Tag Archives: cooking

Recipe: Lemony Chicken Saltimbocca

This recipe is just about the easiest thing to make ever AND it tastes REALLY good. I was expecting completely gourmet, but I’m not sure we hit that mark this time (there’s always next week to try again).  It’s a 20-minute meal, but tastes kind-of like you spent an hour cooking. It’s similar to bacon-wrapped chicken breasts (which I’ve never made), but less salty and I believe much healthier.

Here’s what to do to make this dish complete – make a bed of angel hair pasta to put under the chicken and to pour the sauce over. Also, I like to make asparagus with this dish as a side. Add a little lemon zest and it pairs perfectly with the chicken.

As always, “chef’s” notes in parenthesis:

The Chicken Saltimbocca:

  • 4 (4 oz.) chicken cutlets (chicken breast is even better here, IMO)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 oz sliced prosciutto, cut into thin strips (2 for each cutlet)
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (No need to use fresh, any lemon juice will work. I also thought this was too much, made the sauce very lemony, use your judgement on this one)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch (I used more – but don’t go over a tablespoon, the sauce will be too thick)
  • Lemon wedges (always optional)
  • Pepper (I added this, I think the sauce could use it)
  • Parmesan (Added this to the recipe, cheese makes everything better!)
For the asparagus:
  • Bunch of asparagus (trimmed)
  • Olive oil (to drizzle on the top of asparagus)
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Lemon (for zesting over the top of asparagus)
  • Parmesan (for sprinkling on top)
Sprinkle the chicken evenly with salt. Place 3-4 sage leaves on each piece of chicken (4-5 for the breasts). Then wrap two prosciutto slices around each piece of chicken securing the leaves in place.

At this time, I’d preheat the oven to 400 for the asparagus. Place the asparagus on a cookie sheet with some olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon zest. Spread evenly across the sheet, ensuring there is one layer and that all spears are covered evenly with the oil and toppings. Bake under high heat for about 15 minutes, tossing once.

Now, for the chicken. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add one tablespoon oil to pan; cook for two minutes on each side or until done (Ours took a LOT longer than two minutes on each side because we used chicken breasts vs. cutlets. Keep that in mind when you are cooking. Also, I covered with a lid for a while to help the chicken along). Then, remove chicken from pan and keep warm.

Combine broth, lemon juice and cornstarch in a bowl. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture and the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil to the pan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook for one minute or until it slightly thickens (THIS was an issue for me. I did the sauce three times, all three with different amounts of cornstarch. I just didn’t believe that the 1/2 teaspoon was enough. Eventually, I used just over a 1/2 teaspoon to get this sauce right. It shouldn’t be think and you don’t need to use any amount over a tablespoon. It will actually be pretty runny by sauce standards. We also thought it was a BIT on the lemony-side and I’d add pepper).

Once you’re through there, pour sauce over chicken and angel hair pasta on the plate and serve with your asparagus side. Sprinkle Parmesan on top to-taste.

The original recipe is from the Jan/Feb issue of Cooking Light and serves four.

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Filed under Recipes/Cooking

Our Little Herb Garden

Nick and I are really starting to enjoy trying new recipes each week. We typically get them from Cooking Light and Food & Wine magazines. For most of the recipes, we’re finding that fresh herbs work the best and that we typically need 2-3 different kinds each week (this may be obvious to most of you, I’m still learning though).

One thing I’ve learned from this – fresh herbs are EXPENSIVE.  Not only that, but I’ve also learned that Columbus is quite limited in its selection of good, quality herbs. The issue we run into is that most herbs go bad almost instantaneously after we buy them OR they are in crappy condition when we purchase them.

I don’t have a green thumb — at all. And, I don’t like gardening. So I’m not sure this is going to be a good fit in the long-run, but now is a good time for me to experiment. You never know…

I have always wanted to grow my own herbs and have even considered growing my own vegetables. So we’ll give it a go.

Right now I’m trying three herbs (because that was really all that was available at Lowe’s without having to grow from a seed, which I decided is a bit much for the time-being. We’re starting with Thyme, Oregano and Basil. I’d like to do Rosemary and Cilantro, but will have to work harder to make that happen.

Here’s a look at our starter garden of herbs and how we pulled it together.

Our SuppliesPots and starter-herbs from Lowe’s.

New pots for our little herb garden... of course no "oregano" pot is available

The herbs - with directions to help them grow!

What We Did - Removed the dirt and baby herbs from its packaging, removed the ID tags and labels (and READ them), planted the herbs and watered, and lined-them up for a  group photo.

The 'frame' for the dirt/herbs - it says you can plant this but we had to improvise to fit the pots

The ID tag for the herb - with directions for planting and care

Putting them in the pots! So easy!

A little Basil

A dash of Thyme

Family photo

What’s Next?

The plan is to put them in direct sunlight and watch them grow. I’m not entirely sure when to pick the herbs or how often I need to do that to keep them growing, so more research needs to be done on that front.

We’ll see how this goes, before expanding to a more permanent herb garden or adding more to the group.

If we do though, I’m definitely getting these. How cute!

Got any tips for taking care of these things? Let me know! I’d love to hear them!

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Filed under Inspiration, Love It

In Need of a Little Inspiration.

Image Source: Starbucks.com

There’s been a lot happening the last few months — some changes and then just the crazy stuff in life. The biggest change would have to be my career-life path. I recently decided to “go freelance” and work for myself after five years in the PR/Advertising agency world. I have to say, it’s been a nice change so far and I feel like an entirely different person right now. I’m also actually learning quite a bit about myself. To sum it up so far:

  • I procrastinate
  • I CAN cook (turns out it just takes some additional time)
  • I’m a Mac
  • I don’t like to bake
  • It’s not inevitable that I’m going to get a migraine (I haven’t had one in two months now, knock on wood)
  • I REALLY enjoy writing (though I still think I’m working on getting my own “voice”)
  • Exercise is awesome (only took me four years of not doing it to figure that out)

I also discovered that I am truly inspired by the people around me. I love talking with my friends and family to run ideas past them. When we’re around people with great attitudes, it’s much easier to have a good outlook on life, work, etc. When we get to work with brilliant people, it brings up our own game that much more.

This last week, I’ve haven’t been inspired. At all. To do anything. Working from home can do that to you (at least that’s what I’m thinking the reason behind this is). And it’s not that the people around me aren’t doing their part, I’m just not feeling it this week.

I want to be CREATIVE and PRODUCTIVE.

SO…I busted out one of my all-time favorite books Pour Your Heart Into It, by Mr. Howard Schultz and of course a little Mariah.

I read Pour Your Heart Into It when I was in college, but dusted it off again for this particular occasion. It’s truly an inspiring book (if you believe it’s truthful in what it says). It really goes into what it took to bring Starbucks to the powerhouse level that it is now, how it grew from its roots and the loyal people at the company.

What I also love is that Mr. Schultz (or his partner author) provides the reader with great one-liners about success, entrepreneurship, triumph, innovation and family.

Inspiring quotes in the book? Well, since you asked.

“Enough is never enough. It wasn’t until I discovered Starbucks that I realized what it means when your work truly captures your heart and your imagination.”

“But when you really believe—in yourself, in your dream—you just have to do everything you possibly can to take control and make your vision a reality. No great achievement happens by luck.”

“It’s one thing to dream, but when the moment is right, you’ve got to be willing to leave what’s familiar and go out to find your own sound.”

“…don’t be afraid to expose your vulnerabilities. Admit you don’t know what you don’t know.”

“Victory is much more meaningful when it comes not just from the efforts of one person, but from the joint achievements of many. The euphoria is lasting when all participants lead with their hearts, winning not just for themselves but for one another. Success is sweetest when it’s shared.”

“Whatever you do, don’t play it safe. Don’t do things the way they’ve always been done. Don’t try to fit the system. If you do what’s expected of you, you’ll never accomplish more than others expect.”

“This was my shot. Even if it didn’t work out, I still have to try it.”

Love, love, love it.

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Where Did the Week Go?

Man, it’s been a busy week here in Columbus. Nick and I have both been working a TON so not much exciting has happened.  Nick did see an armadillo when taking Penny out Wednesday morning. I had no idea those things lived around here! SICK. And it wasn’t just walking down the street – it was in our back yard.  I hope I never see one.

SIDE NOTE: Did you know they do this? Odd…

Also, this week I started working out – every day before work. I even swam 2,000 one morning (80 lengths for those of you non-swimmers). It wasn’t too hard either – which was a pleasant surprise.

Now, for those of you that don’t know Nick and I all that well – we love to cook together. We do it almost every night and we try to make something different as often as possible. I had two share two of the gems from this week — Beer-Braised Turkey Tacos with lots of Guac. and a roasted lemon thyme chicken (a whole one) with Risotto Primavera. They both took almost two hours, but were well worth the wait.  I strongly encourage you to try these from the June issue of Cooking Light!

Anyway, on to our evening of hosting dinner 32 of the Air Force’s finest. Will blog about that adventure tomorrow.

Happy weekend to all.

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Filed under Southern Living