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The Best Dinner Ever!

Ok, I am a little late on posting this dinner receive.  I had hoped to have a guest blogger, the chef himself, but things have gotten a bit hectic around here.  Hubby made this a couple of weeks ago for dinner with our son.  It has taken awhile to post because Christmas decorations, heavy work schedules and basketball season is back in full swing. So look for future crockpot or quick and easy recipes for awhile.

These two recipes were “Out of this World”.  Both were very flavorful and easy to make.I was the Sous chef on the pasta recipe.  We saw the spaghetti recipe on a Barefoot Contessa shows weekend.  Ina said it is her favorite thing to make when she is done working.  The Chicken Picatta recipe was one that we found in the daily emails from Food Network.  ( What would we do without Food Network?). This recipe does not specify the celebrity chef.  

Spaghetti-aglio-e-olio
 
Ingredients
Kosher salt
1 pound dried spaghetti, such as DeCecco
1/3 cup good olive oil
8 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
 

Directions
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water before you drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a pot large enough to hold the pasta, such as a 12-inch saute pan or a large, shallow pot. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until it just begins to turn golden on the edges-don’t overcook it! Add the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds more. Carefully add the reserved pasta-cooking water to the garlic and oil and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by about a third.

Add the drained pasta to the garlic sauce and toss. Off the heat, add the parsley and Parmesan and toss well. Allow the pasta to rest off the heat for 5 minutes for the sauce to be absorbed. Taste for seasoning and serve warm with extra Parmesan on the side.
Chicken Picatta from the Food Network Kitchens
 

Ingredients
1 pound chicken scaloppini (about 4 ounces each)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, divided
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, zest reserved for optional garnish, about 2 tablespoons juice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Baby arugula for garnish
Whole-wheat angel hair pasta or roasted potatoes, for serving
 

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until very hot; cook the cutlets until opaque throughout, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the cutlets to a plate. (Reserve the skillet.) Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium.

Add the remaining teaspoon oil and garlic to the same skillet; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk together the broth, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon flour, and add to the pan. Simmer sauce until reduced and thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, parsley and capers. Swirl in the butter until sauce is shiny and slightly thickened.

Serve chicken with the sauce. Toss the arugula and freshly grated lemon zest with a light drizzle of olive oil; season to taste with salt and pepper, scatter over chicken. Serve with pasta or potatoes as desired.

Per serving (does not include arugula or pasta/potatoes for serving): Calories: 207; Total Fat: 9.5 grams; Saturated Fat: 3 grams; Protein: 25 grams; Total carbohydrates: 4 grams; Sugar: 0 grams; Fiber: 0 grams; Cholesterol: 73 milligrams; Sodium: 268 milligrams

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