR is REALLY HOT and will spurt AND BUBBLE.
  • Remove from heat.
  • In a separate skillet add 1 tablespoon avocado oil to heated skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Sear chicken on ALL sides.
  • Remove chicken to plate.
  • Add remaining tablespoon of oil.
  • Add shallots, mushrooms and garlic, cooking until soft.
  • Add caramel sauce, stirring to blend.
  • Add chicken and turn to coat.
  • Add basil leaves.
  • Simmer until sauce thickens.
  • Serve over prepared rice.
  • Garnish with green onions.

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CREAMY BASIL CHICKEN

CREAMED BASIL CHICKEN
Skillet Basil Cream Chicken has always been one of my favorite recipes. Creamy sauce made with buttermilk and cheese, breaded chicken, tomatoes, fresh herbs, and more make up this super easy, delicious, and fool-proof chicken dinner. ADAPTED from Becky Hardin – The Cookie Rookie

¼ cup buttermilk
¼ cup dry breadcrumbs
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4-5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons avocado oil
¼ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 cup heavy cream
1 shallot, sliced thin
1/2 pound button mushrooms, sliced thin
1 (4 ounce) can pimentos, drained OR 2 small sweet peppers, diced
1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained (optional)
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons garlic & herb cheese, like Boursin
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Place chicken breasts in a shallow dish and cover with buttermilk for 10-15 minutes.
  • Pour breadcrumbs in another shallow dish.
  • Heat skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon avocado oil.
  • Dredge chicken pieces in the breadcrumbs and place in the hot skillet.
  • Cook 5 minutes or until bottom side is crispy and golden brown.
  • Add remaining butter and oil and flip the breasts over.
  • Cook another 5-7 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  • Add shallots to pan, cooking until soft.
  • Add mushrooms, cooking until starting to caramelize.
  • Add chicken broth and sherry to the skillet to deglaze, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the skillet and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • Add the cream, pimentos or peppers and tomatoes.
  • Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Reduce heat to low and add Parmesan cheese, garlic-herb cheese, basil and black pepper.
  • Simmer and cook until sauce reduces by half.
  • Add the chicken back into the sauce and heat through.
  • Serve over pasta with sauce.
  • Enjoy!

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COOKING & CRAFTING with J&J AT Julie’s Creative Lifestyle, MAKE IT PRETTY MONDAY at The Dedicated House, MELT IN YOUR MOUTH MONDAY at Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms, MERRY MONDAY at Where The Smiles Have Been and Our Crafty Mom, MIX IT UP MONDAY at Flour Me With Love, SHOW and SHARE at Coastal Charm, LOU LOU GIRLS FABULOUS PARTY at Lou Lou Girls, TAKE OUT TUESDAY at The Painted Apron, TREASURE BOX TUESDAY at Memories by the Mile, TUESDAYS WITH A TWIST at Stone Cottage Adventures, DELICIOUS DISHES at Walking On Sunshine, SHARE YOUR CUP @ Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson, FAVORITE THINGS at Katherine’s Corner, FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage, BLOGGERS PIT STOP at The Blogger’s Lifestyle, HOME MATTERS at Life with Lorelai, KITCHEN FUN & CRAFTY FRIDAY at Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons, PRETTY PINTASTIC PARTY at Coffee with Us 3, SHARE IT ONE MORE TIME at Everyday Home, SWAY SHAREFEST at The Sway Life, WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY at Eclectic Red Barn

TOMATO SWISS STEAK

I recently ran across a recipe for “Swiss Steak en Casserole” from an old 1958 booklet of recipes that was quite similar and it reminded me of this recipe I make primarily in the winter because of its “comfort” quality of rib sticking goodness, which means I haven’t made it in a few years since it hardly gets cold here.

I have NO idea why this is called Swiss Steak. I just know my mom called it that and so did her mom. Grams said it had something to do with how the meat is prepared, but don’t quote me on that! That conversation was eons ago. But, as I typed this my curiosity got the best of me so I looked it up.

According to Wikipedia, “Swiss steak is meat, usually beef, prepared by means of rolling or pounding, and then braising in a cooking pot of stewed tomatoes, mushroom sauce, or some other sauce, either on a stove / log (cooker) or in an oven. In England and in some parts of the United States such as the Deep South, it is also called smothered steak. The dish does not stem from Switzerland, as the name suggests, but from the technique of tenderizing by pounding or rolling called “swissing“. So that was clear as MUD 😀

Mom used to add sliced green peppers and I ALWAYS picked them out so I don’t bother to add them now. Green peppers and I are NOT friends – never have been, never will be especially now with no stomach tolerance. I do use quite a bit of FRESH ground tri-color peppercorns instead. I remember it sometimes being served with mashed potatoes, but I prefer the sliced potatoes cooked in the sauce. I cannot be sure of the original measurements or even the original ingredients as I have adjusted it over an over through the years to suit our tastes. I know the original recipe called for water, but I love using the buttermilk as it makes a thicker, more flavorful gravy.

I also remember a similar recipe using a brown style gravy with mushrooms that was using this same cut of meat like a faux stroganoff.

TOMATO SWISS STEAK

2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 to 2 pounds of tenderized round steak
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt
1-2 teaspoons FRESH ground tri-color pepper
1 large shallot, sliced
1 can Campbell’s Tomato Bisque Soup
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 Yukon potatoes, sliced thin
1-2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Cut the round steak into 6 to 8 serving-size portions.
  • Add flour into a shallow bowl. Season well with salt and pepper.
  • Generously season each piece of meat on both sides.
  • Dredge each steak in flour mixture, pushing down to secure flour to meat.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Quickly brown each piece of meat and the remove it.
  • Add the shallot and bell pepper if you are using it, stirring to sauté for a few minutes, scrape up bits from bottom as you go. Scoot shallots and peppers to the edges of the pan.
  • Alternately layer potato slices in the middle of the shalllots.
  • Whisk together the tomato bisque and buttermilk.
  • Add meat pieces over top of the potatoes.
  • Pour tomato soup mixture over everything.
  • Cover and bake 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

NOTES:

  • Using the vinegar makes a tangier sauce – just depends on your mood. 😀
  • In the winter I like to make this with sliced carrots also which add some GREAT color.
  • I also sometimes make this with sliced baby red peppers instead of green peppers.

Linking to FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage.

NEW CLASSIC CAESAR SALAD with or without Chicken

NEW CLASSIC CAESAR SALAD

2 cloves garlic, minced
4 anchovy fillets, minced
1/2 Meyer lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup olive oil (I like to use a lemon olive oil)
large egg yolk, beaten
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste
Torn Romaine lettuce
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
grated Parmesan cheese
Croutons

  • In a small food processor combine 7 ingredients until well blended. Garlic and anchovies should become one with the liquid ingredients.
  • Fold olive oil mixture into beaten egg until well blended.
  • Season to taste with fresh ground salt and pepper.
  • Pour over torn lettuce and sliced green onions.
  • Top with croutons and Parmesan cheese.
  • Toss well and serve immediately.

NOTE: When I use chicken I use chicken tenders with salt and pepper browned in a little butter and then shredded into the salad.

Linking to SOUPER SUNDAY at Kahakai Kitchen and FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage.