Lemon Garlic Chicken Packets

Today I am going to write as I cook, I don’t know if it’s going to work, but I’m hopeful. My husband found a recipe for chicken packets wrapped in parchment. The idea sounded good but the flavor was weak. I started with 5 chicken breasts and made a marinade in a ziplock bag with olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, minced oregano, minced garlic, pepper flakes, coriander, cumin, and cinnamon. Then I let it sit while I did the other prep work. 

I cut the parchment paper in large pieces (~14 x 10″), sliced the shallots, zucchini, chopped the olives, and chopped the tomatoes.

Then I used spoons to hold the parchment open and layered the chicken, shallots, olives, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and zucchini, then drizzled the pile with a bit of olive oil. 

I twisted the parchment tightly around the edges to seal them and placed them on rimmed cookie sheets. They only took 15 minutes in my oven and were perfect. 

The sauce at the bottom was delicious. 

Lemon Garlic Chicken Packets

Makes Serves 4 ∙ Source: The Stacey Bistro


  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzle
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp coriander
  • ⅛ tsp pepper flakes
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup pitted mixed olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup quartered marinated artichoke hearts
  • 2 small zucchini, cut in half then sliced
  • Parchment paper, cut in large pieces (~14 x 10″)


Preheat the oven to 450°F with the rack in the middle.

In a ziplock bag, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, minced garlic, oregano, cumin, coriander, pepper flakes, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.

Add the chicken and marinate for 10 minutes and up to 2 hours.

Open up the parchment pieces and lay them flat. Then I used spoons to hold the parchment open and layered each with the chicken, shallots, olives, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and zucchini, then at the end drizzle each pile with a bit of olive oil. 

I folded the other half of the parchment over and twisted the parchment tightly around the edges to seal them and placed them on rimmed cookie sheets. 
Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken registers an internal cooking temperature of 165°F. (Use a meat thermometer, poke through the paper.)


Apple and Fontina Grilled Cheese

On Labor Day, Bon Appétit posted 16 Grilled Cheese That Prove Perfection Does Exist. A few caught my eye and I shared the links on my Facebook page. We “kind of” tried the Apple and Fontina Grilled Cheese on Monday; yes, it was fairly edited to match our own tastes and preferences.

So what did we do?

  1. Buttered pumpernickel – not cocktail
  2. Balsamic Dijon mustard – not tarragon
  3. Shredded Fontina
  4. Peppered turkey – our addition
  5. Spinach – plenty, not just 4 leaves
  6. Sliced apple – we had Granny Smith, used the mandolin
  7. More shredded Fontina
  8. More Dijon
  9. Another slice of buttered pumpernickel

And then we put it on the panini press – delicious!

The crispness of the apples was awesome.



Apple and Fontina Grilled Cheese

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 10 minues | Servings: Servings: 4 | Difficulty: Easy


  • 8 slices pumpernickel bread
  • ¼ cup balsamic Dijon mustard
  • 8 ounces Fontina cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
  • ½ lb. peppered turkey
  • Baby spinach leaves
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) butter, room temperature


Butter bread on the outside, and spread each with mustard.
Layer shredded fontina, peppered turkey, spinach, sliced apple, and more shredded fontina. Top with remaining slice of bread and cook slowly in a large skillet or on a panini press.

Source: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/apple-and-fontina-grilled-cheese

Paprika Recipe

BBQ Pork Brie Sandwich

I still have a number of posts to complete, my work days have been extending so long that I simply have been exhausted. Today, I got home 12 hours after I left this morning. My husband and I discussed going out for dinner, but we only had little over an hour before we would need to be home for our son finally getting home for his birthday.

He pointed out that we had Brie and pork in the fridge and a loaf of French sourdough. He wrapped my son’s presents and I set to slowly sautéing some thinly sliced red onions we also had in the fridge. I also thinly sliced my leftover bacon wrapped pork and a round of Brie. After the onions were done, I threw the pork in the same pan with barbecue sauce and a few splashes of smoked tabasco.








I stacked the Brie, pork, some baby spinach, the caramelized onions, and more Brie onto the buttered bread and then carefully moved them onto the panini press.



Perfect. It took 30 minutes, and my work day stress is gone.


Happy Wednesday.

Paprika Recipe

Fusilli with Fresh Tomato and Olive Sauce

I have talked before about making pasta sauce, using fresh tomatoes is one of my favorites. On Labor Day after an enjoyable weekend with friends at their cottage, I did my shopping. It was very nice to sit in the sun by the water and make my list. By the time I got home it was close to 4 and then 5 to get back from the grocery. Thankfully pasta is quick.

One of the items I picked up was a pound of pancetta which I had sliced thick and diced when I got home.


I also had several tomatoes, some from the farmers market and some from my neighbor.


I started my pasta water boiling and used it to blanch my tomatoes so that they would be easy to peel.




While they cooled, I prepped my other ingredients.


I started by browning the pancetta, until nice and crispy.


While it browned I chopped my onion and Kalamata olives, and I peeled my tomatoes (making sure to stir the pancetta occasionally.)






When the pancetta was done I set it aside on paper towels to drain and proceeded to slowly cook the onion.



Meanwhile I opened my can of tomato paste, peeled my garlic, and coarsely chopped the peeled tomatoes.





When the onions were done I added the garlic and the pepper flakes.





Once they were fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes, I added the tomato paste and the chopped olives to the pan.


When the tomato paste began to darken I added the red wine vinegar and the chopped tomatoes, and then brought them to a boil. And then reduced it to a simmer and covered it up so that the tomatoes would fall apart.





Part of my inspiration was the basil I keep in my flower bed which is growing out of hand. I cut several sprigs so that I would have one cup of chopped leaves.




I also got out my remaining ingredients, and boiled my pasta.




In the meantime my sauce had thickened.


I added the pasta, Parmesan, pancetta, and basil to the sauce and stirred.





With a little extra cheese on top and fresh bread with butter, dinner was served.



Fusilli with Fresh Tomato and Olive Sauce

Beef and Lamb, Entrées, Pastas, Tested and Approved!

Prep 15 mins ∙ Cook 45 mins ∙ Makes 6 ∙ Source Bon Appétit | August 1999


  • 1½-2 pounds plum tomatoes (about 8 large), peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb. pancetta or small meatballs (optional)
  • 2 T. cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ⅓ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives, pitted, chopped
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 pound fusilli
  • 1½ cups Parmesan cheese, coarsely grated (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped


In a large pot (suitable for the pasta) bring about 6 quarts of water to a boil. Cut a very shallow “X” (try to just cut the skin) in each tomato and then immerse in the boiling water for ~1 minute. Remove from the water with a sloted spoon and allow to cool until safe to touch. Peel the tomatoes, coarsely chop, and set aside. .
Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. (If using meatballs or pancetta, brown, remove from pan with a slotted spoon, and set aside to drain; remove excess oil.)

Add onion and heat until translucent, about 10 minutes. Then add garlic and crushed red pepper and sauté until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Stir in olives and tomato paste then continue cooking for a few minutes longer. Add tomatoes and vinegar, season to taste with ground pepper, then simmer unil tomatoes have fallen apart, at least 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package instructions.

Stir the cooked pasta into the sauce toss with 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese, (meatballs or pancetta if using), and fresh basil then toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper (NO salt with pancetta). Serve with remaining Parmesan cheese.


Stirring in the basil at the end keeps it fresh and green in your dish.

Paprika Recipe File