Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and Capers


Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and Capers

This recipe was originally developed by Pierre Franey in 1991 for the 60-Minute Gourmet column, a weekly feature dedicated to Times-worthy dishes that were easy, quick and inexpensive. This recipe fit the bill perfectly, and it still does. Just sauté the chicken breasts until they are lightly browned. Then add shallots and garlic, tarragon, tomatoes, vinegar, capers, white wine and tomato paste. Stir well and cook for about 9 minutes more. That’s it.


2 ¼ pounds boned and skinned chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
28 ounces canned petite diced tomatoes, drained, or 8 ripe plum tomatoes cut int small cubes
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup drained capers
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

1. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy-bottom skillet. Add the chicken breasts and saute over medium-high heat, turning the pieces often until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the shallots and garlic around the chicken. Cook briefly; add the tarragon, tomatoes, vinegar, capers, wine and tomato paste. Stir to dissolve the brown particles adhering to the bottom of the skillet.
3. Blend well, bring to a boil, and then cover and simmer for 9 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

6 WW Freestyle SmartPoints
• Total Time: 20 Minutes

Source: New York Times Cooking (4 servings)

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Smoked Mussels Risotto


Smoked Mussels Risotto

3 ounces whole onion or 2 ounces ready-cut onion ( 1/2 cup)
Olive oil spray
4 to 5 cups fish stock, or mixture of fish stock and no-salt-added chicken stock
6 ounces smoked mussels
12 ounces whole yellow or red pepper or 11 ounces ready-cut pepper (2 to 2 1/2 cups)
1 cup Arborio rice
¼ cup dry white wine
4 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste

1. Heat nonstick pan while chopping whole onion.
2. Coat pan with olive oil spray and, with heat on medium high, saute onion until it begins to brown.
3. In another pot, heat stock to a simmer.
4. Rinse mussels in strainer under warm water; drain and cut in half.
5. Chop whole pepper, and add to onion when onion has begun to brown. Stir and cook about 2 minutes.
6. Add rice and wine to onion-pepper mixture, and cook over high heat about 1 minute longer, until wine has almost evaporated.
7. Add 1 cup of the stock to the rice mixture, cooking over medium-high heat and stirring occasionally. When liquid has been absorbed, add another cup of stock, along with the tomato paste, stirring well to blend in paste. Continue adding stock and cooking, with occasional stirring, until rice is soft but still firm. With the last cup of stock, add the mussels to the mixture. Do not cook away all the liquid: the mixture should be slightly runny.

• Total Time: 45 Minutes

Source: New York Times (4 servings)

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O block & 1880’s blocks


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Peanut Butter Obsession


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Cheesecake Cookies


Cheesecake Cookies

8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
½ cup butter (room temperature)
1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
Powdered Sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
2. Beat cream cheese and butter together at high speed until fluffy and smooth; 1-2 minutes. Add sugar to the butter mixture and beat until fully incorporated and fluffy; 1-2 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla; 1 minute.
3. In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and stir just until incorporated. Do not over-mix.
4. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets; batter will be sticky.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-11 minutes. Cookies should be light in color, not browned, and just starting to brown on the bottom. *Length of baking time may vary from oven to oven.
6. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
7. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar or dip in chocolate once cooled.

The vanilla smooths out the flavor, but for a more tart, cheesey flavor, add a teaspoon of lemon juice or no extracts at all.

Do not overbake. This can cause the cookies to come out more dry and biscuit like.

• Prep: 10 Minutes
• Cook: 10 Minutes
• Total Time: 20 Minutes

Source: Yellow Bliss Road (44 servings)

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Apricot Cream Cheese Scones


Apricot Cream Cheese Scones

We love the bright flavor and color of apricots in scones; cream cheese lends these added richness. We also love using our Pastry Flour Blend. Its lower protein content yields a final product that’s more tender and delicate than that of a higher protein flour.


3 ¼ cups Pastry Flour Blend, or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (390g)
½ cup granulated sugar, (99g)
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 (8 ounce) package cream or Neufchatel cheese
½ cup (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
1 cup diced dried apricots, (128g)
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia
¼ cup milk, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons more, if needed
sparkling sugar for garnish, optional

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Have on hand an ungreased baking sheet, or line with parchment.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
3. Cut in the cream cheese and butter, using a pastry blender, fork, a mixer, or your fingers, until the chunks of butter are the size of peas.
4. Stir in the apricots. In a separate container, whisk together the egg, vanilla and milk.
5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened.
6. Turn the dough out onto a floured piece of parchment or waxed paper, and fold it over several times, until it holds together. Pat the dough into a 3/4″ thick square or circle.
7. Cut the dough into squares, wedges, or diamonds.
8. Brush the tops lightly with milk and sprinkle with sparkling white or pearl sugar. Place the scones about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
9. Bake for 18-19 minutes, until the tops are light golden brown. Serve hot, with clotted cream and jam or raspberry curd.

Scones are great candidates for freezing after being mixed and cut. You can make a batch, freeze them on a baking sheet, and store them in an airtight container, baking only what you need when you need it. Take the frozen scones from the freezer and place them on a baking sheet while the oven preheats. Brush and sprinkle with sugar and bake as directed; the frozen scones will take about 5 minutes longer to cook through.

• Prep: 25 Minutes
• Bake: 19 Minutes
• Total Time: 44 Minutes

Source: KING ARTHUR FLOUR (Servings: 18 | Yield: Serving Size, 1 scone 60g)

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Big O and 1880 Block


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Ginger-Glazed Halibut


Ginger-Glazed Halibut

2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon ginger root, fresh, minced
1 clove(s), medium garlic clove(s), minced
¼ cup(s) cilantro, fresh, divided
¾ teaspoons table salt, divided
½ teaspoon black pepper, , divided
1 pound(s) uncooked halibut fillet(s)
1 tablespoon peanut oil

1. To make marinade, combine honey, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, 2 tablespoons cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a baking dish or bowl; set aside.
2. Wash fish and pat it dry. Rub remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper into both sides of halibut. Add fish to marinade, cover dish or bowl and refrigerate, turning once or twice, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
3. When you’re ready to eat, remove fish from marinade; reserve marinade.
4. Set a heavy skillet over medium heat; add oil. When oil beings to shimmer, add fish; cook until the flesh is no longer translucent, flipping once, about 4 to 6 minutes per side, depending on thickness of fillets. Immediately remove fish to a serving plate and tent to keep warm.
5. Set same skillet over medium heat; add marinade and cook until marinade thickens, about 3 to 5 minutes. Pour marinade over fish and garnish with remaining cilantro. Serve immediately.

Perfect with rice and a steamed vegetable like sugar snap pears or broccoli.
• Prep: 10 Minutes
• Cook: 17 Minutes

Source: Weight Watchers (Servings: 4 | Yield: about 3 1/2 ounces fish per serving.)

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Book Quote


“It’s not butter upon bacon, is it?”

– Carnegie’s Maid

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