Stuffed Vegetables Provençal

July 11th, 2019

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Summer calls out for sunny colorful food.  Red, orange, and green sweet peppers, plus plentiful zucchini are all wonderful stuffed with a meat mixture.  Topped with a marinara sauce and baked, this makes a satisfying meal with a crispy cool salad.  It is easy and would be so inviting doubled and served to guests on a huge platter.  There is something special about Provençal recipes.

French Friends

I know I have posted this picture before,  but it reminds me of our friends in France and the wonderful meal that Carole (second from left) served us in her Loire Valley home.  Stuffed vegetables were the main course after our Prosciutto wrapped melon.

Tours-stuffed-peppers

Carole stuffed peppers and tomatoes with a flavorful meat mixture.

Lulu's Kitchen

This is Lulu Peyraud’s kitchen at the Domaine Tempier winery in the Mediterranean coastal village of Bandol, France.  While in France on that same trip, we stopped at the winery and learned more about  Mrs. Peyraud.  She is a great friend of Alice Waters and the late Richard Olney.  Alice Waters serves the winery’s Bandol Rosé in her Chez Panisse Restaurant.  Lulu has a cookbook of her recipes written by Richard Olney.  You can find it here.  Lulu’s kitchen is dominated by a huge fireplace, where most of her cooking is done.  She has a small gas stove in her pantry.  It is obvious where her priorities lay.  I can just imagine how well stuffed peppers would taste coming out of that fireplace oven.  We encountered both stuffed pepper dishes and versions of ratatouille all over Provence.

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This dish is obviously summer and Provence on a plate.

STUFFED VEGETABLES PROVENÇAL

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1/4 cup dried plain bread crumbs
  • 1 pound ground beef, preferably lean
  • 2 zucchini, ends removed, halved lengthwise and crosswise
  • 1 orange bell pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1 red bell pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1 green bell pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 

    Lightly drizzle the olive oil into a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish.Whisk the onion, parsley, egg, ketchup, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the cheese and bread crumbs. Mix in the ground beef. Cover and refrigerate the beef mixture. 

    Using a melon baller or spoon, carefully scrape out the seeds and inner flesh from the zucchini, leaving 1/8-inch-thick shells. Be careful not to pierce through the skin. Fill the zucchini and pepper halves with the turkey mixture, dividing equally and mounding slightly. Arrange the stuffed vegetables in the baking dish. Pour the marinara sauce over the stuffed vegetables. 

    Bake uncovered until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown and a thermometer inserted into the filling registers 165 degrees F, about 45 minutes. Transfer the stuffed vegetables to a platter and serve.

Printable Recipe

Slow-Cooker Country Captain Chicken

March 25th, 2019

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Time in Florida is winding down.  We leave for North Carolina at the end of the week.  I have been looking for recipes to use up food items in the freezer and the pantry.  This Country Captain Chicken recipe fit the bill.  I have blogged about this chicken curry casserole before here.  And here.  You can tell I am fond of the ingredients.  The difference with this recipe is the hands-off use of the slow-cooker.

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According to legend, curry powder and the recipe for Country Captain were brought to Charleston in the early 1800s by a British sea captain.  The dish includes chicken, curry, raisins, tomatoes and almonds.  It is perfect to serve to a crowd accompanied by rice, noodles or mashed potatoes.

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Enjoy. Let’s welcome Spring.  Looking forward to seeing the blooms on the trees in the mountains.

SLOW-COOKER COUNTRY CAPTAIN CHICKEN (Taste of Home)

 

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins or raisins
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • Hot cooked rice
  • Chopped fresh parsley, optional

 

  • Place onion, pepper and garlic in a 6-qt. slow cooker. Arrange chicken pieces over vegetables.
  • Whisk the next 5 ingredients with the chicken broth. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Add raisins and tomatoes. Reduce heat to low and cook until chicken reaches 165°, 2-1/2 hours. Serve over rice; if desired, sprinkle with parsley.

Printable Recipe

 

Almond Chicken Tenderloins

March 8th, 2019

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Porch meals are important to us.  Summers at the lake are spent on the screened in porch for meals, reading, games and sleeping.  That is why I am so glad that the house we are renting in Florida for the Winter has a very comfortable porch.

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We have had a few cool days, but for the most part eating on the porch has been a part of our days.  I have even been able to grow pots of sage, basil and rosemary.  Simple meals have been the rule.  The Almond Chicken Tenderloins came from Joanna Gaines new cookbook, Magnolia Table.  It is basically chicken fingers but with a flavorful difference.  We have been using a lot of almond flour because David is on a low carb diet.  Joanna uses a mixture of almond flour and regular flour in her recipe.  I tweeked it to include mostly almond flour.  The other difference is the sliced almond sauce drizzled over the top of the tenders.  It is buttery and lemony; a perfect combination.

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I served the chicken with my Zoodle Mixed Salad.  Publix Supermarkets now sells Zucchini ribbons in the produce aisle.  We will return to Lake Lure the first of April.  It may be too early then for porch meals, but I could also enjoy this simple fare in front of the fireplace.

ALMOND CHICKEN TENDERLOINS

1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pound chicken tenders
1 1/2 tsps. kosher salt
8 Tbls. butter
4 Tbls. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Juice of 1 lemon
3 Tbls. Chopped parsley or spring onions for garnish

On a plate, stir together both flours, the garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning and pepper.

Season the tenders with the salt, then coat evenly in the flour mixture, pressing to help adhere.  Set aside in a single layer.

In a large, heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat.  When sizzling, add half of the tenders in a single layer, taking car to not crowd them in the pan. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, flip once with tongs, and cook the other side until golden brown and the chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.  Watch them carefully because they can scorch easily.  Transfer to a serving platter and tent with foil to deep them warm.

Wipe out the skillet if any of the flour mixture has scorched.

Repeat with 2 tablespoons butter, the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and the remaining chicken.  Transfer to the platter.  Wipe out the skillet.

Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in the skillet over medium heat.  When the butter is foaming, stir in the almonds and cook until golden, stirring often, about 30 seconds.  Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice.  Pour over the chicken.

Sprinkle the parsley or spring onions over the top and serve warm.

Printable Recipe

 

P.F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps

January 22nd, 2019

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There are several recipes on the internet for this copycat recipe for Chicken Lettuce Wraps from P.F. Chang’s.  I used the recipe from Averie Cooks.  David is trying to reduce carbohydrates in his diet so anything wrapped in a lettuce leaf is a winner in my book.  Crispy butter (Boston) lettuce is the perfect vessel to hold this flavorful mixture.

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The ground chicken is paired with hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and chili garlic sauce.  Crunch is provided by water chestnuts.  I served it with roasted butternut squash.  It was a quick and easy meal.

P.F. CHANG’S CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken (I’ve also used ground turkey with good results)
  • 1 medium/large sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, diced small
  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Asian chili garlic sauce, or to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger or 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger, or to taste
  • one 8-ounce can water chestnut, drained and diced small
  • 2 to 3 green onions, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • butter lettuce leaves, for serving

DIRECTIONS:

    1. To a large skillet, add the oils, chicken, and cook over medium-high heat until chicken is cooked through; stir intermittently to crumbly while cooking.
    2. Add the onion, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, chili garlic sauce, stir to combine, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until onion is soft and translucent and most of the liquid has been absorbed; stir intermittently.
    3. Add the garlic, ginger, stir to combine, and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant.
    4. Add the water chestnuts, green onions, salt and pepper to taste, and cook for about 2 minutes, or until tender. Taste filling and make any necessary flavor adjustments, i.e. more soy sauce, hoisin, pepper, etc.
    5.  Spoon about 1/4 cup of the mixture into the lettuce leaves to serve. Recipe is best warm and fresh but filling will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Printable Recipe

Crock-Pot Tuscan Garlic Chicken with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

January 13th, 2019

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Even though we are not feeling the numbing cold of the North, this hearty slow cooker chicken dish hits all of the comfort notes associated with cold weather.  So for a short while I will indulge my fantasies of snow and enjoy this flavor-filled dish. We have been in Florida for two weeks.  So far the weather has been lovely.  I have enjoyed the local New Smyrna Beach farmers’ market and being able to walk to town for a quick bite at the local restaurants.
IMG_8844  When I saw this recipe on-line for this Tuscan chicken dish, it brought back memories of our trip to Italy.  Part of the beauty of Tuscan recipes is the simplicity of the ingredient.  Simple chicken thighs are paired with a creamy Parmesan sauce and enhanced with lots of garlic, Italian herbs, sun-dried tomatoes and baby spinach.

Tuscany Countryside

The rolling hills of Tuscany produce wines, garden fresh vegetables, cheeses and pasture raised poultry.

Tuscany-Kitchen

We were fortunate to find a lovely villa in the Tuscan countryside.  I have fond memories of cooking in this kitchen.

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The crock-pot in my Florida rental house is old and smaller than what I have at home.  But it was just big enough for four chicken thighs to bubble away in the creamy sauce.  On a January day, I was warmed by both this hearty chicken dish and by memories of the Tuscan countryside.  Recipe came from eatwell 101.

CROCK-POT TUSCAN GARLIC CHICKEN WITH SPINACH AND SUN-DRIED TOMATOES

6 -8 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper flakes, optional
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 cup Sun-dried tomatoes (chopped)
2 cups Spinach (chopped, packed)

Heat oil or butter in medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Add garlic and saute for about a minute, until fragrant.

Add the cream and chicken broth.  Bring to a gentle simmer, then set heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes.  The sauce should thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Meanwhile, place the chicken at the bottom of your slow cooker.  Season lightly with Italian seasoning, crushed red chili pepper flakes, sea salt, and black pepper.  Top with sun-dried tomatoes.

When the cream sauce is ready, lower the heat and whisk in the Parmesan cheese, little by little until smooth.  Adjust seasoning as needed.

Pour the cream sauce evenly over the chicken thighs in the slow cooker.  Try to get as much sauce as possible on top of the chicken and less on the bottom.

Cook for 3-4 hours on HIGH or 6-8 hours on LOW.  When cooking time is over, remove the chicken from the slow cooker and set aside.

Turn the slow cooker on HIGH, if it sin’t already.  Add the chopped spinach and stir for a few minutes, until the spinach wilts.

Return the chicken to the slow cooker, and spoon the liquid, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes on top, or just pour them over the chicken when serving.

Printable Recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.