Monday, October 31, 2011

Chicken Bryan

Chicken Bryan
Copycat recipe from Carrabba's Italian Grill

So for my birthday dinner, I asked to go to Carrabba's. I had their Chicken Bryan - chicken breast with goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and a lemon butter sauce. Oh, so good. So good, I had to find a copycat recipe so I could have this meal whenever I wanted. Not sure where I found it, but it delivered.

Love the tang of the goat cheese and the sweetness of the sun-dried tomatoes. Then you have the silkiness of the lemon butter sauce. Yum! Oh, man. I may have to put this dish in the rotation coming up.

Chicken Bryan - serves 6 (I halved it for 3)

6 large chicken breasts
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces goat cheese, softened to room temperature

Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups finely sliced sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Prepare the Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce: Place butter, garlic, and onion in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté until garlic and onion are tender and transparent. Add white wine and lemon juice. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer to reduce by half. Reduce heat to low. Add cold butter one piece at a time. Add sun-dried tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper and stir to blend ingredients. Set aside.

Prepare the Chicken: Reduce charcoal briquettes to white-hot coals. Brush chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill chicken over hot coals 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through. Divide goat cheese evenly between chicken breasts, placing some on each breast for the last two minutes of cooking. Place cooked chicken on serving platter and spoon Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce over chicken.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Chile Beef Short Ribs with Queso Fresco Polenta

Chile Beef Short Ribs with Queso Fresco Polenta
Recipe from Bobby Flay

I don't remember a whole lot about this recipe. I got a bunch of cook books from the library and saved a bunch of recipes that looked enticing. This was the first time I ever made short ribs. And this being a Bobby Flay recipe, it has a lot of steps and layers. Nevermind that to properly cook short ribs, it needs to be "low and slow" as they say.

The flavor was there, but seemed to be missing something. Maybe it's that Bobby Flay touch. And I mean the actual touch. Like him making the meal and not me. The meat was tender, but it did take some effort to shred the meat.

I don't know if I'd make this recipe again, but I'll definitely give short ribs a go again.

Serves 4

3 tablespoons New Mexico red chile powder
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican cinnamon
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

3 pounds bone-in short ribs
1/+ cup canola oil, plus extra as needed
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 medium Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
1 cup dry red wine
4 cups Enriched Chicken Stock or low-sodium chicken broth
6 sprigs fresh thyme
Freshly ground black pepper

Creamy Polenta with Cotija

1. Preheatthe oven to 325 degreesF.

2. Mix together the chile powder, 2 teaspoons salt, the cinnamon, and the coarsely ground black pepper in a small bowl. Lay the ribs on a baking sheet and season one side with the spice mixture, rubbing the mixture in so that it adheres to the meat.

3. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof Dutch oven over high heat until it shimmers. Working in batches, place the ribs in a single layer, rub side down, in the oil and cook until a crust has formed and the ribs are golden brown. Turn the ribs over and cook until the second side is golden brown. Remove to a plate and repeat with the remainino ribs adding more oil if needed.

4. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pan and add the garlic, onion, carrots, and celery and cook until golden brown and caramelized, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the wine and boil until nearly reduced, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer.

5. Return the ribs to the pan along with the thyme and bring to a simmer. Place the lid on the pan and place in the oven. Cook until the meat is tender and is falling off the bone, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

6. Carefully remove the ribs to a large plate and let cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and discard the bones.

7. Strain the sauce into a medium saucepan and return it to the stove over high heat. Bring the sauce to a boil and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a sauce consistency, 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and discard the thyme sprigs. Return the ribs to the pan to reheat.

8. Serve over creamy polenta with cotija in large shallow bowls.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Asian Chicken Meatballs

Asian Chicken Meatballs

Spicy and so easy. I made the meat mixture the night before, used a cookie scoop to make the meatballs, and cooked up 5 minute rice. Throw in some edamame and dinner is ready in under 30 minutes.

I was a little worried that the meatballs would dry out since I used chicken (the recipe actually calls for turkey, but the grocery store was out of turkey). But they were delightfully moist and tender. The Siracha might have overwhelmed the flavors a bit, but it's so worth it. Don't freak out about fish sauce - you can't taste it.

This meal was planned for a little get together, but despite some scheduling conflicts, that get together didn't happen. I was bummed since this turned out so good, but a little glad because if it didn't.... Well, you know, never try a new dish on company.

Yum, yum!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tomato Bisque and Grilled Cheese

Blogging takes a lot of work! Hence the year away... I think I might format this blog a bit differently, but for now, on Denver's first real snow day:

Tomato Bisque and Grilled Cheese

Another recipe from my mom that she got somewhere and good classic grilled cheese. This is what I wish we had tonight.

More posts to come!