Tag Archives: Garlic

Garlic Chicken over Rice

Wow, things have been very quiet around hear.  All the contributors are gone, I’m not all that much in the cooking mood, and the site feels oh so neglected.  Ah well, so is life.

This recipe is one that I create one day, it’s nothing too complicated. A family member requested it, and I promised to send it… then I forgot… then I felt bad for not sending it so I delayed on doing it even more.  Finally, I’m getting off my butt to take care of this.

Anyway, here is what you’ll need.

2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs – cubed

1 small onion, diced

2 tsp of minced garlic

4 jalapeños, diced

1 bunch of fresh basil, 1 bunch of opal basil

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3/4 tsp sea salt

3 tsp marjoram

1 – In a large pan, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic and salt; sauté until brown.

2 – Add cubed chicken, stir every few minutes for about 10 minutes.

3 – Add marjoram and jalapeño, stir. Cook for roughly another 10 minutes until the chicken starts to slightly brown

4 – Tear your basil(s), and to the mix, and cook for another few minutes.

And you are done! The result is a dish that provides subtle flavor. The mix of basil, marjoram and jalapeño provide a bit of sweetness with a bit of kick.

Oh, and make sure you use the oil mixture as a sauce for the dish, it’s fantastic.


PS – Sorry this took so long to get to you, Amma!

Filet with Garlic Dill Butter

Ok, before I get going. This all started because of a discussion that Tina and had some time back.  I just haven’t had the time to post…

Tina had mentioned that she likes to whip here butter, and I suggested that (after whipping) that she pop it into the freezer to give it a nice, hard, outer shell.  One think that I like to do is take it a bit further in order to make butter pads for steak topping.

For the butter pads you’ll need

1 stick of soft butter, cubed

2 teaspoons of minced garlic

1 teaspoon of freshly chopped dill

Plastic Wrap

Start with your soft butter in a bowl…

Add your garlic, dill and mix.  (I mixed with my hands… messy but, hey, quick)

Place the butter onto your plastic wrap, form the butter into a “sausage”-esque tube

Toss it into the freezer… now the length of time is up to you.  An hour will firm it up, but still allow the butter to melt quickly when you use it to top your steak.  I did mine for several hours as I wanted the butter to stay on the steak for a longer period of time.

When you are searing your steak (the ones below were prepped sous-vide, seared for 1 min per side on a HOT pan) just toss the butter on to help in the melting…

Plate with a salad and some asparagus and you are good to go! This dish gives us a nice, medium rare filet, with an outstanding flavor and a moist cut of meat!

Breaded Pork with Roasted Broccoli, Garlic and Corn

I was sitting in the office today, trying to think of a good dish for a nice spring day… but for some reason my mind wandered to Breaded Pork. Not exactly what I would call a spring dish, but I went with it anyway!

I think my side made up for that. ;-)


2 cuts of pork (mine was from a larger tenderloin), cut of fat

2 cups of flour

2 cups of bread crumbs

2 eggs, beaten

several cloves of garlic

1 head of broccoli

2 ears of corn, decobbed

3 cups of peanut oil

Salt, Pepper and Sugar – all to taste

Here we go… with yet another simple dish.

1 – With a meat a meat hammer, flatten out your pork to about 1/4″

2 – Salt and pepper to taste, both sides.

3 – Place your flour, bread crumbs and eggs into three separate bowls.

4 – Dip your pork into the flour in order to cover the entire cut of meat, shake off any excess. Dip in egg, let the extra drain off, then cover with breadcrumbs.  Repeat for your second cut of meat. Place aside.

5 – Place your oil in a nice sized pot, begin to heat up to roughly 350 to 375. Also turn your broiler onto high, making sure you have a rack in the middle of the oven.

6 – Cut your broccoli into flowerettes, cut your garlic into half cloves, add corn and place into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Mix in salt, pepper and some sugar. (all to taste)

7 – Place into broiler (once heated) and  roast for 7 to 9 minutes.

8 – When your oil is heated, place the pork into the pot – only do one piece of meat at a time.  Cook for roughly 1 to 2 minutes per side, just make sure you don’t burn them!

There you go, you are done. Plate, add some capers, a wedge of lime and enjoy!

Sorry about the picture. I tried to get everything into the shot!

I loved the dish – there is so much more I one can do with this. The breading can be made into just about anything you desire. You can spice it it, or you can go with other flavors.  Very easy, and very tasty.

The roasted broccoli – for me – was UBER good. I’ve made this dish in the past with brown sugar, but opted for regular this time. LOVED IT. The little lady didn’t care for the sugar, but loved the corn.

Oh, and Tina – the butter topic will be posted for you tomorrow.

Lemon Garlic Chicken with Olives

Sticking to my idea of trying new dishes, I saw this Lemon Garlic Chicken with Olives recipe and thought “Hey, why not”.

Let’s get to it.

  • 1 4 pound chicken cut up, or chicken pieces
  • 25 garlic cloves peeled
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup pitted green olives, rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp chopped lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley, oregano, basil, sage, etc.)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Unsalted melted butter

Ok, you’ll

1) Preheat oven to 425.

2) Combine the lemon zest and juice, olive oil, butter, herbs, and salt and pepper in a small bowl and stir.

3) Arrange chicken pieces in a roasting pan, place the garlic cloves all around the chicken, and pour lemon-herb mixture over them.

Chicken getting ready to head into the oven.

Chicken getting ready to head into the oven.

4) Roast for about 50 minutes or until nicely browned.

4) Remove chicken.

5) In a large pan, over a medium heat, add the roasted chicken, garlic, juice, and chicken stock. Stir.

6) Add the olives and stir, cooking a few more minutes.  Serve immediately.

Lemon Garlic Chicken with Green Olives

Lemon Garlic Chicken with Green Olives

The small change I made to the recipe was the addition of the butter… next time I will do a number of things different.

I’d love to be sitting here telling you this dish was fantastic, or that the flavors magically danced on my tongue, but that is not the case. When the recipe says it’s Lemom Garlic Chicken they really mean it’s Lemon Chicken. The Lemon was too overwhelming.  Now, that is not to say it was bad, but it wasn’t a home run.

Interestingly enough, if one eats a piece of garlic, chicken and an olive at the same time the flavors seem to balance out.  Eat them alone and it really doesn’t work… alone the chicken has too much lemon, the garlic has lost the kick, or the olives were too salty.

Next time I get around to this I play on significantly cutting the lemon juice, maybe just making the lemon zest the core lemon flavor, and made the base of the dish butter.

Horseradish-Garlic topped Filet with Braised Mushrooms

This dish started off as a quest to do horseradish encrusted filet but grew into something a wee bit different – I give you Horseradish-Garlic topped Filet with and Braised Mushrooms. It sounds ostentatious but it isn’t.


List-o-ingredients (Steak/Steak Topping)

2 Filets – 6 to 8 oz

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp minced horseradish (fresh or bottled – more on that at the end of the post)

1 cup of breadcrumbs

A few Parsley Leafs, chopped

1/2 stick of butter, soft

1/4 cup parmesan-reggiano

Salt and Pepper to taste


1) Mix all of your topping ingredients together. Your butter should be soft but not melted which will result in a clumping consistency of all ingredients.

2) Cook your filet to the desired temperature

3) Remove filet from heat, place enough horseradish-garlic topping to cover surface area of the filet

4) Broil on a high flame until the topping begins to bubble/turn brown

Braised Mushrooms

1) Package of Cremini mushrooms, whole

2) 1 tbsp of butter

3) 1/4 cup red wine (I used Merlot as it tends to go well with grilled meat)

The ‘braising’ is rather simple, just toss your mushrooms in a frying pan with the butter and quickly brown, then add the red wine. Stir and cook until the wine begins to thicken. Remember to do this over a medium to medium/low heat to keep the mushrooms firm. No one likes over cooked mushrooms!

Horseradish-Garlic topped filet with Braised Mushrooms

Horseradish-Garlic topped filet with braised mushrooms


My concern was the fresh horseradish as going to overwhelm the dish, however, I found that adding an equal part of garlic balanced it out, allowing for the taste to come through without making the entire experience a wasabi-esque nightmare.

This topping could also become the base for so many other variations – crab, blue cheese first come to mind… this topping is easily a steak house favorite and I cannot wait to make it again.

Now, I noted that one could used fresh or horseradish. I decide to use fresh as I had the ability to control the overall flavor. A pre-bottled option would have added other flavors I may not have been shooting for (too salty, too strong for example). However, in chopping up my own horseradish I came to the conclusion that mother nature has a sense of humor.

Yep. Just look at this…

Horseradish - Mother Nature has a sense of humor

Horseradish - Mother Nature has a sense of humor

As always, enjoy!

Herbed Steak with Portobello Mushroom Sauce and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I think I hit the jackpot tonight.  I’d like to say at heart I am a meat and potatoes girl (although I love branching out) and this is the reason why. . .

For the steak:

4-5 oz boneless beef top sirloin steaks, cut 3/4 in thick

1 tsp herbes de Provence

1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp olive oil

6 oz portobello mushroom caps, stems removed and thinly sliced (about 2.5 c)

1/3 c finely chopped shallot or onion

2 clove garlic, minced

1/4 c port or dry red wine or beef broth

1/2 c beef broth

1.5 tsp cornstarch

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp herbes de Provence, cracked pepper, and salt evenly on steaks and rub in.  You can use the grill or broiler to cook seasoned steaks.   (I did the broiler for about 14 mins since I like mine med-well).

2. Heat oil over med heat in a skillet and then add mushrooms, shallot/onion, and garlic and cook until tender. Remove skillet from heat and add port/broth and remaining 1/2 tsp of herbes de Provence.  Return to heat and cook uncovered until liquid has evaporated.

sauteeing the mushrooms, onion, garlic

3. In a small bowl stir together beef broth and cornstarch and add to skillet.  Cook and stir until thickened and bubby.  Stir for 2 mins more and then add balsamic vinegar.  Serve over steaks.  Makes 4 servings.

For potatoes:

1 lb red, Yukon gold, or round white potatoes, scrubbed and quartered

1 tsp bottled minced roasted garlic

1/4 c light dairy sour cream

2-4 tbsp fat free milk

1/2 tsp dried thyme, crushed

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

1. In a covered large saucepan cook potatoes in enough boiling water to cover for 25 mins or until tender.  Drain and return to saucepan.

2. Add garlic to potatoes and mash.  Add sour cream, milk, thyme, salt, pepper and combine well (you can use a mixer if you want).  Makes 4 servings.

I tried to get a good picture of this. . .really doesn't do the dish justice though.

I tried to get a good picture of this. . .really doesn't do the dish justice though.

 Nutritional Information:


Calories: 270

Total Fat: 8 g

Cholesterol: 60 mg

Protein: 33 g

Carbohydrate: 10 g

Fiber: 1 g

Sodium: 343 mg


Calories: 106

Total Fat: 1 g

Cholesterol: 5 mg

Protein: 4 g

Carbohydrate: 19 g

Fiber: 2 g

Sodium: 162 mg

Dirty Rice with Italian Sausage

My general rule when I go grocery shopping is “only buy ingredients.”  What I mean by that is that I don’t buy things that are already dishes and only need to be heated.  I don’t buy spaghetti sauce, I keep tomatoes and garlic, etc. on hand.  That way if I want spaghetti sauce I can have that, and if I want chili it can also be that.  There have been a few exceptions to that rule to satisfy my wife by purchasing things I cannot make better myself.  One of those, Stove Top Stuffing, was eliminated last week when I learned the secret of sage, this week I am able to eliminate my final boxed good from my shopping cart by figuring out how to recreate Zatarans Dirty Rice.  I don’t know why I didn’t try this earlier because I’ve been mixing my own Cajun spices since I learned how to cook (the first thing I ever cooked was gumbo.)  My wife loves Zatarans with Italian sausage mixed in.  Here is how to avoid ever having to by Zatarans again.

Dirty Rice with Italian Sausage

1 lb Italian Sausage (hot or mild)

Cajun Spice

2 cups Beef Broth

1 cup Rice

1 pat Butter

1 tblspn minced Garlic

1 tblspn diced Onion  

1 tblspn dice Bell Pepper

Cajun Spice

1 tspn thyme

½ tspn oregano

1 tspn pepper

½ – 0 tspn cayenne (depending on your heat preference)

1 tspn paprika

1 tspn garlic powder

1 tspn onion powder

½ tspn celery salt

1.       Prepare Italian sausage.  What I do is fill my cast iron skillet 1/3 full of water and boil the sausages until the water all evaporated, then I sear them in the fat which has been released from them while boiling.  This little trick is how I am able to get the insides and outsides cooked to my desired doneness.  I also use this trick to “grill” onions by adding some oil and butter to the water. When the sausages are done, move them to a cutting board, let them rest and slice into bite size pieces.

boiling-italian-sausage1 cooked-italian-sausage

2.       Saute your onion, pepper and garlic (you could add celery too)in the butter until softened.

3.       Add your Cajun seasoning and let the flavors bloom a little, once you can smell it go ahead and

4.       Add your rice, I always sauté my rice a little

5.       Add in your beef broth and cook rice as you normally do


6.       When the rice is done and all the liquid absorbed, mix in ½ the sausage with the rice

7.       Plate up and add the second ½ the sausage on top


Makes enough for 4.      

Campanelle with Chicken and Vegetables

Last night I was thinking to myself “I want a nice, healthy, fresh dinner tomorrow.” Immediately my mind started running different options – do I want a fresh salad or a simple pasta dish.  After roughly 12 hours with the topic running through my mind, I decided pasta was the way to go. I take my dinner choices seriously!  

This dish is based, in part, on the recipe over at My Tasty Treasures.  I made a few changes based on what seemed right for me and then I had a go. 

What you’ll need:

  • 3 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Head of Broccoli
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Yellow Squash
  • 3 cloves of Garlic
  • 2 cups of Chicken Stock
  • 2 tsp of Basil
  • 2 tsp of Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp of Butter
  • ½ tsp of Black Pepper
  • ½ tsp of Salt
  • Shredded Asiago Cheese
  • Pasta (cooked and ready – remember to boil in saltwater!)
Chicken Breast, Red Peppers, Yellow Squash, Campanelle Pasta

Chicken Breast, Red Peppers, Yellow Squash, Campanelle Pasta

Food Prep

Cut your Chicken Into thumb sized cuts, set aside
Chop your Broccoli into Florets
Slice your squash into half dollar chips
Peel and dice your Garlic


1) Place your vegtabiles into a pan with ½ inch of water, steam on medium-high heat for 5 mins, set aside (or cook while doing next part)

2) Place olive oil and garlic into large pan, cook until garlic is brown

3) Add chicken stock and chicken cuts – cook over medium-high heat until the chicken is almost cooked

4) Add Butter, Basil, Salt and Pepper – stir

5) Add Pasta and Vegetables and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken reaches the desired degree of cooking

Finished and ready to go!

Finished and ready to go!

I was hoping for a quick and easy dish, and I found it.  Total prep and cook time is roughly 25 minutes and is not difficult at all.  More importantly, and I very well may be biased, this is one of the freshed dishes I’ve had in a long time.  With a few tweaks this dish could very easily be of restaurant quality. It is truly that good.  The Red Peppers hold the taste of the chicken stock ever so slightly, the asiago adds a bit a sharpness and the chicken is juicy. 

Really, as long as you do not overcook the chicken I truly believe you will enjoy this dish!

Parce que vous achetez les croutons

When asked why they hated Americans the French responded “parce que vous achetez les croutons.” (because you buy croutons)

I don’t know who to attribute that quote to, but I’ve always liked it as a statement on French vs American cooking.  I usually make bread once a week, a boule or a loaf, but I don’t eat that much bread and it can go stale quickly.  In trying to figure out what to do with a ½ a loaf of white bread I thought I would try to make some stuffing as a side dish with dinner.  My wife loves stuffing and I have tried making stuffing (unsuccessfully) in the past.  It always just tasted like wet bread.  So to appease my wife I would buy and happily eat Stovetop stuffing from a box.  Finally being ashamed enough that I couldn’t prepare what seemed to be a rather simple dish, and happening to have what I figured were the right ingredients on hand I tried again.  This time successfully.


Homemade Stovetop Stuffing

2 cups of croutons

¾ cup chicken stock

Salt if your stock does not already contain it 

Pat of butter

1 stalk celery diced

1 leek cut into rounds and separated

1 tablespoon garlic (or to taste)

1 tablespoon of sage

1.       Make your croutons.  For me all I had to do was cut ½ a loaf of white bread into the right shape and leave it out overnight, you may need to place yours in a low oven tossing regularly depending on how wet your bread it or how quickly you need your croutons.


2.       In a sauce pot combine butter, leeks, garlic, celery and ½ the sage.  Sautee until the celery and leeks get soft and aromatic.

3.       Add your chicken stock and bring to a boil.

4.       Add in your croutons

5.       Add in the rest of the sage

6.       Stir, mixing thoroughly, cover and let sit for a few minutes

7.       Serve along side roasted anything

Sage is the secret that I had been missing and caused my previous incarnations to taste like wet bread (no matter how flavorful the stock.)  I am now convinced I could add croutons, salt, water and sage to a pot and come out with acceptable stuffing.  

Vietnamese meat treats

nem-chuaI am fortunate to live in a city with many different ethnic neighborhoods, and an excellent restaurant “scene.”  Within walking distance of my home there is Little Italy, a Mexican neighborhood, Chinatown (long walk,) Greektown, a college neighborhood, the meat and fish wholesale district, and an area known as “restaurant row.” 

In an attempt to get to know the culinary options available just outside my own door I have started venturing out on the weekends to explore the various areas.  I’ll add some posts about those adventures later, right now I’d like to mention two food items I picked up last weekend when I went out to the Vietnamese neighborhood for a soup and sandwich lunch of pho and banh mi.

The first is called Nem Chua


I am pretty adventurous when it comes to what I will eat and have a tendency to leap before I look.  My shopping style is equally careless.  I see something I want, I get it, and then I ask what it is and how much it costs (much to my wife’s chagrin.  This is best demonstrated by the time she sent me to pick up a few items at Whole Foods and I returned $300 lighter, including a $25 jar of almond butter which we ate maybe 2 tablespoons of and $30 jar of powdered greens superfood, which was throw out immediately after discovering it tasted like fish food)  

Nem Chua is a bundle of fermented pork meat and skin with garlic and pepper which is eaten raw.   The ingredients listed are:pork, pork skin, garlic, Thai pepper, black pepper, sugar.  I don’t know what makes it safe or how it ferments, all of the information I’ve read contains a mysterious Nem Chua powder (powder for fermenting pork) “available at Asian grocery stores.”  I’m hoping that it contains some type of curing salt (this is a reasonable guess based on how red the meat is, if it didn’t contain curing salt wouldn’t it be gray) which would make this safe to eat, but either way it is pretty delicious and with the exception of the effect on my breath from the raw garlic I have had no adverse reactions.  

The taste of the pork is very mild and a little sour, then the raw garlic and chile hit you and the heat and spice and pork has a wonderful synergy in the mouth.  The texture is like a large piece of tuna sashimi, but has rubbery bites to it when you chew the skin pieces distributed throughout. It leaves a heat in your mouth from the Thai pepper.  Overall very good, much better than my description makes them sound, and would make a good occasional or exotic snack, maybe as an option with chicken wings while watching a game.

It’s claimed that they don’t need to be refrigerated and are therefore a good treat to pack for hiking, although I keep mine in the refrigerator.  It is also said that they are a good snack to go with beer, with this I would have to agree.   

The second thing I picked up is called Cha Lua


cha-lua2Apparently this translates as silk sausage.   The ingredients listed are: pork, fish sauce, water, potatoes starch, vegetable oil, sugar, MSG, baking powder, corn starch and citric acid.  For all the ingredients it has a very bland flavor.   It is basically a pork loaf of very smooth consistency, boiled in a banana leaf.  They say it is done when it bounces and it is very rubbery. The texture is identical to Oscar Meyer bologna and the taste is that of Buddig chicken.  It has a tough “skin” which I have been removing as I eat it.  I enjoy fish sauce and wish this had a fish sauce flavor but it is very taste neutral.  I’ve been using it to make sandwiches with grainy mustard, red onion and cha lua.  A good alternative sandwich meat to change things up from the usual turkey, roast beef or ham.