Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Chicken Milanese

My friend, Dana, recently posted a photo of Chicken Milanese from her anniversary dinner and I had to make it ASAP. Crispy chicken. Bright arugula salad. I could almost taste it.

I followed the same breading and shallow frying method I use for Chicken with Prosciutto, Brie and Arugula and served simple fried potatoes on the side. Absolutely delicious meal. 

Chicken Milanese with Arugula Salad  

1/2 cup flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 (6 oz) boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/2 lb baby arugula, rinsed and spun dry
tablespoons fresh squeeze lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
grated pecorino/parmesan cheese
chopped fresh tomatoes
thinly sliced red onion

Place flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in three separate shallow bowls or shallow dishes. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place a wire baking rack over a baking sheet; set aside.

Place each chicken breast between two pieces of waxed paper (or a freezer-style plastic bag) and pound to 1/4-inch thickness. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge each breast in the flour; tap off excess. Dip into the egg wash and let excess drip off, and then dredge on both side in the breadcrumbs.

Add 3 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil to a large nonstick pan and heat until the butter is melted and sizzling. Place 2 chicken breasts in the pan and cook until golden brown on the first side. Flip over and continue cooking until golden brown on the second side and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes total. 

Put the cooked chicken on the wire rack and keep warm in the oven while you cook the other pieces. Add more butter and oil as needed.

In a medium bowl, toss the arugula with lemon juice, salt, pepper, oil and grated cheese. Add chopped tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes since it's October and tomatoes are out of season) and very thinly sliced red onion, to taste.

To serve: place one chicken breast on a plate and top with some of the arugula salad mixture.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Greek Meatballs

I am such a sucker for Greek flavors. I've been thinking about Greek meatballs forever and finally decided to make them when my friend, Patty, brought me some amazing feta from New York City. She has family up there and whenever she visits she brings home all sorts of Greek delicacies. This feta has spoiled me for all supermarket feta. It's tangy and salty and just plain perfect.

After I posted these to my personal Facebook page, my friend Jaida mentioned that she makes her Greek turkey meatballs with spinach. I wish I'd thought of that because you may notice that we didn't have a veggie side dish. We all thought the texture of the meatballs was perfect so I don't want to add spinach to them directly, but next time I make these I'll definitely wilt some spinach with sliced garlic to serve alongside.

There are a lot of recipes for Greek meatballs out there so I looked at a few and pulled ingredients that sounded good to me. This is my take. Adjust as you like.

Greek Meatballs
2 lbs. ground beef
1/4 cup finely minced red onion
1/2 to 1 cup feta, crumbled

1 tablespoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons dried dill
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2/3 cup panko
1/3 cup milk
2 large eggs, slightly beaten

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper
Preheat the oven to 415 degrees. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Line a baking sheet with foil and top with a sheet of parchment paper. Spray the parchment with cooking spray. Form the meat mixture into meatballs. I used an ice cream scoop for larger meatballs.  Place the meatballs on the baking sheet. 
Bake for 30 minutes if you made larger meatballs. Bake for 15 minutes if you used a 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop. Meatballs are done when the internal temp is at least 165 degrees. 
Serve with rice, garlicky sauteed spinach and tzatziki. 

1 medium cucumber, peeled and seeded
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 small garlic clove, minced
Dried dill, to taste
1 cup plain Greek nonfat yogurt
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Grate the cucumber over the large holes of a box grater. Place the cucumber in a bowl and add the salt, pepper, garlic, and dried dill. Stir to combine. Add the yogurt and some lemon juice and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasonings, as needed. Chill before serving.


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Friday, July 24, 2020

Pizza Friday: Pierogi Pizza

This is one of the easiest pizzas I make and easily one of the tastiest. That's saying a lot because you all know how much we love homemade pizza around here.

Pierogi pizza

I first saw this pizza over at Dinner: A Love Story. One bite and we all said it tasted just like a pierogi. The soft potatoes, the sharp cheddar, the caramelized onions. Such a great combo.

The first time I made it with only cheddar cheese and it was too greasy for us, so I swapped out half the cheddar for mozzarella. Sometimes I bake the potato slices like I do for my Roasted Potato and Rosemary Pizza but most of the time I just parboil them.

Pierogi Pizza
Inspired by Dinner: A Love Story

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
salt, to taste
4 medium red potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 16-ounce ball pizza dough (or make your own), room temperature
6 oz shredded or deli sliced mozzarella cheese
6 oz shredded or deli sliced sharp cheddar cheese
fresh thyme or rosemary, minced (optional)

Preheat oven to 500°F.

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onions, season with a little salt, and cook for at least 25-30 minutes, allowing them to caramelize.

Add potato slices to a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes, then drain well.

Lightly grease a standard baking sheet. Place the dough in the middle. Press and stretch it out with your fingers so it reaches the edges. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and rub to coat the dough. Cover with both cheeses, leaving a border around the edges. Put the potatoes on top of the cheese in a single layer, then top with the caramelized onions. Sprinkle with the thyme or rosemary, if using.

Bake for 15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is  golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer pizza to a cutting board. Slice and serve.

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Thursday, June 25, 2020

Zucchini Muffins

I can't believe I've never baked with zucchini. We love zucchini and I use it a lot in savory recipes like Crispy Baked Zucchini Fries, Zucchini Corn Pizza, Cheesy Zucchini Rice, zucchini fritters, on skewers, in summer pastas, etc. But this was my first time baking with it.

Zucchini muffins

The result? So good!! None of us could taste the zucchini. Now, I'll admit this is not exactly the healthiest recipe. If you're looking for a healthy way to get your kids to eat veggies, this isn't it. But they were delicious and a great way to use up zucchini that was past its prime.

The original recipe said it would yield 12 muffins. I got 15. I'm also not one to measure certain ingredients so I probably had more than 2 cups of shredded zucchini.

Zucchini Muffins
As seen on Land O Lakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 medium (2 cups) zucchini, shredded

Heat oven to 350. Put paper baking cups into 12 (or more) muffin pan cups; set aside.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in bowl; mix well. Combine butter and eggs in bowl; stir into flour mixture just until moistened. Stir in zucchini.

Use an ice cream scoop to fill prepared muffin pan cups three-fourths full with batter. Bake 22-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan; remove to cooling rack.
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Thursday, June 11, 2020

Tired of warm beer at parties? Enter the NewAir Beer Froster

This post is sponsored by NewAir. I received a Beer Froster in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

Hi folks. Steve here with a guest blog post. Sadly, alcohol doesn’t agree with Sarah (more often than not she’s left battling a nasty migraine) so I’m our household’s official subject matter expert on all things alcohol. When the good folks at NewAir offered us an opportunity to try out their Beer Froster beer fridge, I offered to write the product review.

Bottom line: I’d recommend this whole-heartedly to anyone who’s ever had to suffer through warm beer at a party. Friends don’t let friends drink warm beer, right? But party planning can sometimes be a mad rush to get ready and mistakes get made.

(Remember parties? Those were fun. Hopefully we’ll be entertaining safely again soon but we’ll definitely be out of practice).

I’ve been there; I’m sure you have, too. You get to the party, or worse, you are the host of the party and you see the beer sitting in a tub of ice. Maybe not even submerged in the ice - sitting on top like it’s being merchandised in a store. Then your friend reaches in and hands you a Trojan brew. You have your doubts, but the bottle or can is cold to the touch. So you pop the top and take a swig only to be greeted by beer the temperature of warm chicken broth that had been sitting in the August sun since about a half hour before you arrived.


Well, enter the Beer Froster! This product holds 125 cans. I’m a bottle guy and I got more than 50 bottles in there. Perfect amount for a party. You hit the Turbo button and the compressor on this baby runs a cool 24 degrees for an hour, getting your beer nice and cold. It takes away the shame and stigma of serving less than ideal beer to family and friends.

If you’re like Sarah and the ultimate planner, just remember to hit the Party button when you wake up and the compressor runs a good 6 hours at 24 degrees for a slower chill down. This also helps ward off those friends who stand there with the door open taking 10 minutes to choose a beer. There’s even a handy light that you can activate from the outside so you can easily see the selections through the glass front door.

The Beer Froster is true to its name, though I will offer some pro tips if you should decide to add this little wonder to your man cave or kitchen. First, arrange the shelves for optimum storage. It’s designed for cans, but bottles require a little care to load in properly. Also, allow for about 24 hours for the fridge to get to a cool 24 degrees the first time you turn it on. The last point, and this is my only criticism of the appliance, is that the compressor does emit an audible hum that some may find distracting. After experiencing the low hum we made the choice to locate the fridge in our basement instead of the kitchen just because we are overly sensitive to noise. Your mileage may vary.

All in all, the Beer Froster certainly lives up to its name in helping to insure the beer you are serving, or enjoying alone, is crisp and cold. In my heyday I used to go to this bar that touted the “Coldest beer in Trenton (N.J.)” and it was. Often you got served a beer that had frozen solid and they had to swap it out for a new one. I haven’t had a colder beer since then, until this beauty came into my life.

NewAir is offering readers 20% off the Beer Froster! Use code SARAH_BATES at checkout.
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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Sheet Pan Kielbasa, Potatoes and Veggies

I'm very late to the sheet pan dinner craze but this is one that will be on rotation forever. I've already made it twice and it's just so, so good.

Sheet pan

I love that you can make this however you want with whatever veggies and meat you want. It's a one-pan meal that hits all the right notes with minimal cleanup.

Sheet Pan Kielbasa, Potatoes and Veggies

1 package (14-16oz) precooked sausage or kielbasa cut in half lengthwise and sliced into 1/2" half-moons
1 medium onion (red, white, whatever you have), cut into bite sized pieces
2 broccoli crowns, separated into florets
1 small head cauliflower, separated into florets
1/2 lb red potatoes, peeled and cut into small, bite-size pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper, or to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or mozzarella, Monterey Jack, colby, whatever you want)

Preheat the oven to 450 and line a baking sheet with a couple sheets of aluminum foil.

Combine the sausage, onion, broccoli, cauliflower and potatoes in a large bowl. Season with the oil, paprika, onion and garlic powders, dried thyme, salt and pepper. Mix well. Dump onto the baking sheet and spread out in an even layer. Put sheet pan in the oven.

Roast for 25 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and test to make sure the potatoes are fully cooked (use the tip of a knife). If they aren't, put back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes. Once the potatoes are cooked through, top with the shredded cheddar cheese and put back in for another 5 minutes to melt the cheese.
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Thursday, March 05, 2020

Indian Butter Chicken

Added another Indian dish to my repertoire last night. Woohoo!

Indian butter chicken

This Indian Butter Chicken was so darn good. I combined the cooking method from my standby Chicken Tikka with the ingredients in For the Love of Cooking's Butter Chicken. I ended up doubling the sauce because (1) we love extra sauce and (2) I didn't see the point in saving less than half a can of coconut milk. Dump it all in!

My family absolutely loved this, which is saying a lot because they're big fans of my chicken tikka and kind of hate when I insist on trying new recipes. What can I say, I like variety.

Indian Butter Chicken
Combo of Hunt, Cook, Eat and For the Love of Cooking

3/4 cup full fat plain Greek yogurt
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces

4 tablespoons butter
2 15oz cans diced tomatoes, pureed with a blender (DON'T use tomato sauce)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 can full fat coconut milk
salt, to taste
Fresh cilantro

Basmati rice
Naan bread

Whisk the yogurt, lemon juice, fresh ginger, minced garlic, garam masala, turmeric, cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper together in a large bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350. Spread the chicken and marinade in a single layer on a baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the pureed tomatoes and sugar. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the coconut milk and cooked chicken with all the accumulated juices (don't omit that!) to the sauce and let simmer for another 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Taste and season with salt, if needed.

Serve over basmati rice with naan for soaking up the sauce.
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