Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chicken with Mustard Mascarpone Marsala Sauce

I have exciting news to share, I got a teaching job!!! I am going to be teaching a 1st/2nd grade split class at a school in Evanston. I'm extremely excited and so thankful that I was able to find such a great job. I found out I got the position Tuesday afternoon, started yesterday and the first day of school is next Wednesday- needless to say, I have been a little busy.

I've been wanting to post the below recipe for a few days now and just haven't gotten to it. Brady made Giada's recipe for Chicken with Mustard Mascarpone Marsala Sauce for me and it was amazing. I loved the creaminess of the sauce and the addition of the mushrooms. It's not the prettiest dish (hence why I am using Giada's photo instead of mine) but it tastes great!

Photo Courtesy of Food Network
Chicken with Mustard Mascarpone Marsala Sauce
** recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

Serves 4
Prep/Cook Time: 45 minutes

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, each breast cut crosswise into 3 pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 T. olive oil
2 T. butter, divided
3/4 c. chopped onion
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 T. minced garlic
1 c. dry Marsala wine
1 c. mascarpone cheese or light cream cheese
2 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves, plus whole sprigs, for garnish
12 ounces dried fettuccine

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and cook just until brown, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cool slightly.

While the chicken cools, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the same skillet over medium-high heat, then add the onion and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 12 minutes. Add the Marsala wine and simmer until it is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Stir in the mascarpone and mustard. Cut the chicken breasts crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Return the chicken to the skillet. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through and the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped parsley. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain. Toss the fettuccine with 1 tablespoon of butter and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Swirl the fettuccine onto serving plates. Spoon the chicken mixture over top. Garnish with parsley sprigs and serve.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Happy Blog Anniversary!

This past Tuesday marked the one year anniversary of A Kitchen on Elm Street. I had planned to make a celebration dinner and bake a fun cake but unfortunately life got in the way. It turned out to be a busy week of job interviews, working, and unfortunately pretty unexciting meals. Since I can't write about some exciting dinner we made, I decided to share our top 5 recipes from the past year. My mom has been asking me to do this for a while now, so here they are in no particular order!

Brady's Top 5 Recipes
Bruschetta with Honey, Ricotta, and Pistachios

My Top 5 Recipes
Sausage and Fig Pizza
African Peanut Soup
Soy Glazed Short Ribs
Chipotle Honey Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Squash
Chicken Pot Pie
** and since it's my blog I am adding in a 6th- Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes!

Let me just say, making this list was nearly impossible. I have so many favorites plus so many of these recipes make me smile as I think of the story behind them. It's definitely been fun documenting our exciting travels, meals at great Chicago restaurants and all of the time spent cooking in my kitchen on Elm Street!**

** And Brady's kitchen on Clifton, then Sheridan, and now Pine Grove :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Mexican Pizza

Pizza is one of those foods that always hits the spot. I love making my own pizza because it's easy, cheap and always ends up being much healthier then delivery. Now don't get me wrong, there are definitely times were delivered pizza is in fact the easiest route to go. But, on a night like last night, when I was just staying in and had some pizza dough on hand and random ingredients, it was the perfect night to come up with a new pizza combination.

I'm not sure if I've had Mexican Pizza before. I know I've seen it on countless pizza menus and now I know why. It's really good!! I loved the black bean sauce. I honestly could have just dipped a few chips in it and would have been happy. I used spicy chicken sausage because I had it on hand but using ground turkey or beef, or even forgetting the meat all together, would work. I thought this was another winning pizza combo and a perfect example of thinking outside the box (pizza box that is!)

Mexican Pizza

Serves 4
Prep/Cook Time: 30 minutes

favorite pizza dough
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 lime
1 red pepper, diced or cut into strips
1/2 red onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced
2 Spicy Chicken Sausage links, diced
bunch of cilantro
Monterrey Jack cheese

Preheat oven according to instructions on the dough. Spray a pizza pan with cooking spray and dust with a little flour.

Using a food processor or immersion blender, blend the black beans until smooth. Stir in the cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder and the juice of half a lime. Season with salt and pepper and add more cayenne if you would like the black bean sauce more spicy.

Spread the pizza dough on the prepared pan. Cover the dough with the black bean sauce, leaving about a 1 inch crust free of sauce. Top with the red pepper, red onion, jalapeno, chicken sausage, and enough cheese to cover the pizza. Top with some cilantro and bake according to the dough directions. Serve with a slice of lime.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Toasted - Coconut Rice Pilaf

Unfortunately I haven't spent much time in the kitchen this week. The last time I cooked (making eggs and heating up my rotisserie chicken from the store doesn't count) was last weekend. I felt like Thai food and it was the perfect opportunity to try out the below rice pilaf recipe. I LOVED it! It was super easy and tasted like something you'd order from a takeout restaurant. Plus it was so much healthier than anything that could have been delivered. I served the rice with chicken, zucchini, red pepper, and summer squash that had been sauteed in a Thai peanut sauce (I recommend House of Tsang, it's great and low in fat and calories).

Toasted-Coconut Rice Pilaf

Serves 4
Prep/Cook Time: 25 minutes

3 T. coconut
1 T. olive oil
1 c. long grain brown rice
1 c. broth
1 c. light coconut milk
2 or 3 slices lime
1/2 c. frozen peas

In a medium saucepan, toast the coconut over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

In the same saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add rice and sauce for about 3 minutes. Add broth and coconut milk and bring a boil. Add a little salt and pepper and the lime slices. Stir, cover tightly and reduce heat to low and simmer about 15-20 minutes or until fluffy. Make sure to stir occasionally.

Add peas and coconut and stir to combine. Cook 1 minute or until peas are just cooked through.