Chicken Breasts Diable

This was pronounced one of the best meals I've prepared so far. I used regular Dijon-style mustard, I wanted to use horseradish mustard but we have some "lightweights" at the table so I call it Chicken Breasts Petit Diable.

Jump To Recipe Print Chicken Breasts Diable

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The mustard adds a little bit of tanginess to the creamy sauce. 

Preheat the oven to 200*F for keeping the chicken warm after browning while you make the sauce. 

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I cut my chicken into bite-size pieces rather than pounding them as the recipe says. 

While the chicken is being kept warm in the oven, start the sauce. After the shallots, garlic, and wine have been bubbling away, 

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Add the heavy cream. After the cream comes to the boil, 

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Add the mustard and Worchestershire sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning according to your taste. 

I served it very simple, just rice and salad.

In my best Julia Child voice. Bon Appetit!!!

 

Chicken Breasts Diable

Ingredients

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, preferably organic, without tenders, pounded lightly, at room temperature
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    About 1 tablespoon olive oil
    Salt and freshly ground pepper
    1 medium shallot, finely chopped, rinsed and patted dry
    1 garlic clove, split, germ removed and finely chopped
    1/3 cup dry white wine
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    3 tablespoons Dijon or grainy mustard, preferably French, or a bit more
    1‑2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Directions

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

    Pat the chicken breasts dry. Put a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter and 1 tablespoon oil. When the butter is melted, slip the chicken pieces into the pan. (If your pan isn’t large enough to hold all the pieces at one time, cook the chicken in batches or work in two skillets.) Adjust the heat so that the butter doesn’t burn, and cook the chicken until it’s well browned on the underside, about 4 minutes. Turn the pieces over and cook until the other side is also well browned and the chicken is cooked through—cut into a piece to check. If the pan dries out, drizzle in just a touch more oil. Transfer the breasts to a heatproof plate (one with a rim to catch the juices), season with salt and pepper, cover lightly with a foil tent, and keep warm in the oven while you prepare the sauce.

  2. Lower the heat to medium, toss the shallot and garlic into the pan, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, just until they soften, about 2 minutes. Pour in the wine, and when it starts to bubble, stir it around so that you can pick up whatever little bits might have stuck to the bottom of the skillet. Let the wine boil for a few seconds, then pour in the heavy cream. As soon as it reaches a boil, stir in the mustard and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. Taste and decide if you want more mustard, Worcestershire, or pepper (you probably won’t need more salt, since the mustard is salty).

  3. Remove the chicken from the oven, pour any juices on the plate into the skillet, and stir the sauce again.

  4. Serve the chicken with the sauce.

    MAKES 4 SERVINGS

    Greenspan, Dorie. Around My French Table

And that's that!


Retro 50's Dinner Party

I bought the cookbook Retro Recipes from the ’50s and ’60s. My nieces Laurie, Ge and I decided to throw a 50’s themed dinner party. 
We got together to choose which recipes we wanted to make, that in itself was a lot of fun. My niece Laurie chose to make Salisbury steak and green bean casserole, Ge chose chicken and wild rice, and rice crispy treats. I chose to make rumaki, meatballs in grape jelly and strawberry pretzel salad.

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The dish in the foreground is the Salisbury steak, then the chicken with rice Ge made, she's becoming quite the cook.  They were both so good. They are on my "I want to make this" list and I'm sure I will soon. 
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I quickly remembered why I don't make rumaki very often. They are a pain in the neck to make, they are slippery little devils. 
To the right of the rumaki is the pretzel strawberry salad, it was delicious, how can you go wrong with salty, sweet and crunchy. 

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No '50s party is complete without the obligatory green bean casserole and meatballs in grape jelly. Laurie was thoughtful enough to use almond milk in the recipe knowing my "issues" with dairy, she even used fresh green beans, what a gal. 

I don’t even want to talk about the meatballs. The recipe in the cookbook didn’t look right to me, I thought the last time I made the meatballs in grape jelly sauce (a hundred or so years ago) it was made with the grape jelly and chili sauce, this recipe called for the jelly and BBQ sauce.
I didn’t do my due diligence and search for what I thought was right but followed the recipe. All you could taste was the BBQ sauce, the jelly was totally lost in there, so I added more jelly, at least it toned down the BBQ sauce a little. They were still very good, but not what they are supposed to be. I’ll post the “real” recipe not the one from the cookbook.

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I'm sure they had lumpia in the Philippines in the '50s. We are a multi-cultural family ya' know. 

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Served buffet style, then we dined Al fresco on the patio. 

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No one could start eating until we all took pictures of the food. 
That's Tom, when his daughter saw him dancing she laughed so hard I thought she was going to wet her pants. We all did a lot of dancing, not as well as we did years ago, but fun anyway. 

Here are the recipes. 
Print No peek chicken and wild rice
Print Salisbury steak
Print Rumaki
Print Strawberry Pretzel Salad
The real Meatballs in grape jelly sauce
https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/chili-and-jelly-meatballs/

And that's that!


Coconut-Lemongrass-Braised Pork

Jump To Recipe  Print Coconut-lemongrass-braised-pork 

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I don't know what to tell you other than your mouth will sing when you eat this dish. The braising liquid is made up of coconut, lemongrass, cardamom and curry, hits all the right notes, no? 
The recipe calls for the vegetables to be cooked separately which worked just fine because I pressure cooked the meat in the broth. Cooking the vegetables separately allows me to cook them to my preference, I like them a bit on the firm side. 

I didn't have the celery root, nor the fresh lemongrass but I did have lemongrass powder, so after a bit of research, I found that I can use one teaspoon of the lemongrass powder for one stalk of lemongrass, so happy I had it on hand. 

The recipe is from Dorie Greenspan's cookbook Around My French Table she states that sometimes when she doesn't have time to cook the vegetables, she adds some frozen peas to the pot at the end, or leaves it as is. 

Coconut-Lemongrass-Braised Pork

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or olive oil
  • 3 pounds boneless pork (pork butt is good here), cut into 1-to 2-inch cubes and patted dry, at room temperature
  • Coarse salt, such as sel gris or kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons curry powder (Mild is suggested)
  • Seeds from 6 cardamom pods
  • 6 white peppercorns
  • 6 coriander seeds
  • 2 strips lemon zest, white pith removed
  • 1/2 lemongrass stalk, tender center part only, pounded to crush it a bit
  • 1 15 1/2-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk, well stirred, plus more if needed
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 small potatoes, scrubbed or peeled and halved (optional)
  • 3 small carrots, trimmed, peeled, and halved (optional)
  • 3 small onions, halved (optional)
  • 1/2 small celery root, trimmed, peeled, and cubed (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)

Directions

  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

    Put a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over high heat and add the oil. When it’s hot, toss in some of the pork—don’t crowd the pan—and cook, stirring, until the pieces are golden on all sides. As the pieces are done, lift them out of the pot and place in a Dutch oven or other oven-going stew pot; season lightly with salt and pepper. Continue to brown the remainder of the pork.

    Put the Dutch oven over medium heat and add the spices, lemon zest, lemongrass, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir everything around until the spices are toasty—you’ll smell them—and then stir in the coconut milk and water. Bring to a boil, cover the pot well, and slide it into the oven.

    Allow the stew to braise undisturbed for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the pork is tender and cooked through, (if you plan to make the dish ahead, cook the pork for 15 to 20 minutes.)

    While the stew is in the oven, cook the vegetables, if you’re using them: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the potatoes, carrots, onions, and celery root. Keep an eye on the pot, and remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon as they’re tender. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and set aside until the pork is cooked.

    When the pork is done, put the Dutch oven over medium heat, add the vegetables, if you’ve got them, and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and simmer just until the vegetables are heated through. If you think the sauce needs it, you can add a little more stirred coconut milk to the pot—it will heighten the braise’s coconut flavor and thin the sauce (which is not particularly thick). Taste for salt and pepper, add a teaspoon of honey, if you’d like, and serve.

    MAKES 6 SERVINGS

    SERVING Because the sauce is so good and so plentiful, you’ll want something to capture it—bread is an option, of course, but boiled rice or egg noodles are naturals as well.

    STORING Like all stews, this one is very good the next day. If you want to make it ahead, cook the pork for a slightly shorter time, so that you don’t overcook it when you reheat it. If you’ve got leftovers, remove the pork, reheat the sauce, and when it’s hot, add the pork and simmer just long enough to warm it through.
    Around My French Table Cookbook: Dorie Greenspan

And that's that!


Crustless Veggie Quiche

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This crustless quiche is full of zucchini and carrots with a bit of cheese. You might want to make two if you want some leftovers, this went fast. 

 

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Of course, I had to mix in a bit of cheese about one fourth a cup, to counterbalance the healthy veggies. 

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Before I took the quiche out of the oven I sprinkled a little more shredded cheese on top, turned the oven off and left it in the oven just until the cheese was melted. 

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So light and fluffy and browned just enough on the edges and bottom.


This is a quick and easy go-to recipe, you can use any vegetables you have on hand or add a bit of meat if you want. If you add some spice blends to taste, you can have a different quiche every time you make it. It freezes well and can be reheated in a toaster oven. 

Veggie Quiche

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini, shredded and strained
    2 medium carrots, shredded
    1/2 cup shredded cheese of choice, divided use
    1 teaspoon salt 
    12 eggs, beaten
    1 tablespoon butter, or fat of choice for baking dish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 ° F.
    Put the zucchini in a cheesecloth or a kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess moisture. 
    Mix together with the carrots, half of the cheese, salt, and eggs.

    Grease a 9x 3-inch baking dish, pour the egg mixture into the pan. Bake 30 minutes or so, until the edges are starting to brown.
    Turn off the oven, top the quiche with the remaining cheese and leave in the oven just long enough to melt the cheese. 

And That's That!


Spicy Pork Zucchini Stir-Fry

Jump To Recipe Print Spicy Pork zucchini stir fry

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Dang, does this look wonderful or what. It has a really nice level of spice and the ratio of the soy sauce and sesame oil is perfect, one doesn't overtake the other. 
Don't overcook the zucchini, keep it a bit on the al-dente side because the recipe doesn't have a crunchy element.  If you want to add one I think bamboo shoots or celery would be a great crunchy addition. 

First I want to tell you about one of my kitchen staples. It resides on the top shelf of the refrigerator door, within easy reach. This one happens to be the Ginger Garlic Paste, I also have a smaller jar of just garlic paste. I prefer to use fresh garlic in most cases but the paste is my go-to for stir-frys and curries. 

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 I think it's one of the best spicy sauces I've used in a long time. Of course, you can kick it up a notch or tame it down according to your spice tolerance. 
The recipe calls one tablespoon of grated ginger, I substituted an equal amount of the ginger-garlic paste. 

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After you stir-fry the pork, then the zucchini separately throw them back together and douse with the sauce. 
I like more sauce than the recipes call for, so I normally double the recipe. In this case, you definitely should, even doubling it there was "just enough".

The sauce would be perfect over any Asian noodle you could think of. I'm using it to make a cold spicy noodle salad to go with dinner tonight, Mmmmm

Spicy Pork Zucchini Stir-Fry

Ingredients

  • For the sauce:
    3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
    1 tablespoon grated or minced fresh ginger
    1 tablespoon sambal oelek or Asian chili-garlic sauce
    2 teaspoons toasted (Asian) sesame oil

    For the stir-fry and serving:
    1 pound zucchini (about 3 medium)
    2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, divided
    1 pound ground pork or ground meat of choice
    Salt
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
    Cooked white or brown rice, for serving

Directions

  1. Make the sauce: Stir all the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

    Make the stir-fry: Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise, then slice each half crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons.
    Heat a flat-bottomed wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat until a drop of water vaporizes immediately on contact.
    Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil around the pan, add the pork, and season with salt and pepper. Let cook undisturbed for 30 seconds, then break the pork into small, bite-sized pieces and continue stir-frying until it's cooked through and golden-brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pork to a paper towel-lined plated and drain the pan of excess fat. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan, add the zucchini, and spread out into one even layer. Let cook undisturbed for 30 seconds. Stir-fry the zucchini until browned and just tender, about 5 minutes more.

    Return the pork to the skillet, add the sauce, and stir-fry until the sauce is well-incorporated and the zucchini begins to look glossy, about 30 seconds more. Garnish with the scallions and serve over rice.

    Make ahead: The sauce can be made 1 day in advance and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator. Let the sauce sit at room temperature while preparing the stir-fry, and stir before adding to the pan.

    Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

     

And that's that!