Monday, March 30, 2009

Chicken with Artichokes and Angel Hair

This is another dish I made from the magazine Everyday Food. I subscribe to a lot of food magazines, and recently learned one of my favorites, Cooking For 2, is being discontinued. I guess it is a sign of the times. Are any of your favorite publications being canceled?

Lets get cooking. Since times are tough, this recipe can be made pretty inexpensively with some stuff you might already have laying around. Boil up some water for the pasta and lets get started.

You need some pasta, flour, chicken broth, artichoke hearts, capers, butter, salt, pepper and a chicken breast. I cut this recipe down to serve one.

Dredge the chicken in some flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper. Heat some oil in a frying pan and get the chicken in there and cook about 3 minutes per side. Get your pasta in the boiling water as well.

I like to put a lid over the chicken to be sure it gets cooked all the way through.

While the chicken cooks, rinse the artichokes and capers.

Remove the chicken and add the broth to the pan and scrape up all the yummy chicken bits. Let it come to a boil and reduce by half.

Add the chicken back into the pan and stir in the artichokes and capers. Bring it just to a boil and remove from the heat.

Stir in the butter and drain your pasta. Serve the chicken and sauce over the pasta.

I have only started cooking with capers and artichokes in the last year that I have had this blog, and I am so glad I tried them. If you haven't, this might be the perfect recipe to introduce yourself to them!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spicy Chicken Stir Fry

This recipe comes from one of my favorite food magazines, Everyday Food. I am not a huge fan of Martha Stewart but this magazine is great.

You don't need a lot of time to make this tasty stir fry dish and you can vary it with whatever veggies you have on hand. This recipe serves one, perfect for me!

You need some peanut oil, peanuts, snow peas, a lime, garlic, jalapeno or serrano chili, 1 chicken breast and some basil. Sounds like a lot of stuff, but this is not a difficult dish to make. The key is to prep things before and be ready to add things as needed.

Trim the ends off the snow peas, slice open the lime, and chop up your chili and garlic.

On a separate cutting board, slice up the chicken. If you pop the chicken in the freezer for a few minutes before you cut it, you can slice through it much easier. Be sure to do thin slices so they cook up fast.

Heat up your wok or skillet and add the peanut oil. Get the chicken in there for 2-3 minutes until its cooked on one side.

Add in the garlic, chili, snow peas and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook until the chicken is opaque, about 2-3 more minutes. Season with Salt and Pepper and add in the lime juice, peanuts and basil. Give it a final stir and it is ready to eat.

This spicy stir fry can be on the table in no time. I served it over some fast cooking somen noodles and it was a fabulous, spicy meal for one!

Monday, March 23, 2009

White Bean and Sausage Soup

This recipe comes from one of my favorite magazines Everyday Food. It is absolutely perfect for the last cool days of Spring.

You need just a few ingredients, sausage, shallots or onions, garlic, basil, beef broth, white beans and diced tomatoes.

Chop up your shallots and garlic.

Remove the sausage from the casings. In a dutch oven cook the sausage over medium high heat with the shallots and garlic. Cook until the sausage is browned and the shallots or onion have softened, about 8 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and the broth and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer partially covered for 10 minutes. Add in the beans, salt, pepper and basil and let it heat through, about 2 minutes.

Garnish with some Parmesan cheese and you are ready to eat! This soup is delicious and simple, but really fills you up. This will be a favorite of yours if you are a fan of sausage.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Chardonnay Saffron Risotto

I made my very first Risotto within the last year and even after that I was not confident that I could do it again. I don't know why it seems so daunting, but this recipe totally changed my mind about making risotto. This recipe takes the fuss out of it and let me know you do not need to babysit it for it to turn out delicious.

This recipe came from a Dean and Deluca cookbook I scored at my local library book sale.

You need some Chicken stock or broth, Arborio rice, parmesan cheese, saffron, shallots, garlic and some Chardonnay.

Chop up the shallots nice and fine.

Do the same with your garlic.

Measure out the chicken broth and the wine.

Get some olive oil going in a nice heavy pan, I used my dutch oven.

Get the shallots and garlic in the pan and cook them over medium high heat for about 5 minutes.

Add in the rice and stir for about 2-3 minutes.

Start adding the stock 1/2 cup at a time. I just use a ladle and add one ladle at a time. Stir continuously while adding the stock. As each ladle full has been absorbed, add another. Keep doing this until you have used up 2 cups of the stock.

Once you are through 2 cups of stock and it is absorbed add in the wine and saffron and give it a stir.

Add in the remaining stock and you are done babysitting! Drop the heat and let it simmer until the liquid has been absorbed.

After it has soaked everything up, stir in some paremesan cheese and some salt and pepper.

Garnish with some parsley and you are ready to eat! I still can't believe how easy this was and it turned out perfect. You can use any flavor combo you want with this basic recipe and enjoy the creamy goodness of risotto without all the work.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Black Bean Soup

I recently discovered another food blogger who cooks for one. Please check out her blog where I found this great and simple recipe for one.

This is a simple crock pot meal that you can easily double or triple to make enough for a family.

The ingredients are simple. A can of black beans, drained. 1 can of beef stock. (you can use vegetable stock if you want this to be vegetarian) 3 tbs of pre-made salsa. 1-2 tablespoons of red wine.

Get all the ingredients into a pan on the stove and cook for 15 minutes.

After it has cooked get it into a food processor or blender and puree it. Be careful as you don't want to totally close up hot food in the food processor or blender as it may end up making a giant mess. Puree in batches if you are making a lot.

Once it is pureed you can refrigerate until you are ready to put it in the slow cooker. This is great to make the night before then put in the slow cooker before you leave for work in the morning.

When you are ready, put it in the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.

When you are ready to eat, dish it up and garnish with some lime. You can also add some crushed tortilla chips or a dollop of sour cream if you'd like. This was simple and tasty! Thanks to the Well Enough Alone Blog!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Roasted Game Hen

On the weekends I like to cook food that is a little bit more involved than my usual quick weeknight meals. I know it is only Monday but that just means I wish it were the weekend even more. Grab the ingredients for the recipe this week and you will have something to look forward to!

One very obvious thing you need is a hen. These little guys are usually right around $3-4 and they make the perfect solo meal.

You need lemon wedges.

Some seasoning.

Get your bird seasoned up and squeeze the lemon juice on it.

Get it in a bag and pop it in the fridge for about an hour, or overnight.

When it is time to roast the hen preheat your oven to 375 degrees and then make the simple stuffing.

You need some grape tomatoes, garlic, and shallots or onion.

Some Basil and some Red Wine.

Chop up the shallot or onion.

Chop up the garlic.

Get it in a bowl with the red wine, basil and some salt and pepper.

Grab your bird from the fridge. You will also need another lemon wedge and a bay leaf.

Stuff the bird with the tomato stuffing, lemon wedge and the bay leaf. If you have rosemary or other herbs go ahead and stuff those in there also.

Cover the hole with the excess skin and you are ready to get this guy cooking.

Put the rest of the tomato stuffing in the roasting pan.

Put your hen in the roasting pan and if you have a thermometer, pop that guy in there too. Get him in the oven and then there is just one more thing to do.

Cut the top off an entire head of garlic and drizzle some olive oil over it. Put it in some foil and seal it up.

Pop it in the oven with the hen and let those cook for about an hour.

When the time is up or your thermometer shows the right temperature, get the bird out!

Look at those yummy veggies!!

Don't forget the garlic!! I just squeezed it out and dipped the hen in it, but you can smear it on some bread if you want.

Talk about a delicious meal! This is a great dish for a lazy Sunday afternoon.