Chicken Parmesan

chickparm4Don’t shun me. Please. Although I’ve really shunned myself, but I’m back.

This right here has become my New Year’s Resolution. I used to post 2-3 times a week, and now…well I don’t even know. The better part of last year was a little rough. I stopped eating all Gluten and Dairy products in hopes of fixing my lil’ Claire tummy issues. After several months of remaining about 90% true to the former, I’ve been slowly able to bring a few of those items back into my diet. Although limited, it’s nice to ONLY be able to just eat…meat and vegetables. Ha!

I’ve spent the better part of this last year building my career, kicking butts, and taking names. I absolutely must rejuvenate my culinary creativity, because those protein bars aren’t really cutting it in the expressive department.

I could easily write pages and pages about my personal life, but this is a food blog, not a me blabbing blog so, as you were-

I thought I would do a “Welcome Back” with an oldie but a goodie Italian Chicken Parmesan.chickparm2

If you have all the right ingredients, this can be from prep to table easily in 40 minutes. Lay it all out so you’re ready to go from one thing to the next and boom! I would recommend a stove top to oven safe skillet if you have one, or even better, a cast iron. (Cast-iron is also your secret weapon for perfect pancakes…totally unrelated. Who’s surprised?)

Chicken Parmesan
(For 2)

*If you read almost any Chicken Parm recipe ever, it will tell you pound out to flatten out two chicken breasts. A quick cheat to this, is just to take a larger chicken breast and slice it lengthwise (carefully of course).

Chicken
1 Large Chicken Breast, sliced lengthwise
2 Tbsp. Canola Oil
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup flour
salt/pepper
1/2 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp garlic

Sauce
1 can of peel tomatoes + 1 tsp olive oil: blend in a food processor + 1/4 tsp salt+ 1/4 tsp pepper
OR
1 can/jar of tomato sauce + 1 tsp olive oil+ 1/4 tsp salt+ 1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup of mozzarella
2 tbsp. parsley

1. In a skillet or cast iron skillet, heat the oil over medium. If it starts to smoke it’s too hot. You want it to sizzle if water touches it.
2. While the oil heats, you want to soak the chicken in milk with about 1/8 tsp of each salt and pepper.
3. In another dish coming the flour+ 1/8 tsp salt+1/8 tsp pepper+1/2 tsp parsley+1/4 tsp chili powder+1/4 tsp ginger+1/4 tsp garlic.
4. Starting with piece one, dredge the soaked piece in flour, then back into the milk for a second dip, back into the flour another one last time. Repeat with 2nd piece. Set off to the site until the oil is hot enough.
5. Shallow pan fry about 1-2 minutes each side. Then set aside.
SAUCE
6. Preheat oven to 375. Turn down stove top to low. If it’s too hot your sauce will bubble (spit)
7. While the oven heats, whip out your pan you used to fry the chicken with just a paper towel. Place back on the heat and add your sauce ingredients minus the mozzarella and parsley.
8. Warm sauce on stove top until oven is ready at 375. Place your chicken breasts lightly on top in the sauce, top with mozzarella, and bake for about 15 minutes.

Serve with pasta of your choice.

xoxo : Claire ❤

 

Red Potato Pork Chops

redpotatopork2

I’ve been on a break-but I’m back, I’m back!! Just in time for fall, and just in time for EVERYTHING PUMPKIN. This is prep-post. It’s not about pumpkin, I promise but it is pretty fall-worthy. So while I work you up with a fall dinner dish, be prepared to have an overkill of pumpkin because

1. I LOVE it
2. It’s October
3. It’s fall (they’re different, promise)
4. It’s acca-mazing 5. Because real people dig pumpkin

That was your warning, so here is a post to let that Pumpkin-Info settle in, before I drown you in it. In the meantime, let’s discuss this recipe, because it’s delicious- and you want another of reasons why…right?!

1.Red Potatoes: awesome
2. Cutlets: sign me up
3. One pan bake that isn’t really a casserole: stop why you’re doing, YES.
I’m on a list binge today–stay with me
Casseroles are good, but they’re super hard to photograph (amateur alert) and they are really hard to heat up without being a bowl of mush afterwards. This one, which I’m not calling a casserole because
1. I hate that word
2. It reheats like a charm
3. This doesn’t have rice or pasta in it
soooooo…..you’re carb-ly welcome.

I’m not gonna lie, this did take some time to prep, it’s not a quick meal to table deal. It probably took 1 1/2 hours start to finish…but wine was involved so the focus was…in my glass. I should really be a guest host on My Drunk Kitchen.
It’s worth the time, or at least a bottle of wine to put together 🙂 We’ll definitely be adding this into a regular rotation!  Great for a Sunday night dinner because of the prep time or even a partial prep the night before for a quick Monday family meal! Because this recipe is swap out friendly, swap the pork cutlets for chicken or even cube-steak if you want!

As always feel free to remove or substitute any part you choose to customize it to your family-

redpotatopork1

Red Potato Pork Chop Bake
Serves 4

Ingredients
4 butterfly pork chops, cut in half (to make 8)
1/4 Greek Yogurt
1/4 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Ginger
1/8 s/p each to season
2 tbsp of veg oil to fry
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
7 small red potatoes, cut into very thin slices (use a mandolin if you have one)
1/2 yellow or white onion, VERY thinly sliced, then cut the rings in half
1 small can of mushrooms and stems
1 tbsp of butter
1 can cream of mushroom soup + 3/4 can of water (**sub in Cream of Chicken if you’re not a mushroom fan**)
1 cup broccoli florets
2 handfuls of shredded Mozzarella
Parsley to Garnish

1. Trim your pork (or chicken if needed) then slice in half. Whisk your Greek Yogurt and marinate along with you salt/pepper, ginger, and cumin. Let this marinate while you prep the rest. Can marinate up to 24 hours if you want to prep ahead of time.
2. Thinly slice half an onion into rings, then cut in half and soak in water for 5 minutes. This will remove the onion bite.
3. Next very thinly slice your red potatoes.
Preheat oven to 375
4. In a saute pan, with 1 tbsp of butter on medium high heat, cook your onion and mushrooms for 15 minutes(I added 1 tsp of sugar at the end to caramelize).
5. In a 8×10 or 9×13 size casserole dish, line the bottom with a thin layer of red potatoes, don’t overlap too much, you just want it to cover the bottom.
6. Your mushrooms/onions should be translucent and fragrant by now, remove them from the pan onto a plate. Keep the saute pan on medium high heat and add 2 tbsp of oil, or enough to cover the bottom.
7. While oil is heating, take your pork/chicken cutlets and dredge them until coated in your flour. Brown each side for about 2 minutes (they will continue to cook while baking. Place browned cutlets on top of the red potato base in your dish.
8. Scatter your broccoli next across the dish along with the mushroom/onion mixture.
*Add 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes for a kick here if you wish.
9. Place remaining red potato slices over the dish on top of all the ingredients. (I threw several tbsp of Greek Yogurt in with this too, because I love it!)
10. Whisk water and cream of mushroom/chicken together and then pour evenly across the dish.
11. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Top with Parsley to garnish.redpotatocutlets3

Meat: Chicken Meatballs!

Guilty once of again of lacking posts: I blame this counting calorie diet. >1200 a day, it’s much less tempting to eat, snack, and munch on all my favorite carb and fatty yummies if they just aren’t around. I haven’t so much lost the ol’ L.B.’s but I’ve definitely carved off some inches, helllllllo skinny jeans once again!

Meatballs….go. OK, ready for the facts? Here we go: Normally, fried in a pan with any combination of beef and/or pork (unless you’re going all out and throwing down your wallet for the veal too. Who can blame you for being authentic?! No one!).These can have upwards of 100+ calories PER meatball. Let’s take it down a notch…on your belt loop that is. Same beef and/or pork combo…BAKED, you’re looking at anywhere between 70-90 calories depending on the size. (I made medium so I’m basing my numbers off that) One more notch, chicken, baked, meatballs. A whooping skim number of 40-50 calories and about 1.5 grams of fat (vs 5-7 with beef)! Winner, winner, chicken dinner! 

Confession: As much as I hate watching every single thing I eat, and blame the fact that “myfitnesspal” app calorie counter has made me a calorie counting freak. You name it, I know it. I can spend and hour just plugging things in to see what the nutritional content is. For instance…something you don’t need/want to know. Donut holes…ughhh I’m a sucker…for donut holes. Cake donut: about 46, Glazed: about 60. It’s been very interesting over the past 3-4 weeks really paying attention to what I’ve been putting in my body. Next week starts the workout regime again…hopefully to drop an actually number on the scale, not just inches!

On accident, I’ve become a ghetto grocery store junky. The main chain stores in town are not in path from work to home…but there are several ghettoquestionabledoublechecktoseeifyourdoorsarelocked ones. In attempts to save on gas and time, I’ve been trying out more the junky stores in route. 

Confession part two: I’m addicted to junky stores! Even though they look trashy on the outside, trashy on the inside, less of a selection, kind of dirty, even more questionable cashiers and clientele ….I can’t seem to stay away. Although many of your normal boxed goods, milk, pastas, and produce are more expensive…their yogurt and meat selections are impeccable in every way (the two things I stock up on!). They almost always have a ‘managers special’ steal sticker on them, and as long as you plan on making them the day of….ain’t no thang! (or just stick them in the freezer) I save hundreds of dollars by buying things on sale at the grocery store and sticking them in the freezer or just stopping by to see whats  been marked for quick-sale on the way home for dinner that night. I go to the store so often I make it a point to pinch pennies were I can. I love cooking at home, but when you’re cooking small portions it’s just as easy/cheap to go out.

Enough of the money-saving rant, let’s get down to recipe. Whole-wheat pasta, chicken meatballs, and a vodka sauce.

These were super easy, and made a really nice yet quick dinner. They took longer to bake then actually put together! Not to mention they made a ton, so it will be great to freeze these for next time. Meatball sandwiches….or perhaps….a meatball pizza?!!??!?

Also, here’s a a great simple-complicated-different-exotic variation meatball sitehttp://food52.com/contests/168_your_best_meatballs

Chicken Meaballs

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

2 Tbsp Tomato Paste

3 Tbsp Parsley

s/p to taste

1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper

1 lb Ground Chicken

1/4 cup of Bread Crumbs

1/2 cup cheese (I used mozz/parm)

Mix everything down to the chicken together in a bowl. Then add the last three ingredients and mix well. I used an oversized tablespoon to make medium balls and I got about 26 meatballs.

Topping

1 Tbsp Grape Seed Oil

1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tbsp Tomato Pasta

Bake for 30 minutes at 325.