provreviewsandrecipes

Food Blog with delicious recipes and also reviews of Providence, RI restuarants

Chicken and Oyster Mushroom in a Garlic White Wine Sauce February 27, 2013

chicken and oyster mushrooms in white wine sauceNow let me first start off by saying that I am in love with Asian market around the corner from apartment. I always am finding interesting items there as well as items that I use regularly at such reasonable prices. Case in point was on my most recent trip. I was going down the produce aisle and could not believe what I saw. There were giant oyster mushrooms that looked so fresh and had been cleaned of any dirt that can sometimes plague store bought mushrooms. Well I was going to buy these amazing looking mushrooms but then I happened to look at the price and my jaw almost dropped open. The price for 0.75 lbs of oyster mushrooms was only $4.19 (I confirmed at my local Stop & Shop the price for 8 ounces of oyster mushrooms was $4.99). So with my superb mushroom deal in hand along with my other small purchases I headed on home to try and figure out what to cook for dinner.

Since I know that an oyster mushroom’s taste is delicate and could get lost in a heavy or powerfully flavored sauce, I came up with the recipe below. Now in this recipe I use Chardonnay for the white wine but any wine that you like could be substituted. If you don’t like white wine I would just substitute either chicken or vegetable stock for the white wine. I served this dish over rice and it tasted delicious but you could serve it over pasta as well. I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of the finished dish as my fiancee and I devoured the entire dish as soon as it cooled to an acceptable temperature to consume since it smelled so heavenly while cooking.

Makes 4-5 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 23 Minutes

Total Time: 33 Minutes

Ingredients:

1 Pound of Chicken Breast Tenders, halved

0.75-1 Pound of Oyster Mushrooms, roughly chopped (make sure to leave the mushrooms in a little bit bigger pieces as they will shrink when cooking)

4 Cloves of Garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons of Salt

2 Tablespoons of Pepper

1 Tablespoon of Dried Basil

1/2 Cup of Fresh Parsley, finely chopped

1 Lemon

3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

2 Cups of White Wine

1 Cup of Chicken Broth

Directions:

Take the halved pieces of the chicken breast tenders and season with 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of pepper. Set aside. Take the lemon and zest the whole lemon rind and put in a small bowl. Juice all the whole lemon into the bowl with the lemon zest. Set aside.

Take a large saucepan and heat the olive oil over medium heat. Take the seasoned chicken breast tenders and put them in the heated saucepan. Cook until the chicken breast tenders are browned on all sides and cooked almost all the way through, about 12 minutes. Next add the lemon juice/zest mixture, garlic and mushrooms to pan. Cook until the garlic is golden and the mushrooms are barely cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth, white wine, dried basil and parsley to pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and cook for 8 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half.

Finally, remove from heat and serve immediately over rice or your favorite pasta. I prefer it over white rice as it really complements the subtle flavor of the dish. Enjoy.

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Creamy Mushroom Crostini Appetizer February 26, 2013

Now I whipped up this recipe the other day as I had extra mushrooms on hand and cream. It came out decadent and delicious. Now I probably ate more than one person should eat of this dish but once I started, I could not stop. I used french bread, but you could use any other type of crusty bread that you prefer. Same thing goes for the mushrooms. I used white mushrooms because of what I had on hand but you could use any kind that you like. I would pair this with a nice lighter main course if serving as an appetizer, like my recipe for .

Prep: 8 MinutesCreamy Mushroom Crostini

Cooking: 21 Minutes

Total Time: 29 Minutes

Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients:

1 Pound of Mushrooms, sliced

2 Cloves of Garlic, diced

2 Cups of Heavy Cream

3 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter

8 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons of Cooking Sherry

1/4 Cup of White Wine

1 Whole Lemon

1/2 Tablespoon of Salt

1/2 Tablespoon of Pepper

1 Teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes

2 Tablespoon of Dried Italian Seasoning

1 Loaf of French Bread, sliced

Directions:

Preheat broiler to high. Put the slices of French bread on a baking sheet covered with tin foil. Take 6 tablespoons of the olive oil and brush both sides of the French bread pieces. Place under broiler and toast until golden on one side, about 3 minutes. Then pull out the baking sheet and flip over all the bread pieces. Place back under broiler until golden brown on the other side. This should only take about 2 minutes. Take out of oven and set aside. Make sure to keep an eye on the bread pieces as they can easily burn.

Now to make the creamy mushroom mixture to go over the now crispy bread. First take the lemon and place it in the microwave for 15 seconds. Take it out and zest half of the lemon. In a small bowl squeeze the juice from the lemon and combine it with the lemon zest. Set the zest and the lemon juice aside. Take 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil and heat in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter and cook until it melts, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook until nicely browned, about 6-7 minutes. Add in garlic, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add in the cooking sherry and cook for 2 minutes. Add the white wine and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Finally add the lemon juice and zest mixture to the pan along with the cream to the pan. Cook just until heated through, about 4 minutes. Make sure to not bring to a boil.

Serve immediately. Place 4 pieces of the crispy bread on a each of the four plates and spoon a generous portion of the creamy mushroom mixture. Trust me this will over any guests that you have over for dinner. Enjoy.

 

Homemade Meatballs: Bake or Fry/Brown in Saucepan February 24, 2013

meatballs-baking

meatballs-frying

I decided to scope out on Pinterest and also on allrecipes.com how many different recipes for homemade meatballs I could find. Well let’s just say that I found so many different variations and most often than not the person writing it stated that they were the best meatballs. Now I know everyone thinks that theirs is the best and I’m not going to judge and say that one recipe is better than another, except for mine of course being the best.

But they’re seemed to be a few common themes that differentiated the recipes into a couple of categories. I noticed that people either brown/fry their meatballs in a saucepan before adding to the sauce or those that baked their meatballs before adding to the sauce. Now my grandmother did brown/fry her delicious meatballs before adding to the tomato sauce. So I had been doing it that way for years and always thought that baking was the easy way out. Well the last two times I have made meatballs I have baked them. They have come out amazing. The meat has not dried out and is still juicy and extremely tender. Also when I put the meatballs into the sauce they are basically completely cooked and they  don’t fall apart when I put them in the tomato sauce like the ones that I fry first in the pan.

So I think I have converted over to the baking method. What are is your opinion? Do you bake you meatballs? Do you brown/fry them?  I want to hear what everyone has to say about this. I will be posting my homemade meatball recipe later this week.

 

Moules a La Mariniere/Mussels Mariniere

Mussels Mariniere     Sometimes the dishes with the simplest of flavors are the most delicious. Case in point with this mussels dish. The ingredients are simple but they all work so well together that not using one of them would throw the whole dish off. This dish comes origin comes from the South of France. Julia Child also has a version of this dish in her ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’. So with that being said I have made this dish multiple times and it always comes out delicious.

I will usually use a dry Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio when I make this dish, but you could use any type of white wine you prefer. One of the things that cannot be missed with this dish is a crusty loaf of French bread to use to dip in the delicious broth. This is one of my favorite parts of this dish and I probably eat half the loaf of bread myself. Now I am known as a ‘Mussel Hoarder’ when it comes to this dish. What that means is that as I am taking a mussel from the large bowl that I am sharing with my fiancée from the middle of the table, I remove the mussel from the shell and place it on my plate and move on to the next. Now my fiancée, Birghandi, eats them as he goes. So when all the mussels have been removed from their shells I have all of mine in a pile on my plate, hence the term ‘Mussel Hoarder’. However you or anyone else eating at your dinner table decides to eat this dish it will be delicious. Bon Appetit from my kitchen to yours.

This recipe will serve 2-3 people as a main dish and 5 people as an appetizer.

Prep: 15 Minutes

Cooking: 18 Minutes

Total Time: 33 minutes

Recipe:

2 Lbs of Mussels, clean and de-beared

2 Cups of White Wine

1/2 Stick of Unsalted Butter, room temperature

2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Large White Onion, diced

4 Cloves of Garlic, finely diced

2 Bay Leaves

1/2 Cup of Fresh Parsley, chopped

Now to clean and de-beard the mussels is the part of this recipe that takes the longest. I always scrub all of mine in cool water with a scrubber brush in the sink. I then take a paring knife to get the beard, or tuft if prefer, out from the edge of the mussel shell. Discard any opened shells that if tapped on the edge of the sink do not stay closed when you push them shut. I’ve included a video at the bottom of this post of a video that is available on Youtube and shows you how to clean and de-beard mussels if you have any questions. Set the clean mussels aside as you start to prepare the rest of the dish.

In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat until warm. Add the butter until it has barely melted, about 1 minute. Next add the onion and garlic to the pan. Cook until the onion has started to soften and the garlic is golden colored, about 4 minutes. Add the white wine and bay leaves to the pan and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Add the mussels to the pan and cover. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until all the shells have opened. For the first six minutes do not be tempted to lift the lid to check on the mussels. You will let out the steam which you do not want to do as that is helping to open the mussel shells. Also do not cook your mussels for longer than 12 minutes even if some of the shells have not opened, as the mussels the longer they are cooked get extremely tough and no one likes tough, rubbery seafood.

Discard the bay leaves and any mussel shells that have not opened. Serve immediately along with the french bread and enjoy.

 

Here’s the video that shows how to clean, de-beard and store mussels. This video is very good.