Archive for December, 2012

Easy Peasy Marsala

December 22, 2012

marsala

I can’t tell you how many times I have been to a restaurant that promises great chicken marsala and they have not followed through with that promise. I have even found places that make it great for the cost of an arm and a leg. If you are a fan of this delicious simple dish you should attempt to make it at home because it will be 10 times better than any restaurant and it won’t break your bank. Marsala is picatta’s sister, not quite as tangy as the capers and lemon in picatta but more of a sweeter dish. Traditionally it is made with veal cutlets but I like it with chicken just fine. The key is the pounding of the chicken breast with a meat tenderizer to make extra tender cutlets and also just the right marsala wine.

Though most stores sell a marsala cooking wine the real deal wine label marsala is much better, something I just discovered. I had been buying the store brand for a while when my mom found this California label marsala for me and what a difference it made. The sauce just tasted even more succulent and not so cheap. I think she found it at an Italian grocer, though I am sure you can find it anywhere with an extensive wine selection and it is not too much more than the store knockoff.

Another thing I love about this dish is the mushrooms, as I am a mushroom lover. They absorb the sauce perfectly and make the chicken nice and juicy. I served mine with some quick homemade risotto I whipped up and it was delish. I used the recipe from the Giada cookbook I always go to for authentic dinners. Her cutlet chapter is filled with good stuff. So if you want to take a trip to Italy for dinner, skip the Olive Garden and whip up this Chicken Marsala in your own kitchen and your family will think you are a pro chef!

Chicken Marsala

6-8 veal or chicken cutlets, about 3 oz each

1 1/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

4 TBS of unsalted butter

2 TBS olive oil

1 large shallot, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

4-8 oz of any kind of mushrooms you like, sliced

1/2 C of sweet marsala wine

1 sprig of fresh rosemary

3/4 C reduced-sodium chicken broth

Sprinkle the cutlets with salt and pepper, I also toss a bit of flour in there to coat the cutlets. Melt 1 TBS butter and 1 TBS oil in skillet over Med-High heat. Add half of cutlets and cook till golden brown, about 2 mins each side. Transfer veal to plate and then cook remaining cutlets in 1TBS butter and 1 TBS oil. Set cutlets aside.  In same skillet, melt 1 TBS more of butter and add shallots and garlic, saute till fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add mushrooms, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and saute till mushrooms are tender and juices evaporate, about 3 mins. Add marsala wine and rosemary spring and simmer till marsala reduces by half, about 2 mins. Add broth and simmer till it reduces by half, about 4 mins. Working in batches, return cutlets to skillet and cook just till heated through, turning to coat, for about 1 min. Discard rosemary sprig and stir remaining 1 TBS butter into the sauce, season with more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer cutlets to plate and spoon sauce over them and dig in!

 

Waffles of Insane Greatness

December 8, 2012


waffles

As witty as my titles may be, I stole this one. We were having an old mother hubbard dinner night  last week and that usually means breakfast for dinner at our house. I was tired of my same old pancakes and waffle recipes so I went to food network in search of something new. I found the “waffles of insane greatness” and decided to go for it. I mean with a title that promising how can you go wrong?

I figured this would be a great weekend post since weekends are the perfect time for a hot breakfast. The waffles were insanely great and the unique combination of ingredients and letting the batter sit really made them taste different than typical recipes. The waffles turned out light and crispy and delicious. My only advice is to double the recipe as in our giant belgian waffle maker it only made 3-4 waffles, so there was not enough for the whole family, (I had to double it at the last minute). If you want a great way to start off your sunday it is ok to go crazy for this waffly treat!

Waffles of Insane Greatness

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk or buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Butter and syrup, for serving

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Add the milk, vegetable oil, egg, sugar and vanilla and mix well. Let the batter sit for 30 minutes. -This is key!

Preheat a waffle iron. Do not use non-stick spray on the waffle iron; the oil in the batter will allow the waffle to release easily. Follow the directions on your waffle iron to cook the waffles. Only makes 3 or so large waffles in a belgian waffle maker, so you may want to double the recipe. Serve immediately with butter and syrup. For best results use real maple syrup, none of that aunt jemima crap 😉