Sunday, September 22, 2013

Zucchini with Peppers and Feta Cheese

Ya' know...sometimes a dish can be a side vegetable to a main course.  And then sometimes it can be the main course itself.  That's the way I use this dish. 

On its own it's a delicious veggie dish. It is so  easy and quick to make; it's tasty and it's a colorful addition to a meal.

 But sometimes, I serve it mixed with Farfalle Pasta and it's a meatless main dish.  Just add a salad and some crusty bread and you're good to go.  But then..... if you want a pasta dish with some protein in it then add cubed pieces of cooked chicken or cooked shrimp.

C'mon, you can't beat an all-purpose recipe. It's always there when you need it....kinda like the "Little Black Dress" that's good for many events.

Zucchini with Peppers and Feta Cheese

¼  Joe and Son’s Tuscan Herb Olive Oil
3-4 medium sized zucchini, thinly sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1/3-1/2 cup crumbled Feta Cheese 

Warm the oven to 350 degrees.

Pour the Tuscan Herb Oil into a sauté pan.  Warm the oil over medium heat.  Add the zucchini, bell pepper, garlic, and  red pepper flakes to the pan.  Cook until the zucchini is “al dente”, not mushy, stirring often. Salt and pepper to taste.
Place the cooked zucchini in an oven-proof serving dish and sprinkle with the crumbled Feta Cheese.  Place the dish in the hot oven only long enough to slightly melt the cheese…it doesn’t take long, maybe 5 or 10 minutes.

Serve hot.

Chicken With Tarragon and Capers

Cooking is so easy when you start off with cooked rotisserie chicken.  And this is just what I did tonight.  This was one of those nights when I had a little of this and a little of that.  I combined everything in hopes that the end result would be tasty ...and it was.

Now, in a perfect world I would have had a package of spinach fettucini in the pantry so the pasta would have given contrast to the chicken I prepared.  But, I didn't; so I used what I had.  It still tasted very good even though the combo wasn't my first choice.

Chicken With Tarragon and Capers

Meat from a cooked rotisserie chicken, pulled and shredded

¼ cup Joe and Son’s Tarragon Olive Oil

1 medium onion, sliced thin

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

½ sun dried tomatoes, not in oil

1 Tablespoon capers, drained

1 ½ cup chicken broth

2 Tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

 Salt and pepper to taste

1 box ( about 13 oz) penne pasta or farfalle pasta

1 Teaspoon Joe and Son’s Tarragon Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon dried parsley for garnishing


Into a sauté pan, pour the Tarragon Oil and warm it over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, capers and pepper flakes. Cook for about 10 -15 minutes until the onions are cooked, but not caramelized.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions.  Drain and keep warm until ready to serve.
In a large measuring cup, measure out the chicken broth and add the flour.  Use a whisk to blend them together and remove any lumps.
Pour the broth into the sauté pan, lower the heat to low and stir until a gravy forms.  At this point, add salt and pepper to taste.
Add the shredded chicken to the pan with the other ingredients and cook until the chicken is heated through.
Drizzle the remaining Tarragon Oil over the pasta and toss to coat thoroughly.  Garnish the pasta with dried parsley if you like.

Plate the pasta and the chicken and serve hot.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Asian Chicken Salad with Spinach and Grapes

Sometimes, all you need is a salad to make a meal....  especially if it's loaded with power foods and protein.  This salad is a terrific "go-to"  when you just want something light (but healthy) that's tasty and quick to prepare.

  And, like the other recipes I've shared with you, it presents well when plated. We all know that presentation is the key, because we eat "with our eyes" and  this is sure to whet your appetite.

Asian Chicken Salad with Spinach and Grapes
4 cups fresh baby spinach, washed and dried
2 boneless chicken breasts seasoned with salt and pepper, cooked and cut into 2" pieces
1 cup peeled and diced (bite sized pieces) cucumber
1 cup red or green seedless grapes
1/2 cup snow peas or shelled edamame
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup sliced scallions
cashews for garnish, if desired
Combine all salad ingredients except for the cashews in a large bowl and set aside
Salad Dressing:
1/2 cup Joe and Son's Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinegar
1/3 cup Joe and Son's Garlic Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Joe and Son's Sesame Oil
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1/2 - 1 Teaspoon Sugar, to taste
Combine all the dressing ingredients in a blender or cruet and mix to emulsify.
Pour over the salad ingredients and toss to coat evenly.  Plate and serve immediately. 
Garnish with cashews if desired.
Serves 4