CHICKEN MARSALA

Chicken Marsala is a classic dish that never goes out of style.  It’s delicious for a weeknight meal, as well as for a dinner party.  Serve it along side some homemade mash potatoes and some roasted asparagus and you have a meal that will satisfy and impress your guest!0CDCBF18-29A2-46ED-91A1-26696197E218EE127586-2828-4B4E-AB7A-B70A0F19382D

  • 2 large chicken breast (skinless and boneless), cut in half lengthwise to make 4
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup flour for dredging (Sprinkled with salt & pepper) Plus 1 tsp. For thickening
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup dry Marsala wine
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. Onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Place chicken cutlets between plastic wrap and pound until 1/3 inch thick.  Season with salt and pepper on both sides.  Dredge both sides in flour and shake off excess flour, then set aside.

Heat 3 Tbsp. olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, add 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter.   Add chicken and cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until browned.  Remove chicken from pan, set aside and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil to the pan.  Add the mushrooms to the pan.  Sauté the mushrooms in the pan for about 5 minutes.  Stir in 1/2 tsp. Onion powder and 2 minced garlic cloves and sauté another 30 seconds.  Add Marsala wine, scraping the bottom.  Let the Marsala reduce about 4-5 minutes then add 3/4 cup chicken stock and while stirring add 1/2 cup heavy cream.  Lower the heat and reduce sauce for another 4 minutes until slightly thickened.  Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.  (If needed:  Add 1 tsp. Of flour to further thicken the sauce.)

Return the chicken to the pan, turning to coat well.  Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Sprinkle with parsley and serve.  Serves 4

Optional:  Serve with homemade mash potatoes and pour some gravy over the chicken and mash potatoes.

 

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CREAMY ITALIAN SAUSAGE & SAFFRON PASTA ALLA MONZESE

This is a dish from Northern Italy and is very easy to make, yet rich and delicious.  You can buy bulk Italian sausage and I suggest buying it at a Italian Market such as Mazzaro’s in St. Petersburg, FL.  If you only can find Italian sausage in casings, just remove the casings.  Grate your own Parmigiano Reggiano, it’s better than pre-grated.  This is a simple recipe, but you’ll get raves from your family or guest!  Enjoy with some Italian red wine!  Ciao!3473E4FA-0995-4A0C-806F-DDF69CA2D2C119F45795-BD27-4311-A7CC-0C87CE14E4D9

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package (16 oz.) rigatoni pasta cooked al dente
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage casings removed (buy bulk if available)
  • 8.5 oz.  heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. Saffron threads
  • 3 tbsp. Marsala (dry)
  • salt for pasta
  • pepper to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil as required

Instructions:

Place saffron threads in 2 tablespoons of hot water to soak.   Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta.  Add salt once it starts to boil and bring to boil again.*

Meanwhile, drizzle olive oil in a fry pan or skillet on medium-high heat and brown the Italian sausage, breaking it up into chunks until well browned.  (Pat some of the excess oil up with clean paper towels, then discard the paper towel.)  Add the Marsala.  Let the alcohol evaporate about 1 minute and then add the cream and season with salt and pepper.  Continue cooking on a medium heat for about 4 minutes.  Add the saffron and water to the sauce, Stir and mix well.   Let it thicken, approximately 3 minutes.

*Cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the box.  When the pasta is ready, save 2 cups of the cooking water and drain the pasta.  Add the pasta to the pan along with the grated cheese.  Mix everything together well.  If the sauce seems dry, add some of the pasta cooking water little at a time.  Serve immediately with some more grated cheese.   Serves 4

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Bulk Mild Italian Sausage

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CHRISTMAS TREE CHARCUTERIE

This is a show stopper for sure and takes a little planning, but the results are worth it!  There’s no one recipe for this appetizer, use what ever you like.  Study the picture to get an idea of how to place the treats!

CEDED326-4C38-4496-BCA3-9499426E3DFF99D4E2B8-63F6-4766-A3F4-F4484C0A9ED2CF160616-8B13-407E-8547-023E3621B62D Instructions on making a CHRISTMAS TREE CHARCUTERIE: Use a styrofoam Christmas tree and using a glue gun, glue it to a plastic plate (one you can dispose of, I got this one at Publix for $2.99).  Then using the glue gun again, glue parchment paper around the cone to hide the white.

6519B988-3B84-46DA-9C85-E6B67E582B4CI had so much left over, that I made a tray of charcuterie to go along with the tree.  I used sharp cheddar, white cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses.  Just cut them into cubes.  Lay out all your different cheeses, meats, and olives and alternate placement based on color and size.   I brushed the finished tree with a little olive oil.  It’ll be a hit at any Christmas Party!

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LEMON ITALIAN RICOTTA COOKIES

We love these cookies at Christmas time, but they are delicious anytime of the year!  This makes enough to share (6 to 6 1/2 doz.), so go ahead, indulge and treat your friends!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 pound (16 oz.) ricotta cheese (whole milk, such as Galbani)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 room temp. Large eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt

For the Icing:

  • 2 cups powder sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Christmas sprinkles for decorating
  • Zest of two lemons for decorating (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat sugar and butter until blended.  Increase speed to high; beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

At Medium speed, beat in ricotta, vanilla, lemon juice, and eggs until well combined.

Reduce speed to low and add flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest.  Beat until dough forms.  It will be sticky!

Use a one inch melon scooper  to scoop dough and then drop the dough onto large cookie sheet covered with a silicone mat or parchment paper.  Drop about 1 1/2  inches apart.

Bake about 15 minutes or until cookies are very lightly golden.  Cookies will be soft.  Take out of the oven and cool on cookie sheet about 15 minutes, then move to a cooling rack until cooled.  Repeat process until all cookies are baked.

ICING:

In small bowl, stir powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth.  With small teaspoon, spread icing on cookies.  Use the back of the spoon to gently spread the icing.  Decorate with Christmas Sprinkles (add a few specs of lemon zest to each cookie at this time also, if you like). (Do not wait too long to add sprinkles, they will not stick, do it in batches).  Set cookies aside to allow icing to dry completely (about 2 hours).

(Store the cookies in an airtight container.  The cookies do not need to be refrigerated.  For best results frost them the night before serving.)

Makes 6-6 1/2 dozen.

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CHICKEN FRANCAISE

This is a classic dish, but it’s also so delicious!  It goes great with mash potatoes or dressing!  The lemony taste with the flour and egg breading makes each bite a delight.  It’s pretty simple so give it a try, you won’t regret it!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 skinless boneless chicken halves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. Lemon zest
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • One whole lemon thinly sliced

Place chicken breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap or inside a large baggy and gently pound chicken with flat side of a meat pounder or with a rolling pin until 1/4 inch thick (salt and pepper both sides).

Heat the oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until hot (not smoking).

Work in batches:  (Preparation)- Stir the flour, salt and black pepper in a plate or shallow bowl.  In another shallow bowl, crack 3 eggs and beat (put a little salt & pepper in the eggs too).    Dredge two pieces of chicken, one at a time, in the flour, shake off excess flour, then dredge the chicken in the egg mixture.  Place the piece of chicken in the frying pan.  Do the same with the other piece.  Fry the two pieces until lightly browned, then turn and brown the other side (about 4 minutes total).   Transfer to a plate and keep warm with some foil on top.  Now go back and dredge the other pieces in flour, then egg.  Then fry the other two pieces in the same manner.

After all the chicken is fried and nicely browned, clean the frying pan with paper towels.  Heat the butter over low heat until melted.  Add wine, broth, and lemon juice.  Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced, about 6 minutes. Stir in the parsley.  Add the chicken back into the pan and spoon the chicken with the sauce.  Top with lemon slices for appearance!  Enjoy! (Serves 4)

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