Deglazing a pan with beer turned out, to my surprise, to be the best idea EVER. Last night I arrived home at 9pm, ridiculously heavy grocery bags in hand. I was so hungry and tired that I was tempted to pull out a Trader Joe’s frozen meal, pop it in the oven, and put my feet up. Somehow I held out and got to cooking. A little over 30 minutes later I had sautéed kale and chicken stuffed with mozzarella and prosciutto on my plate with more in the fridge for future lunches. The best part? Halfway through cooking I decided to pop open a Brooklyn Brewery Lager. After cooking the chicken I realized that it would be smart to deglaze the pan before adding the kale so that the kale would be flavorful with minimal work. Without a red wine open I turned to the next best option, my recently opened lager. It did the trick!
Mozzarella & Prosciutto Stuffed Chicken with a Side of Kale (Serves 2)
4 thin (<1/4″) slices of low moisture mozzarella
2 slices of Prosciutto
2 Chicken breasts, butterflied
4-5 cups uncooked kale, chopped
1 Brooklyn Brewery Lager
Place 2 slices of mozzarella and 1 slice of prosciutto on each chicken breast. Roll up (similar to a jelly roll) and fasten with toothpicks if necessary.
Heat a pan over medium heat, drizzle with olive oil, and place chicken in. Brown on all sides before covering. After ~10 minutes remove lid and continue to cook until all liquid has evaporated from the pan. Test chicken for doneness. When cooked through, remove from pan and let rest.
Keeping pan over the heat, add kale and then pour in 3-4 tbsp of beer. Stir, scraping the bottom of the pan, until all of the yummy goodness is mixed in. Continue to cook kale, stirring occassionally, for about 5 minutes.
Spoon kale onto plate, top with 1/2″ thick slices of chicken breast.
The other night I looked at the clock and it was 9:30pm. I hadn’t had dinner yet, was starving, and had lots of work left to do. I had two options: delivery or get creative. Not one to turn down a challenge, I decided to get creative.
When you need to cook a meal fast it is all about deciding on an easy base. My go-to is Annie’s Mac & Cheese. I grew up on Annie’s and I still love it. It is never a bad pick. Rummaging through the fridge, I pulled out butter (duh), milk, asparagus, a shallot, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, and bacon (why not?). Next, I headed to the pantry for some bread crumbs and olive oil.
When you make a loaded Mac & Cheese the key is to use up the stuff you have in your fridge. Cauliflower? Throw it in! Brussels Sprouts? Chop those suckers up! Mushrooms? I am in love!
This takes a grand total of 30 minutes max. and the left overs are to die for.
Weeknight Loaded Mac & Cheese (feeds 2-3)
1 box Annie’s Mac & Cheese + ingredients box calls for (typically milk and a little butter)
1 medium shallot sliced thinly
4 pieces of bacon
1.5 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
1.5 cups chopped asparagus (1″ long chunks)
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tbsp butter, softened
1/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese
salt & pepper
Cook pasta till al dente.
Cook bacon in a small oven-safe skillet or caste iron pan. When crisp, remove from pan and chop coarsely.
Sauté shallots and mushrooms in bacon fat.
When soft, add asparagus, season, and cover until steamed (about 8 minutes)
Make ‘cheese sauce’ in a small bowl following the boxes instructions. Set aside.
Combine breadcrumbs and butter in small bowl. Set aside.
Add cooked pasta, bacon and mozzarella to vegetables, stir until combined evenly.
Pour cheese sauce over top of the pasta mixture.
Top with breadcrumbs and some black pepper.
Broil for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.
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