Archive for August, 2021

This chicken dish from Half Baked Harvest tops pan-fried chicken cutlets with a thyme-infused butter sauce, sautéed cherry tomatoes, garlic, mozzarella and basil. Tasty, quick and seasonal.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use butter that contains only cream, with no colour added. Make sure your hot pepper flakes do not contain colour or anti-caking agents. I used Tre Stelle bocconcini, which is additive-free. Use freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Sauté the tomatoes, garlic and thyme

Pan fry the chicken

Return tomato mixture to pan, add cheese and broil for a minute or two

Florentine butter chicken with burst cherry tomatoes


1 large egg, beaten

¼ cup (60 ml) all-purpose flour

4 boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets (about ¾-inch/1.9-cm thick)

Kosher salt and pepper

10 tablespoons (150 ml) cold salted butter, cubed

4 tablespoons (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil

2 ½ cups (625 ml) cherry tomatoes

4 cloves garlic, smashed

2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh chopped thyme

1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes

4 ounces (113 g) buffalo or regular mozzarella, torn

3 tablespoons (45 ml) fresh lemon juice

½ cup (125 ml) fresh basil, torn


Place the egg and flour in separate shallow bowls.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge both sides of the chicken through the egg, and then through the flour, tossing to coat. Place the chicken on a plate.

In an oven-safe skillet set over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the tomatoes, garlic, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) thyme, and a pinch each of salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook until the tomatoes begin to pop, about 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat and transfer the tomatoes to a plate.

In the same skillet, melt together 4 tablespoons (60 ml) butter and 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken and cook until the bottom side is golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Flip the chicken and add 6 tablespoons (90 ml) butter and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) thyme, swirling the butter around the chicken. Cook, basting the chicken in butter until the chicken is cooked and golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler.

Remove from the heat, add the mozzarella around the chicken. Spoon the tomatoes and lemon juice over top. Transfer to the oven, broil 1 minute, until the cheese is melted. Serve topped with lots of fresh basil. Serves 4.

From Half Baked Harvest

This vegetarian recipe from Canadian Living is quick, healthy and tasty. Marinate cubed halloumi cheese and vegetables in a lemon-pepper and spice mixture, thread onto skewers and grill for 5-10 minutes.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use fresh lemon juice and make sure the dried spices do not contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Thread marinated halloumi and vegetables onto skewers

Grill, turning once, until vegetables are tender and slightly charred


2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil

2 teaspoons (10 ml) grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice

1 teaspoon (5 ml) pepper

1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried thyme

1 teaspoon (5 ml) caraway seeds

1 clove garlic, finely chopped


1 7-oz (200-g) pkg halloumi cheese, cut in 1-inch (2.54-cm) cubes

12 small white mushrooms

1 zucchini, cut in ½ -inch (1.25-cm) thick slices

1 sweet orange pepper, cut in 1-inch (2.54-cm) squares

1 small red onion, cut in 1-inch (2.54-cm) squares


In large bowl, combine oil, lemon zest and juice, pepper, thyme, caraway and garlic; season with salt. Add halloumi and vegetables; mix well to coat. Marinate for 5 minutes. (Make-ahead: Can be stored in airtight container and refrigerated for up to 24 hours; the longer the cheese and vegetables marinate, the more flavourful they will be).

Preheat barbecue to medium-high heat (about 375°F/190°C); grease grill. On metal or soaked wooden skewers, thread halloumi, alternating with vegetables; reserve remaining marinade. Place skewers on grill and cook until cheese is marked, turning halfway through grilling time, about 4 minutes. Serve with reserved marinade, crusty bread and lemon wedges, if desired. Serves 4.

From Canadian Living

This pasta recipe from Cook’s Illustrated creates a delicious sauce of onion, pancetta and stock. Add dried pasta and simmer until it is barely tender, then add peas, parsley, Pecorino cheese and mint. A tasty supper and only one pan to wash!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for pancetta that is preserved with celery salt instead of nitrites. I use Imagine Organic chicken stock, which is additive-free. Make sure the cheese does not contain colour.

Cook pasta in the sauce until al dente, then add peas

Serve topped with extra cheese


2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1 onion, chopped fine

2 ounces (57 g) pancetta, chopped fine

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) table salt

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) pepper

2½ cups (625 ml) chicken broth

2½ cups (625 ml) water

7½ ounces (212 g – about 1½ cups/375 ml) ditalini

1½ cups (375 ml) frozen petite peas

⅓ cup (83 ml) minced fresh parsley

¼ cup (60 ml) grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus extra for serving

2 tablespoons (30 ml) minced fresh mint


Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, pancetta, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened, 7 to 10 minutes.

Add broth and water and bring to boil over high heat. Stir in pasta and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid returns to boil. Reduce heat to maintain simmer; cover; and cook until pasta is al dente, 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir in peas and remove saucepan from heat. Stir in parsley, Pecorino, and mint. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, drizzling with extra oil and passing extra Pecorino separately. Serves 4.

From Cook’s Illustrated

This recipe from Real Simple is perfect for a quick weeknight supper when you want lots of flavour and minimal clean-up. Toss sausages, peppers, tomatoes, shallots, garlic, oil, salt and pepper together on a foil-lined sheet pan. Broil, turning halfway through, for about 15 minutes or until sausages are cooked through and vegetables are tender and lightly charred. Garnish with fresh oregano and serve with crusty bread.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used Free From hot Italian sausages, which are additive-free.

Toss ingredients together and arrange on a baking sheet

Broil until sausages are cooked and vegetables are tender


1 pound (454 g) hot or sweet Italian pork sausages

1 pound (454 g) multi-coloured baby bell peppers, halved lengthwise (or full-sized peppers, quartered)

1 pint (500 ml) grape tomatoes

3 shallots, cut into ½ -in. (1.27-cm) wedges (about ¾ cup/187 ml)

3 large cloves garlic, smashed

2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil

¾ teaspoon (3.75 ml) kosher salt

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) freshly ground black pepper

Chopped fresh oregano leaves, for serving

1 8-oz. (226 g) loaf crusty French bread, warmed


Preheat broiler with rack 6 inches (15 cm) from heat. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Pierce sausages a few times with a knife (do not pierce all the way through). Toss sausages, bell peppers, tomatoes, shallots, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper on baking sheet until evenly coated; spread in an even layer.

Broil, turning sausages and stirring vegetables halfway through, until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of sausages registers 160°F (71°C) and vegetables are lightly charred, 12 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with oregano and serve with warm bread. Serves 4.

From Real Simple

This recipe from NYT Cooking combines chicken braised in tomato sauce with crispy pancetta and melted mozzarella. Cook the pancetta and set aside. Sear the chicken and set it aside. Cook garlic, anchovy fillets and hot pepper flakes briefly, then add tomatoes and basil. Cook the sauce for about 10 minutes, then return the chicken to the pan and cook until the chicken is done. Top the chicken with cheese and broil until the cheese melts. Garnish with the pancetta and chopped basil and serve.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for pancetta preserved with celery salt instead of nitrites. Unico anchovies and canned tomatoes are additive-free. Check the hot pepper flakes to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. I used Tre Stelle bocconcini.

After cooking pancetta and searing the chicken, thicken the sauce

Return chicken to pan and simmer until it's done

Top with cheese and broil until it melts; serve garnished with pancetta and basil


3 ½ pounds (1.58 kg) bone-in chicken pieces (or use a 3 ½  pound/1.58 kg) chicken cut into 8 pieces)

2 teaspoons (10 ml) kosher salt

1 teaspoon (5 ml) black pepper

1 tablespoon(15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

5 ounces (140 g) pancetta, diced

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 anchovy fillets

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) red pepper flakes

1 (28-ounce/793 g) can whole plum tomatoes

1 large basil sprig, plus more chopped basil for serving

8 ounces (226 g) bocconcini, halved (or use mozzarella cut into ¾ inch/1.9 cm pieces)


Heat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C). Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.

In a large oven-proof skillet, warm oil over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer pancetta to a paper-towel-lined plate.

Add chicken to skillet. Sear, turning only occasionally, until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil.

Add garlic, anchovy and red pepper flakes to skillet; fry 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and basil. Cook, breaking up tomatoes with a spatula, until sauce thickens somewhat, about 10 minutes.

Return chicken to skillet. Transfer skillet to oven and cook, uncovered, until chicken is no longer pink, about 30 minutes.

Scatter bocconcini or mozzarella pieces over skillet. Adjust oven temperature to broil. Return skillet to oven and broil until cheese is melted and bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes (watch carefully to see that it does not burn). Garnish with pancetta and chopped basil before serving. Serves 4.

From NYT Cooking