Posts Tagged ‘red peppers


Roman-Style Chicken

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Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Vermicelli


Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Vermicelli

Food and Wine is becoming my favorite source for fast, easy, reliably good recipes.  Here’s another one.  I would also venture to say that it’s decently healthy.  I halved the recipe and used just one tablespoon of olive oil.  Hate to admit it, but when I order this from my favorite restaurant in Saranac Lake, NY, the Red Fox, my plate looks like a red oil slick when the meal is over.  So darn good.  But this version of Shrimp Fra Diavolo is a little healthier.  I followed the recipe for the most part, but added some extra crushed red pepper to make it a little spicier.  My husband is not a huge fan of shrimp, so I grated a little Romano cheese, left the shrimp off his plate, and topped it with the Romano.  As the recipe says, the sauce with the vermicelli really is good enough to stand on its own.



Chicken Flautas

Another Las Cruces, NM favorite, named after their flute-like shape —  “flauta” means flute in Spanish.  This is a pretty cheesy intro, but I’m trying to add some local flavor for all you non-New Mexicans out there. This is a great way to use chicken you already have cooked.  These make a good appetizer or finger food for parties, too.

1 large cooked chicken breast, chopped
8 corn tortillas
¼ cup chopped onions
1 cup vegetable oil
Shredded Mexican cheese
16 toothpicks

Preheat oven to 400. Sautee onions until soft.  Add chicken breast and cook until warmed through.  Set aside a plate lined with paper towels for draining tortillas.  Heat vegetable oil on medium-high heat in a large pan until it bubbles when a tortilla is added.  Dip each tortilla in the hot oil until softened, about two seconds.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  Remove oil from heat.

To make flautas, place tortillas flat and fill with about 2 tablespoons of chicken. Some people like to add cheese within the flautas, but I like to sprinkle it on top like they do at La Posta in Mesilla, NM, one of my family’s favorite restaurants.  After filling flautas, roll tightly and secure with two toothpicks each.

Reheat oil on medium-high. Set aside a plate lined with paper towels for draining.  Fry flautas for 1-2 minutes on each side, until crispy.  They should be done enough to hold their shape when the toothpicks are removed.  Remove from oil and drain.

When all flautas are done, remove toothpicks.  Place flautas in an oven-safe dish.  Sprinkle with cheese and place in oven until cheese is melted, approximately 5 minutes.

Serve with salsa and garnish with sour cream and cilantro. These would be good served with Hot Mexican Rice.

I like to be efficient with ingredients I have on hand and left-overs.  Tonight I had a few items I wanted to use besides the chicken breast, including white rice, Tomatillo Salsa, and queso fresco.  I decided to serve the flautas with a couple other dishes as a buffet of Mexican (instead of Spanish) tapas, or small plates.  I made a chopped salad with lettuce, red peppers, apples, red onions and queso fresco, very similar to Chopped Salad with Zesty Lime-Dijon Dressing.  The other dish was white rice topped with tomatillo salsa (also known as salsa verde) and queso fresco.  To go put out some tortilla chips with Sadie’s salsa and tomatillo salsa.


Penne with Grilled Vegetables, Grilled Chicken and White Wine Sauce

I came up with this recipe to use the various ingredients I had on hand: penne, chicken breast, red peppers, zucchini, red onion, garlic and Parmesan.

1 red pepper
1 medium zucchini
½ inch thick slice of red onion
2 tablespoons minced parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
12 oz. cooked penne pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 large cloves garlic, minced
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup half-and-half
Seasoned salt, salt and pepper
¾ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat the grill on high heat.  Chop the red pepper, zucchini and onion into roughly one-inch pieces.  Toss in a bowl with olive oil and seasoned salt such as Lawry’s.  Seal the vegetables in a large packet of foil and place on the grill. Cook 20-25 minutes, turning once halfway through.  Season chicken breasts with seasoned salt and freshly ground pepper.  Grill until done, 15-20 minutes, turning once.  Cut cooked chicken breasts into bite-size pieces.

Melt butter in an extra-large skillet.  Add garlic and sautee 2 minutes over medium heat.  Add white wine and cook until liquid is reduced by half.   Whisking constantly with a wire whisk, VERY SLOWLY add half-and-half, stirring so it doesn’t curdle. Cook for 1-2 minutes so mixture reduces and thickens slightly.  Add pasta, grilled vegetables, chicken, ½ cup parmesan, and parsley, mixing thoroughly with sauce.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately. Sprinkle additional parmesan on top of each serving.  Serves 4-6.

Wine: I used La Joya Sauvignon Blanc from Chile to cook this dish and also served it with the meal.

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