Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Chicken with Sherry

Most of my meal planning, unless I'm doing a dinner party, is done at an open refrigerator. What do you have for me today? This week I had a couple of chicken breasts, some crimini mushrooms and the normal stuff in the cupboard.

Mushrooms: left the small ones whole and quartered the larger ones. Sauteed them in butter and olive oil, some salt and pepper and at the last 30 seconds tossed in a few cloves of chopped garlic. Damn, that smells good. Removed to a dish.

Chicken breast: sliced them across the grain and flattened the slices. Dredged these in seasoned flour and sauteed in mushroom pan with a bit more olive oil; quickly removing when each was lightly browned.

Cooked some linguine in boiling water until just cooked; drained. Always save a bit of the pasta water. Some restaurants call that "profit."

Finish: deglazed the pan with a bit of chicken broth, added chicken and mushrooms back to pan along with 1/4 cup of creme fraiche, fresh chopped thyme and a good splash of Spanish Sherry. This simmered for a few minutes to blend the flavors. To this add the hot, drained linguine and a bit of the pasta water if the sauce needs thinning.

Serving: into the hot dish I tossed about a half cup of grated Parmesan and topped with chopped fresh Italian parsley and a bit of salt.

I love these flavors together. Chicken, thyme, garlic and sherry. The creme fraiche just makes the sauce milder and very rich. Dredging the chicken in flour adds a bit of thickness to the sauce as well. This dish is loaded with flavors and it is easy to overlook the salt. I feel you really must taste before serving because salt seems to tie all the flavors together.

Question: Do you plan your meals? If so, how far ahead?

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Philippe's pork french dip
Originally uploaded by lornababy
sorry for the blurry photo, but this was taken with the ol' cel phone camera. this is a philippe's the original pork french dip sandwich with their spicy mustard. oh yum. philippe's claims to have created the french dip sandwich. they celebrated their 100th anniversary this month with 10 cent sandwiches and the line was around the block.

Friday, October 17, 2008

My Chile Verde

What you don't see in this photo is the warm tortillas and the bottle of Corona.

I happened to get my Cooking Light magazine about the same time I was given the green chiles I have been raving about in previous posts.

The recipe featured fresh roasted Anaheim chiles, which are moderately spicy. Spike it with hot sauce, if you like more fire.

I might also say that there are many, many variations of this dish........I just found this recipe quite nice.


6 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)


  • 12 Anaheim chiles, halved and seeded (about 1 1/2 pounds) I used the much raved about Denver chiles
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups chopped onion (about 2 medium)
  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless pork loin, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can white hominy, drained and rinsed


1. Preheat broiler or use your BBQ

2. Place chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet; broil 8 minutes or until blackened, turning after 4 minutes. Peel and chop.

3. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, pork, and garlic to pan; sauté minutes or until pork is browned. Add chopped chiles, chicken broth, oregano, and salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until pork is tender. Stir in hominy; cook 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Nutritional Information............Calories: 243 (28% from fat) Fat: 7.5g (sat 2.6g,mono 3.3g,poly 0.9g)Protein: 24.8g Carbohydrate: 20gFiber: 3.3g Cholesterol: 56mg Iron: 2.4mg Sodium: 389mg Calcium: 51mg

Sunday, October 12, 2008

clam chowda

i'm not emeril's biggest fan, he's a bit overdramatic for me. case in point, he calls this dish "clam chowder of love." that being said, this soup is so good i have to make up a word, it is fantabulous. probably the best chowder i've ever had. the leeks and the bacon totally make this dish, giving it layers of flavor. it's definitely not low fat, but it tastes sooo good. you could probably make it with half and half or even milk, but why?

here are the ingredients...

clam chowda
  • 1/2 pound bacon, medium dice
  • 1 cup chopped leeks (about 1 pound)
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots, peeled
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 pound white potatoes, peeled and medium diced
  • 4 cups clam juice (i used 5)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 pounds littleneck clams, shucked, chopped (i used 3 cans of chopped clams and drained the juice to make up the clam juice - could've used 4 cans)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
and the steps...

In a heavy stock pot, over medium-high heat, render the bacon until crispy, about 8 minutes.

clam chowda

Stir in the leeks, onions, celery, and carrots. Saute for about 2 minutes or until the vegetables start to wilt.

clam chowda

Season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaves and thyme. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes.

clam chowda

Stir in the clam juice. Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the mixture until the potatoes are fork tender, about 12 minutes.

clam chowda

Add the cream and bring up to simmer. Add the clams and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper if needed.

clam chowda


clam chowda

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Baby washing; complete

It seems like we've given up on PBE but we are not quitters we're just distracted by a few goings on. Doodles and the Gypsy Caravan are on the move, lil bird is bogged down with work responsibilities and myself, well Moon's just being Moon. We can't blame any of our usual readers if they've drifted off but we will make more of an effort to continue, at least through the tough times.

Some of my time was spent getting ready for a small twenty person reception after the Christening of our little Princess. I received much help from sister Doodles and daughter lil bird. I know it would not have been a success without them.

Doodles and I had great fun planning the menu and I have to say all of the food was a big hit. Some was bought pre-made, others we made ourselves. The menu was Asian, as per the request of the parents of the princess. Both Doodles and myself were a bit dumbfounded when one item stood out above the rest, Radish with Garlic Ginger Cream Cheese. People could not stay away from them.

Here's how we developed the recipe. I had an extra package of cream cheese, we had loads of garlic, ginger, and chives, and we found a way to transport all of this to a mouth; the radish. We literaly needed something else cold and started adding flavors. Our first choice was daikon but it lacked the color and punch.

To 8 oz of softened cream cheese add:
  • about 1 tablespoon each of grated ginger and pressed garlic
  • a bit of milk to loosen the cheese
  • pinch of salt
  • few tablespoons of minced chives
All of the above is to taste but we made it strong to balance the radish.

Slice large radishes in thirds, small ones in half and dry. Pipe cream cheese on top and serve immediately. I made the cheese mixture the day before and put it in the piping bag already to go the next day. Doodles dried the radish and piped them on the serving plate. Very efficient. Like I said, easy and everyone was popping these little gems like crazy.
Asian Meatballs with Hoisin sauce
Shrimp Tempura (pre-made from Costco)
Chicken Teriyaki (pre-made from Costco)
Pineapple sausage (Costco)
Chinese chicken salad
Pork pot stickers dipping sauce (Trader Joes)
Wings with lime dipping sauce
Tofu satay with p-nut sauce
Radish with spiced cream cheese
Fresh pineapple and strawberries skewers

Red Velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Banana orange punch

I will get some additional photos and recipes up in the coming days; oh sure, how about weeks that sounds more like me.