Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving

I had an abolutely amazing Thanksgiving!!!! I was so so happy that my mom and little brother were able to drive down from NJ and spend a few days here in Charleston with me and my husband.

On Wednesday, they got in a little later than expected since there was bad weather all along the East coast so we went to a small local bar & grill right by our house called Blue's. Not only was it 1/2 price burger night, but ladies got 1/2 off their liquor drinks too! At dinner, my mom and husband lovingly pointed out to me that I made a crucial error in my mashed potato calculation. I had only bought 3 large potatoes to make mashed potatoes with and they were both aghast by this lack of potato. Of course, we made an emergency run to the grocery store to buy a sack of potatoes.

Thanksgiving day was a blast. We started with the tradition of watching the parade and eating Pillsbury Cinnamon Buns. During the day we eat snacks and play board games. This was my first year making a turkey, and I kept having nervous thoughts that it would turn out like the one from Christmas Vacation! With my mom's help though, it came out perfect. It was so moist and juicy with the perfect amount of crsipyness to the skin. Here are some pictures of my table, turkey, and plate full of food!



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chicken Saltimbocca

So upon returning from an Atlantic City bachelor party trip (think an Italian version of The Hangover), my husband asked for an Italian dinner. One of the nights there they ate at an amazing Italian place called Carmine's. I've been to one in NYC, and apparently they have a few locations. So I checked out their menu and saw that they had a Chicken Saltimbocca and that is something I've been wanting to make. So after searching around and using an Italian cookbook I have, I came up with this delicious dish! I love the combination of the prosciutto and sage...I've never even cooked with sage before!

On a side note, T minus 1 week until my little brother and mom roll into town for Thanksgiving! I'm so excited, I bought my table decor last night at Bed Bath and Beyond and it looks amazing! I'm using a stark white table linen with ivory satin napkins, gold chargers with my china, and centerpiece of floating candles, gold sequin votives, and glittered pine cones. I'll definitely be posting a pic next week!


Ingredients- Serves 2
-2 boneless chicken breasts, butterflied
-Salt and black pepper
-4 thin slices prosciutto
-4 sage leaves, more for garnish
-Flour for dredging
-2 tablespoons butter
-1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
-1/2 cup dry white wine
-1/2 cup chicken stock
-Lemon wedges
-1 garlic clove, minced
-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1. After you butterfly your chicken, season with salt and pepper. Top with 2 slices of prosciutto and 2 sage leaves. Place chicken between 2 sheets of parchment, waxed paper or plastic wrap. With a mallet or rolling pin, pound cutlets to an even  thickness,  pounding the prosciutto and sage into the chicken. Sprinkle with garlic powder.

2. Spread the flour on a shallow plate and dip the chicken in it, lightly coating both sides. Heat one tablespoon of butter and the olive oil in a large pan. When the butter begins to foam, add the chicken to the pan placing the prosciutto side down. Cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, turning once, until lightly browned and cooked through. Transfer to a platter and cover to keep warm.

3. Add wine to the hot pan and stir with a wooden spoon to loosen all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the wine reduce by half, then add the chicken stock and reduce again. Remove the pan from the heat and swirl in remaining tablespoon of butter. Serve with lemon wedges.

Source: Whole Foods


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

There are only 3 soups I eat. The first is a one-of-a-kind seafood chowder only made at the York Harbor Inn in York, ME. The others are tomato bisque and potato soup.  I credit my severe distaste for any broth based soup to my childhood (what a shock). Anytime I was sick with the stomach flu, which was quite frequently, my mom made me Campbell's Chicken and Stars soup. God, it's making me nauseous just thinking about that stuff right now. Anyway, thankfully potato soup doesn't seem to be affected by this food aversion!

I searched around a little to find a loaded baked potato soup and then made some of my own modifications. This was really good and the husband loved it too! You don't even need to serve anything else with it since its full of potato, bacon, cheese, and a ton of flavor!


Ingredients
-3  bacon strips, diced
-1 scallion, chopped for garnish
-1 teaspoon garlic powder
-1 clove garlic, minced
-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/2  teaspoon dried basil
-1/2 teaspoon pepper
-1 and 1/2 cups chicken stock
-2 large baked potatoes, peeled and cubed
-1 cup fat free half-and-half
-1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese for garnish

1. In a large saucepan, cook bacon until crispy. (I like mine extra crispy).  Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Dice bacon and aside. Saute minced garlic in the drippings until tender. Stir in flour, salt, basil and pepper.
2. Pour stock into a large pot. Bring to boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes. Add the sauteed garlic mixture and bacon pieces, and then add the potatoes and cream. heat through but do not boil. Garnish with cheese and scallions.





Monday, November 14, 2011

Tzatziki Shrimp

Wow, Ok so yet again I've majorly slacked on blogging. I've still been cooking and taking photos of the dishes, but I've just been letting them pile up and never get around to posting! So now that this week things will be a little slower at work, I can get back to posting my dishes.

First, I am so so so excited that my brother and mom are driving down to Charleston next week to spend Thanksgiving with me and my husband! This will be my first Thanksgiving dinner that I've prepared. When it comes to Thanksgiving, I don't like stepping outside of my comfort zone with trying new dishes or trying anything too ambitious. Just give me my usual stuffing, turkey, and canned cranberry sauce (yes, I love that stuff). The only thing new I'll be making with be chocolate dipped gingerbread cookies as dessert.

I made this dish about 2 weeks ago, using the last of the shrimp my husband had caught from shrimping season. I really am trying to use my new food processor he got me as much as possible and I wanted to make tzatziki sauce in it! I've made tzatziki before, but prefer the way this one tasted more since I felt there was more of the cucumber flavor in it. This was a perfect little dinner for me! Use as much shrimp as you want, that's not really going to change anything...I only had about 8 shrimps left so that's what I used here.



Ingredients
-8 shrimp, peeled and deveined
-2 soft taco wraps
-2 tablespoon EVOO plus 1/2 teaspoon
-1 teaspoon Greek seasoning (or more if desired)
-2 teaspoons garlic powder
-Salt & Pepper to taste
-5oz plain Greek yogurt
-1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 large cucumber, peeled and de-seeded, diced

1. To make the chips, preheat oven to broiler. Brush wraps with the 1 tablespoon EVOO, sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon of the Greek seasoning (however much you desire), and about 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic powder, season with salt. Place under broiler for about 6 minutes, or until wraps reach desired level of crispiness. Remove from oven and cut into triangles with a pizza cutter.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the other tablespoon of EVOO. Cook shrimp 2-3 minutes each side, seasoning with 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon Greek seasoning, and salt and pepper.
3. To make the tzatziki, in a food processor combine the yogurt, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon EVOO, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and the diced cucumber. Blend until smooth.