Slightly Cheaper Than Therapy

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I can’t talk. May 15, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — slightlycheaperthantherapy @ 3:38 pm

Well…not literally.  My voice is fine.  But apparently I can’t string together coherent sentences these days.  I’ve been writing weird stuff like “for safe measure” when I should say “for good measure”, or “he’s an obama support” instead of “supporter”.  The modifiers are being mixed all OVER the place and, in general, I sound a bit dumb.  So as a white girl who appreciates good grammar and proper sentence structure, I reserve the right to skip the witty story this time and get right to the good stuff.

The Hubby oohed and aahhed over these two Giada recipes like no one’s business.  But it’s Giada, so honestly I wasn’t that surprised.  But what did surprise me is how much I, the woman who balks at plain jane chicken breast, enjoyed the roasted chicken.  It was fantastic as is, and I imagine it would great chopped up and thrown on a salad.  Maybe even the Fish Daddies Salad.

Roasted Chicken with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Giada de Laurentiis

1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. dijon mustard
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. olive oil
Chicken, cut into 6 pieces (I’m not fond of chopping up carcasses, so I used 4 large and in charge chicken breasts)
1T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp. grated lemon zest

In a 13x9x2″ baking dish whisk the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper to blend.  Whisk in the oil.  Add the chicken pieces and turn to coat.  Cover and refrigerate, turning the chicken pieces occasionally, for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Roast the chicken uncovered until just cooked through, about 45 minutes.  Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a serving platter.  Carefully pour the cooking liquid into a small, heavy saucepan and spoon off the excess oil from atop the cooking liquid.  Boil until the liquid reduces by about half and thickens slightly, about 8 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the chicken.  Sprinkle the parsley and lemon zest over the chicken and serve. 

If the chicken gets too dark too quickly, cover it with foil, taking the foil off for the last 10 minutes of roasting.

 

Sandwich A la “a wonderful, magical animal” May 6, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — slightlycheaperthantherapy @ 4:19 pm

WARNING:  The following post may cause severe artery blockage.  Read (and then cook) at your own risk!

When I was a wee one, I used to spend the night with my Mammaw about 2 or 3 times a month.  And every morning that I woke up in her house I was treated to all kinds of yummy breakfast fixins’.  (That’s country talk for “all the trimmings”) I was always amazed at how she would pull out all the stops–biscuits, gravy, eggs, sausage, bacon, jelly, jam, toast–for little ol’ me.  Sometimes Papa would join us if he wasn’t working out in the garden or helping one of the farmers bale hay.  But mostly it was just us two gorging ourselves on a greasy country breakfast.  And while I really loved my Mammaw’s biscuits with brown gravy (the ONLY brown gravy, IMO, that’s worth eating) and eggs, my absolute favorite thing to have for breakfast was rather simple:  The Bacon Sandwich (yes, I know you’re all shocked.  Try to not to gape too much).  It consisted of fresh white bread, crispy bacon and a gallon of Miracle Whip.  Top it off with a glass of chocolate milk and it is pure heaven.

Fast forward 20 some-odd years to when The Hubby and I started dating.   We were talking about the holidays and traditions and such and I told him that on Christmas morning we almost always had Bacon Sandwiches for breakfast.  It was easy to make, so that meant we got to the presents faster.  His eyes were practically incandescent.  He then proceeded to tell me how is last serious girlfriend had ridiculed him for “eating like a 12 year old,” which included his beloved Bacon Sandwich.  For the entire length of their relationship, he hadn’t been able to eat one in front of her without catching some flack.  But now he had a woman who cherished the same fatty breakfast.  I think, if I had to pinpoint an exact moment, that was when The Hubby fell in serious moony-eyed luuurve with me.  Aaahh, the powers of The Pig.

Now…I didn’t tell you all that to bring you a recipe for my favorite breakfast sandwich.  That would be kinda silly.  But what I do have is a dinner-time twist on this classic.  It’s not an improvement, mind you, because The Bacon Sandwich is perfection in and of itself.  But…should you want something a little more…nutritious…or substantial, maybe, this sandwich I concocted fits the bill.  It was inspired by recipes that my lovely Nesties Jennifer and Tiffany gave me.  I had made Tiffany’s salmon recipe for dinner, but it seemed to need a little something to spice it up.  Then I remembered the salmon BLT recipe from Jennifer, and I thought, “Bacon!  That’s what this needs!”  So for lunch the next day I threw together the Bacon Pesto Salmon Sandwich.  In the words of The Pioneer Woman, I think I died a thousand deaths after taking that first bite.

Bacon Pesto Salmon Sandwich

1 T of pesto (recipe below)
1 T of mayonnaise (the real stuff, not Miracle Whip)
1/4 c. of pecan breadcrumbs (I had a pecan breadcrum mixture from Central Market on hand, so I used that.  If you don’t have access to a CM, just toast some finely chopped pecan pieces and throw them in with some plain breadcrums.)
3T of parmesan cheese
2 4-6 oz. salmon filets
4-6 slices of bacon
4 slices of whole grain bread
2 T of mayonnaise
2 slices of swiss cheese (I had some super yummy Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese which is similar to swiss, but a bit nuttier and maybe a bit sweeter.  Definitely check it out if you can get your hands on some.)
Lettuce
Tomato (I didn’t use either of these because I really didn’t think it needed it.  But some of you might like this addition.)

Fry or microwave the bacon and set aside.  Mix pesto and mayo in a small bowl and set aside.  If you like a lot of sauce (like The Hubby), use 2 tablespoons of each.  Mix breadcrumbs and parm in another bowl and set aside.  Cook salmon under the broiler until it’s about 3/4 of the way done.  Remove from the oven and spread the mayo pesto mixture on top of each filet.  Then sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture.  Put fish back in oven and broil until lightly brown.  This will not take long, so watch it closely. 

(This is what it will look like if you decide you want to have Tiffany’s original pesto salmon recipe.)

Toast the slices of bread, and while they’re toasting top the salmon filets with cheese and put them in a hot oven (NOT broiler) to melt the cheese.  Spread remaining tablespoons of mayo on the bread and add salmon and bacon.  DELICIOUS!

Pesto
From Epicurious.com

3 large garlic cloves
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano, coarsely grated (2/3 cup)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups loosely packed fresh basil
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

With food processor running, drop in garlic and finely chop. Stop motor and add nuts, cheese, salt, pepper, and basil, then process until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil, blending until incorporated.