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.

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Bowtie Pasta with Steak Cubes in a Creamy Whiskey Sauce

Fairly simple, somewhat quick- full of flavor.

I had come up with this dish the other night as we had some not so tasteful weather (so I needed something that was full of taste). With having some london broil in the fridge before packing and freezing it seemed like the perfect ingredient to start off with. From there, I decided I would season it and put in the oven broiler and take things from there.

While that was goin in the oven, on the stovetop i had water boiling for the pasta and then threw it in. From baking projects/experiments/fun, I had some heavy cream still in the refrigerator. I also had some “real” sharp provolone (Italian market up in Northern New Jersey which makes their own), capers, and the kitchen is always stocked with an array of spices.

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I started off with some pumpkinseed oil and heavy cream. I let that heat up a little and then threw in provolone which I cut into small pieces to melt easier. I proceeded to add in some pepper, parsely, capers, and garlic. Wanting a little bit of smoky and sweetness I decided to pour in a little aged whiskey (in the end came to be a fine choice). I let this go until it became more of a creamy sauce. When the london broil was medium rare (quite pink) I took out and cut into the cubes. I then tossed them and mixed in the sauce with the heat on medium and cooked them the rest of the way in the sauce to really get in the flavors. This was all tossed in the pot with the pasta.

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It may sound like a lot but it was a fairly simple ingredient list and cooking methods. With everything cooking at the same time it was fiinished rather quickly (30-40 minutes at most).  The other nice thing was the main ingredients of beef and pasta are easy to portion and thus we both had lunch for the next day.

Enjoy.

Red Snapper on the Grill

Ahhh, so now with grilling season in full swing, it is time to have some fun and do some different things then the same old bbq chicken, hamburger (though I have made some insane versions), or steak (it does seem like this is something I can never get enough of). I do have a bit of a fondness for just about anything seafood (have not had the courage to try some raw oysters yet…possibly soon though), I decided to go with some Red Snapper.

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One of the things I love about shopping at Wegman’s is the vast variety of fish they start to bring in this time of year and it is not just filets but I can get the whole fish- and when it comes to grilling, the whole fish is the way to go.

On this particular day I was in the mood for some Red Snapper. After slicing it down the belly (and leaving it still intact as one piece) I seasoned it with some salt, peppercorn, sweet paprika, chili powder, diced scallions, and finished with some tangerine slices. I then closed the fish back up and coated the outside with some olive oil.

Before I tossed this on the grill (as it would not take too terribly long to cook) I had prepared some whole carrots which I peeled, cut slits into, and basted with a combination of brown sugar, honey, rum, and whiskey. This was wraped in aluminum foil and tossed on the grill to slowly cook and caramelize with the carrots.

While the carrots were on the grill, and then followed by the fish, I proceeded to make a simple mango sauce on the stove. I cut up a fresh mango into chuncks and hated on low. I proceeded to add in some diced sweet onions, some sherry vinegar, a pinch of sugar, and some salt and pepper. Upon completion of the fish, I then cut it into portions and topped with the mango sauce.

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Enjoy.

BBQ Drumsticks…in the Oven??

Tonight’s dinner was a nice modification to one of my favorite styles of cooking- barbecuing. However, since it was around 20 degrees out and some fresh snow on the ground actual grilling would not suffice. Time to utilize the oven.

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Beforehand, I had marinated the chicken overnight in a nice spicy marinade as I like to have a little kick to the flavor. I then set up a rack over a sheet pan and started to cook them on 425. After they had been in for a while and getting to the point where they were more thoroughly cooked on the inside (i.e. not much red left) I then basted them with a blood orange and honey reduction I had made while they were first put in the oven. The consistency was almost like a barbecue sauce but with pieces of orange pulp throughout. I then coated one side of the drumsticks, cooked a little longer, flipped over, and then did the other side.

Overall, they still had that spicy kick to them but then had a nice citrusy sweetness (think oriental like Orange Chicken).

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Panko Crusted Pork Chops

Pork chops are nice when you want a good meal but don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. They are also very nice because of the creativity and different styles of meals you can create with them. Personally I prefer the bone-in chops, think they have a more distinct flavor, but anything I post pertaining to chops can be done with the boneless version as well.

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For this meal, I did a simple flour, egg, and then panko coating on both sides of the chops. I heated a pan with some oil and when that was heated up I threw on the chops and coked on both sides for about 5 minutes per side.

In the meantime, I boiled some pasta and separately the same thing with some asparagus. In a saucepan I made a sauce with some butter, heavy cream, some sharp provolone (grated it directly into the pan), squeezed half a lime, added some capers, and then some cracked pepper. When the pasta was done I drained out the water and then added in both the sauce and the asparagus.

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Enjoy.