Vermouth Chicken Breasts

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Graze or Gobble: Vermouth Chicken Breasts! Have you ever cooked with vermouth? It almost comes across as a magic potion transforming the ordinary into the sublime. As a deglazing tool, vermouth lifts the sweetness that builds up during the cooking process of meats and vegetables while enhancing the earthy wine flavor. You’ve heard of people using wine in cooking. Well, it’s basically the same principle. Go ahead, check the back of the liquor cabinet. More than likely you probably already have a bottle of vermouth just waiting to be used.

VERMOUTH CHICKEN BREASTS

Ingredients for Chicken:

4 tablespoons butter

4 boneless chicken breasts, skin removed

1/2 cup dry vermouth

Ingredients for Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 onion, chopped

4 ounces canned mushrooms, drained

1/4 cup dry vermouth

1 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions:

Warm 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken breasts until golden brown, approximately 4 minutes per side. Pour in 1/2 cup dry vermouth. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. To make the sauce, warm 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté chopped onions until soft and translucent. Add mushrooms; heat through, stirring occasionally. Add 1/4 cup dry vermouth and sour cream. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Warm through, but do not boil. Remove pan from heat. When chicken is done, pour sauce over all. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the sides and bottom of the skillet to release any browned bits into the sauce. Serve with angel hair pasta.

Udon Noodles With Shrimp

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Graze or Gobble: Udon Noodles with Shrimp! Everyone goes crazy over noodles. Udon noodles, made popular by the Japanese culture, offer the chewy thick texture associated with comfort food. Basically made from flour, salt, and water, they can take on the flavor of whatever ingredient you add to it. Being a shrimp-lover and mushroom fanatic, the choices here were not even up for debate. My kitchen, my choice. But I can tell you this, the sauce alone is slurp-worthy.

UDON NOODLES WITH SHRIMP

Ingredients:

7-ounce package udon noodles

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/3 cup mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped

8-10 large shrimp, precooked and tails removed

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cup baby spinach leaves

1 green onion, chopped for garnish

Ingredients for the Sauce:

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

Instructions:

Make the sauce first by combining oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and toasted sesame oil. Whisk until smooth. Set aside. Boil the udon noodles, according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside. Warm one tablespoon olive oil in a skillet. Increase heat to medium-high setting. Add sliced mushrooms. Stir 2-3 minutes until cooked. Add chopped yellow onions and cook 2-3 minutes longer, or until soft. Transfer vegetables to a platter. In the same skillet, add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add large shrimp. Sprinkle with garlic powder, seasoned salt, and red pepper flakes. Sauté both sides of the shrimp. Add the udon noodles to the skillet to heat through. Pour the sauce over the shrimp and noodles. Stir. Add mushrooms and onions; gently toss. Turn off heat. Fold in the baby spinach leaves; allow them to slightly wilt. Scoop noodle mixture into individual bowls. Garnish with green onion pieces. Serve immediately.

Zapiekanka Polish Pizza

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food With Soul: Zapiekanka Polish Pizza! Open-faced sandwiches, especially made with crusty artisan breads, are incredibly satisfying when craving a pizza-like meal. Although now there are a bazillion variations of the traditional Polish snack originally sold by street vendors, this recipe serves as a starting point for something new and different. Sauces may range from tomato ketchup to spicy sriracha to garlic mayo. It’s all about the cravings of the moment.

ZAPIEKANKA POLISH PIZZA

Ingredients:

1 baguette, sliced lengthwise

8 ounces button mushrooms, chopped

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

4 ounces provolone cheese, sliced

4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, sliced

2 tablespoons tomato ketchup

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place baguettes on baking sheet. Scoop out a well in each baguette slice; discard filling. Set aside. In a large skillet, warm olive oil. Sauté chopped mushrooms and onions for 10 minutes, until browned. Sprinkle with seasoned salt and black pepper. Layer the provolone and sharp cheddar cheeses over baguettes. Arrange the sautéed mushrooms and onions over top. Bake 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown. Drizzle tomato ketchup over all. Serve hot.

Watercress Spinach Salad In A Jar

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Palatable Possibilities: Watercress Spinach Salad in a Jar! My heart beats a little faster whenever I come across a bunch of watercress at the fresh marketplace. I know immediately that I will pair it with baby spinach because they work well together. Its slightly peppery taste is an amazing balance to the mild sweetness of spinach leaves. By portioning salads in a jar, they keep a couple days in the refrigerator, as long as the dressing is added later, when served. Not only is the salad appealing, it comes across as pure genius. Mmm Mmm Good.

WATERCRESS SPINACH SALAD IN A JAR

Ingredients:

3/4 cup watercress leaves

1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves

2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

1/2 red onion, sliced

1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced

1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced

4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

4 pint-size jars, with lids

Caesar dressing, prepared

Instructions:

Layer each jar beginning with watercress and spinach leaves. Carefully place sliced eggs along the inside. Add layers of sliced red onions, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms. Finish with crumbled bacon on top. Twist the lid to seal each jar. Refrigerate salads until ready to serve. To serve, empty contents of jar onto a plate or bowl. Add bottled Caesar dressing, per taste.

Omelet 101

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Next Step: Omelet 101. You’re having a get-together and need an effortless, but impressive, breakfast. While everyone is huddling in the kitchen, because this is what people do, pour them a cuppa joe and get started. Making the perfect omelet will have you feeling like a gourmet chef. It’s pretty basic. Use an 8-inch sauté pan with slanted edges and plenty of butter. Fresh veggies and shredded cheese are always a good idea. If you’re nervous about the “flip”, simply do what I do. Put a lid on it.

OMELET 101

Ingredients: (per omelet)

2 eggs

Pinch sea salt

Pinch black pepper

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons smokey Swiss cheese, shredded

Sautéed asparagus tips

Sautéed mushrooms

Instructions:

In a mini chopper, combine eggs, sea salt, black pepper, and water. Beat until light yellow in color. Warm butter in pan over medium-low heat. Do not scorch butter. Pour egg mixture into pan. Do not stir. Swirl the pan so eggs cover the edge. Cook until bottom begins to set, about one minute. Tilt the pan to allow liquid to flow underneath. Slide a rubber spatula around the surface to loosen omelet. Arrange shredded cheese, asparagus tips, and sliced mushrooms across the center of the egg, forming a vertical line. Reduce heat to low. Cover pan with a lid to absorb liquid, about 30-45 seconds. The center will remain creamy. Remove lid. Fold one-third of omelet onto itself. Gently transfer omelet to a plate. Serve immediately.

Tortellini Soup

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Color of Food: Tortellini Soup! No matter the weather, a classic Italian soup is always a good idea. Make it a budget-friendly weeknight meal with all the flavor of a Tuscan countryside, without the cost of an airline ticket. Common ingredients like garden veggies, rich plum tomatoes, sweet aromatic herbs and zesty spices blend together to enhance the dish. I love the mushroom-stuffed tortellini pasta. It’s curly ring-shape is very gourmet. When it all comes together at the table, you’ll think you created a masterpiece. Well done!

TORTELLINI SOUP

Ingredients:

1 pound chorizo sausage, ground

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped

1/3 cup green pepper, diced

28-ounce can Roma tomatoes, crushed

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon basil

1/4 teaspoon marjoram

14 ounces vegetable broth

8.8 ounce package porcini mushroom tortellini

1 cup fresh spinach leaves, torn

Parmesan cheese for garnish

Instructions:

Brown chorizo sausage until fully cooked. Meat will be crumbly. Drain well. Set aside. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, combine olive oil, chopped onions, and diced green peppers. Cook until soft. Add crumbled chorizo. Stir. Add Roma tomatoes, garlic powder, sea salt, black pepper, oregano, basil, and marjoram. Stir well to mix ingredients. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Gently fold in tortellini and spinach. Cover and simmer 10 minutes longer until tortellini is tender. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with shredded parmesan cheese. Serve with crostini.

Gluten-Free Crustless Pizza

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Color of Food: Gluten-Free Crustless Pizza! Are you ever tempted to just eat the toppings off a pizza? For those who require a gluten-free lifestyle or simply desire fewer carbs, here is a healthy alternative on pizza night. Eliminate the crust altogether. By substituting eggs and cheese for bread dough, it’s surprising how this turns into a delicious deep dish pizza.

GLUTEN-FREE CRUSTLESS PIZZA

Ingredients:

8-ounce cream cheese

2 eggs

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

1/2 cup pizza sauce

1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

4 ounces pepperoni, sliced

1/3 cup ham, chopped

1/3 cup chorizo sausage, cooked and crumbled

2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/4 cup mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1/8 teaspoon oregano

1/8 teaspoon basil

1/8 teaspoon marjoram

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 10”-12” iron skillet with nonstick oil. Set aside. Combine cream cheese, eggs, black pepper, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese. Spread in a single layer in the prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes until light brown. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Spread pizza sauce over crust. Top with mozzarella cheese. Arrange pepperoni, ham, chorizo sausage, bacon, mushrooms, and chopped onion. Sprinkle with oregano, basil, and marjoram. Bake 15 minutes longer until cheese is melted. Cool 5 minutes before cutting into pizza slices.

Egg Drop Soup

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Color of Food: Egg Drop Soup! Treat yourself to a Chinese favorite. Using only a few items, you can prepare a festive bowl of chicken broth flavored with green onion, plus a hint of ginger spice. Check out the silky ribbons of beaten eggs and curly wonton strips. Isn’t it pretty? You can do this.

EGG DROP SOUP

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons corn starch

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

2 cups chicken broth

2 eggs, beaten

1/3 cup mushrooms, sliced and sautéed (optional)

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 green onions

Fried wonton strips for garnish

Instructions:

In a 2-quart pan, combine corn starch, ground ginger, white pepper, and sea salt. Slowly pour chicken broth into the pan, stirring constantly to dissolve lumps. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. After two minutes, reduce heat to simmer. When the broth has thickened, place a whisk over the pan. Slowly pour beaten egg mixture over the whisk, swirling in a clockwise motion to create silky ribbons. Add sautéed mushrooms. Heat through. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with droplets of sesame oil. Sprinkle green onion snips over soup. Garnish with fried wonton strips.

Nested Scrambled Eggs

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Front-Runner Favs: Nested Scrambled Eggs! Tired of the same old breakfast all week long? This grab-and-go option can be yours by investing a little effort on the weekend. Believe me, it’s worth it. By creating a “nest” of cheesy hash browns, the outer edge satisfies the salty crunch before your teeth sink into a creamy middle of scrambled eggs and veggies. The size of a muffin makes it a guilt-free pleasure. Try some. There’s actually a lot to crow about.

NESTED SCRAMBLED EGGS

Ingredients:

20-ounce package refrigerated hash brown potatoes

1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

4 eggs

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1-2 tablespoons bacon drippings

7 ounces mushrooms, sliced

1/2 bell green pepper, diced

1/2 sweet onion, chopped

1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded, divided

2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 tomato, diced

Fresh basil

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425°. Combine hash brown potatoes, seasoned salt, black pepper, olive oil, and cheddar cheese. Mix well. Divide mixture between the 12 cups in a prepared muffin tin. Press potato mixture into sides and bottom of each cup leaving the center hollow. Bake 15-20 minutes until hashbrowns are golden and crispy. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, milk, and Worcestershire sauce. Set aside. Remove “nests” from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add bacon drippings. Sauté mushrooms, green pepper, and sweet onion. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add egg mixture, stirring constantly, until eggs are set. This will take about 4 minutes. Turn off heat. Fold in 1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese. Fill “nests” with egg mixture. Sprinkle with remaining Monterey Jack cheese, bacon crumbles, and diced tomatoes. Bake 3-4 minutes until the cheese is melted. Garnish with fresh basil before serving.