Chicken Breast in Marinade with Cheese, A Dream Come True

You probably figured it out already…For the past several weeks, I’ve been craving chicken and everything there is to do with chicken. Yesterday, I’ve browsed the depths of the Internet in order to find the best marinade there is. I am absolutely positive about the existence of such a recipe. And of course, I’ve achieved the best result possible – I have found, the tastiest one yet! After you marinade, you have several options – either to make it on a grill or in the oven. My choice fell upon the latter. But, knowing myself pretty well, I could not leave it just sitting in the oven without any perks added to it. I wanted for this recipe to evolve, to take in some new colors, to look different and become even more delightful. What is the fastest way to improve a recipe? If you ask me, my advice is to cover your dish in cheese. I am a cheese nut! Actually, this whole past week I have been eating nothing but macaroni and cheese! And I cannot get enough of it. Oh, and of course my favorite, avocado with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and salt. What I admire about avocado is that after finishing the meal, your stomach does not feel  overwhelmed, even when you absolutely have to eat past 6 pm…. You see, I am so devoured by avocado, I even forgot I am writing about something totally different….So, enough about avocado. Cheese. The best thing about cheese is you can take any kind and melt it, your supper will be good anyway. So, lets dive together in this never ending world of cheese, chicken and the time saving marinade. Gratitude to the one who came up with the idea to marinade chicken using these specific ingredients!

Ingredients:

2 kg chicken breast, 5 table spoons of honey, 2.5 tea spoons of paprika, a handful of fresh basil cut nicely, 4 table spoons of olive oil, juice from one lemon, 7 cloves of garlic, black pepper.

The Works:

A 4 step cooking process, and yes, I am telling the truth here….

1. Slice the chicken into medium cubes.

2. Chop the basil and the garlic, mix all the ingredients together with the chicken which you should have put into a bowl or a saucepan by now.

3. Mix everything together well. My advice is to use your hands, that way you’ll get to a better result.

4. Close your bowl with a lid. Put into the fridge for at least a couple of hours. Before covering it with cheese and sending it off into the oven (25-30 minutes), make sure you put in salt.

Quick and easy steps, no time wasted! I personally called this recipe: NO TIME TO WASTE FOR A GREAT TASTE!

Enjoy!

And, the mighty process….

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Something New: Buckwheat and Chicken Hearts Recipe…

Today I went bananza…The urge was for something new, a dish I have never tried before in my life. I think it comes from my desire for creativity…but, who knows…

I remembered that there was a book given to me on this New Years by my boyfriend’s mom. I found it pretty quickly and began wondering what to prepare for dinner. Everything looked so delicious and quite easy to make. One particular recipe caught my eye, Buckwheat and Chicken Hearts. Must be honest with you, I am not such a fan of Chicken Hearts, but there is always a first time for everything. I even thought to design my own variation of this recipe, I searched over the almighty Internet in order to stumble upon a better course of action to withstand. On the other hand, there was no need.

I began reading. Simplicity has always been one of my best friends. I glanced over the recipe once more and made a decision. Today will be  Buckwheat and Chicken Hearts Day. No hesitation, no uncertainty! Plus, since my boyfriend seems to somewhat complain a little about me escaping to cook  meals from all those culinary books sitting on my shelf, I have decided to surrender this time.

Although this recipe is supposed to be assembled and prepared in a pot and thrown gracefully into the oven, I have thought of a new manner for its preparation. I have used a saucepan instead. The decision has materialized from quite simple of a reality: I don’t have a pot. (*This one will be on my Santa list next year) It just may be that making this meal in a pot would spin its taste, turn it into a juicy and refreshing delight, but it just means I would have room for improvement next time.

So, without any further adieu, I am proudly presenting BuckWheat and Chicken Hearts to you.

Ingredients:

Buckwheat 2 cups, chicken hearts – 500 gr, red and yellow peppers 3.5, onion – 1.5, garlic – 3 medium cloves, mushrooms -about 150 gr, chicken stock – 1 cup, butter 50 gr, celery – 2 sticks, salt, pepper.

The Works:

Chicken Hearts in Buckwheat

Chicken Hearts in Buckwheat

My advice: prepare chicken stock before you actually start cooking the dish. I just poured small amount of water into a smaller saucepan, boiled it and added chicken broth cubes to make it faster. Let it sit for a bit, then start chopping and slicing the vegetables. Chop the onion into cubes, slice peppers and garlic. Don’t forget about mushrooms, these guys also require some attention from your side! While chopping, get your buckwheat out. Prepare it separately from all other components. You can use THE SAUCEPAN you will use for your further cooking. Since you have a lot of matters happening in your kitchen, why not start working on chicken hearts as well? Fry them separately also in a frying pan with a little bit of oil. Done with that? Perfect! Throw celery and onion together into the oil you have left from the chicken hearts. Fry. After come the peppers and the mushrooms, fry them as well. * By the way, buckwheat should be all done by that time, chilling somewhere in your kitchen in a saucepan, which makes you free to throw all the cooked vegetables into it, once they are done. From my own experience, buckwheat should not take a lot of time cooking, about 16 minutes. I always time myself.

Mix all the vegetables and the chicken hearts with the buckwheat. After comes the interesting part, pour in a cup of chicken broth and add some butter. Mix and let it sit for about 5 minutes. The last step afterwards would be to put it on your stove, very small fire, for another 5-7 minutes. Ready to serve!

The Book that Made It All Possible

The Book that Made It All Possible

Congrats!!! You are the Champion!

Feedback: The reality is, it comes straight with garnish, so you don’t have to spend more time thinking about a good partner for what you have already prepared!

Fast, Simple Chicken in the oven

Just when it seems you have trouble figuring out what to prepare for dinner so that your loved ones would smile and their stomachs say big thanks to THE COOK of the house, think about chicken. It might be the simplest idea for you. I counted the time it took for me to get it all done – about 15 minutes for sauce and about 30 minutes in the oven. The latter does not really count because when it is already in the oven, you still have your freedom to do anything you desire.

Actually, this recipe not only frees you in terms of time, it makes your eyes wonder. I am emphasizing on the colors of this recipe. You got it all: Red, purple, even black…It really does surprise you. So we’ve established with the shades intensity, but just wait for this recipe’s ingredients. Since my first encounter with this recipe I have formed a very firm conclusion that the founder of this spellbinding cooking chemistry must possess a gift of high passion for creativity. And, if you are like me, you will discover it on the same level, if not more.

What I am talking about here is apricot jam as an ingredient. Of course, this is an element of surprise! Just think, how can you mix salty, spicy, and sweet components all together?! For me, it was an eye-opener. The thing is, it does not interfere with the taste. Quite on the contrary, it enhances it, transforms and revolutionizes it, reinforcing your appetite,  turning it into something you just are so eager and for and crave to try. Just wait and see, I am assured, it will be the same for you!

Ingredients:

1.5 kg of chicken, 5 cloves of garlic, 4 table spoons of ketchup, some Tabasco sauce, 1 cup of soy sauce, 4 table spoons of sweet chili sauce and 1 cup of apricot jam

The Works:

My Dear readers, to make it easier for you to follow my recipes, I have come to a conclusion to make some twists and innovations and put numbers prior to any action done in the recipe. Enjoy!

1. Get a baking form and put all of your chicken into it.

2. Preheat the oven up to 200 degrees C.

3. For the sauce: Take a small saucepan, mix in it all the components including diced garlic, ketchup, Tabasco, soy, sweet chili sauce, and the jam.

4. Put the mixture on the stove and stir for several minutes until the jam melts.

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Just like that!

Just like that!

5. Pour the sauce over the chicken.

Chicken covered in sauce

Chicken covered in sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Put the dish in the oven for 30 minutes.

Look you have prepared it all yourself, ENJOY!

PS: Any garnish will do.

 

Dive into a bowl of rice – Get some Pilaf

I have never been able to cook rice properly until I got this pilaf recipe into my hands. Rice is a tricky business. When it comes to it, you have to turn into an almost professional chef and make sure the rice you get is not sticky, that you can engage into a dialogue with every little grain. Don’t you just hate when after a hard hour of work, all you’ve established for yourself is that your rice has curved up into a snowball like figures, and all you see are circles that definitely deviate from the norm? That is precisely how I felt when I first started cooking rice. I inspected every angle of it, and just when it seemed I couldn’t resolve the problem, I found this collection of magic words –  a pilaf recipe.

My never-ending gratitude to this genius who invented this one. After working on a whole 2 kg of pilaf, I got a smile on my face. Finally! I won’t keep you waiting any longer, here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

2.5 cups of rice (long), 2 medium carrots, 2 medium onions, about 1.5 kg of meat (beef is better), 4 cloves of garlic, any spices you find fit, good old-fashioned salt.

The Works:

My suggestion is to start with the rice. Get your 2.5 cups and put them in a bowl of cold water (this supposed to get all the stickiness out afterwards). Done with that? Amazing! Now, step two, get your hands ready to chop some meat up. You can do it any way you want, really. The meat can twist into any form. (During this time I actually happen to love geometry. This is what”s so unexpected about cooking: you get all the disciplines integrating one into another. Think about it: geometry, algebra, chemistry and all the others) If you so desire, you can go all Chinese and slice it into long bands, but I prefer cubes. Once you’ve accomplished your goals, get these pieces of meat into a deep frying pan. Fry for about 10-15 minutes, till golden color begins to appear.

My advice is to start multitasking, while your meat gets a tan, prepare for another short workout, and launch an onion dicing and carrot slicing campaign. I do not like to slice them all into tiny pieces, I design them so they are actually visible in the meal. You are your own boss, so you can do as you please=)

Fewf, now you can move on. Go ahead and insinuate all the ingredients into what you got going there in the frying pan. Initiate the takeoff with the onion, wait for about 10 minutes, mixing from time to time, and then, let carrots join. Mix together again, and wait. After, you can spice it all up and add a teaspoon of salt. Don’t forget to mix.

We are almost done. Remember the rice? Drain the water. Combine it together with all the others, even it out in the frying pan with a spoon, then comes the trick. Pour in some boiling water, but this is where your precision should shine through. Unify all your math skills together, and pour X 2 cups of boiling water in. (2.5 cups of rice X 2 is? 5) 5 cups of boiling water. You’ll get about 18 mm of water above the rice. Sprinkle a teaspoon of salt over this water, stir. Cover the frying pan with a lid, wait until all the water evaporates. Stir all the ingredients together again.

Well done and Good Job! Dive in and Eat!

 

Here comes Pot Roast, with a little secret.

It got real cold here! And when I say “real cold”,  I mean +6, +5 degrees Celsius. It does not seem that cold, but when you start thinking about the insides of your own home, and the temperature there (which can get to +14), and how you sit wearing layers on yourself, all you want is to get warm. One of the best ways for me to dive into a warm world is to cook meat and potatoes. I have to say, this recipe is very filling, with the meat melting in your mouth. But, you have to wait for at least 2.5 hours for it to get ready. If you are one of those people who likes meat having a particularly soft texture, you might have to wait even more. I can tell you, I waited for 3 hours. So, get all the patience you have inside you, and lets get cooking!

*Oh, and a little note, this recipe comes in with a little zest, its got dried prunes in it. This stuff is what gets you surprised. Just remember a day when you tried eating something that you are used to. So you eat, enjoy your food, even if its the usual for you, it still creates fireworks in your mouth. But then, suddenly, you feel like there is something new…Something that makes this dish taste even better. Something that you will remember every time now you think about this specific meal. Not only it adds new taste for the meal, but it actually delights you. In this usual meal you would not expect to come by this ingredient.

Ingredients:

3-4 medium potatoes, 1 kg of beef, half a kilo of chicken breast, 1 big carrot, 2 medium onions, 5-6 tablespoons of tomato sauce (I had sauce for pizza left from the time I prepared homemade pizza, so why let the good stuff go by?),  about 50 gr of dried prunes, garlic, parsley.

The Works:

Slice all your meat into bands, that way the meat will prepare faster. Put it all into a deep frying pan, and let it sit there on the stove, till the juices come out.20131212_095255

Peel of the skin from the potatoes and cut them into cubes. Get working on the carrot, slice it into big round pieces. About the onions, make nice big rings out of them. Mix the onions with the meat, let it sit for about 15 minutes (just do not make big fire on the stove) Remember, the juices still have to be there when you start adding other vegetables in.20131212_103223

Next, comes the carrot. Again, let it soak in all the juices together with the meat for several minutes. Then, start adding the potatoes. You already know what comes next, waiting. But, then comes the fun part, add the sauce you have to mix in a little bit of color in your works. Actually, the red of tomato paste, or in this case, pizza sauce, fits in perfectly with the meat. So, do not be afraid to mix it in! Do not forget to taste your food! If you feel like you need to add more of the sauce, you should positively do so! Afterwards, ladies and gentlemen, comes the bride! Dried prunes! 50 gr is about 7-8 of them, so add them without any hesitation. They are the ones bringing the surprise, remember? They bring a sudden feel of sweet into your dish. Mix it all once again, put the mixture on low fire, close the lid, and…wait…again, it should be close to 3 hours to let the meat be as soft as a baby’s skin. While you are waiting, do not let yourself go crazy, wash and cut the parsley (this one you should add last, when the dish is ready), and peel the skin off the garlic. You can add the garlic after about 1.5 hours. You do not need to slice it, just peel the skin, and throw it in there.

*Important note, when you are waiting for the meat to be ready, check on it once in a while, just open the cover. As we all know since high school, water tends to evaporate. So, do not forget to add some in while waiting those 3 long hours. Plus, it does not let you go bananza! Water should always cover your meat about half way. Otherwise, you’ll burn it all, and you don’t want this one to happen…All your hard work to fly away from you…

And, voalah, after 3 hours you get a beautiful meal that every member of your family can and will enjoy!

Warm up your hearts with a nice Pot Roast!

Feedback: My beloved members actually said that they enjoyed it very much. They haven’t eaten such a dish in a while. The best thing about this dish is, you don’t have to prepare additional garnish for the meat.

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way…New Year’s menu from Katya!

Although it is almost half a month till New Years,  I find myself thinking about party meals more and more…These precise thoughts make me actually feel like it is New Years time. I don’t remember if I mentioned this before, but in Israel, it’s not just that there is no celebration for this holiday (duh), but there is also no snow. And, all those that have fun on this holiday have to be creative so that they won’t forget what it feels like.  I do value all the Israeli holidays of course, but sometimes I just wish they would celebrate New Year’s as well…

I don’t know how about you but the smell of mandarins and Christmas tree  always enters my mind when I recall all those wonderful holidays we’ve had in Russia as a family. I remember each minute of this very much anticipated holiday. My dad would always bring home a Christmas tree (once we even discovered a nest inside it, what a shame), and my mom would always surprise us with mandarins and some tasty meals. It was always a fun process…We would spend a whole evening just decorating our Christmas tree, laughing simultaneously at our cat, who would always play with every tree decoration we had. Some memorable times….

What I try to do is to make it so those memories would come to life. And, the same as my mom, every New Year’s I cook some of my most (at least I like to think so) delightful meals. I like to keep family traditions flowing. I even decorated a Christmas tree already. And bought some mandarins. What is missing is a plan for what kind of food will appear on the table, and maybe some snow…Because the second will not show itself here (although it would be very interesting to see some snow on palms), I will settle for the plan for the party table.

This year I would like to make an accent on the entrees. More entrees and less huge, space-taking in the tummy meals. The verdict for New Year’s is:

1. Round Tomato Slices with garlic, mozarrella cheese and fresh basil covered in good old-fashioned olive oil.

2. Fried round eggplants covered with mayo and garlic.

3. Stuffed mushrooms with cheese and squash. 

4. Traditional Russian potato salad.

5. Let’s say hello to Russian Mimosa salad. 

6. Home made sandwiches with butter and sardines. 

7. Salmon wrap with lettuce and cream. 

8. Whole chicken done in the oven.

9. Fillet Salamon baked with spices. 

9. Potatoes with yellow peppers and onion,  also in the oven.

10. And of course, something for the sweet tooth, something that I haven’t thought about yet. 

Merry Christmas Everyone and Happy New Year!

Behold…A quick homemade pizza!

I  am going to let you in on a little secret…I am a person who if they really want something, they will get it one way or another. And, if I have some sort of a craving, I have to fulfill it, maybe not right away, but still…The thought about my craving will interfere in some way until  I get it over with.

Yesterday, my desire for pizza got a hold of me. I did not want to spend any money, though. So what a better way to get over a craving for something than get working on cooking it? (that is, if we are talking about foods, of course) Plus, if prepared, the pizza will not be just for me, but for my whole family…I actually had everything to make pizza in my fridge, so why not make it?

Behold…A quick homemade pizza is coming

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons of sour cream, 9 tablespoons of flour, 2 eggs, 4 tablespoons of mayo + anything you have in your fridge that you think will make a good pizza (I took olives, feta cheese, regular cheese to sprinkle on the pizza, tomatoes, special pizza sauce (you can buy it in any store nowadays), sausage, fresh basil, red pepper, an onion, oregano) I have to say I completely forgot about mushrooms, but you can try it and tell me how they mix in there as well.

The Works:

Mix sour cream, flour, eggs and mayo in a large bowl. * What you will get is sort of  dough, very liquid, if not, just add more eggs…Pour the mixture in a frying pan, greased with butter.

Before my stove's magical works!

Before my stove’s magical works!

Then, comes the fun part! Slice and dice all of your favorite ingredients for your pizza, add pizza sauce, sprinkle some cheese on it and….DONE!All you have to do now is just put it on the stove for several minutes with a closed lid. When the cheese starts to melt..

YOUR PIZZA IS READY!

Some thoughts and feedback: I put a lot of stuff on the pizza, so there was a lot of juices flowing around. The result was, my own war with the frying pan, as it was hard to get it out of it. I let it cool for a while, thinking that it would make it easier, it actually did make it so, but the downside was, the pizza was cold! The lesson is to pour the mixture in a better frying pan. This one was kind of old…Plus, maybe it would be better to put it in the oven…It might actually consume less time.

The happy side of it all, this baby was tasty, and did not take a lot of time. All of it about 20 minutes. It tasted like a Margarita. Once again, took me back to Italy!  I think this would be a nice addition to my New Years fancy table plans. A nice entree so to speak….So, just wait for my New Years table menu!

Arivederci, my dear readers and followers!

So what came first, a chicken or an egg? – Fried chicken for dinner!

After a long and busy morning I just needed something to relax. What’s better than cooking? Cooking chicken in the oven! A simple, yet deligtful dish…And again, it does not take a long time to make it. All you need is just some spices, sauces, a tiny bit of passion and your own hands.

I took every second I had before work to prepare this one. Most of the work is done by the oven though, so I did not exactly go here by the name of the greatest chef in the world. If anything, the winner of this title would be my hardworking oven.

The secret is:

Take about 1.5 kg of chicken, 2 table spoons of mayo, 2 of mustard, any spices you would like to shine through, salt, pepper, 3-4 cloves of garlic, some honey.

Before the oven

Before the oven

The Works:

Put your chicken into a large bowl, mix in all the ingredients. * I advise you use your hands to mix. Make sure all the chicken is covered with this magical stuff. Honey will actually make your chicken look golden in color.

Next step is to preheat your oven. * You can actually do it while you are preparing the chicken. Temperature to the highest one possible when the logic behind it is to let your chicken fry faster, so it would not be dry inside. Get it in and wait for about 30 minutes! YOUR CHICKEN IS READY!

A great recipe for someone who does not like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen (yes, even I have moments like this)

More on the topic, a little something that sounds tasty and quick to me

Family Barbecue Meeting or meat in great marinade

I am a meat person. Can’t live without it! How much I’ve waited for this to happen! It seems that each week we would start talking about it, but then, something would occur that would make us postpone this wonderful meat feast! Finally, I got some meat marinated in with special spices. I am very happy to tell you all about it. Even now writing about it makes my stomach twirl…

The marinade is quite simple. All I had to do is to take about 3 kg of sliced meat, put it in a large saucepan…Then, pay attention, put about 3-4 table spoons of soy sauce, mix in a table spoon of mustard (I had dijon), get 2-3 table spoons of honey, slice a couple of onions into perfect round rings, and vous-a-la, we are finished! *Just cover it with a lid, let it marinate in the fridge for about 24 hours. The more the better, as it is all a process, let the meat soak in all the juices… On the day of the barbecue, I just added salt and pepper.barbecue

I want to say thank you to my precious man who took on this journey on the grill. Tnank you! We really had a blast, the meat turned out to be soft and juicy. Remember this veggie garnish I prepared specifically for it, well, I did not need it. At least the first time I tried the meat. Seriously, I was like a dinasour waiting for its pray…

The Lesson: Aside from the fact that I will need to create more meat recipes, this one really helped me to relax and have more time for myself this weekend! Really enjoyed family time!

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Great Meatballs in Tomato Sauce Recipe

I am thinking to create something delicious this coming Friday…Thinking of surprising myself with meatball in a special sauce. Will report about the end-result (picture-wise), I promise. But, overall, I am sure that what what will turn out, will take me back to Italy…the place where I have fallen in love with meatball recipes. Great idea for a nice family dinner!

Bon Appetit

Bon Appetit

Ingredients:

2 onions, 500 gr of ground meat, 1 egg, 3 red peppers (not the spicy ones), 1 big carrot, 300 gr of rice, 1/2 liter of tomato juice, salt, black pepper and greens.

The Works:

Put the rice in cold water. Add 1 onion to the ground meat. Add also salt, black pepper, egg and mix it all together. Form small balls from the mixture you got. Fry them in a pan from both sides.

The other onion should be cut into small cubes, the carrot is waiting to be cut into circles, and red peppers into big cubes. The result is amazing because here it seems you get all the colors of the rainbow in one plate. It sure elevates your mood, doesn’t itSaute all the veggies together in a separate pan, until they become soft. 

Get the rice to those guys, spoil them with the tomato juice, put it on small fire and just wait until the party starts. Add water, and let it cook until the rice is ready. Then, other guests arrive, the meatballs, they all mix together, and dance on small fire for some time. Of course, you cover them with a lid.

I wish you a Happy Day!