Dinner, side dish

Green Beans Gremolata

I was looking at old files and found these green beans from a dinner club from a few years ago. They went really well with my Asian slaw with Sesame Chicken.

Oh my, these were really good but even better as a leftover. They marinated in the lemon juice and took on a more powerful taste.

  • 1 pound French green beans, trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 2½ tablespoons good olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the green beans and blanch them for 2 to 3 minutes, until tender but still crisp. Drain the beans in a colander and immediately put them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and preserve their bright green color.

For the gremolata, toss the garlic, lemon zest, parsley, Parmesan, and pine nuts in a small bowl and set aside.

When ready to serve, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Drain the beans and pat them dry. Add the beans to the pan and sauté, turning frequently, for 2 minutes, until coated with olive oil and heated through. Off the heat, add the gremolata and toss well. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and serve hot.

Chicken, Dinner

Roasted Lemon Chicken Thighs and Potatoes

I have subscribed to many cooking magazines over the years. I had a long time subscription to Cooking Light. I tried Food and Wine, Southern Living, Food Network Magazine, Paula Deen and Bon Appetit. Each one I found a recipe that has been one that we have come back to again and again. My favorite and the only one I currently subscribe to is Fine Cooking. This magazine was where we found our son’s favorite meal of all time – Prosciutto Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Lemon and Sage. https://diningwithadinergirl.com/2012/05/09/picky-eaters-favorite-dinner/ . In fact I made it last night because he came home for the weekend from school. The page in the magazine is stained many times over from having near by when I make it. I now refer to my blog post when I make it even though I know most of the steps by heart.

In the last issue there was a Roasted Chicken Dish that looked so good. I thought that we could make it one night after work but after really reading the recipe it was definitely a weekend dinner. So last Sunday night I finally made it. Now for one thing, I haven’t been doing a majority of the cooking lately. I have turned the kitchen over to Eric. And not only did I make dinner, I made a dessert too. (will post that one later – it was delicious!) This turned out great. The aroma was wonderful while it was cooking and the flavor was outstanding. We will definitely make this one again and again. So I had to blog it.

So my blog post have become my way to preserve my favorite recipes. If I am out shopping and know that I am going to make something from it for dinner or dessert, I can easily look up the ingredients. I can share favorite recipes from here and look back and see why we made something and what we thought

Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil; more as needed
3 medium lemons, washed, ends trimmed, and halved crosswise (about 1 lb.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tsp. granulated garlic
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 lb.)
4 to 5 medium Yukon Gold or red-skin potatoes, each cut into 6 wedges (about 2 lb.)
2 Tbs. honey
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh oregano, plus sprigs for garnish

Directions

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 450°F.


Lightly brush a large foil-lined rimmed baking sheet with oil. Arrange the lemon halves close together flesh side up in the center of the prepared pan. Brush the tops with 2 tsp. of the oil. Roast until just beginning to brown on the edges and the foil under the lemons turns dark brown and syrupy, 25 to 27 minutes.


Turn the lemon halves over with tongs, and rub the flesh over the dark spots on the foil to loosen the caramelized bits (the lemon flesh will turn brown). Transfer to a rimmed plate with any accumulated juices from the pan, and cool completely. Reserve the baking sheet.

Lower the oven temperature to 425°F. When the lemons are cool, squeeze 4 halves (including the pulp) into a large bowl. Add the accumulated juices from the plate (the juice will be thick and syrupy). Whisk in 1-1/2 tsp. salt, 1-1/2 tsp. granulated garlic, 1 tsp. oil, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Add the chicken to the bowl, and toss to coat. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Put the chicken on the reserved baking sheet in a single layer skin side up. Rub any remaining marinade from the bowl evenly over the chicken.


Add the potatoes to the same bowl with the remaining 3 Tbs. oil, 1-1/2 tsp. granulated garlic, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Toss to coat. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on the pan with the chicken.


Roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F in the thickest part of the thighs, and the potatoes are light golden-brown, tossing the potatoes halfway through cooking time, about 40 minutes.


Meanwhile, squeeze the remaining 2 lemon halves, including the pulp, into a small bowl (the juice will be thick and syrupy). Mince the peel of 1 of the remaining lemon halves (discard the other), and add to the bowl along with the honey and oregano, mixing well to combine. Brush the lemon-honey glaze evenly onto the chicken thighs. Return to the oven for 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and tent with foil.


Turn the broiler to high, and broil until the potatoes are golden, turning the pan halfway through broiling time, 2 to 3 minutes more. Arrange the chicken and potatoes on a large platter, garnish with oregano sprigs, and serve.

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Linguine and Shrimp Scampi

“Joanne, what do you want for dinner?”  “Do you have any plans?”  “Will go with what your thinking”.  Three basic questions or statements that I hear quite often.  Well, guess what…I had a plan and it came out great!  
Even recuperating from knee surgery that took place just over a week ago I pulled off a great dinner and a dessert.  (Paid for it the next day….)  We had shrimp in the freezer and all of the ingredients on hand.  We even had the dessert ingredients on hand too.  (Posting at a later date)
Sauteing the shrimp in butter and olive oil.
Ingredients

Vegetable oil 
Kosher salt 
1 1/2 pounds linguine 
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter 
5 tablespoons good olive oil 
3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves) 
2 pounds large shrimp (about 32 shrimp), peeled and deveined 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 
Grated zest of 1 lemon 
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons) 
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds 
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
Drizzle some oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the linguine, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.
Meanwhile, in another large (12-inch), heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Sauté for 1 minute. Be careful, the garlic burns easily! Add the shrimp, 1 tablespoon of salt, and the pepper and sauté 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.
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. 

Adding in spices, lemon juice and zest

Combined with linguine 

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Lemon Pie

Another refreshing dessert choice for the warm summer days we are experiencing.  This one is a Lemon Pie inspired by the Magnolia Cookbook. We were invited to dinner at our foodie friends house last night and asked to bring a dessert.  This was a great addition to the Fried Chicken and Champagne dinner they made.
Hubby added lemon zest to the crust from another recipe we made this year.  I finished the recipe off by making the whipped cream and piping it in the pie.  (Love my Pampered Chef easy accentor).  
    
INGREDIENTS
Crust:
 1 ½ cups crushed graham crackers
 6 tablespoons butter , melted
 ⅓ cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Pie Filling:
 2 (14 ounce) cans Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk (about 2 3/4 cup)
 3 egg yolks
 ⅔ cup lemon juice
 1 dash salt
Whipped Cream:
 1 cup heavy cream
 1/3 cup powdered sugar
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For the Crust: Spray a pie dish with non-stick spray. Combine crushed graham crackers, butter,lemon zest and sugar. Press into prepared pie plate. Bake for 8 minutes.
For the Pie Filling: Using a mixer, mix the condensed milk, egg yolks, lemon juice ans salt together. Beat on medium speed for 4-5 minutes. Pour into pie crust and bake for 10 minutes at 350. Little bubbles will start to surface. Cover the crust if it starts to brown too much towards the end.
Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.
For the Whipped Cream: Mix the vream, sugar, and vanilla. Whip until fluffy, and add to cooled lemon pie.
Dinner

Chicken Piccata – oh so good and light!

This was absolutely delicious! Browsing through my new Cooking Light magazine, I found this recipe for Chicken Piccata. I love the flavor of lemons and the saltiness that the capers bring to this recipe. The lemon flavored orzo is just right. One error I made is that I thought that draining the orzo on wax paper rather than a cookie sheet would be easier – it is not. Just use the cookie sheet. I also did not have a shallot on hand so I just added extra garlic. The best part is that this recipe is light and lower in calories, so I do not feel guilty taking a small extra helping.

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked whole-wheat orzo (I used regular)
3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

4 (4-oz.) chicken breast cutlets
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
8 thin lemon slices, seeds removed
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Directions

Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Spread orzo on a baking sheet; cool 10 minutes. Place orzo in a bowl; add 1 tablespoon juice, 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, parsley, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, stirring to combine.

Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Place chicken on a platter (do not wipe out pan).

Add shallot and garlic to pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons juice and lemon slices, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat to low; add capers and butter, stirring until butter melts. Spoon lemon mixture over chicken. Serve with orzo.

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Lovely Lemon Pound Cake

This spring the weather has been horrible.  We really can’t catch a break, especially on the weekends.  So wen it is not warm enough to work or relax outside on our patio oasis,  I bake!  This weekend was just that weekend.  This was our dessert course after grilling some tenderloins and zucchini on the grill  and  roasting up some crispy red potatoes.  Crispy potatoes that are a smash
This cake with out any glaze, turned out very moist.  Our son made it his breakfast yesterday morning!  I think I will keep this recipe handy. 

Lemon Pound Cake


Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup shortening, room temperature
5 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
5 Tbsp lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray or butter and flour one large Bundt pan. (I use the Pam baking Spray) Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl.  Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, shortening and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, beating until well blended after each one. Add dry ingredients in three additions to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Mix in lemon juice and zest. 
Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 55 minutes.  Cool cake in pan for 15 minutes.  Turn cake out onto rack and cool completely.

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Out of the archives-Parmesan Crisp and Skillet Lemon Chicken

I have a couple of binders in my cook book cupboard that I use on occasion.  One is the big binder of recipes hubby and I have accumulated and I have written about, and the other is a binder I received as a shower gift 25 years ago that I could sort and save recipes in.  This was the go to recipe place back before hubby joined me in the kitchen.

The first recipe I found was for a light appetizer.  I remember making these for a Christmas party years ago.  These tasted great with a glass of really cold Chardonnay.

Parmesan Crisp 

20 Wonton Skins, cut in half diagonally
Vegetable cooking spray
2 teaspoons water
2 teaspoons olive oil 
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning 
1/2 teaspoon paprika 
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Dash ground red pepper
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese 
Arrange wonton skins in a single layer on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Combine water  and next 5 ingredients; brush evenly on skins and sprinkle with cheese.  Bake at 375 degrees for 5 to 6 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove to wire racks to cool completely.  Store in an air tight container.  Yields 40 crisp @ 15 calories per crisp. 
Note – I did not cut this batch in triangles.  
The main course recipe I found was for Skillet Lemon Chicken.  I don’t remember when I made this before, but this time it was delicious.

Skillet Lemon Chicken 

4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets (thin cut)
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves crushed with side of chefs knife 
1/2 lemon thinly sliced
1/2 cup chicken broth 
1/4 cup dry white wine 
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
2 tablespoons drained capers
On waxed paper, mix 2 tablespoons flour with salt. In pie plate, with fork, beat egg.  Coat chicken in flour and then dig in egg.
In non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat until hot.  Stir in1 tablespoon butter until melted. Add chicken and cook 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium, turn chicken and cook 8 to 10 minutes longer until juices run clear.  Transfer chicken to warm platter.
Add garlic and lemon slices to dripping in skillet; cook until golden.  In cup, mix chicken broth, wine, lemon juice and 1 1/2 teaspoons of flour until smooth; stir into skillet.  Heat sauce to boiling; boil 1 minute. Stir in capers and remaining tablespoon of butter until butter melts.  Discard garlic. Arrange lemon slices over chicken and pour sauce over chicken.