Friday, August 31, 2007

Cappiello Chicken in a tangy tomato/basil sauce

This recipe is not for the faint of heart. Using an ENTIRE stick of butter on a main dish recipe is pretty nutty-but hey, there is NO better way to clog the arteries. Trust me.

If you try ANY of the recipes on this blog, let THIS one be the one. I have found my new MOST favorite dish. It is PHENOMENAL! Especially when served atop smooth and creamy mashed potatoes with a tinge of garlic. The presentation is pretty impressive, too.
2 T. minced garlic
2 T. minced onion
2 T. butter
1/2 c. white wine
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/2 c. cold butter-sliced
1 1/2 c. cherry tomatoes
1/4 c. fresh basil-chopped
generous sprinkling of freshly ground pepper and salt
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
olive oil
2/3 log of Capiello cheese

Put several T. oil in a skillet and over high heat, season and then brown chicken on each side then turn heat to medium low, cover and let chicken cook all the way through slowly.


Saute onion and garlic in 2 T. butter over medium heat until tender.
Stir in wine and lemon juice-increase heat to medium high and let simmer until reduced by half.
Reduce heat to low and stir in butter, one slice at a time.
Stir in tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper
Remove sauce from heat and set aside.

A few minutes before chicken is done~slice up some capiello cheese and place a few slices on each chicken breast and allow to melt a bit.

To serve: place chicken on a platter and spoon prepared sauce over chicken.

You'll never be the same again.

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Cheesy French Loaf

I use a bread machine to make dough, so that is how my recipes are written. Of course, you can do the process with or without it, depending upon your circumstances...or even purchase premade bread dough from the store.

A delicious bread, fantastic as an accompaniment to the above chicken dish (as we had it) or would be fabulous as a side to ANY main dish. Or maybe, you don't NEED a reason to eat it.

I don't.

Basic French Bread Recipe for a 2 # loaf:

12-13 oz. warm water
1 3/4 t. salt
2 T. softened butter
1 T. sugar
4 cups bread flour
1 3/4 t. active dry yeast

Put all ingredients in bread maker and put on dough setting, if you have it-french bread dough setting. Sprinkle counter with some flour and some cornmeal.

When bread dough is done, bring it out and loosely stretch, pull, and roll dough into a 12- 15 inch log and flatten out just a bit.

Spread dough generously with :

butter (about 1/4 cup)
1 heaping T. minced garlic
2 T. minced onion
generous sprinkling of Italian Seasoning until covered.
1/4- 1/2 c. mozzerella cheese

Then, fold dough in half and press dough together with fingers to close up loaf.

Put on a greased, cornmeal sprinkled cookie sheet.

Slice top of dough with sharp knife and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.

Bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown on outside and sounds hollow when tapped.

Don't even bother putting butter on the table with it-THIS bread can stand on its own. PS~it is JUST as good the next day. ;-)
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Pickled Eggs

Here's the thing: the term "PICKLED EGGS" just doesn't CUT it with these guys. Corynn refers to them as 'pink eggs' which, really, is MORE descriptive because 'pickled' doesn't describe them at all. They are sweet and cinnamony, not overly sour.

15 oz. can beet juice
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2c. white vinegar
1/2 c. cold water
1/2 t. salt
4 whole cloves
1 small cinnamon stick
6 hard-cooked eggs

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and heat over medium heat for about five minutes... then cool. Pour over hard boiled eggs.

Eggs need to cure for five days for peak taste.

And it is peak.

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Rainy Day Smores

A simple treat that kids love, and the best part is-they are a sweet treat WITHOUT turning on the oven!

Start with:

1 bag jumbo marshmellows
1 stick butter (or 1/2 cup)

Heat in Microwave together until butter is melted and marshmellows have 'blown up', about 2 minutes. Stir together well and add...

1 bag of Golden Grahams-or the cheapo version of it, in my case :-)

Butter a 13x9 inch pan and a large piece of wax paper.

Put half the graham cracker mixture in the pan and cover with wax paper-press fingers and palm of hand into the mixture through the wax paper until bottom of pan is coated and even with graham mixture.

Dollop spoonfuls of hotfudge sauce on layer and spread with spoon, as much or as little as you'd like. 1/2 cup would work nicely.

Then, add the rest of the marshmellow/graham mixture and repeat wax paper pressing process.

Let cool, slice and eat up.

They are a bit addictive, so be forewarned.
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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Cappiello Squash Boats

The other day at the store, I decided I would spice things up a bit and buy something I had never heard of before. Something entirely impractical: something expensive and something I had no idea what to do with.

What I found was Cappiello cheese. At $5.97 for a small log, this is not something that would make its way into my shopping cart normally, but I was up for the challenge of making it into something delicious for the sake of introducing something new to my family. None of us can say, now, that we have never had Cappiello cheese!

Cappiello Cheese is a SPICY cheese, marinated-in-who-knows-what mozzerella.

Last night I cut into it and used my first hunk. The other 2/3 of it, patiently awaits while I decide what to do with it next. (Be on the lookout for a future recipe!)

Introducing: Cappiello Squash Boats

3 medium-large squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeds scraped out (You may wish to use zucchini for this instead)
1# sausage (I used maple for a bit of sweet with the spice)
1/2- 1 green pepper
1 med. onion, sliced in rings
1/2 can stewed tomatoes, drained
1/4 cu. bread crumbs
1/3 log Cappiello cheese-cut into chunks (about 1/3 c.)
Generous sprinkles of:
Garlic powder
Italian Seasoning
freshly cracked Peppercorns (or just plain pepper)

In skillet, brown sausage and saute peppers and onions. Once meat is browned and veggies are tender add the rest of the ingredients, reserving half of your cheese chunks.

Put 1/2 cup water in the bottom of a 13x9 inch pan.

Fill up squash 'boats' with meat mixture and place into pan, stuffing side up.

Put a few chunks of cheese on top of each boat.

Bake covered for 20 minutes, at 350.

Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes or until meat mixture is nicely browned on top.
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Herb garden potatoes

Matt is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. Since I have been married to Matt, I have learned how to make potatoes in every transformation possible: home fries, fench fries, twice-baked, mashed, au gratin, scalloped, has browned...YOU NAME IT.

Here is one tasty version.

Serves 4 sidedish portions. To make more-just multiply ingredients.

Rinse and slice 4 potatoes. (We keep skins on here~ part laziness, part taste, part nutrients. If you are NOT lazy, do NOT like the taste, and don't CARE about the nutrients~peel away!)

Add to skillet with about 3 T. olive oil, heat over medium heat.

Slice an onion (half an onion, a few slices-dependent upon size and taste) into rings and saute them with potatoes and add 1 T. garlic.
Add one teaspoon butter and one splash white wine. Cover with lid and let cook. (Make sure to stir every now and again so the pieces don't get burned.)

Go to herby garden and pick

4 sage leaves
4 springs of Oregano
1 dill head

Peel all the leaves off of the springs of oregano. Cut sage into pieces. Break apart dill. In mortar and pestle, crush them all up and add to skillet.

Season with salt and pepper.

When potatoes are tender, you are set!
If you would like to use MORE of your can add snipped chives before serving. :-)

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Dipping Oil

Ever been to an Italian restaurant that served oil with bread? I never liked that concept-or at least, their version of it. It was 95% oil and 5% spices. IF that. So, I made up my own version that is nearly the opposite. It is DELICIOUS. A great, simple but impressive addition to any meal. If you have the crusty bread, you should DEFINATELY make this.

In a small dipping bowl, add:

3/4- 1 cup olive oil (depending on size of party)
1 1/2 t. garlic powder
2 shakes onion powder
a pinch of Thyme-crushed
2 shakes Oregano

Mix well.

Add two sage leaves...but be sure to pinch or rub them first, as this allows the flavors to meld a bit more.

Then just dip away!

This is very garlicy-just how I like it. Only eat it with those whom you love. Or especially DON'T like and won't be in close proximity to. If you like less garlic, by all means, change the proportions.

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