02 July 2010

Chicken Marsala

About a month ago, my wife and I decided to try something new. We went to a chain Italian restaurant here locally, one that we had never been to before. The food was amazing, but the prices were a little on the outrageous side. My favourite of all that we tried, the Chicken Marsala. I knew from the first bite that this was something that I was going to have to recreate at home.

I'm not a huge fan of wine, I have to admit. But cooking with wine...nothing could be better. Marsala wine (which was surprisingly difficult to find locally) is no exception. I decided on a deep amber Marsala, or rather I bought it because it was the only kind carried by our local liquor emporium. A simple taste of the wine reminded me that most of the stuff "tastes like rotten grapes", as my wife would say. The deep sweetness, however pairs excellently with mushrooms and veggies.

I used a recipe from a recent edition to my iPhone. Epicurious has put out a lovely iPhone app that is a collection of their best magazine recipes. The search options, and "grocery list organizer" options make it wonderful for any level of cook. If you don't want to download the app, or don't have an iPhone, their online website has a great wealth of recipes, including the "Chicken and Mushroom Marsala" recipe that I made.

In place of their suggested "mushrooms" I used creminis (baby portabellas) because I love their meaty earthy flavour. This dish is listed in their "low-cal" menu, making it a great addition to our normal low-calorie foods. I loved this dish so much, I'm planning on trying the Marsala flavour with other types of meat. I can only imagine that this would be just as great with pork, or a meaty whitefish.

Try it, you might like it...or maybe you'll order pizza.

29 June 2010

Summertime Desserts

Desserts and Summertime go hand in hand, and one of my favourites is Strawberry Shortcake. Admittedly I cheated with this dessert and bought the pre-cooked angelfood cake. The whipped cream, however, was made from scratch. It was so good that I've vowed to never buy that crappy frozen whipped cream again!

Whipped Cream

2 pints heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla flavouring

Whip all ingredients together until mixture becomes thick. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving to make sure the cream stays firm.

21 February 2010

New Cookbooks, New Menu, and New Fish!

We got 3 new low-carb and healthy eating cookbooks this weekend. You can always tell that a cookbook is going to be good if you're salivating after just a few page flips. All three of these did that for us, which is why we have 3, and not just one. I'm very excited about starting some new recipes again, and picking from these, as well as from some of our older books.

With this week, we're trying something new for a while. We want to have at least one fish dish per week, typically on a Sunday or Monday. To go with the new cookbooks, we're having a new fish, monkfish. I fully didn't expect to find monkfish in our area, and really didn't know what I was looking for when I went to the market. Thank goodness for store employees knowing exactly what we needed. Monkfish is not pretty, let me state that as an absolute fact right up front. It also tends to have a very strong seafood smell, which I don't enjoy. After it was cooked, though, it was buttery, tender and actually quite tasty for fish.

This week's Menu:

Sunday - Bacon Wrapped Mustard Glazed Monkfish with Spinach, Bacon and Goat Cheese Salad
Monday - Chicken Basquaise and Caesar salad with Shrimp
Tuesday - Pesto Baked Chicken and Vegetable Casserole
Wednesday - Penne pasta with Mushrooms, Sausage and Broccoli
Thursday - Stuffed Pork Chops and Spiced Carrots

Bacon Wrapped Mustard Glazed Monkfish
From the Everything Low-Carb Cookbook

4 slices high quality bacon
2 6oz monkfish fillets
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon dried tarragon

1. In 350 degree oven, par-cook bacon slices so that they are still pliable.
2. Drain bacon and allow to cool.
3. Coat each monkfish fillet in 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Wrap fillet in bacon. Use toothpicks to hold bacon if needed. Do not let bacon overlap.
5. In 375 degree oven, cook bacon wrapped fillets for at least 20 to 25 minutes.
6. Switch heat to low broil to crisp the bacon. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes or until crispy.
7. Add tarragon over hot fillet. Remove toothpicks and serve.

Spinach, Bacon and Goat Cheese Salad
From the Everything Low-Carb Cookbook

1/8 lb of spinach per serving
2-3 button mushrooms per serving, sliced thin
1/8 small scallion per serving, sliced thin
2 tablespoons bacon bits per serving
2 tablespoons goat or blue cheese per serving

1. Mix all ingredients in bowl.
2. Add vinaigrette dressing to taste and serve.

A great meal to set off a new week, and renewed interest in eating healthy!

09 February 2010


It's only Tuesday and this has already been a busy week. Having a food pick-me-up is a great way to make it through the rest of the week. What could make for a better way to jump-start the rest of the week than steak marinated in coffee?

It sounds odd, but it's setting on the counter right now, creating a magnificent aroma throughout the house. I found this marinade on the Food Network website, and thought it warranted at least one try. Best of all, RedHairedCelt, an avid coffee lover is going to try the recipe tonight as well, and hopefully we'll compare notes tomorrow.

The rest of the week is going to be pretty standard dishes. I'll be making Chicken Parmesan tomorrow, and attempting Chicken Kiev on Thursday (with lots of Wednesday prep). I'm sure they'll both be great.

Try it! You might like it...or maybe you'll order pizza.