Monday, March 16, 2009

Lemon Green Beans with Walnuts

A great side dish!  I can't wait until fresh green beans show up at farmer markets!

Lemon Green Beans with Walnuts
Source:  AllRecipes.Com

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 2 pieces
2 1/2 TBSPS. unsalted butter, melted
1 lemon, juiced & zested
salt and pepper to taste

~  Preheat oven to 375.  Arrange nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Toast in the preheated oven until lightly, browned, approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
~  Place green beans in a steamer over 1 inch of boiling water, and cover.  Steam for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender but still bright green.
~  Place cooked beans in a large bowl, and toss with butter, lemon juice , and lemon zest.  Season with salt and pepper.  Transfer beans to a serving dish, and sprinkle toasted walnuts.  Serve immediately.

Simple Tomato Sauce

Another recipe from Giada De Laurentiis.  It was good.  I think I'll still search for other sauce recipes but I would make this again.  I used this with Chicken Parm.

Simple Tomato Sauce
Source:  Giada De Laurentiis

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped (I used 2)
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 (32 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
4-6 basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
4 TBSPS unsalted butter, optional

~  In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes.  Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper.  Saute until all vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
~  Add tomatoes, basil and bay leaves and simmer covered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick.  Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning.  If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 TBSP at a time to round out the flavors.
~  Add 1/2 the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor.  Process until smooth.  Continue with remaining tomato sauce.
~  If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags.  This will freeze up to 6 months.

Chicken Parmesan

This recipe came from Giada De Laurentiis.  I like her recipes.  Looking for a lighter chicken parm.  I really like this.  Ben's only comment - I shouldn't have told him it was to be Chicken Parm as he was expecting fried, breading, etc.  If I had told him it was Chicken Italiana - he would have had such high hopes & would have given it 2 thumbs up.  He gave it as a chicken parm. substitute 1 thumb.  Myself - for the ease an flavor - 2 thumbs!

Chicken Parmesan
Source Giada De Laurentiis

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 (3 oz each) chicken cutlets - I pounded & cut 3 breasts
1 1/2 cups Simple Tomato Sauce, recipe attached or purchased marinara sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
16 tsps. grated parmesan
2 TBSP. unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 500.

Stir the oil and herbs in a small bowl to blend.  Season with salt and pepper.  Brush both sides of the cutlets with the herb oil.  Heat a heavy large oven-proof skillet over high heat.  Add the cutlets and cook just until brown, about 2 minutes per side.  Remove the skillet from the heat.

Spoon the marinara sauce over and around the cutlets.  Sprinkle 1 tsp. of mozzarella over each cutlet, then sprinkle 2 tsps or Parm. over each.  Sprinkle the butter pieces atop the cutlets.  Bake until the cheese melts and the chicken is cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Pan-Seared Pork with Potatoes and Lemon

I am not sure where I got this recipe.  It was one of those little torn out recipes that lays around.  I am glad I found it.  A nice, different, easy weeknight meal.

Pan-Seared Pork with Potatoes and Lemon
2 TBSP. olive oil
1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
coarse salt and ground pepper
3 scallions, thinly sliced (I did have scallions so I used a sweet onion)
1 pork tenderloin - 1 lb (I used boneless pork loin chops, it's what I had)
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

~ In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat.  Add potatoes;  season with salt and pepper.  Cook, tossing occasionally, until golden brown;  8 to 10 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup water;  Cover and cook until potatoes are tender and the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.  Add scallions;  Cook 1 minute.  Transfer mixture to a bowl, and keep warm.  (since I used some onion, rather than a scallion, I added it earlier)
~  Using a sharp knife, cut tenderloin crosswise into 12 slices.  Press pork slices between your hands to flatten evenly.  (I just pounded out my chops to be thinner and equal in size)
~In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat.  Working in two batches, cook pork until browned, about 2 minutes per side, adding lemon slices in the last 2 minutes of cooking.
~  Serve pork with lemons and potatoes.  Top with chopped cilantro.