Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sole Meuniure with

Roasted Butternut Squash


I made this Barefoot Contessa recipe with my Mom over the holidays and I still have dreams about it. It is so simple and delicious. My mom's one problem with the dish was that it was too lemony and there are several comments under Ina's recipe on the Food Network site that say the same thing. So I am going to omit lemon zest from the recipe and just leave the same amount of lemon juice. We paired the fish with some roasted butternut squash. To save time, you can buy the squash pre-cut into cubes in baggies at Trader joe's. We bought three bags and roasted them with olive oil, kosher salt, cracked pepper and some fresh thyme in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes. The flavors of the lemony fish paired nicely together with the squash. Here is the recipe for the sole: (serves 2)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 fresh sole fillets 3-4 ounces ea.
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 6 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
  • 1 tbsp minced, fresh parsley
Preheat overn to 200 degrees F. Have two heat proof dinner plates ready.
Combine the flour, 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper in a large, shallow plate. Pat the sole fillets dry with paper towels and sprinkle one side with salt.

Heat 3 tbsp butter in a large (12") saute pan over medium heat until it starts to brown. Dredge two sole fillets in the seasoned flour on both sides and place them in the hot butter. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook two minutes. Turn carefully with a metal spatula and cook for two minutes on the other side. While the second side cooks, add 2-3 tbsp lemon juice (depending on how lemony you like your fish) to the pan. Carefully place the fish fillets on the oven proof plates and pour the sauce over them. Keep the cooked fillets warm in the oven while you cook the two remaining fillets. When they're done, add the cooked fillets to the plates in the oven. Sprinke with the parsley, salt and pepper and serve immediatley with whatever side you like!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


The Pioneer Woman's Sonoma Chicken Salad

I have been making this once a month for about the last six months. It is a little time consuming chopping all the fruits and veggies and boiling the chicken but it is SO worth it and it lasts for days. The Pioneer Woman has an amazing website,, her recipes are scrumptious. I really like that she gives healthier options as well. In this recipe, she calls for 1/2 cup mayo and a 1/2 cup sour cream but I like to use a cup of nonfat plain yogurt and then a few tbsp of lowfat mayo to make it a little creamier. She also calls for a whole cut up chicken but I like to use 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I make open face sandwiches on wheat toast with some honey mustard and spinach. Sometimes I just lay it on a bed of spniach and that is it! The dill mixed with the grapes and celery make it so crisp and clean and I never get sick of it. Here is the recipe:

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 1 whole, cut up fryer
  • 2-3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 whole green onions, chopped, green and white parts
  • 2 cups grapes halved (green and red make it very pretty)
  • 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt or 1/2 mayo and 1/2 sour cream either light or regular work
  • small handfull of dill, minced, I use lots!
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 tbsp brown sugar
  • kosher salt to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
Preparation instructions:Rinse chicken and place in a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 45 minutes until chicken is done. While the chicken is cooking chop/ cut up all your fruits and veggies and place them in a bowl. In another bowl prepare the dressing: combine yogurt and or mayo, lemon juice, brown sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Once the chicken is cooked, allow to cool and then shred it with your fingers or a fork and chop into bite sized chunks. Add the chicken to the fruits and veggies and then add your dill and mix together. Pour the dressing over the chicken/ fruit, stir well to get the dressing evenly distributed. It is just so super yummy; Icannot wait to eat it for the next four days!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Barefoot Contessa Lemon Chicken


This is seriously the best chicken I have ever prepared, hands down. I can be bored to tears by chicken but this was so, dare I say, moist (I despise the word) . The combination of the lemon, thyme, garlic and white wine make this chicken so flavorfull and by leaving the skin on, very crisp on the outside yet juicy when you cut into it. Seriously yummy! And so easy. Since I get sick of things so quickly and there are four massive servings, I made sandwhiches out of the chicken:I add goat cheese atop wheat bread, some arugala, light mayo mixed with pesto and voila! I also made a salad with it: I added mandarin oranges, avocado, roasted asparagus with Trader Joe's herb salad mix... divine. Here is the recipe for the chicken:
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic (9 cloves)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine (I use cheap chardonnay)
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless, skin on chicken breasts (ask the butcher at Whole Foods to do this)
  • 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over med-low heat, add the garlic and cook for just one minute but don't allow the garlic to turn brown. Off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 tsp salt and pour into a 9 x 12 baking dish.

Pat the chicken dry and place them skin up over the sauce. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck them among the chicken. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinke with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.

Ina reccomends serving with a couscous or rice to soak up the juices, I don't like eating starches so I roasted some asparagus to pair with it. Drizzle asparagus with olive oil and add Kosher salt and cracked pepper and cook for 10 minues on 400. Yummy and very healthy!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Barefoot Contessa Turkey Meatloaf

So I lied... I am now writing about my attempts at cooking. No, I am no Pioneer Woman but what the hell. I never dreamed I would like to cook as much as I do; it is my zen time. But, can I cook? Hmm, it's too early to tell. At least the recipes I follow are easy and use minimal, easy-to-find ingredients. Cooking more has been a new years resolution every year for at least 5 years and until now has been a MAJOR failure. But alas, it is January sixth and I have cooked absolutely everything I have put in my mouth (wheat bread aside) since the 2nd (the 1st, of course never counts whilst in recovery from the previous night's gluttony). I LOVE to eat but just never made the time to cook... Until this week. Dear God, hope I am decent, still waiting to taste the loaf...

Ok, so this recipe is really easy and I cut it in half, it typically serves 8-10 and I am a one. So this is for 4-5 servings:

  • 1 1/2 cup chopped yellow onions or one onion
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (b/c Ina always uses thyme)
  • little less than a 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
  • little less than 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 3/4 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 lbs ground turkey breast
  • 3/4 cup plain, dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 regular size eggs beaten
  • little less than 1/2 cup ketchup


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a medium saute pan, over medium-low heat, cook the onions, olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme until translucent, but not browned, approximately 15 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste and mix well. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, eggs, and onion mixture in a large bowl. Mix well and shape into a rectangular loaf on an ungreased sheet pan. Spread the ketchup evenly on top. Bake until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F, the full portion recipe calls for 1 1/2 hours so try cooking for 50 minutes and check the temp. (A pan of hot water in the oven under the meatloaf will keep the top from cracking.) Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold in a sandwich.