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Grilled Greek Chicken

     Tonight I wanted something quick, but still wanted to enjoy my time cooking in the kitchen. For me, it’s a time to relax and make something for my family I know they will enjoy. I found this Greek Chicken recipe on my Martha Stewart iPhone app and not only was I able to plate it in about 15 minutes, it was also very tasty!

Here’s what you’ll need to serve 4 people:

  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh whole mint leaves
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds thin chicken cutlets (about 8)
  • S&P (salt & pepper)
  • Total cost $15.75

     So what exactly is a chicken cutlet. Any type of meat that says cutlet is just referring to a thin slice of that particular meat. For me, I take a whole chicken breast and slice it in half so that I have 2 thinner chicken breast. For this recipe, you could buy 4 chicken breast and after cutting them in half you would have 8.

     In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, mint, and 1 tablespoon of good olive oil. Season with a teaspoon of S&P and then set it aside.

 

     To grill the chicken, you could use a grill pan or you could light up the backyard grill. Even though it was 112 degrees in Oklahoma City today, I chose to light up my grill. If you choose to use a grill pan, just lightly brush the pan with oil before you put the chicken on. Make sure you season the chicken with S&P before you put it on the grill.

     Each piece of chicken should be thin enough that it only takes 2-3 minutes per side to cook. Once the chicken is through grilling, transfer it to a plate and cover it with tin foil if you are waiting on side dishes to finish. Otherwise, transfer it to serving plates and top with the tomato and cheese mixture.

Enjoy this quick and easy meal for 4 – we did!! (there was only 2 of us though – lunch tomorrow!!)  @ChefMikeW

 

 

 

     I used to buy frozen waffles all the time. I would never eat them, but I would always make them for Brennan. He never really said he didn’t like them, but one day I tasted them and couldn’t believe how hard and flavorless they were. So one Christmas I got a JC Penney gift card and I bought a waffle maker for $30. I WILL NEVER BUY FROZEN WAFFLES AGAIN! You can buy a whole box of waffle mix for $3 and the taste difference is amazing. Target carries many different flavors of waffle mix. It does take a little more time to make them, but your kids (and you) will definitely appreciate how much better they are than the frozen brand.

     Another reason to make fresh waffles is that you can experiment. So today I made a Chocolate Chip Bacon Waffle. Yes I know I seem to always have bacon in my recipes. What can I say?

     This is really pretty simple. Buy a box of waffle mix at your grocery store and follow the directions on the box for making the batter. Besides the flavored brands I buy at Target, I purchase a Belgian waffle mix from Crest grocery store when I want a plain mix.

     Prepare the bacon for your waffles. I use 3 slices per waffle. You can use more or less, it’s really up to you. It will also depend on the size of your waffle maker. I make the bacon on a cookie sheet so that they will stay straight and stiff and lay across the waffle better. Make sure you put the bacon on a paper towel lined plate so that the grease can drain off them.

Once your batter is ready and your bacon is cooked and dry of grease, you are ready to start making the waffles. My waffle maker is supposed to be nonstick, but I always spray it with Pam just to make sure the waffle doesn’t stick.

Heat the waffle maker and layer the batter, chocolate chips and bacon on top. Close and cook for 3-4 minutes. You might have to press down on the top to make sure the bacon gets pushed into the batter.

Plate your waffle and top with powdered sugar, bananas, strawberries, butter, or just syrup. Enjoy, we did – @ChefMikeW

Egg Pasta (with Bacon)

     It’s a big night for The Sibling Dish blog. Tonight I post my recipe for Egg Pasta. This is a staple at the Walker Bistro. This is the MOST requested meal at my house. This is what most of my “other” meals get compared to by my favorite critics. This is what I would make for baby Jesus. If you make anything from my blog, make this. It’s fast, it’s cheap, and it’s oh so so good. I mean it’s got a fried egg on it – AND BACON!

 Here is what you will need for 4 servings:

  • 1 package of spaghetti or fettucine
  • 1 package of bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large head frisee lettuce, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 4 large eggs
  • grated parmesan cheese

     Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until it is al dente. Save 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the rest. Transfer the cooked pasta to a large bowl. 

     While your pasta is boiling, cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned. With a slotted spoon, remove the cooked bacon and put on a paper towel lined plate. Pour half of the bacon fat grease into something so that you can use it to fry the eggs in later.

     Here is where you might have to make a couple changes to the recipe. If you can not find Frisee at your grocery store, buy one of the pre-made salad mixes that have frisee in it. I buy one at my grocery store called “Fresh Herb Salad”. Also, your grocery store might not carry sherry vinegar. I have substituted red wine vinegar here without compromising taste.  So, add your frisee or salad to the remaining bacon fat in the skillet. Season with S&P and cook until it begins to wilt. This should only take 1-2 minutes.

Once the frisee is wilted, stir in the vinegar and cook for about 20 seconds. Then add the lettuce mixture to the bowl of pasta. Also add 1/2 the bacon, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and half the pasta water you saved earlier to the bowl. Toss well to mix. I use tongs to do this.

Pile the pasta mixture in the center of 4 plates and then top each plate with the remaining bacon. Working in batches, use the reserved bacon fat and fry 1 egg for each plate. Top the pasta with the egg and a little more parmesan.

(Sometimes we have 2 eggs) – Enjoy @ChefMikeW

   I think I’ve said this before, but one of my favorite things about the Martha Stewart iPhone app (@everydayfood) is that the meals are generally really quick to make. I prepared this chicken dish in about 30 minutes for the family tonight. The tomato relish really adds a lot of flavor to every bite and the smokeyness of the spinach, after being cooked in the hot skillet, really adds to the dish. This recipe feeds four for about $15.00, here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 packages (10 oz each) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

   On your ingredients, the diced tomatoes need to be the tomatoes in juice, not sauce. Also, make sure you use fresh parsley not dried. You can get regular parsley or italian parsley either one, they are both cheap.  The spinach can be cut or whole leaf. The grocery store I go to only carries the frozen cut spinach, so that is what I used in the pictures.

   Drain the juice out of the tomatoes and add them to a non-metallic bowl. Stir in the parsley, lemon juice, capers, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

   Next you are going to cut the chicken breast in half horizontally. You might be able to get the butcher at your grocery store to do this for you if you are buying your chicken from the meat counter and not the pre-packaged section. If not, lay the chicken flat on a cutting board and while holding a sharp knife parallel to the cutting board, cut it into two even pieces.

   You should now have 8 pieces of chicken after splitting the 4 chicken breast. Cover them with plastic wrap and lightly pound each piece with a mallet or the bottom of a heavy skillet until they are about 1/4 inch thick. You might have to work in batches when doing this if you don’t have a very large work area.

   In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken cutlets in batches until browned on each side. This should take 1-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and loosely cover with foil to keep them warm. 

   While the chicken is cooking, place your thawed spinach in a clean towel and squeeze it until all the moisture comes out. Then when all your chicken is cooked, add the spinach to the hot skillet. Season with S&P and add just a touch more olive oil. Cook 2-3 minutes so that the spinach will get heated through. 

   Place the spinach on the plate under a piece (or two) of chicken. Top the chicken with the tomato relish and serve. You could also add a side of rice or other vegetable if you like. I suggest when eating the chicken to include all componants (chicken, spinach, relish) in each bite to fully appreciate the dish. Enjoy – @ChefMikeW   

 

Breakfast on the weekend is one of my favorite meals. We usually have nothing going on, or planned, and the family gets to sit around the table and enjoy whatever creation I cook up. Today was Chocolate Pancakes! I saw this recipe on my twitter feed a few weeks ago and have been wanting to make it, so today was the day. Thanks @RealSimpleFood for tweeting this. This is a “Real Simple” recipe. It will only take you about 30 minutes to put it together and should feed about 3-4 people, depending on if they are teenage boys or not. Here is what you will need:

  • 1 cup pancake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup nutella at room temperature, or melted chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 bananas, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch-thick slices
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup

Whisk together the egg and the nutella or chocolate until combined well. Then add the milk, sour cream, and vegetable oil and whisk until mixed. Stir in the pancake mix and whisk until combined. Let the batter sit while you are cutting your bananas.

 

 

 

 

 

If you have a nonstick griddle, it works great for pancakes. If not just use a big skillet that will fit at least two pancakes at a time. Coat the griddle or skillet with non-stick cooking spray or butter and spoon 1/3 cup of batter per pancake onto the cooking surface. If you are using a griddle, put the temperature on 350 – 400 degrees. If you are using a skillet on your cooktop, put the heat on medium. When the edges look cooked and the pancakes have bubbles, you can safely flip the pancake. Repeat this step until all the batter is used.

 

 

 

 

 

Once your pancakes are complete, you need to make your sautéed banana topping. In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Once it is melted, add the sugar and cook while stirring until the butter mixture begins to turn brown. Add the bananas and gently stir or toss until the bananas are coated with the brown butter mixture.

Cook the bananas until they begin to soften. This should take 2-3 minutes. Add the “real” maple syrup and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and spoon over your pancakes. Enjoy @ChefMikeW

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mushroom flavor that comes out in this pasta dish is outstanding. If you don’t know what Ricotta is, don’t be afraid. It’s just a cheese, and you can find it on the dairy isle. Usually it is by the sour cream and the yogurt in the same type of container. Ricotta is the cheese you will find in lasagna or ravioli. This recipe was exactly what I was looking for in a quick dinner that was easy to make and also inexpensive. Combine it with some fresh-baked croissants and some salad and you have a nice little gourmet meal. Not to mention that it requires white wine, and you can enjoy some of that while cooking.

Here’s the ingredients you will need:

  • 12oz rigatoni or penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 small onion – finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 pound cremini mushrooms or white mushrooms – trimmed and sliced
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Shaved parmesan cheese

Put a large pot of water on high heat to boil. Once it starts to boil, add salt and the pasta and cook until al dente. The package might tell you how long that would be. When your pasta is done, reserve a cup of the pasta water before you drain the pasta. You will need it to make the sauce.

While your pasta is boiling, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the finely chopped onions. Your going to cook them for about 4 minutes until they start to soften up.  Then add the wine you measured out for the recipe. Not the wine you are drinking. Stir the onions and wine until the wine is almost evaporated. This should take about 5 minutes. Add your sliced mushrooms and season them with S&P. Stir the mushrooms into the remaining wine and continue to cook until the mushrooms start to brown, about 8 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in a tablespoon of butter until melted. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add the mushroom mixture to the pot of pasta pasta that has been drained. Then add the ricotta and lemon juice. Stir all the ingredients until combined. Then slowly add the 1 cup pasta water while stirring until a thin sauce is created. You will use most, if not all of the pasta water.

Once you plate the pasta, top it off with the shaved parmesan cheese. Serve with croissants, garlic bread, or rolls, salad and any wine you have left. I found this recipe on the Martha Stewart iPhone app @everydayfood. If you don’t have it, you should try it out. Enjoy – @ChefMikeW

 

Cinnamon Roll French Toast

I have to give big props to my co-worker Atoya for this idea. We were talking about food one day at work and she told me a story about a Cinnamon Roll French Toast breakfast she had on vacation one time. She said it was so good they had it every morning. Just the thought of cinnamon roll french toast had me thinking about making it all week. So this is what I made on Saturday morning.

There are a lot of French Toast recipes. If you have a favorite recipe, I highly recommend trying it with cinnamon rolls as the bread. This is the recipe I used on Saturday:

  • 3 large cinnamon rolls
  • 1 cup milk or half-and-half
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter

The first step is deciding on what cinnamon rolls you want to use. If you have the time and can make your own from scratch, then go for it. I didn’t have the time to make homemade, but I also didn’t want to use the cheap Pillsbury ones from the grocery store. I went to Panera Bread and bought three from their bakery.

Cut the cinnamon rolls in half with a serrated knife.

Prepare the French Toast mix by combining the eggs, half-and-half, honey, and salt. You might warm the honey a little in the microwave to make it easier to stir in. Once the egg yolks are broken and stirred in, put in the first cinnamon roll.

While your cinnamon rolls are soaking in the egg bath, heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add a tablespoon of butter and swirl until melted. Make sure you turn your cinnamon rolls so both sides are nice and soaked with the egg mixture before adding them to the skillet. When the pan is hot and the butter melted, add your cinnamon rolls.

Cook 3-4 minutes on both sides. The cinnamon rolls should brown slightly, especially on the cut side. You should try to only flip them one time. They will be hard to turn, because once they get hot, they will try to unravel. Add a tablespoon of butter in the pan before each cinnamon roll you make. Serve with powdered sugar and bananas or any kind of fruit. You can put syrup on these or not. Either way they are Awesome! – @ChefMikeW