Tag Archives: dinner

Chicken Schnitzel and Braised Red Cabbage

So I’m not too sure if this counts as a “schnitzel”, but that’s what I’m calling it. I used chicken breasts that were butterflied, then
pounded out to make large cutlets. I love this kind of food. It’s got a great comforting feel and good flavor. The lemon zest in the breading and the final spray of lemon juice before eating add a little bit of acid to the dish, cutting any heaviness from the breading/frying.

Instead of spaetzle or potatoes, I made a side of braised red cabbage. After being cooked low slow and for over an hour, the cabbage took
on a soft, yet sturdy texture. The apple-cider vinegar and brown sugar gave the dish a sweet/sour bite. I’ve seen this done with apples or bacon, but I didn’t use any of that in this version. It would make a great compliment to other entrees as well, such as roast chicken, some sort of pork dish, etc.

I didn’t get to take a picture of the plated dish because everyone was hungry and started eating really fast. Good stuff!

What You’ll Need:

Braised Red Cabbage:

– 1 large head red cabbage, cored and shredded

– 1 large sweet onion, sliced

– 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

– ¼ cup apple cider vinegar (possibly more if needed, depending on taste)

– ¼ cup packed light brown sugar (possibly more if needed, depending on taste)

– ½ cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you wish to keep it fully vegetarian)

– Kosher salt (to taste)

– Pepper to taste

– 1 Tbsp unsalted butter to finish the dish

– 2 Tbsp olive oil

Chicken Schnitzel:

– 4 medium sized chicken breasts, butterflied, then pounded thin

– 2 ½ cups of panko bread crumbs

– Zest of 1 lemon

– 1 tsp garlic powder

– 1 tsp onion powder

– 1 tsp dried oregano

– 1 tsp smoked paprika

– ¾ cup all purpose flour

– 3 eggs + 1 Tbsp water, beaten

– Salt and pepper (amounts will be explained in each step requiring it)

– Olive or Canola oil for frying (or whatever kind you like)

– Lemon wedges to serve with each

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The How To:

Note: I recommend starting the cabbage first, because while it is braising for the hour or hour and a half, you can prep and cook the chicken schnitzel.
Braised Cabbage:
Step 1 – Heat a skillet with the olive oil over medium heat. When it is hot, add the onions and garlic, and sauté for about 5 minutes, until they start to be come soft and translucent.

Step 2 – When the onions are soft, add the cabbage in and mix evenly. Season with some salt and pepper, and let cook down for about 10-15
minutes, stirring to make sure all of the cabbage cooks evenly.

Step 3 – When the cabbage starts to become tender, add the chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar and mix in thoroughly.
Cover and turn down to low to let it simmer. Stir every so often to make sure all of the cabbage is braising.

Step 4 – When everything is looking soft, taste and adjust for salt, pepper, sugar, and vinegar. Then add the butter when almost
ready to serve.

Chicken Schnitzel:
Step 1 – If you didn’t buy the chicken breasts butterflied and pounded thin, do this now. Using a sharp knife, take each chicken breast and cut down the middle (without cutting all the way through. This should create a “book” like shape. Place between two sheets of plastic
wrap or parchment paper, and using a skillet or mallet, pound the chicken breasts to about ¼ inch thick, pounding AWAY from you so that it does not tear the flesh.

Step 2 – Place the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs in 3 separate dishes. Season the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs with salt and pepper. To the Breadcrumbs only, add the other dry spices and the lemon zest as well.

Step 3 – Starting with the flour, coat both sides of a chicken cutlet evenly, shaking off the excess. Then move the cutlet to the egg,
coating both sides. Finally, place the cutlet into the panko crumbs, coating both sides, and shaking off excess. Place on a rack or plate to let set for about 20 minutes in the fridge. Repeat this process until all are coated.

Step 4 – Heat a large nonstick skillet (or a stainless steel skillet, but you’ll need more oil for this) over medium high heat. When
it is hot (not too hot, or the oil may smoke), add the oil, and then add one or two cutlets (however many may fit, do not overcrowd the pan, or it will steam the cutlets instead of fry them).

Step 5 – Cook on the first side about 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown, then turn over and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Do not
cook for much longer, as the cutlets will be thin and may overcook. Repeat until all are done.
Then time to eat! Spritz some lemon over each cutlet, and serve with the braised cabbage. If you wish to add another side, feel free. I used some sugar snap peas that were in the steam-package and added some garlic powder, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

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Parmesan and Potato Pizza

Alright, well thanks for hanging on there! I know it’s been a while since my last regular update to the blog, and I’ve definitely been meaning to post this recipe since last month. I have another one after this that I’ve gotta write and edit photos for as well.
I love pizza…anyone else out there feel the same way? Plain cheese, pepperoni, supreme, Hawaiian, “California” style, thin crust, regular crust, deep dish, etc. I decided to make a plain cheese, but had enough dough for two pizzas, so I also decided to use some leftover red potatoes and make a rosemary-parmesan and potato pizza. Potatoes on pizza? I’ve seen similar ideas in restaurants and such, so it’s not such a crazy idea.

What I did was use my mandolin slicer to create paper-thin potato slices that would cook quickly in a hot oven as the crust rose. I seasoned the potatoes with some salt, pepper, olive oil, parmesan cheese, oregano, and thyme. Delicious.

What You’ll Need:
– Pizza dough (use your favorite recipe, or if you have a favorite brand, try it out. I made mine. It was enough for 2 crusts for the 2 pizzas)
– 1 cup warm water (not HOT, or the yeast will not activate)
– 1 package active dry yeast
– 1 Tbsp honey
– 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 1/2 tsp kosher salt
– 2 to 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour (I used closer to 3 because of the humidity, and the dough was too wet as it kneaded) plus extra for rolling

– About 1 ½ to 2 cups Mozzarella cheese, give or take depending on how much you like
– ½ cup Parmesan cheese, divided into 2 portions
– About 2 tsp oregano (dried)
– About 2 tsp thyme (dried)
– 2 large red potatoes
– ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (more or less)
– ¼ tsp kosher salt
– ¼ tsp black pepper (more or less)

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The How-To:
– Make the dough ahead of time, at least to the stage where it is ready to use. This will depend on the recipe if you are making your own. I made mine and let it go through the 2 rising stages for at least 3 hours.
o Combine the warm water, honey, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix for a few seconds. Let sit until the yeast blooms (activates), during which you should see little plumes of yeast start to appear in the mixture. This will take 5-10 minutes.
o Attach the dough hook to the mixer
o After the yeast is activated, add the salt and olive oil. Mix briefly, then slowly add the flour ½ cup at a time, with the mixer on low. Let it knead until it starts to form a ball and is pulling away from the sides of the bowl. It should look smooth and only be slightly sticky. This could take about 5-7 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl and cover.
o Let the dough rest for about 1 ½ to 2 hours, then punch it down. I then separated it into two halves, formed a ball for each, then placed on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. I covered each ball and let them rise again for another hour before using.

– When ready, PREHEAT OVEN to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and flour a large cutting board or clean countertop. Take one dough ball and roll it out to your desired thickness. I rolled these out to about ¼ inch thick. Make sure to flour the board, the dough, and rolling pin (if using) just enough to prevent sticking. Press the dough with your fingertips to make dimples in the dough.
– When the dough is rolled out, spread a few tablespoons of Olive oil on the dough evenly. Then use half of the oregano, thyme, and parmesan and sprinkle evenly around the oiled crust
– Using a mandolin (or a sharp knife and a keen eye), slice the potatoes on the thinnest setting. Spread these potatoes on the crust in a single layer, not overlapping too much to prevent undercooking part of them.
– Drizzle more oil on the potatoes (lightly), then season them using some salt and pepper, and the rest of the oregano, thyme, and parmesan.
– Bake until the crust is golden, and the potatoes and cheese are brown. This should be about 12 minutes, but check to your desired doneness.
– ENJOY! (For the cheese pizza, I used leftover marinara, but use your own favorite sauce and cheese. Or try out some other types of toppings!)

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Upcoming posts

Okay everyone, hopefully I’ll be back very soon with posts. I have the pictures ready to go, and am writing up the recipes and commentary today and tomorrow.

Coming up:

– Roasted chicken with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Bacon Creamed Corn

– Parmesan, Rosemary, and Potato Pizza

Check back in a day or two!

– Anthony

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Show Me Your Grill: Skirt Steak and Grilled Tarragon Potatoes

In the month and a half it has been “cold” here in South Florida, and probably a little longer before that, I had kinda forgotten that I had a grill sitting outside, being so busy with work and other things. Well, I figured it was time to bring it out of retirement and grill up some skirt steak.

It’s been at least 3 months since I last grilled up skirt steak, as posted in Thrill of the Grill: Sunday, September 19th, 2010. I didn’t have any recipes posted on that though, so here ya go! It’s a very simple recipe, with a quickly assembled dry rub spice mix. I didn’t make a whole lot of it, only lightly coating the steak in the seasoning instead of rubbing a ton of the rub on the steak, barbecue style.

If you want more seasoning, double the spice rub recipe. Add whichever spices you like as well, or take out any you don’t. If you like it a little sweeter, add a little brown sugar…just note that it may burn, leaving a charred taste if you cook it at too high a heat.

Here’s a quick tip, take the steak out about 30 minutes before cooking it to let it come to room temperature. This will help you avoid overcooking the outside and having a raw (not rare, raw) interior.

Also, to get things done fairly quickly, get the potatoes cooking about 10-15 minutes before you start to grilling the steak. This way, you can get them grilling soon after the steak is done. You just want to mark them on the grill over high heat for a couple minutes, then toss them in the tarragon dressing.

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Stuffed Turkey Tenderloins

I know, a turkey post after the holidays? “Ugh, not again!” you must be thinking if you’re a holiday carnivore. But wait, this one is a quick meal, and it didn’t take hours to make. No laboring over the turkey, basting it, etc. It can be made as a fairly quick weeknight dinner.

For this recipe, I used turkey tenderloins. Due to the very low fat content in this cut of meat, it is very easy to dry out, but if cooked properly, is very easy to make, and is fairly tasty and good for you depending on how you season it. I butterflied the tenderloins, stuffed them, seared them, then finished them off in the oven.

Instead of a traditional stale bread or cornbread stuffing, I made a quick stuffing of onions, garlic, spinach, and panko bread crumbs, moistened with some extra virgin olive oil to give the stuffing and the turkey some fat. It was quite delicious, and only took about 5 minutes to throw together, not 45 minutes or more like a traditional stuffing.

Serve it with whatever sides you like. I served with some vegetable rice, seasoned with some garlic powder and a slight amount of butter. But it would be great with mashed potatoes, some roasted mushrooms, asparagus, or whatever else you like.

On another note, the sauce was almost a cooking fail. I attempted to make a sour cream sauce using the pan drippings, but I had the heat too high and it broke, leaving a grainy puddle of a sauce. So I improvised and made a balsamic vinaigrette to spoon over the turkey.

 What You’ll Need:

Turkey / Stuffing:

– 2 turkey tenderloins

– 1 medium onion, chopped

– 1 box of chopped spinach (10 oz), defrosted and pressed to remove all liquid

– 2 cloves of garlic, chopped

– ¾ cup panko bread crumbs

– ¼ cup olive oil

– Garlic Powder

– ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

– Smoked Paprika

– Salt

– Pepper

 Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette:

 – ¾ cup olive oil

– ¼ cup balsamic vinegar

– Garlic powder (or you can use minced garlic)

– Salt

– Pepper

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The How-To:

Turkey & Stuffing:

Note: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

1: Heat a skillet over medium heat and add some a few teaspoons olive oil

2: Chop the onion and garlic, and then add to the hot oil. Season with some salt and pepper. Stir frequently so garlic does not burn.

3: After about 4 minutes, when onions are soft and begin to become translucent, add the spinach in and season again slightly. After cooking for a couple minutes, add the bread crumbs and the olive oil. Let the crumbs toast slightly in the oil and keep stirring. Turn off the burner and remove from heat to let cool a few minutes.

4: Butterfly the turkey tenderloins (split in half without cutting all the way through) and press it down flat. Season the inside with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika.

5: Place about 2-3 tablespoons of the stuffing In each tenderloin and flatten into a thin layer. From one end lengthwise, roll up the tenderloin tightly, making sure to keep the stuffing inside.

6: Tie the tenderloin in sections using some butcher twine. This will ensure even cooking.

7: Season the outside liberally with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika.

8: Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and heat up some olive oil (or your favorite type), about 2 Tbps, or enough to coat the bottom if using a stainless steel pain. Sear each side of the tenderloin for a couple of minutes to develop a crust, then slide the entire pan (MAKE SURE it is oven safe, and check how high the pan’s tolerance is) into the oven.

9: Cook until the internal temperature registers about 165 degrees in the thickest part of the meat itself, not the stuffing. You can also do the old knife test, where you cut open the thickest portion to ensure that the inside is cooked through. No Salmonella here!

10: Remove from the oven and tent (cover) with some foil, resting for another few minutes. The turkey will continue to cook another 5 or so degrees to reach the perfect temperature. Cooking to a higher temperature will risk drying it out. Remove the twine, and then slice into rounds. Serve with your desired side.

Vinaigrette:

1: Add ingredients to a small bowl, then whisk until fully emulsified (blended together). Since this isn’t stabilized by any mustard, egg yolk, or mayonnaise, it will separate after a few moments. Just mix again vigorously until re-blended, then spoon over the turkey.

Hope you enjoy!

– Anthony

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Gnudi Colony (Pronounced “Nudie”): Spinach-Ricotta Gnudi with Quick Tomato Sauce

I know some of you may ask, “What are gnudi?” Is this post safe for work and safe for children? Should I not be looking at this post here?

Yes, yes it is. Gnudi can be thought of as ravioli filling without the actual pasta around it. They are more like dumplings made from the ricotta mixture, using eggs and flour as a binding agent. And they are delicious. They are similar to ricotta gnocchi, and if made well, should be light.

I’ve made gnudi before, and after cooking them in boiling water, have toasted them in some brown butter. They are delicious, and have a nice crispy texture on the outside, but I didn’t do that this time, instead opting to serve them with a quick tomato sauce.

I think with this batch, I used a little too much flour, so they were a little heavier than what I expected. But, they tasted good, and I know now to use less flour in the mixture. I’ll edit the ingredients below to reflect this reduction in flour.

What You’ll Need:

Sauce Ingredients:

– 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
– 2-3 Tbsp tomato paste
– 1 small onion, diced
– 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
– 1 tsp oregano or Italian seasoning
– ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
– salt and pepper to taste
– ¼ cup water
– red pepper flake (optional)

Gnudi Ingredients:

– 15 oz of ricotta cheese (use full-fat here if you know what’s good, lol)
– 2 eggs
– ½ cup flour (add extra 1 tsp at a time if the mixture seems too thin)
– 1 package of thawed spinach, drained very well (or you can use cooled sautéed spinach)
– 1 cup of parmesan or your favorite grated cheese
– 1 tsp garlic powder
– a few grates of fresh nutmeg
– Salt and pepper to taste

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The How-To:

Note: Before starting to cook the sauce and gnudi, set a pot of water over medium / medium-high heat so that it comes to a boil while you’re prepping everything else. Salt the water well after it starts to boil.

Sauce:

 
1: In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes, until hot. Add the onion and garlic, salt and pepper, and stir. Let the onions and garlic sweat for a few minutes, making sure to stir to avoid burning anything. You can add the optional red pepper flake at this point to infuse the oil.

2: After the onions start to become soft, add the crushed tomatoes, the garlic paste, the water, and the oregano (or Italian seasoning). Stir, and reduce heat to medium low. Continue to stir occasionally while it cooks. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Gnudi:

1: If you don’t have a food processor, you can finely chop the spinach by hand, then place in a bowl. But I used my small one. In the bowl of the food processor, place the spinach, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and nutmeg, and pulse until finely chopped.

2: Add the ricotta, and pulse again until combined. Move to a medium sized bowl.

3: To the spinach and ricotta mixture, first add the grated cheese. Combine well.

4: Add the eggs next, mixing until the eggs are well combined.

5: Add the flour in small increments, making sure to mix well so that none of the flour remains.

6: Add some extra flour to a board, about 1 cup, and then using two spoons, make small ricotta dumplings. Place these in the flour, and roll until coated. Shape them lightly and set aside. Continue until all of the mixture is used up.

7: Cook the gnudi in batches, about 4-5 at a time if they are large, or more if they are smaller. They should float when they are done, which may take about 5-6 minutes or longer. Remove from the water, drain, and set aside.

8: When all are done, serve with the sauce and extra grated cheese.

Enjoy!

– Anthony

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Pan Seared Salmon with Capers / Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Syrup

Hello, all you faithful (and new) readers. The weather in South Florida is absolutely amazing (for me anyways). I like cold weather, and am enjoying the highs in the 50s and 60s during the day, and lows in the 30s and 40s at night. Kinda nice to feel “seasons” in Florida, lol.

Anyways, I felt like cooking today, even after a long day in work. This is a relatively quick recipe, especially if you forego the pomegranate vinegar syrup. However, the syrup is pretty key, in this recipe at least. In fact, all the flavors play off of each other well in this dish.

The salmon was nicely seared, with the richness of the butter in the sauce being cut by the acidic/salty bite of the capers and the white wine. The bitter qualities of the Brussels sprouts were in sync with the smoky bacon and the sweet/sour flavor of the pomegranate vinegar syrup reduction. In other words, pretty tasty stuff.

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What you’ll need (for 2-3 servings):

Salmon:

– 1 lb of salmon (whichever type you like, I chose Atlantic, but Pacific or Sockeye work as well)

– 1 shallot, finely minced

– 1 Tbsp Butter

– 1 Tbsp Olive oil

– About 2 Tbsp capers, and some of the brine

– Salt

– Pepper

Brussels Sprouts:

– 1 lb Brussels sprouts

– 2 strips bacon, sliced into strips

– 2 cloves of garlic, medium chop

– Salt

– Pepper

Pomegranate Vinegar Syrup:

– about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of pomegranate infused red wine vinegar

– 2-3 Tbsp sugar

– pinch of salt

 

The How-To:

1: Start with the pomegranate syrup. Mix all of the ingredients in a small saucepan, stir, and place over medium-low heat. When it comes to a boil, turn it slightly lower, and boil until the mixture reduces by a little more than half. It will be slightly thicker, but will really thicken after it cools. This should take about 15 minutes or less. Keep an eye on it, and avoid reducing so much that it’s thick while hot. It will become way too thick to drizzle on the sprouts.

2: As the syrup is reducing, place a pan over medium heat for a couple minutes. Add the bacon and cook for about 3-4 minutes, until some of the fat is rendered out.

3: Add the Brussels sprouts to the bacon and drippings and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until nicely caramelized and tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic a few minutes before finishing to avoid burning it. I added it first and it stuck to the pan a bit.

4: Season the salmon filets with salt and pepper. Heat another skillet over medium heat until hot. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.

5: When the oil is shimmering, and before it smokes, add the salmon seasoned sided down, and sear for about 2-3 minutes on one side. Season the other side while the first side is cooking.

6: Wait until the salmon releases. That’s when you know it’s ready to turn. Do not try to force it if it sticks too much, or it will fall apart. Flip the fish over and sear the other side for another 3-4 minutes.

7: Remove the salmon, and set aside for a couple minutes. Drain the oil, and add 1 Tbsp of fresh oil and the 1 Tbsp butter. Let the butter melt, then add the shallot, and cook for a couple minutes.

8: Then add the white wine, capers, and caper brine and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Spoon over the fish.

9: Plate the Brussels sprouts, then drizzle them with the pomegranate syrup.

Chow down!

Enjoy folks. Let me know what you think.

– Anthony

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