Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Oldie but Goodie, My Favorite Asparagus, Quinoa

Here is one of the first restaurant dishes I put on the menu in the first restaurant I cooked at about 25 years ago. This was back before cooking school. The dish, Chicken Saute Sec was on a lot of restaurant menus way back when. It is simple and tasty and doesn't require a lot of ingredients. Tonight I served it with Red Quinoa with grated carrot, green onions and toasted almonds and Roasted Asparagus.

Chicken Saute Sec

Boneless skinless chicken breast
flour (white flour or whole wheat pastry flour)
shallots, chopped (I used a garlic clove and chopped green onions, because no shallots)
white wine
Salt and Pepper
butter and olive oil

Season the chicken with S&P and dust with flour. Heat a saute pan over high heat, add a little olive oil to cover and a knob of butter. When butter is melted add chicken. Depending on how many servings you are making you may do in batches, avoid overcrowding, brown and turn to brown on other side, reduce heat if necessary. As they are browned remove from pan. When all the chicken is browned, add a little more olive oil of necessary and add the shallots (or onions and garlic). Saute a bit and deglaze with a nice helping of white wine, about a cup. Reduce a bit then add chicken back. Lower heat and and finish cooking chicken turning over to coat and cook both sides. If you like a little more sauce you can add a little water. Done, easy peasy!


You can use regular or red quinoa. Rinse quinoa under cold water. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil on stove. Add a little salt and 1 cup rinsed quinoa. Return to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes. While quinoa is cooking grate a large carrot, slice a couple of green onions and chop a handful of toasted almonds and toss together in a bowl. When quinoa is done cooking (quinoa is done when a little spiral opens up and is tender) strain and add to bowl, toss with a little olive oil and season with S & P. Any leftovers are great served cold as a salad the next day. Toss with salad greens if you like.

note; I toasted the almonds over low heat in the saute pan I used later for the chicken. No need to wash before using again.

Roasted Asparagus

With spring coming and asparagus appearing in the market I would like to share my favorite way to cook asparagus.

Break or cut off bottom ends of spear. Soak in cold water to remove any grit. Drain and dry. Line a sheet pan with foil (for easy clean-up, not required) and line up asparagus. Pour on a few splashes of olive oil (I like to use lemon infused olive oil) and season with salt and pepper. You can also grate lemon zest over it. Put in a hot oven about 410 degrees for about 10 minutes. Best with a little brownage on the edges. You can put it under the broiler briefly if you like.

Oops, I forgot to take pictures.

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