Monday, April 19, 2010

Dinner Dilemmas

So here is the deal, I think that I have become a little lazy in my cooking (and my blogging too), lately it has been really hard to come up with something to pull together that will please my husband, the almost 2 year old, the 6 year old, and myself. Perhaps it is the lack of wonderful farm fresh vegetables that I get from the Farmer's Markets near me, or could it just be that while spring has sprung, I am not finding a way in which to add some spring to my cooking?
Tonight's dilemma is split chicken breasts....
I have the package defrosting, but I am not sure if they will be ready to cook any time soon as at last check they were pretty frozen still....
The other issue is that I have no idea what to do with these breasts.....
So off I head to google to see what others have done with this cut of meat. Well I like that the lady over at $5 dinners makes them into boneless skinless breasts, that at least gives me some more options, but I really don't know if I want to the work.... While I am cruising different ideas I have a moment of clarity, MY BASE!!!!
My base you are thinking, what in the heck is this lady talking about, please let me tell you....

Base for Almost any Meal Recipe
1 24 ounce can of diced tomatoes, partially drained
1 onion, diced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
5 sprigs of fresh thyme, (more if you like)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 cup of dry white wine or vermouth
1 to 2 cups of chicken broth
Optional: 1 finely grated carrot

In a large skillet heat olive oil and add onion and garlic sautéing for 5 to 10 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add in carrot if using, wine, broth, thyme, and tomatoes, simmer for 20 minutes to let flavors combine. From this point, you can add the base to pasta, through in some shrimp, beef, or chicken and simmer until meat is cooked through. I have used this base for beef shanks, shrimp, and now split chicken breasts. If the tomato base starts drying out just add some more wine or broth. Yummm....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Moroccan Vegetables

I love making Moroccan Roast Chicken and never know what other than grains to serve with the chicken. So the last time I made my Moroccan Roast Chicken I began looking all over the web to try to find a veggie side dish, I didn't find one, but I learned more about some of the flavors and ingredients used in Moroccan cooking and came up with this really colorful and tasty dish.

Moroccan Vegetables
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large red bell pepper, diced in large pieces
1 large onion, diced in large pieces
Left over purple roasted potatoes
2 tea spoons of dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon of cumin
The juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon of olive oil

In a large skillet heat olive oil to medium/medium high add in veggies, sprinkle with parsley and cumin and cook on medium for about 5 minutes or until onions are just beginning to turn translucent. Stir up the vegetables and squeeze lemon juice over mix, turn heat up to medium high and cook stirring frequently for about 3 minutes, remove from skillet and serve with Moroccan Roast Chicken.