Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chicken Parm in a Skillet

In less than 30 minutes you can have an amazing Italian Dinner with minimal effort! Chicken Parmesan in a skillet and  Pasta. Add some Garlic Bread and a Salad and you are done after a long day.  I like this meal because its full of flavor with a minimal amount of ingredients and effort.

On the way home, get skinless boneless chicken breast.  Also stop by your Italian Sulameria  and pick up a can of San Marzano tomatoes, and yes there is a difference, some large green olives (the big ones in brine), Fresh grated cheese (a blend of pecorino and parmesan), capers, oregano (on the branch) and olive oil.

Now I will show you the products I prefer to use but again, feel free to use your own.  Things like breadcrumbs and garlic already in your pantry  are also used for this dish but really that’s it.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


So  I took off on a mission to get some fish.  And not just any fish.  I was looking or should I say hoping that my grocery store had Orata.  Its specific to the Mediterranean and is comparable to a great snapper. It was there and quite pricey so my fishmonger suggested I try a fish called Branzino which at the time was a $3.00 difference compared to the Orata.  I trust him well enough and so I took the fish home while deciding what dish I would come up with.

Now if the Orata is comparable to Snapper then the Branzino can easily be compared to a Sea Bass.  In fact its called the European Sea Bass and can readily be found in North Italian waters.  If you need more info please WIKI it.  There is an extensive article but for the moment lets do the dish.

Branzino seasoned and ready to stuff.

I wanted this to be good! I mean how can you mess up Sea Bass?!  I’m sure it could be done but……  I remembered going to a barbeque in the Bronx, (Jamaican), where this guy made Roasted Fish.  Whole fish stuffed with okra scallion all spice salt and pepper and the resident pepper wrapped in foil and roasted on the grill. 

Lobster meat and chopped Scallion

Chopped fresh Thyme, Peppercorns and Allspice

No Scotch Bonnet but Habanero serves just as well.

 He also put that Jamaican cracker (water biscuit ) in each fish.

Jamaican biscuit (Water Crackers)


This sounded like a good start, but tweaked with a bit of lobster, it can only grow into a masterpiece!  I don’t mean to toot my own horn, fact is that you can do this too and just as simple!
Lobster Meat
½ cup Frozen Okra
¼ cup Scallion
1 tbsp fresh chopped Thyme
½ tbsp Allspice
Salt to taste
Fresh ground Black Pepper to taste
Hot pepper
2 Crackers per fish

Stuff all in clean prepared (well seasoned) fish with head on and  drizzle heavily with olive oil.  Wrap each fish in foil and roast in pre-heated oven at 425 degrees for 20 mins.  Another 10 on broil and enjoy!

Finished product!

It was incredible! And yes you can substitute the Okra for any other vege!

New Zealand Littleneck Clams

Fairways never disappoints, and if you don’t have one in your area, I apologize ahead of time.  Each week I go I am excited to see whats on my fishmongers menu as it varies with availability and or season.  Well I was sure I was getting a whole Branzino (one of my favorite fish), but right by the regular Littleneck Clams was a delightful collection of the New Zealand version.  I had to grab them. Here’s a little info about these little gems.

This clam, more traditionally known as the New Zealand cockle, tuaki or tuangi, is the single most abundant large invertebrate animal found on intertidal sand flats in sheltered harbors and estuaries throughout New Zealand.  They have been exported to a dozen countries for over twenty years. These carefully managed wild stocks are harvested in the brilliantly clear unpolluted waters of New Zealand’s Southern Pacific Ocean, on the Otago Coast located on southeast New Zealand).

Now the easiest way to prepare these is with a 20 minute soak, a good scrub, dry and they are ready.  I pefer to soak in water  with sea salt and these really didn’t need a soak longer than the 20 minutes.  You will find more work necessary with sandier clams.

Now these clams are meaty sweet and succlent and do not need a lot of work. Here is my take on about a pound and a half of these to create an appetizer.  I was gonna make it with pasta but if simply did not survive my husband.  I finally gave in and enjoyed with a good glass of wine.

1 chopped onion
¼ cup of Italian parsley
2 tablespoons of capers (in brine and do not rinse, this will be your salt)
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Crushed red pepper to taste 
2 tablespoon each butter and olive oil

Add oil and butter to hot wide saucepan
Add cleaned clams and all seasonings.  Stir vigorously and quickly and then cover.

  On high heat this should take about five minutes of so for all of the clams to explode and release the delicious liquor inside.  

That’s it!  Its quick delicious healthy and so simple.  It is absolutely  delish with pasta but as in this case, we never got that far! 

Don’t let clams intimidate you from enjoying the wonders of the sea! Here’s to Good Eats!