Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Open Faced Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches

Open Faced Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches
These magnificent sandwiches are made of crunchy, breaded, white meat chicken topped with pizza sauce and gooey, melted mozzarella. Everyone loves them and they are ready in half an hour.  Throw in a side salad and you have an easy, yummy dinner.

Servings: 6-8
Time:  Prep: 5-10 minutes   Cooking:  20-25 minutes
Hardware:  A cutting board and knife, measuring spoons and cups, 3 shallow bowls, a fork, a whisk, a paper towel covered plate, a deep skillet, tongs, foil, a baking sheet

  • 1 ½ lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast-sliced very thin
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • Oil for frying
  • Large loaf of French bread
  • 16 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 ½ cups pizza sauce
  1. Slice the mozzarella and set aside.
  2. Cut the chicken in half horizontally so that it is thin. Season the chicken on both sides with 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning.
  3. Put the flour in the first bowl. In the second bowl whisk the eggs and milk together until completely blended. In the last bowl, toss together the crumbs and remaining Italian seasoning.
  4. Heat the oil on medium high.
  5. Dip the chicken into the flour and shake to remove the excess.  Dip the floured chicken into the egg and then press it into the crumbs to make sure it is covered.
  6. Fry the chicken for 4-5 minutes per side, or until golden brown.  Don’t crowd the chicken.  You may need to cook it in batches. Remove the chicken to the plate.  You can keep it warm in the oven on the lowest setting, while finishing up.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350˚.  Line the baking sheet with foil.
  8. Cut the French loaf in half like a hot dog bun.  Then, in the other direction, cut it in half and half again.  You should have eight bread slices.
  9. Top each piece of bread with 2 tablespoons of pizza sauce.  Top the sauce with chicken.  Top each sandwich with 2 more tablespoons pizza sauce.  Cover each sandwich with 2 ounces of cheese.
  10. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  11. Serve with a side salad.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Chicken Curry

As an American when I hear ‘curry’ I think of chicken or fish stew in a heavy, spicy sauce served over rice. I have a friend from the UK who calls any Indian dish curry.  One of my students, who is from India, says that curry is the spicy sauce-not the stew. So what exactly is curry?

I began to research curry to answer that question and to give myself a better understanding of the dish before I attempted to cook it. The savory, spicy flavors we think of as curry today come from hundreds of years of trade between India, Southeast Asia and Europe, but apparently people have been eating curry for over 4,000 years. Examining skeletons and pottery shards, archaeologists found residue of the three basic ingredients of the spicy stew-ginger, garlic and turmeric-in ancient excavations in India.  This means people in the Indus valley were eating curry at the same time Egyptians were building the pyramids. So curry is one of the world’s most popular dishes and it may be the world’s oldest prepared dish, as well.

When making curry, don’t use curry powder. The powder can be funky and not in a good way. I prefer curry paste.  I use Pataka Curry Paste Mild. This dish would work with Korma or Tikka Masala.  You could also make the sauce without the chicken and add chopped fish about 7 minutes before finishing. If you prefer to go meatless, make the sauce with veggie stock and add in roasted eggplant and frozen peas with the yogurt.

Servings: 4-6
Time:   Prep: 15 minutes; Cook: 45 Minutes
Hardware:  Measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and knives, a heavy bottom skillet (I prefer a cast iron skillet), a can opener, a wooden spoon

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2-4 tablespoons of curry paste (depending on your taste)
  • 14 ounce can chopped tomatoes drained
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 5 ounces Greek yogurt
  • S&P to taste
  • 2 cups cooked white rice, chopped green onions, naan bread
  1. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces.  Grate the ginger.  Roughly chop the onions, garlic, and cilantro. Drain the tomatoes.  Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in the pan on medium. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, cilantro, cumin, and cinnamon.  Cook, stirring often until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat up to medium high and add the chicken.  Sauté the chicken for 7-10 minutes or until just brown.
  4. Add the curry paste, tomatoes, and chicken broth.  Stir often until the curry comes to a boil.  Lower the heat to low and simmer slowly for 30 minutes.  Stir occasionally.
  5. Remove the curry from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Just before serving stir in the Greek yogurt.
  7. Serve over rice.  Topped with chopped green onions and a side of naan bread.
Chicken Curry