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Posts Tagged ‘cheese’

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it yet, but my husband (Stan) and his friend/coworker Mayur are going to Everest in the Spring. They will trek to North Col, at 23k feet. It is no small trip – it will take a whole month to complete!

One of their preparations involves gaining weight – 15-20lbs each! A couple weeks ago, we had Mayur over for dinner and I cooked the men a calorie-packed feast of hearty chicken parmigiana and spaghetti.

The recipe comes from “Tyler’s Ultimate” on the Food Network. The show is what it sounds – Tyler Florence travels the country, tastes variations of the same dish, picks out the best elements from each, and then assembles the “ultimate” recipe.

This dish required a good amount of preparation and ingredients. But the guys liked it, so I think it was well worth it. (Even Stan really liked it, and he’s usually not a fan of chicken parm!)

Chicken Parmigiana
from Tyler’s Ultimate

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
  • Pinch sugar
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 (8-ounce) ball fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound spaghetti pasta, cooked al dente

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Coat a saute pan with olive oil and place over medium heat. When the oil gets hazy, add the onions, garlic, and bay leaves; cook and stir for 5 minutes until fragrant and soft.

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cooking the onions, garlic, and bay leaves

3. Add the olives and some hand-torn basil, reserve the rest of the basil for finishing the chicken. Carefully add the tomatoes (nothing splashes like tomatoes), cook and stir until the liquid is cooked down and the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes; season with sugar, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Lower the heat, cover, and keep warm.

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the finished sauce - keep warm!

4. Get the ingredients together for the chicken so you have a little assembly line. Put the flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. In a wide bowl, combine the eggs and water, beat until frothy. Put the bread crumbs on a plate, add the 1 cup parmesan, chopped parsley, and garlic powder Season with salt and pepper and stir with a fork until thoroughly combined.

5. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high flame in a large oven-proof skillet. Lightly dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off, then dredge in the bread crumbs. When the oil is nice and hot, add the cutlets and fry for 4 minutes on each side until golden and crusty, turning once.

6. Ladle the tomato-olive sauce over the chicken and arrange the mozzarella on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan, and remaining basil. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Serve hot with spaghetti.

right out of the oven

serves 4

Each serving has roughly 900 calories… so it’s not diet-friendly!!!

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As soon as I laid eyes on that massive zucchini, I started Gooling zucchini recipes. This was one of the first ones I found, and I knew right away that I’d love it. This is a great healthy alternative to mozarella sticks. I didn’t have any marinara sauce on hand to dip them in, but I plan on buying some and making these again!

I loved these – but Stas hated them… I ended up eating all of mine, PLUS his.

But in all fairness, he doesn’t care much for zucchini to begin with.

Baked Zucchini Sticks

  • equivalent of 3 medium zucchini, sliced into 3″ x 1/2″ sticks
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (or whatever cheese you have on hand)
  • cooking spray (or parchment paper)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt
  • fresh pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. In a small bowl, beat egg whites and season with salt and pepper. In a ziplock bag, place breadcrumbs, garlic powder, and cheese; shake well. Cove cookie sheet with parchment paper (or spray cookie sheet with cooking spray) and set aside.

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zucchini slices

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breadcrumbs and egg white

3. Dip zucchini sticks into eggs then into bread crumb and cheese mixture, a few at a time and shake to coat. Place the breaded zucchini in a single layer on parchment paper (optional: spray cooking spray on top).

zucchini sticks pre-baking

zucchini sticks pre-baking

4. Bake at 425 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

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baked zucchini sticks, plated

Serves 3

Here is the breakdown of Weight Watchers points:
zucchini = 0
1 egg white = 0
1/3 cup bread crumbs = 2
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese = 2

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I make a lot of chicken recipes, don’t I? I just loooooove chicken!

And cheese? Don’t even get me started on cheese! I’m addicted to the stuff!

So you can probably imagine my excitement when I saw this recipe in Cooking Light. I had to make it.

I loved this dish. The stuffing is perfect and the reduced sauce is delicious, although you could definitely serve it without the sauce if you don’t have wine or chicken broth available.

Stas wasn’t a huge fan – he just doesn’t like chicken stuffed with anything (which is so weird to me). He did like the sauce though. So maybe if I make this in the future, I’ll only stuff half of them and just serve him a breast with the sauce.

I just really want someone else to make this and get excited about it because I loved it that much 🙂

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese, Caramelized Leeks, and Thyme
adapted from Cooking Light, May 2009

1 1/2  teaspoons  olive oil
1 1/3  cups  thinly sliced leeks
3/4  teaspoon  salt, divided
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
3/4  cup  (3 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
1  tablespoon  chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1  tablespoon  fat-free milk
1 1/2  teaspoons  chopped fresh thyme
6  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Cooking spray
1/2  cup  dry white wine
1  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to pan; cook 12 minutes, stirring frequently. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook 2-5 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.

cooking the leeks

cooking the leeks

Combine leek mixture, 1/4 teaspoon salt, cheese, parsley, milk, and thyme in a small bowl, stirring with a fork.

the cheese/leek mixture

the cheese/leek mixture

Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket; stuff 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese mixture into each pocket. Sprinkle chicken evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

cutting pockets in the chicken breasts

cutting pockets in the chicken breasts

Return pan to medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan, smooth side (the top of the breast) down; sauté 5 minutes; turn chicken over. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 10 minutes or until chicken is done.

add chicken to pan

add chicken to pan

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the chicken is done!

Remove chicken from pan; let stand 10 minutes. Add wine to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook until reduced by half (about 2 minutes). Add broth, and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 9 minutes). Serve with chicken.

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reducing the sauce

serves 6

I served it with mashed potatoes:

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I’ve been wanting to make a quiche-type dish for awhile now, but I hadn’t found a recipe that caught my eye – until I read the April 2009 issue of Cooking Light.

I made this for lunch today… at 5pm (oops!)

Last night, Stas and I went out to a friend’s house in Boston with a few of my girlfriends. We got home around 3am (I think) and I woke up at 10am with a hangover. Needless to say, my day had a slow start 🙂

By the time I had breakfast and showered, it was 2:30pm and I realized I needed to go grocery shopping. Market Basket was a madhouse as usual. I got home around 4pm and was determined to make this tart.

Stas didn’t really know what to make of the tart – he hadn’t seen anything like it before. But he liked it – and I loved it!

It would be a great dish for a lunch party – or maybe as an appetizer for a dinner party. It might even be cute split up into 4 miniature pie pans (I’ll have to remember that for next time!)

Italian Tomato Tart
from Cooking Light, April 2009

Crust:

  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen long-grain brown rice (such as Birds Eye Steamfresh)
  • 2 tablespoons commercial pesto
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • Cooking spray

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 ounce prosciutto, cut into thin strips
  • 3 small plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (optional, for garnish)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To prepare crust, cook the brown rice according to directions on the package. Combine the cooked rice with the pesto, Parmesan cheese, and egg; firmly press mixture into the bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven.

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the crust, before going into the oven

Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.

To prepare filling, combine the milk, egg substitute, salt, pepper, and egg in a bowl; stir with a whisk.

Sprinkle half of the mozzarella and half of the prosciutto into the bottom of the prepared crust. Top with half of the tomato slices. Repeat this procedure with the remaining mozzarella, proscuitto, and tomatoes. Pour in the milk mixture.

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1 layer of mozzarella and prosciutto

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all of the layers

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after pouring in the milk mixture

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees (but do not remove tart from the oven); bake an additional 35 minutes, or until set. Cool 5-10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with basil (optional).

Serves 4.

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