SPICY BAKED COD WITH CAYENNE IN GARDEN MARINARA – RED WINE SAUCE & TOPPED WITH FETA

For 4:

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

–cayenne pepper (one-quarter teaspoon)

–marinara sauce (I used Ragu garden; one-half bottle)

–red wine (one-quarter cup)

–feta cheese (one-quarter cup)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the marinara sauce and red wine in a covered baking dish.  Season with cayenne and a few drops of olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

2 – Place the cod in the sauce, and spoon some of the sauce on top.  Season with salt, pepper, cayenne, and olive oil.  Sprinkle feta cheese on top.

3 – Microwave on high for 9 minutes.  Cod is done when it begins to break apart.

4 – Serve the cod hot, atop jasmine rice (place 1 cup rice and 1 and three-fourths water in a covered baking dish; microwave on high for 5 minutes, and then microwave for 10 minutes on 50 percent power).

–cod inspired by C. Mabry, chef.

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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.

An Appetizer:  SESAME EGGPLANT DIP WITH SOY SAUCE – MINCED GARLIC – LEMON JUICE – RED WINE – EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

For 4:

–eggplant (fresh, medium size)

–soy sauce (3 tablespoons, bottled)

–minced garlic (bottled, 1 tablespoon)

–lemon juice (2 squirts, bottled)

–red wine (2 tablespoons)

–extra virgin olive oil (1 tablespoon)

–sesame seeds (2 tablespoons, bottled)

1 – Prick the eggplant all around, generously.  Place in the microwave, on an uncovered plate, and microwave for 5 minutes.  Turn over, and then microwave for 5 minutes more.  Let cool.  Then cut into 2 pieces, and rake out the pulp, discarding the skin.

2 – Criss-cross the pulp with a knife.  Then place in a mixing bowl.  Add soy sauce, minced garlic, lemon juice, red wine, sesame seeds, and extra virgin olive oil.  Stir well.

3 – Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.  Serve with crackers.

–eggplant dip inspired by Better Homes and Garden magazine.

CHICKEN TENDERS ROLLED IN GARLIC – HERB BREADCRUMBS WITH BABY BELLA MUSHROOMS & MARINARA IN RED WINE SAUCE ATOP POLENTA

For 4:

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

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

–baby bella mushrooms (5 or 6, quartered)

–marinara sauce (spaghetti sauce, 2 tablespoons)

–red wine (one-quarter cup)

–polenta (minced corn sauce)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place one and one-quarter cup of water in a covered baking dish.  Microwave on high for 7 minutes.  Add 1 teaspoon of salt.  Place one-half package of polenta in the dish.  Stir well, for about 3 minutes.  When finished, keep covered to preserve warmth.

2 – Place the mushrooms and marinara sauce in a covered baking dish.  Stir.  Add the red wine.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

3 – Roll the chicken in breadcrumbs that have been salted and pepper, and seasoned with olive oil.  Add to the baking dish.  Microwave on high for 8 minutes.

4 – Serve the chicken and sauce hot, atop the polenta.

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

CHICKEN & ASPARAGUS ROSEMARY WITH BABY BELLA MUSHROOMS – ONION – MINCED GARLIC IN RED WINE SAUCE

For 4:

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–asparagus (1 package for steaming; I used PictSweet signature asparagus)

–baby bella mushrooms (5 or 6, quartered, fresh)

–onion (one-half, sliced)

–minced garlic (bottled, 1 tablespoon)

–red wine (one-quarter cup)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–rosemary (dried, 2 tablespoons)

1 – Steam the package of asparagus for 2 minutes only.  Let cool.  Set aside.

2 – Place the mushrooms, onion, and minced garlic in the red wine.  Season with salt, pepper, and rosemary.  Add a few drops of olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

3 – After the asparagus have cooled a bit, remove from package and slice into 1-inch pieces.  Place atop the other vegetables in the red wine.  Season with salt and pepper.  Then place the chicken on top. Season with salt, pepper, rosemary, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 8 minutes.  When finished, check a center piece for doneness; if not cooked, place back in the microwave and cook for 1 minute more.

4 – Serve the chicken, asparagus, and other vegetables hot.

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

BAKED CHICKEN SPRINKLED WITH GARLIC – HERB BREADCRUMBS – TOPPED WITH CHOPPED SMOKED TURKEY IN A SAUCE OF SLICED ONION – MINCED GARLIC – RED WINE ATOP JASMINE RICE

For 4:

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–garlic – herb breadcrumbs (2 tablespoons, boxed)

–smoked turkey sandwich meat (2 slices, chopped)

–onion (one-half, sliced)

–minced garlic (1 tablespoon, bottled)

–red wine (one-quarter cup)

–jasmine rice (follow package instructions for microwaving; brands differ)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the onion, garlic, and red wine in a covered baking dish.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

2 – Nestle the chicken in the sauce.  Sprinkle breadcrumbs and chopped turkey on top.  Microwave on high for 8 minutes.  When finished, check a center piece for doneness; if not cooked, replace in the microwave for 1 minute.

3 – Serve the chicken with sauce, hot, atop jasmine rice.

–inspired by C. Mabry, chef.

BACON – FLAVORED CHICKEN WITH MUSHROOMS – MINCED GARLIC – ROSEMARY – BAY LEAVES – FRESH TOMATO IN RED WINE – BROTH SAUCE ATOP BASMATI RICE

For 4:

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–Bac’n pieces (soy bacon, 2 tablespoons)

–mushrooms (baby bella, 3 or 4, chopped, fresh)

–minced garlic (1 tablespoon, bottled)

–rosemary (1 tablespoon, bottled)

–bay leaves (2, dried, bottled)

–tomato (fresh, 1, medium, chopped)

–red wine (one-quarter cup)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium, one-quarter cup)

–basmati rice (follow package instructions for microwaving)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place Bac’n pieces, mushrooms, minced garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, chopped tomato in a covered baking dish.  Add red wine and chicken broth.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

2 – Nestle the chicken in the sauce.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.

3 – Microwave on high for 8 minutes.  When finished, check a center piece for doneness.  If not cooked, replace in microwave for 1 minute more.

4 – Serve the chicken and sauce hot, atop basmati rice.

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

BASIL COD IN A SAUCE OF FRESH TOMATO – MINCED GARLIC – RED WINE – MARINARA ATOP BASMATI RICE

For 4:

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

–basil (1 tablespoon, dried, bottled)

–tomato (fresh, medium, chopped)

–garlic (minced, bottled, 1 tablespoon)

–red wine (one-quarter cup)

–marinara sauce – ready prepared, one-third jar; I used Paul Newman’s “fire tomato – basil”

–basmati rice (packaged, 1 cup)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

 1 – Prepare microwaveable basmati rice according to package instructions; brands differ.

2 – Place the chopped tomato, minced garlic, red wine, and marinara sauce in a covered baking dish.  Season with basil and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.  (You want the tomato to disintegrate.)

3 – Place the cod in the sauce, spooning some on top.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

4 – Microwave on high for 8 and one-half minutes.  Cod is done when it begins to break apart.

5 – Serve the cod and sauce hot, atop the rice.

–cod and sauce inspired by C. Mabry, chef.

ITALIAN CHICKEN ROLLED IN BREADCRUMBS WITH ONION – CAYENNE – PINE NUTS – CHIVES IN A HONEY – RED WINE – BROTH SAUCE ATOP BABY DUTCH POTATOES

For 4:

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–onion (one-half, medium, sliced)

–cayenne (one-quarter teaspoon)

–pine nuts (half a small package)

–honey (3 tablespoons)

–red wine (one-quarter cup)

–chicken broth (one-quarter cup, non-fat, low sodium)

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

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–basmati rice (1 cup dry)

1 – Slice the potatoes into bite-sized pieces.  Place in a covered baking dish with 1 inch of water.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave the potatoes for 10 minutes on high.

2 – Place the honey, red wine, and chicken broth in a covered baking dish.  Add sliced onion.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

3 – Meanwhile, place the chicken in a plastic bag.  Add olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste.  Pour in breadcrumbs.  Shake well.

4 – Place the breaded chicken in the sauce.  Season with cayenne.  Top with pine nuts and chives.  Microwave 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, atop the potatoes.

–chicken adapted from “chicken agrodulce” at the Bravo! restaurant in Jackson, Mississippi.