I love Spring. There’s nothing better than a dose of gorgeous sunshine, cherry blossoms in bloom, and the tempting promises of Summer on the way. It’s the perfect time of year to throw open the windows, do some Spring cleaning and celebrate new beginnings. I also love the bountiful selection of fresh seasonal herbs and vegetables that come along with it.
Asparagus is in its prime now, so I wanted to create a light and savory chicken dish to complement it for an easy, healthy weeknight dinner – a twist on classic Chicken Saltimbocca with the addition of some cheesy goodness and bright lemony flavor.
I picked up some fresh lemons, thin chicken breast cutlets at the market along with some Italian Prosciutto, fresh sage and Provolone cheese to stuff them with. To start, I laid out the chicken breasts in a large baking pan and layered the ingredients on top – first a slice of Prosciutto topped with a few sage leaves and thinly sliced cheese. I then folded them over and secured them with toothpicks and seared them in a pan in olive oil to get a nice golden brown crust. Once the chicken breasts were browned, I set them back in the pan, poured the juices on top and finished in the oven for about 15 minutes.
The best part of this dish is the buttery lemon wine sauce for serving. I sliced up some garlic and sautéed it in olive oil for a minute or two, then added some chicken broth, white wine and let it come to a boil, then reduced the heat and simmered it down to reduce the sauce, stirred in some lemon juice, a nob of butter and set the sauce aside for drizzling on the chicken later.
While the chicken was roasting in the oven, I blanched the asparagus for a minute or two and then tossed it with sliced garlic, olive oil and sea salt, roasting it for about 10 minutes or so until tender. So easy and soooo good!
Once the chicken and asparagus were done roasting, I served them on a plate and finished them off with the buttery lemon wine sauce. If you want to add a starch to the meal, simply cook up some orzo, pasta or some crusty bread to go with it. You can also use Fontina cheese for a slightly different flavor, or to make it a vegetarian dish, omit the prosciutto and substitute some sautéed mushrooms or spinach and prepare the same way. Keep it light with a side salad and a lemony vinaigrette, and serve with a glass of Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris.
Here’s to Spring and the days leading up to Summer – Bon Appetit!
Prosciutto Sage Provolone Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Garlic Asparagus
- 4-6 chicken breast cutlets
- 4-6 thin slices of Italian Prosciutto
- 12 fresh sage leaves
- 4-6 slices of Provolone or Fontina cheese
- 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced plus 1 clove minced (for sauce)
- 1 bunch of asparagus
- ½ cup chicken broth
- ½ cup dry white wine (Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris)
- juice from half a lemon, plus 1 tablespoon zest for garnish
- 1 tablespoon butter
- lemon wedges and additional torn sage leaves for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spread out the chicken cutlets flat in a large baking dish, and season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.
- Layer on top of each chicken breast a slice of prosciutto, two sage leaves, and a slice of provolone or fontina cheese, then fold over the chicken in half and secure with a toothpick to secure.
- Heat 1 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high and sauté chicken breasts approximately 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown.
- Remove the chicken and juices from pan and place back into the baking dish and roast in the oven for another 15 minutes until cooked through. You might want to baste the chicken in its juices once or twice to make sure the chicken doesn’t dry out in the oven.
- Meanwhile, slice 2 cloves of fresh garlic, mince 1 clove and set aside. Trim the ends off the asparagus and blanch in boiling salted water in a large pot for about 1 minute. Drain, place asparagus in a baking dish and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper and sliced garlic. Place in oven and roast for about 10-15 minutes until fork tender and slightly browned (be careful not to overcook or the asparagus will get dark and mushy – aim for tender yet crisp and green).
- In the same sauté pan for the chicken, heat another tablespoon of olive oil. Sauté the additional clove of minced garlic for about 1 minute until lightly golden and soft. Add the chicken broth, white wine, lemon juice and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. . Let sauce reduce to about half, then add 1 tablespoon of butter, swirling in to finish the sauce.
- When chicken and asparagus are done roasting, plate them and top off with the lemon butter wine sauce.
- Garnish with lemon wedges, torn sage leaves, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a side of cooked orzo or pasta, crusty bread or a green salad with a lemon vinaigrette and a dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio.
Ken and Cook
There’s a great new place in Nolita I recently went to – Ken and Cook, a contemporary American cafe and restaurant founded by Jean Georges alumni Artan Gjoni and Executive Chef Richard Diamonte. It has an energetic, lively atmosphere with a buzz in the air – with a gorgeous interior of tin ceilings, brass and wood paneling, vintage leather seating, candlelight, lively music and conversation. The scene was a nice mix of young hipster/artsy types, couples, and the ‘after work’ downtown New York crowd.
They have a great Raw Bar with super fresh seafood including Clams, Oysters, Lobster and Shrimp – (Oysters Rockefeller is one of their signature dishes!) They also have a variety of Chartucerie such as Chorizo, Tuscan Salami, Spicy Sopressata and a cheese sampling menu of a variety of cheeses from Italy, Spain and France.
They serve brunch, lunch and dinner with a really nice selection of fresh salads and appetizers, pastas and entrees: Beef Tartare, Linguine with Clams, Steamed Mussels, Short Rib, Lobster, Salmon, Monkfish, Burgers, Cote de Boeuf, Black Bass are some of their popular dishes. If you’re in the mood for lighter fare, you can always sample some of their delicious sides (brussel sprouts, mac & cheese, polenta, fries, etc.) with a glass of wine and fresh seafood from the raw bar.
For starters, I was served a lovely Italian red wine with a Grilled Squid Salad marinated in lime, chile and mint, mixed with sweet caramelized shallots and shaved fingerling potatoes over Mâché in a tangy yogurt dressing with herbs and hint of vinegar – so delicious I could have stopped there. But wait, there’s more!
I followed with a bowl of their Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup, which they served over toasted pumpkin seeds and dollops of creme fraiche, which was garnished with smoked paprika and sage – silky, creamy, nutty, delicious!
My main dish was a delicious bowl of Veal Ragu over Homemade Pappardelle with Radicchio and Tomato topped with breadcrumbs. This literally melted in my mouth! Tangy with salty shaved Parmesan cheese. Fresh Homemade pasta. Perfect with a sip of that velvety red wine.
For dessert I indulged in some of their hot, fresh homemade Beignets – flavored with a hint of lemon. Light and airy dough on the inside, with a crispy crust on the outside sprinkled with sugar. The best part was the side of warm blueberry and blackberry sauce with a hint of lavender for dipping. Too good for words!
Next time you’re looking for a fun place to eat downtown with delicious food and a buzzy atmosphere – this should be first on your list.
Ken & Cook
19 Kenmare Street
New York NY 10012
Ken & Cook Dining Room
Diners at Ken & Cook
Menu / Candlelight
A glass of vino and French baguette
Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup
Main dining room
Grilled Squid Salad with chile, mint and lime
Veal Ragu with Homemade Pappardelle
Homemade Beignets with Warm Blackberry/Blueberry Sauce
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Mushroom, Ham and Cheese Strata
I love waking up in the morning to the smell of fresh brewed coffee and breakfast cooking in the kitchen. This is a delicious brunch casserole that’s perfect for the holidays and feeding a crowd. It’s filled with delicious sauteed ham, onions, baby bella mushrooms, garlic and dill, over a thin layer of torn whole grain bread (I use low carb bread and only 4-5 slices instead of a whole loaf of bread, and you can actually skip the bread all together if you want it to be more of a frittata), then topped with lots of gooey cheddar cheese. Bake the casserole until its light and puffy, let cool and then serve cut into squares with a green salad or fruit salad and whole grain toast. If you want to switch up the herbs, try Herbs de Provence or Fines Herbes instead. Experiment with different cheeses or meats if you like too (Brie, Monterey Jack, Bacon or Sausage), or spice it up with some red pepper flakes or a dash of Tabasco.What’s great is you can reheat it easily and have some yummy brunch/breakfast for a couple of days if you’re only cooking for a few people. Delish!
Mushroom, Ham and Cheese Strata: Best Brunch Casserole. EVER.
Author: Kristen Hess
Recipe type: Breakfast, Brunch
- 8 eggs
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons of milk
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 4-5 slices of whole grain bread
- ½ onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped (or ½ teaspoon powder)
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 2 cups of cubed ham
- 2 cups of baby bella mushrooms, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dill
- 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat a medium saute pan over medium heat.
- Tear bread into medium size pieces and layer in the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ greased casserole dish.
- Whisk together eggs, milk and cream of mushroom soup in a large mixing bowl.
- Saute onions, garlic, ham, mushrooms and dill until soft and tender about 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Layer the ham, mushroom and onion mixture over the bread in casserole dish.
- Top with egg mixture evenly.
- Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top in an even layer.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until strata is puffy and cooked through.
- Let cool for 5 minutes, cut into squares for serving.
Recipe adapted from Taste and See, Calvary Chapel Finger Lakes.
Spinach, Cheese & Green Onion Pie with Dill and Fines Herbes
There’s nothing better than a fresh baked pie on a dreary, Fall day. I decided to make a savory pie (quiche) with some fresh spinach, green onions, garlic, dill, Fines Herbes, eggs, milk, Parmesan and Sharp White Cheddar cheese I had on hand. So easy, and the perfect comfort food to warm you up on a gray day like today.
I used store-bought frozen pie crusts to save time and make my life easier, but if you’re in the mood to make your own pie crust, here’s a great basic recipe by Martha Stewart. If you’re into gluten-free, check out this pie crust recipe by Bea Peltre of La Tartine Gourmande. You can also make or cut the dough into smaller mini pies or use this recipe filling for a 9-inch tart if you prefer. This is a vegetarian recipe, but would also be fantastic with a little bit of crispy bacon or prosciutto and asparagus or broccoli if you’re not a spinach fan. You can also substitute Gruyere or Fontina cheese in place of the shredded White Cheddar if you like. Serve with leafy greens tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette and a latte or glass of white wine, and you’ve got a fantastic brunch! Enjoy.
Spinach, Cheese & Green Onion Pie with Dill and Fines Herbes
- 1 9-inch unbaked pie shell (or handmade pie dough)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 green onions, sliced thin
- 1- 5 ounce package fresh baby spinach leaves
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon dried dill or 1 tablespoon fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon dried Fines Herbes
- 1 tablespoon minced onion
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic salt
- Pinch of ground nutmeg (a few sprinkles)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 cups shredded White Sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Let frozen pie shell defrost and place in a 9 inch pie pan.
- Heat oil and butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Saute spinach for a few minutes until wilted. Add minced garlic and green onions and saute for another minute or so. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs with milk, herbs and seasonings. Add Parmesan cheese to egg mixture and stir well.
- Place the spinach, garlic and onion mixture over the bottom of the unbaked pie shell. Sprinkle grated Cheddar cheese over the top. Pour egg, milk and herbs mixture over the cheese, spreading evenly inside the pie crust.
- Bake pie in oven for 45 minutes until eggs are firmly set and crust is browned. If crust edges start browning too quickly, cover them with some foil half way through.
- Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool and firm up for 10-15 minutes.
- Slice into wedges and serve with a green salad.
*Alternative Recipe Suggestions: Add some crispy bacon or prosciutto to the quiche, substitute Gruyere or Fontina for Cheddar, or use asparagus or broccoli instead of spinach.
Betcha can’t eat just one slice!
Other Spinach Pie Recipes you might enjoy:
Paula Deen’s Crustless Spinach and Cheese Quiche
Williams Sonoma Spinach and Feta Quiche
Martha Stewart Spinach and Gruyere Quiche
FLAVOURS Tasting Event by Paris Gourmet at Dream Hotel NYC
I recently attended a wonderful tasting event sponsored by Paris Gourmet at the Ava Lounge Dream Hotel in NYC. Although it rained, we still had a wonderful time sampling delicious gourmet food, champagne, wine and cocktails by Frederick Wildman and Sons, while meeting other professionals in the culinary industry. We sampled fresh homemade cheeses such as Burrata, Mozzarella and Ricotta, smoked salmon and caviar, fresh grilled pork by Iberico Fresco, Madrange French Ham, Rougie Foie Gras, fresh baked baguettes by Pain D’Avignon, and of course topped off our tasting with some gorgeous desserts!
Check out the great photos of the event below, and be sure to visit Paris Gourmet’s Twitter and Facebook pages for more info and photos of the event!
FLAVOURS Tasting Event by Paris Gourmet at Dream Hotel NYC