Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March 25- Skillet Chicken Parmesan w/Pasta

There were two key factors that determined the success of this recipe...

1. It was quick, easy, and yummy. By now you probably know that these are my three favorite words in the kitchen.

2. Both of us thought it was downright delicious. My husband and I have pretty different taste-preferences, so any recipe that we both love is an instant addition to the recipe repertoire.

"Mmm...This is like $50 at Olive Garden." Whenever my hubby makes a price comparison to one of his favorite restaurants, I know he loves it.

Skillet Chicken Parmesan w/Pasta
1.5 lb chicken breasts cut into tenders or small breasts
salt and pepper
Italian seasonings (I use oregano, garlic, thyme, and parsley)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 tbsp olive oil
10 oz spaghetti (I use half whole wheat and half regular)
1 jar marinara sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to broil or its highest temperature.
2. Cook pasta as directed. Drain when done. 
3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings. Sprinkle breadcrumbs onto both sides of the chicken and press them down to help them stick. Saute the chicken until both sides are browned and the chicken is just cooked through. 
4. Stir about two-thirds of the marina sauce into the pasta. Combine to coat. Pour pasta into a large baking dish. Place cooked chicken on top of the bed of pasta. Spoon the remaining marinara sauce over the chicken. Top the chicken with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Bake about 4-6 minutes until cheese is bubbly. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

March 17-Pork Chops w/Peppers and Onions & Buttery Baby White Potatoes

Good Housekeeping's Fast Weeknight Favorites cookbook has been a lifesaver on busy nights. The book is full of easy, yummy dishes that take hardly any time to make. This week we tried the recipe for Pork Chops with Peppers and Onions. It was fine. Nothing life-changing, but good. We both liked it but neither of us loved it. It was still a good option for a busy weeknight.

What really won me over were the potatoes. The recipe for Buttery Baby White Potatoes was on the side of the potato bag and I decided to give it a try. Mmm mmm warm, indulgent goodness!

Pork Chops with Peppers and Onions
4 boneless pork loin chops, trimmed (about 4oz each)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp olive oil
1 bunch green onions, green tops cut on diagonal into 3-inch pieces, white bottoms thinly sliced crosswise
2 medium red bell peppers, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 garlic clove, crushed with garlic press
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth

1. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add pork chops and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, turning once, until lightly browned on outside, about 8 minutes. Transfer chops to a plate and keep warm.
2. Add oil and green onion tops to the skillet and cook for 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer green onion tops to a small bowl.
3. In the same skillet, add red peppers and green onion bottoms and cook, stirring occasionally, 8  minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in broth and half of green onion tops; Heat through.
4. To serve, transfer pepper mixture to a platter. Top with chops and remaining green onion tops.

Buttery Baby White Potatoes
1.5 lb baby white potatoes
6 tbsp butter
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1/4 cup minced shallot
1 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper

1. Place unpeeled baby potatoes in a large pot. Cover with cold water, add salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and gently boil until tender, about 10-12 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, combine the shallot and lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside.
3. Drain the potatoes and return them to the warm pot. Immediately add the shallot mixture, butter, and parsley. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March 11-Weeknight Pasta Bake & Lazy Girl Breadsticks

Last night I discover a new easy-yet-delectable favorite to add to our list of family favorites!
This dish was simple, delicious, and made enough for plenty of leftovers (even after we both had seconds!). Enjoy!

Weeknight Pasta Bake
1 box penne pasta (about 16oz)
1 lb ground turkey (or beef)
1 jar marina sauce
2 cups frozen peas
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Cook pasta as usual. Drain water and rinse cooked pasta with cold water. Set aside.
2. In a large pan, cook ground turkey. Season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Add marinara sauce and stir through. Set aside.
3. Combine cooked pasta, meat/sauce mixture, and peas. Pour into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Top with mozzarella cheese.
4. Bake in the oven at 400 F for about 30 minutes, or until the dish is hot through and the cheese is melted.

Lazy Girl Breadsticks
These breadsticks were the result of my improvisation on a night when I did not have a bread/starch side for dinner. Our freezer was overflowing with frozen hot dog buns, leftover from a barbeque we hosted earlier in the year, and I decided to put them to good use. At the time, it seemed like an easy-way-out, but they actually turned out delicious and my husband ate four!

hot dog buns
garlic powder
parmesan cheese

Spread generous amount of butter on top of each bun. Sprinkle with garlic powder, oregano, and parmesan cheese. For a more indulgent breadstick, add butter and seasoning on the inside of the hotdog bun as well. Bake in the over until golden, about 5-10 minutes depending on temperature.