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Grilled Cheese Makeover

30 Mar

Re-inventing Grilled Cheese: A good ol’ childhood favorite with the volume turned up. Insert a chicken breast, creamy brie, sautéed mushrooms and you’ve got yourself a grown up meal. Check out my salad concoction to pair with the sandwich… you’ll feel like you are a guest at a chic Parisian bistro!

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Mango Chutney Stuffed Chicken Breasts

20 Mar

Longer days, warmer climates… it’s officially Chardonnay season and I have the perfect pairing for you! Whether you are a pork or chicken fan, this home-made mango chutney is the perfect filling for your meat treat.

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Poor Boy’s Lobster with Chardonnay

8 Sep

If you live on the East Coast, you better be at the supermarket every week in August and September asking for lobster specials (Hopefully inexpensive everywhere else too!). I have been hearing from some of my wine and foodie friends that lobster has been ridiculously cheap; however, I thought they would surely be gone by the time I get off work if they’re priced at $5 a pound. Over this past holiday weekend, I scurried into the grocery store to hopefully get a lobster before they had gone away. With a parking lot full, a massive sign designating fresh lobster, I was sure my chances were looking even slimmer. To my surprise, when I got to the meat department I encountered a massive tank with loads of fresh lobster. At $5.99 a pound, these lobsters were cheaper than a basic ribeye steak!

Although I tend to create recipes with a massive laundry list worth of ingredients, I am actually quite the naturalist when it comes to fish this good. If cooked correctly, I enjoy this shellfish with some lemon butter and herbs. A perfect summer accompaniment would be some fresh grilled corn and grilled sliced Yukon potatoes. Believe it or not, this lobster dinner came to about $10 a person! Once again, I am reminded how amazing cooking can become when using fresh ingredients of the season. I generally go by this rule when strolling through the meat and produce sections… the larger the quantity on a product, the more in season it is – grab it! Chances are the price is now lower also because they have a greater supply. Fresher food, lower prices, win win situation. Enjoy this simple, delightful, end of summer treat listed below.

This hearty fish accompanied by butter will clearly go well with any Chardonnay. If you are willing to sacrifice a few extra bucks on something spectacular, I would especially recommend a Puligny-Montrachet from Burgundy, France. This style will be more polished than many of the over oaked Chardonnay’s available in today’s market. The natural link comes between the buttery sauce and richness in the wine. Fresh lobster tastes best with a match that has the same elegance. Burgundy sets the bar for the world’s greatest Chardonnay and is worth every penny.

Lobster
– 1- 1 1/2lb Lobster
– Herb and Lemon Butter – listed below
-Corn on the cob
– Sliced Yukon Potatoes

Boil lobster for 7-8 minutes in water. Chop off the tails and cut down center(butterfly it). Grill parts for 7-8 minutes. Layer sliced potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a foil pocket and grill for about 15 minutes. Grill corn until kernels are bright yellow and slightly browned. Serve with butter below.

Herb and Lemon Butter
-Minced Thyme
– Minced Rosemary
-Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon
– 4 tbsp butter
Melt butter and add ingredients. Use for dipping lobster

“The Little Owl” Inspired Fresh Catch Fish with Chardonnay

1 Sep

When describing a dish, generally the words simple and gourmet are not used in tandem. Last night I realized that these terms can co-exist with cooking. Quick preparation, quick clean up, less than ten ingredients total! The secret… let the freshest of ingredients do the work for you. How does a fresh white fish with an herbaceous, citrus, and white wine broth sound? The recipe I created below stemmed from a few inspirations I have encountered in recent weeks. While visiting NYC the other weekend, we visited a quaint, reservation only, eclectic, and gourmet restaurant called The Little Owl. Recommended by a native New Yorker and located in the chic West Village, my husband and I ate like kings and queens for the evening. A sparkling cava rose to start, an almond based salad with tender duck strips, lamb with home-made ricotta risotto, whole white fish with lobster risotto, and a chocolate souffle to end the evening. I can see how this meal may appear to be pure gluttony; however, it was our anniversary dinner. Lets face it, we all can’t afford to eat like that everyday. Similar to how I felt after eating the crab cake portabella sandwich at Corner Bistro, I came home wanting to bring one of these gourmet dishes to your table. Additionally inspired by the French cookbooks I have been reading, I decided to pursue the flavors of the white fish and put my own spin on the recipe. I started by seeking out the freshest white fish I could find. I would recommend a cod or halibut. In French cuisine, fresh ingredients by region are often incorporated into the dish. Considering basil grows like wildfire and tomatoes are the size of small pumpkins in Jersey, I decided to focus on these delicious summer treats. Cooking the fish in sealed parchment paper is a classic French technique that allows the steam to create an intense aroma and keep the fish tender. Do your best to maintain a tight seal so that no steam is released and all of the flavors can blend together. Picture above taken before cooking.Bon Apetit!

Enjoy this dish with a wine like Adelaida Chardonnay. In Wine Spectator‘s most recent issue, they focused on pairing wine with food. Within the article, they mentioned to look for flavor links when deciding on a wine for the meal. For instance, earthy herbs and butter are often associated with Chardonnay. It makes perfect sense that this style wine would go great with a fish that has a buttery component and is cooked with  fresh basil. Try to look for one or more links. As a result, these flavors will be heightened while eating and drinking.

Fresh White Cod Wrapped in Parchment with Vegetables and Broth
– Fillet of fresh white fish like cod or halibut
– Parchment paper
– Good quality olive oil
– Sliced Yukon gold potato 1/8″ thick, microwave until softened first
– Fresh basil leaves
– Sliced tomato on the vine
– Sliced fresh garlic
– Lemon slices
– s&p
– dry white wine

Lay a large piece of parchment on the counter. Layer potato, basil, tomato, garlic, fish, salt & pepper, olive oil, lemons, and 1/4 cup white wine in that order. Wrap fish in parchment with little or no air pockets. Cook in oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. Important to pre-cook potatoes.Serve with Chardonnay.

Honey Mustard Chicken & Chardonnay

13 Jan

Tonight I got home at about 6 o’clock with a growling stomach and no energy to run to the store or even get take out. I put together this concoction with some essentials that I have laying around the house at all times..
Honey Mustard Chicken with Sauteed Spinach
– Spinach & Arugula blend (I have for sandwiches. Great peppery mix to add more flavor)
– Chopped Walnuts (Always keep on hand for baking and salads)
– Goat cheese (Great creamy mild cheese to add to all types of dishes)
– Honey Mustard (Another must have for daily sandwiches)
– Panko bread crumbs (Japanese style for a better crunch)
– Frozen chicken breast (A Costco necessity to always have)
Coat chicken breasts with honey mustard on both sides and then put a layer of bread crumbs over the mustard. Bake in oven at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes in greased pan. A great tip if cooking for 1… bake in toaster oven to use less energy. On the stove, saute spinach in dash of water and then add goat cheese crumbles and walnuts. If all of the water does no evaporate, drain before adding cheese and nuts. Serve with chicken and honey mustard to dip chicken. If you’d like a carbo fix, toast up some bread or bagel on the side. Bon Apetit!
Pair with fruity and slightly oaky chardonnay.. Santa Barbara Chardonnay is perfect!
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