Wednesday, March 30

Asparagus Gruyere Tart

File this one under "company's coming".  This is a really easy recipe that will earn you lots of bonus points in the kitchen.  I got it from a friend who used to live in Chicago and I've made it a handful of times, including once to impress my "in laws" when they were visiting (it worked - the Royfriend's Mom made it later that year for Christmas dinner).  It's also great for holidays (hint, hint Easter).

Side note:  The recipe is originally from a Martha Stewart cookbook, Everyday Food: Great Food Fast, that I LOVE! The recipes are simple and organized by season so you can eat fresh as much as possible. There's also a great education section in the back to help you beef up on the basics (vinaigrette's, risotto, pesto, etc). 

Back to the good stuff... there's a hint of sweetness in the puff pastry that goes really well with the saltiness of the cheese and some fresh roasted asparagus. Keep an eye on the pastry once it goes back in the oven, you may want to cover the edges with some aluminum foil to keep them from burning.  You won't be disappointed!

Happy Eating!



Asparagus Gruyere Tart

Flour, for work surface
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (thawed according to package directions)
5 1/2 ounces (2 cups) Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 1/2 pounds medium or thick asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.

Remove pastry shell from oven, and sprinkle with Gruyere. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over Gruyere, alternating ends and tips. Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Note: Emmentaler or Fontina cheese can be substituted for the Gruyere. 

Tuesday, March 29

Parmesan Garlic Chicken

I think someone has been sprinkling some crazy in my cereal these days.  Life has gone from busy to controlled chaos to chicken-with-it's-head-cut-off.

I've been trying to find ways to take back some control, like making bigger meals on Sunday so I can start the week off with some good leftovers and enough time to make it to a Monday night yoga class. As much as I'd love to stop working at 5, swing by the grocery store and come home to cook dinner... yeah, not so much.

This Sunday I made an old standby - Parmesan Garlic Chicken. It's just a Kraft recipe but it adds a lot of flavor to otherwise boring chicken breasts.  It's healthy and holds up really well when reheated.  Plus the garlic and parm make your house smell great!

I made it with an Asparagus Gruyere tart that was fantastic (recipe coming later this week), but ended up being too much cheese and sodium when paired with the chicken coated in parm and garlic.  That's what I get for being fancy!  Next time back to basic veggies like oven roasted broccoli or asparagus.  And I'll save the tart for something like steak or ham.

Happy eating!


Parmesan Garlic Chicken

1/2 c. grated Parmesan Cheese (use a heaping 1/2 c. to make mixture last longer)
1 envelope Good Seasons Italian dressing mix
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 egg
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 2 lbs)

Mix cheese, dressing mix and garlic powder.

Lightly beat egg with a splash of water.  Dip chicken in egg mixture and then in crumb mixture, turning to coat the piece of chicken entirely.

Place in a shallow baking dish.  Bake for 20-25 mins at 400 degrees.

For a golden appearance / crispier crust, after the chicken is cooked through, set oven to broil.  Place chicken 6 inches from heat and broil for 2-4 mins until it's golden brown.

Calories 230, Total fat 7g, Saturated fat 3g, Cholesterol 100mg, Sodium 680mg, Carbohydrate 2g, Dietary fiber 0g, Sugars 1g, Protein 37g

Saturday, March 19

What's cookin' good lookin'?

Pardon the pun, but the idea of starting a food blog has been marinating in my head for a little while now.  I love eating.  A lot.  I love cooking for my family, trying new restaurants and hanging out with friends over a good meal.  

When someone asks for a recipe my face lights up and I get a twinkle in my eye (some, i.e.: an FBI profiler, would probably call that look "crazed") and I start overeagerly describing every detail of my experience making the dish.  To say I overdo it is being kind.  I just reeeeally like food.

A blog seems like a somewhat natural outlet for all that food crazy.  2011 for me is all about trying new things.  So let's give it a shot, shall we?  Good food and cooking is rooted in sharing.  I'll be doing a lot of sharing so help me complete the circle and share back. 

The Eater