Chicken Marsala

chicken marsalaI strayed a long way from this recipe, from which I started. I only used one kind of mushrooms (fresh white), not three. I seasoned the chicken with Harris Ranch Lemon Garlic seasoning. (Yes, sometimes I do use a spice other than Penzeys. Not often, though. In any case you can’t season the chicken with only salt and pepper. Good heavens!) I used light butter to sauté the mushrooms.

I did follow the recipe suggestion of serving the dish with mashed potatoes, a way in which Chicken Marsala is often served.

It made for a really nice Saturday dinner.


my most popular blog entry

It has been a full year since Marcela Valladolid left The Kitchen on Food Network. I initially wrote here about her departure, saying that she would be missed. When she wrote in some detail in her blog about exiting the show and stated that she regretted not saying goodbye to her fans I wrote “why Marcela didn’t say goodbye.”

The Kitchen logoThis has been far and away my most popular blog entry. It has received over 31,000 views. That is an order of magnitude (or two or three or four) more than any of my other blog posts have received. Seems that it comes up for people doing a Google or Bing search about Marcela leaving the show.

For all those views I haven’t gotten a lot of comments. What surprises me about the comments I do get is how many people are snide and bitter about Marcela and her presence on the program. Those don’t get published. I don’t go for nastiness on my blog.

It’s nice to be read, but I wish some of my other blog entries received more attention.


pepper-curry chicken sauté

pepper curry chicken sauteIt had been a while since I had made an Indian dish for dinner, so on a recent Saturday I pulled out this recipe for black pepper-curry chicken sauté. I didn’t follow the directions, but I did use the specified seasonings: ginger, garlic, pepper, and curry powder. I omitted the cloves. Rather than preparing the spices as per the recipe, I mixed them in a bowl and then tossed the chicken pieces in the bowl. For aesthetic reasons I used white pepper instead of freshly ground black pepper.

I cooked the chicken in a cast iron skilled and added the light coconut milk. I served the mixture on top of basmati rice.

It worked out well.


Cuban slow cooker pulled pork

Cuban pulled porkThis recipe from Valerie Bertinelli for Cuban slow cooker pulled pork is extremely simple. It calls for rubbing the pork with cumin, garlic, kosher salt, and black pepper. While I usually omit the salt, I like including kosher salt in a recipe like this. It also specifies orange juice and lime juice. I used both fresh oranges and fresh limes. While the recipe says to use pork shoulder, my go-to cut for pork slow cooker recipes is tenderloin. I cooked the pork in my slow cooker on high for six hours and shredded it.

The original recipe was about making sandwiches with the pork, but I skipped the whole sandwich part and served it as a main dish for dinner.

Very tasty.


Creole Chicken (non) Alfredo

The “Alfredo” part of the name for this recipe is highly misleading. That’s why I added the “non,” which is not part of the original recipe name.

Creole Chicken AlfredoThe seasoning mix definitely takes a Creole approach: oregano, thyme, smoked paprika, cayenne, black pepper, sugar, cumin, garlic, and salt. I omitted the salt and sugar. The recipe specifies cutting up a chicken breast into bite-sized pieces, tossing it in the seasoning mixture, and cooking the chicken in a skillet. You then add evaporated milk and tomato paste. Meanwhile you’re cooking the pasta of your choice. When the pasta is al dente, add it to the chicken mixture and serve. Top with parmesan.

I used my new favorite pasta, rotini. It nicely captures the sauce in its nooks and crannies. Rather than buying a whole can of condensed milk, not normally a pantry item in our kitchen, I think a small carton of cream or half-and-half would work well. And I think that next time I’ll grind the oregano and thyme into powder.

Overall, though, it was a very tasty dinner. It’s one we’ll do again I believe.


zucchini topped with spicy ground beef

zucchini with spicy ground beefThe original recipe was for zucchini boats, with the center of the zucchini scooped out to hold the ground beef. However, I couldn’t see the point in wasting a lot of good zucchini flesh, so I simply scooped out the seeds, which were small and did not go deep.

For the ground beef I used 93% and seasoned it with cumin and chili con carne seasoning. I added salsa and shredded cheddar cheese. I cooked the zucchini in the toaster oven on the convection setting. I should have grilled them. Maybe next time.

It was a good dinner and we got our veggies for the day.


simpler and less expensive

I have long purchased third-party plastic rolls for my FoodSaver. The quality is better (to my mind) and prices less expensive than buying the FoodSaver name brand. I have always purchased fifty foot rolls, which is fine, except that the FoodSaver only holds a roll half that size. So I have to unroll half the roll, re-roll it and cut the roll in half.

No longer. The good folks at FoodVacBags now offer a self-contained hundred foot roll in a box with its own blade unit. I put it on the counter and pull out and cut lengths as I need them.

Simpler, easier, better.

Food Vac Bags box