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 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 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.

COD STEW WITH FRESH PARSLEY – PURPLE ONION – TURMERIC IN WHITE WINE SAUCE AND ON A BED OF CIABATTA BREADCRUMBS SEASONED WITH MINCED GARLIC & OLIVE OIL

For 4:

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

–turmeric (bottled, 1 teaspoon)

–parsley (fresh, 1 handful, chopped)

–purple onion (one-half, sliced)

–ciabatta bread (1 bun)

–minced garlic (bottled, 1 tablespoon)

–white wine (two-thirds cup)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Chop one-half purple onion and place in a covered baking dish with a little water and white wine (equal parts of each).  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  Place the cod on top of the onion.  Season with salt, pepper, turmeric, parsley, and olive oil.  Add a bit more white wine.  Microwave on high for 8 minutes.  Cod is done when it starts to break apart.

3 – Break apart the ciabatta bun.  Drizzle olive oil on top.  Sprinkle with minced garlic.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds.

4 – Serve the cod, hot,  in a bowl with sauce atop one piece of broken ciabatta bread for each serving.

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

COD BASIL WITH FRESH TOMATO – PEPPERS – GREEN ONIONS IN LEMON – CLAM JUICE SAUCE

For 4:

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

–basil (if fresh, 3 minced leaves; if dried, 1 tablespoon)

–tomato (fresh, medium, chopped)

–red bell pepper (one-half fresh, sliced)

–green onions (3 stalks, chopped)

–lemon juice (3 squirts, bottled)

–clam juice (one-quarter cup, bottled)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the tomato and red bell pepper in a covered baking dish with the clam juice.  Season with half the basil, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave for 3 minutes on high.

2 – Place the cod in the sauce.  Drench in lemon juice.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Drop green onions on top.

3 – Microwave the cod for 7 minutes on high.  Cod is done when it begins to break apart.

4 – Serve the cod and sauce hot.

–adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Italian Family Dining.

SALMON AND PEPPERS WITH SLICED VIDALIA ONION – BALSAMIC VINEGAR – MINCED GARLIC – MINT – LEMON – CLAM JUICE – GREEN ONIONS

For 4:

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

–red bell pepper (one-half, fresh, sliced)

–Vidalia onion (one-half, sliced)

–clam juice (one-quarter cup, bottled)

–lemon juice (3 squirts, bottled)

–balsamic vinegar (one-eighth cup, bottled)

–minced garlic (bottled, 1 tablespoon)

–mint (dried, bottled, 1 tablespoon)

–green onions (2 stalks, chopped, fresh)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the sliced red bell pepper and the sliced Vidalia onion in a covered baking dish.  Add the clam juice.  Season with minced garlic, mint, salt and pepper, and olive oil.  Stir.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

2 – When finished, nestle the salmon amid the peppers and onion.  Drench in lemon juice and balsamic vinegar.  Season with salt, pepper, mint, and olive oil.  Drop chopped green onion on top.

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

4 – Serve the salmon with vegetables hot.

–salmon adapted from Edward Giobbi and Eugenia Giobbi Bone’s Italian Family Dining