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Tommy C. Simmons, An enthusiastic cook
Photography, Tommy C. Simmons


February weather can be unruly. Fifty-five degrees and sunny on Monday can turn to 20 degrees and snow on Tuesday. If you are snowbound and made the same mistake I did yesterday by not making a stock-up run to the supermarket, you could use a “what’s in the refrigerator?” recipe for making dinner tonight. I have a handful of “let’s see what we have” favorites. One is an adaptation of a low fat recipe from the “Italian Cooking for Dummies” cookbook. You can use chicken, turkey or even fish fillets as the main ingredient.

Fresh spinach is recommended, but frozen can be substituted if necessary. Swap fresh cocktail tomatoes for the canned and chicken broth for the white wine and you create an entrée that you will enjoy both cooking and eating.

Tommy C. Simmons, Home kitchen-tested recipe.
Adapted recipe is from “Italian Cooking for Dummies” cookbook.
Serves 4.

3 tbls. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
4 chicken cutlets (turkey cutlets or fish fillets can be substituted)
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tbls.)
½ cup white wine (chicken broth is good substitute)
Handful of fresh cocktail tomatoes (those small, sweet grape tomatoes that kids love) or 1 (14-oz.) can plum tomatoes, drained
2 cups fresh spinach or 1 (10-oz.) pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
Parmesan cheese, optional

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic over medium heat. Cook until garlic just starts to turn golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Season the chicken or fish with salt and pepper and add to the pan.
  2. Cook until lightly browned on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the cutlets over and cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add the lemon juice and wine or broth and continue cooking until the liquid has reduced by half. Add tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes more.
  4. Sprinkle spinach on top and cook for 3 minutes or until spinach is thoroughly wilted. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top and serve.

Testing note: I also added a handful of frozen pole beans to the pot when I added the tomatoes.

Posted February 14, 2014

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