Sunday, January 28, 2007

Dinner with not too much effort...

9 new recipes this week - our favorites this time were the Vermont Oatmeal Maple-Honey Bread, Smoked Cheese Pasta Bake, and the fun, but tedious, Key Lime Sugar Cookies. I am almost caught up with the recipe section to the left - I am about a week behind, but I added quite a few more today.

Today's side dish and dinner were both of the quick and easy variety. After a long day today, I didn't feel like doing too much. To go with dinner, we threw together a Quick Carrot and Raisin Salad. While cutting the carrots into sticks did take a little bit of time, you could always go ahead and buy the pre-cut bagged version to save even more time. The crunchy carrots are tossed with plump golden raisins, fresh parsley and just a couple tablespoons of red onion to give it slight bite. A creamy dressing made from mayonnaise, fresh lemon juice, sugar, cumin, paprika, salt, cinnamon and garlic add a slightly sweet and smoky coating. After a quick rest in the refrigerator so the flavors have a chance to take hold, a sprinkle of toasted almonds adorns the top for a nutty finish.

I always have pieces of boneless/skinless chicken breasts in the freezer, wrapped individually, so they can thaw quickly and I am able to pull out as many as I need at the time. With this dish, Black Pepper Citrus Chicken, the chicken is seasoned simply with salt and pepper and seared in a touch of olive oil until each side gets a golden finish. Even though the chicken is still raw in the center, it is removed so you can cook some start cooking the sliced onions and garlic together. Once they are softened, a splash of white wine goes in to loosen any tasty bits left on the bottom and then the half-cooked chicken is placed back in. Fresh orange juice and lemon juice are added and the skillet is covered to allow the chicken to finish cooking without drying out. You could definitely taste the extra pepper here, but I could have probably added a touch more (or used a bit coarser textured peppercorn). With the wine and bright citrus juices, the sauce was a bit acidic, but it didn't seem to overpower at all and we found that the added onions helped to cut that taste down. While this was not anything too exciting, it was a quick, basic and flavorful dish.


  1. Hi Joe! These sound wonderful! The carrot and raisin salad has definately caught my eye, as I'm always looking for more interesting veggie-based side dishes... I'm printing the recipe off right now!

  2. Gilly - Thanks! Jeff got the leftovers for lunch and the veggies still had a great texture!