Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mushrooms, Strawberries and Green Goddesses

"You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients." - Julia Child

As I've said in previous posts, I hold firm to the belief that French cooking has the answer to many of the world's problems. I love having opportunities to indulge in it.

I put together this menu with a French recipe for the entree, but left out a starch, as a person with mild diabetes was partaking in it with me.

The menu includes:

  • Chicken with Mushrooms
  • Salad (I used Green Goddess dressing)
  • Strawberry-Vanilla Custard
The salad is simple enough - just put together a mix of your favorite greens (I recommend spinach, romaine and iceburg lettuce), and add a salad dressing that will go favorably with the sauce on the chicken recipe below:

Chicken with Mushrooms
Makes: 3
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 oz. mixed mushrooms (I recommend shitake, oyster, baby bella, morel, etc.), chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • flour
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 cup brandy
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and dredge in flour, shaking off excess. Heat 2 tbsp. butter in a large pan and cook chicken over medium heat, browning both sides, 8-10 minutes. Place chicken breasts in a casserole dish.
Add 2-3 more tbsp. of butter to pan with shallots, mushrooms and garlic. Saute over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add brandy to pan, reduce liquid by 1/2 over high heat for 2-4 minutes. Add creme fraiche, lemon juice and heavy cream. Boil till mixture starts to thicken, 5-10 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken, place in oven and bake for 12 minutes until chicken is cooked through. 

The dessert is quite simple enough. Whether you prefer to make a baked custard from scratch, or simply mix together a package of cold instant pudding, incorporating ripe, sliced strawberries is a tasty decision. A good, simple recipe for a baked custard can be found in this classic cookbook. If you don't own a copy, I highly recommend it to beginning and experienced cooks alike. 

Bon Appetit!

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