Showing posts with label chicken. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chicken. Show all posts

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Hoisin Chicken Stir Fry

It's another snow day here in Central New Jersey! The snow is coming down steady and it's a good heavy snow. The kind of snow that makes perfect snowmen. You can start with a tiny snowball and roll it up into a giant car-sized ball, perfect for carving out into an igloo. Have you ever made a snow igloo? Growing up in Buffalo, we had many winter igloos in our yard each year!

Sadly, I'll be working from home today, not playing outside and making giant snow igloos. On the bright side, I made this stir fry last night! Lunch hour will be tasty leftovers. This recipe comes together so quickly, I probably could prepare this fresh again today in less than fifteen minutes. Plus, this recipe has hoisin in it and I love anything with hoisin!

Are you stuck inside again today because of the weather? This snowstorm is huge! Stay safe and warm everyone, Spring is coming soon! Until then, I'll be looking out the window at the falling snow, drinking hot chocolate.

Two Years Ago: Biscofferoos
Three Years Ago: Homemade Greek Yogurt
Four Years Ago: Sugar Crisp Cookies

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Sauteed Chicken with Pears

I have been obsessed with pears recently. I've been adding them to my oatmeal, eating them raw and cooking them into my dinner dishes. It might be because pears are in season in the winter and all other fruits have just about zero flavor right now. I don't know why I buy strawberries in the winter, it's really a lost cause.

Pears however are delicious right now! I went with Anjou pears in this dish because they caramelize really well and hold their texture a bit better than Bartlett pears.

If you have everything chopped and ready to go, this dinner comes together very quickly. Brown the chicken, brown the pears, make the sauce. It's the perfect meal to make after a long day at work.

One Year Ago: Chocolate Heart Cookies
Two Years Ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Yogurt Popsicles
Three Years Ago: Dutch Cheese Pancakes
Four Years Ago: Cranberry-Walnut Celebration Bread

Sauteed Chicken with Pears
A Wilde Original

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Anjou pears, peeled, cored and cut into 16 wedges
3 small shallots, chopped
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh sage
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Place chicken in a bowl, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss to coat. Season with kosher salt and pepper.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to the pan and saute until browned on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side (or less, if your chicken is thinner than 1 inch). Transfer chicken to a plate and wrap with foil to keep warm.

Set another skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add pear wedges and saute until golden, turn once and cook until softened.

While the pears are sauteing, come back to the first skillet and reduce heat to medium. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and add shallots and sage.  Saute for 2 minutes, until shallots are softened. Add sherry vinegar and white wine. Stir shallots and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Let bubble and reduce for about 3 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together chicken stock, dijon mustard and cornstarch. Add to the skillet and whisk until everything is combined. Cook until bubbly, about 2 minutes. Whisk in cream and remove from the heat.

Slice chicken on a diagonal, add pears and spoon sauce over the top. Enjoy with these root vegetables!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Gingered Chicken Stir Fry

If you live on the East Coast, you are probably in the midst of "Snowstorm Juno." If you are in the New Jersey area, then you might be a bit underwhelmed by the amount of snow that has actually fallen. I was told to expect thirty inches of snow at one point, we'll be lucky if more than a foot of the white stuff comes down here. I'm calling shenanigans on this snowstorm. I'm also calling out The Weather Channel on this whole named winter storms thing. Stop trying to make it happen! We don't like it!

Thirty inches of snow or not, I still get to have a snow day from work today! To celebrate a random Tuesday off, I made this stir fry for dinner last night. And I made enough of it so that there was lunch for my snow day. Now, I have major plans for a few hours of work and a bit of baking.

If you are in Massachusetts, stay safe and warm! You guys are supposed to get a whole bunch of snow!

One Year Ago: Chocolate Heart Sandwich Cookies
Two Years Ago: Yogurt with Raspberries and Mint
Three Years Ago: Soft Pretzels
Four Years Ago: Chocolate Marshmallows

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Rigatoni & Meatballs

Winter is the time for hearty foods. Conversely, January is the month of healthy eating.  How does one rectify these two very different ideals?

You make chicken meatballs!

Then pile them high on pasta!

Filling, but not full of calories. Unless you make a tube of crescent rolls to go along with this dinner...  Which you should... Crescent rolls are awesome.

One Year Ago: Wilde Chocolate Chip Cookies
Two Years Ago: Cavatappi Pasta with Sausage and Butternut Squash
Three Years Ago: Country Sausage Pasta
Four Years Ago: Mini Zucchini Breads

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Smokey Baked Chicken Wings

Some people are spouting on and on about "New Year, New You!"

I'm eating chicken wings.

And French fries. French fries that I deep fried myself. (But we'll talk about those another day)

Sure, I could spend January lecturing you all about "eating healthy!" and "turning a new leaf!" and "detoxifying your body!" But that's not my thing. We make candy here in the Wilde Kitchen. No date on the calendar is going to change my cooking habits!

To be serious though, these chicken wings are actually not terrible for you. They are baked in the oven and flavored with a spice rub and minimal oil and... THEY TASTE AMAZING! You seriously need to make these wings tonight. You need a bunch of different spices for this recipe, so you may need to hit up the grocery store for this one.

Go to the grocery store. Make these chicken wings.  Do it do it do it!!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

CTB 2014 - Giada's Family Dinners

We officially moved into our new house two months ago. It is only now that I've started cooking dinner. It's been a combination of laziness (after hours of renovating, take-out is awfully convenient) and kitchen inaccessibility (I literally couldn't get into my kitchen). What did I make for my inaugural recipe? No, it was not this chicken. I actually made oatmeal. In the slow cooker. Totally a low energy input meal.

I actually made this chicken at the old apartment, I just haven't had a moment to post it yet! Sorry for the fake out. I will be cooking a full Thanksgiving dinner this coming weekend and really giving my kitchen a run-in. Until then, it's been pretty easy recipes coming out of the kitchen - baked chicken tenders, soup, risotto. We are planning a major kitchen reno after the New Year and I don't want to make too much of a mess before then!

Even though I made this chicken dish at the old apartment, that doesn't mean it wasn't tasty! If you are looking for a quick and easy chicken dish, this one will fit the bill. This is definitely not a healthy chicken dish, what with all of the heavy cream, but we can pretend, because it sits on a bed of spinach.

This recipe comes from my collection of cookbooks. I realize that I have totally failed at cooking something from each cookbook this year. That is, unless I cook two recipes each day, until the end of the year. Not gonna happen.  Perhaps this challenge will continue into next year. Or maybe I'll just replace it with something else entirely. Something a little bit more creative...

One Year Ago: Apple-Cinnamon Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls
Two Years Ago: Cinnamon-Walnut Butter & White chocolate peanut butter
Three Years Ago: Tomato and White Bean Soup
Four Years Ago: Stuffing Cupcakes

Chicken Florentine
Adapted from Giada's Family Dinners

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied in two
Salt and pepper
All-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 large shallot
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 (10-ounce) package, frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Coat in flour, shake off excess.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil. Cook chicken until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side.

In another large skilled, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and cook until shallots are translucent.  Add white wine and stir, scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Raise heat to medium-high and reduce volume by half. Add heavy cream and continue to reduce again by half.

Microwave spinach for 1 minute, stir, microwave 1 minute more. Add spinach to a serving bowl, top with chicken, pour sauce over top. Sprinkle the whole dish with parsley and serve.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

CTB 2014 - The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Two recipe posts in one week? This is crazy!

To tell the truth, I made this chicken to accompany the asparagus from Tuesday. Would I do that pairing again? No way. There was way too much sauce preparation that was necessary for both dishes. When I cook this chicken again (which I will, because it was amazing), it's getting paired with steamfresh vegetables from the microwave.

I will also remember that when I put pans in the oven, the handle of the pan also gets hot. I think that I need to buy one of these pan handle covers, because I always grab the handle and burn my hand. I don't do this to pull the pan out of the oven, I realize that it's warm at that point. It's after I return the pan to the burner and begin reducing the sauce. I'll grab the handle to rotate the pan and Yeouch! That's hot!

Burnt hand or not, this chicken was the perfect dinner. I always have chicken thighs in my freezer for some reason, so this is an easy dinner for a weeknight. Pick up some grapes and olives from the grocery store and you've got yourself a flavorful meal.

Monday, February 24, 2014

CTB 2014 - Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook

I have owned a slow cooker for at least the past ten years. The majority of recipes that I've made in it? Oatmeal. I once made white hot chocolate in the slow cooker. We had a cookie exchange and I decided white hot chocolate would be super festive.  It was not popular. Anyways... I've only recently taken to using the slow cooker for other, more time saving purposes.

Monday, January 27, 2014

CTB 2014 - Nigella Express

I have been meaning to post some more savory items on the blog recently, but the early sunsets really hamper my endeavors at photography.  I'm thinking I need to invest in some new lights.  I've also been planning on sharing some healthy dinner items with you, today I totally failed.

Today I made you the quickest, easiest and baconiest chicken ever.  I guess that's what happens when you fry chicken in bacon grease and then pour crumbled bacon over it.

Healthy?  Probably not.  Delicious?  Totally.  You know you want to make this for dinner.  Do it do it do it!

One Year Ago: Pasta with sausage & butternut squash
Two Years Ago: Soft Pretzels
Three Years Ago: Chocolate & Peanut Butter Mousse Entremet

Bacony Chicken
Adapted from Nigella Express

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
4 strips bacon
2 chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
1/3 cup white wine

Heat olive oil in a medium-high skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add bacon and fry until crisp, remove bacon from the pan and wrap up in foil.

Fry chicken in the olive oil and bacon grease, about 2 minutes per side.  Once chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, remove to your serving plates.  Crumble bacon in the pan and add white wine, cook until slightly reduced.  Pour over chicken and serve!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Restaurant Wars 2013 - Swiss Chalet

My friends north of the border and those lucky ones in the border states know exactly what I'm talking about when I mention Swiss Chalet. Images of rotisserie chicken, golden fries and that classic Chalet sauce all come to mind. 

I grew up in Western New York, just a hop away from Canada, and we had several Swiss Chalet restaurants in town. My mom actually worked at the Chalet before I was born, so it must be in my blood. Having lunch at the Chalet was always on my list of things to do when I come home for a visit.  The BF and I even walked two miles once to get some chicken while visiting Canada on a cruise!

This all changed three years ago when all of the WNY Swiss Chalets closed.  Not only did they close, but they razed the buildings to the ground.  (I kind of wished the burnt them down.  With all the chicken grease in the walls, those buildings would have gone up in a second!)  Now the only way for Buffalonians to enjoy the Chalet is to take a trip across the border, and they do.  My parents head across the bridge a few times a year for dinner.

Even with the inside information from my mom, there was very little chance that I could duplicate the classic Chalet sauce.  According to my mom, the restaurant receives a bag of spices from headquarters.  They then mix the spices with water and simmer for hours.  Even the employees don't know what's in the sauce.

Luckily you too can buy the spice packages!  Just in a much more manageable size.  This sauce is available in Canadian grocery stores, some border stores and a few websites.  After hearing about during a hockey game, I checked it out and stocked up on all my hometown favorites.  Loganberry soda, Anchor Bar wing sauce and Swiss Chalet dipping sauce!

Nothing in this meal is overly tricky.  Grilled chicken (because the grocery store was out of rotisserie chickens!) and fries with a big bowl of Chalet sauce.  I was concerned that the sauce would pale in comparison to the restaurant stuff, but it was spot on!  I need to order more because it brought me right home.

Order yourself some Chalet sauce and enjoy a little taste of Canada!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Stuffed Chicken & Quinoa Pilaf

I want to eat this meal for the next month.  Simple, flavorful and delicious.  Shallots are magic roots.

This dinner was super simple.  I prepared the stuffed chicken a day ahead of time, giving it some time to meld together and make it easier to cook.  When dinnertime rolled around, all I had to do was prepare the sauce and saute the chicken.  It was so simple and easy!  This shallot sauce would be amazing over pork, fish, it might even make tofu taste good.

The side dish was just as easy to put together.  Nothing is simpler than making quinoa.  Just boil up the grain with some chicken stock and water, saute some red peppers and pistachios.  Poof!  Side dish is ready to go.   Dinner in a snap.  And it will be so good.  Do it.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Chile-spiced Chicken with Mango Salsa

How is it August 6th already?  It was just fourth of July like two days ago!  This summer is running away from me and I'm even unemployed and can enjoy every day in the sun.

July was jam-packed with travel.  I spent a week in Buffalo, visiting family I hadn't seen in years, eating locals treats and playing with my parents puppies.  After that I was in Arizona with BF for another week, sweating it out in the Phoenix heat, being awed by amazing geography and taking the longest hike I've even done in my life.

Upon our return from Arizona, we returned to New Jersey to find milder temperatures and rain.  Lots of rain.  That's okay though.  I use the rainy days to focus on my future career plans.  I'm really ready to head back to work after three months off.  I'm running out of things to do at home and I really miss working in the lab!  I'm going to try to make the most of my remaining time off (which hopefully isn't too much more!) and enjoy the last few weeks of summer!  Mostly by eating more fruit.

I made this chicken dinner last week and knew I would love it.  I also knew that BF would leave every last bit of mango on his plate.  He just really doesn't like fruit.  Such a weirdo!  Personally I love fruit with savory dishes and loved the mango salsa with the spice rubbed chicken.  I also got to use one of my new OXO tools - the mango splitter!  While it's totally easy to pit a mango without one, it took about three seconds to pit the mango with it!  I also thought I would show my step-by-step how-to cut a mango pics.  Now you know and it's so much easier than you thought!

Thanks go to OXO for sending me an amazing package of summer fruit tools, including this mango splitter, through the blogger outreach program.  All opinions about the tools are my own, but I have yet to find an OXO tool that doesn't do it's job!  Check out some of their fruit tools and enjoy the summers bounty!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Spinach & Gorgonzola Cavatappi

Anesthesia is crazy.

I'm happy to be talking to you from the other side of my wisdom tooth extraction.  Though I hardly remember much of the procedure, or the two hours after it.  I'm thankful to have had an excellent oral surgeon.  After the initial jab of the needle and the anesthesia washing over me, I have felt very little pain.  It's been a generally good experience!  I'm now down four useless teeth and happy that I won't have to do it again.

The only problem I had with the extraction is the timing, which is totally my fault.  The dentist told me no spicy foods until I'm all healed up.  This would normally be fine, but I planned the surgery just before a visit to my parents in Buffalo.  I couldn't have a single hot wing the entire time I was home!  I was so disappointed and now I'm back in New Jersey with a healed mouth and no chicken wings!  I'll have to make some wing sauce this week.

Before my extraction I made this amazing pasta dish.  I have an all new love affair with panko breadcrumbs.  And deep frying them.  Then devouring them.  This dish was super easy too and ready in less than 30 minutes.  It also uses my favorite pasta shape - cavatappi!  If you can't find the fun little corkscrews, feel free to use any pasta with ridges.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Spice-rubbed Chicken & Gratin Dauphinois

It's officially summer around here and it finally feels like it!  We've been hovering right around ninety degrees here in the tri-state area all week.  And I love it.  Love!  Of course my hair has been all sorts of crazy in this high humidity, but since I don't have a job right now, who cares! 

I've fallen into a pretty good routine through my unemployed weeks.  Generally Monday is my cleaning house day.  I'll do the laundry, vacuum and dust the apartment, run boring errands and cook the fanciest meal of the week.  By Tuesday I've run out of task-oriented things to do and tackle projects that have been sitting around for a while.  I'm talking scrapbooking, closet organizing, de-cluttering.

When Wednesday rolls around I don't really have much to do around the house, so I text some OSI friends and get together for brunch or lunch.  (This week we're heading to Clinton Street Bakery for brunch and then shopping for interview clothes in SOHO!)  Wednesday night used to be Boyfriends night to cook, but since I'm home already and he doesn't really like to cook, I've taken it back.

By the time Thursday comes, I'm starting to get a little bored at home.  I usually will jump on my bike and head to the local park for relaxing and reading in the sun.  Thursday usually also means I've run out of fruits and vegetables and a Whole Foods run is necessary. 

Friday is Treat Yourself! day.  This week that consists of an orthodontist appointment!  Thrilling.  Generally it means I hang out at Starbucks then head across the street to the nail salon.  Mostly I'm just excited for Friday because it means the weekend is here and I get to spend time with BF.  It's his job to entertain me through the weekend!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Asian Chicken Salad

Hello everyone!  I'm back from vacation and recovered, I think.  I know, it sounds strange to be "recovered from vacation" but it's totally the truth.  Whenever Boyfriend and I come back from vacation, I feel like I need another few days off just to recuperate!  The reason is - we aren't you traditional vacation-type people.

Most people look forwards to vacation because it involves an umbrella drink (or five), a beach umbrella and some new paperbacks.  I could handle doing that too, for about two hours.  Then I want to get up and DO SOMETHING!  I either have restless leg disorder (is that still a thing??) or Adult ADHD, because I don't want to just sit around on vacation and relax.  Ask anyone, I'm not really the relaxing type.

Our trip to Morocco was anything but relaxing.  In ten days we managed to jam in all of the following...  A day in Oukaimeden rock climbing, two days in Zagora riding camels, a three-day trip to the beach for surfing lessons.  We toured the medinas of Marrakech and Casablanca and traveled on the highways, rails and tramlines of Morocco.  We ate tagines and couscous by the pound and enjoyed liters of mint tea.

Thankfully we had a direct flight home from Casablanca, I don't think I could have mustered up the energy to get on another plane after seven and a half hours sitting in coach.  Once we got home, all I wanted to eat was a big salad.  And I've been making lots of them since I managed the necessary energy to head to the grocery store!

Maybe our next vacation will be a quiet, relaxing, beach vacation...  More likely I'll plan something like that and BF will find a volcano to hike up and coral reefs to scuba dive through.

Be on the lookout over the next two weeks for Moroccan dishes and photos from our vacation!  I picked up a few tips from the locals and a beautiful Moroccan cookbook of my own.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Taking a Breather

Taking a vacation right after being laid off is doing me good.  We have been too busy doing crazy Moroccan things to even have time to think about the real world!  By the time we return to the hotel each night, we fall into bed exhausted from the day.  There's no time to think What? I don't have anywhere to go when I get back to the US? Nope, it's - head meets pillow - wake up tomorrow.

I'll post more about Morocco when I return, lord knows I'll have plenty of time!  To keep your appetites at bay, here's a tasty dinner I made just before we went on vacation.  Chicken Tikka Pizzas!  After making these, I want to make all my pizzas on pitas.  I also got to use my pizza stone for the first time since I got it for Christmas.  It's just been taking up space in the oven.  The pizza stone really crisped up the pitas before I added the toppings.  Something you can do by just toasting them in the oven for a few minutes.

I've been obsessed with non-traditional pizzas, something my New York friends have called blasphemy.  Apparently pizza is Italian and I should stop putting things like BBQ sauce, garam masala and salad on top of my pizza crusts.  No way.  Pizza is just an open faced sandwich, I'm going to trash it up with all kinds of international toppings!  Maybe I'll come back and make a Moroccan pizza for you all!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Restaurant Wars 2013 - California Pizza Kitchen

First off today, I have to say Happy Anniversary!!! to Boyfriend.  It's been ten years since our first date.  Ten years, seven cities, nine different apartments, over twenty different countries, we're like our own little Amazing Race.  That's right, BF and I have been a couple for a whole decade.  You might ask why we aren't yet engaged or married.  My answers generally vary from 'We've only been living together for 2 years' to 'We're really busy' to 'If I get engaged, then I have to plan a wedding.'  We'll get around to it before all this food blogging catches up to us and I can't fit into a size 4 wedding dress!

Now, back to the reason for todays post - Restaurant Wars 2013!  It's been almost a month since my last RW post because I've been out of town so much recently!  March and April found be travelling to my hometown for a long weekend and to Washington, DC for a work conference.  I also spent my weekend mornings training for my half marathon.  I reorganized my RW schedule based on restaurants that are close to our apartment and therefore easy weeknight meals!

This week brought us to California Pizza Kitchen, on a surprisingly busy night.  Our CPK is located inside of a mall, like most locations these days, and tends to be a popular place for dinner.  It would be forty-five minutes if we wanted a table.  How long for the bar?  You can sit down right now!  I highly reccommend sitting at the bar at CPK.  The bartenders are fun and lead to quick drink service.  You can also watch all the pizzas being made and get good views of the TVs.

Personally, I love all of the unusual pizzas at CPK.  I always wind up with their pear & gorgonzola, spicy Korean BBQ or Jamaican Jerk pizza.  BF is more of a classic pizza fan.  Meat and cheese is his go to pizza.  This trip to CPK was no different - I went with the Thai chicken pizza and BF got the Meat cravers.  Apparently vegetables have no place on a pizza in BFs world. 

When it came to reproducing CPK at home, I had a little leg up.  While browsing the local bookstore in Montclair, I stumbled upon this book.  Published in 1996, previously owned, this cookbook cost me $8.  Deal.  The best thing about this version of the cookbook (they have updated it twice since the original was published), this book contains several pizzas that are no longer offered on the CPK menu.  Like BF's favorite - The Rosemary Chicken and Potato Pizza.

 I remember heading to CPK in the early years of our relationship and ordering this pizza.  He's been upset ever since it was pulled from the menu.  When I discovered the recipe in my new cookbook, I knew this would be the recipe to make for RW - CPK.  The only problem, this recipe is so involved.

It took me almost two hours from chopping the first clove of garlic to when I pulled the pizza out of the oven.  You can prepare some things in advance (which I should have done, but I neglected to read the recipe ahead of time, bad blogger) and shave some time off of the prep.  I have also reorganized the directions, to allow you to multitask during the cooking process.

Make this pizza, it is delicious.  And according to Boyfriend, very close to the original.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Make Ahead Monday - Chicken & Rice

Sometimes you just want to come home to a meal on the table.  When you are the main meal prepared of the household, this is a rare occurrence.  It is with this desire in mind, that I decided to bring about Make Ahead Meals, or MAM Mondays (Oops, make that Tuesday this week!)!  Based on the traditional 1950's casserole dinner, but with a healthy 2010's twist.  MAMs are made on the weekend and cooked during the week in the oven or crockpot!

You all know I'm not really a fan of condensed soups and I love my dinners to be full of vegetables.  Most MAMs that I come across are either prepared with two cans of condensed soup, or are simply pasta with sauce covered in cheese.  I like to call these "comfort casseroles."  With springtime approaching (and bikini season around the corner), I'm looking to keep the MAMs light and healthy.

The best thing about the MAMs that I have prepared so far, I come home to Boyfriend in the kitchen, pulling a hot dish out of the oven.  His timing is usually pretty good as he stalks me with his phone to see when I'm coming home.  (Want to stalk your significant other?  Download the Find My Friends app to their iPhone and yours.  Authorize each phone to view the other.  Voila - you've just lo-jacked your SO.)

This weeks MAM is a creamy chicken and rice casserole.  I added way more mushrooms and peas than the original recipe called for, because mushrooms are delicious.  I threw this meal together on Sunday in about thirty minutes and BF tossed it in the oven Wednesday night for a quick heat through and crisp up.  I was enjoying dinner a mere minutes after I got home.  Which when your commute is two hours each way, sometimes it's nice to not worry about what is for dinner.

Have any favorite casseroles that you want to see lightened up and made into a MAM?  Drop me a comment below and I'll see what I can do for you!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Restaurant Wars - Red Lobster

I have two complaints when it comes to Red Lobster.  First, the wait.  I have never once walked into this restaurant and gotten a table right away.  It could be three o'clock on a Tuesday afternoon and you could walk in to find a forty minute wait.  Second, the service.  I'm sure it stems from the really long wait and all the people wanting to sit down and eat, but the service you get is more along the lines of - sit down, eat your food and get out.  Red Lobster isn't the European, sit as long as you'd like, linger over a cup of coffee and dessert, kind of place.  Don't take your time, eat your food and give up that table!

The reason we come to RL?  The cheddar bay biscuits of course.  Isn't that why everyone goes there?  That and I don't cook a lot of fish at home because someone won't eat it.  Eating out is the best way for me to get my lobster, fish and shellfish fix.  When ordering out, I get to order the shmorgasboard of shrimp, lobster and fish meal! 

So after waiting almost fifty minutes for our table, Boyfriend and I ordered.  He got his favorite chicken linguine dish and I loaded up on broiled fish and shellfish.  I was trying to order something that wasn't super greasy, apparently broiling also requires heaps of butter, because my dinner was still floating in oil.  To was Boyfriends pasta, but that's just the way he likes it.  We ate lots of cheesey biscuits and had almost all of our dinners to take home.

For our Red Lobster dinner at home, I had to split it into two nights.  There was no way that I could make a pasta dinner and a fish and shrimp dinner at the same time.  As much as I would like to tell you that Boyfriend helps out in the kitchen, his kitchen skills begin and end at heating.  He's had a few culinary masterpieces, but for the most part he's a prepared food preparer. 

Sunday night we had spicy chicken linguine with my own take on cheddar bay biscuits.  Monday night I threw some chicken in the fridge for Boyfriend while I prepared myself some lemon tilapia and shrimp scampi.  I'm in love with the way the chicken and pasta turned out.  It was much lighter than the restaurant meal, but so full of flavor.  It's perhaps because I used an aged parmesan cheese that was amazing.  I wanted to eat it by the chunk.

Monday nights fish dinner was a little tricky to pull together, mostly because fish cooks so fast.  The fish was ready to go much faster than the shrimp and I wasn't ready to juggle all these things (I was also preparing broccoli, stuffing and Boyfriends chicken!).  The shrimp scampi was much lighter than what I got at the restaurant, mostly because I cooked the shrimp in half butter/half olive oil.  My tilapia was simply cooked in a little butter and spritzed with some lemon.  Simple and delicious.

If you only make one thing from this post, make the biscuits!  Oh man, I think I ate four or five of these Sunday night.  I totally deserved it after that long, four-mile run.  There are many recipes for these biscuits online, but they almost all utilize Bisquick.  I was looking to make them entirely from scratch.  With a little tweaking, I think what I came out with was amazing.  If you aren't a salt freak like I am, maybe cut the garlic salt in half.

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