Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Rotation

On a message board I frequent someone mentioned today that they need some new recipes since they are bored with their usual fare so I thought I would post some of our favorite recipes/dinners to change things up a little from the same old update on Ella post. We have a few dishes which we eat a lot of and I refer to them as dinners that are "in the rotation". Some are more interesting than others of course but I thought I would share a few of our standbys.

1. Chicken Caesar-Ok this sounds fancy but really it is chicken breast with Caesar dressing parm cheese and bread crumbs baked at 350. It is simple but does dress up the old baked chicken breast.

2. Chicken Mexicano!- Yup another way to make baked chicken sound cool. Same old chicken breast with salsa baked at 350. I throw on some grated cheddar for the last few minutes.

3. Lemon Tarragon Chicken- This is much more time intensive but I really have not met a person who doesn't like this meal. My mom always makes this when she is bringing someone a dish in crisis (death or sickness) or celebration (birth). It is yummy. The family I nannied for had me make it every week for them. I'll give you the readers digest version (I don't know where my mom got this recipe and I just kind of wing it on the amounts of things. I will check to see if I can get an actual recipe for it.). Anyway cut chicken breast in bite sized pieces and dredge in flour. Fry in olive oil and remove from pan when golden brown. Set aside. Turn down the heat and add 2 tbsp of butter to the pan. Next add one chicken bouillon cube and about 1/2 cup of water stir until cube is dissolved. Add 1/4 of lemon juice and about 2 tbsp of dried tarragon. Simmer until it is reduced to a thick sauce. Add the chicken back in and simmer for a few minutes stirring to cover chicken with the sauce. Serve over rice.

4. Olympic Orzo- This is a modified dish from the Moosewood Cooks at Home cookbook . We first had it when we watched the summer Olympics in Athens and added feta as a topping to go with the Greek them. I double the tomatoes and other veggies.
2 quarts water
2 cloves garlic -- minced
1 onion -- chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 3 carrots -- diced
1 red or green bell pepper -- chopped
1 cup orzo
1 zucchini -- diced
1 tablespoon fresh minced mint (1 tsp dried)
1 tablespoon fresh minced dill (1 tsp dried)
1/2 teaspoon fresh marjoram (sprinkling of dried)
5 artichoke hearts (14 oz can) -- drained and chopped
2 cups cannellini beans (15 oz can) -- rinsed & drained
1 14.5 oz can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
red wine vinegar
Bring the water to a boil in a large covered pot.
While the water heats, saute the garlic and onions in 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat.
Add carrots and bell pepper.

When the water boils, add the orzo, return to a boil, and simmer for about 10 minutes, until al dente.

Dice the zucchini and stir it into the skillet of vegetables.
Add the mint, dill, and marjoram.
Add the artichoke hearts and gently stir the beans and the stewed tomatoes.
Simmer for several minutes, stirring occasionally.

When the pasta is al dente, drain and stir in the remaining tablespoon of oil.
When the beans and vegetables are hot, add the orzo.
Season with salt & pepper to taste.

So what are your standbys? I would love to throw a few more items into the rotation!

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