Tag Archives: green beans

Southern-Style Chicken Cordon Bleu

26 Apr

One of my good friends Kristin is an editor at the fabulous blog A Woman’s Paris.  I would highly recommend this site for anyone interested in French style, culture, cooking and more.  In addition, the creator of the site is a talented artist and sells her whimsical drawings as iPhone and iPad covers at the following site.  I love them all but I think the Avenue Montaigne drawing is my favorite.

Avenue Montaigne, Paris

Avenue Montaigne, Paris
Photo Credit: A Woman's Paris

After my successful (but tiring!) attempt creating French macarons last year and talking with Kristin about French cooking, I was inspired to try and create a classic French dish but to add a Southern twist to it.  Below is my adaptation of the famous French entree Chicken Cordon Bleu.  This recipe has its roots in a Rachel Ray 30-Minute Meals episode that I watched years ago in college but never wrote down.  The thick, hearty mushroom-gravy is what really makes this a “Southern” dish.  Bring your appetite to the table when you make this dish – it’s rich and very filling!

Southern-Style Chicken Cordon Bleu with Mushroom Gravy
Serves 4

Ingredients (for the chicken)
4 chicken breasts, butterflied (you can have the butcher do this for you)
Fresh sage
Prosciutto
Fontina cheese
Flour
2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

*You also need: Toothpicks 

Directions (for the chicken)
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place small amount of cheese, sage and prosciutto in each chicken breast.  (Note: I overstuffed the chicken breasts and put way too much filling in the pictures below.  They are included so you can see the layout only.)


3. Starting at one of the narrow ends of the chicken breast, roll each chicken breast up and secure with a couple of toothpicks.  Coat each roll up in flour.


4. Heat a skillet using medium heat and add extra virgin olive oil.  When heated, add the chicken breasts and brown.
5. When browned, place chicken breasts on a baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes until fully cooked.
6. Remove from oven and place one breast on each plate.  Remove toothpicks immediately before adding gravy and serving.

Ingredients (for the gravy)
1 package crimini or button mushrooms
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. flour
Dry white wine
Chicken Broth (low sodium stock)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions (for the gravy)
1.  Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add butter.  When butter is melted, add mushrooms to skillet and cook until browned and soft.
2. Add flour and 1/4 cup wine and 1/4 cup chicken broth to skillet.  Mix until incorporated and warm.
3.  Season with salt & pepper.  If you want more acidic sauce, add more wine.  If you want thicker sauce, add more flour.  I usually wing it here so apologies I can’t give more specific directions!

Serve With…

Sauteed Green Beans or Spinach

and

Cheesy Risotto with Peas
Serves 4

Ingredients
Arborio Rice (4 servings according to rice package)
2 tbsp. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 32 oz. container low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1/2 – 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions
1. In a saucepan, heat chicken stock until warm but not boiling.  Keep warm while you prepare the risotto.
2. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add butter.  When melted, add garlic, rice and 1 cup chicken stock, stirring frequently.
3. When the chicken stock cooks off, ladle another cup of broth into the pot.  Continue doing so until the rice is cooked, which should take about 20 minutes.
4. About halfway through cooking the risotto, try out the rice.  If it is TOO chicken-y, substitute 1 cup of water instead of chicken broth when the liquid runs out for the next cycle.
5. When the rice is cooked, add the peas and Parmesan cheese to the pot, stirring rapidly to incorporate.
6. Serve immediately and top with freshly ground black pepper and an additional sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

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Thanksgiving Dinner: Green Beans with Miso & Almonds

30 Nov

The following recipe is adapted from the November 2011 issue of Bon Appetit magazine.  If you want to try their original recipe, you can find it here.  For my adaptation, I followed their directions closely, but changed the ingredients as I found the original recipe was a little sour/bitter.  Nothing that tripling the amount of sugar couldn’t fix! 🙂  I picked this recipe, because I wanted to try a lighter green veggie recipe this year.  Normally whatever green vegetable we serve at Thanksgiving is soaked in cream (think: creamed spinach) or high in fat (think: asparagus wrapped in bacon).  I was kind of shocked by how much dressing was coating the green beans when I followed the recipe amounts, but was very pleased that the green beans were still crispy and not soaked in dressing, despite sitting in our warming oven for 1.5 hours before dinner was served.  If I were to make this recipe again, I would likely halve the amount of dressing used so the green bean flavor could come through even more.  The recipe below is exactly what I made on Thursday.

Green Beans with Miso & Almonds
Adapted from Bon Appetit, November 2011 Issue

Ingredients
2 1/2 lb. fresh green beans (ends trimmed or snapped off)
kosher salt
1/4 cup white miso (fermented soybean paste)
3 tbsp. thinly sliced scallions, dark green parts only, divided
3 tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tbsp. mustard powder mixed with 1 tbsp. water (Note: BA recommends 2 tbsp. Japanese prepared hot mustard (not wasabi) and this is the alternative)
2 tbsp. olive oil
3-4 tbsp. sugar, to taste
1/4 cup, sliced almonds, toasted

Directions
1. Boil a medium sized pot of salted water.  When the water is boiling, toss in the green beans and cook until crisp-tender (about 7-8 minutes).
2. Drain green beans and transfer to a large bowl of ice water to cool.  (Note: This is what keeps the green beans crispy – don’t skip this step!)
3. In a small bowl, whisk miso, 2 tbsp. scallions, vinegar,  mustard (and water), oil and sugar.  Season dressing to taste with salt.
4. Place green beans in a serving bowl.  Pour dressing over; toss to coat.
5. Pre-heat oven to 350 degree.  On a baking sheet, lay out flat sliced almonds and toast until they are lightly browned.  This should take about 15 minutes.
6. Right before serving, garnish dish with toasted almonds and remaining 1 tbsp. scallions.  Serve warm or at room temperature (I prefer warm).

Note: After completing step 4 above, I put the green beans in our warming oven for 1.5 hours until the turkey was ready.  I did steps 5-6 immediately before we sat down to eat.

Here is a close up of the finished product:

Thanksgiving Dinner

26 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you all had a nice holiday surrounded by family, close friends and great food!

Since Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, I wanted to share with you my family’s recipes from our Thanksgiving feast on Thursday.  Over the course of the next week, I will post each of the recipes.

Grandma’s Turkey
Mom’s Stuffing
Dad’s Turkey Gravy
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans with Miso & Almonds
Pear Bellinis (aka Christmas in a Cup)
Cranberry Ginger Fizz

To round out our meal, we serve Sister Shubert’s Parker House Style rolls, canned cranberry sauce and Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe using Whole Foods canned pumpkin.  I think we will use most of these recipes at Christmas they were all so good!