Chicken Parmesan…Well, Sort Of.

Warmer weather, work, and holidays have made the past few weeks quite eventful (and tiring) so I apologize for the lack of posting over that time period- though it may extend over the next week or two as well. In the meantime, just bare with me and enjoy 🙂

This particular meal is somewhat reminiscent of a Chicken Parmesan type dish, with some modifications. Instead of a pasta-based side, I went with a wild rice. And as for the chicken itself…

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The boneless thighs were already in the freezer and were stuffed with Mozzarella and Asparagus (prep work already done). At first I was unsure what type of way i was going to cook it so I actually started off by boiling some rice. As my mind got to thinking, I was like “hmm, I can make this in similar fashion to chicken parmesan- just stuffed.” And so I made my panko batter and threw the chicken in along with some tomato sauce and red wine and slow cooked in the oven.

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I topped it off with some fresh parsely and grated some pepito cheese.

Enjoy.

Orange-Chicken Fried Rice

With all the great weather we have been having lately, the random days where it decides to rain- or hail, i’m left to scrambling to come up with some various dishes. With what I had in the pantry I knew I had to be a tad creative (as the wife is not a huge fan of rice), so I had to kick up the flavor intenstity. In the end, I wound up making my own version of orange-chicken fried rice with broccoli and asparagus.

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The rice part was simple enough. Boil it like you normally would, drain it, and then set aside. Similar regards with the vegetables as i steam em first (not quite all the way) and then set aside. The main component of chicken had already been packaged with diced garlic and soy sauce before I froze the package. Once thawed out, I took the pieces and cut into smaller cubes. I tossed these in a bowl along with some chili powder, a little pineapple juice (optional), a little more soy sauce, some cor starch (give the chicken a crispyt coating while cooking), and I zested two oranges. All of this was mixed thoroughly and I proceeded to cook on my 2-burner griddle in some grapeseed oil (slightly higher smoke point). As this was getting close to the point that I wanted (slight crispiness) I then tossed in the vegetables to finsih cooking them through and for the flavors to soak in.

At this point, I also cleared off a portion on the front of the griddle, tossed on some oil, and poured on the rice to start “frying” it. Once it got to a point I was happy with, I then proceeded to mix all of the ingredients together on the griddle.

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Enjoy.

Some Quick and Easy Grilling (Healthy Too): Spaghetti Squash and Grilled Chicken

This was a nice meal as it did jnot take terribly long (just over a half hour) to cook, and the results are quite flavorful and it’s an all-around healthy meal.

To start, I took the squash and cut it in half lengthwise. I then score the inside with a fork and then drizzle on some oil, balsamic vinegar, pepper, paprika, lemon/lime zest, and then some parsley. Once cut and seasoned, I put these on the grill, cut side up. Since this takes about 35 minutes to cook, I then had a few minutes to prep the chicken and toss it on the grill as well.

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The chicken I initially tossed on the grill unseasoned and cooked both sides slightly. I then applied a mixture of balsamic and honey and cooked until almost done. I then applied my homemade bbq sauce (has stuff like tomoato paste, worcesteshire sauce, ground up garlic, onion, anaheim peppers, amongst other “secret” ingredients). I then cooked until i got a nice slight char on the sauce coating.

While that was going on, I placed some asparagus on the top rack of the grill and basted in a combination of truffle-infused oil and pumpkinseed oil.

Upon removing everything from the grill, I scooped out the squash and plated and then I cut up the chicken and placed on top.

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Enjoy.

Broiled Flounder with a Pineapple-Shrimp Topping

Fish is such a great meal due to its versatility and the fact that in most situations it does not take all that long to prep or cook. I decided in this case to go fairly simple and stuck to having some broiled flounder.

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So, the flounder was simple enough. I poured a little olive oil into the dish and tossed in the filets. Since I wanted to make it a little citrusy, I poured in some orange juice. I then sprinkled on some ancho chile powder and some smoked paprika and put in the oven.

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While that was in the oven, for the topping I diced up some fresh pineapple and put into a pan. I added in some soy sauce and heated on medium. After that was cooking for a little bit of time (and to soften it) I then added in some “salad” shrimp (the small ones they sell to put in a salad. I then cooked this all together until the juices were slightly thickened.

As a side, I sauteed some asparagus in some truffle-infused oil along with some salt and pepper.

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Enjoy.

Flank Steak with Brie and Asparagus

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Flank Steak with Brie and Asparagus

Flank steak is always nice as it provides a fairly quick and easy base for a wholesome meal. It is also nice in the fact that meal preparation is quite easy, and as in this instance, I was able to stuff it and then place it in the freezer for future usage- I like the capability of grocery shopping and being able to piece together meals and freeze them so I can wait 3-4 weeks to do more grocery shopping.
In this particular case, I had initially stuffed it with brie and Asparagus spears. I made a dry rub for the meat and placed it in a corningware dish.I then proceeded to dice up some garlic and red onion and tossed them into the dish. I then added in 1 1/2 cups of red wine and placed in the oven. While the meat was cooking I made some mashed potatoes and added in some garlic and truffle oil for flavor.
Enjoy.

A Mixed Cream of Vegetable Soup

I always enjoy going to a produce market as in most instances there is a variety of vegetables you do not normally see in the grocery store and there are typically a lot of very great prices. And in times like this, I get a tad overzealous and have more than I know what to do with so I start to try different combinations and types of meals and thus I came across an interesting soup combination: Cream of Broccoflower and Asparagus with sweet onion and lemongrass- topped with mild cheddar and sauteed broccolini.

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You can choose any stock you want as a base, but since yesterday I had made 5 quarts of fresh chicken stock, I went with that. I started off by pouring in a little olive oil and sauteed the sweet onion along with the lemongrass. I diced up the broccoflower and asparagus into smaller pieces and added them to this mix.

I let that cook for a few minutes and then added in 5 cups of stock and 5 cups of warm water and brought to a simmer. I then put the lid on the stock pot and let it cook for an hour or so.

At this point, I proceeded to add in 1 and half cups heavy cream and put the lid back on again. In a separate pan I sauteed some broccolini which I would later on put as sort of an edible garnish on the soup along with the cheddar.

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At the two hour mark, I took out my immersion blender and blended the whole thing right in the stock pot (saves time and effort of transferring to a blender/mixer etc. and doing it that way. I then poured the soup into the bowl tossed in the broccolini and some shredded cheddar.

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Enjoy.

Brunch for Dinner

After the way the past few days have gone (Time with friends down in Atlantic City with it being restaurant week) by the time tonight came around I was in no mood for another big and heavy meal. So instead, I kept it simple with more of a brunch theme behind it: “Eggs in a basket” with some shaved smoked gouda, sauteed asparagus, and some bacon.

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Simple enough, Eggs in a basket is really just eggs put inside a hole in toast. In most cases I’ve encountered, it is typically fried toast (somewhat like making grilled cheese) however I did more of a baked version instead of frying. I took two slices of toast and cut round circles in them and stacked them. I then cracked two eggs, placed inside and put the dish in the oven.

While that was cooking I started to cook the bacon. Halfway through, I added in some asparagus spears and some cracked pepper.

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A minute or two before the eggs were cooked to my liking (I did not want the yolks to be too coked- slightly runny) I tossed the shaved smoked gouda on top to let it melt. I then took out of the oven, threw on the asparagus and added the side of bacon.

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Enjoy.