Date Night Dinner

We all need a lil night to indulge. Some yummy food, a good bottle of wine, and a night in to cozy up with your hunny. This is the ideal dinner for a candle lit night at home. So get the DVD ready, grab some fresh flowers and get this meal on the table. Lucky for you, there is wine in this recipe so the bottle will be open before your significant other even comes over. I restrained and didn’t use garlic in this dish (for the obvious reasons involving kissing & bad breath), but most certainly will next time. Anyway, Serves 3-4 so you will have left overs unless you double-date it..

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 3 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 Tablespoon of olive oil (I cut down to 1 tbsp. because I figured there was enough butter)
  • 2 Tablespoon of butter
  • 2 tsp. of fresh thyme leaves (you know if you have a herb garden or if you are normal and want to use 1/2 tsp. dried thyme)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream (subbed for the half & half I had in the fridge for coffee)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

In a skillet over medium – medium/high heat melt butter and combine with olive oil. Prepare chicken breasts by sprinkling both sides with a little sea salt.
Saute the chicken breasts until golden and cooked through; remove and set aside. In the same skillet, saute the mushrooms until soft and starting to brown (5 minutes). Add the thyme, wine, and vinegar. Let the wine reduce, then add 2-3 Tablespoons of the half & half, and heat until warmed through. You can serve with a vegetable and some rice.

Chicken Marsala

Happy Eating, XO.

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Empanadas

Ok so I am in a Latin state of mind. Not to brag, but I am going to Panama in February. So I am totes all about exotic food right now in anticipation of my travels. I mean don’t be jealous, you can get a taste of those countries at home with this muy rica comida! (translates to “very tasty food”, you silly goose). Anyway, I digress. Host a tapas night, or serve as a game time snack, or even pack some for lunch one day with a side salad. This is one delish dish that is worth the extra time. Oh and for those of you that don’t know what an empanada is: its a meat-filled pie. Portable, popular street food and just plain old yummy!

 

1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts (any puff pastry or pie dough would work this isn’t a shameless Pillsbury plug, Pepperidge Farm can get a holla too. Anyway, I made these two ways once with pie crusts and once with crescent roll dough to see which I liked better. Listen don’t judge Philly had a snowstorm and I had cabin fever & decided to keep busy by finding you guys the yummiest way to make these. No clear winner though: the crescent dough is harder to work with, but more fluffy. The pie crust was easier and flakier. So you decide whatever you like best. Ya, I have double the empanadas. So in reality I AM THE WINNER) & 1 egg, beaten

Chicken and Cheese Filling-

  • 2 tbsp butter & 2-3 tbsp. flour (a roux)
  • 1 medium Spanish onion chopped small
  • ½ cup white wine (feel free to leave out if you don’t have any on hand).
  • 2 chicken** pieces, skin removed & shredded/chopped. (I used a store bought rotisserie & kept the remaining for a chicken salad, obvi)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Mexican blend, shredded cheese (maybe even less)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (garlic powder also because I am a freak)

**(Another option is to brown some ground turkey or ground beef with some taco seasoning and use that in place of the chicken. Get creative folks! Use what you have lying around…don’t be running to the store more than once a week if you don’t have to).

Anyway, back to the cooking part: heat the butter/flour (roux) & add the onions saute over medium heat until translucent, around 4 minutes. Add the white wine and allow to evaporate until ½ of the liquid is left and to deglaze the pan. Add the chicken & the milk, a little at a time until well incorporated and the sauce is thick.  Mix constantly, lastly you can add in the salt and pepper to taste (I also added garlic powder).

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove pie crusts from pouches; place flat on work surface. With 3 1/4-inch round cutter, cut 8 rounds from each pie crust. I don’t have a cutter so I used a martini glass, because I am hood like that. Spoon filling evenly onto half of each dough round. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the filling. A pinch of cheese people, don’t over stuff the empanada. Brush edge of crust rounds with beaten egg. Fold crust rounds in half; press edges with fork to seal. Place on foiled cookie sheet. Brush tops with egg. Bake 14-17 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool & serve immediately.
While the empanadas bake, you can whip up this easy, beyond delish dipping sauce. Any person can serve it with store bought salsa, a real foodie, makes even the accompaniments fresh! Check out the avocado cream recipe under Sauce Boss.
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Happy Eating, XO.

Chip Chop

Anyone wonder why when something is needed quickly, people say “chip chop”? Regardless, this pork chop recipe cooks in a jiffy! (Again don’t know where the word jiffy even came from?) Its a simple week night dinner that doesn’t require any prep work. I grabbed some pork chops on the way home from work and had dinner on the table in no time. No, you can’t sub for chicken or fish on this one. I hear the word on the street is that apple sauce only marries pork, so my apologies if you don’t eat the whitest red meat.

 

Also, let’s get interactive here, what are some good sides that go with pork chops? Give me suggestions on accompaniments for this dish! Email us: damndelish@gmail.com on what you would serve with this dinner. Pasta? Rice? Potatoes? No starch and just veggies? Would LOVE to hear from the readers. Jess and Sonia are lonely emailing just one another. Ok back to food, go make this one, its precious. (total prep & cook time is only 20 minutes!)
  • 2 1/2 cups of applesauce (The original calls for 4 cups and that is WAY excessive. Trust me even with 2 1/2 you will have plenty leftover, plus if you don’t want to take my word for it, know that 2 1/2 cups is pretty much an entire small jar anyway).
  • 2 onions (Original recipe calls for 1 onion so that should be fine, but I increased it since they cook down a lot).
  • 1 1/2 cups of white wine (I had some left over from the fancy pants chicken piccata recipe)
  • 4 (1-inch thick) pork chops
  • 3 tbsp. butter
Season pork chops with salt and pepper generously & place in a large skillet over medium-high heat. In the spaces between the chops, add the butter and onions. (you are going to need a pretty big pan by the way, I switched half way through because mine wasn’t big enough) Cook and stir the onions while the first side of the chops cook until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn the chops and continue cooking until the no longer pink in the center, 5 to 7 minutes more. Pour white wine into the skillet; bring to a boil while scraping the browned bits of food off of the bottom of the pan (this is what Food Network calls de-glazing the pan. Go ahead, show off, use it in conversation some time to act like you are a culinary king). Stir applesauce through the onion and wine mixture. Simmer until the liquid thickens somewhat, about 5 minutes. Plate the pork chops and top with the apple and onion mixture to serve. Oh and sorry there is no picture, there may or may not have been excessive wine consumption stopping us from remembering to take a photo prior to inhaling our meal.
Editor’s note: I did enjoy how quick and easy this was, but I also felt as if something was missing. Try variations on this by adding a pinch of cayenne, cinnamon, & garlic powder to the apple sauce mixture. Remember not to season the chop itself much more since it will burn the outside when searing and leave the inside undercooked. Having said all that, not one person didn’t finish their plate. So maybe don’t mess with it-keep it a simple & clean dish. Just some food for thought. ha get it!?
Happy Eating, XO.

Fancy Pants Chicken Piccata

I made this recipe one night pretending I was rich, fabulous and eating in a fancy restaurant. I never actually left my kitchen but let me tell you, it tasted like I was eating in a fancy restaurant. I couldn’t believe how simple but flavorful it turned out! BONUS: wine is needed for cooking this dish so pour yourself a glass (or two) while you’re at it.

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, halved and pounded to 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter mixed with 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (If you don’t have fresh parsley, don’t stress. I only had dried parsley on hand when making this and it came out just fine.)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 bag of salad
  • The lemon vinaigrette dressing from this post
  • Olive oil

Dip both sides of the chicken breasts in to the flour to lightly coat. Add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet and set to medium heat. Cook the chicken until golden (about 3 min. each side). When done, keep in a warm dish off to the side.

Don’t worry about cleaning the pot (no one likes a million dishes to clean when you’re done. Let’s be honest.). Instead, add wine, lemon juice, and broth until it boils. Then add in the butter/flour mixture and cook until it thickens. Add in the capers, parsley, and additional butter and feel free to add in salt or pepper. If it gets too thick, you can add more wine (and don’t forget to pour some more for yourself).

Toss the dressing in with the salad, add the chicken, and pour your sauce from the pan over. I attempted to make it look fancy with a few uncooked capers and sprinkled parsley on top. Now light the candles, turn on some background music and I swear you’ll feel like your eating from a fancy restaurant.

Happy eating, XO.

Chicken Piccata