Thursday, April 3, 2008

Tasty Spring Dishes

Spring is such a lovely time of year, ahhh. Certainly for many reasons, not the least of which is the bounty of food items that come into season. Hope you take time out to enjoy these simple and tasty dishes that for me are perfect this time of year.

Scrambled Eggs with Mushrooms, Chives and Fleur de Sel

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup finely chopped mushrooms
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
4 eggs, lightly beaten
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fleur de sel or other finishing salt (kosher salt is fine), to taste
Melt butter in a medium skillet. Sauté the mushrooms for 3 minutes, then add the chives and cook for another minute, until fragrant. Add eggs and black pepper. Cook the eggs over very low heat, stirring constantly, until cooked to the desired doneness. Add fleur de sel and scramble for just a few more seconds. Serve hot.

Olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Prepare a big bowl of fresh tasty vegetables, cut into strips or chunks. Good choices are peppers, cauliflower, artichokes, celery, carrots, etc. Put olive oil in a small bowl and add salt and pepper to taste. Dip the vegetables into the oil and enjoy. Y ou can also have other condiment options available - various types of mustards work well and balsamic vinegar is a nice touch. Pairs wonderfully with a crisp, dry white wine.

Chicken Breasts with Zucchini
4 chicken breasts, weighing a pound in total
10 ounces zucchini, sliced into very thin rounds
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons butter1 sage leaf
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch of thyme
Small bunch of Italian flat-leaf parsley, minced
Kosher salt
White pepper
An ounce of shredded Swiss or Fontina cheese
Heat the oil in a pot, and sauté the garlic and parsley for a minute or two. Before the garlic begins to brown add the zucchini. Cook for a few minutes more, then sprinkle a half cup of cool water over the pot, add a pinch of thyme, and salt to taste. Turn down the heat to as low as possible, cover, and cook the zucchini until they are done and the water has evaporated. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. While it is warming up, lightly pound the chicken breasts and flour them, giving them a good shake to remove excess flour. Pick a pot large enough for the chicken breasts to lie flat that can go both on the stove and into the oven, and melt the butter with the leaf of sage. As soon as it begins to crackle add the chicken breasts and cook them until they begin to brown, turning them once or twice. Sprinkle them with the white wine, crumble the salt over them, and season them with pepper. When the liquid is reduced by two thirds, remove the pot from the fire. Scoop the zucchini over the chicken breasts, dust everything with the cheese, cover the pot, and slip it into the oven for about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken breasts to a heated serving dish, spoon the pan drippings over them, and serve.

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