Tag Archives: food network

Chicken with Vegetable Ragout and Polenta

7 Jan

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I am always a fan of polenta as a side at restaurants and had been eye balling the pre-made polenta tube at Trader Joes for awhile.  I stumbled upon this Sandra Lee Food Network recipe on my hunt for including polenta in a home cooked meal.  It was unique and very satisfying.  The tube of pre-made polenta from Trader Joes yielded more polenta than the recipe called for so I added a little milk and blended the remainder of the tube with salt and pepper, added some reduced fat shredded cheddar, and heated it up for a side to a meal later that week.  Get creative and enjoy polenta on the side as an alternative to boring old rice or potatoes!  Mmm mmm mmm.

Ingredients:

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  • 3 cups frozen primavera vegetable medley (recommended: Birds Eye)
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (recommended: McCormick)
  • 1 (14-ounce) jar pasta sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry (I didn’t have so I used red wine vinegar)
  • 1 (24-ounce) tube pre-made polenta, sliced 1/2-inch thick (recommended: Trader Joes brand)
  • Grated Parmesan, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Combine frozen vegetable medley in the bottom of an at lease 3-quart pyrex baking dish or a 5-quart slow cooker.  If you have chosen to cook in the oven, preheat to 400 degrees.
  2. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Place chicken on top of vegetables.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together pasta sauce, tomato paste, garlic and sherry (or red wine vinegar). Pour 2/3 of the sauce over chicken and vegetables. Top the chicken with polenta slices and cover with remaining sauce. Cover and cook on the LOW setting for 4 to 5 hours or bake on 400 for around 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked throughout (this will differ depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts- ours were big boys.)
  4. Serve hot with Parmesan.
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I’m Thankful For Green Bean Casserole

26 Nov

Adapted from Food Network’s version, I contributed this Green Bean Casserole to my family’s Thanksgiving spread.  I’ve made this casserole a few times now and it has been equally tasty each time.  While I am pro making my own cream of mushroom soup for the dish, I am okay with cutting corners with the topping.  I use a container of French’s French Fried Onions instead.  I find them to be absolutely delicious although not the healthier of topping options thus my not designating this as a saint meal option.  I’ll give a homemade topping a try someday (there are several great options I’ve seen out there), but I’ve had no complaints with this method so far from the groups I’ve made it for.  My family actually requested it make another appearance in the menu lineup for this year’s Christmas dinner!  Bryan liked it so much that we’ve discussed cutting the recipe in half and having as a side to every day type meals.  You don’t have to wait for a special occasion either 😉  Have a great week- if you’re like me settling back into the work grind will be tough so I wish you the best of luck.  Eat some delicious things to make it easier maybe?!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and halved
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 medium container of French’s French Fried Onions

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. To prepare the beans, bring a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil in an 8-quart saucepan. Add the beans and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in a 12-inch cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the half-and-half. Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.    
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in all of the green beans. Top with the onions. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly, approximately 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.