Tag Archives: white sauce

Spicy Chicken Florentine

21 Jan
Spicy Chicken Florentine

Spicy Chicken Florentine

We survived the Snowmaggedon/Snowcapolypse where I live, where over 60 inches of snow has dumped on us in the past month and a half, an event that hasn’t happened here since 1901 according to records.

Snowmaggedon

Snowmaggedon ~ A friend joked this looked like a bunch of pregnant woman got snowed on while sitting around our firepit. Those were empty chairs before the snow.

We had a near tragedy, where a school’s gym roof collapsed entirely, but overnight when thank goodness nobody occupied it. In the morning it is usually teeming with kids waiting for the school bell to ring. It wasn’t discovered until all the kids had boarded buses for school, so all parents were notified to pick up their children immediately at all schools in town. Schools were closed for 8 days after that until all snow was removed from 38 school roofs (9 million square feet) and structures inspected and deemed safe. Whew! Dodged the bullet on that one!

Snow or no snow, we certainly had to eat during this event, and here is one of the recipes I came up with during our snowbound days with what I had on hand. This is a thumbs-up recipe from the hubby, yay! My only regret is not making more sauce, so I’ve adjusted the recipe below for that. I served this over cooked rice. Nummy and warming!

Spicy Chicken Florentine

For the casserole:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Ground black pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained
16-ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
Large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 cup dry good-quality sherry (or chicken broth)
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup grated block cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated block Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the chicken breast thin, and season with the pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash.

Fileted and Seasoned Chicken

Fileted and Seasoned Chicken

In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the oil and half the garlic and sear the chicken filets on each side until browned. Remove and set aside.

Browned Chicken

Browned Chicken

Add the drained tomatoes to the skillet along with rest of the garlic and simmer for a few minutes. Pour the tomatoes and garlic in the bottom of an oil-sprayed two-quart casserole.

Tomatoes and Garlic

Tomatoes and Garlic

To the skillet, add the spinach and the rest of the butter plus a large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Stir until butter is melted and spinach is heated through and incorporated. Layer on top of the tomatoes.

Spinach and Tomatoes

Spinach and Tomatoes

Next layer the chicken on top of the spinach.

Chicken Layer

Chicken Layer

For the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour, mustard powder, and white pepper, whisking until a paste forms. Pour in the milk and sherry or chicken broth, whisking constantly. Simmer over gentle heat while stirring until the sauce is to desired consistency. Pour the sauce evenly over the casserole.

Casserole Ready to Bake

Casserole Ready to Bake

Sprinkle the grated cheeses over the dish, then top with the Panko breadcrumbs. Bake for about 20 minutes, until casserole is heated through and top is browned and crispy. Serve over cooked rice or noodles.

Spicy Chicken Florentine

Spicy Chicken Florentine

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

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Baked Ziti and Sausage in a Creamy Cheesy White Sauce

18 Aug
Baked Ziti and Sausage in a Creamy Cheesy White Sauce

Baked Ziti and Sausage in a Creamy Cheesy White Sauce

It is really difficult to take a photo of a casserole dish that looks good. And it is really, really difficult to take one when the only chance you had to grab a shot was when there was just a wee portion of it left. That being said, I have this fantastic recipe to share for you of this pasta dish my husband made earlier in the week. Paul is a hero. I’ve been working overtime for the past week and he has cooked every single night! And I’m not talking mac and cheese out of the box or take-out pizza either. Homemade food. Comfort food. Lovely fresh salads with tomatoes and chives from our garden. And this casserole. I just LOVED this meal and ate the leftovers until it was gone, gone, gone.

p.s. After last night’s dinner of grilled New York steak, baked potato, and garden salad, I squeezed the recipe out of him. I would only make minor changes to this if I made it. And I DO plan on cooking this myself when I crawl out of the weeds.

Baked Ziti and Sausage in a Creamy Cheesy White Sauce

2 1/2 cups uncooked Ziti pasta
1/2 pound ground hot Italian sausage
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash regular blend
Ground black pepper to taste
2 cups milk (he used 1%)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 egg
2 cups cottage cheese (he used 4%)
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (he used low fat)
Hungarian paprika, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain, and set aside. In a skillet, brown the sausage until cooked through thoroughly, drain, and set aside.  In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the garlic. (For future versions, he thought adding some chopped onions and mushrooms at this point would be excellent.)  Stir in the flour, Mrs. Dash, and pepper. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly, until smooth. Bring up to  a slow boil, and continue whisking until thickened. Take the pan off the heat, then stir in 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. In a large bowl, add the cooked pasta and pour the cheese sauce over it and stir to coat.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, add the egg, cottage cheese, parsley, the other 1/4 cup of Parmesan, and more Mrs. Dash and black pepper, to taste. Layer about half the pasta/cheese mixture in the bottom of a 2-quart casserole dish sprayed lightly with oil. Pour the cottage cheese mixture over it evenly. Now mix the sausage in with the rest of the pasta then layer that evenly over the casserole. Top with the Mozarella cheese, and shake the paprika evenly over the top, to taste. My husband used a lot of it, which I liked!  Now bake the casserole for 35 minutes or so, until hot and bubbly.  Creamy, comforting food for the weary. ‘Nuff said.

Baked Ziti and Sausage in a Creamy White Sauce 2

Baked Ziti and Sausage in a Creamy White Sauce

Additional notes: I would use 1 cup milk and 1 cup homemade chicken broth instead of all milk for the sauce for a richer flavor. I also liked his idea of adding onions and mushrooms.  Last, I’d probably mix everything up in one bowl instead of doing the layering thing to save both a bowl and time.

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