Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chicken with Tomatoes, Goat Cheese, and Caramelized Onions

Chicken is a great ingredient because it is so versatile, but at the same time it is difficult because sometimes it just ends up being boring! I had seen this recipe on For the Love of Cooking, and while it looked delicious (I can't resist recipes with tomatoes!), I was a little reluctant to try it because I was afraid it would disappoint. There was just no way it could look as good as the picture! Well, I finally tried it, and I am SO glad I did. I think this just may be my new favorite chicken recipe. Yes, I realize that is a bold statement, but I think it's a true one. I'm already looking forward to the next time I make it!

Chicken with Tomatoes, Goat Cheese, and Caramelized Onions
Serves 4-6 (adapted from For the Love of Cooking)
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I had 3 that were 8 oz each so I cut them in half lengthwise- was perfect size)
  • 1 cup of baby heirloom tomatoes (or grape tomatoes)
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp of crumbled goat cheese
1. Heat 1/2 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, sprinkle with salt and saute until golden brown and caramelized.
2. In large skillet, heat the the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat and season the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. (Make sure pan is hot before adding the chicken.) Cook for 4-6 minutes and flip. Cook for additional 3-4 minutes depending on thickness. Remove chicken from pan and let rest for about 5 minutes.
3. In the same skillet as the onions, add the baby tomatoes then season with salt and pepper, to taste. 
4. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the tomatoes are soft. Add minced garlic, stirring frequently for about a minute.
5. Pour the tomatoes and onions on top of the sliced chicken. Top with goat cheese and fresh basil.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

The best thing about these cookies is that you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry right now, and they come together in just a few minutes. Oh, and they are delicious. They have a chewy texture and strong peanut butter flavor. They would also be good with chocolate chips or even dipped in chocolate!

Ingredients:(adapted from Joy the Baker)
  • 1 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter (I used Jif creamy)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt (optional)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a bowl, stir together peanut butter and sugars until well combined.  Add egg, salt, and baking soda and stir until completely incorporated.  
  4. Roll into tablespoon-sized balls and create a cris-cross pattern with a fork. 
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned.  
  6. Slide parchment paper off baking sheet and let cool for at least 10 minutes, and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer Squash Gratin

One of the best things about summer is the bounty of fresh vegetables- Squash, zucchini, and tomatoes are some of my favorites! We were given some squash and zucchini from my dad's garden, and when I stumbled across this recipe, I knew exactly what I wanted to make! I really loved this dish- it was fresh, healthy, and had great flavor. I strongly recommend you give it a try. I know I will be making it again!

Ingredients: (yield: 6 servings)
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2-3 medium zucchini
  • 3 medium squash
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat italian blend shredded cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2.  Slice tomato into fairly thick slices and place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray or lined with parchment. Sprinkle tomato slices with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Roast for about 30 minutes. You may want to start checking them earlier.
  3. Using a mandolin, slice the squash and zucchini into thin pieces. If you don't have a mandolin, you can do this with a knife- it will just take a steady hand and more time!
  4. Spray an 8x8 or 2 4x8 pans with cooking spray. 
  5. Layer the zucchini and squash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. On top of that layer add slices of tomatoes and spinach. Sprinkle 1/2 of the cheese. Layer the rest of the zucchini and squash, seasoning every other layer. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes or until spinach is cooked and cheese is browned and crispy on top.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Nutella Palmiers

  I had never even heard of a "palmier" before I stumbled across this recipe. In fact, I had to google it to see what it was! Turns out that Epicurious defines it as, "puff pastry dough that is sprinkled with granulated sugar, folded and rolled several times, then cut into thin strips. After baking, these golden brown, caramelized pastries are served with coffee or tea or as a dessert accompaniment" Sounds good to me! These are actually a little different than the traditional palmier because they are made with Nutella and walnuts rather than cinnamon and sugar. Chocolate makes everything better, right? One of the best things about this recipe is how easy and quick it is (not to mention delicious!)
13 oz Puff Pastry, thawed
1/2 cup Nutella
1/4 to 1/2 c walnuts, chopped
granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet or line the sheet with a Silpat silicone baking mat.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry into a rectangular shape (approximately 15 x 9 inches).
3. Spread the Nutella evenly over the puff pastry. Then sprinkle the nuts over the top.
4. Roll both long ends toward the center until they meet. Where the pieces meet, try to press the edges together as best you can. (It was suggested to dampen them with water, but that didn't really work for me).
5. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into thin slices. Place on the prepared cookie sheet.
6. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with the sugar, then bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. 7. Let cool before serving them with coffee.