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.

 

 

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.

 

Panzanella Salad February 9, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — ProvReviewsandRecipes @ 2:28 PM
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Salad is one of my favorite things to eat. Incorporating bread, which is another of my favorite things, into a salad makes me devour every single bite. This salad is easy to make and because of the limited ingredients I would suggest buying tomatoes when they are fresh and ripe. I found heirloom cherry tomatoes on a recent shopping trip to Trader Joe’s and they went great in the salad, but any type of tomato can be used in the salad. This salad is large and very filling.

It can serve 2-3 people as a main dish and 4-6 as a side dish.

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes                     Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

1 pound (16 ounces) of tomatoes, cut into bite sized pieces

1 cucumber, cut into bite sized pieces

1/2 a large red onion, chopped

1 pound (16 ounces) of mozzarella cheese, cut into bite sized pieces

1 cup of fresh basil, chopped

3 garlic gloves, minced

1 small loaf of Italian or French bread, cut into bite sized pieces

1 cup of olive oil

3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon of wine vinegar

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1/4 cup of fresh thyme, chopped

1 tablespoon of salt

1 tablespoon of pepper

Directions:

Heat a 1/4 cup of the olive oil over medium heat in a medium sized saucepan. Once the oil is nice and hot add the garlic and the cut pieces of bread to the pan. Season with 1/2 tablespoon of salt and 1/2 a tablespoon of pepper. Cook the bread and garlic for about 6 minutes, or until the bread is has a nice toast on the it. Remove from heat and set aside.

Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, mozzarella cheese, thyme and basil in a large bowl. Add the rest of the olive oil (3/4 cup), balsamic vinegar and wine vinegar. Mix well to combine all ingredients. Add the red pepper flakes, 1/2 tablespoon of salt and 1/2 tablespoon of pepper. Again mix to combine all ingredients.

Finally add the toasted bread and garlic mixture to the bowl. Mix it all together. Now the salad can be served immediately or you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours.

 

Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce July 6, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — ProvReviewsandRecipes @ 8:15 PM
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I always use this tomato sauce recipe whenever I need sauce. The only exception is when I make lasagna and then I use store bought sauce. This recipe is quick and easy to make and it tastes so much better than store bought sauce in a jar. The seasonings I have included below are how I like my sauce but you can customize it to suit your individual taste. I usually put the sauce on before I put the pot of water on to boil for the pasta. By the time the pasta is done, so is the sauce.

Ingredients:

1 can of crushed tomatoes (14.5 ounce can)

1 can of diced tomatoes (14.5 ounce can)

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 onion, diced

2 tablespoon of salt

2 tablespoon of pepper

1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

2 tablespoon of dried basil

1 tablespoon of dried oregano

1 tablespoon of thyme

1 tablespoon of rosemary

1/2 cup of red cooking wine

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Cook for at least 15-20 minutes but no more than 1 hour. Serve immediately over your favorite pasta.

 

Eggplant and Cavatelli Pasta Al Forno April 27, 2011

I made this recipe over the weekend and it came out so good. I really like the taste of the smoked mozzarella and the eggplant together. I did have to go to a couple of stores to find smoked mozzarella (I ended up finding it in the cheese section at Stop & Shop) but it was worth locating it. I have also included a recipe to make a simple tomato sauce to use in the dish, but you could use any store bought tomato sauce (although I don’t think it will taste as good).

Ingredients:

2 medium eggplants, cut into 3/4 inch cubes

4 tablespoons of salt

A 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes

1 stalk of celery, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons of dried basil

2 tablespoons of dried oregano

2 tablespoons of dried parsley

1/2 cup of canola oil

1 pound of Cavatelli pasta

1 pound of smoked mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4 inch cubes

1/2 cup of fresh basil, chopped

2 cups of homemade breadcrumbs (I’ve included the recipe below)

Directions: Take the cut eggplant and put in a strainer and toss with 2 tablespoons of salt and let sit for 30 minutes.

While the eggplant is sitting we can make the simple tomato sauce. Combine the can of diced tomatoes (including the liquid in the can) through the dried parsley from the above list in a pot. Set the temperature to medium heat until the sauce begins to boil. Once boiling set the temperature down to simmer and cover. Cook the sauce for 30 minutes which will thicken the sauce. Stir occasionally.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook the Cavatelli pasta according to package instructions. When draining the pasta save one cup of the pasta water and set aside.

To cook the eggplant, heat the 1/2 cup of canola oil over medium heat in either a wok or a large pan. Once the oil has heated up add the eggplant and cook until it is slightly browned, about 10 minutes. Be careful that you do not crowd the pan so this may have to be done in two separate batches.

Next combine the cooked eggplant, Cavatelli pasta, tomato sauce, smoked mozzarella and basil in a large bowl. Stir to combine all ingredients. Add the cup of saved pasta water and stir again. Next take the pasta mixture and spoon it into an oven safe dish. Sprinkle the homemade breadcrumbs over the top of the pasta mixture. Cover with tin foil and cook in the oven for 30 minutes. After cooking for 30 minutes take the tin foil off and cook for an additional 10 minutes until the breadcrumbs are browned. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and serve.

Homemade Breadcrumbs:

To make homemade breadcrumbs take a loaf of ciabatta bread that is two or three days old and remove the crust. Place the now crustless bread into a food processor and pulse until it is nicely crumbled. Store in an airtight container and it can last for up to two months.

 

Couscous Greek Salad April 18, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — ProvReviewsandRecipes @ 4:27 PM
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This is one of my favorite and easy recipes to make. I like it in the summer as its light, filling and refreshing. You can use any Greek dressing you prefer, but I personally love Christie’s Lite Greek dressing. Also you can omit or add any more of the vegetables to suit your preference.

Ingredients:

2 cups of dried couscous

4 tablespoons of butter

1 tablespoon of salt

1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 an onion, chopped

1 cucumber, cut into bite sized pieces

1/2 can of pitted black olives, chopped

2 and 1/2 cups of crumbled feta cheese

2 cups of Greek dressing

1/2 lemon

Directions:

In a medium saucepan combine 2 cups of water, the butter and the salt. Bring to a boil. Once it has begun to boil add the two cups of couscous. Remove from heat and cover. Let stand 5 minutes, stirring about halfway through.

Take the cook couscous and combine it with the tomatoes, onions, cucumber, olives and feta cheese. Take the 2 cups of Greek dressing and mix the salad thoroughly to evenly distribute the dressing. Depending on your individual taste preference you made need to add some more dressing. Finally squeeze the 1/2 of the lemon over the salad.

This salad can be served warm or cold. So if you would like it warm than serve immediately or if you would like it to be cold than refrigerate for about a hour.