CHARCUTERIE BOARD

This is my interpretation of a delicious and attractive charcuterie board.  It doesn’t need a lot of planning, but just some creativity.  You can use some items you may have in stock.  Several basics are 3 to 4 types of cheeses, I used a Wisconsin yellow cheddar, Brie, Manchego, and amish white cheddar.    It helps to cut up the cheeses (except the Brie),  in order to facilitate eating.

Select the appropriate size cheese board.  Set the cheese first on the board (spread them out in a creative way, yet keeping the same cheese together).  Then place two to three small containers on the board (I used 3).  In these containers I put gherkins (small pickles), mixed nuts, and roasted pecans.  You can put olives, or other snack foods as you prefer.

Next I used three types of Italian meets, prosciutto, sweet sopressata, and dry coppa.  You can use a variety of meets, such as pepperoni.  I purchased a package of Charcuterie meats at Sam’s Club.  Lay the prosciutto in a pile, no need to fold.  The round meats fold in half, then fold again to make it look like a triangle, then arrange the meets around the board tucked between the containers and cheeses.

Next add the fruits and give it some color.  I used red grapes (cut the grapes in batches of 5 or 6 grapes), cherry tomatoes, medjool dates, mission figs (cut in half), and small strawberries. (Of course wash and dry all fruit).  Place these fruits around the board where there is still openings.

I also used a small honey jar just above the brie which contained a honey stick, just incase someone wanted honey drizzled on their Brie.

Put some crackers along side the honey jar, above the Brie.

Now fill in any empty spots with some sort of nuts.  The object is to fill the entire board with edible food.  A little parsley or fresh rosemary tucked in at the edges gives it a fresh look.

Use the picture above to actually see the placement of the foods.  By now you should have an impressive and delicious Charcuterie board that you will be proud to serve your friends or take to a party!  Enjoy!

Posted in Appetizers | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

BEEF AND BROCCOLI STIR FRY

This is an easy and simple dish that comes together quickly.  It will delight Chinese food lovers and is great for leftovers too.  Hope you enjoy!
fullsizeoutput_b42c

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 LB. flank or skirt steak:  Sliced very thin into bite-sized strips
  • 4 T olive oil (divided)
  • 1 lb. broccoli florets (about 6 cups):  cut up into smaller pieces
  • 2 T sesame seeds

(Stir-Fry Sauce ingredients:)

  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger: grated
  • 2 tsp. garlic: grated (approx. 3 cloves)
  • 1/2 Cup hot water
  • 6 T soy sauce
  • 3 T packed light brown sugar
  • 1  1/2 T corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 T sesame oil

INSTRUCTIONS:

NOTE:  Start cooking white rice first so it’s ready when the stir fry is done.  Cover and freeze steak 30 minutes for easier slicing.

Combine all stir fry sauce ingredients in a bowl, whisk well to dissolve the sugar and set aside.

Place a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 T oil.  Add broccoli florets and saute 4-5 minutes, partially covered with lid, stirring several times until broccoli is bright green and crisp-tender then remove from pan and set aside. (If you prefer softer broccoli, add 2 T water before covering with the lid and it will steam cook the broccoli.)

Increase heat to medium hight head and add 2 T oil.  Add beef in a single layer and saute 2 minutes per side, just until cooked through.  Cook in two patches in order not to crowd the pan.

Put all meat back into the pan, reduce heat to medium low and add the sauce.  Simmer 3-4 minutes, it will thicken.  Add broccoli and stir to combine.  Stir in 1-2 T water to thin the sauce if desired.  Add the sesame seeds and stir to blend.    Serve over white rice.  Delicious!  Serves 4

 

Posted in ENTREES | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CHICKEN SALTIMBOCCA

This recipe is one of my family’s favorite and is a special dish for any occasion.  Tender chicken breast, salty prosciutto and flavorful sage make a mouth watering combination.  I enjoy it served with fettuccini , but you can just serve it along side a salad, you’ll love the flavors! (Serves 4)
Mfa5R4XYRTOcKsQpm8Vh4QIMG_5090

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 skinless, boneless large chicken breast (cut each breast in half long way, seasoned with salt and pepper and pounded)
  • 4 oz. Prosciutto (thinly sliced)
  • 1 shallot (diced)                                                                      
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup Pino Grigio (or other dry white wine)
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 2 cups flour (seasoned with salt and pepper)
  • 2 oz. olive oil for frying
  • toothpicks for securing sage and prosciutto for chicken
  • parsley for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Begin with slicing the two chicken breast (long way) in half, making four separate pieces.  Place each piece, one at a time, into a plastic bag and pound with a mallet to tenderize and flatten them to the same thickness so they cook evenly and in a shorter time.

Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breast.  Layer each chicken breast with two to three slices of prosciutto.  Top off with four sage leaves.  Use toothpicks to sew in the sage leaves and to hold in the prosciutto so that they don’t fall off when cooking.  You can use two toothpicks per chicken breast (two sage leaves per toothpick)

Coat each side of the chicken breasts with flour.  (The easiest way is to put the flour in a paper plate or bowl, add some salt and pepper, and dredge the chicken in the flour).  Set aside.

Drizzle about four tablespoons of olive oil into a large, oven safe frying pan, set temperature to medium low.  Add in the diced shallot and fry for about a minute.   Begin to add in the chicken breast, starting with sage side down.  Add the remaining three pieces of chicken breast.   Raise the heat to medium setting and add in four tablespoons of butter.  Cook for about 3 minutes or until the sage side is golden in color.

Flip onto the other side and add the wine.  Cook for about two minutes to allow the alcohol to evaporate and to allow the wine flavor to infuse into the chicken.  Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil over medium/low flame.  Once boiling, place the pan into the oven and cook for about eight to ten minutes.

Remove from the oven.  Serve over your favorite spaghetti or along side your preferred side dish.  MAKE SURE TO REMOVE THE TOOTHPICKS!  Pour some of the saltimbocca gravy over the chicken and spaghetti (sprinkle with parsley for garnish-Optional)  and enjoy!

 

 

Posted in CHICKEN, ENTREES | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

CREAMY TUSCAN CHICKEN

All I can say is this is delicious!  The flavors of the creamy sauce will delight your palette and please even the most finicky eater.  It’s loaded with a healthy dose of spinach, but you don’t have to tell your kids!  Serve it over fettuccine for the perfect dinner that would be a hit at your next dinner party!1116FA7E-42CD-4849-90CC-31A2E8F79456

fullsizeoutput_b098

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Cup flour                                                                              
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • salt and ground pepper (to taste)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • dash red pepper flakes
  • dash of curry powder
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 5 oz. package baby spinach
  • 3 oz. package sun-dried tomatoes                                                                    
  • fettuccini for serving (follow package directions for pasta)

Instructions:

Place flour in a plate or bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then mix.  Sprinkle each side of the chicken breast with salt and freshly ground pepper, and a small sprinkle of curry powder.  Dredge the both sides of the chicken in the seasoned flour,  shake off any excess flower and place the chicken breast on a plate and set aside.   Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat.  In patches of 3, fry the chicken approximately 5 minutes per side, just until browned and no longer pink in the center.  The timing depends on the thickness of the chicken breast.  Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.

If the skillet is dry, add a tiny bit more olive oil.  Add the garlic and shallot and cook for about 1 minute, just until fragrant.  Add chicken broth and scrape browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.

Add cream, Italian seasoning, dash of red pepper flakes,  and Parmesan cheese.  Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens.

Stir in spinach and sun-dried tomatoes and simmer for 1-2 minutes, until spinach wilts.  (Taste with a spoon and adjust salt and pepper to taste)

Add chicken back to the skillet and spoon a bit of sauce over each piece, simmer on low for 5 minutes.  Serve with pasta.  (Spoon pan juices with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes over the chicken and pasta.). Serves 6

Posted in CHICKEN, ENTREES | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

EASY 3 INGREDIENTS PEACH NAPOLEON

20140516-153040.jpg

20140516-152909.jpg

1 Package Puff Pastry Sheets (use 1 sheet)
1 Package frozen Sliced Peaches (Publix brand)
1/2 C Orange Marmalade or Pineapple/Mango spreadable fruit

OPTIONAL:
Powder sugar for sprinkling
Whipped cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Let one sheet of the Puff Pastry thaw out of the refrigerator for 20 or so minutes. Slice the Puff Pastry in three long sheets. Place on a baking pan and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. When golden brown, remove from oven and cut in half. Set aside.

While puff pastry is baking, thaw the frozen sliced peaches in a bowl. After defrosted, add orange marmalade or other sweetener. Mix gently, set aside.

When pastry is cooled, cut the pastry in the middle to have two sides (top and bottom). Put the pastry on your serving dish. Place equal amounts of the peaches on each bottom pastry, then place the top back on. Add a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with powder sugar if desired. So delicious!! Serve and enjoy!
(serves 6)

Note: You can make this with fresh peaches too, but this is so much easier. You can also use other fruits such as blueberries or strawberries.

Posted in Desserts | 1 Comment