Chicken with Artichokes, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Chicpeas

Pollo con carciofi, pomodori, e ceci, a recipe found in Every day in Tuscany by Frances May. She is the author of Under the Tuscan Sun. There’s some interesting recipes found in this novel. Serves 4. Here’s the recipe with some of my adjustments.

5 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces, seasoned with salt and pepper

1/2 cup of red wine

1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

1/4 of thyme or marjoram leaves

2 cups of chicpeas, cooked (I used cans) but she does suggest you soak the peas overnight in water and cook with onion,celery, carrot and garlic

1 can of artichokes drained

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1 medium onion, chopped and saute

Preheat oven to 350 F

Heat oil in a flameproof and ovenproof casserole. Saute the chicken for 3 to 5 minutes per side. Add wine and transfer to baking dish. Now what I did was brown the chicken then set aside and added the onion in the same pan and cooked till soft, then I added the wine and let it reduce a bit and then added back the chicken in the pan.

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Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the chicken and bake covered for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken, turning once. I had to bake a little longer.

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Applesauce Pork Chops

A friend brought over a jar of homemade applesauce, so I decided it to add it to pork chops for dinner. Recipe is courtesy of Allrecipes.com. The recipe was for two and I was serving four pork chops so I had to double the quantities.

1 tablespoon of butter

1/4 cup of chopped onions

1 apple, peeled,cored and sliced

2 (1/2 inch thick) pork chops

3/4 cup of applesauce

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon of ground mustard

1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of salt

ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven at 375 F (190 C).

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onion and apple slices in the melted butter till tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

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In the same skillet cook the pork chops over medium heat till brown on both sides about 5 minutes on each side.

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Mix applesauce, brown sugar, mustard, and cinnamon on the apple and onion mixture.

Place the pork chops in a 9×9 inch baking dish, season with salt and pepper. Spoon the applesauce mixture over the chops and cover dish.

Bake until pork chops are no longer pink  in center, about 30 to 45 minutes. An instant-read  thermometer inserted in the center should read about 145 degrees F (63 C).

Summer Corn Soup

The weather is too hot for soup, but I had fresh corn from the market and wanted to try something different. The recipe is quick and easy.  Courtesy of The Bergdorf Goodman Cookbook. Serves 6.

2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil

1/2 of medium yellow onion, diced

1 large carrot, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

2 slices of bacon, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup of white wine

4 cups of fresh or frozen, thawed corn kernels

1 cup of heavy cream

salt and freshly ground pepper

chopped fresh herbs, such as tarragon, chives and parsley (optional)

diced tomato (optional)

lump crabmeat (optional)

Heat the oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or a large pot with a lid and add the onions, carrot, celery and bacon.

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Cook the vegetables until soften and the fat has rendered from the bacon, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook stirring for another 30 seconds. Pour the wine, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan and reduce till dry. Stir in the corn and add 4 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer covered until soft, about 25 minutes. Working in batches if necessary, puree in a blender. ( I used a hand blender)

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Return the soup to heat and add the cream. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with any garnish you desire.

Crustless Onion Quiche

This a great quick recipe for a meatless night. Courtesy of Patricia Wells At Home in Provence.  I added some left over zucchini.

What you will need:

a 10 1/2 inch round baking dish

unsalted butter for preparing the tart pan

1 pound of onions, peeled

3 tablespoons of unsalted butter

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, carefully stemmed

sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

freshly grated nutmeg to taste

4 large eggs

1/4 cup of whole milk

3 tablespoons of heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425f. Generously butter the baking dish bottom and sides. Set aside.

Slice onions in half lengthwise. Place cut side down on a cutting board and slice crosswise into thin slices.

In a large unheated skillet, combine the onions, butter, thyme, salt and pepper and nutmeg. Sweat over moderate heat, covered, until soft, about 8 minutes. They should not caramelize or turn brown. Taste for seasoning and set aside.

Crack the eggs in a bowl and whisk to blend. Whisk in the milk and cream.

Transfer the onion mixture to the baking pan and smooth out with the back of a spoon. Pour the egg mixture over it and season with more nutmeg and pepper. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for about 30 minutes. Until a reaches a deep golden brown.  Test with a tip of a knife, it should come out clean.

Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Couscous with Peas and Mint

Quick and easy recipe I made last night for dinner. I served it along grilled lamb chops. Courtesy of foodnetwork.com

1 cup of frozen peas

2 cups of couscous

3 tablespoons of butter

3 sprigs of mint, finely chopped

1/2 lemon, juiced

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Add frozen peas, and boil for 1 minute. Stir in the couscous, and butter and turn off the heat. Cover pan and let sit for 5 minutes.

Add the mint and lemon juice and fluff with a fork. Season to taste. Serves 4.

Seared Scallops with Gingered Pear Cream

This recipe had an interesting flavor of the tangy spice from the ginger and the sweetness from the pear. It was delicious.

served 6. Courtesy from recipe book Fresh from the Source.

Ingredients;

2 1/2 pounds

1 tablespoon of butter

2 tablespoons minced shallots

1 tablespoon ginger puree

1/2 cup of pear puree

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup of sweet white or pear wine

1/2 cup seafood, fish or chicken stock

2 cups warm heavy cream

2 ounces of butter chunks

salt and white pepper

thin sliced Bartlett pear for garnish

Heat a thick bottom dry skillet (cast iron is ideal) on high heat for 15 minutes. ( I seared the scallops in butter in a skillet).

Put scallops in pan and allow to sear untouched for 3-4 minutes. Turn over and sear and additional 3-4 minutes. Remove and keep warm on a plate at low oven setting (170F)

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Reduce the heat on the skillet to medium, add butter and saute the shallots for 2 minutes. Add ginger and pear puree and saute till lightly brown, about 3 minutes.

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Dust the flour in skillet to make a roux.

Add wine and stock and simmer for about 3-4 minutes until thick and alcohol has been cooked out.

Add warm cream to pan and simmer till desired sauce consistency is reached. Swirl in butter chunks. ( I did this off heat)

Season to taste. Remove the scallops from the oven and pour any juices from plate onto sauce. Coat the bottom of plate with sauce and add the scallops and and garnish with fanned out pear slices. ( I served it over asparagus and poured the sauce over it)