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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Tilapia ‘Stuffed’ with Asparagus and Onions served with Haricot Verts and Beet Salad July 15, 2013

tilapiaSo for health reasons and at the urging of my doctor I now have to avoid eating Gluten. Not good for someone who loves pasta and bread like I do. But I have been focusing on making delicious dishes that do not make me miss the gluten ridden items I had once enjoyed and devoured. This easy dish of fresh Tilapia and vegetables is delicious. Make sure you make extra as once you eat your first portion you are going to want seconds. Yes, its that good.

I had frozen asparagus spears on hand that I had picked up at Trader Joe’s. I pulled out the amount I needed and stored the rest of the bag back in the freezer. Its so convenient. I also had purchased beets that were roasted, peeled and ready to eat. Which saves time when whipping up the dish. The whole cooking time takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. While the fish was in the oven I made the salad. I had gotten Haricot Verts but green beans would work out just as well in the salad.

My recipe is for two as it was just my fiancee and myself, but the recipe could easily be doubled. Plus its a great dish to impress company. Here’s the recipe for the Tilapia and following that is the recipe for the delicious Haricot Verts and Beet salad I made to go along with it. I served mine with rice as well but it could be served with potatoes or just with the fish and salad.

Tilapia ‘Stuffed’ With Asparagus and Onions

Ingredients:

2 Tilapia Filets, about 6-8 ounces each

10 Spears of Asparagus, trimmed

1/2 White Onion, sliced

4 Slices of Lemon

1 Teaspoon of Salt

1 Teaspoon of Pepper

1 Teaspoon of Old Bay Seasoning

1 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder

Direction:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together in a small bowl the salt, pepper, Old Bay Seasoning and garlic powder. Next take the Tilapia filets and sprinkle both sides of each of the filets with the seasoning mix. Lay the filets on a foil lined baking sheet.

If you are using frozen asparagus place in a microwave safe dish and add 1/4 cup of water. Cover and microwave on high for 2 and half minutes. Drain the liquid from the dish. Do not be worried if the asparagus pieces do not seemed fully cook after microwaving as we will be putting them in the oven. If you are using fresh asparagus you can of course skip this step.

Place 5 pieces of asparagus on one end of each of the Tilapia filets. Next place half of the sliced onions over the asparagus. Starting from the end which the asparagus and onions are on and roll each of the filets up. Mine did not quite want to stay together after I rolled them so I flipped them over so the two ends that were touched were underneath. They stayed and cooked together perfectly.

Finally place two slices of lemon on top of each filet. Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Then because I wanted my lemons to get a slight char on it, I turned the broiler on for 4 minutes.

Take out the filets and serve immediately while they are still hot from the oven. Serve with the haricot verts and beet salad along with rice or another choice of side for a delicious dish.

Haricot Verts and Beet Salad

Ingredients:

1/2 pound of Haricot Verts, trimmed

1 Roasted and Peeled Beet, diced

1/2 White Onion, diced

3 Cloves of Garlic, sliced

1/4 Cup of Red Wine Vinegar

1/4 Cup of Balsamic Vinegar

1 Teaspoon of Salt

1 Teaspoon of Pepper

1/2 Teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes (if you don’t like or are sensitive to spice, can be omitted)

Directions:

Boil 4 cups of water in a small saucepan. Once boiling add the Haricot Verts and cook for 4 minutes. Drain and place in a bowl.

Mix together the red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic and red pepper flakes in a small bowl and then pour over the Haricot Verts. Mix thoroughly. Add the beets and onions to the bowl. Mix again to make sure that all the ingredients are combined. Now it is ready to serve.

 

Geoff’s Superlative Sandwiches Review June 18, 2013

geoffsI have been to Geoff’s twice and each time it is a great experience. The sandwiches have been amazing and the service is always outstanding. My two favorite sandwiches are ‘The Frigid Bitch’ and the reuben sandwich.

Now let me start on the reuben. I have had many of reubens over the course of my life some amazing and some awful. Let me just say that the both times I had this sandwich it was great. The corned beef is cooked and season to perfection. They put the exact right amount of sauerkraut on the sandwhich. Which in my opinion is one of the crucial points, because if there’s too much it dominates and is overwhelming. The final and most important is the russian dressing. Geoff’s taste delicious and they know not to over douse the top of the sandwich as the bread will then get soggy. All in all the best reuben sandwich I have found in Providence.

Finally the atmosphere is great at Geoff’s. There are so many different choices of sandwiches lining the walls on a chalkboard that even the most pickiest eater would be able to find something. Also they have a barrel full of house made pickles that are delicious and free to anyone who purchases food. Let me just say that the pickles were delicious.

All in all a great place and I would recommend it to anyone wanting a great sandwich in Providence.

 

geoff's menu pic

 

Los Andes Restaurant Review

los andesI have been to Los Andes Restaurant twice and have been impressed on both my visits. It is a The fist time I went it was on a Thursday night and little did I know that they would have live music in the restaurant area. It was a great addition to my experience.

Now on to the food and service. The service was spectacular from the host getting us a table even thought it was crowded rather quickly. To the waitstaff that is always welcoming and willing to give their honest opinion about a dish on the menu. Which an honest opinion when asked at a restaurant is hard to find. The food in general on both of my visits has blown me away. The taste and quality are very high in my book.

On my first trip I ordered ‘Pollo a Los Andes’ which was very tasty and a very large portion of food. The dish has pieces of chicken breast, round slices of sautéed with chorizo, cherry peppers, banana peppers, onions, and tomatoes. It is then finished in a garlic-wine broth. Let me just say that the broth is delicious and packs a decent garlic punch. Finally it is served on a bed of steak fries topped with mozzarella cheese and scallions. Let me start off by saying that this dish is very filling and I wasn’t able to come close to finish the whole dish and I can eat a lot of food. If you are not a person who likes spicy I would avoid this dish as it is spicy due to the chorizo, banana peppers and cherry peppers. This has been one of my favorite dishes that I have had in quite some time. It seems like an odd combination of ingredients when you read it but when you take that first bite all the flavors come together.

On my second trip I ordered ‘Envuelto de Pollo’ this was a delicious dish and was a large portion as well. The ingredients that make up this dish are fresh chicken breast, layered with fire roasted peppers, queso blanco, spinach, and mushrooms, rolled and encrusted with seasoned Ritz crackers, finished in the broiler, topped with an aji Amarillo cream sauce. Let me just say that this dish was creamy, crunchy and delicious. The chicken stayed nice and moist while being cooked and the cheese and vegetables inside added to the delicious taste of the dish. This dish either comes with your choice of either mashed potatoes or white rice. I ordered the white rice and it was tasty and complimented the dish.

I would highly recommend ordering either of the dishes I mentioned above as they will not disappoint. The restaurant has a full bar and also does take-out. Their web address is http://www.losandesri.com. Go on over and check out their website and plan your trip to this great restaurant. I know I will keep going back for more.

Los Andes on Urbanspoon

 

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.

 

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.