Posts Tagged ‘Cook’

The taste of summer pronounced.

Asparagus Anise Papaya Salad

 The second installment in my summer Recipe D’Jour series is a great dish for picnics, light meals or as an appetizer.  This salad is rather easy to make and I feel it really brings out the tastes and smell of summer.  I served this up for an out door lunch about a week ago and it was most splendid.  The weather was gorgeous; clear sunny skys, 80 degrees F with a light breeze, who could ask for anything more?  With this Asparagus Anise Papaya Salad added to the mix it was pure dining perfection out on a raised veranda looking onto a charming courtyard with the relaxing sounds of a quaint little fountain at its center.  This fare was created to be served in the pulchritudinous of the outdoors.


Serving Size: 4
Total Cost: $14.00
Prep Time: 30-45 minutes


Ingredient List:

  • Dressing
    • Papaya Nectar – 1 cup
    • Vegetable Oil – 1/3 cup
    • Shallot – 2 tablespoons (minced)
    • Lime Juice – 1 ½ tablespoons
    • Macadamia Nuts – ½ cup (Chopped)
  • Salad
    • Olive Oil – 2 tablespoons
    • Garlic – 1 clove (minced)
    • Asparagus – 1 ½ lbs
    • Anise Bulbs – 2 (quartered)
    • Hawaiian Papaya – 2 (peeled, seeded, sliced)
    • Avocado – 4 (peeled, pitted, sliced)
    • Mixed Salad Greens – 1lb


Step 1: Make DressingPeel the papayas and cut in half.  Scoop out all seeds. After which scoop out remaining insides with a spoon and put into a bowl.  Mash up the inside with a bean masher.  Put into a small saucepan and add oil and shallots. Bring to boil. Then let simmer and reduce for around 6 minutes, while stirring constantly.  Simmer until you have a semi thick liquid, be sure not to over cook papaya nectar or your dressing will have a burnt taste to it.  Remove from heat and whisk in macadamia nuts, limejuice, salt and pepper to taste.

What your nectar reduction should look like

The finished dressing



Step 2: Grill Anise Bulbs and Asparagus – Fire up the BBQ.  Cut the anise bulbs into quarters, cut about a ¼ off the stems of the asparagus.  Dry rub in salt and pepper. Grill till both are adequately soft and slightly charred.


Your grilled vegetables

Step 3: Arrange the SaladCut the remaining papayas either into chunks or strips. I would recommend strips if you are making the plates, but chunks if you’re making the salad family style.  Peel and pit the avocados, then slice long ways.  Spread the salad greens equally around the base of the plate.  Next arrange the papaya, asparagus and avocado pieces in an alternating pattern.  Finally plate out two anise bulb quarters to each salad.  Drizzle dressing over it.

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Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala was a dish that my dad always used to order when we went to Italian restaurants.  I never really had a taste for it up until a few years ago.  Marsala being a Sicilian dish it was not one of the recipes brought over to America by my grandmother thus no one in my family ever cooked it.  I did some researching of different recipes and put together my own that I find to be rather tasty, easy and as always well within the nuts and bolts budget most of us live on.

Total Cost: $10.51

Feeds 2-4 people, 1 breast for two people so add breasts accordingly

Ingredient List:

  • Chicken Breast – 2 (halved and thinned)
  • Pasta of Choice (spaghetti pictured) – 1 lb
  • Cremini or White Musrooms – 8 oz (around 10) (Chopped)
  • Marsala Wine – ½ Cup
  • Sherry – ¼ Cup
  • Flour – ¼ Cup
  • Salt – 1 Teaspoon
  • Pepper – ½ Teaspoon
  • Garlic – 1 Clove (Minced)
  • Oregano – 1 Teaspoon (Dry)
  • Butter – 4 Tablespoons
  • Olive Oil  – 4 Tablespoons
  • Green Onion – 4oz (Chopped)
  • Creamy Marsala Sauce
    • Cremini or White Mushrooms – ½ Cup (about 6)(Chopped)
    • Green Onion – ¼ Cup (Chopped)
    • Marsala Wine – 1/3 Cup
    • Salt – 1 Teaspoon
    • Pepper – ½ Teaspoon
    • Oregano – ½ Teaspoon
    • Heavy Cream – 1/3 Cup
    • Milk – 1/8 Cup
    • Butter – 2 Tablespoons

Step 1: Prep ChickenCut chicken breasts in half long ways through the center of breast so that you are left with two thin cutlets.  Beat each piece with a tenderizer.  Take flour, ¼ of a cup or enough to cover each cutlet and pour into a mixing bowl.  Add 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper and 1 teaspoon of oregano and whisk together.  Pat chicken in this mixture till it is completely covered.


Step 2: Chop Vegetables and Cook Pasta Chop all mushrooms and green onions, mince garlic.  Boil water for pasta and cook it.


Step 3: Make Creamy Marsala SauceIn a small sauce pot melt 2 table spoons of butter.  When melted add 1/3 cup of heavy cream, 1/8 cup of milk, mushrooms, salt, pepper, oregano and Marsala wine.   Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer around twenty minutes.  Add green onions.  After that create a roux to thicken sauce using 1/8 the amount of roux to sauce.  Melt about ¼ of a tablespoon of butter in a separate saucepot.  When melted add an equal amount of flour to it.  Mix together and cook on high flame till you get a brownish blob looking substance.  Pour half of your Marsala sauce into this pot with the roux and stir till both are well blended then pour back into the main Marsala sauce pot, stir well and let simmer on a low flame for five minutes.  Turn off heat and let sauce stand another five minutes and sauce should thicken up nicely.

Your finished sauce


Step 4: Fry ChickenIn a large frying pan melt 4 tablespoons of butter in 4 tablespoons of Olive Oil.  When completely dissolved add chicken and cook both sides till golden brown or 165 degrees F.  Add mushrooms, sherry and Marsala Wine, Sautee till mushrooms are soft.  Add green onion.

Your chicken in the cooking process with all ingredients added

Step 5: Put it all togetherTake finished pasta and put it into a plate.  Put finished Chicken breast and mushrooms on top of pasta.  Pour sauce over all and enjoy!


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