Baked Chicken Breasts

BSCB aka Bone-less Skin-less Chicken Breasts are surprisingly hard to cook. It’s hard to get the timings right. Too long, tough and inedible; pull them too soon raw in the middle. Big no no! I ran across this method in my search for dinner ideas and gave it a go. I love it! It’s so easy and quick.

Baked Chicken Breasts
3-4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Butter
Salt & Pepper
Parchment Paper

Pre-heat the oven to 400f/200c

Spread the olive oil along the bottom of your baking pan.
Place your chicken in the oil and flip until well coated in the oil.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Coat one side of the parchment paper with the butter.
Place the parchment butter side down against the chicken in the pan.
Tuck the corners of the parchment into the pan.
Place in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes.

Check the temp with your digital thermometer at 20 minutes.
If the temp reads 160f/70c pull the chicken and allow it to rest for 5 or so minutes.
in that time the chicken temp will carry over and the temp will read 165f/75c
If cooking more than 3-4 pieces leave it in the oven and check the temp every 5 minutes until it reaches 160f/70c.

Serve with your favorite sauce over or slice and serve over salad greens.

Print this recipe? Click here! Baked Chicken Breasts

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Please excuse the phone pics! My camera was still charging 🙂

Hang the Rules Sauce Bearnaise

my bearnaise let me show it to you

sauce bearnaise

The best thing to put on your steak is sauce bearnaise.
But then there’s the complex double boiler action, all the wine and shallot reducing to do.
True, you can do it in a blender but, then you have to wash the blender.
Uh oh! No shallots! No fresh tarragon! No wine!
Please do not despair my friends, I have the solution to your problem.
Just, hang the rules!

Hang the Rules Sauce Bearnaise
Tools needed: Hand Blender

2 Egg Yolks (room temp)
2 teaspoons dried Tarragon
Salt & Pepper
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 finely chopped Green Onion
1 & 1/2 sticks of Butter

In a 2 cup measuring cup or other narrow container whisk together the egg yolks, tarragon, salt & pepper, green onion and lemon juice.
Place the butter into a microwave safe container with a spout. (this is important for the drizzling technique of adding the butter)
Melt the butter in the microwave.
Stirring with your hand blender constantly, slowly drizzle the hot butter into the container with the egg/herbs mixture. Use your hand blender to emulsify the sauce.
I found using an up and down motion was the right technique for the narrow container I was using.
Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.

P.S. The above technique is demonstrated by Michael Ruhlman

Broiled Fish with Butter & Lemon

Broiled Trout

How to get the fish cooked nicely without the skin (the best part) going all flobby?
This way please….

Broiled Fish

2-4 Fish Fillets (Trout or Salmon)
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
For Serving:
Butter
Fresh Lemon Juice
Fresh Herbs

Place the oven rack about 3-4 inches away from the heating surface. Pre-heat oven Broiler for about 5-10 minutes.

Coat the fish, flesh and skin sides, with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange skin side up on a foil lined baking sheet.
Place the fish into the broiler for about 5-8 minutes depending on the number of fillets and thickness of the fish.
Set the timer, don’t wander off, or you’ll have really crispy skin in the form of blacked charcoal.

When the skin is crisp and golden take from the oven and tear over the fresh herbs, add a dab of butter onto each fillet and serve with a final squeeze of lemon.

Coconut Cake

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It’s Jefrey’s birthday. You know what that means! Yay!

Coconut Cake

For the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line two 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper then set aside.

3 cups Cake Flour
2 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6oz. (1 stick + 3 tablespoons) Butter (room temp.)
1 3/4 cups Sugar
2 Eggs (room temp.)
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 1/4 cup Coconut Milk

Combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
Combine the wet ingredients: coconut milk, vanilla and eggs and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
In turns on low-speed, add half the dry then half the wet ingredients then add the rest of the dry then the rest of the wet until everything is combined.

Pour the batter evenly between the two cake pans and place into the oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Place the pans on a wire rack to cool before frosting.
Tip: Make the cake a day before and store in wrapped in cling film in the fridge. The cold cake will frost much easier.

For the frosting:
Cream Cheese Frosting
2 sticks Butter (room temp)
2 8oz. containers Cream Cheese (room temp)
1 lb. Powdered Sugar
2 cups of Sweetened Flaked Coconut

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment whip together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
Turn the mixer down to low-speed and add in the powdered sugar by small increments until well combined and smooth.

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Starting with the bottom layer smooth about 1/2 cup portion of the frosting onto the top then place the top layer on and spoon most of the rest of the frosting onto the top layer. Smooth the frosting over the side of the cake and smooth it over the sides and in between the cake layers. Make swirls on the top to form a decorative pattern.
Next gather the coconut in your palm and pat it into the frosting on the sides of the cake. This will be very messy!
Continue until you have a nice layer and all of the frosting is covered. Sprinkle the coconut onto the top.

Scallops and Herbed Risotto

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If you’re celebrating something this is the dish for you! Yet it’s so easy to make you could go for it on a weekday as well.

Scallops and Herbed Risotto
For the Herbed Risotto:
1 1/2 cups Risotto/Arborio rice
6 cups Chicken or Vegetable stock
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Small Onion (finely chopped)
1 cup White Wine
2 tablespoons Fresh Herbs (Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley, Tarragon, etc.)
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Pepper

Heat up the chicken stock in a large sauce pan and set aside.
In a large heavy bottomed saute pan heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Add the diced onion, cook until translucent and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper and half the fresh herbs.

Add the rice and stir to ensure it gets coated thoroughly in the oil. Toast the rice for about 3 minutes.
Add the wine. When the wine is all absorbed you can start to add the stock one ladle full at a time.

Ladle the hot stock into the rice by half cup increments, stir and wait until all the stock is absorbed until you add more. Continue with this process until the rice is fully cooked and tender. About 20-30 minutes.
You might not need all the stock, I always give the rice a taste every 10 or so minutes to test for doneness.

Right before you add the last couple of ladles full of stock add the rest of the fresh herbs. Lastly, stir in the parmesan cheese.

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For the Scallops:
1 lb. large Scallops (about 10-15)
4 tablespoons Compound Butter (divided) or, Plain Unsalted Butter if you’d rather.
2 tablespoons Olive Oil (divided)
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
Chopped Fresh Chives
Salt & Pepper

In a heavy bottomed sauté pan turned to medium high, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Pat the scallops dry with a tea towel or paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place 5-7 of the scallops into the butter and fry for about 2 minutes or until golden brown on one side. Flip and then fry for another 2 mins. Remove and place on a warm plate and cover with foil while working on the next batch.
Correctly cooked scallops are rare in the middle.
Repeat procedure for the remaining scallops.
Remove the scallops and place on the plate. Whisk in the heavy cream and reduce for 2-5 minutes, or until it is thickened.

Serve with the Risotto, the cream sauce poured over. Garnish with chives.

St. Patrick’s Day Feast


Subway art courtesy of eighteen25

Kiss me I’m Irish! On St. Pat’s Day everyone gets to be Irish. Do you celebrate?

Also, I’m sorry there are no pictures right now. I’ve been making this meal for years and believe it or not, I’ve never taken pictures. Well, it’s usually all gone before I can! I plan on taking pictures on Saturday then updating. Okay?

Corned Beef
3-4 lb. Boneless Corned Beef Brisket (with the spice packet)
16oz Guinness beer
About 6 cups water
In a large Dutch oven add the beer and the spice packet that comes with your brisket, bring to a boil.
Add the brisket and any juice that has accumulated in the package to the pot. Cover with water until the brisket is just covered. Clamp the lid on and reduce the heat to a simmer.
Cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the meat is tender. Slice the meat crosswise to serve.
(Save 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid for the sautéed cabbage!)

Sautéed Cabbage
1/2 cup leftover Brisket Cooking Liquid or Chicken Stock
1 head Savoy or Green Cabbage
1/2 cup finely shredded Carrot
4 tablespoons Butter
Salt and Pepper
Core and shred the cabbage into about 1/4 inch strips, shred the carrot.
Heat a very large saute pan or large pot over medium high heat and melt the butter.
Add the cabbage and carrot and toss to coat in the butter. Add salt and pepper and brisket cooking liquid.
Cover with a lid for about 3-4 minutes. Saute until the cabbage is tender-crisp and just wilted.

Smashed Potatoes
4 lbs Yukon Gold or Red Potatoes
8 tablespoons butter
Salt and Pepper
about 1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
Wash and quarter the potatoes and place into a large pot.(Leave the peels on)
Cover completely with water and boil for 15-20 minutes or until tender and soft.
Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. With a potato masher or wooden spoon smash the potatoes until some are creamy and some are chunky, you want some texture.
Add the butter, salt and pepper and stir gently. Add the cream in small increments until the potatoes are moist but not runny, you might not need all the liquid. Serve warm.
(These can sit over a warm water bath to keep hot for about 30-40 minutes. Check to see if you need to add more butter or cream before serving.)

Chocolate Guinness Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 tablespoon butter or cooking spray (for lining the pan)
1 box Chocolate Cake Mix
1/2 cup Oil
3 Eggs
3/4 cup Water
1/2 cup Guinness Beer
1/2 cup Sour Cream
Butter, then line the bottom of a 9 inch spring form or high sided cake pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
Mix all the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.
Pour into the waiting pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes and then de-pan and remove the parchment paper. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting it.

For the Frosting:
1/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 package Cream Cheese (room temperature)
1/2 cup Powered Sugar
Whip the cream until soft peaks form and set aside.
Add the cream cheese to the bowl of an electric mixer (or use a hand mixer).
Whip the cheese until it is fluffy then add the powdered sugar. Whip the sugar into the cheese on low-speed.
Fold the whipped cream into the soft cheese mixture until well combined.
Place the cake on a serving stand and frost just the top of the cake. (It should look like the foamy head on a glass of beer!)

What to do with those lovely leftovers? Do I really need to ask?
Corned Beef Hash
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup Leftover Corned Beef (shredded)
2 cups Leftover Smashed Potatoes
1/2 cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
1/3 cup Frozen Peas (thawed)

In a large non-stick saute pan melt the butter over medium high heat.
Add the potatoes in an even layer along the bottom of the pan.
Add the shredded corned beef and thawed peas as the next layer.
Cook until the potatoes are crispy along the bottom and the meat is warmed through.
Give the layers a gentle fold to slightly combine the ingredients and sprinkle with the grated cheese before serving.

Tilipa with Saffron and Lemon

Tilipa is the wonder fish. It’s not a very strong flavor, unlike salmon, and holds up to all kinds of preparation. My favorite is just your basic fry-up with a little lemon. Perfect!

Tilapia With Saffron and Lemon

4 fresh Tilapia fillets
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 tablespoon Butter (divided: 1 tbsp for cooking, the other for the sauce)
Salt and Pepper
1 cup all-purpose Flour
1 Lemon (Zested and Juiced)
1 pinch of Saffron

Heat the Olive Oil and Butter in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Once the butter is melted, turn the heat down to medium.
Pat the Tilapia fillets dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle with a little Salt and Pepper and dredge them in the flour. Knock off as much flour as you can, you don’t want a thick coating.

Saute the fillets in the Butter and Olive Oil for about 3-4 minutes a side, or until golden brown. Place on a warmed plate while you make the sauce.

For the sauce:
To the pan drippings add the other tablespoon of Butter, the Zest and Juice of the Lemon, and a pinch of Saffron. Whisk until combined, cook until slightly thickened. Pour over the fish to serve.