Are you searching for that perfect dish to impress your guests with this summer? I know you want something that looks impressive but is fairly simple to make. You just want them to think you spent hours slaving away in the kitchen; but you really just want to pop something in the oven while you snuggle up to a good book. Well I’ve go the perfect dish for you! °
Well perhaps super easy is a bit of a stretch. You do have to put some effort into making stuffed chicken breasts, but not a whole lot, really I mean it. You probably have most of the ingredients in your kitchen already. With just a little bit of prep time (before popping everything in the oven) and a few minutes to make the sauce you will have time to sit down and read a book or take a short nap while it’s cooking.
You can serve this dish with a side of pasta for a very satisfying meal. Add a tossed salad and you’ve got a great meal to serve to friends and family! Seriously your main ingredients are garlic, mushrooms, cheese, and chicken what’s not to love?
One of my favorite dishes is Chicken Marsala. I’ve tried many different recipes in my quest for the perfect one; tweaking each one until it was just right.
Here is the recipe I use and my family loves it. The sauce in this version is thicker and creamier than other versions due to the heavy cream and corn starch. If you want a thinner sauce please read the notes at the end to see what ingredients can be omitted or substituted.
This recipe is very easy to make and should be served soon after cooking. Left overs can be refrigerated, in fact it tastes even better the next day!
I serve Chicken Marsala with garlic mashed potatoes or my cousin’s “poor man’s pasta” the recipe for that is at the bottom of this post.
The Best Chicken Marsala Ingredients: 1 lb. mushrooms
4 tbls. butter
2 tbls. minced garlic
1 cup Marsala wine
1 tsp. corn starch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken tenderloins, pounded to 1″ thickness
2 tbls. olive oil
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. ground sea salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
10 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved
Fresh parsley chopped
1. Wash mushrooms and pat dry. Slice into thin slices.
2. Melt 2 tbls. butter in large sauce pan over medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms and cook until golden brown, about 5-10 minutes.
3. Add garlic and wine to the mushrooms. Lower heat and gently simmer until wine reduces, about 15 minutes.
4. Add cream, corn starch, and sea salt. It should thicken slightly. If it’s too thick add more wine to desired consistency, but not more than another 1/2 cup. Set aside. *
5. Combine flour, ground sea salt, black pepper, and garlic powder in a shallow bowl.
6. Heat oil and 2 tbls. butter in a skillet over medium heat.
7. Toss chicken tenders in flour; shake off excess; fry in olive oil/butter until cooked thru and is golden brown.
8. Pour Marsala sauce over chicken. Add cherry tomatoes. Simmer until tomatoes are soft, but not mushy.
9. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.
* For thinner sauce OMIT heavy cream and corn starch in step 4. Add salt and set aside. Cook chicken as directed. In step 9 BEFORE you sprinkle with parsley stir in 2 more tbls. butter, stir until butter melts. Sprinkle with parsley.
Poor Man’s Pasta Ingredients: 1 lb. Pasta
3 tbls. butter
1/4 shredded fresh parmesan cheese
1. Cook pasta as directed on box.
2. Drain pasta.
3. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.
4. Add cooked pasta. Toss in butter until pasta is covered.
5. Add parmesan cheese. Toss pasta until cheese is evenly distributed.
Wash mushrooms and pat dry. Slice into thin slices.
Melt 2 tbls. butter in large sauce pan over medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms and cook until golden brown, about 5-10 minutes.
Add garlic and wine to the mushrooms. Lower heat and gently simmer until wine reduces, about 15 minutes.
Add cream, corn starch, and sea salt. It should thicken slightly. If it's too thick add more wine to desired consistency, but not more than another 1/2 cup. Set aside.
Combine flour, ground sea salt, black pepper, and garlic powder in a shallow bowl.
Heat oil and 2 tbls. butter in a skillet over medium heat.
Toss chicken tenders in flour; shake off excess; fry in olive oil/butter until cooked thru and is golden brown.
Pour Marsala sauce over chicken. Add cherry tomatoes. Simmer until tomatoes are soft, but not mushy.
Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.
Poor Man's Pasta
Cook pasta as directed on box.
Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.
Add cooked pasta. Toss in butter until pasta is covered.
Add parmesan cheese. Toss pasta until cheese is evenly distributed.
For thinner sauce OMIT heavy cream and corn starch in step 4. Add salt and set aside. Cook chicken as directed. In step 9 BEFORE you sprinkle with parsley stir in 2 more tbls. butter, stir until butter melts. Sprinkle with parsley.
Em Shaat is in my opinion a Middle Eastern comfort food. It’s really a cauliflower fritter made with boiled cauliflower that’s been battered and fried.
One of my Palestinian friends taught me how to make this yummy cauliflower fritter years ago. She used all purpose flour to make her batter, it was good, but a bit heavy and not very crisp. I suppose fritters weren’t meant to be crispy.
But I like things crispy so I added my own twist to this traditional Middle Eastern recipe. The secret is Mochiko (sweet rice flour). Mochiko batter is lighter and when fried turns into a crispy delight.
The recipe calls for cumin and turmeric. Both spices are used in many Middle Eastern dishes. They compliment the cauliflower nicely giving it a mild exotic flavor.
I suppose you could say that I’ve created a Fusion dish; Med meets Asia! But really, my Middle Eastern husband loves my version!
I usually serve cauliflower dish as a main course, it’s a nice (not so healthy) alternative to a meat course. But it can be served as an appetizer, snack, or side dish as well. It’s usually served warm, but it’s pretty darn good cold too!
1 Medium Cauliflower – remove the leaves but keep whole
2 Cloves Garlic – finely minced
2 Large Eggs
1/2 Cup Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 Tsp. Cumin
1/2 Tsp. Turmeric
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Cup Parsley – finely chopped
Oil for frying
Boil Cauliflower until tender – about 20 minutes
Whisk all ingredients except cauliflower and oil together in a large mixing bowl – batter will be thin
Drain and Break up the cauliflower and stir into batter
Heat about 1 1/2″ of oil in a pan
Drop cauliflower mixture into oil and fry each side until golden brown
Many of us are familiar with Tabbouleh Salad, the Middle Eastern salad usually made with tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, and cracked bulgar wheat. It’s become a staple offered at many Vegetarian, Health Food, and Middle Eastern restaurants. At home we make it too, but really my husband much prefers the Arabic Salad with Kishk.
Kishk or Kashk is basically dried yogurt or curdled milk that can be formed into balls or chunks and later ground into a powder. It is used in local cuisine from Iran to Mongolia and is known by different names and prepared in slightly different ways.
In our house we use the Lebanese, Syrian, or Palestinian Kishk which is made by mixing powdery bulgar cereal with yogurt. The mixture is usually formed into balls and dried.
We use it to make mensaf (a lamb stew simmered in a liquid form of Kishk), Arabic Salad, and Kafta (ground meat balls) among other things.
I usually get the balls from my sister-in-law who makes them at home, but I’ve also bought jars of powdered Kishk in Middle Eastern markets.
Arabic Salad is quite tasty and very simple to make. It’s a great starter, side dish or even a light meal. My kids love to mix it in with a dish of Macluba (and upside down dish of meat and rice) and my husband likes to eat it drizzled with olive oil and pita bread for scooping.
If you don’t have Kishk, no worries, substitute finely grated fresh parmesan cheese!
1 Large Tomato
1 Medium Cucumber
1 Small Onion
1 Tbls. Finely Minced Garlic
1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Parsley
3 Large Radishes, peeled and finely diced
1 Large Jalapeno, seeds removed and finely dices
1/4 – 1/2 Cup Kishk or Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
Ground Sea Salt to taste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Finely dice all the veggies.
Place in a bowl and mix well.
Add desired amount of Kishk or Parmesan Cheese to taste.
Add Sea Salt to taste.
Place on salad plates or shallow bowls for serving.
Drizzle with olive oil and serve.
You can scoop it up with fresh pita bread, pita chips, or crackers as a starter or side dish.
Store leftovers in the fridge in a tightly sealed container. Salad does not keep more than 2 days, and that’s pushing it!
Refreshing salad made with fresh tomatoes and cucumbers with a Middle Eastern taste!
I love fresh baked bread. The warm aroma of baking bread and biting into steaming hot bread are one of life’s simple pleasures. In my world the only thing that beats fresh baked bread is steaming hot garlic bread. There was a time when I made bread from scratch, kneading it with my hands and waiting for it to rise. It was an all day event. These days I don’t have the time nor the inclination to make bread from scratch. I toyed with the idea of purchasing a bread machine, but decided it would be just one more kitchen appliance that would join the ice cream maker, air popper, and other small appliances that are stuffed in my kitchen cabinets.
Then I discovered Bridgeford Frozen Bread Dough. We’ve been having fresh baked bread ever since without the kneading, proofing, and clean up! The dough is meant to be baked either in loaves or as rolls, those are the 2 types I’ve found in my grocer’s freezer. Of course I’ve been experimenting with variations and one of our favorites are Garlic Knots.
I’ve seen versions of garlic knots online that use refrigerated crescent dough, they’re good too, but in my opinion not as good as the Garlic Knots made with the frozen dough. Granted those are a bit easier to make, you just pop the can open, tie into knots, brush with garlic butter, bake, and done. The frozen version takes a bit longer, but at least you don’t have to knead the dough!
Really the major difference is time. Frozen dough needs to thaw and rise, but the extra time is so worth it! I usually thaw the dough in the fridge overnight, just keep it covered so that it doesn’t dry out and form a crust. The dried crust makes the final product have some hard spots. Anyway here’s my recipe, it will make 18 large knots!
To make clean up simple I thaw and let the dough rise on a parchment covered baking sheet. I cover the baking sheets with parchment paper for baking as well.