CHICKEN PARMESAN MY WAY WITH CHICKEN BREAST FILLET ROLLED IN GARLIC – HERB BREADCRUMBS & TOPPED WITH SHREDDED PARMESAN IN A GARDEN MARINARA – CABERNET WINE – MINCED GARLIC SAUCE ATOP ZITI PASTA

For 2:

–chicken breast portion (size of 3 decks of cards, to be halved for serving)

–Parmesan cheese (shredded, one-quarter cup)

–garlic-herb breadcrumbs (boxed, one-quarter cup)

–garden marinara sauce (one-quarter cup; I used Ragu)

–Cabernet red wine (one-quarter cup)

–minced garlic (1 tablespoon, bottled)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the chicken in a plastic bag.  Pour in 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Then add garlic-herb breadcrumbs.  Shake well.  Then place breaded chicken in a covered baking dish.

2 – Stir together the red wine, marinara sauce, and minced garlic.  Add a few drops of olive oil.  Pour the sauce atop the chicken.  Finish with Parmesan cheese.

3 – Microwave the chicken for 6 minutes on high.  Then cut the chicken in half, and check the center for doneness.  If not cooking completely, replace in the microwave for 1 minute more.

4 – Serve the chicken hot (one-half for each person), with ziti pasta, microwave 1 cup of pasta in 2 cups of water, salt to taste, for 6 minutes on high, 8 minutes on 50 percent power.

–recipe original.

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A First Course:  SPLIT GREEN PEA SOUP WITH SHREDDED CARROTS – SLICED RED ONION – BAY LEAVES – MINCED GARLIC ATOP QUINOA AND IN CHICKEN BONE BROTH

For 4:

–dried split green peas (1 cup)

–shredded carrots (fresh, packaged, 2 handfuls)

–sliced red onion (1, sliced)

–bay leaves (2)

–minced garlic (bottled, 1 tablespoon)

–quinoa (two-thirds cup)

–chicken bone broth (low sodium, for the quinoa, 1 and one-third cups)

–chicken bone broth (low sodium, for the split pea soup, 4 cups)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the dried split green peas, shredded carrots, sliced red onion, bay leaves, minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 4 cups of chicken bone broth in a slow cooker.  Season, to taste, with salt and pepper (very little salt will be needed).  Cook on low in the slow cooker for 5 and one-half hours.  When cooked, place setting on warm.

2 – For the quinoa:  Place the quinoa in a covered baking dish.  Add chicken bone broth.  Microwave on high for 6 minutes.  Then microwave on 50 percent power for 9 minutes.  When finished, keep covered to preserve warmth.

3 – Place 3 generous tablespoons of cooked quinoa in each serving bowl.  Laddle soup on top.

4 – Serve the soup hot.

–adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Eat Right, Eat Well—the Italian Way.

A Simple Dinner:  BAKED SALMON WITH SAUCE OF BRANDY – DIJON – MAYO & TOPPED WITH CHIVES

For 4:

–salmon (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–brandy (buy an inexpensive, small bottle; 2 tablespoons)

–Dijon mustard (2 tablespoons, bottled)

–mayonnaise (4 tablespoons, bottled)

–chives (bottled, dried, 1 tablespoon)

–salt and pepper

1 – Place salmon in a covered baking dish.  Season with salt and pepper.

2- Place brandy, Dijon mustard, and mayonnaise in a small mixing bowl.  Stir well.  Then pour over the salmon.  Sprinkle chives on top.

3 – Microwave for 6 and one-half minutes on high.  Salmon is best if served medium rare.

4 – Serve the salmon hot.

–salmon inspired by C. Mabry, chef

CHICKEN MARSALA BREAST FILLET ROLLED IN OLIVE OIL & GARLIC – HERB BREADCRUMBS WITH THYME – BABY BELLA MUSHROOMS – MINCED GARLIC IN A SAUCE OF MARSALA WINE – BREADCRUMBS – CHICKEN BONE BROTH

For 2:

–chicken breast fillet (1, sliced breast meat)

–olive oil

–garlic – herb breadcrumbs (boxed, one-quarter cup)

–thyme (one-half teaspoon, dried, bottled)

–minced garlic (bottled, 1 tablespoon)

–Marsala wine (cooking wine, one-quarter cup)

–baby bella mushrooms (4 or 5, quartered, fresh)

–chicken bone broth (bottled, one-quarter cup)

–salt and pepper

1 – Place the Marsala wine, bone broth, and two tablespoons of breadcrumbs in a covered baking dish.  Add mushrooms, minced garlic,  and a few drops of olive oil.  Stir.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

2 – Place the chicken breast fillet in a plastic bag.  Season with salt, pepper, thyme, and olive oil.  Add garlic – herb breadcrumbs.  Shake well to cover.  Place the breaded chicken in the sauce.

3 – Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  When finished, cut the chicken into two pieces to ensure doneness, and then to share the fillet.  (Portion is for a small appetite.)

4 – Serve chicken and mushroom sauce hot.

–chicken inspired by C. Mabry, chef.

A Holiday Entrée for 2:  CORNISH HEN WITH SAUCE OF GOURMET CHERRY PRESERVES – CABERNET WINE – SLICED RED ONION & SERVED ON A BED OF HERB DRESSING WITH BONE BROTH

For 2:

–Cornish hen (defrost in the refrigerator for 3 days)

–gourmet cherry preserves (1 cup)

–Cabernet wine (6 tablespoons)

–sliced red onion (one-half)

–herb dressing (I used Pepperidge Farm)

–bone broth (chicken, one-half cup)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place bone broth in a covered baking dish.  Microwave on high for 2 minutes.  Then add herb dressing.  Stir.  Set aside.

2 – Place the cherry preserves and red wine in a small mixing bowl.  Stir well.  Add sliced onions.  Pour into a large, deep, covered baking dish.  Season with olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

3 – Season the Cornish hen on both sides with salt and pepper.  Place in the sauce.  Add a few drops of olive oil.  Microwave on high for 6 minutes and 20 seconds.  When finished, turn over (with 2 spatulas), and microwave for an additional 6 minutes and 20 seconds.

4 – Heat the dressing for 2 minutes.

5 – Before serving, slice the hen into two parts, to the side of the backbone.  Serve atop dressing.  Add sauce.

6 – Serve the hen, dressing, and sauce hot.

–Cornish hen and sauce inspired by C. Mabry, chef.

A First Course:  SWEET ‘N SPICY SUMMER SQUASH SOUP PUREED WITH A MULTITUDE OF DRIED HERBS – RED ONION – MINCED GARLIC – MAPLE SYRUP – UNDILUTED VEGETARIAN VEGETABLE SOUP – LEMON JUICE – AND A BASE OF MILK

For 4:

–squash (2 large, or 4 small, fresh, sliced)

–ginger, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper (1 teaspoon each, except for cayenne, which is one-half teaspoon)

–red onion (fresh, one-half, sliced)

–minced garlic (bottled, 1 tablespoon)

–maple syrup (bottled, 1 tablespoon)

–vegetarian vegetable soup (undiluted, 1 can)

–lemon juice (bottled, 2 squirts)

–olive oil (1 tablespoon)

–milk (dairy, almond, or soy, 1 cup)

1 – Slice the squash and onion.  Place in a covered baking dish.  Add the herbs (see above for amount), garlic, maple syrup, soup, olive oil, and lemon juice.  Stir.  Microwave on high for 8 minutes.  When finished, let cool for 5 minutes (food is too hot to work with).

2 – Place the ingredients in a food processor.  Puree until smooth.

3 – Add 1 cup of milk.  Stir. Microwave for 5 minutes on high.

4 – Let the soup stand for 5 minutes, covered, before serving.

5 – Serve hot.

–adapted from the Mississippi Daily, newspaper of the University of Mississippi

A Comfort Dinner:  SHEPHERD’S PIE WITH CHICKEN STRIPS – GREEN PEAS – SHREDDED CARROTS – BABY BELLA MUSHROOMS – SLICED RED ONION – MINCED GARLIC – THYME – WORCESTERSHIRE – TOMATO SAUCE – BONE BROTH ATOP MASHED POTATOES

For 4:

–6 chicken breast strips

–potatoes (red, 3 one-inch, quartered)

–milk (dairy or almond, not soy; one-third cup)

–green peas (half a package)

–shredded carrots (1 handful)

–baby bella mushrooms (quartered, 2)

–sliced red onion (also called purple, one-quarter, large)

–minced garlic (bottled, 1 tablespoon)

–thyme (bottled, 1 teaspoon, divided)

–Worcestershire sauce (1 tablespoon)

–tomato sauce (I used Ragu garden pasta sauce, 2 tablespoons, bottled)

–bone broth (I used organic chicken, one-half cup, packaged)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the quartered potatoes in a covered baking dish with one-third cup of water.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil, all to taste.  Microwave on high for 7 minutes.  When finished, drain, and place in a food processor.  Place the milk in a microwaveable measuring cup, and microwave for 1 minute.  In the food processor, slowly add the warm milk while pulsing.  When finished, set aside.

2 – Place the bone broth, Worcestershire, and tomato sauce in a covered baking dish, and stir.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes. 

3 – When finished, place the green peas, shredded carrots, mushrooms, onion, and half the thyme in the sauce.  Stir.  Add the chicken on top.  Season with salt, pepper, and the remainder of the thyme.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

4 – Microwave on high for 8 minutes.  When finished, check a center piece to be sure of doneness.  If not cooked, replace in the microwave for 1 minute more.

5 – Reheat the mashed potatoes by placing in a baking dish and microwaving for 1 minute.

6 – Serve the chicken and vegetables, hot, atop the mashed potatoes.

–recipe adapted from Real Simple magazine.

A Simple Dinner:  BAKED CHICKEN STRIPS WITH ROSEMARY – MINCED GARLIC – LEMON – FRESH ITALIAN PARSLEY IN RED WINE SAUCE

For 4:

–6 chicken breast strips

–rosemary (1 tablespoon, dried, bottled)

–minced garlic (1 tablespoon, bottled)

–lemon (bottled, 3 squirts)

–fresh Italian parsley (1 handful, chopped)

–red wine (use the real stuff; one-quarter cup)

1 – Place the chicken strips in a covered baking dish.  Place on top salt and pepper to taste, rosemary, minced garlic, lemon juice, and fresh Italian parsley. 

2 – Microwave on high for 6 minutes.  Strips are usually narrow, and cook rapidly.  Check a center piece for doneness.  If not cooked, replace in the microwave for 1 minute more.

3 – Serve the chicken hot.

–chicken adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Italian Family Cooking.

A Winner:  GLAZED SALMON WITH HONEY – GINGER – MINCED GARLIC SPRINKLED WITH SESAME SEEDS AND IN A RED WINE & SOY SAUCE

Note:  Originally intended as a glaze for grilling outside.

For 4:

–salmon (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–honey (3 tablespoons, bottled)

–ginger (bottled, 1 teaspoon)

–minced garlic (bottled, 1 tablespoon)

–sesame seeds (bottled, 2 tablespoons)

–red wine (one-eighth cup)

–soy sauce (low sodium, bottled, one-eighth cup)

–pepper (no salt)

–olive oil

1 – Place the salmon in a covered baking dish with red wine and soy sauce.  Season with honey, ginger, and mined garlic.  Sprinkle with pepper to taste and sesame seeds.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

2 – Microwave on high for 7 minutes.  (Salmon is best if cooked medium rare.)

3 – Serve the salmon hot.

–adapted to the microwave from a recipe of friends in Marion, Illinois.

CHICKEN WITH BASIL – PARSLEY – NUTMEG – PURPLE ONION SPRINKLED WITH SHREDDED PARMESAN & BREADCRUMBS AND IN A MILK & WHITE WINE SAUCE

For 4:

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–basil (1 teaspoon, divided, bottled)

–parsley (fresh, 1 handful, chopped)

–nutmeg (bottled, divided, one-quarter teaspoon)

–purple onion (one-half, medium, sliced)

–shredded Parmesan (one-quarter cup, packaged)

–breadcrumbs (one-quarter cup, boxed, plain)

–milk (one-eighth cup, dairy or almond, not soy)

–white wine (one-eighth cup)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the sliced purple onion in a covered baking dish.  Add the milk and white wine.  Season with salt, pepper, and half the basil and nutmeg.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

2 – Nestle the chicken in the sauce.  Season with basil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Sprinkle breadcrumbs and Parmesan, in this order, atop the chicken.  Drop chopped parsley over.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

3 – Microwave the chicken for 7 minutes.  When finished, check a center piece for doneness.  If not cooked, replace in the microwave for 1 minute more.

4 – Serve the chicken hot.

–chicken adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Italian Family Cooking.