Tag Archives: chicken

Chicken Marsala


This week we decided to try to make chicken Marsala in a ramekin. Normally we would make this in a sauté pan, for a change though we decided to ramekinize it. We started by sautéing the onions. We like to cook them slowly until they turn brown and caramelize a bit. Then we put  in the mushrooms with a couple of pats of butter. By this time we began to realize that we were cooking everything but the chicken in the pan. We like to use chicken thighs as they come out very tender, but the classic dish is made with the breasts. Julienne the chicken by slicing it with the grain ( lengthwise ). When you cook this in a ramekin it all links together and forms a kind of interesting meatball.


1 chicken breast or two thighs cut into strips
1 cup of coarsely chopped mushrooms
1/2 a medium onion cut into slices and broken up.
1/4 cup of Marsala wine
1/4 cup of cream
Dash or two of lemon juice
Handful or two  of cooked egg noodles or rice
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat your oven to 300 degrees
Cut the chicken up into julienne slices
Saute the onions in a few pats of butter until they are just turning brown. Remove from the pan and reserve. Cook the mushrooms in the pan, you may need a couple more pats of butter. In a small bowl, put the onion, chicken, mushrooms, marsala wine, cream, salt and pepper and mix them up. PAM a couple of ramekins and fill each with the mixture. Bake for 1 hour. You’ll probably be able to pick the “meatball” out of the ramekin with a pair of forks. Serve over top of noodles or rice with a little of the gravy. For this dish we like a tasty chardonnay, try Lucky Star for this.

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No Noodle Pad Thai

ThumbnailSmallFoodsCoverIf you’re reading this please click on “Follow” so I know you’re out there. Buy the book on Amazon, it helps finance all this nonsense.


This is another dish that won’t make it into the next “Small Foods” book. I can’t think of anyway to make it in a ramekin.

Pad1We Love Pad Thai, the Thai rice noodle dish which can be made with chicken, tofu or shrimp, or all of these. But we’re very wary of the big carbohydrate load that rice noodles carry. So we try not to have it very often. A friend of ours made a salad once with sliced zucchini in it and it gave me the idea of replacing the noodles with zucchini. The trick is to cook them at the end of the dish and very quickly. If you cook them too long they just turn to mush instead of noodles. I like to add some chicken broth at the end and one of those chicken broth flavor boost packets. The flavor boost is like super chicken, well worth searching for in your grocery store. This contains both peanuts and soy (tofu) so beware if you are allergic.

Serves 4


1 medium zucchini
1 Pkg. Super Firm Tofu cubed or cut into 1″ cubes.
10 or so Jumbo Shrimp shelled, deviened and tails pulled off, chopped bite size and/or 1/2 lb. chopped chicken breast.
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup red and green pepper
1 8 0z.can of bean sprouts or a cup of fresh
1 8 oz. can bamboo shoots
1 packet of sugar or Splenda (about a level Tsp.)
4 Tbs. Fish Sauce
3 Tbs. Lime Juice
1 clove Garlic chrushed
1 large pat of butter
Red Pepper Flakes
Ground Black Pepper
1/2 cup Chicken stock and Chicken boost
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup Dry roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup or so of chopped fresh cilantro leaves.
1 precooked rice bowl (about 2/3rds of a cup) or make a cup or two of rice ahead.



Press the tofu between a few sheets of paper towel to remove all of the water. Do the same for the shrimp.
Heat a large fry pan and cover. Put all but about a tablespoon of oil into the pan and wait a few minutes for it to heat up. Add butter and 1/2 of the garlic and whisk it around with a spoon. Then add the Tofu, shrimp and chicken. Cook on high heat stirring until everything starts to brown on both sides. Use the cover so the oil doesn’t splatter every where. Remove the Tofu, shrimp and chicken and set aside. Pour out the remaining oil and wipe the pan with a paper towel.


Remove the skin from the zucchini using a vegetable peeler. Using the vegetable peeler remove long thin strips from the zucchini until you reach the seeds. Turn the zucchini and do it again, until you have removed all of the meat. leaving the seeds. You should wind up with a good handful of zucchini (1/2 cup or so) per person. If not you need more zucchini!

Put the pan back on the stove add the remaining oil and heat it up. Scramble the egg in the oil. Add the remaining garlic, the peppers, onion and bamboo shoots. Cook until the peppers soften. Add back the meat and tofu. Then the fish sauce, lime juice, white wine and chicken stock. Add a couple of shakes of red pepper and a few shakes of black pepper. No salt, there’s tons in the fish sauce. Now add the bean sprouts, cook for a few minutes, then add the zucchini, stir and cook for a few minutes. Heat up the rice cup.

Put a tablespoon or two of rice on a plate. Place a serving of the pad thai on top, sprinkle some peanut and cilantro on top. Put a little salad on the side and serve.

This goes well with a full bodied white white like white zinfandel or a good white Burgundy. Enjoy!




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Masala Monday


We created a recipe for Chicken Masala for the new book. That’s Masala not Marsala. The one is made with Garam Masala spices. The other with Marsala red wine. Then we started thinking that it might be nice to have a seafood version, basically the same thing but with shrimp instead of chicken. This is a “first try” recipe. We usually wind up doing something two or three or more times, seldom do we just hit it the first time. My wife thought it was fine as is, I thought it needed more Masala spice. You be the judge, here it is so far.


1/2 of a 14 oz. of canned chopped tomatoes (6-7 oz.)
1/2 medium onion diced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 clove of garlic (whole clove if you love garlic)
2 tbs. tomato sauce
1 tsp Garam masala spice (1.5 if you love indian food)
1 pat of melted butter
Salt to taste
About 10 jumbo raw Shrimp shelled and deviened

1/4 cup basmati or white rice with 1/2 cup water, salt and a pat of butter or use the one minute instant cups, just microwave.

PAM spray


Cut the shrimp into large bite sized pieces
In a medium bowl, mix the shrimp, butter, tomatoes, onion, garlic, salt, tomato paste and the masala spice.

PAM spray two ramekins and fill each with the mix

Cook at 350 degrees for 30 min.

While its baking, cook the rice in a small pot according to directions. Or get the rice cup ready for microwaving.

Put a tablespoon or two of the rice on top ( an ice cream scoop is perfect) and serve. We put the rice on a plate and poured the dish onto it. Some people might like some plain yogurt or sour cream on the side. A grande flour tortilla lightly toasted is a good substitute for the Indian bread, Nam.

Garam Masala spice: 1 Tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp ground coriander 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp ground pepper, ¼ tsp ground fennel, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, pinch cayenne pepper and cardamom. You may need a seed grinder or a mortar and pestle for some of these. Store this in a bottle or plastic bag for future use.
You can sometimes find this in your food store or an ethnic foods store. It’s hard to find some of these things ready ground. If you buy true Indian Masala it will have big nuts and seeds in it, sift these out.

Serve with a good burgundy white. It really needs something with body to offset the spices.



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Friday Night is Wings Night

We usually have chicken wings for Friday night’s dinner. They are easy to make and quite tasty with a big salad. These are relatively dry wings, so if you like those gooey coatings you’ll have to add it before serving. They’re not really “Small Foods” as in  my book, but I keep toying with the idea of cooking 5 or 6 standing up in a ramekin. It would probably be super messy and I wonder if the ones inside would even cook.  So this is really big food, here’s the first recipe for the blog.



About a half pound or so of wings per person (1.5 lbs. will fill a cookie sheet)

If the wings aren’t cut up, cut them and discard the wing tips

1/2 cup cheap soy sauce
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup olive oil
Couple dashes of sesame oil
Sesame Seeds
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1 Tsp. Paprika
Pepper to taste (you won’t need salt it’s in the Soy Sauce)
If you like really hot wings add some red pepper

Reynolds non-stick tin foil (it makes clean up so much easier)


PreHeat Oven to 350 degrees

Put everything except the Sesame Seeds together in a gallon sized  plastic bag. Press the bag to get most of the air out of it and close it tightly. Mix it up thoroughly by squishing the bag around for about 30 sec.  Put it in  the fridge for 4-8 hours flipping it over every hour or so.

Line a big cookie sheet with the tin foil and turn up the edges to keep the juices off the pan. Pull a wing out of the marinade bag and shake it a couple times to remove excess marinade. You don’t want the wing sitting in a puddle of marinade as the marinade can burn. Fill the tray with the wings but leave room between them. Sprinkle some Sesame Seeds onto each wing.

Bake for about 30 min. then rotate the wings so they will cook evenly, bake about another 30 min. checking during the last 15 to see if they are brown enough.

Make a big salad, serve some beer and enjoy!







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