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Volume 18   Number 20

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   > Article: An Easy Way to Stuff Chicken Breasts

   > Food Funnies: Rejected New Soda Flavor Ideas

       S E L E C T E D    R E C I P E S :

    * Macaroni Grill Pesto and Garlic Shrimp
    * Grilled Flank Steak
    * Duck with Orange Sauce
    * Toasted Ravioli
    * Scalloped Potatoes
    * Onion and Pepper Crostini
    * Fruited Curry Chicken Salad
    * Bread Pudding with Spiced Rum Sauce

     Healthy Eating:

    Low Carb: Burgers ala Lobster Club

    Diabetic: Special Chocolate Ice Cream

    Low Fat: Fruit Smoothie


  This Week's Cooking Tips

    Camping Tips:

 * Plan all your meals before you leave, making a list of every
   ingredient you'll need. This way you won't forget anything, and
   you'll be sure to bring the right amount of food.

 * Camping trips usually involve lots of physical activity, so
   everyone will be extra-hungry: bring plenty of snacks!

 * Put your food in the car or in a lidded box at night or whenever
   you leave the campsite in order to keep the forest animals out of
   your food supply.

 * Cover pots whenever cooking outdoor. Food will get done quicker
   and you will save on fuel. Also helps keep dirt and insects out
   of your food.

 * Freeze meat before putting in cooler. Keeps other foods cold and
   will keep longer.

 * Bring plenty of garbage bags so you can pack out every last piece
   of trash you brought in with you. More Cooking Tips


  This Week's Culinary Quiz (Answer at the bottom of page)

   On which holiday are Dutch doughnuts known as "oliebollen"
   traditionally served ?


  Quote of the Week:

    "Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green
     vegetables smelled as good as bacon."

     - Doug Larson



          May is: National Asparagus Month
                  National Barbecue Month
                  National Chocolate Custard Month
                  National Egg Month
                  National Hamburger Month
                  National Salad Month
                  National Salsa Month
                  National Strawberry Month

            May 15 - National Chocolate Chip Day
            May 16 - National Coquilles St. Jacques Day
            May 17 - National Cherry Cobbler Day 
            May 18 - National Cheese Souffle Day 
            May 19 - National Devil's Food Cake Day 
            May 20 - National Quiche Lorraine Day 
            May 21 - National Strawberries & Cream Day 
            May 22 - National Vanilla Pudding Day 


   An Easy Way to Stuff Chicken Breasts
     by Mark Bittman

  In almost every instance the sole reason to stuff one food with
 another is appearance. So for me the questions are: Is it easy
 enough to make it worth the effort? Does the process add or detract
 from the overall flavor?

  I’ve gotten to the point where I no longer feel ravioli are worth
 my time, for example; I love the way they look, but they taste pretty
 much the same as fresh pasta with sauce. I haven’t stuffed a turkey
 in 20 years because it’s counterproductive: the stuffing gets worse
 when you cook it inside the turkey. 

  I do like stuffing chicken breasts with greens, though. The chicken
 juices seem to contribute to the greens’ flavor, even if subtly. But
 the whole pounding and rolling process became burdensome. Call me
 lazy; I am.

  Here is a technique that has it all: it’s easy, it makes chicken
 breasts taste good (no mean feat) and, as an added bonus, it produces
 lots of servings without much effort. 

  Take two chicken breast halves and pound them just a little. If
 they’re an inch thick at first, maybe take them down to three-
 quarters of an inch. Lay some cooked greens on one, put the other on
 top, and tie them together. It’s really not stuffing, but layering.

  The cooking of greens and chicken takes place in one pan, first on
 the stove top, then in the oven. The resulting dish not only looks
 impressive but tastes better than chicken and greens served

  Stuffed Chicken Breasts
    3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1/4 cup raisins
    1/4 cup pine nuts
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    1 pound fresh spinach leaves
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs), optional
    4 boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  Preheat oven to 350F. Cut six 8-inch pieces of butcher twine. Put
 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high
 heat. When hot, add raisins, pine nuts and garlic, and cook for about
 30 seconds; add spinach, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook,
 stirring constantly, until wilted and fairly dry, about 10 minutes.
 Remove and roughly chop; stir in panko, if you like. Set skillet

  Spread out two chicken breasts on a work surface so that the sides
 where the bones were face up. Flatten them a bit with your palm, a
 rolling pin or the bottom of a pot. Place stuffing on top, then top
 with remaining breasts, end to end, the thick side of the top breast
 on the thin side of the bottom one, so the "sandwich" is of fairly
 even thickness. Tie each stuffed breast in three places with twine.

  Sprinkle all sides with salt and pepper. Use remaining tablespoon
 of olive oil to brown chicken in skillet used for spinach. Transfer
 to oven and bake, turning once, until chicken is cooked through and
 opaque, 25 to 30 minutes.

  Remove chicken from skillet and tent with foil. Set skillet over
 medium heat and add vinegar, mustard and 2 tablespoons water. Cook,
 stirring frequently, until sauce is a thin syrup. Add a few more
 grinds of black pepper. Remove string from chicken and slice cross-
 wise into thin or thick pieces. Serve with a spoonful of sauce
 drizzled over all.




     Discover our very special collection of over
     100 cookbooks filled with world class recipes ...


  FOOD FUNNIES: Rejected New Soda Flavor Ideas

  9. Coca-Collard Greens 

  8. 7-Herbs-and-Spices-Up 

  7. Falafel Fresca 

  6. Blister Pibb

  5. Sunkist Orange Chicken 

  4. Tofu Tab 

  3. Orange Crushed Red Peppers 

  2. Dr. Chili Pepper

   ... and the #1 Rejected New Soda Flavor Idea ... 

  1. Mountain Oyster Dew


  Macaroni Grill Pesto and Garlic Shrimp
    2 ounces garlic butter
    6 shrimp
    2 ounces diced red bell peppers
    1 ounce pine nuts
    1 ounce white wine
    3 ounces pesto
    2 ounces heavy cream
    2 ounces Parmesan cheese
    6 ounces angel hair pasta

  Saute shrimp, bell peppers, pine nuts, and white wine until cooked,
 approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Add pesto, heavy cream and Parmesan
 cheese and cook for 1 minute. Place the cooked pasta in the center
 of the plate. Stand the 6 shrimp around the pasta and top with the
 garlic/pesto sauce. Garnish pasta with parsley.

      =+=-=+=-=+=-=+= Free Recipes and Cookbooks =+=-=+=-=+=-=+=-=

  Grilled Flank Steak
    2 lbs. flank steaks 
    3 tablespoons minced shallots 
    1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce 
    2 tablespoons olive oil 
    1/2 teaspoon thyme or Italian seasoning 
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
    juice from 1/2 lemon

  Lightly pierce steaks all over with a sharp fork or knife. Whisk 
 together remaining ingredients and transfer to a large resealable 
 heavy-duty plastic bag. Add steaks and seal, pressing out excess air. 
 Marinate steaks at least 6 hours or up to 1 day. 

  Prepare grill for cooking. 

  Grill steaks on an oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals, 
 turning once, about 12 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting 
 board and let stand 5 minutes. Thinly slice steaks diagonally across 
 the grain.

      =+=-=+=-=+=-=+= Free Recipes and Cookbooks =+=-=+=-=+=-=+=-=

  Duck with Orange Sauce
    3/4 cup orange juice, plus 2 tablespoons 
    3/4 cup chicken broth 
    1 cup orange marmalade 
    1 tablespoon cornstarch 
    4 duck breasts 
    1 tablespoon paprika

  In a small saucepan, combine orange juice, chicken broth, and orange
 marmalade. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then lower heat and
 simmer for 15 minutes. Mix cornstarch with 2 tablespoons orange juice
 in a small bowl to make a slurry. Add slurry to sauce and briefly
 return to a boil. Keep warm until ready to serve.

  While sauce is simmering, heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high
 heat. Sprinkle duck on both sides with paprika. Grill on both sides
 until medium-rare. Transfer duck to serving plates. Pour warm sauce
 over duck and serve.

      =+=-=+=-=+=-=+= Free Recipes and Cookbooks =+=-=+=-=+=-=+=-=

  Toasted Ravioli
    2 large eggs
    1/2 cup canned evaporated milk
    1 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
    1 1/2 cups good-quality marinara sauce
    about 4 cups vegetable oil for frying
    24 fresh bite-size ravioli, thawed if frozen
    1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

  In a shallow bowl beat together eggs and evaporated milk. Put bread
 crumbs in another shallow bowl. In a small saucepan heat sauce over
 moderate heat until hot and keep warm, covered.

  In a small heavy kettle (about 5 quarts) heat 1 inch oil over
 moderate heat until a deep-fat thermometer registers 350F. While oil
 is heating, dip ravioli in egg to coat, letting excess drip off, and
 dredge in bread crumbs, knocking off excess. Arrange ravioli as
 coated on a tray.

  With a slotted spoon gently lower 4 ravioli into oil and fry,
 turning them occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through,
 2 to 3 minutes. With slotted spoon transfer ravioli as fried to paper
 towels to drain. Return oil to 350F before frying remaining ravioli
 in same manner. 

  Transfer hot ravioli to a platter and sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve
 ravioli with warm marinara sauce for dipping.

      =+=-=+=-=+=-=+= Free Recipes and Cookbooks =+=-=+=-=+=-=+=-=

  Scalloped Potatoes
    1 teaspoon unsalted butter 
    4 cups heavy cream 
    2 teaspoons salt, divided 
    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
    3 to 3 1/4 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch
    8 ounces Swiss cheese, grated

  Preheat the oven to 400F. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish with
 the butter and set aside. Place the cream in a large saucepan and
 bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt
 and the pepper, and stir well. Add the potatoes, adding more cream
 if necessary to completely cover the potatoes. Lower the heat to
 medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are barely fork tender,
 about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat. 

  With a large spoon, transfer 1/3 of the potatoes with some of the
 cream to the prepared dish, forming an even layer on the bottom. Top
 with 1/3 of the cheese, and continue layering the potatoes and
 cheese, ending with cheese on top. Place on a baking sheet and roast
 until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes. 

  Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve hot.

      =+=-=+=-=+=-=+= Free Recipes and Cookbooks =+=-=+=-=+=-=+=-=

  Onion and Pepper Crostini
  For toasts:
    1 baguette, cut into 60 (1/4-inch-thick) slices
    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  For peppers and onions:
    6 assorted red, yellow, and orange bell peppers (3 lb), cut
      into 1/4-inch-wide strips
    2 large onions (1 1/2 lb), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick
    1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

  For pesto:
    1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
    1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
    1/4 cup finely grated parmesan (1 oz) 
    2 teaspoons chopped garlic
    2 tablespoons water
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon black pepper
    1/3 cup olive oil 

  Make toasts: Preheat oven to 350F. Put baguette slices on 2 large
 baking sheets, then brush tops with oil and season with salt and
 pepper. Bake in batches in middle of oven until pale golden, about
 10 minutes. Cool on a rack.

  Cook peppers and onions: Cook bell peppers, onions, and garlic with
 salt in oil in a wide 4- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderately low
 heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until softened, 20 to 25
 minutes. Cover pot and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until
 vegetables are very tender and just starting to brown, 20 to 25
 minutes more. Stir in vinegar and remove from heat. 

  Make pesto while peppers cook: Pulse all pesto ingredients except
 oil in a food processor until finely chopped. With motor running, add
 oil in a slow stream and blend until combined well. 

  Assemble crostini: Put about 1 tablespoon pepper mixture on each
 toast and top with about 1/4 teaspoon pesto.

      =+=-=+=-=+=-=+= Free Recipes and Cookbooks =+=-=+=-=+=-=+=-=

  Fruited Curry Chicken Salad
    4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cooked and diced 
    1 stalk celery, chopped 
    1/2 onion, chopped 
    1 small apple - peeled, cored and chopped 
    1/3 cup golden raisins 
    1/3 cup seedless green grapes, halved 
    1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans 
    1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper 
    1/2 teaspoon curry powder 
    3/4 cup mayonnaise 

  In a large salad bowl combine the chicken, celery, onion, apple,
 raisins, grapes, pecans, pepper, curry powder and mayonnaise. Mix
 all together, tossing to coat. Refrigerate for several hours or
 overnight allowing flavors to blend. Serve on a croissant or pita
 bread as a sandwich or on a bed of lettuce.

      =+=-=+=-=+=-=+= Free Recipes and Cookbooks =+=-=+=-=+=-=+=-=

  Bread Pudding with Spiced Rum Sauce
    8 large eggs
    3 1/2 cups whole milk
    2 cups sugar
    1 1/2 cups whipping cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 (1 lb.) loaf cinnamon bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
    1 cup golden raisins

    1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
    1/2 cup whipping cream
    2 tablespoons spiced rum or dark rum
    3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

  Butter a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Whisk eggs in large bowl to
 blend. Add milk, sugar, cream, and vanilla; whisk to blend well.
 Stir in bread and raisins. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.
 Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.

  Preheat oven to 350F. Bake pudding uncovered until puffed and
 golden, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool slightly (pudding will fall).

  In the meantime, prepare sauce. Stir brown sugar and butter in
 heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until melted and smooth, about
 2 minutes. Add cream, rum, and cinnamon and bring to simmer. Simmer
 until sauce thickens and is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 5 minutes.
 Serve over bread pudding.


   This Week's Culinary Quiz Answer: New Year's Eve

  Traditionally served on New Year's Eve, "oliebollen" are small
 round Dutch doughnuts, sprinkled with powdered sugar. The name of
 these tasty treats literally translates to "oil balls." Don't let
 this unappetizing name fool you, "oliebollen" are delicious. The
 Dutch regularly include raisins, currants or even finely diced
 apples in their "oliebollen" dough. Just in time for those New
 Year's diet resolutions!


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