Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Delectable Breakfast

Alright, I can't take full credit for this guy...it's a Giada De Laurentiis recipe!  However, I took some different twists and turns to make it my own.  Here's a peek:

This thing was SO good..it is an absolute MUST try.  Here we go:

I used a spring form pan for this one. (Giada uses a tart pan.  I would imagine any sort of pie pan could work)

I got Pilsbury Cresent roll dough made with NO LINES.  The no line thing makes life real easy.
Roll out your dough and stick it into your buttered/floured pan. Prick the dough with a fork... this will let the air kind of escape.  Next, Giada says brush the crust with an egg white.  This gives the crust that golden brown color and keeps our egg custard from seeping later.
Stick it in your 350 degree oven for about 18 minutes (just following package directions so far...easy peasy)

Heres the rest of your ingredients:
  • 5 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Swiss (Giada uses Gruyere...but that stuff is EXPENSIVE! Maybe after I've made a small fortune, I, too, will be able to use fancy cheese)
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 turkey sausage links (Giada uses panchetta...I am not a red meat eater so I opted for turkey sausage)
  • 6 spears of asparagus

  • Cut up the green onion and the asparagus into bite sized pieces and toss in a big bowl with the eggs, mascarpone (DO NOT skip the mascarpone! this is what makes this dish soo creamy!), bag of shredded Swiss, salt and pepper.

    I used 2 Johnsonville turkey cheddar dogs in this one.  I fried 'em up in the pan beforehand just to get them crispy.  Toss the cut up pieces of  'dog into the egg mixture.

    This is all going to fill in the crust that should be out of the oven by now.

    Next is where my frustration kicked in.  Giada's recipe says to crank the oven to 400 degrees and in about 18 minutes, it's done set and done.  Mine was in for about 30 minutes.  The middle just would NOT stop jiggling! I didn't want anything to dry out...so after 20-30 minutes, I pulled it out of the oven.  I let it sit for a good 10 minutes before cutting into it.  It was a liiiiittle runny, but still scrom.  The next day it was even better.

    This is another one that can be SO versatile.  You can use whatever meat, cheese, veggies you can dream up.  I liked this mixture and plan on making it again real soon.

    Sunday, June 10, 2012

    Chicken Piccata!

    Hello hello! So it has been a little while. We have been so non-stop busy...I love it! 'Tis the season for swimming, barbeques, and fun in the sun :-)

    This week, my parents went to Key West to celebrate their 35th Anniversary and my dad's 60th birthday!  So, Dan and I are house/dog sitting.  I just recently moved out of my house back in March.  Sadly, I had to leave my sweet little dog, Simsim.  My apartment complex isn't animal friendly (so lame!).  Here he is:
    He is a 7 year old miniture poodle.  How cute is he?!  Needless to say, it won't be hard to spend the week with this face!  Anyway, let's get down to business.

    Below is my chicken piccata.  Okay, well it's Giada De Laurentiis' (culinary IDOL!) chicken piccata, but I added my own twist to it. This is Dan's FAVORITE dish.  I am always trying to beat out chicken piccata as his favorite, but it has yet to happen. 
    It's a little bit tricky and I will admit I have messed it up a few times.  Dan says that he can tell just by how it looks if I have gotten it right.  So here we go!

     Here's the ingredients.
    1/3 cup Chicken stock
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    Thin sliced chicken breasts
    4 T butter
    1 jar of capers
    2 T EVOO
    Flour (for dredging)
    and about a half pound of spaghetti (I used capellini this time, which I REALLY liked... Dan insists plain ol' spaghetti is best)

    Get your pot of water boiling right away, add a generous handful of salt and cook your spaghetti as usual...nothin' fancy there.
    Here is the chicken I used.  I think that using the thin sliced is DEFINITELY the way to go.  I have used regular chicken breasts before....I just think the thin ones REALLY absorb the flavor and cook up real quick.

    So first step, get two tablespoons of butter and two tablespoons of EVOO hot in the fry pan.
    Season your chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. The flour is only just a light coating (see above picture).  Put the chicken in the pan.

    Cook on each side for about 2-3 minutes and remove the chicken.

     While the chicken is off to the side resting, add stock, lemon juice and capers.  Giada suggests that you drain the capers.  I reserve the liquid and add it later.  Make sure you are scraping up all of those bits from the bottom of the pan!  Let the liquid come up to a nice boil and add the chicken back in.  This is where all of those fabulous flavors soak into the chicken.  Let the chicken finish cooking in the liquid. 
    Once the chicken is done cooking, remove it from the pan (Picutred above).  Whisk in remaining two tablespoons of butter.  This is when I usually add some of the caper liquid. 

    Drain your pasta and add it to the frying pan.  I only use half the box of pasta because I find that if I use the WHOLE box, the pasta is not nearly as flavorful.

    Toss the pasta in the sauce until all of the sauce is absorbed into the pasta.

    Et voila! Chicken piccata.  Tried and true this dish is light and packed with flavor.  Enjoy!