Baked Chicken Parmigiana with Vodka

Baked Chicken Parmigiana with Vodka

A quick and easy-baked chicken parmesan recipe made with only 6 ingredients.

The dish consists of breaded chicken breast covered in marinara sauce and mozzarella, parmesan, or provolone cheese. A quantity of ham or bacon is sometimes added.

This recipe though adds vodka to the recipe, the 6th ingredient.

A juicy, saucy, cheesy, undeniably deliciously yummy Italian dish we have all come to love.


Talking About Italian Food – Do You Know The – Delightful Differences between Northern and Southern Italian Cuisine


Baked Chicken Parmigiana with Vodka

Baked Chicken Parmigiana with Vodka

1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons spaghetti sauce mix

1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless ( about 6 ounces each)

1/2 cup olive and feta salad dressing*

1/2 cup spaghetti sauce, without meat

1/8th cup vodka+

1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


Cook’s Notes

+ If you wish, you can buy a spaghetti sauce that includes vodka – some brands that you can find include Classico, Tonnelli, Rao’s, and Little Italy among others.

* Most “Olive Feta Salad Dressings” found at local markets are a Mediterranean style dressing that is creamy, savory and flavorful. Made with kalamata olives, tangy feta cheese, balsamic and briny capers.


Preheat oven to 350°. In a shallow bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients. Dip chicken in salad dressing, then coat with crumb mixture. Place in a greased 13×9-in. baking dish.

Bake, uncovered, until chicken juices run clear, 40-45 minutes. Drizzle with spaghetti sauces and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, 5-7 minutes.

Baked Chicken Parmigiana with Vodka

Plate and serve with your favorite side dish or may we suggest:


More Deliciously Yummy Recipes

Toasted Sourdough Garlic Cheese Bread

A great addition to any soup you eat this Fall or Winter Season.

Cheese is one of the most enjoyed foods around the world and there are surely many types of it. And just as many ways to use cheese in your cooking and food preparations.


Read More Here About The: Top Nine Varieties Of Cheese’s Enjoyed By Food Lovers


Using The Right Cheese

When you make toasted cheese bread, the cheese you use matters. Why?

When you melt cheese, the heat is kneading and stretching what is called protein casein bonds (number-one building block in cheese) rather than breaking them down to a liquid form.

The kneading and stretching of cheese when placed in heat, allows for moisture and fat to escape the casein.

After cheese has been added to heat, the end results is the feeling of gooeyness as you bit into that cheese topped hamburger or those tacos, grilled cheese sandwich, pasta, Mac and cheese and that slice of pizza.

You can have that same gooey feeling when bitting into a slice of Toasted Sourdough Garlic Cheese Bread.

The right cheese to use is a younger cheese, or less aged, as it well melt easier under heat.

The older the cheese or aged for a long period of time, the clumpier and harder to break down.

Choose a cheese that will melt into gooey goodness.

Here is a list of cheese choices for toasted cheese bread that will melt easily.

  • Cheddar
  • Red Leicester
  • Gruyere
  • Parmesan – grated
  • Fontina
  • Emmental
  • Muenster
  • Gouda
  • Asiago

Poor melting cheeses include: mozzarella, feta, and provolone. Though you could use these, but they should be paired with a cheese that melts easily.

How Cheese Is Made

Cheese is made from the milk of cows, sheep, goats, and buffalo.

Good bacteria is used in the fermentation process to break down the fats and proteins into a larger molecules.

The flavor and texture of the cheese depends on the bacteria used.

Toasted Sourdough Garlic Cheese Bread

Here is what you will need and what to do for a Toasted Sourdough Garlic Cheese Bread oven toasted cheese bread.

• Bread

• Butter or olive oil

• Good melting cheese

• garlic cloves, minced

• After Toasting Toppings: parsley, cilantro, Basil, or chives

Try sourdough for a tangy flavor, or an airy bread like ciabatta if you like the cheese oozing through the holes.

Mince 2 gloves of garlic and place in small bowl with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Mash garlic with a fork. Next, add a few shakes of Harissa seasoning and mix in.

Spread garlic-oil mixture over bread. Next add slices or grated cheese you have chosen to use.

Place bread onto a cast iron skillet and put pan under preheated broiler. Wait until cheese melts and is bubbling.

Use caution, watch bread as it is toasted. Toasting of bread and melting of cheese under broiler can happen fast. You don’t want a piece of burnt bread and cheese.

Once cheese has melted, remove from oven and sprinkle cheese toast with either chopped cilantro, diced chives, torn basil leaves, or chopped parsley.

You love the gooey delicious flavor of melted cheese? Then you’ll like these recipes as well.

Top Nine Varieties Of Cheese’s Enjoyed By Food Lovers

collage of various types of cheese

First Posted March 13th, 2016 – Updated November 15th, 2021

Who doesn’t enjoy cheese, either as snack, on a sandwich, or topped over leafy greens?

There is many ways to include cheese in your culinary delights.

There are many different kinds of cheeses, and they each have their own flavor and best uses.

Among the many cheeses throughout the world, the following are the top nine varieties enjoyed by food lovers.

Feta Cheese

Feta is a white cheese made in Greece from sheep’s milk, or from a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk.

The cheese is bathed in a brine, that is a 24% salt concentration.

Salt is said to be important in cheese making as it keeps the fermented cheese from molding fast. Salt also helps to draw out the whey.

This is a common cheese in Greek dishes. Crumble it over salads, use it on sandwiches like Gyros, and broil it with olive oil.

You can sprinkle it over the top pizza or pasta.

It’s tangy and moist and can be crumbly or creamy.

Try pairing it with fruit as well.


If Your Out Of Feta – Goat Cheese Is A Great Replacement – Try This Recipe: Pumpkin Pecan Risotto with Dried Cranberries and Goat Cheese


Mozzarella

college of Making homemade cheeseMozzarella  is a southern Italian cheese, and is traditionally made with milk from the from Italian water buffalo.

There are two basic ways to make mozzarella, there is the direct acidification of the milk to form the curds or the culture, also known as rennet method.

In both methods, raw milk is pasteurized and then coagulated to form curds.

This is most commonly used in Italian dishes, mozzarella being the number one go-to cheese for pizza.

You can also eat it sprinkled with olive oil or have it with tomatoes and basil.

This soft cheese has a mild, yet creamy taste with a great texture.

We tried our hand at making homemade Mozzarella (crumble style) with organic pasteurized non-homogenized milk and fresh lemon juice.

All you do is bring 2 to 3 cups of organic pasteurized milk to a soft boil, then add the juice of half a lemon. Stir and wait for the curds.

Once the process has stopped making curds, using a slotted spoon, remove the curds to cheese cloth placed over a bowl, so the whey can drain off.

We added lemon-garlic seasoning and Himalayan salt for flavor.

Store cheese in a glass topped with a tight lid. Cheese is crumbly and can be used to top your favorite salads.

Listen to a NPR 2014 interview with Claudia Lucero, the author of, “One-Hour Cheese: Ricotta, Mozzarella, Chèvre, Paneer–Even Burrata. Fresh and Simple Cheeses You Can Make in an Hour or Less!”

Click here How To Make A Faux Cheddar Cheese In One Hour and listen to the 3 minute interview (link opens in a new window at NPR website).


Try This Mozzarella Cheese Recipe: Herb Panko Mozzarella Cheese Sticks


Monterey Jack

Monterey Jack is a semi-hard, cheese make from cow’s milk. It has a mild flavor and is gooey-when-melted.

It is an excellent match for a deli or meat sandwich, grilled cheese sandwich, melted over casseroles and chili, and any Latin American dish that calls for cheese, like quesadillas, tacos, and enchiladas.

Peppers are even added during the fermentation process with the end results being a Monterey Pepper Jack Cheese.

There is even a Colby Jack Cheese. A mix of orange cheddar and Monterey Jake Cheese.

Try this: Mexican Chicken Tortilla Pie

Parmigiano-Reggiano

Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on a table topThis cheese is a hard, granular cheese. In Italian the word “Grana” means “granular” and refers to a texture well-suited for grating.

The hard, granular cheese can be grated and sprinkled over pasta, soups and salads.

It is used in most Italian dishes, as it adds flavor, even to Italian soups.

Parmigiano-Reggiano is aged up to 24 months, to give it that intense, complex flavors it boasts. Nutty, sweet, grassy, creamy, and fruity.

Do you know the difference between Parmesan and Parmigiano-Reggiano?

Actually, they are the same. Parmesan is the English and American form of the Italian word Parmigiano-Reggiano.

There is also evidence that in the 17th to 19th centuries Parmigiano-Reggiano was called Parmesan in Italy and France (History of Parmesan Cheese).

Try this recipe: Creamy Spinach Parmesan Orzo

Gouda

Gouda cheese has a unique flavor that makes it different from other cheeses.

The longer it has been aged, the stronger and sharper flavor it gets. Young gouda cheese has a mild and slightly sweet taste.

The texture of Gouda cheese can be hard, semi-hard, or soft, depending on its age.

There is diversity in the types of gouda cheese.

There is a fenugreek-infused gouda, cumin-rubbed gouda, and a smoked gouda. If you want a new experience, you can try a bacon-filled gouda.

Try this recipe: Herbs De Provence Fried Potatoes Over Smoked Gouda

Swiss Cheese

swiss cheese on a cutting board with a walnut Swiss cheese originated in Switzerland and cow’s milk is used just about 99% of the time. 

There are 450 different kinds of Swiss cheeses, and are put into five categories, which are extra-hard, hard, semi-hard, semi-soft and soft.

The Swiss cheese you may be familiar with has holes, known as eyes. But not all Swiss cheese contains holes.

According to The Nibble, three types of bacteria are used in producing the types of Swiss that contain holes. The bacteria includes, Streptococcus thermophilis, Lactobacillus, and Propionibacter shermani.

In the later stages of cheese production, the bacteria will excrete the lactic acid called P. shermaniconsumes, which releases the gas, known as carbon dioxide, and in turn forms the bubbles that make the “holes” or “eyes.”

The cheese industry refers to Swiss cheese without holes or eyes as “blind.”

Try this recipe to make A Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich – you can use a few slices of Swiss cheese or your favorite cheese.

Cheddar Cheese

cheddar cheese on a cutting board with a small ceramic bowl of jam This cheese is hard and off-white in its natural color, and can be acidic-tasting.

The orange cheddar that most of us are accustom too, is such because a spice called annatto is added.

Cheddar Cheese originated in the British village of Cheddar in Somerset, though this cheese is produced beyond this region today in several countries around the world.

Cheddar is great mixed in salads and eaten with crackers.

It melts well and is often used in Mexican dishes like tacos and fajitas.

It can be added to casseroles as well.

The sharper the cheese the better the taste for your macaroni and cheese.

Or you can use it in a Teriyaki Cheesesteak Sandwich.

Blue Cheese

blue cheese on a cutting board with green grapesBlue cheese is a general made of cow’s milk, though goat’s milk can also be used.

It is called Blue cheese as it has blue or blue-green mold throughout. 

The blue mold in these cheeses is due to mold spores from Penicillium.

Most blue cheeses produced today are either injected with the mold or the mold is mixed right in with the curds to insure even distribution of the mold. 

Early blue cheese makers used bread to start the mold process and waited for the mold to spread naturally to the cheese curds (Food Reference).

This cheese has a strong effect. There’s a reason why spicy hot wings are served with blue cheese dressing.

It cuts the heat well when eaten with spicy things. You can also crumble it on top of salad.

It’s best used closest to its use by date because then it will be at its peak of flavor.

Try this recipe: Blue Cheese and Apricot Crostini.

Pecorino

This Italian cheese is always made from sheep’s milk. The flavor is sharp, nutty and herbaceous.

When using this cheese to prepare a meal, be careful about how much extra salt you add to what you’re cooking, as Pecorino can be quite salty.

A Great Recipe Using Pecorino CheeseGluten Free Rigate with Roasted Butternut Squash and Smoked Bacon.

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Kick Off the 2015 Supper Bowl with Beer Cheese Soup

Beer Cheese Soup

February first (1st) is Supper bowl day, and according to a poll we found on line from 2010, 7 in 10 American adults, about 68 percent, watch the Super Bowl.  Others polls state that most men watch the Supper Bowl for the commercials, which are later talked about on the social net-works they subscribe too.

Most men also love their cheese as well. Why look at all of the food items containing cheese that they sink their taste buds into:  Chili and Cheese, Ham and Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Philly Cheese Sandwich, Pizza with Extra Cheese, Chili Fries with Cheese, and the list goes on.

Because the Supper Bowl always is played on a Sunday, most homes will have a brunch prepared. Here at Splendid Recipes and More we have an item to add to the brunch list, and it contains cheese and a man’s favorite beverage, will most men, BEER!! Yes – Beer Cheese Soup.

Here is what you will need ( soup recipe adapted from Soup Recipes for Men):

Beer Cheese Soup 

1/3 Cup Butter

1/3 Cup Flour

1 ½ Cups Carrots, finely diced

1 ½ Cups Onion, finely diced

1 ½ Cups Celery, finely diced

2 Cloves Garlic, minced

Tabasco

Kosher Salt

Fresh Cracked Pepper

2 Cups Beer

3 Cups Chicken Broth

4 Cups Whole Milk

6 Cups Sharp Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese, grated

1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard

1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

Chives (garnish)

Crumbled Bacon (garnish)

Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add flour and whisk constantly for 4 – 5 minutes to create a light roux, about the color of a dull penny. Next, add carrots, onion, and celery; sauté until tender, about 7 – 9 minutes. Add garlic, a few dashes of Tabasco, and season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Slowly add the beer and chicken broth, stir and bring mixture to a slow boil. Add milk, and return to a slow simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat to low; fold in the cheese, mustard, and Worcestershire. Stir until all of the cheese is completely melted – soup should be rich and creamy. Ladle into a bowl and serve.

Link here for some more favorite Supper Bowl Day recipes: Enjoy the Supper Bowl with Splendid Recipes.

 

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Enjoying the New Main Dish Salads

Enjoying the New Main Dish SaladsWith all the latest information we have on the nutritional value of different fruits and vegetables, salads have become more than just a dinner salad. With the introduction of vegetables that include leafy greens and root vegetables, like black radishes, endive, kale, arugula, purple, white, and yellow carrots, just to name a few, and with an array of different fruits as well, like figs and pomegranates. They have always existed, but not common to the produce section, as in recent years.

close up for detail of Kale Sweet Potato and Chicken Salad

Kale Sweet Potato and Chicken Salad – Click to Get Recipe

If anyone can remember, kale always adorned a salad buffet bar, but was never part of the salad you would put on your plate.

As we mentioned at the on set of the article, salads have become more than just a dinner salad, they have now become a Main Dish Salad. Sure there has always been a Caesar Salad, and if you asked, they added chicken. But now there are a lot more dressed up salads, than just a Caesar Salad.

Chicken Curry with Mango and Spinach Salad...close up

Chicken Curry with Mango and Spinach Salad – Click to Get Recipe

Because of all the new options available to us, salads have become front and center as meals of their own. Main Dish Salads can prepare in 40 minutes or less. By the way, the term salad is even changing, the in thing is”leafy greens.”

To make Main Dish Salads, does require planning ahead to make sure you have all of the nutritious ingredients. This means working out a meal plan for the week, prepping, shopping, stocking your pantry, and cooking. It isn’t as hard as it sounds.

Sunday morning with your coffee, tea, or juice in hand, think what you and your family want for dinner the coming week. Once you have thought it out, make a list of the leafy greens, fruits and vegetables you will need, as well as the meat you want to top or mix into the Main Dish Salad.

Chicken Avocado and Watercress Salad - close-up

Chicken Avocado and Watercress Salad – Click to Get Recipe

Having a main dish salad is both healthy and time saving as they are prepared with vegetables and require little cooking and prep time. A main dish salad can be prepared to reflect the season (though with world trade, most produce is available year round).

Such as preparing main dish salads with produce that is naturally harvested in Spring (like beets, fava, leeks, herbs, peas etc.), Summer (like bell peppers, berries, corn, eggplant, peaches, zucchini and other summer squash etc.), Autumn (like cabbage, apples, figs, pears, broccoli, sweet potatoes etc.), and Winter (like endive, watercress, celery root, fennel, citrus, winter squash etc.).

Spanish Chicken Salad

Spanish Chicken Salad – Click to Get Recipe

As for the meat, use shredded rotisserie chicken, cooked chicken breast, breaded chicken, tuna, cooked beef, turkey, turkey ham, and pork ham. Include some cheese like goat, feta, Romano etc., and croutons if you wish.

Once you find the salad recipes you like, you can use the ingredients to create your own combinations of a Main Dish Salad.

Link here for more Main Dish Salad ideas: Salads as a Main Course 

 

 

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The Rich History of Fermented Foods

fermented foods

Fermented foods have a rich history of tradition and methods of fermentation have been passed down through generations. It’s safe to say that fermentation may have saved the human race during times of drastic climatic changes such as droughts and floods.

Every culture has its own history of fermentation and within these various cultures, traditional tastes and methods began to emerge, so we have the Greeks who perfected the fermentation of yogurt and different breads made with cultures such as sourdough.

We know that Egyptians produced sourdough cultures for making bread as early as 4000 B.C.E. and also fermented wine and cheeses. It may have been completely by accident that some fermentation methods were discovered, but these methods have certainly made an impact on the history of food preservation.

As early as 2,000 years ago, the Chinese were building the Great Wall of China and began to ferment cabbage as a way to feed the workers. During an invasion of Genghis Khan in Eastern Europe, he introduced the cabbage and it became a staple among peasants and sailors who took huge kegs on long voyages for its abundance of Vitamin C.

Eventually, the fermented cabbage came to the Americas, where it was known as ‘sauerkraut’ from the German words, sauer (sour) and kraut (vegetable). Although sauerkraut wasn’t originated by the Germans, it is now considered a German dish.

Dairy is an example of a successful attempt to preserve milk. In the early days, wandering nomads carried milk in special animal stomach canteens. Since animal stomachs have the enzyme, rennin, which coagulates (curdles) milk, the nomad would have curdled milk or cheese to eat.

History tells us that Sumarians and Egyptians had cheese as early as 4,000 B.C. and the bible mentions that David, future king of Israel, ate cheese and presented it as a gift to the army of Israel.

Salt began to be used for preserving meats in the form of sausages and later, microorganisms helped to ferment meat and preserve them for later use. Fermenting meats was very important before freezing and refrigeration brought a way to keep meats without the fermenting process.

The history of fermentation the world over is an interesting journey. Every culture has its own fabulous recipes and methods for creating amazing dishes. Explore some of the recipes from around the world and see how fermentation has progressed to the present day.

Read more about the benefits of cultured or fermented foods on your health. Link here and scroll the page to read the 6 posted articles at the Health News Library: http://www.savorthefood.com/tag/fermentation/

What Others are Saying About Fermented Foods:

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Blue Cheese and Apricot Crostini

Blue Cheese and Apricot Crostini

 

Crostini is a popular Italian appetizer that features thin slices of toasted bread served plain or topped with a wide range of  toppings.

What you will need is simple really, one loaf of  multi-grain baguette and extra virgin olive oil. The toppings I used are blue cheese, apricot jam, purple grapes and parsley.

6 oz. container of blue cheese

1 cup apricot jam

1/4 cup of purple grapes or about a hand full, slicing grapes in half

4 sprigs of parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Slice the baguette into ¼-inch slices and arrange on a baking sheet. Brush each slice with olive oil and toast in the preheated oven until golden brown.  You may need to turn the baking sheet or flip the slices to get uniform results.

close-up of Blue Cheese and Apricot Crostini Remove from oven and top with chunks of blue cheese, apricot jam, grape slices and chopped parsley.

Other topping choices you have are:

 Gorgonzola, Walnuts & Honey

6 oz. Gorgonzola cheese

¼ cup walnuts, chopped

Honey for drizzling

Divide Gorgonzola and chopped walnuts among toasted bread slices. Put back in the oven at 350˚ until the cheese melts, approximately 1 – 2 minutes. Drizzle each crostini with a small amount of honey.

You could substitute nuts for pecans and gorgonzola for goat cheese.

 

White Beans with Sage

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons really good extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling

Salt and pepper, to taste

¼ cup fresh sage, washed and finely chopped

Add garlic, cannellini beans, lemon juice and olive oil to food processor and pulse until mixture is coarsely combined. If necessary, add more olive oil to achieve the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Stir in chopped sage until evenly distributed throughout mixture.  Spoon on top of toasted bread slices and drizzle with olive oil.

 

What Others are Saying About Crostini:

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