Wow...that is all I can say for this meal. I got a new cookbook today from one of my favorite Food Network personalities Ina Garten. She is all about simple, clean flavors and bringing out the best in ingredients. I actually only got one of these recipes from her cookbook, but I think they all echo her style. I really loved a good meal with chicken and potatoes (as does my husband), and this meal was simply perfect to me. I think the only thing that would have made it better is a good glass of wine! It is simple and elegant with great flavors!!
Quick Balsamic Chicken (from Rachael Ray's Book of 10)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon grill seasoning (I used montreal chicken seasoning)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
In a shallow dish, combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and grill seasoning. Coat the chicken breasts in the mixture and set aside to marinate (about 30 minutes would be best, but I only marinated mine about 10 minutes and they still had great flavor). In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook chicken breasts about 5-6 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Put chicken aside on a plate and cover with foil and allow to rest for a few minutes before serving. Note: The chicken will get dark while cooking but it isn't burning, the balsamic vinegar will caramalize on the outside. It can make a lot of smoke, so turn on the exhaust fan!
Garlic-Rosemary Roasted Baby Potatoes (from Our Best Bites http://www.ourbestbites.com/)
1 1/2 lb baby potatoes or fingerling potatoes (I had regular red potatoes, left the skin on and cut them into big chunks and they worked great, but try these others if you can find them at the store)
2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons coarse-grain or dijon mustard
2 1/2 tablespoons chopped, fresh rosemary (I used about a teaspoon and a half of dried rosemary)
4-5 garlic cloves pressed or minced
Coarse ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place potatoes in a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Boil potatoes for about 10 minutes, or until a fork pierces them easily. In another bowl, combine olive oil, mustard, rosemary, garlic and pepper. Drain the potatoes and return them to their pot and pour olive oil mixture over them, tossing to coat. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread the potatoes out on the pan. Sprinkle the potatoes with kosher salt. Roast in the oven for about 10-15 minutes until skins are sizzling and browned. You can prepare these ahead of time (about 6 hours) and place them on the baking sheet covered in the mustard mixture and cover with plastic wrap, and wait to roast them right before serving.
Roasted Carrots (from Ina Garten's The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook)
12 carrots, peeled (All I had were baby carrots, which are ok, but whole carrots are much sweeter)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill or flat-leaf parsley (I had neither of these, but I had fresh green onions and minced them and they were wonderful!)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. If carrots are thick, cut them in half lengthwise; if not leave them whole. Slice the carrots diagonally into 1 1/2 inch-thick slices (they will shrink when cooking, so make slices big). Toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a baking sheet in one layer and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Toss the carrots with the minced herb of your choice and then season to taste with additional salt and pepper.