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Chicken Parm with Broccoli Rabe Pesto

March 25, 2019

Chicken Parm with Broccoli Rabe Pesto1

  • 6-8 chicken tenders

Marinade

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt and pepper

Mix the ingredients in a small bowl and marinate the chicken tenders for 4-5 hours.

Breading

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup homemade tomato sauce
  • 1 cup shredded low moisture part skim mozzarella cheese

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water and a pinch of salt. On a third plate, combine the breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Coat the chicken tenders on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken tenders on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken tenders.
Lay the cooked chicken pieces in an ovenproof casserole. Ladle spoons of marinara sauce over all the chicken pieces. Add the shredded mozzarella on top and bake for 5-10 minutes in a 350 degrees oven until cheese is melted. Add some more sauce and keep aside.

Pesto

  • 2 cups broccoli rabe leaves only, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Process the broccoli rabe and spinach leaves till smooth. While the processor is on, drizzle the olive oil into the pesto. Add the salt and keep aside.

1 pound pappardelle, cooked al dente with some pasta water saved.

Once the pasta is cooked, return it to the same pot with ½ cup pasta water. Add ½ cup broccoli rabe pesto and mix well. Adjust seasonings and serve with chicken tenders on top.

Chicken Parm with Broccoli Rabe Pesto

Pasta Primavera with Rice Pasta

February 25, 2019

Pasta Primavera with Rice Pasta

Another gluten free, vegetarian recipe!!

  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 10 oz Cremini mushrooms, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
  • 2 medium shallots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 2 cups homemade or store bought marinara sauce
  • ½ pound rice pasta, cooked
  • Salt
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese

Heat a large frying pan with olive oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté on high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary and shallots. Saute for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the marinara sauce and mix well. Add the cooked pasta and mix well. Check for seasonings and top with Parmesan cheese.

Pasta with Sausage and Sweet Pepper Sauce

February 12, 2018

  • ½ pound pasta, al dente with a cup of pasta water set aside
  • 4 chicken sausage links, chopped in ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Heat a large frying pan with the olive oil. Add the sausages and sauté on medium high heat, stirring constantly. Saute for 4 to 5 minutes till the sausages are golden brown. Keep aside.

  • 1 cup fresh tomato sauce or marinara sauce
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Start the grill outside or preheat the broiler. Coat the peppers with the oil and grill or roast them till the skin is charred- about 20 minutes. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 20 minutes. Take the peppers out and peel the skin and take the seeds out. Place the peppers in a blender with the tomato sauce. Blend till smooth. Taste for seasonings and add salt if needed.
Add two cups of the sweet pepper sauce to the sausages and add the pasta and half cup of the pasta water (add more water if needed). Mix well and check for seasonings. Serve with cheese on top.

Chicken Parm Sandwiches

December 16, 2015

chicken-parm-sandwichesThis meal is a favorite one in our house- well one of the favorites amongst many! My husband loves chicken parm in all forms. He loves it with spaghetti and as a sandwich. My daughter loves the chicken cutlets I make for the chicken parm. I love making it as well as eating it. I love cooking marinara sauce at home. It makes the house smell warm and cozy, especially on a cold evening. The mixture of tomatoes, onions and garlic makes me really happy! Good thing about making a big batch of marinara sauce is that I can re-use it for other meals that week or freeze it for later. I usually make pasta primavera with the leftover marinara. The chicken cutlets are very versatile as well. I usually make extra since my daughter loves them so much- she says the cutlets taste just like the chicken nuggets she used to have when she was younger. The chicken tastes extra delicious because of the marinade I use before breading it.
I love using really fresh crusty rolls for the sandwich part of this dish. In this case, I found rosemary focaccia rolls. I thought they would go really well with the chicken and the sauce and they did! I also like to toast the rolls with a little drizzle of olive oil. The other flavor enhancer I use is a whole clove of garlic. Rubbing the garlic on the toasted roll gives it a mild and subtle garlic flavor! The sandwich was bursting with flavor! I served it with mixed greens and beer!

Chicken

  • 4-5 pieces boneless skinless chicken breast

Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4-inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin.

Marinade

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt and pepper

Mix the ingredients in a small bowl and marinate the pounded chicken breast for 4-5 hours.

Breading

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups homemade marinara sauce
  • 1 cup shredded low moisture part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 4 Rolls- sliced in half
  • 1 garlic clove- whole
  • Olive oil to drizzle on the rolls

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water and a pinch of salt. On a third plate, combine the breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts.
Lay the cooked chicken pieces in an ovenproof casserole. Ladle spoons of marinara sauce over all the chicken pieces. Add the shredded mozzarella on top and bake for 5-10 minutes in a 350 degrees oven until cheese is melted. In the same oven, place the open rolls drizzled with olive oil. Toast for 3-4 minutes and rub a clove of garlic on all the rolls. Once the cheese is melted, place the chicken pieces on the toasted rolls and serve!

Roasted Cauliflower, Broccoli & Sausage Served On Polenta

July 18, 2010

Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli on PolentaThis was a great dish I made up the other day. It was one of those days where I had no idea what I was going to make. I looked in my fridge and I had half a cauliflower and a bag of broccoli. As usual, I had sausage in the fridge as well. I took all of those ingredients out and decided to use them for an entree. I roasted them with a drizzle of olive oil until everything was golden brown and delicious. I then added the sweet pepper and tomato sauce to the veggies and sausage and made a delicious concoction.

I could have served it with al dente pasta but I thought of something different- how about polenta?? I had not made polenta in a very long time so I wasn’t sure if I had it in my pantry. I found just enough for the evenings dinner. A lot of people buy the pre-made polenta in a large tube. I don’t think that stuff tastes really good. Make it fresh- it is super simple and delicious. I used a combination of chicken broth, milk, parmesan cheese and a bit of butter. It took all of 10 minutes to make, and I had a delicious, healthy starch to serve for dinner.

I served the vegetables and sausage on top of the warm, creamy polenta. It was unbelievably delicious. It took a bit of convincing for my daughter to try the dish. It was the first time she tried polenta and ate it- I am not sure how happy she was, but she ate it.

Try the roasted cauliflower, broccoli and sausage on polenta- you will love it.
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Homemade Macaroni and Cheese (Italian Style)

January 20, 2010

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese There is really no reason to buy boxed macaroni and cheese- it is so easy and fast to make your own- plus you can control the amount of fat and salt.

Of course I understand why people buy the boxed kind- I do too- sometimes you just don’t have the time or the inclination to cook anything. I do buy the healthy box and have a bunch in my pantry. It is my emergency ‘go to’ for last minutes play dates that turn into a dinner date, etc.

I was making an adult dinner and something that my daughter was not that much into. I was going to give her some components of the meal but I was missing the starch part. I thought of mac and cheese. I went into to my well-stocked pantry to look for a box of macaroni and cheese- well, what do you know- it was not as well stocked as I thought. I couldn’t find any… That is when I decided to make my own. Honestly, it took me less than twenty minutes to cook. I immediately put a pot of water to boil for my whole wheat pasta. I took out some butter (oil can be substituted) and flour; cooked them for a minute and added some milk. I always have shredded cheese in the fridge- in this case, I had a mixture of Italian cheeses- delicious! I added the cheese and my sauce was done. I then added the cooked pasta and topped the whole thing with some more cheese and placed the frying pan under a broiler and browned it- done!

My daughter gave it a thumbs up! She loved it- and I gave it to some of her friends the next day and they all ate it up- no mention of the whole wheat pasta at all. Try this one next time your child asks for macaroni and cheese…

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons white whole-wheat flour
  • 1½ cups one percent milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ pound whole-wheat penne, cooked al dente
  • 1½ cups mix of shredded four Italian cheeses- parmesan, provolone, fontina and asiago (available at Trader Joes)- divided

Preheat oven to broil.

In a medium frying pan heat the butter and add the flour. Whisk the flour on medium heat till the butter is melted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk, making sure no lumps remain. Add salt and nutmeg. Bring to a boil and cook till it is thickened- about 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat off and whisk in one cup of the shredded cheese. Add the cooked pasta and mix well. Top the mixed pasta with the remaining cheese and broil for 7 to 8 minutes or till the top is golden brown.

A Great Recipe for Leftover Bread: Egg in the Bread

July 22, 2009

egg-in-bread I love cooking this dish for breakfast- the problem is that most of the time I forget to make it. Usually on the weekends, my husband makes pancakes for my daughter and I make scrambled eggs. The other day, I came down to make coffee and breakfast- I saw part of a leftover baguette sitting on the kitchen island. This particular dish came to mind right away. I had eggs and parmesan cheese in the fridge- so I decided to whip it up. One of the reasons I like making it so much is because it is so easy and fast. It’s a great way to use up left over bread. I love the idea of cooking an egg right in the middle of the bread. I added a couple of fresh garlic cloves and cooked them slowly in the same pan for the flavor to emanate through the bread slices. I made two for my husband and one for me. He likes his yolks cooked all the way- I on the other hand, like my yolks nice and soft. I topped the toasted, crispy egg filled slices with grated parmesan cheese. 

Besides eating them, the best part is cutting into the yummy slices- the gooey egg paired with the crispy parmesan crusted bread is heaven. The subtle garlic flavor is amazing as well. The only downside about this is that you want to eat a bunch of them- they are surprisingly light. 

I ate mine with a perfectly brewed cup of coffee and my husband had his with a big cup of masala chai– it was a great way to start the weekend…

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