Wednesday, February 29

Chicken & Prosciutto Meatballs

Flavorful chicken and prosciutto meatballs from The Barefoot Contessa

Chicken Prosciutto Meatballs

It’s not always easy to find or invent new recipes every week, so a lot of times I revisit past favorites and find new ways to change and improve them. These chicken meatballs are the lovechild of my turkey meatball recipe and one I found from an Ina Garten cookbook and they are to-die-for. The combination of ground sausage, ground chicken, and a few pieces of prosciutto give the meatballs so much flavor that I even like them better than beef (and I never, ever say that). Using chicken and baking them in the oven really cuts down on fat and calories, which means you can eat a lot of them without feeling guilty. I served them with some whole wheat spaghetti, but they would also be great over brown rice, in a sub sandwich, or just on their own.
Chicken & Prosciutto Meatballs:
  • Combine 1/3 c. panko breadcrumbs and 1/4 c. milk in a large bowl and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Add in 1 lb. ground chicken,* 2/3 lb. fresh Italian chicken sausage (casings removed), 2 oz.** thinly sliced prosciutto, 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese, 2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley, 1 pinch chili flakes, 1 beaten egg, 1 tbsp. olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Mix together with your hands until you can no longer see the breadcrumbs.
  • Roll into 2" large meatballs and place on a baking sheet that has been covered with parchment paper.
  • Brush the top of each meatball with olive oil and place in a 400°F oven.
  • Bake meatballs for 40 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, bring 1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce to a simmer in a large pan.
  • Transfer meatballs to the pan of marinara and let them simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Divide onto plates and serve with whole wheat spaghetti.

Serves four - six
*Use dark meat or the meatballs will be too dry.
**About 4 thin slices.

Tuesday, February 28

Kale Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing

My boyfriend’s parents were in town visiting us over the weekend, and we had a wonderful time taking them to some of our favorite spots and restaurants in L.A. (Hatfield’s, Huckleberry, Café 14, and more). It was so much fun, but now I feel like we need to detox from this overly indulgent month. This kale salad is the perfect way to get back on track with my healthy meal plan and so simple to make. Raw kale is a very hearty green and stands up well to the strong, acidic roasted garlic dressing. The mustard and soft garlic get pulsed together in a blender and form a deceptively creamy vinaigrette that would taste good on literally anything. It’s the perfect side dish to a healthy dinner and would also be great with some croutons for a light lunch.

Kale Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing:
For Dressing
  • Slice the top off of a whole head of garlic, drizzle with 1 tbsp. olive oil, and wrap in tin foil.
  • Roast garlic in a 375°F oven for 45 minutes, then let sit at room temperature until cool.*
  • Unwrap the foil and squeeze all the roasted garlic cloves into a blender. Discard remaining garlic shell.
  • Add 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard and 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar to the blender with the garlic.
  • Puree until smooth, then slowly add in 1 generous tbsp. olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
For Salad
  • Chop 1 large bunch of washed dino kale into bite-size pieces.
  • Add kale to a bowl and use a vegetable peeler to shave a block of Parmesan cheese on top.
  • Toss with dressing and divide onto plates.
  • Add some freshly cracked black pepper and extra Parmesan on top.

Serves two (light lunch)
Serves four (side dish)
*Can be done a few days ahead and be kept in the fridge.

Friday, February 24

Prosciutto-Wrapped Halibut

My boyfriend’s birthday was on Tuesday and we spent the whole three-day weekend celebrating it. I took him to a Michelin star-rated dinner at Providence, we had lunch at Pizzeria Mozza, and by the time his actual birthday rolled around we just wanted to stay in and relax. I had no desire to spend much time in the kitchen, so I settled on making this easy prosciutto-wrapped halibut. It’s one of those dishes that looks like a fancy restaurant meal but really only takes a few ingredients and a small amount of time to make. I love how the prosciutto forms a crispy crust around the meaty halibut, and the rosemary butter and lemon forms a quick and satisfying sauce.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Halibut:
  • Brush two 7 oz. boneless, skinless halibut fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Wrap 1 piece of very thinly sliced prosciutto around the middle of each fillet and place on a baking rack.
  • Place the rack on top of a baking sheet* and place in a 400°F oven.
  • Bake the fish for 12 minutes, or until just cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, melt 2 tbsp. butter with 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary until butter turns brown and nutty, about 5 minutes.
  • Divide fish onto plates and top with a drizzle of rosemary brown butter and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Serves two
*I like to line my baking sheet with foil for easy clean up.

Thursday, February 23

Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes

I find most preparations for sweet potatoes (like the marshmallow-covered casseroles on most Thanksgiving tables) to be overly sugary and rarely eat more than a few bites during the holidays. However, when paired with more savory flavors, sweet potatoes are versatile enough to work into weekly dinners all year long. The rosemary-infused butter and tangy crème fraiche work together to counter balance the sweetness of the potatoes, which yields a complex mash that compliments anything from chicken to fish. Or you might just eat a whole bowl of it to yourself (like my boyfriend did) because it’s just that good.

Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes:
  • Peel and dice 2 large sweet potatoes into bite size pieces.
  • Place potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water.
  • Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil.
  • Cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 20-25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary about 2 tbsp. butter in a small saucepan and melt over low heat for 5-10 minutes.
  • Drain potatoes and place back in the hot pot over low heat.
  • Let the potatoes dry for a minute over the heat,* then mash them with the rosemary butter (sprigs removed) and 1/3 c. creme fraiche.**
  • Mash potatoes until smooth and season with salt and pepper, adding more butter or creme fraiche as desired.
  • Stir in 1/2 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary.
  • Divide onto plates and serve.

Serves two - three (side dish)
*This is a crucial step and stops the potatoes from getting too gummy.
**Can substitute with sour cream.

Wednesday, February 22

Coq Au Vin

My boyfriend likes to joke that I’m turning into a Francophile every time I wear a certain knit beret (sometimes men just don't undertand fashion), but in truth, I have been diving in to French cuisine lately (see recipes here). Coq au vin is a very old, very French dish that traditionally requires braising a chicken for many hours. This updated version is much quicker and easier and still yields tender, flavorful chicken in a rich broth. The trick to achieving a really deep, flavor-packed sauce is to make sure to get the chicken dark and caramelized before adding in the wine. It’s an authentic French dish that will make you feel like you’re in Paris, especially if you don your beret before digging in. 

Coq Au Vin:
  • Cut a 3-4 lb. chicken into 8 pieces and season with salt and pepper.*
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large dutch oven and add in 5 oz. chopped bacon. Cook until crispy, about 8 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Add in half of the chicken and brown for about 7 minutes a side, or until the skin is golden and crisp. Remove to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  • Add 2 sliced onions and 1 lb. thickly sliced carrots to the empty pot, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
  • Cook vegetables for 10 minutes, or until onions are soft and starting to brown.
  • Add in 2 cloves of chopped garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Add in 1/4 c. cognac and let the alcohol burn off for a minute.
  • Add chicken and bacon back to the pot, along with 1 bottle red wine,** 2 c. chicken broth, and 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary.
  • Bring to liquid to a boil, then cover the pot with a lid and place in a 275F oven.
  • Cook for 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Place the pot over medium heat on the stove and stir in 2 tbsp. butter mixed with 3 tbsp. flour.
  • Stir in 1 lb. sliced, sauteed mushrooms and 1 package of frozen pearl onions.
  • Let sauce cook and reduce for 10-15 minutes, then divide chicken and vegetables onto plates and spoon extra sauce over the top.

Serves four - six
*You can do this yourself, but I prefer to ask a butcher to do it or to buy an already cut chicken at the store.
**I used a Pinot Noir from Burgundy, which is very traditional to coq au vin.

Tuesday, February 21

Scallops with Blood Orange Gastrique

Seared scallops is one of those dishes that looks impressive but is actually easy to make. The key to a nice sear and crispy brown crust is to make sure that the scallops are dry and the pan is really hot. It just takes a few minutes for them to be cooked perfectly, and the accompaning sauce is just as quick. The blood oranges add a bright note to the rich scallops and adds a pop of color to the plate. It's a restaurant-worthy meal that would work just as well for a quick weeknight meal as it does for a special occasion.

Scallops with Blood Orange Gastrique:
  • Add 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar to a small saucepot and melt, stirring frequently. until sugar dissolves and turns golden brown.
  • Gradually add in 1/2 tbsp. red wine vinegar and stir until the mixture hardens and then melts again.
  • Add in 1/2 c. blood orange juice and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
  • Add in 3/4 c. chicken stock until sauce reduces by half and can coat the back of then spoon, or about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large skillet.
  • Pat 3/4 lb. large sea scallops* dry with a paper towel, then season both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Cook for 3-4 minutes a side or until golden brown and just cooked through.
  • Divide scallops onto plates and drizzle with sauce.

Serves two
*Make sure the small, tough side muscle is removed

Friday, February 17

Duck Hash

Although I'm always trying out new restaurants and making new dishes at home, I can't stop eating at certain places over and over again. One of those places is Huckleberry (featured here and here), where my boyfriend and I have weekend brunch at least a couple times a month. I have a few favorites on the menu, but my boyfriend almost always orders the duck hash. Chocked full of potatoes, onions, kale, and duck, it's the type of meal that you can eat for brunch and stay full until dinner. Their execution is flawless, but I have to say that my attempt at recreating it is pretty spot on. And as an added bonus, I can eat it at home and in my PJs rather than standing in the long line of fellow Huckleberry fanatics that congregate their every weekend.

Duck Hash with Potatoes, Onions, & Kale:
  • Melt 1 tbsp. duck fat* in a pan over medium high heat.
  • Add in 1/2 thinly sliced red onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until soft.
  • Add in 1 bunch of chopped lacinato kale and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until wilted and tender.
  • Add in 3/4 lb. cooked duck and 3/4 lb. cooked roasted potatoes** and 1/2 c. chicken stock.
  • Toss together and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until most of the stock has evaporated and the ingredients have warmed and cooked through.
  • Divide onto plates and top each with a fried egg.

Serves two - three
*Or olive oil.
**I used leftovers from this meal.

Thursday, February 16

Duck Fat Potato Galette

I love potatoes (see some of my favorite dishes here and here), but they’re even better when cooked in duck fat. It sounds and tastes gluttonous, but duck fat actually shares many of the same health benefits as olive oil and is a healthier alternative to cooking with butter. I created my own by saving the rendered fat from these duck breasts, but you can also buy a jar at specialty food stores and online (such as here). It adds a rich flavor to the potatoes and onions in this dish, but you can also use it to fry eggs, make pancakes, or do just about anything with.

Duck Fat Potato Galette:
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and brush it with melted butter.
  • Meanwhile, thinly slice* 2 lbs. of Yukon Gold potatoes and 1 large white onion to 1/8" thick.
  • Toss potatoes with 2 tbsp. duck fat, 2 tbsp. melted butter,** the leaves from 6 sprigs of fresh thyme, salt, and pepper.
  • Arrange some of the potatoes in a circle shape on the baking sheet, then top with some of the onions.
  • Repeat with another layer of potatoes, then onions, then remaining potatoes. Sprinkle the top with a little more salt and pepper.
  • Cook the galette in a oven until potatoes are tender and golden.
  • Let cool for a few minutes, then serve.

Serves four - six (side dish)
*I used this mandoline to make the slices uniform and super thin.
**Can substitute the butter, duck fat, or both for olive oil or just use all butter.

Wednesday, February 15

Beet, Burrata, & Arugula Salad

Sweet beets and creamy burrata cheese make an all-star salad

I never thought I’d say this, but it’s possible that brie has fallen from the number one slot for my all-time favorite cheese. In its place? Burrata. I love this cheese so much that I’ll pretty much order anything on a menu that features it, but at home I like to feature it very simply. Some roasted beets, a handful of arugula, and a drizzle of balsamic and extra-virgin olive oil are all the ingredients I need to have a totally satisfying dish. I served this as a first course for a low-key weeknight Valentine’s dinner, but add some bread and this would make a delicious lunch or light supper. If it's warm out, tried this similar grilled kale, beet, and burrata salad.
Beet, Burrata, & Arugula Salad:
  • Slice the tops off a bunch of beets and then wrap each one individually in tin foil.
  • Roast beets in a 400°F oven for 40-60 minutes, or until tender.*
  • Let beets cool completely, then use your fingers to run off the outer skin. Cut beets in bite-size pieces.
  • Arrange beets on a plate with 4 oz. of burrata cheese and a handful of wild arugula.
  • Drizzle the top with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Serves two - four
*Beet cooking time varies on size of beets. This whole thing can be done the night before and then refrigerated.

Tuesday, February 14

Duck with Cherry Port Sauce

Elegant duck breasts with a sweet and tangy 

Duck Breasts with Cherry Port Sauce

We celebrated Valentine's Day over the weekend, with a small gift exchange, a special bottle of wine, and a delicious meal at home. It was my first experience cooking duck, but I've certainly eaten it plenty of times as it's my go-to order at nice restaurants and always seems to be my pick for special events like anniversaries. This dish is simple and impressive (even more so when served on my Limoges plates), the perfect thing to wow your valentine with. And as an added bonus, I saved all the rendered duck fat from the breasts and it's now stored in my freezer for future decadent meals (including a few that I'll feature later this week).

More Duck Recipes:
- Orange Maple Duck Breasts
- Slow-Roasted Crispy Duck
- Easy Duck Confit

Seared Duck Breasts with Cherry Port Sauce:
For Duck
  • Use a pairing knife to score the skin side of two large boneless duck breasts.* Season with salt and pepper.
  • Place duck, skin side down, in a very hot skillet and cook for 12-15 minutes, pouring off excess duck fat every 5 minutes or so.
  • Once most of the fat has rendered and the skin is brown and crispy, flip the breasts and cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Transfer duck to a baking dish, and roast skin side up in 425°F oven for 5 minutes for medium doneness.
  • Remove from oven, cover dish with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
  • Slice duck and arrange onto plates. Top duck with cherry port sauce.
For Sauce
  • Add 1 large minced shallot and 2 sprigs of fresh thyme to the skillet the duck cooked in.**
  • Let shallot cook for 5 minutes, or until soft and translucent.
  • Add in 1/4 c. port wine, 1/3 c. orange juice, and 1/2 c. chopped pitted cherries.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper and turn off the heat.
  • Whisk in 1 tbsp. cold butter and spoon sauce over the duck breasts.

Serves two - three
*About 1 1/2 lbs. total.
**Make sure that only about 1 tbsp. of fat is left in the pan.

Monday, February 13

Red Velvet Cupcakes

L.A. is the birthplace of the gourmet cupcake craze that's taken over the food world in the past few years, and Sprinkles is by far the most famous and delicious bakery in the business. I live about fifteen minutes from the store but was so excited to receive one of their red velvet cake mixes from my cousin at Christmas. I finally got around to making a batch and they were even better than the ones from the store. The mix even comes with their signature fondant sprinkle on top, so each one looks authentic and professional. It's a fun and tasty treat that will make you feel like a real pastry chef at home.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting:
For Cupcakes
  • Line a twelve cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  • Prepare batter according to pacakge instructions, then divide into liners.
  • Bake cupcakes in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes, or until they lightly spring back to the touch.
  • Cool cupcakes in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cool rack until room temperature.
For Frosting
  • Beat 8 oz. cream cheese, 1 stick butter, and a pinch of salt in a mixer for 2-3 minutes, or until well-combined.
  • Slowly add in 3 3/4 c. powdered sugar and completely incorporated, then add in 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract.
  • Spread frosting on top of cupcakes and top with fondant sprinkle or any other garnish you like.

Makes a dozen cupcakes

Friday, February 10

Lamb Burgers

I received this great balsamic onion relish over Christmas and have been wanting to make something to showcase it ever since. Burgers seemed like the perfect pairing, but I made the patties out of ground lamb rather than the standard beef burger. Lamb has a stronger flavor than beef and stands up nicely to the sweet and tangy onions and blue cheese (which I had left over from this recipe). I like cooking them on a grill, but if you don’t have one available to you this winter, you can always use a grill pan or skillet and adjust the cooking time as necessary. Either way the end result will be a delicious, nostalgic taste of summer to get you through these chilly months.

Lamb Burgers with Balsamic Onions & Blue Cheese:
  • Combine 3/4 lb. ground lamb,* 1 tbsp. minced red onion, 1/2 tbsp. olive oil, the leaves from 6 sprigs of thyme, salt, and pepper.
  • Divide mixture in half and flatten into patties. Let patties stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Grill burgers on a hot grill for 5 minutes per side and grill two whole-wheat buns for 1-2 minutes per side.
  • Top burgers with blue cheese crumbles and tent with foil. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  • Place burger on buns and top with balsamic onions** and a handful of arugula.

Serves two
*I used 85% lean ground lamb.
**If you don't have balsamic onion relish, just saute 1 sliced onion with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar.

Thursday, February 9


I’m always looking for new egg dishes (some of my favorites are here, here, and here) because they’re cheap, easy, and versatile enough for any meal of the day. This dish is another winner from Plenty (see previous here) and such a unique recipe from anything I’ve made before (plus, the name is really fun to say). It actually was recommended to me a few months ago by my brother and sister-in-law and their rave reviews convinced me to try it. The sweet peppers, onions, and tomatoes create a nice bed for the poached eggs and the whole thing gets a kick from some fresh herbs and spices. I like to serve it with toasted baguette for some added crunch and texture.

  • Heat a small dutch oven* over high heat and add in 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds. Let seeds toast for 2 minutes.
  • Add in 3 tbsp. olive oil and 1 sliced onion and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until translucent.
  • Add in 2 sliced bell peppers, 2 tsp. turbinado sugar,** 1 tbsp. minced parsley, 1 tbsp. minced cilantro, and the leaves from 4 sprigs of thyme.
  • Let mixture cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in 4 diced tomatoes, 1/2 c. water, 1 large pinch saffron, and a large pinch of red chile flakes and turn the heat to low.
  • Let sauce cook for 15-20 minutes, adding more water as necessary to form a pasta-sauce consistency.***
  • Check sauce for seasoning and add salt, pepper, or hot sauce as desired.
  • Divide veggie mixture into two individual-sized lidded pans, then create two wells in the middle of each.
  • Drop a raw egg into each well, then cover the pans with a lid and let cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until egg whites have set and yolks are at your desired doneness.
  • Bring each pan to the table and serve with toasted baguette slices.
Serves two
*Or deep skillet.
**Or regular brown sugar or honey.
***I added about 1/2 c. more water to mine.

Wednesday, February 8

Valentine's Day Menu Planning

Rich pastas can be made in minutes but still feel special - perfect for a weeknight celebration. Pictured: Spaghetti Carbonara

Valentine’s Day is less than a week away, and in case you didn’t read last year’s posts (here and here), I’ll reiterate that it’s one of my favorite holidays. Even if you don’t have a date, use it as an excuse to share a good meal with someone (friends, family, pets) and treat yourself. It’s an excuse to indulge, so break out that special bottle of wine and cook up something decadent. Here are some of my favorite dishes for the occasion, ranging from the all-night affair to a quick weeknight celebration.

Choose dishes that are bright and colorful for the occasion. Pictured: Orange, Beet & Goat Cheese Salad
Staying in doesn't mean you can't enjoy a fancy meal. Pictured: Steak with Mushroom-Red Wine Sauce
Valentine's Day isn't complete without some chocolate. Pictured: Chocolate Souffles

Tuesday, February 7



After my last experience with bulgur wheat (see here) was such a success, I've been dying to try out new dishes, plus I had a nearly full bag left to use. Tabbouleh, a traditional Middle Eastern salad, is probably the most common use of bulgur and so easy to make at home. It makes a great side dish for Greek dishes and any leftovers are perfect for lunches the rest of the week. The bulgur wheat is pretty heavy, but I like adding a lot of fresh lemon juice and herbs to brighten up the salad and make it more refreshing.

  • Soak 2 c. bulgur wheat in warm water for an hour, or until tender.* Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, seed and chop 4 small tomatoes and mince 1/2 red onion, 2 cloves of garlic, and 1 large bunch of parsley.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the juice of 2 lemons, 1/4 c. olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Combine vegetables and dressing with the bulgur and check for seasoning.
  • Let tabbouleh sit in the fridge or at room temperature for at least an hour so that flavors can meld.**

Serves eight (side dish)
Serves four (lunch)
*Or bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes, then rinse with cold water and drain well.
**This whole dish can be made a day or more in advance.

Monday, February 6

Sage, Walnut & Maple Scones

Maybe it’s my Welsh heritage, but I’ve always loved tea and scones (way more so than coffee). As a young girl, my mom and I would love to dress up and go to afternoon tea at fancy hotels for special occasions. Nowadays, I still like to occasionally treat myself to a warm mug of Earl Grey with milk and sugar even if it’s enjoyed in the lunchroom at work. These scones from Food52 are the perfect complement, with the perfect balance of savory (the sage) and sweet (the brown butter maple glaze). Make them for breakfast all week, or pack some up and bring them to work to enjoy with your afternoon tea (or coffee).

Walnut Sage Scones with Brown Butter Maple Glaze: 
For Scones
  • Whisk together 3/4 c. Greek yogurt and 3/4 c. whole milk and place in the fridge.*
  • In another bowl, combine 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, 3/8 c. sugar, 3 tsp. baking powder, 2 1/2 tsp. fresh minced sage, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. baking soda.
  • Stir 1 1/2 sticks frozen, grated butter until it is coated with the flour.
  • Whisk milk mixture into the dough until just combined.
  • Roll the dough out on a cold, floured surface until it reaches 1/4" thick. Fold the dough into thirds to form a square and wrap with plastic. Place in the freezer for ten minutes.
  • Roll the dough back out to 1/4" thickness and sprinkle with 1 1/2 c. chopped toasted walnuts.
  • Roll the dough into a log-shape and then press into a rectangle.**
  • Cut the dough into triangles and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  • Bake scones for 12-15 minutes in a 425°F oven, or until lightly browned. Remove and let cool.
For Glaze
  • Melt 3 tbsp. butter in a small saucepan until it starts to brown.
  • Whisk in 3/8 c. maple syrup and 1 pinch kosher salt and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Slowly whisk in 1 c. powdered sugar until there are no lumps, then thin with 1-2 tbsp. milk until spreadable.
  • Immediately drizzle glaze onto cool scones and let rest until glaze hardens, about 30 minutes.

Makes a dozen scones
*The key to making flaky scones is keeping the dough as cold as possible before it bakes.
**Can stop, wrap in plastic, and bake the next morning, if desired.

Thursday, February 2

Balsamic Blue Cheese Chicken

When it comes to quick weeknight meals, it really doesn’t get any easier than this balsamic blue cheese chicken (adapted from this recipe). Besides the marinating time, the whole dish takes less than 20 minutes to throw together and I usually have all the ingredients on hand already since going to the grocery store after a long day of work is one of my least favorite activities. The key to this meal (and quick cooking in general) is to keep a well-stocked kitchen and adapt the recipe to include whatever you already have at home. Try this dish using a different cheese, apples instead of pears, spinach instead of arugula – the possibilities are endless.

Balsamic Blue Cheese Chicken with Arugula & Pear Salad:
For Chicken
  • Whisk together 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar, 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard, 2 chopped garlic cloves, salt, and pepper.
  • Pour marinade into a resealable plastic bag and add in 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts.
  • Let chicken marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, then at room temperature for another 30 minutes.*
  • Remove chicken from marinade and sprinkle with a little more salt, pepper, and 1 tsp. dried herbs.**
  • Place chicken on a hot grill and cook for 6-8 minutes per side, or until just cooked through.
  • Remove from grill and top each breast with a slice of blue cheese. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.
For Salad
  • Combine 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in 2-3 tbsp. olive oil.
  • Toss dressing with 3 c. wild arugula and 1 thinly sliced pear.
  • Accompany each plate of chicken with some salad.

Serves two - three
*Can marinate for longer or shorter depending on your schedule, but 2 hours is ideal.
**Such as Herbes de Provence. However, any combination of fresh or dried herbs would be great.