Monday, April 27, 2009

Chicken with Mustard'y Mandarin Orange Sauce

Around this time of the year, I look in the refridgerator and say "Man. I have way too many jams, jellies and preserves in this place." Most are left over from The Great Cookie Bake-Off of (insert year here).

I was trying to think of when I actually purchased the peach preserves that were staring back at me. I'm pretty sure I was still with Nathan, which means that the jar and it's contents are at least 9 months old. I examined the insides of the jar, from the outside. No fuzzy stuff. I opened it. No odd smell. I tasted it and it didn't make me gag! We were in the clear!

If you like sauces that contain mustard, you will love this. I used a grain mustard, but honey mustard would be lovely. Dijon would work too. I loved the way the grain mustard made little speckles in the sauce though.


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup of either orange marmalade or peach preserves (I hate orange marmalade!)
2 tbsp grain mustard
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 small can of mandarin oranges, drained
1 tsp grated orange peel
salt and pepper, to taste

In a large skillet, heat oil and butter together until butter is melted and sizzling. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken on both sides. Meanwhile, combine OJ, preserves, mustard and thyme in a small bowl. Don't fret if the preserves do not dissolve into the juice...they will when the mixture hits the heat. Lumps are fine! Pour mixture over chicken. Bring to a boil and continue cooking for another 5-8 minutes or until the juices from the chicken run clear and sauce thickens. Gently stir in oranges and orange peel. I plated over steamed white rice cooked in chicken stock for added flavor.

Sweet and sticky. Just like Madonna's last tour. I promise that people - adults and children alike - will be licking their fingers.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Creamy Pasta with Shrimp

Friend: "Do you have anything to eat in this house?"

Me: "Ummmm..."

I had frozen pre-cooked shrimp, a green pepper, half a pint of grape tomatoes and cream - plus some pickles, yogurt and a couple Balance Bars. There was some serious potential in my *seriously* understocked kitchen pantry/fridge!


Pasta of your choice - I used plain spaghetti
6 tbsp butter
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 lb pre-cooked shrimp, de-veined and de-shelled
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved - if desired
2 tbsp fresh basil, or 1 tsp dried basil
Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Cook pasta as usual.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic and green pepper. Cook until onion is translucent and fragrant. Add shrimp.

Combine cream and flour in a small glass - mix well to form a slurry. Pour cream mixture over shrimp and cook until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Add pasta, tomato and basil and combine. Grate a little fresh parmesan cheese just before service.

Dinner was done in about 12 minutes, tops. The leftovers were pretty tasty as well - still creamy, which surprised me!

Plus, I got to break out the pasta bowls I've been sitting on for 2 years, which made me very, very happy.