Tag Archives: tarragon

Chicken with Shallot Dijon Sauce

3 Feb
Chicken in Shallot Dijon Sauce

Chicken with Shallot Dijon Sauce

Oooh, sounds fancy-pants, huh? Well, it is, actually. I’d serve this right up to guests in my house any day of the week. In reality, it was just me and the hubs chowing on it, but THAT SAUCE! The sauce with the shallots, dijon, tarragon, and the luscious cherry tomatoes that are cooked until just bursting is way up there on the yum-meter. I served this over pappardelle noodles, but it would go equally well with roasted or smashed potatoes, rice, etc.

I riffed this from a recipe I found on New York Times Cooking. They’ve been giving me quite a few ideas lately about what to cook, with their handy “What to Cook This Week” email subscription. (Which is free.) I get a lot of spammy email, but that is one email I always click on to see what inspires my tastebuds. I usually read the “most helpful” rated comments and adapt the recipe based on people’s changes who actually made the recipe, as the NYTC recipes are not always golden. OK enough of that endorsement (which I was not paid for, lol).

Chicken with Shallot Dijon Sauce

1 pound chicken, fileted to equal-ish sizes
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups shallots, (6 ounces) sliced thick length-wise
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup homemade or good-quality chicken broth
1 tablespoon stone-ground Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon (2 sprigs fresh if you have it)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

Browning the Chicken

Browning the Chicken

Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge the chicken through the flour, patting down to lightly coat. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it starts foaming, then cook the chicken pieces on both sides for several minutes until browned. Remove and set aside.

Sliced Shallots

Sliced Shallots ~ I added this shot because I think shallots are lovely

In same pan, reduce heat a little and add the shallots and cook until they start to soften and caramelize, about 10 minutes. Pour in the wine and chicken broth and deglaze the pan with a large spoon. Stir in the Dijon mustard and tarragon, add back in the chicken, then cover the skillet and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, reducing heat more if necessary.

Remove the lid, then nestle in the cherry tomatoes around the chicken. Simmer until tomatoes start to wilt and burst and the sauce thickens, about 10-15 minutes more. Stir lightly to combine, then serve.

Chicken in Shallot Dijon Sauce

Chicken with Shallot Dijon Sauce

p.s. Go Pats! ūüėČ

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

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Grilled Beer-Butt Chicken and Tortilla Pizzas

8 Jun
Grilled Pesto Chicken Margherita Pizza

Grilled Pesto Chicken Margherita Pizza

I just love grilling season! Today I present to you several scrumptious selections for summertime suppers. (How’s that for alliteration?) Two of my main attractions are not really recipes, but methodology, as the ingredients and seasonings are entirely up to you.

We’ve been grilling beer-butt chicken for many years, and every time we do we are always, ALWAYS, so pleased with how tender the meat is and how yummy-crispy the skin turns out. Seasonings of choice this time included fresh tarragon and sliced lemons. My tarragon plant has gone gangbusters once again, towering at about 18-inches tall and a foot wide. I told hubby to mince the leaves from a couple of sprigs (stalks?) for the outside seasoning and then also stuff the chicken with a couple more whole stalks with the lemons.

We rounded out the meal with some homemade dill potato salad and fresh corn on the cob, also cooked outside on the grill’s propane stove ring. And, of course, we ate outside on the deck under gloriously sunny skies. (At least for the first night of grilling. The next evening was another story.)

Dilled Potato Salad

Dilled Potato Salad

Grilled Beer-Butt Chicken

1 whole chicken
1 12-0unce can of beer, any kind
Vegetable oil
Seasonings, herbs, fruit of choice

Wash the chicken thoroughly inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the chicken all over with vegetable oil, then season generously with seasonings and herbs of choice. Stuff the inside of the chicken lightly with more herbs and some slices of fruit. You can use lemon, lime, orange, or even apple! But don’t stuff too much in there because remember you have a can of beer that goes up in there too.

Drink half the beer (or poor down the drain if you don’t drink alcohol) then place it on the counter. Take the chicken and grab it by the legs, and shove it right over the beer can until it’s about halfway inserted into the cavity and the legs can touch the counter. Ta-Dah!

Tarragon and Lemon Beer-Butt Chicken

Tarragon and Lemon Beer-Butt Chicken

Preheat the grill on high for about 15 minutes, and then turn the inside burners off so that you will be cooking with indirect heat. For charcoal grills, move the coals to the outside perimeter of the grill after they are burning red. Lay a pan or a sheet of foil in the middle under the grate to catch drips. Now carefully pick the chicken and the beer can up, making sure the can doesn’t slip out.

Place the beer-butt chicken on the center of the grill, arranging the legs to make a tripod so that it balances upright. Cover the grill and cook indirectly for about and hour, maybe a little more, depending on your grill’s heat.

Removing the Chicken from Grill

Removing the Chicken from Grill

Remove from the grill, take out the can, and place the chicken on a platter and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with sides of choice.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

If you have a small family like me, we always have leftover chicken when we cook a whole one and I’m always faced with the dilemma of how to use the leftover chicken. I had been wanting to try my hand at grilling a pizza but for some reason it intimidated me. What on earth was I thinking??? Grilled pizza is easy-peasy, especially when you use flour tortillas for the crust. I’m a huge fan of thin-crust pizza and flour tortillas make the best thin crust I think I’ve ever had.

Pesto Chicken Margherita Pizza

Pesto Chicken Margherita Pizza

My husband thought the idea of grilled tortilla pizza was a little strange, so he opted to eat the same meal from the night before from the leftovers. My daughter jumped right in and made herself a traditional pepperoni pizza, while I on the other hand went for a chicken Margherita-type pizza. Let me tell you it was divine! I gave my husband a bite and he was so surprised how good it was. In fact, we are going to use up the last of the chicken tonight and grill pizzas again! This time I’m also going to make a taco-style pizza in addition to the chicken. Just think of the endless possibilities!

Grilled Tortilla Pizzas

Traditional Pepperoni
10-inch flour tortilla
Marinara sauce (from a jar or homemade)
Pizza-blend shredded cheese
Pepperoni slices

Grilling the Pepperoni Pizza

Grilling the Pepperoni Pizza

Pesto Chicken Margherita Pizza
10-inch flour tortilla
Pesto sauce (I used store-bought)
Fresh mozzarella cheese
Shredded cooked chicken
1 tomato, sliced
Fresh basil, ribboned

Preheat grill to medium heat. Spray or lightly brush one side of the tortilla with oil, then grill oil-side down for about 3 minutes. Remove from grill and lightly oil the other side of the tortilla. Spread sauce of choice on the cooked side of the tortilla, then top with cheese and other toppings. Place back on grill, cover, and cook until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Remove, slice, and serve immediately. Molto deliziosa!

Pesto Chicken Margherita Pizza Ready to Grill

Pesto Chicken Margherita Pizza Ready to Grill

Last night when we were grilling, the sun was still out but we were overshadowed by thick plumes of smoke from two wildfires that burst out about 6 miles east of us in the forest. My thoughts and prayers go out to the firefighters for their safety and to all the evacuees who must be so frightened about the possibility of losing their homes.

Two Bulls Fire from Back Deck

View of Two Bulls Fire from our Back Deck

 

 

 

Sausage and Garbanzo Beans in a Spicy Tomato Herb Sauce

16 Oct
Sausage and Garbanzo Beans with Tomatoes in a Spicy Herb Sauce

Sausage and Garbanzo Beans with Tomatoes in a Spicy Herb Sauce

Well. This meal got totally mixed reviews. My daughter loved it. My husband didn’t like my choice of sausage but really enjoyed the spicy bean sauce and herbs, and ate mostly that. I found it middle ground because of my choice of sausage. I¬† liked it OK, just OK. But that is what cooking is about. Experiment! Next time I will make this with standard smoked turkey sausage or Kielbasa, and my husband agreed it would be outstanding with that instead of this fancy-schmancy stuff I bought.

I got the idea for this dish from a blog I follow, TasteFood:¬† ¬†Mediterranean Smoked Sausage, Tomato and Chickpeas. She has some fabulous recipes. Why oh why didn’t I use standard smoked sausage for this? I will tell you why.¬† I was in Target in their new upgraded store with a food section, and saw these and thought, “Wow! I wanted to make this recipe I just saw on a food blog site, but how neat to make it with this instead!” It was touted with all natural, no preservatives, yada yada. And spinach and garlic! Winner! (not)

Sausage Tomato Herbed Spiced Garbanzo Bean Skillet Ingredients

Sausage Tomato Herbed Spiced Garbanzo Bean Skillet Ingredients

I was also excited to use a canned jar of my tomatoes, and I scrounged in my herb garden to get the last of my herbs for this. I got some fresh tarragon, but my basil plants had frozen overnight and looked horrible, my cilantro had expired long ago, but luckily had some store-bought cilantro in the fridge. For this recipe, just use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand (parsley, basil, cilantro, etc.) or use dried, which is always acceptable when you don’t have fresh. It’s not like we all have greenhouses in our backyard.

So that’s the back story. Now I present the recipe, but I shall suggest smoked sausage (turkey, Kielbasa, or otherwise) instead of ground chicken and spinach froo-froo stuff. ‘Nuff said,

Sausage and Garbanzo Beans in a Tomato Herb Sauce

Smoked sausage of preference  (hint, hint)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2  tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup homemade or low sodium chicken broth
1 can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1 can of tomatoes, your own homemade, or store bought
2 tablespoons of minced fresh herbs, any kind (halve that if they are dried)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Ground black pepper, to taste

Slice your sausage on a diagonal, to look cool for a photo, or just slice it normal in about 1/4 inch slices. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet on medium heat, then add the sausage, with a about a 1/4 cup of water. Cover and cook until the water evaporates. Now it’s just a test of patience to get the sausage browned to your liking.¬† Uncover, and using tongs, flip the sausage over and over until you are satisfied with the outcome. I’m impatient. You would only have to flip them once if you are not.

Garlic Spinach Chicken Sausage in Skillet

Garlic Spinach Chicken Sausage in Skillet (I was finally satisfied)

Once the sausage is done to your liking, remove to a paper-toweled plate and set aside. Add the other tablespoon of oil to the skillet, then add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions start to soften. Now add the chicken broth (or wine, I wish I had some!) to deglaze the pan.¬† Simmer that for about 5 minutes until the liquid reduces about in half. Now add the garbanzo beans, tomatoes with liquid (drain off any unusually large liquid amount if homemade canned type), the herbs and the crushed red pepper flakes. You can sub in cayenne pepper if you don’t have that on hand.

Garbanzo Bean and Tomato Herb Mixture

Garbanzo Bean and Tomato Herb Mixture

Smoosh the tomatoes down if you used homemade, or you are home free if you uses canned diced tomatoes. Stir and simmer that all around until it looks nice and thick and yummy, and don’t forget to grind a bunch of black pepper over it, to taste. Now add the sausage and simmer until heated through, just a minute or so. This can be served¬† over couscous, rice, or pasta, or like I did with Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains (no I am not paid to endorse that) or just eat as is! This really is a simple and great weeknight meal idea with very few ingredients.

Chicken Sausage in Tomato Garbanzo Mixture

Chicken Sausage in Tomato Garbanzo Mixture

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Baked Ling Cod in a Tomato, Tarragon, and Basil Herb Sauce

9 Oct
Basket of Ripe Tomatoes

Basket of Ripe Tomatoes

Well I had high hopes of photographing this most lovely meal I made the other night, but since my tripod holder thingy broke on my camera a few weeks ago, I’ve been rubberbanding it to the tripod. And while taking photos of the beautiful simmering tomato sauce and herbs, I tried to adjust my tripod stand and the camera fell off and went crashing to the floor, losing a plastic piece off the lens, and then decided to beep furiously at me for breaking it.

Baked Ling Cod with Tomatoes Tarragon Basil Herb Sauce

Baked Ling Cod with Tomatoes Tarragon Basil Herb Sauce

I could not get it to turn back on fully after multiple attempts, even after taking out the battery and reinserting it and powering it up again. It would beep and beep at me, then would finally shut itself down, like a child whose tantrum finally ran out of steam. I gave up on that process, as this meal comes together quite quickly. As an afterthought just as I was about to plate the fish and sides, I asked my daughter to snap a photo of the fish with her iPod Touch. She doesn’t care for fish so she ate some other leftovers for dinner. So her iPod photo is all I have to offer today for my photo. And it’s so bad I’m just posting a wee pic of it and using my tomato photo as the main one. I am unsure of the future of a new camera at this point.

But, at least I can share my recipe with you of this healthy fish meal. We used a filet of the Ling Cod we caught with our friend on the Oregon Coast a few weeks ago, but any nice, solid whitefish will do. We also used some of the tomatoes from our garden that I had frozen instead of canned, and cut some last snips off the tarragon and basil from my fresh herb garden. I elected not to harvest them this year like I did last, only because of time constraints with my workload and trying to get all our tomatoes canned and frozen.

Ling Cod in a Tomato, Tarragon, Basil Herb Sauce

1 large filet of Ling Cod or other whitefish, enough for two people
Milk to soak the fish
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup onion, diced small
1 teaspoon garlic
1 cup homemade or low sodium chicken broth, divided (or half white wine)
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes (thawed if frozen)
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped fine
Lemon juice to squeeze over fish
Black pepper to taste

Soak the fish in a 1/2 milk and 1/2 water mixture, enough to cover the filet, in a glass bowl at least one hour or more in the refrigerator. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 425. Meanwhile, heat one tablespoon of oil over medium heat and saute the onions until starting to soften, then add the garlic. Cook for a few minutes more, then add 1/2 the chicken broth, or 1/2 cup white wine if you prefer. We didn’t have any on hand. Bring that up to a simmer until it reduces about half.

Add the cherry tomatoes, and cook and smash them around until they split and start releasing their juices.  Stir in the herbs, and the rest of the chicken broth. Grind a bunch of black pepper over it, to taste. Once again, simmer and reduce the liquid to about half.

Line a baking pan with foil and spray with oil. Remove the fish from the soak, add the fish filet to the pan, and squeeze a generous amount of lemon juice over it. Spoon the tomato herb sauce over the top of the fish, then cover the pan tightly with foil. Place the pan in the oven, and cook for about 20 minutes, until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Do not overcook! I checked mine at 20 minutes and it was perfect. We served this with seasoned pasta and Haricot Verts, but any sides will do with this. Some thick crusty bread would be great to mop of the lovely juices in the pan, but alas we did not have any of that either. But it was a delicious and light, healthy meal!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Roasted Summer Vegetable Tian

31 Jul
Roasted Summer Vegetable Tian Assembled

Roasted Summer Vegetable Tian Assembled

Wow! This was so darned good that I plan on putting this in my rotation as much as possible. I have to thank my foodie blog friend Richard over at REMCooks for this idea. He got it from another friend and mixed it up a bit by adding some of his homemade hot sauce. I decided to leave that out but threw on some fresh chopped herbs from my herb garden instead. One of my local stores just started selling organic produce and I made a special trip just to buy the fresh, organic veggies for this. If you cruise on over to Richard’s blog he has a great history of Tian in his post, so I won’t bother repeating that here. But wowee! This was soooo delicious! It’s a light, fresh, mouthful of summer in every bite.

Roasted Summer Vegetable Tian

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups sweet onion, diced small
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Butter to grease the casserole dish
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium zucchini
2 medium red potatoes
2 medium tomatoes
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
1 tablespoon fresh chopped tarragon
Olive oil to drizzle
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

Roasted Summer Vegetable Tian 2

Roasted Summer Vegetable Tian

First chop and slice up all those veggies. I don’t have any fancy slicing apparatus so this took me about 15 minutes. Maybe I’m just slow. I tried to get nice even slices but even then that wasn’t very successful, but close enough! Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Add the oil to a skillet heated to medium and saute the onions and garlic until softened, about five minutes.¬† Grease a two-quart casserole dish (any shape) with butter. I used my Tarragon Chive Lemon Butter compound for that task, but just regular ole’ butter will do. Once the onions and garlic are soft, spread them in the bottom of the casserole dish.

Now layer the slices on edge, alternating the vegetables around the contour of the dish, then fill up the middle after that. I ended up with different amounts of slices so my alternating became messy at the end. Then I began running out of room and began stuffing the rest of everything in there willy nilly. If you are a perfectionist you may just want to compost the rest or save it for another dish. I still think it came out purdy, what do you think? Grind a bunch of black pepper over it, sprinkle the chopped basil and tarragon over it, then drizzle some olive oil over the rows.

Now pop that purdy thang in the oven, covered, for about 30 to 40 minutes. Because of high altitude I did the 40 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover, and spread the two cheeses over top. Return to oven, uncovered for 15 minutes. In the last few minutes I bumped the oven to broil to crispy up some of the cheese. Remove from oven, and let sit a few minutes before serving. This makes enough for four to six servings. We ate this with some leftover rotisserie chicken. What a truly delightful, summer-tasting dinner!

Roasted Summer Vegetable Tian

Roasted Summer Vegetable Tian

p.s. Once again we are headed to our RV property on the coastal river. We are going with my parents and will be meeting up with a childhood friend (and her three boys) that I’ve not seen in 25 years! I’m very excited for this trip, but once again, no weekend post. So I’ll see you next week!

Tarragon Chive Lemon Butter on Grilled Steaks

16 Jul
Tarragon Chive Lemon Butter on Steak

Tarragon Chive Lemon Butter on Steak

My parents have made it back to town for the summer to escape the sizzling heat of Texas, only to bring their sizzling heat with them. OK so high 80s/low 90s is not exactly sizzling by Texas standards, but when you have no AC that’s hot enough, thank you.

We invited them for dinner this past weekend and figured we’d grill them up some steaks, but I wanted to make their welcome-back dinner a little more special. So I tried my hand at making a compound butter with some of the fresh herbs from my planter garden.

Butter, Lemon, and Tarragon

Butter, Lemon, and Tarragon

This was so gosh-darn easy. OK I take that back. I do not have a proper zester and it frustrated the heck out of me to finally get at least a teaspoon of zest from the lemon on my cheese grater. I was so frustrated that I finally took a photo of my pitiful attempt before getting that amount (minus the chives, those were added last minute). But I finally got ‘er done!

This herbed lemon butter can be used for more than steaks, such as fresh steamed green beans or asparagus. In fact, I must try that!

Herbed Butter Log Ready to Chill

Herbed Butter Log Ready to Chill

Tarragon Chive Lemon Butter on Grilled Steaks

1 stick of unsalted sweet cream butter (8 tablespoons)
Zest of one lemon plus about a teaspoon of the lemon juice from it
2 tablespoons fresh chopped tarragon
1 teaspoon fresh chopped chives
1 steak per person (we used New York Strip, any good steak cut will do)

Let the butter sit on the counter for a few hours to soften and bring to room temperature. Add the softened butter to a small bowl, then add the rest of the ingredients (except the steak, ha!). Using a fork, combine and squish and mix around until it’s all incorporated well. Plop the butter mixture onto wax or parchment paper, then roll it around until it’s the shape of a large tootsie roll. Seal it on the ends and then refrigerate until the butter hardens. In the interest of time I put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes then transferred to the refrigerator.

Grill up those steaks seasoned lightly with salt and lots of black pepper, then top with a pat of the herbed butter. Put the butter on while the steaks rest for five minutes, so it starts melting all over it. YUMM! This added such a fresh taste to the steaks, and my mom even used more of the butter for her baked potato. I loved the fact that nobody asked for any kind of bottled steak sauce! You will not be disappointed.

p.s. We are leaving again for a trip to our RV property on the coast for four days on Thursday after work. I don’t know if I’ll have time to write that one before we leave, but if not, you’ll see a fab new recipe early next week!

Melting Herbed Butter on Steak

Melting Herbed Butter on Steak

These Should Have Been Kabobs Artichokes and Chicken

13 Jul
Artichokes and Chicken in Foil Packet

Artichokes and Chicken Grilled in a Foil Packet

So I opened a can of artichoke hearts the other day to make my small serving of Artichoke and Spinach Stuffed Tomatoes, and had to figure out what to do with nearly a full can of them. My husband had already taken out a boneless, skinless chicken breast to defrost for dinner, so got my thinking cap on for dinner ideas.

It got into the mid-80s and figured grilling would be a good idea, but how does one grill the artichoke hearts with the chicken? In a foil packet, of course! ~ STOP THE PRESSES! No, these should have been grilled as kabobs. Hindsight really is 20-2o. ~ The chicken and artichokes were marinated along with some grape tomatoes and onion in an Italian-type salad dressing, along with lemon juice, fresh-snipped chives, and fresh chopped tarragon leaves. I could have gone ahead and made the entire marinade from scratch, but what the heck, I didn’t.

This made for a light summer meal served on top of a bed of rice cooked in homemade chicken broth. EXCEPT this would have been much better grilled on skewers!

Chicken and Artichokes Marinating

Chicken and Artichokes Marinating

Artichokes and Chicken Foil Packet – but really put them on skewers

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup Girard’s Champagne salad dressing (or any other Italian-style dressing)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon fresh-snipped chives
1 teaspoon fresh minced tarragon leaves
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 carton grape or cherry tomatoes
1/2 medium sweet onion, cut into large chunks
Ground black pepper, to taste

Cube the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces and set aside. In a plastic or glass bowl, whisk together the salad dressing with the lemon juice and herbs. Add the chicken, artichoke hearts, tomatoes and onion, and grind black pepper over all. Toss to coat well, then marinate in the fridge for at least a half hour.

Preheat grill to medium heat, or oven to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, divide the chicken and vegetables into half and place on large sheets of foil cut to fit. Seal foil into packets, then double wrap with another layer of foil. thread onto skewers. Grill for about 30 minutes until chicken is done. Remove from foil, ahem, skewers, then serve over hot rice garnished with more snipped chives.

Lemony Tarragon Summer Squash Soup is a Community Pick!

7 Jul
Lemon Tarragon Summer Squash Soup

Lemon Tarragon Summer Squash Soup

Please forgive my lack of new recipes during my “camping and fishing season” but I am happy to announce that another one of my recipes has made it as a Community Pick in a Food52 recipe contest. I am very proud of this soup, and I hope you have a chance to enjoy it this summer. The squash I am growing have just started to flower, but I already have a bunch of fresh tarragon and chives just waiting for my first crop of squash. This entry was for the Your Best Fresh Herbs contest.

Here is the link to the contest: Food52 Your Best Fresh Herbs

And below I have copied the recipe that was adapted for the contest so you can save it for when your crops come in. Or heck, just go buy some from the Farmer’s Market!

p.s. My recipe still needs testers, so please feel free to sign up and test the recipe. Anyone can become a tester, you just have to join the Food52 Community. Easy sign up. Plus they have awesome recipes to browse through.

p.s.s. My last recipe that was chosen didn’t make it as a finalist in that contest, but I’m just glad it made it in! Hundreds of recipes are submitted, so it’s just perseverance to continue to submit, and especially have the ingredients called for in the contest.

Squash, Tarragon and Green Onion

Squash, Tarragon and Green Onion

Lemon Tarragon Summer Squash Soup

1 large yellow squash
2 green onions (scallions), light and white parts, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely minced
Ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
Juice of 1/2 large lemon
1/2 cup milk or cream
Tarragon, snipped chives, shredded Parmesan cheese, croutons for garnish (optional)

  1. In a soup pot, sauté the squash and onion in the butter and olive oil until onion is tender, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic in the last minute or so.
  2. Season with black pepper to taste, add the tarragon, then pour in the chicken broth and lemon juice and stir.
  3. Cover and bring to a simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes until the squash is tender all the way through.
  4. Remove from heat and add the milk or cream.
  5. Puree about half the soup with whatever device you have, then return to pot.
  6. Serve immediately, and garnish with optional additional tarragon, chives, shredded Parmesan cheese, and croutons.

Lemon, Tarragon, Chive, and Cilantro Grilled Chicken

28 Apr
Lemon, Tarragon, Chive, and Cilantro Grilled Chicken

Lemon, Tarragon, Chive, and Cilantro Grilled Chicken

The tarragon and chive plants that mysteriously revived themselves from winter are going gangbusters, so decided to come up with a marinade for some chicken I planned on grilling. This super-simple marinade imparted a wonderful, fresh taste to the chicken. I threw in a small handful of cilantro at the last minute, but you can certainly omit it if you want.

Lemon and Herbs for Marinade

Lemon and Herbs for Marinade

Lemon, Tarragon, Chive, and Cilantro Grilled Chicken

Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, minced
2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 cup white wine
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken

Whisk all the ingredients well in a small glass bowl. Add the chicken to a large Ziploc bag, then pour marinade over chicken and squish around to cover the chicken well. Marinade in the refrigerator for a few hours, up to overnight. One hour before grilling, take the chicken out of the fridge (keeping it in bag) and let rest on countertop for about an hour before grilling. Preheat grill with two outer burners on high and the two middle burners on low. Add the chicken to the top rack on the grill bone-side down, reserving marinade. Cook covered for 15 minutes, then flip chicken over and cook covered another 15 minutes. Turn chicken back over, baste with marinade, and cook five minutes more or until meat thermometer registers 165. Remove from grill and tent with foil for 10 minutes. We served this with rice cooked in chicken broth and fresh steamed broccoli. A perfect spring weekend meal!

Classic Stroganoff and Smoke Alarms

8 Dec
Classic Stroganoff over Shells

Classic Stroganoff over Shells

Well I set off every dad-blasted smoke alarm in this house cooking this the other night. Well, at least my husband thinks it was my cooking but who am I to argue? And to top it off, they kept going off all night! We thought we had pinpointed which of the seven needed its battery replaced, and they stayed silent for almost an hour, but then they all started blaring again at once. And this was three hours after they first went off! By that time we were so frustrated, we unhooked all of them from the ceilings and took out all the batteries except for that first one we replaced. And guess what? They kept chirping at us loudly every 10 seconds. We then gathered these evil little possessed round objects and shut them away in the room furthest from our bedroom. Anyways, we managed to somewhat enjoy this dish between running around and pressing all the “hush” buttons, which keeps them quiet for all of seven minutes.

Now, getting to the recipe. I had picked up a good deal on some thin sliced bottom round that I was going to grill back when it wasn’t freezing cold outside, but I forgot about it in the freezer. I had a little over a half carton left of fresh mushrooms in the fridge so I decided it was a good time to whip up some Classic Stroganoff of Russian fame. I cook the Americanized version (healthied up without the canned soup) all the time with ground burger (recipe here), but decided if I was going to use steak instead of burger I would try out the Classic version. Well, close to the classic version since I didn’t have any egg noodles and subbed with shells (actually I think I’ve heard potatoes are used for the Classic version), and most Classic versions call for whole grain mustard which I didn’t have, but close enough.¬† Anyways, this is quite simple to make, and I got to use my cute little frozen tarragon oil cubes again! Yes, I am going to brag every time I use them because I think they are just so stinking neat! You can substitute a tablespoon of vegetable oil and a teaspoon of dried tarragon if you don’t happen to have these frozen little marvels in your freezer.

Classic Stroganoff

2 frozen tarragon oil cubes (or substitute)
1 pound bottom round, thinly sliced and cut into 2-inch strips
Ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 to 1 carton of fresh white mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup red wine (I knew I kept the leftover red wine from Thanksgiving for a reason! I don’t drink it myself)
1 tablespoon tomato paste (I freeze the rest)
1 cup homemade beef broth, or low sodium canned or boxed
1 tablespoon flour mixed with 1/4 cup sour cream
Hot cooked noodles

Classic Stroganoff Sauce

Classic Stroganoff Sauce

You can put the water on for the pasta when you start this, as everything will finish close to the same time. Add the cubes or oil to a skillet on medium high heat. Grind black pepper all over the beef and add to the skillet when the oil is hot. Cook on both sides until it’s nice and browned. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the dried tarragon if you didn’t use the cubes. In the same skillet, add the butter, onions, and mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid and starting to brown. Now deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up all the browned bits and stuff from the bottom of the skillet. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer until about half the wine has cooked off.¬† Stir in the¬† tomato paste and beef broth until combined. Now add the beef back to the skillet, then slowly stir in the sour cream and flour mixture. Simmer gently until the sauce thickens up a bit, then serve over hot noodles immediately. I added some fresh grated Parmesan after I took the picture, but I thought the fresh dill sprig gave the photo some color. Enjoy! p.s. let me know if this makes YOUR smoke alarms go off! ūüėČ

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