A Celebratory Entree for Two:  GARLIC – HERB BREADED CHICKEN TENDERS WITH BABY BELLA MUSHROOMS – THYME – MINCED GARLIC – BAY LEAVES IN MARSALA WINE – BRANDY SAUCE

–6 chicken tenders

–garlic – herb breadcrumbs (one-third cup)

–baby bella mushrooms (5 or 6, chopped in large pieces)

–thyme (dried, 1 teaspoon)

–minced garlic (1 tablespoon, bottled)

–bay leaves (3, dried)

–marsala wine (one-fourth cup, cooking wine is fine)

–brandy (4 tablespoons; buy a small, inexpensive bottle)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the chicken tenders in a plastic bag.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Pour in the breadcrumbs and shake well.

2- Place the breaded chicken in a covered baking dish.  Season with thyme and minced garlic.  Add marsala wine and brandy.  Place the bay leaves in the sauce.  Top with chopped mushrooms.  Finish with a couple of drops of olive oil.

3 – Microwave on high for 7 minutes.  When finished, check a center piece for doneness.  If not cooked, microwave for 1 minute more.

4 – Serve the chicken and sauce hot.

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

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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 WITH SAUCE OF DIJON – BRANDY – ROSEMARY – MINCED GARLIC TOPPED WITH SLICED LEMON

For 4:

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–Dijon mustard (3 tablespoons, bottled)

–brandy (buy a small, inexpensive bottle; 3 tablespoons)

–rosemary (bottled, 1 tablespoon, dried)

–minced garlic (bottled, 1 tablespoon)

–lemon (fresh, refrigerated, sliced with a very sharp knife)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – In a small mixing bowl, place the Dijon, and then add a little brandy at a time, stirring vigorously.  Add minced garlic to the sauce, and stir.

2 – Place the chicken in a covered baking dish.  Spread the sauce over the top.  Season with salt, pepper, rosemary, and olive oil.

3 – With a very sharp knife, slice a refrigerated lemon carefully.  Place atop the chicken.

4 – Microwave the chicken on high for 8 minutes.  When finished, check a center piece for doneness; if not cooked, replace in the microwave for 1 minute more.

5 – Serve the chicken and sauce hot.

–chicken adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Pleasures of the Good Earth.

CHICKEN WITH MUSHROOMS IN A BRANDY – SHERRY – CREAM SAUCE

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–mushrooms (5 or 6, sliced, baby bellas)

–brandy (buy a small, inexpensive bottle)

–sherry (cooking sherry is fine)

–creamer (almond or soy for lactose – free; or dairy)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Slice 5 or 6 baby bella mushrooms, and place in a covered baking dish with a little brandy, sherry, and creamer.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

2 – Place the chicken amid the sauce, spooning some on top.  Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave for 8 minutes on high.

3 – Serve the chicken and sauce hot, atop white or brown rice (recipe, see the search box on this blog).

–chicken inspired from a pheasant recipe out of Rene Verdon’s White House Chef Cookbook (from the Kennedy administration).

BRANDY SALMON WITH BROWN SUGAR – TERIYAKI MARINADE – GINGER – LIME JUICE – MINCED GARLIC & TOPPED WITH SESAME SEEDS – GREEN ONION

Note:  If you are a salmon enthusiast, this is a recipe not to miss.  One of the best I have ever served, and I serve salmon twice a week.

For 4:

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

–brandy (buy a small, inexpensive bottle)

–brown sugar

–teriyaki marinade

–ginger

–lime juice

–minced garlic (in a jar)

–sesame seeds (bottled)

–green onion (2 stalks, chopped fine)

1 – Place the salmon in a covered baking dish.  Drench in lime juice.  Pour in one-third cup of teriyaki marinade.  Add 3 tablespoons of brandy.  Season with ginger and black pepper.  Dot the top of the salmon with minced garlic.  Spoon 3 tablespoons of brown sugar atop the salmon.  Sprinkle sesame seeds generously.  Finish with 2 chopped green onions.

2 – Microwave the salmon on high for 7 and one-half minutes.  Do not overcook.

3 – Serve the salmon with sauce hot, atop white or brown rice, quinoa, or couscous (recipes, the search box on this blog).

–salmon adapted from 20 Savory Salmon Recipes.

CREAMED & BRANDIED CHICKEN TENDERLOINS ON SLICED BABY BELLA MUSHROOMS & CARROT CHIPS IN BRANDY – APPLE JUICE – CREAMER SAUCE & TOPPED WITH MINCED GREEN ONIONS

–6 chicken tenderloins (or breast strips)

–mushrooms (4 or 5 baby bellas, sliced)

–carrot chips (packaged, 1 handful)

–brandy (buy a small, inexpensive bottle)

–apple juice

–creamer (almond or soy for lactose-free; or dairy whipping cream)

–green onions (2 stalks, finely chopped)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Slice 4 or 5 baby bella mushrooms, and place in a covered baking dish.  Add 1 handful of ready-prepared carrot chips (or 2 peeled carrots, sliced).  Add 3 or 4 tablespoons of brandy, one-fourth cup of apple juice, and one-fourth cup of almond or soy creamer (or dairy).  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Stir well.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes.

2 – Place the chicken tenderloins in the sauce.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Slice 2 stalks of green onions and sprinkle on top of the chicken.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil, if desired.

3 – Microwave on high for 4 minutes; then microwave for 8 minutes on 50 percent power.  Check during cooking to be sure that dish is not bubbling up; if so, take remaining time and double it, then use 50 percent power for the remainder of the cooking.

4 – For testing, cut apart one of the chicken tenderloins from the center of the dish.  If not cooked, replace in the microwave for 2 minutes more on high.

5 – Serve the chicken, vegetables, and sauce hot, atop couscous (my choice), white or brown rice, quinoa, or pasta (recipes, see the search box on this blog).

–chicken adapted from Rene Verdon, White House chef during the Kennedy administration in the sixties, from The White House Chef Cookbook.

CHICKEN FRANCAISE ROLLED IN BREADCRUMBS & TOPPED WITH MUSHROOMS – GREEN ONIONS – THYME – GARLIC – PARSLEY IN RED WINE & BRANDY SAUCE

Note:  Chopped ham slices can be added to this recipe.

For 4:

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–breadcrumbs (boxed, plain)

–mushrooms (baby bellas, 5 or 6, chopped fine)

–green onions (3 stalks, chopped)

–thyme

–garlic (minced, in a jar)

–parsley (fresh, chopped)

–red wine

–brandy (buy a small, inexpensive bottle)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the chicken in a plastic bag.  Season with salt, pepper, thyme, minced garlic, and olive oil.  Add breadcrumbs and shake well.  Then place the breaded chicken in a covered baking dish with a little red wine and 3 tablespoons of brandy.

2 –  Chop 5 or 6 baby bella mushrooms, and sprinkle on top of the chicken.  Chop 3 stalks of green onions and sprinkle on top, also.  Chop 1 handful of chopped fresh parsley and place on top.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

3 – Microwave the chicken for 9 minutes on high.

4 – Serve the chicken hot.

–chicken adapted from Rene Verdon’s The White House Chef Cookbook.

A Simple Dinner:  CHICKEN MANDARIN WITH LEMON JUICE – HONEY – GINGER IN BRANDY – BROTH – SOY SAUCE

For 4:

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–lemon juice

–honey

–ginger (ground, bottled)

–brandy (buy an inexpensive, small bottle)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–soy sauce

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the chicken in a covered baking dish with a little brandy (3 tablespoons), chicken broth, and soy sauce.  Drench the chicken in lemon juice.  Season with salt, pepper, and ginger.  Drizzle honey on top.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

2 – Serve the chicken and sauce hot, atop white rice (preferably jasmine).

–chicken adapted from Rene Verdon’s The White House Chef Cookbook.

TARRAGON – PARSLEYED COD AMERICAINE ROLLED IN BREADCRUMBS WITH GREEN ONIONS – CARROTS – CELERY – GARLIC IN SAUCE OF BRANDY – WHITE WINE – BROTH

Note:  This recipe was originally intended for lobster but works well with cod.

For 4:

–cod (size of 3 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–tarragon

–parsley (fresh, 1 handful)

–breadcrumbs (boxed)

–green onions (2 stalks, chopped)

–celery (1 stalk, chopped)

–carrots (1 handful, chips)

–garlic (minced, in a jar)

–brandy (buy a small, inexpensive bottle)

–white wine

–chicken broth (low sodium, non-fat)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

 

1 – Chop 2 stalks of green onions, 1 stalk of celery, and 1 handful of carrot chips, and place in a covered baking dish with a little white wine, a little chicken broth, and a few drops of brandy.  Add 1 tablespoon of minced garlic.  Stir.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

2 – Place the cod in a plastic bag.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Pour in breadcrumbs and shake well.  Then place in the sauce.  Sprinkle tarragon and chopped parsley on top.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

3 – Microwave on high for 8 minutes.

4 – Serve the cod hot, atop pasta, quinoa, couscous, or rice.

–cod inspired by Rene Verdon’s The White House Chef Cookbook (from the sixties, the Kennedy administration).

CHICKEN ROLLED IN BREADCRUMBS WITH ASPARAGUS – BAY LEAVES – GREEN ONIONS IN BRANDY SAUCE / ITALIAN MINESTRONE SOUP SEASONED WITH BASIL PESTO

For 4:

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–breadcrumbs (plain, boxed)

–asparagus (1 small handful, fresh)

–bay leaves (2, dried)

–green onions (3 stalks, sliced)

–brandy (purchase a small, inexpensive bottle)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–basil pesto (bottled, 2 heaping tablespoons)

–mixed vegetables (frozen package)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–onion (one-half, sliced)

1 – Place a package of mixed vegetables in a slow cooker.  Add chicken broth to cover.  Then add one-half sliced onion and 2 heaping tablespoons of basil pesto.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Place slow cooker on low, and cook for 5 and one-half hours.  When finished, place setting on warm until time for dinner.

2 – Cut off ends of the asparagus, and then cut into 1 – inch pieces.  Place in a covered baking dish with a little brandy.  Add more water to dilute brandy.  Add 3 chopped stalks of green onions and 2 bay leaves.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

3 – Place the chicken in a plastic bag.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Add a small amount of plain breadcrumbs.  Shake well.

4 – Add the chicken to the asparagus and green onions.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 7 and one-half minutes.

5 – Serve the soup as a first course.  Then serve the chicken hot, with vegetables of your choice.

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