Sep 24, 2009

Chicken Piccata with Pasta

Chicken Piccata with Pasta
Recipe courtesy


  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded thin and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup butter, divided
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 (8 ounce) package angel hair pasta, cooked and drained


  1. Whisk together flour, black pepper, and paprika in a shallow dish. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, coating evenly; set aside. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; stir and cook the garlic until light brown, about 1 minute. Remove the garlic from the skillet and set aside.
  2. Place 2 tablespoons of butter into the skillet with the olive oil. Cook the chicken pieces in the oil and butter over medium-high heat until brown, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  3. Pour the wine into the hot skillet and bring to a boil over high heat, scraping the browned pieces from the bottom and sides of the pan. Boil the wine until it is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the chicken broth, reserved garlic, lemon juice and capers. Cook for 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and parsley. Return the chicken pieces to the skillet and continue cooking over medium heat until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the angel hair pasta, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain well.
  5. Remove the chicken pieces to a serving dish and drizzle with a few tablespoons of the sauce and capers. Place the cooked angel hair pasta into the skillet with the remaining piccata sauce and toss to coat.

Simple Solution

I. Love. Cookbooks. Yes, it's true--I would rather scour through the pages of a cookbook than a New York Times bestseller. And I am not ashamed to admit it. However, these glossy-paged beauties don't come cheap and definitely don't store themselves (they are cabinet-space bandits!). The simple solution? Your local library. After visiting our library, I was blown away by the vast number of cookbooks just waiting to be checked out, their pretty, colorful covers all lined up on rich-colored wooden shelves. (I become equally-enthralled by the shoe sale room at my favorite department store) From classics by chef Julia Child to new releases, your library is sure to have a great selection. Check out as many as you like, enjoy the new recipes you find and be spared the eye-rolls when your husband sees you jamming another cookbook in your already-packed cabinet.

P.S. You'll also be supporting your local public library.

Apple Shallot Pork Chops

A perfectly-cooked pork chop is a simple, delicious main dish. Add a few simple extras to your pork chops and they go from simple to simple, chic and savory. This recipe is courtesy of Whole Foods (if you weren't aware, they have an incredible library of recipes online). These chops are flavorful, perfect for fall with the rich flavor and the apples and simple to prepare. Enjoy.

Ingredients (Serves 4)
1 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 3 large)
1 large apple (Gala or Granny Smith), thinly sliced
Salt and pepper for seasoning
2 tablespoons 365 Everyday Value™ Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 pork loin center-cut chops, bone-in
2/3 cup barbecue sauce

Position oven rack to middle shelf; preheat to 450ºF . Spray 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray . Layer shallots and apples in dish; season with salt and pepper; set aside.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat . Season pork chops with salt; add to pan; sear each side for 2 minutes; place seared pork chops on top of apples . Evenly distribute half of sauce over pork chops . Place in oven; immediately turning down heat to 375ºF . Roast 15 minutes . Spoon remaining sauce over chops; cook additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 160ºF to 165ºF on instant-read thermometer.

Per serving (about 8oz/219g-wt.): 340 calories (150 from fat), 16g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 70mg cholesterol, 330mg sodium, 27g total carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 17g sugar), 22g protein

Chicken Caprese (Restaurant-Inspired!)

Have you ever dreamt of a re-creating a delicious dish you enjoyed at a restaurant only to find yourself doubting your culinary ability to make a knockout knock-off? Don't doubt yourself for a second--with a little research, some fresh ingredients and (totally optional) a glass of wine, you can have your [insert fabulous dish here] and eat it too.

After finding myself with a strong craving for the Olive Garden's Chicken Caprese, I decided to research similar recipes on the web. I came across an Olive Garden-inspired recipe on CDKitchen, read others' reviews of the recipe and decided to put the recipe to the test.

What did I end up with? Only one of the most delicious restaurant-quality meals I've ever my dining room table. Fresh plum tomatoes and fresh basil made this chicken a stand-out. This recipe would be perfect for an intimate evening with guests. You (and the Caprese) will be the stars of the show.

Ingredients (Serves 6)

2 pounds plum tomatoes
30 medium fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons black pepper
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken breast fillets
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup white wine
3 tablespoons garlic, minced, divided
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, divided
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 1/2 teaspoon salt PLUS 1 tablespoon salt, divided
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cup flour PLUS 1 tablespoon flour, divided
1 pound dry capellini pasta (I chose to use whole wheat angel hair pasta)


Core and cut tomatoes into 1-inch pieces . Chef's Note: To preserve juices and seeds, use a paring knife to remove just the top of the core on each tomato . Cut basil leaves into 1-inch pieces . Combine Roma tomatoes, basil, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons minced garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a large bowl and blend thoroughly . Cover, set aside and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees . Coat a large, non-stick skillet with vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat . Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon salt, black pepper and 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning in a shallow dish . Dredge chicken in the mixture, shaking off any excess . Place chicken in skillet and saute for about two minutes on each side, or until just golden brown. If skillet is not large enough, saute the chicken in batches . When finished, transfer chicken to a large baking dish and place in oven to cook for approximately 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Cook pasta according to package directions . Drain and set aside until needed.

While pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat . Add 1 tablespoon minced garlic and saute for approximately 1 minute . Do not brown . Slowly add 1 tablespoon flour and stir to combine . Add white wine and bring to a boil . Boil for approximately 1 minute.

Remove marinated tomato and basil mixture from refrigerator . Drain tomatoes and basil from liquid and set aside until needed . Add 1/2 cup of the marinade liquid and saute for approximately 1 minute . Add heavy cream . Lower heat and bring to a simmer . Add grated Parmesan cheese.

Preheat broiler . Remove chicken from baking dish and set aside until needed . Transfer pasta to baking dish and partly coat with sauce . Pour desired amount of the remaining sauce on pasta and evenly distribute tomatoes and basil over pasta . Place chicken on top of pasta . Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese evenly over chicken . Place baking dish under broiler for approximately 2-3 minutes or until mozzarella cheese has melted.

Sep 11, 2009

Currently Craving

To me, there isn't much that makes me feel more fabulous than cooking a delicious meal. However, I am fairly certain that being able to cook in an adorable apron from would really glam up my culinary experience. I am currently craving this beautiful apron. You'll find a link to view this apron here. At Girly Aprons you will find a diverse selection of beautiful aprons, kitchen linens and more--all retro, cute and stylish. Now if only the tray of perfectly-baked chocolate chip cookies I envision myself holding while wearing this apron would just bake themselves.

Farfalle with Sausage, Artichokes and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

This recipe is courtesy Giada De Laurentiis of the Food Network. The changes I made were using ground turkey sausage and farfalle (bow-tie pasta) rather than fusilli. All I can say is that this dish was truly, honestly one of the best things I've ever eaten. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I did. Oh, and don't forget to enjoy some of that wine while you cook.

3/4 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced, 2 tablespoons of oil reserved
1 pound Italian ground turkey sausage
2 (8-ounce) packages frozen artichoke hearts
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
16 ounces farfalle pasta
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, plus additional for garnish
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the oil reserved from the tomatoes in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat . Add the sausage and cook until brown, breaking up the meat into bite-size pieces with a fork, about 8 minutes . Transfer the sausage to a bowl . Add the artichokes and garlic to the same skillet and saute over medium heat until the garlic is tender, about 2 minutes . Add the broth, wine and sun-dried tomatoes . Boil over medium-high heat until the sauce reduces slightly, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil . Cook the farfalle in boiling water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often, about 8 minutes . Drain the pasta (do not rinse) . Add the pasta, sausage, 1/2 cup Parmesan, basil and parsley to the artichoke mixture . Toss until the sauce is almost absorbed by the pasta . Stir in the mozzarella . Season, to taste, with salt and pepper . Serve, passing the additional Parmesan cheese alongside.