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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Lemon Garlic Chicken

2014-09-23 13.09.08

When I found this casserole dish in my cabinet, I knew it was time to bring out the big guns. This empty corning ware dish was has been in my family for many, many years. As I was staring at it, the memories of my Mom’s lemon garlic chicken came rushing back, and how super delicious it was.

I saw a special on an Italian family-style restaurant, that you needed a year, at least, to even get a reservation. They made their restaurant’s version of lemon garlic chicken that looked absolutely amazing. Now my mother’s recipe was the only one that I’d ever had and was my favorite of all her dishes.

When I was a young mother, I would make this dish, using her recipe. I made it for a girlfriend of mine, Cheri. I can remember when she took her first bite, she knew then why I’m always saying, “taste the love”.  Cheri and I spent every day together in those early years, and sometimes I don’t know how I made it through the being a single mom without her in my life. Whenever I was unsure of what to make for dinner, it was never an issue, or even up for discussion, she always wanted lemon garlic chicken.

I’ve been cooking now for many years. I’ve learned so much from reading cookbooks and watching cooking shows, that I wanted to dedicate this updated version, of my mother’s recipe, to a very special friend and who’s now a mother herself. The memories I shared with Cheri I will treasure the rest of my life. Cheri, this post, and the recipe to follow is all for you. I know that today you lead a meat-free lifestyle but maybe you’ll make it for your family and this tradition will carry on. Thanks for being you.

 

Lemon Garlic Chicken

 

 

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Cannellini Bean Tapenade Topped With A Grape Tomato Salad

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Now Tapenades are traditionally made with olives and capers, but not always! Sometimes pestos contain olives. It can be confusing. I think of a Tapenade as more of some type of purèed vegetable as compared to pesto with a herb or leafy green base which may be used an uncooked sauce.

Pork Tenderloin On A Bed Of Cannellini Beans

The last meal I posted was my Pork Tenderloin Over A Bed Of Cannellini beans. I had quite a bit of the beans leftover. I didn’t want to waste them because they were so delicious so I turned them into a quick Cannellini Bean Tapenade to have the next day for lunch. The Cannellini beans were prepared with sautèed leeks, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. All I needed was a few extra ingredients and I’d be able to have an amazing lunch.

Leftover Cannellini Beans

This recipe can be made by using canned Cannellini beans. I’ve posted a recipe for this below. Make sure to rinse and drain the canned Cannellini beans.

 

This is really easy to make and is so delicious.

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Here I have a lemon, sun-dried tomatoes, and an 8-ounce wedge of Pecorino cheese. I’m only going to use half of the cheese for this recipe. First I need to process the cheese.

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So as you can see I ground up half the wedge of Pecorino cheese, and processed the sun-dried tomatoes.

I wanted to make sure not to overfill the food processor with all these ingredients at one time. There was no reason to add any more salt because the beans were already seasoned, and the cheese also has a salty bite. I did add some black pepper to each batch, and a sprinkling of Italian parsley for some freshness.

This is what the Cannellini Bean Tapenade looks like when it’s finished.

In the second bowl is a Grape Tomato Salad. All this is are some halved sweet grape tomatoes, granulated sugar, Kosher salt,  freshly cracked black pepper, red wine vinegar, freshly chopped basil, and E.V.O.O. that have been tossed together. I’m going to spoon these delicious tomatoes on top of the Cannellini Bean Tapenade.

I spread the Cannellini Bean Tapenade on the toasted Ciabatta bread then spooned on the delicious tomato salad.

I promise you won’t be able to eat just one.

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Prep Time: 20 minutes:
Cook Time: 12-15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheets, 10 cup food processor

Ingredients:
3 cups Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped and processed
4-ounces Pecorino cheese, grated
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 cup *E.V.O.O
2 tablespoons of chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 loaf of Ciabatta bread, sliced and toasted or grilled (yields 16 slices)

Tomato Salad Topping:
2 pints of yellow and red grape tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup *E.V.O.O.
2 tablespoon freshly chopped basil

Directions For Ciabatta Bread:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Slice the Ciabatta bread at a 45-degree angle into 1/2 -inch thick slices. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the top surface of each slice of Ciabatta lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Place into the oven on the center rack. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the bread is golden. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and let the toast cool slightly before adding the toppings.

Directions For Grape Tomato Salad:
In a large bowl add all the ingredients for the tomato salad. Mix to combine, set aside to let marinate.

Directions For Cannellini Bean Tapenade:
Start with a food processor fitted with the metal blade. First, cut the cheese up into cubes. Add the cheese to the food processor. Turn the processor on and let it run for about 2-3 minutes or until cheese is the consistency (refer to pictures above) you need. Second, process the sun-dried tomatoes, until finely chopped.

Add the rest of the ingredients (except the E.V.O.O. and the grated cheese) into the food processor. Pulse until combined. Next, add the grated cheese and pulse just to combine. Last, add the *E.V.O.O. through the feeding tube. Continue to pulse until the Tapenade reaches desired consistency (refer to picture above). The Tapenade will have great texture because of the sun-dried tomatoes. Transfer the Cannellini Bean Tapenade into a serving bowl.

Drizzle a little *E.V.O.O. over the top.

To serve, spread the Cannellini Bean Tapenade on the toasted Ciabatta. Spoon on the Grape Tomato Salad.

*E.V.O.O. is Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

 

 

 

 

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Apricot And Soy Glazed Pork Tenderloin On A Bed Of Cannellini Beans With Sauteed Spinach

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This recipe is elegant and yet so easy to pull together for entertaining. The above pictures are ones I took the very first time I made my Apricot And Soy Glazed Pork Tenderloin On A Bed Of Cannellini Beans With Sautéed Spinach and boy it was delicious. I thought I’d test the recipe out on a few friends and get their opinion. It was definitely a winning dish. I did, however, make one change and that was to use the pan drippings to make this wonderful sauce to drizzle over the top.

Let’s get started.

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First, I’m going to start with the marinade.

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If you’ve never worked with fresh ginger, please don’t feel intimidated by using this amazing root (used as a spice) in your recipes. All you need to do is, use a small spoon to scrape off (or peel) the outer skin. You can grate fresh ginger using a Microplane or, for this application (recipe), use a sharp knife to cut the piece of ginger lengthwise, leaving two half moons. Slice the half moons lengthwise then dice, similar to prepping a carrot. The flavor is awesome!

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Sauteed Spinach With Garlic

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 35 to 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 4- quart Dutch oven, 1 gallon-size zip-lock baggie, 12-inch sauté pan, Chef’s knife

Ingredients For Marinade:
2 pork tenderloins
1 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, small dice
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup apricot jam
1/4 cup soy sauce, low sodium
1/2 cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Ingredients For Cannellini Beans:
3 15-ounce cans of Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
2 leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced into half moons
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup unsalted chicken broth

Ingredients For Gravy.
1 1/2 cups of unsalted chicken broth, plus 2 tablespoons
1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch

Ingredients And Directions For Sautéed Spinach With Garlic:
Refer to the link below, doubling the recipe for this dish.

Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.

Directions:
Place the 2 pork tenderloins along with minced garlic and chopped ginger into the zip-lock bag. In a medium-size bowl add apricot jam, low sodium soy sauce, olive oil, and crushed red pepper flakes, whisk to combine. Pour the mixture into the baggie. Let as much of the air out of the bag as possible, then zip it closed. Massage the marinade all over the pork. Place the pork into the frig for a minimum of 2 hours, longer is even better.

Now to get started on the Cannellini beans. I love to use Cannellini beans for this dish because they have a really creamy feel to them and they absorb flavors really well.

When you’re dealing with leeks you just want to use the white and light green parts of the leek. Cut the top (the dark green leaves) and bottom (the root), like you see in the top pictures. Leeks have so many layers to them, you want to rinse them really good and get any sand or dirt that may be trapped between the layers. Once that’s done, cut them in half lengthwise and slice into thin half moons.

In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat add  1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, the sliced leeks, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Sauté the leeks for 2 to 3 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Next, add the minced garlic, stir through, cooking for 1 minute more. Add unsalted chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low then add in the Cannellini beans. Stir to combine and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off, place the lid on to keep warm.

At this point, you’d want to start the spinach for this dish. For my recipe, Sautéed Spinach With Garlic, click the link at the bottom of this post.

Preheat a large sauté pan on medium-high heat. Using a pair of tongs remove the marinated pork tenderloins from the baggie, (be sure to scrape off any ginger or garlic stuck on the pork, allowing as much of the excess marinade drip back into the baggie) placing them into the hot pan. Sear the pork for 3 minutes on each side. Place the pan into the oven and continue cooking for 10 minutes.

Next, transfer the pork tenderloins to a large plate and cover tightly with foil. Place the pan over medium-high heat and add unsalted chicken broth. With a wooden spoon, scrape all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Let bubble for 1 to 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, add 1 heaping tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of unsalted chicken broth, whisk together until smooth. Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan and continue whisking until the sauce comes back up to a bubble and begins to thicken, around 2 minutes. Turn the heat off, the sauce is done.

To plate this dish, I lay out all those delicious Cannellini beans on the bottom of a large serving platter. Then around one side, I spoon on the Sautéed Spinach With Garlic. I carve the pork into 1 1/2-inch thick slices and lay them on top of the beans. Finally, I just drizzle that amazing sauce all over the top.

There you have it, my Apricot And Soy Glazed Pork Tenderloin Over A Bed Of Cannellini Beans With Sautéed Spinach.

 

Sauteed Spinach With Garlic

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