Cooking

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This is one of my favorite weeknight meals ever. I love the easy prep and the simple method of cooking the chicken (baked in wine and Greek seasoning). I used rice I had made the night before and reheated, but it’s also super simple to make some rice while your chicken bakes. I made this into a big salad by adding a few handfuls of mixed greens. Perfection.

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Greek Chicken with Tomato-and-Rice Salad

Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • Zest from one lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
  • Juice from one lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Greek seasoning (make your own or improvise with these dried spices: oregano, basil, garlic powder, parsley)
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup dried rice (white, brown or mixed)
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 3 small baby cucumbers, sliced
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup sliced fresh mint
  • 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 cups mixed greens

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine lemon zest, thyme, Green seasoning, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 2 garlic cloves in a bowl. Rub on chicken. Pour wine into an 11×7 baking dish and top with chicken. Cook until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, about 28-30 minutes. Allow chicken to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare rice according to package directions. Transfer rice to a bowl and stir in tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions, parsley, mint, feta, lemon juice, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, and remaining garlic clove.
  4. Serve rice salad on top of mixed greens, topped with chicken.

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This is one of my all-time favorite summer meals (right behind this Caprese Pasta). I love sitting on the deck, eating this while enjoying a crisp glass of white wine. I usually associate pasta with fall, but this lighter take on it is prefect for an easy deck dinner. All it takes is twenty minutes and voila, dinner is served!

Linguini with Shrimp Scampi

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • 3/4 pound linguine
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
  • 1 pound large shrimp (about 16 shrimp), peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Zest from 1/2 lemon, grated
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 1/4 lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds
  • 1/8 teaspoon (a pinch) hot red pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boiling, add enough salt so water tastes like the ocean (about 1 tablespoon) add the linguine, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.
  2. Meanwhile, in another large (12-inch), heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Be careful, the garlic burns easily! Add the shrimp, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper and saute until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.
  3. When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce, toss well, and serve.

 

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Bourbon-Glazed Shrimp

by Koko on May 18, 2015 · 0 comments

in Cooking, Main Course, Shrimp

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I always have a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer for last minute meals. Defrosting chicken or turkey can take a whole day, but defrosting a few handfuls of shrimp can take 5-10 minutes. I put the shrimp in a colander, run hot water and voila: good to go.

This meal takes a little prep, mainly just marinating the shrimp for 30-60 minutes, but is totally worth it. Once it gets cooking, it is a super easy 20-minute meal. I served mine with this Edamame Ginger Rice and it was a perfect combination.

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Bourbon-Glazed Shrimp

Serves 4 to 6
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons bourbon, such as Maker’s Mark
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds peeled and deveined frozen shrimp, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Minced Italian parsley, for garnish
  1. Combine brown sugar, bourbon, olive oil, soy sauce, green onions, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl and whisk thoroughly. Add the shrimp and stir to coat. Chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour, turning occasionally.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Meanwhile, pull the shrimp out of the marinade, and shake off the excess. Reserve the marinade.
  3. Add the shrimp to the skillet in a single layer. Cook the shrimp until pink on one side, about 2 minutes, then flip and continue cooking until almost completely pink, but still a little translucent, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  4. Add the reserved marinade to the skillet. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened and glossy, 5 to 7 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Add the cooked shrimp and toss to coat. Once the shrimp is warm, stir in the parsley and serve immediately.

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Mozzarella-Stuffed Turkey Meatballs

by Koko on April 29, 2015 · 0 comments

in Pasta

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It is raining. Again. In April. And there is nothing that goes better with rain than turkey meatballs, homemade marinara and some pasta. I’ve just started making these baked meatballs and I sort of love them. Fabulous for a last minute meal and always a hit in our house.

The marinara couldn’t be easier- crushed tomatoes, some garlic, spices, salt and pepper and a dash of sugar and you are good to go. Mangia!

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Mozzarella-Stuffed Turkey Meatballs

Makes 12-16 meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced, divided
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 4 teaspoons Italian seasoning, divided
  • 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup whole wheat (or regular) panko crumbs
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut small cubes (I used string cheese)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Allow the oil to simmer (you want it very hot) while you prepare the meatballs.
  3. In a large bowl using your hands, combine ground turkey meat, half of the minced garlic, egg, cheese, parsley, half of the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and panko. Slowly add the water, a few tablespoons at a time. The mixture should be very moist but still hold its shape when rolled into meatballs. (You do not have to add all the water.)
  4. Scoop one tablespoon of the turkey into a small ball. Press a piece of cheese in the center, then cover it with another piece of meat, roll to seal in the cheese. Repeat to make about 12 meatballs.
  5. Place meatballs in batches in the hot oil, 2 minutes on each side until meatballs are browned.
  6. Place semi-cooked meatballs on prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked though (firm to the touch).
  7. While the meatballs are baking, start on your marinara.
  8. Add remaining oil to the same pan the meatballs were in, then add the remaining garlic and sauté for one minute, or until the garlic is golden and fragrant. Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar, seasoning and crushed red pepper flakes, mix well to combine. Simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  9. When the meatballs are done cooking, nestle them into the sauce. Serve over pasta.

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