Brainy Gourmet

Brainy Gourmet
The Doctor is into Delicious!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Best Ever Brainy Chicken Alfredo...

Nothing like pasta after hitting the slopes...

Why the best Alfredo? Because, its brainy frugal. How? First, when I think Alfredo, I think creamy and full of flavor. Second, it takes no time at all to make a creamy full of flavor Alfredo sauce. The flavor comes from using sweet cream butter, good heavy cream, and Asiago parmesan cheese. Since this is chicken alfredo, then add roasted or baked chicken breasts; that's being brainy.

One can even be brainier by using leftover roast or baked chicken and I happen to have one large leftover breast that was baked covered in cheese and sun dried tomatoes.

To begin, saute onion in olive oil until browned on the edges. Push aside the onion and add either sliced, cubed or chunked roast chicken breast. To that, add 2 tbs of butter and 3/4 cup of heavy cream along with 1/4 cup of grated parmesan. Don't forget fresh dried herbs: rosemary, mint and oregano.

Boil fettuccine pasta in salted water. Once it is tender, drain and ladle onto a low lipped serving plate and top with chicken and sauce.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Winter Dining at its Best!

Winter dining... just make it thick and hot and full of flavor!

1- Indian Butter Chicken
2- Hotel Budapest Chicken
3- Montreux Chicken Raclette
4- Best Ever Chicken Cacciatore

*Check Brainy Blogs/Archives for recipes/instructions...
(1- 2/16/2017, 2- 4/26/2016, 3- 10/25/2016, 4- 6/28/2017)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Serve Wild Caught Salmon and Boost your Omega 3...

Salmon has to be one of the best sources of Omega 3. Its very easy to prepare and to cook. To firm up the meat prior to frying, baking or grilling, let the salmon rest in a shallow glass dish of pure fresh squeezed lemon juice.

If you prefer to fry in the skillet, begin by searing the fillets on both sides in olive oil and butter (not to much butter as it tends to burns). Once seared, turn down the heat and add 2 pats of butter and let simmer while you prepare sides of your choice. For a blackened finish, turn up the heat and let the skin side down get crispy and black.

~ Tutti a Tavola!

Eggplant Cuisine ~ Swap out with Zucchini...

Another hot meal on a winter's night...

Eggplant is known in many countries under different names and used in a variety of dishes in restaurants. On this blog, you can read recipes for eggplant parmesan and eggplant lasagna. If you don't like eggplant then swap out eggplant using zucchini and if you do like it but find that it is not readily available, just be brainy and swap out eggplant recipes using zucchini.

For this dish, you will need zucchini (as many as you like), chicken breasts (small package), onion and canned diced tomatoes or fresh frozen thawed. To begin, chop one whole onion and start 3-4 tbs of olive oil in a large skillet. On med heat, start to saute the onion tossing in some of your favorite dried herbs: rosemary, orange mint, oregano and a bit of sage.

Next, cut up the chicken breasts into medium sized chunks pushing aside the onion in the skillet. Next, turn the heat to med.high adding the chicken chunks searing them on all sides. Once seared, add a small can of diced tomatoes to the  skillet, cover and let simmer while you prepare the zucchini: wash and cut into chunks.

In another skillet, sear the zucchini in olive oil and then add to the mixture of chicken with onion and tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 25-30 min on med - low heat. On the end, toss in a couple of dried plums which make this dish even more than delicious. Prepare pasta as a side dish or rice, gnocchi dumplings (frozen/boiled) or left over polenta from yesterday's meal; sliced and fried.

The family will still think they traveled to Greece even if you used zucchini...

~ Tutti a Tavola!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Polenta with Mushrooms and Blood Sausage...

Want to try  something different for dinner on a cold winter evening, then make creamy cornmeal polenta served with Bavarian mushrooms and blood sausage. As you may have guessed, blood sausage is made with pig's blood along with bits of organ meats plus barley or rice which are necessary fillers or catalysts.

In Italy, regional varieties of blood sausage are known as 'sanguinaccio'. In Tuscany, buristo is a sausage made with pig's blood and fat cooked in a pig's stomach. Variants are found worldwide. Pig, cattle, sheep, duck, and goat's blood can be used, varying by country. In Kenya, fillers include fresh minced goat or beef, fat, and red onions.

You may ask, why would anyone want to eat barley and blood mixed together and put into a casing? Well, the answer its simple food; and, that means its a fast and frugal dinner that is filling and very tasty. Today, many people don't know that you can eat almost every part of an animal for food. At least, folks did for many years as a means of being frugal.

Polenta -
2 tbs of olive oil
one whole onion chopped
4 cups of chicken stock
2 cups of yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan
4 tbs of butter or 1/2 stick

Heat oven to 350F. On the stove, saute your onion in the olive oil in a deep oven safe pot until browned on all edges; then, add your stock and 5 cups of water. Heat to boiling on high and slowly whisk in the cornmeal. Then cover and bake for 45-50 min.with an occasional stir - about every 10 min. Remove from the oven, add the butter and Parmesan for one last stir, then let it set covered.


Keep in mind that the polenta (made earlier) can be kept warm in the oven on low heat in a double boiler: one oven safe pot with the polenta sitting inside a wider oven safe dish filled with enough water to cover the bottom.
You can Pan fry the mushrooms in a skillet with olive oil and butter. The blood sausage can also be pan fried in the same skillet; either separate or with the mushrooms. Or you can do a roasting pan of sausage in the oven for 40 min in olive oil glaze.

 ~ Tutti a Tavola!  

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Minstrone Soup ~ How Can I count the ways?

Soup is always good on a cold winter evening and a hot minestrone is even better; and yes, its one of my brainy favorites.  Beef stock is the beginning: bring 4 cups to a boil and then add sauteed onion and sear beef stew meat. Following that, add one small can of diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil along with fresh frozen young string beans.  Sprinkle in fresh dried herbs and let this simmer on the stove for 45-50 min.

You can boil any ravioli on the side to be added to individual bowls.  Serve with focaccia bread.

 ~ Tutti a Tavola!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Brainy Italian Stove Oven Baked Chicken...

If only there were time for slow cooking and slow eating...

Though hurried by the rush of everyday life, remember that it takes no time at all to make a savory home-cooked dish like this; even if you don't have a brick 'stone' oven; a stove oven is fine.

For this dish all you need are: a few boneless, skinless chicken breasts, mayonnaise (homemade if possible), Parmesan cheese and dried herbs. To begin: turn on the oven and pre-heat to 425.

Next, drizzle olive oil into an oblong glass baking dish and lay in your chicken breasts. With a spatula, generously spread mayo over the top of the chicken breast. Sprinkle each breast with a pinch of salt, garlic powder and grated Parmesan; top with fresh dried herbs: rosemary, mint and of course oregano. Bake on 425 for the first 10 and then at 375 for the next 25-30 min or until the tops are crusty brown and chicken is cooked through.

In the meantime, before the chicken is done, prepare your sides: angel hair pasta, and a green salad.

~ Tutti a Tavola!