Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli

1. Cook 4 slices bacon (chopped medium) in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 
8 minutes.  Stir in 1 finely chopped onion, 4 minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, and 
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes.  Cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in 
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with their juice, 2 14.5-ounce cans cannellini beans (rinsed)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, 2 cups water, and 1 teaspoon salt.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 
10 minutes.

2. Stir in 8 ounces ditalini (salad macaroni) and cook until just slightly underdone.  Off the heat, stir in 
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle individual bowls with freshly grated Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil before serving.

Make-Ahead:  This soup can be prepared through step 1, cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 1 month.  Reheat over low heat before proceeding with step 2.

Sautéed Chicken with Pesto-Mushroom Cream Sauce

This is at the top of my Make-Again List.

Sautéed Chicken with Pesto-Mushroom Cream Sauce
from America's Test Kitchen

1. Pat 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts dry with paper towels.  Cover with plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until evenly thick.  Season with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.  Cook chicken until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.  Transfer to a plate and tent with foil.

2. Add 2 Tablespoons oil to skillet and cook 10 ounces mushrooms (thinly sliced) until browned, about 5 minutes.  Stir in 6 cloves garlic (minced) and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add
1 cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth, and cooked chicken to skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.

3. Transfer chicken to a serving platter and tent with foil.  Return skillet to high heat and simmer until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.  Off heat, stir in 1/4 cup basil pesto* and 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Thinly slice chicken and top with sauce.

*Use fresh, refrigerated basil pesto, not the jarred kind.

I heart sautéed mushrooms.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup

1. Cook 1 minced onion and 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add 2 minced garlic cloves and cook for 30 seconds.  Add 
1 1/2 pounds frozen broccoli florets (thawed) and 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, cover, and simmer 
until broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes.

2. Puree soup*, return to pot, and whisk in 1 cup heavy cream.  Return to a simmer, then slowly whisk in 
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese**.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

*An immersion blender makes this so easy- no need to transfer hot soup to a blender.