This recipe is a bit of a long story, but turned out SO delicious! So, here we go. The night before I decided to make rib-eye and some grilled veggies (red pepper, red onion and zucchini). In my quest for a starch I realized we had a baguette in the freezer that would work great for bruschetta so once I grilled up the veggies with Italian Seasoning and balsamic vinegar I combined them with garlic and a can of fire roasted tomatoes and threw them all in the food processor to chop. Goat cheese and these grilled veggies topped my baguette. As always happens, I had WAY too much of it, so we threw it in the fridge for leftovers.
Now tonight I was trying to think of something I could make that my 8 month old could partake in as well. I was leafing through her Infant cookbook and came across an eggplant parmesan, perfect! So with that recipe as inspiration and a few other ingredients in the fridge, this is it:
Grilled Veggie Bruschetta:
1 red pepper
1 red onion
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup kalmata olives
salt and pepper
Season sliced veggies with S&P, Italian herbs, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Grill 4-5 minutes per side. Place in a food processor and add fire roasted tomatoes, garlic and kalmata olives. Set aside.
Chicken & Eggplant Parm
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 eggplant, sliced
1 bin sliced mushrooms
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 can diced Italian tomatoes
Parmesan cheese or marble if you thought you had Parm and you really don’t ;)
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Slice chicken breast. Take 1 tbsp oil, 1 tbsp of Italian Seasoning and salt and pour over chicken, set aside.
Place a skillet med-hi heat. Season eggplant with S&P and Italian Seasoning. Add oil and put slices of eggplant into the skillet in batches, add more oil if needed. Saute 5 minutes per side and place in a casserole dish. Add onion, saute until soft. Add garlic and mushrooms and saute about 3 minutes, place in casserole. Add chicken to skillet and brown on each side. Remove to casserole and add 1 can of diced Italian tomatoes and the remainder of the yummy grilled veggie brushetta sitting in the fridge. Stir to combine and top with cheese. (Again thought I had parm, couldn’t find it so used marble cheese instead. Later this evening I found the parmesan in the freezer…I’d like to blame my husband for that! :)
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes and broil for 5 minutes. I served this with a grilled veggie and sausage rice that I had leftover in the fridge, but it would be great on top of some pasta as well. I loved this and my 8 month old, though hers was a slightly blander version, ate 2 servings!
What the heck is a fig?! I had no idea until a couple years ago what a fig was. I ordered a salad at East Side Mario’s and there were these black mushroom-esque things that were mushy and crunchy…a rather confusing combo. I gave the salad another try next time I went to East Sides and found their texture much less reprehensible and kind of appealing!
So, one day I was watching Rachael Ray and she was cooking up a Chicken recipe in the crock pot with figs in it…oh yeah….figs! I forgot about you. So the recipe was added to that week’s menu and the figs became the star of my grocery list. Unsure of where I would even find figs in the grocery store I went on the hunt and came up with 2 types: black figs and the white figs. Ummm…what is the difference between the two? I consulted my two year old and we picked the black ones. Now all I needed for the recipe was fennel….I rounded the produce section 3 times and finally accepted the fact that they just didn’t have any. Stupid grocery store, didn’t they know I had a new recipe I need to try!? Sadly I pushed my cart to the check out and decided to keep the figs in the cart anyways to make the dish another time.
Unable to wait until I could hit up the grocery store for fennel, I scoured the internets for a different fig recipe. I came upon this one at Allrecipes.com. Kimber, whoever you are, this recipe was awesome! Everyone loved it and I chopped up the leftover fig mixture for a salad later in the week.
Eventually I did get the ingredients for the Rachael Ray Fig and Fennel Chicken recipe, and I am sorry Rach, but it just was not good, normally our taste buds jive, but we were definitely out of sync on this one. When I try a bite and immediately apologize to my husband for the meal, that is never a good sign! There were a number of things working against this one. The recipe calls for Marsala and I have never been able to find Marsala at any liquor store, so I use a substitute of white wine and brandy. I have used this combo before in other recipes and it turned out well, but this time not so much. I think another part of the problem is that I just don’t like the texture of of chicken in the crockpot; I find it to be stringy and dry. So I have officially sworn off chicken and slow cooking and will not be adding this recipe to my book for favourites.
I’ve recently become uninspired by pork chops, they just seem kind of blah and I can never figure out to do with them. I had some sitting in the fridge and not wanting to go to the grocery store, I reviewed the rest of the items in the fridge to see what I could come up with. Hmmm…swiss chesse, pork chops, onions…. What about French Onion Pork Chops? I had the dry soup mix in the pantry, so I googled to see if the recipe already existed. I found a few similar ideas, but most of them had a cream base which I wasn’t interested in, so this is what I came up with:
6 Pork Chops (I had boneless pork loin, pretty small and thin)
1 pkg Dry Onion Soup Mix
1 Onion (thinly sliced)
3 Cloves of Garlic (grated or diced)
2 1/2 Cups of Water
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
1/2 pkg Egg Noodles
1 Tbsp Worcestershire
Salt and Pepper
Heat oil in a large pan over med-hi heat. Add pork chops and brown on each side. My chops were pretty thin, so I only did one minute per side. Remove and set on a plate.
In another pot bring water to a boil. Add egg noodles and cook according to package directions.
Add onion and saute 3 minutes or so then add garlic. Saute until soft and carmelized. Add the Onion Soup mix and 2 cups of water, and Worcestershire, whisk. Return the pork chops to the pan and cook until sauce reduces and pork chops are cooked through. I did about 6 minutes. Remove pork chops to a casserole.
Whisk together cornstarch and a 1/2 cup of water, add to onion soup mix. Allow to thicken a couple minutes and add egg noodles to the pan. Stir together then pour the entire contents onto the pork chops in the casserole. Chop some parsley to top it off and serve.
Funny thing is, swiss cheese had inspired the dish, yet I totally forgot to incorporate it. Next time, I would either add the cheese to the sauce or more likely I would add it to the top of the casserole and toss it under the broiler for a couple of minutes. I really like mushrooms, but Husband does not, so if he wasn’t home for supper, I would throw them into the mix. The big revelation though was that Beer could make this better. Next time I make this, instead of 2 1/2 cups of water I might do 1 cup of dark beer and 1 1/2 cups of water. mmmm….
Husband really enjoyed the dish and agreed Beer could make it even yummier and my 3 year old ate it without me having to convince him to, so we will definitely be having it again. If you try it, let me know what you think!
Growing up in a family full of diabetics, I’ve always paid attention to what we ate in terms of limiting sugar and carbs and making sure we always had veggies with our meals, but I have never paid close attention to the calorie count. In the past few weeks my husband and I have been monitoring our calorie intake closely and my eyes have been opened! Two shows I found that are great for taking what you eat and creating healthier alternatives are Cook Yourself Thin and Eat Shrink and Be Merry. Does anyone have favourite recipes from these shows or have others you’d like to share?
I cook with wine all the time, and enjoy a good glass of wine, but I really am a beer girl at heart. At the end of a LONG day, which these days consists of endless episodes of Clifford the Big Red Dog, my almost 3 year old trying to exert his independence and the trials and tribulations of cloth diapering, there really is nothing better than opening a nice cold beer. So how could I resist a recipe that combines beer and food in one deliciously awesome union?!
So thanks Rachael Ray for Guinness Stew which I paired with Gretta and Janet Podleski’s Whole Wheat and Cheddar Biscuits (cut into adorable shapes by my 3 year old). Admittedly I wasn’t sure I even liked Guinness but its dark velvety flavour really went well in this recipe. Husband was ecstatic that I wanted to try out this recipe because it meant he could have the remaining Guinness that were not sacrificed to the stew. I decided to have a sip to see what flavour I was working with before dumping it in the dish.
Me: Hmmmm…it’s ok, I don’t think I could drink a whole can of it….it kind of reminds me of that Maple Stout we had from the Cannery brewery in Pentiction.
Husband: That’s because it’s a stout. The Stout. Like, the original Stout.
Me: Ok, well I’m sure it will be ok in the stew, but I still prefer the Maple Stout.
So, this dish was yummy, and my entire family gobbled it up, but next time I might try making it with the Maple Stout, then I could finish the leftover beer.