Wednesday, January 2, 2013

"Chicken Scampi-ish" over "Rich and Thick Parmesan Cauliflower Mash"

This evening I was in the mood to make something using chicken since I had a few packs of boneless chicken breasts in the fridge.  I decided to make Chicken Scampi (most people are more familiar with shrimp scampi).  Since I sort of went a little out of the normal boundaries for traditional scampi, my recipe is for "Chicken Scampi-ish" -- mostly like scampi, but with a few little additions.   :-)   Scampi is traditionally served over angel hair pasta.  I considered making my yellow squash angel hair "pasta" but decided instead to think out of the box a little tonight.  I just happened to have a couple heads of fresh cauliflower in my fridge, so I decided to serve my "scampi-ish" over "Rich & Thick Parmesan Cauliflower Mash".  I have to tell you...this was not just good...it was outstanding -- another "top 10" meal in my opinion.  Hubby really loved it too and said he felt like he was dining in a fine restaurant.   If you read my blog regularly, you probably have already figured out that I prefer foods with lots of color since I taste with my eyes before tasting with my mouth.  Since I love colorful food, I added sauteed diced red, yellow and orange bell peppers and sliced fresh mushrooms to my "scampi-ish" to give it not only a little pop of color, but also a little pop of flavor as well!  This is not an exact or precise recipe.  You can alter it to suit your tastes.  You can increase or decrease the garlic...or omit the veggies that I added in...or omit the little bit of dry white wine or increase or decrease the fresh lemon juice.  You can make it suit your own taste very easily.  You could also be more traditional and use shrimp instead.  I served it over a couple large dollops of the Parmesan Cauliflower Mash and then sprinkled with some shredded Parmigiano Reggiano and fresh parsley.  Below are a few photos as well as the recipe that I put together.  Enjoy!

Voila!
BOOM!

Chicken Scampi-ish

Ingredients:

1 lb. boneless chicken breasts, sliced crosswise into approximate 1/4" thick slices
1/2 cup diced red, yellow or orange bell peppers, sauteed until crisp tender
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms, sauteed until tender
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons dry white wine (I used Chardonnay)
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
Dash of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil

Directions:

In a medium to large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil on medium-high; once the pan and oil are hot, add chicken and saute quickly, stirring frequently and cook for a few minutes, just until chicken turns white and is cooked (do not overcook).  Remove chicken and place in a bowl.  Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet and the minced garlic, cooking on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes until garlic is almost tender.  Add additional tablespoon of butter to the pan with the cooked garlic along with the dried oregano and basil.  Add the lemon juice and white wine and simmer lightly for a couple minutes, stirring constantly.  Season with salt, pepper and cayenne; stir in the fresh parsley and cook about one minute.  Add the cooked chicken with their juices back into the skillet along with the cooked diced peppers and sliced mushrooms.  Toss until everything is combined and heated through; taste for salt and pepper and adjust as necessary. Serve Chicken Scampi-ish over a couple large dollops of Rich and Thick Parmesan Cauliflower Mash.  If desired, sprinkle with shredded Parmigiano Reggiano or Parmesan cheese.




Rich and Thick Parmesan Cauliflower Mash

Ingredients:

1 medium head of fresh cauliflower, broken into 1-inch florets (about 2 pounds)
1 cup chicken broth or stock
2 ounces brick style cream cheese (1/4 of an 8-oz brick)
3 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream
3 to 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, place cauliflower and chicken broth; bring to a boil and cover. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer until cauliflower is very soft and tender and chicken broth has completely cooked into the cauliflower (about 20 to 30 minutes).  Make sure there is no liquid left at all in the bottom of the pan (remove the cover, if necessary and cook until any remaining liquid is gone and the cauliflower is no longer wet looking). Remove pan from heat; add cream cheese and heavy cream.  Using an immersion blender stick, blend or puree the cauliflower until the cheese and cream are fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth.  Add grated Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper, to taste.  Blend another minute.  Adjust seasoning and add additional cream, if necessary, to thin out a little bit, or additional cream cheese or Parmesan if additional thickening is desired.  The cauliflower mash should be thick and not runny.



19 comments:

Renee Howe said...

This dish looks so fresh and flavorful. I will have to try it. Thanks for sharing.

Deborah said...

Thank you so much for your wonderful blog. I am just starting the Wheat Belly diet and was casting around for some healthy, but good tasting and accessible meals to plan out the next week. Voila! You've done all the work for me. Now I'm on my way to Whole Foods. Any other ideas for places to shop for ingredients?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks, Renee -- it really was good. Hope you enjoy it! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Deborah! As far as shopping for ingredients -- I order what I can't find easily in my local stores off of Amazon. For almond flour, I prefer the finer ground blanched (no skins) almond flour from Honeyville and order it from their site. Bob's Red Mill makes almond flour too but is a bit coarse for baking -- however, it is perfect to use for breading chicken or things like that. It is what I used at first because you can buy it locally and in 1-lb bags when you are getting started. I order the Honeyville almond flour in 5-lb bags and it is a little better for muffins, cookies or things like that when you get ready to bake. Sometimes my local Publix or Ingles have items as well (I live in Georgia). Let me know if you need any more suggestions or questions -- I'd be more than happy to help! Good luck on your new journey! :-)

Anonymous said...

I cannot thank you enough for your wonderful blog and recipes. I have recently lost 30 pounds through Medifast and knowing that I could not eat per packaged foods forever (nor would I want to) I had to find a better way of eating to maintain my goal weight. For years I noticed that I was very sensitive to carbs so after doing some research I came up with the Wheat Bellies program and I know it will be how I eat from now on. Your recipes are outstanding and I love reading your blog. You explain things clearly and thoroughly which I appreciate. Tonight I tried the chicken scampi ish with cauliflower mash and it was out of this world. My family devoured it! I swear the cauliflower tasted even better than mashed potatoes. I am so looking forward to trying so many more of your wonderful recipes. Thank you again and Happy New Year!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Wow...THANK YOU SO MUCH for your kind comments and remarks -- I just posted my "1 year anniversary" blog post a few minutes ago and then looked and saw your beautiful comment! You (and others like you) are exactly why I do this...no other reason whatsoever. Knowing that posting my recipes and meals might help inspire someone else is all the thanks I ever need or want. I am thrilled that you and your family enjoyed the Chicken Scampi-ish!!! Your comment made my day and was the perfect comment to read this evening at my 1-year blogiversary! :-) Thank you so much and Happy New Year to you too!

Roye said...

I just wanted to second my opinion on what anonymous said :). I'm one week into WB diet, I lost almost 3 lbs..nothing to brag about but it's a start.
I haven't tried many of your recipes yet but I think they're wonderful and I certainly will and just wanted to say thank you so much! You don't know how this helps me being new to WB.

Thank you so much!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much Roye! Congratulations on your first week and 3 lbs is great for 1 week. I hope you find some things on here that you like...even if you just get an idea or two! Thanks again and good luck on your journey! :-)

CyberSis said...

Hi Gourmet Girl,

We had the Rich & Thick cauliflower as a side dish a couple of days ago and it was wonderful! There was a little left over so I was going to warm it up for myself today and wondered how it would taste cold. I ended up eating the whole serving that way and it made a delicious creamy "dessert." The texture reminded me very much of *cannoli* filling! The flavor was very mild and it didn't take much at all to imagine it as a filling for "cannoli bites"! :-)

CyberSis said...

I should add that it was thicker chilled than it was hot, probably due to the cream cheese content. That's why I thought of cannolis as soon as I tasted it.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Cybersis! I'm thinking if I tried making cannolis from cauliflower, people might think I have gone a bit too far! LOL Although a few weeks ago, I made a no-bake cheesecake filling that could possibly work better. I just haven't figured out the shell part yet!

CyberSis said...

Tee hee ... you're probably right! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

:-)

teaforme said...

I made this dish last night and all I can say is, thank you Gourmet Girl for proving there is life after breaded chicken and mashed potatoes. This dish was wonderful!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much teaforme! I'm glad you liked it - it is one of my favorites. :-)

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

Although the cauliflower mash has become an old friend, I hadn't gotten around to cooking the Chicken Scampi-ish ... until today, that is. It was wonderful ... and what's more, a great hit with my hubby! In fact, he's become quite a fan of your recipes, right along with me! And it really does my heart good to see him really enjoying *healthy* food! :-)

The cauliflower is a perfect accompaniment to the Scampi-ish. I didn't have heavy cream today so I substituted full-fat sour cream. It worked great!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Cybersis! Wow, I am so glad you tried and liked the "scampi-ish"! Also glad to hear your hubby enjoyed it as well -- great news! Great idea of yours substituting sour cream -- I bet it was good. There are so many ways recipes can be modified to either suit your tastes or substitute for missing ingredients. Thanks for letting me know! :-)

Anonymous said...

I keep trying to get off of wheat and sugar, but I am having such a hard time with it. I'm loving all your ideas and want to try them all soon. I am going to the store today and making this tonight. It looks fabulous! I'll be sure to report back. Have a great day :)

~Nancy from St. Louis

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Nancy -- once you completely get off of all of it...after a few weeks it becomes super easy. Let me know how this t urns out for you -- I need to make it again soon -- it's one of my favorites! :-)