provreviewsandrecipes

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

Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs with Arugula Salad with Roasted Tomatoes and Warm Goat Cheese August 13, 2013

pan roasted chicken with arugula saladSo I went to the Farmer’s Market this past Saturday with my parents. There I scored a large bag of fresh arugula for $3 and a pint of fresh tomatoes for $2. I mean the prices were great for the amount of produce I got. Well needless to say I decided to use the arugula and tomatoes in the salad that I served along with pan roasted chicken and green beans. The salad was simple and delicious. It highlighted all the fresh ingredients that I got at the Farmer’s Market. The warm goat cheese was the perfect balance and added creaminess to the slightly spicy arugula. This salad was the perfect complement to the pan roasted chicken thighs. The skin came out nice and crispy, just the way I like it. Now I did a quick butter baste before putting the chicken in the oven and I feel like that a difference in the chicken being juicy and tender on the inside.

Finally on to the green beans. Now a friend of mine at work gave me a large bag full of fresh green beans from her garden. I was so excited when I saw the bag because it meant that I could make my favorite and simple green bean salad multiple times in the upcoming week. Now this recipe is very easy to put together as all you have to do is steam the green beans quickly and mix with the simple dressing. It is a great side dish and easy to make while cooking other things, in this case while the chicken is in the oven.

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook Time: 40 MInutes if making all the elements

Servings: 2

Pan Roasted Chicken

Ingredients:

2 Chicken Thighs

1 Teaspoon of Salt

1 Teaspoon of Pepper

1 Tablespoon of Vegetable Oil

2 Tablespoons of Butter

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

Place the vegetable oil and heat over medium high heat in a large pan. The oil should be what they refer to as ‘shimmering’ before you add the chicken thighs. This usually takes about 5 minutes or so.  While the oil is heating up take the chicken thighs and season both sides with the salt and pepper. Once heated up at the chicken thighs to the pan skin side down. There should be an audible sizzle when you add the chicken. Cook the chicken skin side down for 8 minutes. Make sure to shake the pan every so often to prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan.

Then take the two tablespoons of butter and put into the pan. Now here comes the part where you need to put for a few minutes over the pan. The butter should melt and start foaming. Tip the pan slightly towards you so that the foaming butter all comes to one side of the pan. Take a large spoon and ladle the foaming butter over each piece of the chicken repeatedly until the butter has stopped foaming, about 3-4 minutes.

Finally take the chicken and place it in an over proof dish. Place in the oven for 25 minutes with the skin side facing up. Flip the chicken once halfway through cooking. Remove from the oven and let sit in the pan for 5 minutes before serving.

While the chicken is in the oven you can prepare the rest of the meal.

Arugula Salad With Roasted Tomatoes and Warm Goat Cheese

Ingredients:

6 Cherry tomatoes

1/2 Teaspoon of Salt

1/2 Teaspoon of black pepper

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar

2 Cups of Arugula, coarsely chopped

8 Ounces of Goat Cheese, cut in half

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

Take the tomatoes and place them in an oven proof dish. Season with salt, pepper and olive oil. Put in the oven for 20 minutes on the top rack (Since the pan roasted chicken goes in the oven at the same temperature for almost the same amount of time I put my tomatoes in while the chicken was cooking. This saves so much time in the cooking process).

Once the tomatoes come out of the oven toss them with the balsamic vinegar. Place the arugula in a bowl and take the tomatoes and the juices and toss together thoroughly.

Next take the coat cheese and place on a baking sheet. Place under the broiler on high for 4 minutes  or until it starts to melt and is warm. Finally take the arugula and tomato mixture and split between two plates and place the warm goat cheese in the middle and enjoy.

Green Beans with Red Wine Vinegar Dressing

Ingredients:

1/2 pound of fresh green beans, trimmed

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 Yellow Onion, chopped

1/4 Cup of Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 Tablespoon of Salt

1/2 Tablespoon of Black Pepper

1/4 Teaspoon of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Directions:

Take the green beans and place in a small saucepan and cover with water. Place on a burner over high heat until it begins to boil, about 4-5 minutes. Then lower heat to simmer and cook the green beans for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain the green beans.

Place the green beans in a bowl. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. While the green beans are cooling mix together the Red Wine Vinegar, Balsamic Vinegar, Salt, Black Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes and garlic together in a small bowl. Once the green beans have cooled add the Red Wine Vinegar mixture with green beans and mix together thoroughly.

Enjoy immediately and try and tell me you did not go back for seconds from this delicious dish. Yes, it is that good.

 

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Shrimp Fra Diavolo May 20, 2013

Shrimp Fra DiavloNow I love spicy. This recipe was near my limit for spiciness but I enjoyed each and every mouthful that I shoved as quickly as possible into my mouth. I would say that I inhaled my first and second bowlful of this delicious dish. Now with that being said if you do not like spicy or enjoy a more milder taste, please use 1/4 of the recommended crushed red pepper flakes I have listed below. This dish is quick and easy to make. I like to serve mine with pieces of crusty bread to dip in the sauce and soak up all the delicious goodness that may have been left in the bowl. But serving it with rice or pasta would work as well. I like enjoying this with a glass of wine, usually some from the same bottle I used in cooking this dish, on a warm spring evening with the windows open and enjoying the fresh air blowing in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prep: 18 minutes

Cooking Time: 19 minutes

Total Time: 37 minutes

Servings: 6 adults as a main dish

Recipe:

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1 cup of white wine

2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter

1 pound of medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 Large Yellow onion, thinly sliced

6 cloves of garlic, diced

1 16 ounce can of diced tomatoes

1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth

3 Tablespoons of crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 Tablespoon of salt

1/2 Tablespoon of black pepper

1/2 Tablespoon of Old Bay Seasoning

Directions:

Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add butter and half of the crushed red pepper flakes. Once butter has melted add onions and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, but make sure the garlic does not brown. Add the white wine and tomatoes, salt, pepper, remaining half of the crushed red pepper flakes and old bay seasoning. Cook for 7 minutes. Finally add the vegetable broth and shrimp. Cook for 7 minutes longer or until the shrimp is just pink and cooked through. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Make sure to serve with some crusty bread, rice or pasta. That is if you can make it that far without succumbing like I have before with this dish and just start dipping pieces of bread right into the warm pot and devour while standing over the stove top.

Buon appetito from my kitchen to yours.

 

Halibut with Pea and Ricotta Sauce April 6, 2013

fish and ricotta pureeSo I made this delicious recipe a few months ago and kept forgetting to post it. My fiancee can be kind of picky when it comes to fish but this recipe was a big hit with both of us. It is a quick and simple dish to put together on a busy week night. Its also very healthy. Now that the weather in New England is starting to warm up, all I want to enjoy is the warm weather with some delicious seafood. Now I bought organic carrots for this recipe because I did not feel like having to peel them. If you do not buy organic, which by no means you have to, then I would peel the carrots. I also served mine with some roasted chickpeas that I had made, but this would be fine served all by itself or served with rice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1 Bunch of Carrots, cut in half lengthwise

1 Large Red Onion, sliced very thinly

1 Lemon, juiced

1 Pound of Halibut Fillets, cut into 4 pieces

4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

1/2 Teaspoon of Paprika

1/2 Teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes

2 Cloves of Garlic, finely diced

2 Tablespoons of Salt

2 Tablespoons of Black Pepper

1 Package of Frozen Peas, 10 ounces

2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter

5 Ounces of Ricotta Cheese, about half of a small container

 

Directions:

Preheat broiler to high.

Take a baking sheet and line it with tin foil. Place the baking sheet in the oven and heat the pan for 5 minutes.

While the pan is heating in the oven, take 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of black pepper, 1/2 the lemon juice, diced garlic and mix together in a bowl. Take the carrots and red onion and place in the bowl with the olive oil mixture and toss to coat all the pieces completely.

Next take the Halibut and brush the top and bottom of each piece with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the remaining lemon juice. Take the remaining tablespoon of salt and black pepper, the paprika and red pepper flakes and mix together in a small bowl. Take the seasoning mixture and sprinkle it over each side of the Halibut pieces.

Remove the baking sheet from pre-heating in the oven. Take the Halibut pieces and arrange in the center and spread the red onion and carrot pieces all around the fish. Place the pan back in the oven and broil for 8-10 minutes. The fish should be evenly cooked through and have a golden brown color to it. Set aside.

Next, combine the frozen peas and 1/4 cup of water in a bowl and microwave 4 minutes. Next take the peas and put in a food processor along with the ricotta cheese, the butter and small pinch of salt. Pulse the mixture until it is evenly blended but still retains a slightly chunky texture.

Finally spread the pea and ricotta sauce evenly on four plates. Place the one of the Halibut pieces on top of the pea and ricotta sauce. Place the carrot and red onion slices next to the fish and enjoy.

Let me know what you think of this recipe. Any suggestions for substitutions, comments or questions I would greatly appreciate and will reply to any and all of them.

 

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.

 

Moules a La Mariniere/Mussels Mariniere February 24, 2013

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.

 

Vegetable Couscous October 6, 2011

This recipe is quick and easy to make. It can be used as a side dish or eaten as a light meal. Personally I like to eat it as a light meal as it is delicious and very filling.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of uncooked couscous
  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of white cooking wine
  • 2 zucchini
  • 8 ounce package of mushrooms
  • 1 onion
  • 6.5 ounce jar of chopped artichoke hearts

First we are going to prepare all the vegetables as the couscous cooks rather quickly. Take the zucchini and quarter and chopped them both. Next take the mushroom and pull out the stem and chopped them into small pieces. Finally dice the onion. Now with the artichokes all you are going to want to do is drain the juice from the jar and take out the artichoke heart pieces.

Next heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Next add all the vegetables to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes stirring occasionally. Next add the white cooking wine to the pan. Cover and let cook for 10-12 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the vegetables are cooking heat the 3 cups of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the water has begun to boil add the couscous, butter and one tablespoon of salt. Cover and remove the pan from heat. Let it stand for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork.

Remove the vegetables from the heat and combine it with the couscous in a large bowl. If you like you can add some parmesan cheese to the dish. Serve immediately.