This chicken dish is great to serve company or just for the family on a beautiful Sunday evening in September, like today. You can serve dinner in under an hour with only 20 minutes of prep and about 35 minutes to finish cooking in the oven. I happened to only have two pieces of chicken, so this particular recipe is Dinner For Two – just double or triple the recipe based on number of people you are serving. The chicken cooks up moist and juicy – a simple and comforting dinner that is delish!
I don’t think of myself as a particularly predictable person, but when I am out to dinner with family or friends and there is Rack of Lamb on the menu, it is a safe assumption, that is what I will order – actually you can bet on it, and I believe some people have done so! There are all kinds of ways to serve rack of lamb from glazed with a Cabernet sauce, covered with a Dijon mustard mask, to heavily encrusted in a shallot and mushroom tapenade. But I am a purist when is comes to lamb and I want to taste the full-bodied, distinctive flavor of lamb and not have it covered with sauces and stuff that masks the gamey flavor – knowing full well lamb is often considered an acquired taste. That said, my recipe is a modification from Rack of Lamb Persille by Narsai David. Narsai David was a leading Bay Area restaurateur (owner of Narsai’s and Narsai’s Market, both of which closed in the mid-1980’s.) I adapted his recipe with some slight changes – hope you like it …
I needed some comfort food on Monday night but was not in the mood to get too involved in cooking anything that took longer than … what, a few TV commercials? I fell back on my reliable go-to instant comfort food, Mushrooms on Toast. This is a pretty simple recipe, but still works its magic when needed. I try to mix up the variety of mushrooms in the recipe and I happened to have left over shiitake, button and baby bellos used in a mushroom tart on the weekend, so they became the mushrooms of choice. If I were being ambitious I would serve this with a small green salad and Green Goddess Dressing.
Five main ingredients to this pasta sauce: mushrooms, garlic, grape tomatoes, vermouth, heavy cream. And then of course the pasta, Bowties! This is easy to prepare, less than 30 minutes from start to finish, and I have to admit I did a “happy dance” in my kitchen at the first bite, when the flavors dance around in your mouth!
Had enough turkey? I know I have, so I turned to the other “white meat” and made pork chops. In the summertime I take large pork chops and make a pocket, insert stuffing and then grill them. In winter I do them a little different as they are being cooked indoors and I don’t want them to end up tough. So instead I purchase “thin”, and I mean thin, pork chops and then lay one in the pan, add stuffing, and add a second on top. Works really well, cooks quickly, which means, not a tough chop in the bunch.
Mushrooms, mushrooms, mushrooms. I add them to sauces, soups, chinese food, atop pizzas, sliced raw in salads, chicken casseroles, beef bourguignon, and on and on and on. They are minced, sliced, cubed, chopped, braised, stewed, fried, sautéed, used in place of beef (the Portobello is perfect for this) and they are even mashed if you are making Mushroom Pate. They are one of the most versatile vegetables, though technically they are really a fungus. And today I stuffed them with cream cheese, vermouth, bread crumbs and herbs in the traditional manner.
You are likely thinking, grilled cheese sandwich? Really? Like I don’t know how to make one? Sure you do, but do you know 31 different ways? I didn’t until now. The picture above is my grilled cheese sandwich and the makings of it are below. But before you get to that you need to see a sampling of the 30 other ways that I found this weekend at the Grilled Cheese Academy (imagine being able to say you graduated from the Grilled Cheese Academy!) Their sandwiches look amazing, so am posting some of their photos that I personally find mouth-watering. Then you can go look at their site and see the rest of them and get their recipes. Here you go….