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ricotta frittata
Ricotta Frittata

chicken divan
Chicken Divan

roast potatoes
Roasted Potatoes with
White Balsamic Vinegar

Menu Plan for the week of Jan. 11, 2013:  Saturday's Recipes

 Ricotta Frittata
Chicken Divan
Roasted Potatoes with White Balsamic Vinegar

Cooking time:  45 minutes for menu     Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

       A retro dish for this meal: Chicken Divan, a staple for every 'housewife' in the '50's.

Ricotta Frittata                                                           Preparation and cooking time: 15 minutes
Very simple to make, and a name that rolls delightfully off the tongue. It needs to be dry on top before turning or it won't slide off the plate.  You can cover it briefly to help it along.  I just garnish it with a few olives, but a bit of baguette would be nice, or some anchovies.... sardines....

1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese, 4oz  (125gr)
2 eggs
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tbs olive oil
olives for garnish   optional

Put ricotta into a medium bowl and stir to make smooth.  Add the eggs, one at a time and stir well.  There should be no lumps.  Add fennel seeds and stir.  Heat the oil in a small nonstick skillet.  Add the egg/ricotta mixture and cook over medium heat.  When eggs are just cooked through, 8 - 10 minutes, you need to turn it: slide it carefully onto a plate, put another plate on top and turn it over.  Now slide it back into the pan to brown the other side, another 1 - 2 minutes.  Remove frittata, slice into wedges and serve immediately, garnished with olives, if you have some.

Chicken Divan                                                  Preparation and cooking time: 45 minutes
     An old classic, updated for a healthier lifestyle, but still with the proper amount of decadence.  I use yogurt instead of sour cream, less cheese, stock instead of 'condensed creamed' soup, and no mayonnaise.  I think it's better than the original....

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1/2 medium - large head broccoli (enough for 2)
2 shallots
1 clove garlic
1 tbs olive oil
3/4 cup (6oz, 180ml) chicken stock
1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) white wine
2 tbs cornstarch (maizena) dissolved in 2 tbs water
1/2 cup (4oz, 120gr) Greek yogurt
1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) Gruyère, shredded
1/4 cup (1oz, 30gr) Parmesan
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 tsp paprika

Put chicken stock in a medium skillet, just large enough to hold chicken breasts.  Cut breasts in half (the short way) and add to stock.  Cover pan and poach over medium heat until done, about 15 minutes. 
Cut broccoli into small florets (with some stem), put into a steamer basket and steam over medium heat until barely tender, 6 - 7 minutes.
Finely chop shallots and garlic (techniques).  Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add shallots and garlic and sauté.  Add white wine and simmer.  When chicken is done, remove from stock and add stock to white wine/shallot mix.  When simmering nicely thicken with dissolved cornstarch.  Add yogurt and shredded cheese, stir well.  Remove from heat. 
In a baking dish just large enough to hold everything, spoon 1/3 of the sauce.  Arrange drained broccoli over cheese sauce.  Put 1/3 sauce over broccoli.  Arrange chicken on top, and pour over remaining sauce.  Mix the Parmesan, bread crumbs and paprika and sprinkle over all.  Bake in a 400F (200C) oven 15 - 20 minutes, until hot and bubbly,  Serve directly from the dish.

Roasted Potatoes with White Balsamic Vinegar Preparation and cooking time:  40 minutes
     When deciding how many potatoes to use I visualize them on my plate, then multiply by the number of people.  I make these lots and very the herbs according to the rest of the meal.  They get a lovely golden brown and a bit crispy, especially if you take the time to turn them.

2 medium potatoes
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs White Balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp rosemary

Slice potatoes in half the long way, then in half again.  Then slice in half or thirds the short way.  Put remaining ingredients into a bowl and mix well.  Add potatoes and toss, coating thoroughly.  Arrange potatoes on baking sheet with rim (I use my trusty, round pizza pan) Bake at 400F for 30 minutes.  You can turn once if you like to fuss but I usually don't bother. Remove from oven and serve.

Cooking Schedule: 45 minutes for menu
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
small nonstick skillet, medium bowl (used 2 X)
, whisk,
medium skillet, medium saucepan, pan with steamer
basket and lid, baking dish, baking sheet, plate

Turn oven on, 400F (200C), arrange 2 shelves
Heat stock in skillet
Cut chicken
Poach chicken
Cut broccoli, steam
Peel, chop shallot
Mice garlic
Sauté shallot, garlic for chicken
Slice potatoes
Mix oil, vinegar, herbs
Add potatoes, mix
Spread on baking sheet, set aside
Grate/shred cheeses if needed
Add wine to shallot/garlic

Remove broccoli, set aside
Dissolve cornstarch in water
Mix crumbs, Parmesan, paprika, set aside
Remove chicken, set aside
Add poaching stock to wine
Put potatoes in oven
Stir cornstarch mixture into stock/wine, thicken
Add yogurt, cheese, stir
Assemble Chicken Divan, set aside
Put ricotta in bowl, whisk
Add eggs, whisking after each
Add fennel, stir
Heat oil in skillet, add egg mix, cook
Bake Chicken Divan
Turn potatoes if you like
  Pause while frittata cooks
Turn the frittata
Serve the Frittata,  relax until dinner is done
Remove Chicken Divan, Potatoes from oven

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