Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chicken with Caponata Ragout

This topping is SOOOOO yummy!!  A great company dish, IMO.  :)

Chicken with Caponata Ragout

2 bone-in chicken breast halves (about 1.5 lbs) halved crosswise
salt and pepper
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 small eggplant (about 1 lb), chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 cup tomato juice
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  In a large ovenproof skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook, turning once, until well-browned, about 8 minutes.  Transfer to a plate.

2.  Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil and the eggplant to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until softened, about 8 minutes; transfer to a bowl.  Add the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil, the onion and celery to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes.  Add the cooked eggplant, the tomato and tomato juice to the skillet.  Arrange the chicken, skin side up, and any juices on top of the vegetable mixture and bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.

3.  Transfer the chicken to a platter.  Add the basil, vinegar and brown sugar to the eggplant caponata, stirring to dissolve the sugar; season with salt and pepper.  Serve the chicken with the caponata.

Pizza Salad

Oh gosh, this is SOOOOO good.  It's got to be killer in the summer when the tomatoes are in season but even this winter, it's been fabulous!!  Once again, I got it from one of those little tear out cookbooks in Family Circle

Pizza Salad

Tomato-Basil Dressing:
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves

1 ready-to-use Italian pizza bread shell crust (about one pound) (like a Boboli or whatever)

3 medium-size tomatoes (about one pound), cored and coarsely chopped
1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
6 cups green leaf lettuce pieces
1/2 of a 3.5 oz. package sliced pepperoni (about 28 slices)

1.  Heat oven to 450 degrees F.

2.  Dressing:  Mix tomato, oil and garlic in small skillet or saucepan.  Cook over medium-high heat 5 minutes, breaking apart tomato with spoon.  Transfer to blender.

3.  Add vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar and basil.  Pulse to blend.  Set dressing aside.

4.  Place prepared pizza shell on rack in 450 degree oven.  Bake for 6-8 minutes or until shell is crisp and lightly browned.

5.  Salad:  Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, lettuce and pepperoni in large bowl.  Remove pizza shell from oven; dice into bite-sized pieces.  Add to salad.  Drizzle and toss with the dressing.

Cola Pot Roast

This could not be an easier recipe and it's GREAT for those days that are crazy, although we like to serve it with mashed potatoes so I do need some time at the end to make those.  We like the real potatoes here.  :)

Cola Pot Roast

3-4 lb. bottom round or chuck roast
1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix
1 (10 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (12 oz.) can cola (Coke or Pepsi, whichever you have on hand but NOT diet)

Place the roast in the crockpot.  Mix the other three ingredients together and pour over the roast.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.  Remove the roast from the crockpot and whisk the gravy to smooth it out.  You can make a slurry of cornstarch and water and add that to the gravy, cooking it on high for about 5 minutes to thicken it.  This is delicious and not at all the flavor you'd expect.  :)

Penne a la Vodka

I got this recipe from a little tear-out recipe book from Family Circle back in '99.  We love this!

Penne a la Vodka

2 tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
6 oz. sliced prosciutto or Canadian bacon, chopped
3 green onions, trimmed, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne), optional
1/4 cup vodka
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. salt
1 lb. penne pasta

1.  Heat oil in medium-sized saucepan over low heat.  Add garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn't burn.  Add prosciutto, green onion, ground red pepper and vodka; cook for 4 minutes over medium heat.  Add tomatoes; cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.  Add cream and salt; cook 3 minutes.

2.  Meanwhile, cook penne in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water until al dente, firm but tender.  Drain well.  Toss penne with vodka sauce to coat evenly.