Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Arugula Salad with Proscuitto

Leftover proscuitto makes a lovely alternative to bacon in your salad. Behold!

  • Arugula, torn into smaller pieces
  • Prosciutto, cut into little cubes
  • Orange bell peppers, chopped
  • fresh ground back pepper
  • dried basil leaves
  • olive oil
  • red wine vinegar

All you need to do is mix the arugula, prosciutto & bell peppers together with your hands. Then make a vinaigrette by whisking the pepper, basil, oil & vinegar together.

When you're ready to eat, pour the vinaigrette over the salad. Lovely.

This is what was left of my salad by the time I decided to take the picture :)

Braised Chicken Breasts with Lemon Herb Gravy

Braise: to cook (meat, fish or veg) by sauteeing in fat and then simmering slowly in very little liquid.

**not my picture, just an example of what braising looks like**

This is one of those recipes I tend to make a little differently depending on what I have on hand. I'll explain. Here's what you NEED:

  • chicken breasts
  • salt & pepper
  • chicken broth
  • cornstarch (or flour, just need something to thicken the gravy)
  • butter (or olive oil)
  • juice of 1 lemon

Heat your butter (or oil) in a skillet over medium heat (braising means keeping it at a low temp the entire process).

Salt & pepper the chicken on both sides & add to pan once the butter is melted. Sear just a little on each side over medium to med-hi heat.

From here you can add whatever seasonings you want to add flavor to your chicken (and eventually your sauce). I usually add:

  • herbs de provence (mix of savory, fennel, basil, thyme, rosemary, lavender)
  • bay leaf
  • parsley
  • onion flakes (or real onion)

But you could add anything you want from garlic to paprika, etc. Mix in the flavors that you like.

Turn down the heat to med-low, cover and let cook. Check the chicken every once in awhile for doneness and add chicken broth if there's no liquid in the bottom. There should be enough liquid just to kind of cover the bottom of the pan. Maybe a little more.

When the chicken is cooked through, remove from pan & cover.

Turn up the heat to bring the liquid to a boil, adding more broth and seasonings (salt, pepper, herbs, etc.). Once it's boiling, you can stir in a mixture of about a spoonful of cornstarch mixed with more broth. This should thicken up quickly.

From here, you can just season as you like. I usually add a little more salt and pepper at least.

Add lemon juice & stir.

When it tastes good to you, it's done. Pour it over the chicken and serve with rice.

This is what it kind of looks like. I'll upload my own pic next time I make it!