Chicken & Mushrooms with Dijon Onion Sauce

IMG_2855Hello there–  In my mind, you can’t have too many delicious saucy chicken dinners up your sleeve– something you can pull together for a weeknight dinner or serve up to friends for a Sunday supper.  And this one is savory and delicious with a scoop of rice or a pile of roasted potatoes.

CHICKEN & MUSHROOMS WITH DIJON ONION SAUCE
2 large chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
2 tab. olive oil
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
6 oz. brown mushrooms, cut in quarters
1/2 cup red onion, cut in slices
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tab. rosemary, chopped fine
1 tab. seedy mustard
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup half & half (or cream)
2 tab. butter.
1 tab. cornstarch

Slice the chicken breasts horizontally to produce four flat chicken filets.  Mix the flour, salt and pepper together in a bowl.  Heat the olive oil in a skillet and then dredge the chicken in the flour mixture and drop it into the hot pan.  Cook it 2 to 3 minutes on each side until it is browned.  Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.

Then add the red onion to the pan (you may need a splash more olive oil) and after a minute throw in the mushrooms and garlic.  Cook 5 minutes more.

Stir in the rosemary, mustard, white wine, chicken stock, half & half and butter.  Bring to a low simmer, blending it well.  Put the chicken back into the pan and let it simmer away for 10 to 12 minutes until the chicken is tender and cooked through.

To thicken the sauce, put your chicken on a pretty plate and cover it with another plate to keep it warm.  Then, in a container with a tight lid, shake together the cornstarch with 1/4 cup water until it’s thoroughly blended.  Stir it into the simmering sauce and stir until it thickens, just a minute or two.  Spoon the thickened sauce over the chicken.  That’s it.  So pretty and delicious!

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Honey Rosemary Baked Chicken

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Hi all– Here’s an easy weekend night dinner– soaked in flavor.  It bakes in the oven while you put together some rice and a salad. Just lovely.  I think you might like to add it to your dinner time list…

HONEY ROSEMARY BAKED CHICKEN
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt & pepper
splash olive oil
1 cup red onion, chopped fine
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tab. dijon mustard
2 tab. seedy brown mustard*
1/3 cup of honey
4 or 5 sprigs of rosemary (+more for garnish)

Filet the chicken breasts, slicing them lengthwise, the flat direction to produce two flat filets.  Put them in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray and liberally shake on salt and freshly ground pepper.

In a small skillet, heat the olive oil and then throw in the onion for 3 or 4 minutes until it is all wilted.  Add the garlic and cook a minute more.

Then spoon the two mustards and honey into the skillet with the onions and mix it all together.  Scrape the mixture out over the chicken and top with rosemary sprigs.

Cover the baking dish with foil and bake it at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, remove the foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more until the chicken is cooked through.

We ate this up with a nutty brown rice mixture, an arugula & apple chopped salad and slices of crunchy sour dough bread…

P.S. — The photo is just half the recipe– enough for just Larry and me.  But it would be easy to amplify for a crowd.

Orange Mustard Pork Cutlets

IMG_6721Hey there– I hate to admit it, but I’ve been a serial pork chop killer.  Seems I could pretty much count on taking a fresh, juicy pork chop and transforming it into a lump of tough, chewy grizzle.  I didn’t know how I did it– I would have willingly changed my ways!

But this recipe was a surprisingly tender, flavorful pork-y success!  Finally.  I think I’ve found the secret.  A quick browning, finished with a little hot, saucy baking.  And with all that sweet orange and tangy mustard–practically perfect.  I was ecstatic!  Set alongside a little rice medley, it made a fine dinner for Larry and me.  Hope you like it too.

ORANGE MUSTARD PORK CUTLETS
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 tab. whole grain (seedy) mustard
splash of olive oil
2 pork cutlets– about 1/2″ thick
salt & freshly ground pepper
2 rosemary sprigs
1/3 cup slivers of red onion

In a sauce pan mix the juice, marmalade and mustard and simmer on low for 12 to 15 minutes until it becomes syrupy. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and liberally salt and pepper the pork.  Sear it to a nice brown on each side, about 3 minutes each.

Heat the oven to 425 degrees–Put the pork into a baking dish. Add in the rosemary sprigs and red onion and coat it all with the orange-mustard sauce.  Cook it up in the oven for just 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of your pork cutlets.

Serve it up hot from the oven, maybe with some roasted potatoes or a nice bed of flavored rice.  Hope you enjoy it…

Sweet & Spicy Ham Avocado Sandwich

IMG_1793Hi all– Here’s a sandwich that is quick enough to whip up when you’re just home alone for lunch, but pretty and yummy enough to serve up to friends alongside a big salad.  it’s sweet, salty spicy, topped with creamy avocado.  Pretty perfect.  I think you’d like it as much as I did.  I can see a lot of these sandwiches in my summer ahead…

SWEET & SPICY HAM AVOCADO SANDWICH
2 slabs sourdough bread (or any sturdy bread)
4 slices ham (we used turkey ham*)
2 tsp. seedy mustard
4 tsp. apricot jam
1 avocado

This makes a couple sandwiches, for you and a eating buddy.  Toss the bread into the toaster while you put the ham into a non-stick skillet at hight heat.  Cook the ham until it’s hot and crispy (just a minute or two).  Mix the mustard and jam together and smash the avocado.  Then put it all together layering bread, ham, jam & mustard and avocado on top.  Easy and delicious.

*I love that turkey ham.  I get a chunk at the grocery store for about $5 and the butcher slices it up for me.  When you crisp it in a pan, it’s the next best thing to bacon, with a whole lot less fat.  And I can use one package for 3 or 4 meals– in soup, fried for breakfast, sandwiches, tossed in a salad…

Apricot Mustard Pork Cutlets

IMG_0281Hello everyone– Here’s a quick weekend night dinner.  Add some steamed asparagus, a little rice to sop up the savory, sweet sauce and good bread.  Thirty minutes tops and it’s on the table.

APRICOT MUSTARD PORK CUTLETS
2 pork cutlets, about 1/2 ” thick
2 tab. olive oil
1/2 cup apricot jam
1/4 cup whole grain dijon mustard
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tab. cornstarch

Heat your pan on high and add in the olive oil.  When it’s plenty hot, drop in the pork cutlets and sear them on both sides, about 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are browned nicely.  Then remove them from the pan.  Mix the jam, mustard and wine together and add them to the pan juices, stirring them all together.  Bring to the lowest simmer and put the pork back in for about 10 minutes.  To serve the meat, put it out on a pretty plate and if you want the sauce to be thicker– turn up the heat and stir in 1 tab. cornstarch blended completely with 1/2 cup water.  Stir the sauce until it thickens and spoon it over the pork chops.  Viola!

P.S. I dropped a little piece of marjoram on the plate from a bit a of green in the photo.  If you live in So Cal, it grows in the yard unaided pretty much all year round.  Easy.  Nice oregano-ish flavor.  You might like some if you have an empty spot of earth.

Ham Ricotta Sandwiches with Apricot-Mustard


Hello all–  A while back we had a family Tea Party to shower our dear Katie with gifts and wish her well before her wedding to Nathan.  Everyone brought sweets or yummy sandwiches to munch with our tea.  It was a happy celebration.  God Bless you Katie.

HAM RICOTTA SANDWICHES WITH APRICOT-MUSTARD
1 loaf of small “cocktail” size bread (or cut regular bread slices  into 4 squares)
7 leaves of red leaf lettuce
50 slices of ham*
1 16 oz. tub of ricotta
1/2 cup apricot jam
1/3 cup brown mustard with seeds**

First mix together the jam and mustard in a small bowl.  On the small slices of bread layer a piece of lettuce, 2 slices of ham, a tsp. of ricotta and a small spoonful of the apricot-mustard.  Put them on a pretty plate for a tea party –or just gobble them on the spot for lunch!

*I accidentally picked up a package with turkey and ham mixed, so the sandwiches in the picture have a slice of each.
**I love “Maille Old Style Whole Grain Dijon Mustard”– it is the seediest!

Earlier this summer, we saw a display for fruit flavored mustards in the Salumeria store in San Francisco and picked up some blackberry mustard.  Yummy.  But I like this apricot-dijon combination even more.  I think it would be great on a plain a ham sandwich on ciabatta or a grilled cheese and ham on sour dough.  I’m going to experiment…

Maple Chicken


Hey there– OK, well I really don’t want to brag about how especially delicious a recipe on this blog is, BUT this maple chicken is simply scrumptious.  You’ll be sopping up all the sauce with your bread so you don’t miss a drop!  It has an unlikely set of ingredients, but honestly, it’s super.

MAPLE CHICKEN
1.5 pound package of chicken thighs (about 4 or 5)
1/2 cup brown mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tab. tarragon vinegar
a sprig of rosemary, finely chopped

So you just mix together the mustard, maple syrup, and vinegar.  Pour it over the chicken in a baking dish and pop it in a hot oven at 450 degrees.  Cook it for 40 minutes and baste the chicken with the sauce a couple times while it’s cooking.  When it comes out of the oven, move the chicken to a serving plate, sprinkle on the finely minced rosemary and then spoon over the lovely sauce from the baking dish.  So good!

We ate this tonight out under the maple trees in the backyard, with marinated tomatoes, a leafy green salad of avocado, plums and apricots and crunchy bread.  I hope you give it a try.