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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Roasted Chicken And Tarragon Salad Tostadas

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Roasting your chicken with skin on and bone in makes such a difference on how moist and flavorful your chicken turns out to be. This roasted chicken and tarragon salad is to die for. It may be the sweet green grapes, or maybe the hint of the anise flavor the tarragon brings to the table. Now tarragon can overpower a dish, especially if you’re using the fresh and not the dried herb. It’s all about the balance of the sweet and the savory in this recipe.

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First, I roast off two large chicken breasts,with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. I let it cool long enough to where I can handle the chicken to remove the bone and skin. Then I just dice it into large chunks. You could shred it also if you like, but I think the chunks look better in the recipe.

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While the chicken is roasting, I get all my veggies and flavorings ready to go in. I have green grapes that I halved, red onions diced small, some large diced celery ( including some of the leafy tops chopped), finely chopped fresh tarragon, and some ruffly chopped pistachios.

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To the diced roasted chicken, I add all the veggies and flavorings, with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Next I add some really good mayonnaise, and gently mix all this together. While the roasted chicken is still warm it will absorb the flavors of everything you add to it even better. That’s all there is to this.

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Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35-40 minutes ( or until the internal temp of chicken is 165 degrees)
Yields: 6-8 tostadas

Ingredients:
2 large chicken breasts, bone in skin on
Olive oil
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt ( 1 to season the chicken, and 1 for the salad)
2 teaspoons of black pepper ( 1 to season the chicken, and 1 for the salad)
1-1/2 cups of large diced celery ( optional include their leafy tops)
1/2 a cup of finely diced red onion
2 cups of green grapes that have been halved
1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1/4 cup of chopped pistachios
3/4’s of a cup of mayonnaise
1 package of Tostadas

Directions: Oven set at 350 degrees, roast the chicken off with olive oil, salt and pepper for 35-40 minutes or until the internal temp is 165 degrees. Pull the chicken out and let cool long enough to handle to remove the skin, bones an dice the chicken up into large chunks. While the chicken is roasting cut the veggies, nuts, and tarragon up. When the chicken is diced up add all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix together gently. You can place this into the refrigerator until your ready to eat, or scoop some onto a tostada, and eat right away.

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Yorkshire Pudding

2014-12-27 17.36.23

In my early years, growing up in London was really a scary time for me. I came from a whole different world where everyday life as I knew it was turned up side down. As time went by, and I had to adapt, I watched my mom make a different style of food that I wasn’t used to seeing her make. You see she grew up in England, and now that I was living there too. I found that this new style of food was different but really good. Now I can tell you, being a kid, there were some foods I just wouldn’t touch. They just seem to gross to me then, but there were some, like this one. Yorkshire Pudding was always served with roast beef, roasted potatoes, and gravy. Sundays, dinner was always on the table early. I do remember this strange muffin looking thing that they served with this meal. I would watch my auntie make it, and memorize every step. Yorkshire Pudding is not so much a pudding as we know it here, but a type of bread that’s used to dip into gravy. I’d say it’s more like a popover. I do remember taking my first bite. The bread lover that I was, well I was hooked. I think the reason I still remember this recipe to this day is because how easy the ingredients were to remember. A cup, a cup, and a cup. Let me show you how I did it.

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I wanted to increase the recipe a bit, because I knew when Steve tried this, he would love them as much as I do. So I mentioned  it was a cup, a cup, and a cup, well I’m upping it to 4 cups of each ingredient. In a large bowl I add the eggs and milk. next, I slowly add the flour whisking constantly, until all the flour is just combined. The batter my be a bit lumpy, but that’s alright. Place the batter in the frig for about and hour to rest. I’m using a large muffin tin here. In each one place vegetable shortening. Place in a 450 degree oven until the shortening is bubbling hot. Then ladle in the batter. Place right back into the hot oven, do not open the door, and let cook for about 20-25 minutes. That’s all there is to it. Let them cool, just enough so you can handle them, before trying to take them out of the muffin tins. You want to eat these hot.

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Prep time; 5 minutes
Oven Temp: 450 degrees
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients:
4 cups of all purpose flour
4 large eggs
4 cups of milk
1 block of vegetable shortening ( depending on how many your are making, you’ll need 1 tablespoon in each muffin holder)

Directions:
After you whisk the milk and eggs together, then slowly combine the flour by whisking it in slowly until it’s all just combined. Place the batter in the frig to rest for about an hour. Have oven set on 450 and place a 1 tablespoon of vegetable shortening in each one. Place the muffin pan into the oven, with the shortening in them, to get the oil really hot an bubbly. Then ladle in the batter about 3/4’s full. Place the muffin pan back in the oven to cook for 20-25 minutes. Take the Yorkshire Puddings out of the muffin tins as soon as you able to handle them. You want to serve them while they are still nice and hot.

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Pappardelle Alfredo With Asparagus Tips Topped With Blackened Chicken

2014-12-26 18.40.33

I so love Pappardelle pasta. Those wide pasta noodles grab onto everything, and with an Alfredo sauce clinging to them has to be the bomb. For this recipe I find the best way to start is with the chicken.

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I’m use chicken cutlets for this recipe. They are thinner that the regular chicken breasts so they cook a lot faster. I have some blackened seasoning that I spread on both sides of the chicken. It has a bunch of different spices in this blend, so I don’t use any extra salt. In a large cast iron skillet, that I’ve preheated, I melt a couple of tablespoons of unsalted butter, and I sear the chicken off in batches of three. Around 3-4 minutes on the first side, then 2-3 minutes on the second side. You want to make sure they are cooked all the way through. Some of the cutlets may be slightly thicker, so those I’ll let sear a little longer if needed. When all the cutlets are done then I slice them on the bias. I place them on a heat proof plate, cover them with foil, and set into a 225 degree oven to stay warm while I get the Alfredo sauce, and asparagus ready. I’m just going to blanch the asparagus in some hot salty water for just a minute. Dump them right into some ice water to shock them and stop their cooking. Slice the asparagus on the bias and set aside until I’m ready to add to the dish.

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In a sauce pot, on med heat, I warm up some milk and heavy cream together. Because I’m going to add in a good amount of freshly grated Parmigiano- Reggiano, I’m not adding any salt. The cheese has a salty bite to it and I don’t want the dish to be too salty. Heat up the milk and cream just long enough to where bubbles start to appear around the rim. In another large deep sided pan I melt butter, then whisk some flour in to make a Roux. Once all the raw flour is cooked out, I pour the hot milk and cream in whisking the whole time.Then I add in some freshly grated nutmeg and black pepper. Keep whisking until the mixture thickens. Change to a wooden spoon before adding in the cheese. Remove the pan from the heat and stir the cheese in until it’s all combined. Now the Alfredo sauce and chicken done, next is to cook the pasta. What I do is have the water boiling on the back burner while I’m making the Alfredo sauce so it’s ready for the past to go in.

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Cook the pasta according to the package. I like to reserve some of the starchy pasta cooking liquid. I add it to the sauce after I tossed the pasta through if it needs thinning out a bit. After I’ve tossed the pasta through, I dump the blanched asparagus in the pasta water just to heat them through really quickly before adding it to the finished Pappardelle Alfredo.

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I finish  the dish with the sliced blackened chicken on top. This dish is so delicious and comforting that I’m sure once you try it, you’ll be making it again and again.

Prep time: 10 minutes ( you just want to make sure you have all the ingredients pre-measured out, or grated, and the chicken seasoned)
Cook time: 35-40 minutes (varies on how much chicken you have)
When doing chicken in batches, set oven on 225 degrees to keep chicken warm

Ingredients:
1-1/2 pounds of chicken cutlets
1 package of Pappardelle ( Fettuccine works fine)
1 bunch of fresh asparagus ( blanched and cut into 2 inch pieces)
1/4 cup of blackened seasoning
2 cups of whole milk
1 cup of heavy cream
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
4 tablespoons of flour
1 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
1-1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
1 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese

Directions:
Start with searing off all the chicken cutlets, Set them in a 225 degree oven covered with foil until ready to slice. Have a large pot of boiling water ready and waiting for you to salt it and throw the pasta in. While the water is boiling, start the Alfredo sauce. Make sure you have all your ingredients are measured out, or grated, so they are ready when you need to add then to the sauce. Remember to remove the sauce from the heat when adding the cheese in. When the sauce is done, cover it while you add salt to the boiling pasta water and add the pasta. When pasta reaches the al dente stage add the pasta to the Alfredo sauce tossing it through gently. If the sauce has thickened too much ladle in some of the pasta water to thin it out. This is when I toss in the cut asparagus right into the same water that I cooked the pasta in. Just for a minute to heat it back up. Then with a slotted spoon add the asparagus into ( but not stirring through) the Pappardelle Alfredo. Pull the chicken cutlets out of the oven, slice on the bias and top over the bowl of Alfredo pasta. You could of course just add the chicken in the with the pasta and toss everything through. I just like to see the blackened chicken, and the bright green asparagus on top.

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Mini Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball Sliders

2014-12-24 17.21.03

Is it just me, or does everybody love great #meatballs? Well I guess I can answer that question. I brought these beauties to a party recently and they disappeared really quickly. Then having them on Hawaiian rolls, well need I say more….The sauce I made for this dish is my own recipe. Low and slow simmered all day. The star however are my mozzarella stuffed meatball.

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Let’s start with this delicious gravy that the meatball are going to bathe in. I have the stove set on med heat and add some olive oil to a heavy bottom pot. I toss in some red pepper flakes. Next diced onion and minced garlic. To that some tomato paste, letting all that bloom in the hot oil. Now some low sodium chicken broth that I let reduce down to a couple of tablespoons or so. I dump in two cans of crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, dried basil, and brown sugar to cut the acid in the tomatoes. I also add a small small jar of Piquillo peppers, that have been processed (into what looks like a chunky puree) in a mini food processor. The peppers give a nice sweetness  and a bright red color to the sauce. I let this sauce come up to a bubble on med heat, then I reduce it to a simmer. I continue to simmer the sauce on med low for 2-3 hours before adding in the meatballs. Well, now while the sauce is simmering away, I’m going to start on these delicious little meatballs.

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First I sauteed a little onion and garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes in some olive oil until they were soft but not brown. I let them cool a bit before adding them to the meatball mixture. In a large bowl I have heavy cream, parsley, dried oregano, Kosher salt, pepper, ricotta cheese, Worcestershire sauce, cooked, and cooled onion and garlic mixture, 2 large eggs, and Panko bread crumbs. Once this is all mixed together, then I add in 2-1/2 pounds of ground pork. Mixing both together, just until the flavorings are combined through the meat. This meatball mixture will give you 24 golf ball size meatballs. You want to be sure not to over mix the meat.

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Next I’ve cubed up some low moisture Mozzarella cheese that I wrap inside of the meatballs. Then I lay them out on some parchment paper. Place them in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until they are nice and brown on the outside. You could do this in a frying pan, but I find this way to be a lot easier and quicker. See, while you have the sauce simmering away on top of the stove, the meatballs are browning off in the oven. You don’t have to do them in batches in a frying pan. You know turning them one at a time and all.  So now after the 30 minutes, take the meatballs out of the oven and place them right into the simmering sauce.

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Let the meatballs simmer in that delicious sauce for another hour. I then turn the heat off and add in some fresh torn basil leaves and stir them through. Place a lid on the pot to keep everything warm until you are ready to make the mini sliders.

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Slice those little sweet Hawaiian buns in half and place those meatballs right in there. Bring these wonderful beauties to any party, or just have them at home. You won’t be able to eat just one.

Prep time: 30-40 minutes
Total cooking time: 4 hours
Yields: 24 meatballs
Oven temperature: 375 degrees

Ingredients for sauce:
2 cans of crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 cup of low sodium chicken broth
1 diced onion
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of dried basil
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves

Ingredients for meatballs”
2-1/2 pounds of ground pork ( or whatever ground meat you choose)
1/4 diced chopped onions and 2 cloves of minced garlic (cooked and cooled)
24- 1/4 inch diced low sodium Mozzarella cheese
1/2 a cup of heavy cream
1/2 a cup of whole milk ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped Italian leaf parsley, dried is fine too
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup of fresh grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese
1-1/4 cups of Panko bread crumbs
2 packages of mini Hawaiian buns

Directions:
Start tomato sauce on the stove first. While tomato sauce is simmering for 2-3 hours, prepare the meatballs  with the Mozzarella cheese inside each one, and start them browning off. After the meatballs are done, add them to the sauce to simmer for another hour. Turn the heat off and add the fresh chopped basil leaves. Slice the Hawaiian buns in half and place a meatball into each bun and serve.

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