Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Chicken Marsala with a Twist

 I receive daily recipes from Food Network and when this one came across  my inbox I knew I had to try it.  For one, I love Chicken Marsala but more importantly I love Tyler Florence's cooking style and this recipe was one of his.  

We had the opportunity to have dinner at one of his restaurants a couple of years ago.  At the end of our California wine trip we stayed overnight in San Francisco and had dinner at Wayfarer Tavern.   A great American Fare restaurant.  It topped off a wonderful 6 day visit to the wine country with our foodie friends.  Since then I believe he has opened a few more restaurants in the Napa Valley region that can be inticing to visit.

This recipe offered a unique ingredient for a Marsala sauce - prosciutto!  The sauce with the mushrooms and butter combined with the prosciutto made for great flavor.  Tasted great over white rice and served with a salad.  



Chicken Marsala 


4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
All-purpose flour, for dredging
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
8 ounces crimini or porcini mushrooms, stemmed and halved
1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Put the chicken breasts side by side on a cutting board and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them; pound with a flat meat mallet, until they are about 1/4-inch thick. Put some flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly.

Heat the oil over medium-high flame in a large skillet. When the oil is nice and hot, dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess. Slip the cutlets into the pan and fry for 5 minutes on each side until golden, turning once – do this in batches if the pieces don't fit comfortably in the pan. Remove the chicken to a large platter in a single layer to keep warm.

Lower the heat to medium and add the prosciutto to the drippings in the pan, sauté for 1 minute to render out some of the fat. Now, add the mushrooms and sauté until they are nicely browned and their moisture has evaporated, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. 

Pour the Marsala in the pan and boil down for a few seconds to cook out the alcohol. Add the chicken stock and simmer for a minute to reduce the sauce slightly. Stir in the butter and return the chicken to the pan; simmer gently for 1 minute to heat the chicken through. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Goulash! Comfort Food to the Max!


One someone says Goulash, what do you think?  For me it is one of the staples in the comfort food category, right up there with Macaroni and Cheese and Meatloaf.  Growing up my Dad would make Goulash with whatever he might have on hand.  I decided to make this when I hit a major sale at the grocery store on ground turkey. 

Well, it really wasn't a sale but a package miss mark issue.  We went grocery shopping over the holiday break and as I was walking down the meat aisle I noticed 3 lb. packages of ground turkey marked at $2.39 each.  My curiosity got the better of me so I asked an employee if they were marked incorrectly, which he proceeded to tell me no because they would be out of the date in three days.  To me, this explanation was still not right, so as I looked at the smaller portion package's, I noticed they were marked down to $2.39 a pound.  Once again, I approached the employee and then told him that this had to be an issue with the pricing.  It took him a couple of second to realize that someone was told to mark them at $2.39 a pound and not $2.39 a package!  So, because of their error, I got 9 pounds of ground turkey for $7.17!  And he quickly removed the rest of the packages to correct the pricing. 

I took my bargain home and immediately repackaged in 1 1/2 lb. sizes and froze them all. So, when the weather called for something that would be warm and filling, I though about a recipe from Paula Deen for Goulash.  I tweaked it a bit to add the ground turkey and beefed up the tomatoes.   Then bonus on this dinner was that I left the recipe out on the counter one morning before I went to work and had our daughter whip it up for dinner.  I love coming home to dinner that is already prepared.



1  pound lean ground beef
1 1/2 pound ground turkey
2 large yellow onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups water
2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes (Italian Seasoned)
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
3 bay leaves
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon House Seasoning, recipe follows
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
1 lb. box elbow macaroni, uncooked


In a Dutch oven, sauté the ground beef  and turkey over medium-high heat until no pink remains. Break up the meat while sautéing. Spoon off any grease. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and sauté until they are tender, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups water, along with the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, soy sauce, House Seasoning, and seasoned salt. Stir well. Place a lid on the pot and allow this to cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the elbow macaroni, stir well, return the lid to the pot, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves, and allow the mixture to sit about 30 minutes more before serving.

House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix the ingredients together and store in an air-tight container for up to 6 months. Use as a seasoning on meat and when cooking vegetables.
Recipe is a tweaked version from of Paula Deen

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Pork Tenderloin with Capers and Olives on the light side!

I'm back.  Things were pretty busy around here over the holidays. I had every intention to blog more and highlight the holidays at our house but it didn't work out that way. Maybe next year I can carve out a time to highlight the best part of cooking for the holidays at our house.  So new year, new cooking ideas and adventures to come.  Here is the first blog of 2016!
 It seems that everyone is jumping in on the New Years resolution to eat healthier and exercise more.  And from my husbands observation from his visits to the gym, resolutions only last so long. The first few weeks is a frenzy of activities.  Stores are selling new exercise wear, the end caps at grocery stores carry the multi-packs weight loss products but by the end of January, it becomes forgotten until it is time to push bathing suits. 
I think that we have been on the eating healthier kick for quite some time.  Sure we can make some great sweets and over indulge on savory treats, but we always come back to making sure we are eating right.  This is evident when you look through my binder of recipes and find a ton of recipes from Cooking Light dating back 15 years or so. This one is not so old, but was set aside to give a try. I never got around to it until a couple of weeks ago. I made it one night over the Christmas holidays when I was on vacation.  The end result was the proclamation from our dietitian in training that "It's a keeper"!  Even pleased our son because of the olives and pasta we served along side.   I think it is time to pull out more of those older recipes, especially the lighter ones.

Pork Tenderloin with Olives and Capers



1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Cut pork crosswise into 8 pieces. Place each pork piece between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and pound to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Sprinkle both sides of the pork with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a shallow bowl. Dredge pork in flour, turning to coat; shake off the excess flour. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of pork, and cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove pork mixture from pan, and keep warm. Repeat procedure with the remaining oil and pork. Return pork to pan. Add wine and broth; bring to a boil. Stir in olives and capers; cook 4 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley.