Chicken with Sun Dried Tomato Sauce

Hello hello–  All I can say it–the Sauce!!  I poured the extra over my tortellini and sopped up every last drop.  This dish is easy enough for everyday, beautiful enough to share with a table full of friends.

CHICKEN WITH SUN DRIED TOMATO SAUCE|
4 to 6 chicken thighs
2 tab. olive oil
sale & freshly ground pepper
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. fresh thyme*
1 tsp. dried basil*
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped to bits
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup cream or half & half
1/2 cup grated parmesan romano
garnish: thyme sprigs, a sprinkling of parmesan

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and then drop in the chicken thighs.  Salt and pepper them liberally while they cook 5 to 7 minutes on each side (until they are cooked through).  Remove them to a plate and cover to keep warm

In the same skillet add the garlic, thyme, basil and dried tomatoes.  Stir for a minute to blend the flavors.  Then mix in the broth and cream. Let the sauce simmer on low for 3 to 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.  Stir in the parmesan romano.

Pour the sauce over the chicken.  Garnish with a bit of parmesan and sprigs of thyme.

We ate this luscious chicken with tortellini and a hearty salad.  Perfect.

*I just used thyme because it is growing in the side yard, basil, marjoram, mined rosemary, any fresh Italian-ish herb would be fine.
**Of if you have Italian seasoning, oregano…

Lemon Honey Salmon

Hey there– We’ve already hit a couple hot days– feels like a little summer preview.  So on a warm evening this week, we had this simple salmon, back doors wide open to catch the breeze.

Love this dish– fast, easy and the sauce–oh the sauce!  It’s tart, garlicky and honey sweet.

LEMON HONEY SALMON
1 tab. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup water
2 tab. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tab. butter, cut to small pieces
2 tsp. honey
4 six ounce salmon filets
2 tab. olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
garnish:
tab. parsley, minced*
lemon slices

In a small pan heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Put in the garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes until it’s fragrant.  Add in the water & lemon juice.  Simmer for 3 or 4 minutes until it is reduced about half the liquid.  Stir in the butter and honey until it’s all blended and set aside.

Heat a skillet to medium high.  Pour in the 2 tab. olive oil.  Liberally salt & pepper the salmon on both sides.  Then cook it 3 minutes on each side until is crisp and golden.

Set the salmon on a pretty plate and pour over the warm sauce.  Sprinkle with parsley and garnish with lemon slices.  Done!

*I didn’t have any parsley in the fridge, so I used cilantro.

P.S.  Photos are just half a recipe– enough for Larry and me.

Orange Chili Pork Cutlets

IMG_2561Hello there– There’s a couple reasons I love these little pork cutlets.  They have a sweet and spicy coating that just wakes them up.  And they cook up so quickly!  Let them sit in the marinade while you make the rice, a veggie, a bright leafy salad– and they cook up in less than 5 minutes.  Just right for a week night dinner.

ORANGE CHILI PORK CUTLETS
4 thin pork cutlets
2 tab. olive oil
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tab. orange marmalade
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tab. honey

In a baking dish, mix together the oil, chili powder, salt, marmalade, garlic and honey until they are thoroughly blended.  Then marinate the pork in the mixture for about 30 minutes.

Grill the cutlets in a skillet, just 2 minutes on each side over medium heat until they are cooked through–but still tender.

That’s it!  so easy.

Roast Tomatoes & Salmon

IMG_2409Hello all– I have to admit we have a sad crop of tomatoes around the Sittig house this year.  But thankfully, we have friends and neighbors who are happy to share their abundance of ripe juicy tomatoes, including these sweet mini cherry tomatoes.

With a salad of bright greens, a chunk of sturdy bread and a tall glass of something cold, it makes a fine end-of-the-summer dinner.

ROAST TOMATOES & SALMON
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp honey
1 tab. red wine vinegar
1 pound salmon filet
1 cup smallish cherry tomatoes
salt & freshly ground pepper

Mix the cilantro, garlic, olive oil, paprika, honey and vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.

Lay out the salmon on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Spread the tomatoes on and around the salmon.  Liberally salt & pepper the salmon & tomatoes.

Drizzle the 3/4’s o the cilantro mixture over the salmon and tomatoes (save the rest).

Then pop it into a 300 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, depending on the thickness of your salmon.  Cook until the salmon is flakey and the cherry tomatoes pucker & burst.

Lift the salmon onto a serving plate and drizzle on the remaining cilantro mixture.  Enjoy!


Parmesan Herb Encrusted Salmon

IMG_1415Hello you all–  Here’s a quick middle of the week supper that we’ve enjoyed lately.  It can be ready from start to finish in 30 minutes and there’s enough “in the oven time” to allow you to set a table and make a salad.  I think you’d like it too!

PARMESAN HERB ENCRUSTED SALMON
1 pound (more or less) salmon filet
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tab Italian parsley (of basil or marjoram), chopped fine*
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
dash of salt

Place salmon skin side down in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.  Put it in a 425 degree oven for 10 minutes.

While that’s cooking, Mix together the garlic, parsley, salt and parmesan in a bowl.

After the 10 cooking minutes, sprinkle the parmesan mixture over the fish and put it back into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the thickness of your fish).  –or until the internal temperature is 135 degrees.

Serve it up with a platter or rice of pasta and a bright green salad.  Dinner ready!

P.S.– I used marjoram, since we have it growing in the side yard– going to try rosemary next time.  The recipe I worked from called for Italian parsley.

Artichoke Tapenade

IMG_9972Hello all–  Happily anticipating a wedding shower for adorable Jessica tomorrow afternoon!  We wanted to forgo the customary cheerful salad or those big slabs of shower cake– so we are putting together a table full of antipasti– including this tapenade to smear on to thin slices of baguette.  With a few good olive, some peppery salami, cheeses, marinated tomatoes* it should be festively delicious.

ARTICHOKE TAPENADE
14 oz. can artichoke hearts (not marinated)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. capers
a small pinch of dried basil
1/4 cup olive oil
salt to taste

OK this is easy– Drain the can of artichoke hearts and drop them into a blender with the garlic, capers, basil and olive oil.  Blend until it’s a creamy paste and taste to see if you want to stir in a touch of salt.

Serve it on toasty slices of baguette or slather it on just about any sandwich to make it that much tastier.

*Here’s the complete list of our antipasti spread: Brie, Jarlburg, goat cheese, peppered salami, olives, almonds, grapes, tiny sweet peppers, marinated tomato slices, fig jam, bread and that tub of tapenade–

Garlicky Spinach Mushroom Pizza

IMG_7812Hello friends–  After spending my days in the classroom with 3rd and 4th graders for several years, I can tell you that pizza is the overwhelming food favorite for those kids.  I’m a long way past 4th grade, but I’m still an enthusiastic pizza eater.  And here’s one we really thought was delish!

This recipe makes two 12″ garlicky good pizzas.  Even though it’s just Larry and me in the house these days, I still make double pizza so there’s leftovers to toast up at lunchtime the next week…

GARLICKY SPINACH MUSHROOM PIZZA

Crust:
1 package yeast
1 cup warm water*
1 tab. sugar
2 tab olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups flour

Let the yeast dissolve in the water and then stir in the other ingredients.  Knead 3 to 4 minutes (you can add a little more flour if it feels too sticky)  and stretch the dough onto 2  12″ pizza pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.  Put them in a warm place to rise while you do the rest of the prep.  (I turn the oven on for just 3 minutes, then turn it off to warm it a bit and set the pizza crusts in there to rise).

IMG_7818Toppings:
4 cloves garlic
4 tab. olive oil
12 oz. mozzarella (or fontina), grated
4 cups baby spinach leaves, cut to shreds
6 oz. crimini brown mushrooms (or your favorite), cut into slices
1/4 cup parmesan reggiano
1/4 cup pine nuts (or walnuts)

Stir the garlic into the oil and spread it over the risen crust dough.  Over the oil sprinkle the mozzarella.  The layer on the spinach, mushrooms, parmesan and pine nuts.

Pop the pizzas into a 375 degree oven and cook it for 15 to 20 minutes until the cheese is melty and the crust is browned around the edges.  Eat it hot from the oven.  Oh yumm.

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