Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Chicken Marsala with Mustard and Mascarpone

To those whom have had my chicken marsala before this is "more or less" the recipe. I have been making this for some time so measurements and true recipe ingredients have flown out the window and I go by taste. It is really difficult to mess this recipe up so be creative, add your own twist and ingredients. Feel free to substitute as needed, however DO NOT use yellow mustard in place of the Dijon. If you happen to not have any you can use any "alternative spicy mustard or whole grain mustard or even honey mustard but not yellow. Just leave the mustard out if all you have is yellow. Alternatively if you happen to "date someone who doesn't like mustard" (I have trouble comprehending this every time I hear it since mustard is the greatest condiment on earth-Shana/Brian) again, just leave it out-- it will change the flavor but still be AMAZING!

Chicken Marsala w/ Mustard and Mascarpone
1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets
2 T EVOO (or olive oil)

5 T butter

3/4 c chopped onion

1 lb cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced*

2 T minced garlic

1 c marsala wine

1 c (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese**
2 T Dijon mustard
2 T chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, plus some for garnish
12 ounces dried fettuccine

*Any mushrooms will do or you can leave them out, maybe add spinach?!?

** Cream cheese will work as well but do try to find the mascarpone it is sorta sweet and buttery and everyone should try it!

Season chicken with s/p. Heat the oil in large, heavy skillet over high heat.

Add the chicken and cook just until brown, about 4 minutes per side. Set aside.

Melt 2 T of the butter in the same skillet over medium-high heat, then add the onion and saute until tender ~2 min.

Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate ~ 12 min. (Do NOT salt the mushrooms at this point, it will release their moisture to quickly and they will boil rather than "brown" and won't taste as good).

Add the wine and simmer until it is reduced by half ~4 min. Stir in the mascarpone and mustard. Cut the chicken breasts crosswise into 1/3 in slices. Return the chicken and any juices released back into the skillet. Simmer uncovered over medium-low heat until the chicken is cook through and the sauce thickens slightly ~2 min. (Do not over do the simmering. The sauce will thicken too much and you will not have enough to coat the pasta)

Stir in 1 T of the parsley and season the sauce w S/P to taste. Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Drain. Toss pasta w/ remaining 3 T butter and 1 T parsley. Season w S/P. Mound Fettuccine on plates. Spoon chicken mixture w sauce over, garnish w parsley and serve.

WARNING: If you mix the sauce with the pasta in advance and then serve it, the pasta WILL suck up the sauce and will be dry. SO, based on experience (and a few wrecked dishes) follow the directions and put butter on pasta first (saturates a lil so doesn't sop up sauce as much) and then put chicken and sauce over the top.

You can also just simply serve this with just the chicken, leaving out the pasta.

Eggplant Mezzaluna Ravioli

First and foremost, do not disregard this pasta if you do not like eggplant! I am not the largest fan of this strange purple veggie BUT it takes on its own crazy flavor in these ravioli's. You will be missing out if you do not at least attempt. This is, as the previous post, a Giada recipe. I seem to be grabbing her cookbooks over everyone else as of late so bare with me as I get the addiction out of my system.

Also, one more side note, I know many of you are looking for my "staple" recipes. The recipes in which I claim to have started this blog. I promise I will get to them shortly. I have just been in the experimentation mode and excited to cook new things.

1/3 c Olive oil (if you only have Extra Virgin just use that)
1/2 large onion, diced
1 large eggplant (1.5-2.0 lbs.), diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t chopped fresh oregano, plus 1 t fresh oregano for garnish*
1/2 c fontina cheese, grated (~2 oz.)
1/2 c whole-milk ricotta cheese**
1/2 t salt, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 t black pepper, plus more for sprinkling
1 package square wonton wrappers (~50-60 wrappers)
1/4-1/2 c Extra Virgin Olive oil, for garnish

You must buy FRESH oregano, it will not taste right with dried and you MUST garnish once cooked because that is basically the flavor of the "sauce"
**Do not try to use skim milk ricotta, it is too watery and the ravioli's will have zero flavor-- these are pretty good for you already you will be fine with the whole milk stuff!

Heat the OO in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the eggplant, garlic and chopped oregano, and continue to cook until the eggplant is soft and falling apart, about 12 minutes (this often takes me longer than 12 minutes- make your salad or prep you sides during this time because you can leave it and only stir every so often). Transfer the eggplant mixture to a medium bowl and let cool.

Once cool, add the cheeses, salt and pepper. Place 6 wonton squares on a dry work surface (or how ever many you are comfortable making at once.) Place 1 teaspoon of the eggplant mixture on each square. Fold one corner over to the opposite corner (hard to explain via text- look at the pictures. Giada makes a rectangle with hers and then cuts them w a ravioli cutter- I have done this but it seems like an extra step to me- this is easier.)
Place the finished ravioli on dry baking sheet lightly sprinkled with flour. Continue to finish the remaining. (I freeze mine at this point and take out as needed)

To Cook: Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add ravioli. Do not add all ravioli at one time because they are pretty delicate and will stick to each other and break open. Cook until ravioli's float to the top. (If cooking from frozen let them float a bit on top to make sure the inside warms) I use a slotted spoon and place directly on serving platter/plate. Salt and pepper them (important step!) Drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with fresh oregano (also important step!) Enjoy!!!!!
Alternative options:
Fry them in some canola and serve with marinara. These are a GREAT appetizer.