Posts by tag: cheese

  • Baked Chicken Parmesan Meatballs with Creamy Polenta

Baked Chicken Parmesan Meatballs with Creamy Polenta

Posted on February 2, 2017
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I feel like we’re all collectively screaming for comfort food right now. The weather is cold, dark and generally kind of shitty. The political landscape in America is bleak, at best. And Valentine’s Day, which I’ve found to be a rather dreaded day for both singles and couples alike, is looming on the horizon.

All of these things are reason enough to dig into some good old fashioned Italian comfort food. Which is why I decided to make us some Baked Chicken Parmesan Meatballs with Creamy Polenta for today. AND I made it all in just about 30 minutes. Because sometimes when you need comfort food, you need it FAST.

Baked Chicken Parmesan Meatballs with Creamy Polenta | www.floatingkitchen.net

Something you may have noticed over the past year or so on this site is a shift towards almost exclusively plant-based recipes. And while I’m not claiming to be a vegetarian (I still enjoy non-vegetarian recipes on occasion), I’d estimate that about 90% of my meals consumed at home are strictly plant-based.

I don’t really have one glaring reason for this shift in my diet. All I can really say is that eating plants makes me feel good. It’s as simple as that. So I’m going to continue down that path for now. And throw in a few non-vegetarian recipes every once in a while when a craving hits.

Baked Chicken Parmesan Meatballs with Creamy Polenta | www.floatingkitchen.net

Meatballs are one of the few foods that I remember really liking as a child. I was a picky eater, so most things were off limits at meal times. But meatballs were almost always welcome.

I like to make my meatballs from ground chicken (although you could certainly use ground turkey). And I always bake them in my oven. Which I suppose isn’t very traditional. But I appreciate that they are a little bit leaner. And not to mention, less messy and more hands off to prepare. Once you get the meatballs in the oven, you can concentrate your efforts elsewhere in the kitchen – like tackling a batch of this homemade tomato sauce and whisking up the creamiest mascarpone cheese polenta EVER.

Baked Chicken Parmesan Meatballs with Creamy Polenta | www.floatingkitchen.net

This recipe can undoubtedly be made from start to finish in 30 minutes. I’ve done it successfully many times. There is very little chopping. And each component requires less than 20 minutes of actual cooking time. BUT I have to be honest and say that there is some coordination/multi-tasking required to get it done within a 30 minute time frame. You’ll have to manage the tomato sauce and the polenta at the same time. Which isn’t that big of a deal, but it can feel kind of rushed the first time you try it. If all that sounds unpleasant to you, feel free to warm up a big jar of your favorite store-bought tomato sauce on the stovetop in lieu of making your own. That will save you a few minutes.

Polenta is kind of a new-ish ingredient for me. I didn’t grow up eating polenta, so it tends to fall off my radar periodically. But I’m trying to incorporate it more into my life. It’s a great base for everything from these chicken meatballs to barbecue pulled pork to roasted vegetables. How do you usually use polenta? I’d love to hear some additional suggestions!

Are you craving even more meals that you can prepare in 30 minutes or less? Of course you are! Well, lucky for you it’s 30 Minute Thursday. If you scroll down past the recipe below, you’ll find links to other quick and easy recipes from some of my blogging friends. Make sure to check them all out!

Cheers,

Liz

Baked Chicken Parmesan Meatballs with Creamy Polenta

Serves 4

Baked Chicken Parmesan Meatballs with Creamy Polenta

Ingredients

  • For the Meatballs
  • 1 lb ground chicken (you can substitute ground turkey)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

  • For the Tomato Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2/3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

  • For the Polenta
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • About 1/2 cup milk

  • For Serving
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Fresh basil, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with non-stick spray and set aside. To make the meatballs, add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and mix until everything is just combined (your hands are the best tool for this job!). Shape the chicken mixture into balls, using about 2 tablespoons of the mixture for each meatball. You should end up with 16-18 meatballs. Place the meatballs on your prepared baking sheet. Transfer to your pre-heated oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring frequently, for 1-2 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant. Add the crushed tomatoes, chicken stock (use it to rinse out the can of crushed tomatoes), basil, salt and black pepper. Bring to a simmer. Once the meatballs have finished baking, gently add them to the simmering sauce and let them cook in the sauce for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the stock pot from the heat. Cover to keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, make the polenta. Bring the water in a boil in a heavy bottom saucepan. Slowly whisk in the polenta and turn down the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook the polenta for 15-17 minutes, whisking frequently so it doesn’t burn on the bottom and adjusting the heat to prevent it from aggressively splattering and bubbling. Once the polenta has thickened and the liquid is absorbed, remove the saucepan from the heat. Whisk in the mascarpone cheese and the salt. Then whisk in enough milk to thin it to your desired consistency. Cover to keep warm.
  4. To serve, spoon the warm polenta into bowls. Top with the meatballs and some of the sauce. Garnish with fresh herbs and shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve immediately.
  5. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 2-3 days.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/baked-chicken-parmesan-meatballs-with-creamy-polenta/

One Pot 30-Minute Pasta e Fagioli from Flavor the Moments

Tuna Casserole from My Kitchen Craze

Easy Chicken Pad Thai from Life Made Sweeter

One Pot Black Bean Fajita Pasta (Make Ahead) from Sweet Peas & Saffron

Italian Chicken Tortellini Skillet from The Recipe Rebel

Lightened Up Baked Chicken Parmesan from Kristine’s Kitchen

Healthy Taco Chickpea Lettuce Wraps from She Likes Food

30 Minute Chicken Stew from Bake.Eat.Repeat

Garlic Parmesan Gnocchi with Mushrooms from Pumpkin ‘N Spice

  • Jalapeño and Goat Cheese Guacamole with Baked Plantain Chips

Jalapeño and Goat Cheese Guacamole with Baked Plantain Chips

Posted on January 23, 2017

You know that avocado ripening trick that involves placing unripe avocados in a brown paper bag with bananas? Yes? Well, I had heard of this hack many times, but I had never actually done it myself, until about 2 weeks ago when I purchased eight rock-hard avocados that needed a quick fix. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I slipped them into a big brown grocery bag with two bananas, folded over the top and waited. And HOLY SH*T IT TOTALLY WORKED! Within two days, I had the most perfectly ripe avocados ever. My excitement runneth over.

I must admit that I was skeptical about the efficacy of this ripening trick. But now that I’ve seen it in action for myself, I’m fully on board with this procedure. It’s legit. If you’re not doing this yet, you need to start ASAP. And that’s my public service announcement for the week. You’re welcome.

Anyways. So I quickly went from having zero ripe avocados to having waaaaay too many ripe avocados. Hence today’s recipe for Jalapeño and Goat Cheese Guacamole with Baked Plantain Chips. And…I have another avocado recipe planned for next week. It’s going to be an avocado party up in this place!

Jalapeño and Goat Cheese Guacamole with Baked Plantain Chips | www.floatingkitchen.net

I don’t think I’ve ever met a guacamole that I didn’t like. I have a pretty standard recipe that I make all the time for myself. And I use it on everything from toast to tacos. But today, I decided to spice things up a bit by adding in a whole diced jalapeño pepper. Does that sound scary to you? If so, just start with half a jalapeño pepper, then you can add in more if you want to after you taste it. But I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the level of spiciness. It’s balanced really well by the coolness from the lime juice, cilantro and goat cheese. Your mouth won’t be burning up. Trust me.

Jalapeño and Goat Cheese Guacamole with Baked Plantain Chips | www.floatingkitchen.net

You can certainly serve this guacamole with regular tortilla chips. But I thought baked plantain chips sounded like a fun (and slightly healthier) option. Look for plantains that are still green, which are firmer and more starchy than those that are fully ripe. These are important characteristics for successfully making baked plantain chips.

If you’ve ever tried to peel a green plantain before, you know it’s a labor of love. The peel is so stiff, that it can’t be removed by hand the way you would typically remove a banana peel. Instead, you have to cut the peel off with a knife. Well, I suck at doing this. I usually end up making a total mess out of things, wasting a lot of the plantain flesh in the process. So this time, I decided to try my trusty vegetable peeler in lieu of a knife and that worked great! You’ll have to go over each spot a couple of times to make sure you remove all of the peel and get down to the flesh. But I found it to be a much easier and more efficient method for me.

Jalapeño and Goat Cheese Guacamole with Baked Plantain Chips | www.floatingkitchen.net

Both the plantain chips and the guacamole are really best when served within a couple hours of preparation. So make sure you plan to make and eat everything on the same day. And heck, you might even want to try out my Jalapeño and Goat Cheese Guacamole with Baked Plantain Chips at your Super Bowl party this year…if you’re into that sort of thing. And if you want more plantain inspiration, try these vegetarian plantain tacos!

Cheers,

Liz

Jalapeño and Goat Cheese Guacamole with Baked Plantain Chips

Serves about 4

Jalapeño and Goat Cheese Guacamole with Baked Plantain Chips

Ingredients

  • For the Plantain Chips
  • 4 green plantains
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. sugar

  • For the Guacamole
  • 2 ripe avocados, halved and seeded
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  2. Slice the ends off the plantains. Then use a vegetable peeled to remove the peel. Thinly slice the peeled plantains on the diagonal. Add the plantain slices to a bowl and drizzle them with the melted coconut oil. Then use your hands to toss the plantain slices in the coconut oil, making sure they are evenly coated. Spread the plantain slices out onto your prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with the salt and sugar.
  3. Transfer the plantain slices to your pre-heated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until dry and crisp. They can burn easily, so start checking them around 18 minutes to make sure they aren’t getting too dark. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, make the guacamole. Scoop the flesh out of the avocados and add it to a medium bowl. Add the lime juice and salt, then mash lightly with a fork. Stir in the diced jalapeño pepper, goat cheese and cilantro.
  5. Serve the guacamole immediately with the baked plantain chips. Enjoy.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/jalapeno-and-goat-cheese-guacamole-with-baked-plantain-chips/

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