It Started with Mushrooms

I have to say it.  Last night, I made something truly delicious for dinner.  I’ve had an allergy-induced sore throat for a few days, and I was craving salty pasta, but rather than go to the old standby of pasta, butter, and salt, which is unhealthy to say the least, I decided to bring in a sautéed mushroom recipe I’ve made a few times.  I got the original recipe from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, but altered it a bit to my tastes.  I added some chicken in to round out the meal and served it with a very summery berry salad.

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I started off by sautéing the mushrooms in ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.  Once they’d cooked for about 15 minutes, I turned down the heat a little and added ¼ cup of white wine and a teaspoon of minced garlic, some salt, and pepper.  Then I added in about two tablespoons of balsamic white vinegar.  After that I added some scallions to change it up a little more.

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Right after I got the mushrooms started, I put the chicken on.  I’d marinated it in ¼ cup of white wine and three cloves of minced garlic, a little balsamic white vinegar, and salt and pepper.  I marinated it for not quite an hour because I was in kind of a rush, but you could let it go much longer for more taste.

I cooked the chicken in another skillet on the stove in about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil for about 15 minutes (until it was done).   When it was finished, I cut it into medium-sized pieces.

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After everything was cooked and the pasta drained, I returned it to its pot and mixed in the mushrooms (and the leftover wine mix) and chicken.

In between preparing, cooking, and stirring that, I mixed up a really easy berry salad that complemented this dish well.

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I was never a fan of raspberries until I tried adding them to my berry salad last summer.  They give it a little kick and balance the flavors out well.  Like the salsa from my last post, you can really add anything you want to this kind of salad and use any dressing.  I’ve used poppy seed dressing before, but have lately become a fan of the balsamic vinaigrette.  I figured I’d stick with the balsamic theme of this meal anyway.  It was really pleasant how everything had some kind of balsamic vinegar in it.  It made it feel more like a meal rather than two dishes I just decided to have together, which is, of course, how it began.  Call it kitchen kismet.

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And speaking of tying everything together, I was even brave enough to have a small glass of the Sauvignon Blanc I’d cooked with.  I’ve heard the power of this wine described as “cat pee on a gooseberry bush” and actually saw a bottle so named today in the store.  It is strong, but drinking it with a meal that’s been mostly soaked in it made it work.

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This meal turned out really, really well.  I’m a big fan of things cooked in wine and also of berries, so I could probably cook this once a week and never tire of it.  To top it off, it was boyfriend-approved.  All-around win!

 

 

Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms

–       ¼ cup plus 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

–       ½ cup white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)

–       4 tablespoons balsamic white vinegar

–       2 chicken breast cutlets

–       16 oz. baby bella mushrooms (I buy them already sliced)

–        1 box pasta (I used whole wheat rotini)

–       4 cloves minced garlic

–       Salt

–       Freshly ground black pepper

–       1 bunch scallions

01. Combine ¼ cup white wine, 2 tablespoons balsamic white vinegar, and 3 cloves garlic

02. Salt and pepper chicken breast cutlets and marinate in wine mixture for at least one hour

03. Cook pasta according to package directions

04. Heat ¼ cup olive oil in a medium-large skillet over medium heat

05. Stir in the mushrooms with salt and pepper and sauté for 10-15 minutes

06. After the mushrooms have cooked down, add ¼ cup wine, 1 clove garlic, and 2 tablespoons balsamic white vinegar, and reduce heat.  Using cooking shears, cut scallions into small pieces over the pan and cook for a few more minutes

07. In another skillet, heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat

08. Cook chicken in this pan until done, approximately 15 minutes, then cut into medium-sized pieces

09. Combine pasta, chicken, and mushrooms with extra wine and oil from pan and top with extra scallions

Berry Salad

–       1 cup baby spinach

–       4-5 strawberries

–       ¼ cup blueberries

–       ¼ cup red grapes

–       ¼ cup raspberries

–       4 tablespoons sunflower seeds

–       4 tablespoons sliced almonds

–       Balsamic vinaigrette

01. Slice grapes in half and strawberries in thin slices

02. Combine spinach, fruit, and nuts

03. Dress with balsamic vinaigrette

Enjoy!  I know you will. 🙂

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