Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chicken with Lemon Caper Sauce

This dish is pretty much Chicken Piccata, although I think it is probably easier than the real thing. It's a great meal during the week because it is quick, easy, and healthy (except for the butter, but hey, everything in moderation, right?) It uses ingredients that are readily available and easy to keep handy.

You will need-

Chicken breasts (i use two, one each for Ron and I)

salt and pepper

3 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups of chicken broth

fresh lemon juice


a big handful of fresh parsley chopped

Put some water on to boil for pasta, i used angel hair because it only takes 4 minutes to cook. You only need about  a third of a one pound box for two people.

Put chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound to even thickness with a meat mallet or with the back of a small heavy skillet. This is loud, but a lot of fun at the end of a long work day!
Halve the chicken breasts to make four pieces.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Put the flour in a shallow dish and dredge the chicken in it.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes or so. Turn the chicken over and add the broth, lemon juice, and capers.

Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. While it is simmering, baste the chicken with the sauce.

Remove the chicken from the pan to a plate and keep warm. Bring the sauce in the pan to a low boil until it thickens up a bit more.
When your pasta is done, drain it and add it to the sauce. It will soak up some of the delicious sauce.

Remove pan from the heat and add in the parsley. Stir to combine. Put some pasta and sauce mixture on a plate and top with the chicken. If you want, you could top with more fresh parsley and spoon more sauce over the chicken.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup

This first dish is dedicated to Ramonita, who said she NEEDS the recipe, and finally got me up off my butt to share with all of you!!!

Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup
from Rachael Ray's Top 30 Comfort Foods Book

This dish costs about $5 to make, so not only is it extremely good for you,
but it's great for your budget!

1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion
1 can chicken or vegetable broth
1 can diced tomatoes in their juice
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup of heavy cream or half and half
a teaspoon of curry powder
a teaspoon of ground cumin
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt to taste

Heat a deep pot over medium heat. Add oil and butter.
When butter melts, add onion and saute until soft and tender, 10 minutes.
Add broth, tomatoes, black beans, and pumpkin.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and stir in cream, curry powder, cumin,
cayenne, and salt to taste. Simmer 5 minutes and make sure seasonings are to
taste. Serve with guacamole and tortilla chips.

Due to the news about BPA's in canned foods and their possible harmful
effects, I was a bit hesitant to make this! I started to think of ways to make
it more fresh. You could make your own broth, which i have been doing lately
anyway. The beans could be made from their dry state. That takes a while, but
some say they taste so much better that way. For the pumpkin, you could either buy
a fresh sugar pumpkin, or even substitute fresh, roased, butternut squash. If you really
wanted to go canless, you could jar your own tomatoes in the summer! For now, the
easy way is for me, but maybe someday I will go all fresh.

Hope you enjoy!