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.

 

Julian’s Restaurant Review April 6, 2013

juliansSo recently my friend Erin and I finally ventured to Julians for brunch. I have been wanting to check this place out for quite some time now, but every time we tried to go the wait was extremely long. I know, I know the sign of a really good restaurant, however I am not a patient person and if I can avoid having to wait I will.

On the recent visit though, we got there a about 10 minutes before they opened on a Saturday morning at 9am. There was a line waiting at the door but we only had to wait about 15 minutes in total and then we were seated at one of the two tops in the back. Which was great for people watching as well as enjoying our food. Our server promptly came over and brought us glasses of water and asked if we had a chance to look at the specials menu on the blackboard. We hadn’t yet, but I’ll get to that in a minute. We ordered a pitcher of mimosas since that was the only option the menu had for pitchers.

Now the specials menu is written on a two blackboards on a wall right next to the bar. They had some very interesting specials on it and it ranged from appetizers, breakfast items and lunch ones. Since it was our first time there we decided to make our choices off of their regular menu. While perusing the menu the pitcher of mimosas arrived. It was the perfect balance of orange juice and champagne, not too acidic and just the right amount of sweetness.

I decided on the ‘Yo Yo Yo Ma’ omelet. Yes, I know the name made me chuckle when I saw it. Now this item was described as pan omelet containing curry braised ham, roasted beets, miso daikon, chives and plum ginger glaze. The item sold me on the roasted beets and the plum ginger glaze as I had never thought or imagined those things combined in an omelet. The omelet came with home fries and a choice of toast. I chose wheat toast. My friend Erin chose ‘Da Buccanneer’ omelet. This omelet was described on the menu as containing smoked salmon, boursin, red onions and capers. That omelet sounded interesting to me as well as smoked salmon and boursin cheese sounded like a great combination.

Even though the restaurant was now full and people were standing waiting for tables to open up, our food came over promptly. Now let me just say that the omelet that came over was medium-sized and the smell from the plum ginger glaze that was on the top of the omelet was strong, but smelled delicious. I cut my omelet into bite sized pieces and dove right in. The first taste that hit your mouth was the taste ginger plum glaze since that was on top of the omelet, it was sweet but not too sweet. Next was the taste of the fluffy eggs, then the slight spice of the curried ham pieces. Finally the slight sweetness of the roasted beets came in to round out the dish. The combination of all of this together was delicious. It seemed to take very different ingredients from the description but they all came together perfectly. I would definitely get this omelet again and would recommend it to anyone else. The home fries were good, but nothing outstanding. I think they were overshadowed by how amazing the omelet was.

Now I did try a bite of my friend Erin’s omelet as well. It was delicious as well. I was right in my thinking that the smoked salmon and the boursin cheese were a great combination. I had been slight apprehensive before thinking that the addition of capers and smoked salmon to an omelet would make it overtly salty, but I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t. All the flavors came together in this omelet as well to make it a rich and satisfying dish.

Would I go back to Julian’s? Yes, yes I would. I would also recommend it anyone else wanting to go to a great place for brunch. I am looking forward to not only going back for brunch again but also going one night for dinner as well. Julian’s is one of the few restaurants in Providence, RI that not only has specials each but they make it a point to offer multiple vegan choices as well. So if you are a vegan or looking to go out to eat with a vegan and not sure where to go, I would recommend Julians.

Have you been to Julians? If so, what was your experience like? Do you have a favorite item off of their menu like I now do?

Here’s the restaurant info. Julians is located at 318 Broadway, Providence, RI. There is plenty of street parking. Julian’s does brunch Monday through Friday from 9am-4:30pm and dinner every night from 5pm-11pm. Brunch is served on Saturday, Sunday and holidays from 9am-2pm. The bar is open until 1am. I would recommend that if you are going to brunch on a weekend or holiday to make sure you get there right at 9am as it gets crowded fast or expect to wait. There is also additional outside seating in front of the restaurant when the weather gets warmer.

Here’s their website address, juliansprovidence.com. Go on over and check them out and plan your visit to this great restaurant soon.

 
Julian's on Urbanspoon

 

Halibut with Pea and Ricotta Sauce

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.

 

Tazza – Delicious Drinks, Small Plates and Brunch March 2, 2013

tazzaSo I was excited when tazza reopened in downtown Providence. I had been to lunch a couple times before the whole place was redesigned and revamped. Personally I could not be happier with the new offerings that tazza now has. tazza is located at 250 Wesminister Street in the heart of downtown Providence, RI. Now tazza staying true to its roots still has the coffee/tea counter setup next to the bar as soon as you enter. tazza is open seven days a week. During the week lunch and dinner are served along with the coffee/tea counter being open from early in the morning. On the weekends brunch is served. The bar is open late night Wednesday through Saturday.

My first time going into tazza when it was reopened was after I had had an awful dinner at a different establishment with my fiancee. We were just going to go in a have a drink or two. We sat down at the bar and were promptly greeted by an extremely friendly bartender. She showed us the drink menu and let it be known that she would answer any questions we had. Well let me just say that the specialty drink menu was large and very diverse. Now I was not sure what to order at the first as a few different choices caught my eye. I finally decided on a ‘Pineapple Basiltini’ and boy was I not disappointed. The drink was described as having tazza’s own basil infused vodka, pineapple juice, muddled basil and freshly cracked pepper. Now when this drink arrived in a stemless martini glass I did not waste anytime in diving right in for the first sip. It tasted delicious and extremely fresh. The basil vodka and pineapple were light and seamlessly blended together. The thing that hit this drink out of the park for me was the fresh cracked pepper on the top. It added this slight spiciness right at the end of each sip. This is now one of my favorite drinks that I have had anywhere. Even though I have a preference for the ‘Pineapple Basilitin’ I have either ordered or tasted a sip or two from a few other drinks on the menu and I have not been disappointed with any of them.

Now on this particular visit I also decided to order something off of the small plates menu since I was still hungry. Now tazza does change their menu and uses local and fresh ingredients. At the time their were rabbit ravioli’s on the menu and I ordered them. When the plate arrived there was four over-stuffed raviolis filled with delicious shredded rabbit meat. The raviolis were covered in a delicious creamy sauce. The raviolis themselves I could taste right away were freshly made and they were cooked perfectly al dente. The shredded rabbit meat filling melted in my mouth and put a huge grin on my face because it was so delicious.

Since I have gone I have brought different friends back for drinks but haven’t had a chance to try anything else off of the small plates menu but after reading the description for each item it always sounds so appealing. But I have gone back for brunch twice. Once with my family and once with one of my good friends. Now the time I went with my family I decided to try the Chicken and Waffles. The chicken that came out with the dish had a buttermilk coating on it and was all pieces of breast meat fried to perfection.  The waffle was not only light and fluffy, but filled with bacon pieces. I mean how can you go wrong with a bacon waffle. Now the chicken and waffle was covered with a rich and decadent creamy sausage gravy. It was heavenly and I ate every last bite of this dish. Now on this trip we got an order of the house-made buttermilk beignets to try as for the table as well. The beignets were light and each of three different dipping options that came with the beignets complimented each other so well. The three choices to dip/spread over the beignets were regular butter, orange honey butter and a lemon curd. My personal favorite was the lemon curd as it provided a slightly tart taste that I like with the sweeter taste of the beignet.

Each time I go to tazza I leave satisfied and already thinking about when I can make a plan to go back again. That is the sign of a good establishment in my opinion. So make sure that you go and enjoy this place be it for a drink, a sampling of some small plates, dinner or bunch. Let me know if you have gone to tazza and what your experience was.

Make sure to check out the website for tazza, http://www.tazzacaffe.com for the exact hours hours they are open, their current menu offering and how to contact them for a reservation.

Tazza on Urbanspoon

 

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.

 

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.