Short on Time? How about a quickie!

Well if you’re lucky like me and have a 2 year old that means that your time is a resource that is in serious deficit.  Tonight I had to figure out something that would be not only be done quick, but not be demanding on my time so I could keep an eye on the little monster running amok in the living room, bathroom, kitchen and every other room in the house.

So here’s a great quickie and a surprising wine pairing.

Chicken & Dumplings

Defrost two boneless skinless chicken breasts in the microwave (approx 6-8 min)

While the chicken is defrosting, boil 3 cups of water in a saucepan add 3 cubes of chicken bullion (you could do veggie instead for less fat).  Once boiling take 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into 1/2 cup of cold water, reduce heat to low and whisk in starch/flour/water mixture and stir vigorously.

Chicken should be done by now, slice into 1/2 inch thick strips and place into 9×9 pan.  In a mixing bowl add 1 cup of Bisquick and 1 cup of low fat milk and stir until smooth.  By this time your “gravy” should be just about right.  Pour the gravy over the chicken in the 9×9 and leave about 1 to 3/4 inches of space from the lip of the pan.  Drop tablespoonful sized portions of the biscuit mix into the pan.  Cover the 9×9 pan with foil and place into an oven at 350 F for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, remove the foil and return to the oven for another 10 minutes.

I cooked some green beans in a saute pan with some fresh chopped garlic (1 clove) and some olive oil, you should start the beans when the time goes off after the 30 minutes.

Well, that’s about it.  I did end up turning the broiler on for about 2-3 minutes to brown  the tops of the biscuits at the very end.

Total time to prep and cook this was right around 40 Minutes, from freezer to plate.

Here’s the surprise.  I had a bottle of Greek wine in the fridge, the 2009 Santorini, Boutari, Assyrtiko, I thought well, American comfort food might just pair up with this light and lively Grecian Vinological delight.  The rich and salty biscuit and gravy really gets cut through by the great acidity of this wine and the citrus of the wine pairs up with the chicken just right!

2009 Santorini, Boutari, Assyrtiko
2009 Santorini, Boutari, Assyrtiko

Yep, that’s it.  Just a quickie.  And well, I’m satisfied.


2009 (ΓABAΛA) Gavalas, Santorini

In a quest to achieve my wine century club membership, I have come across a Greek wine varietal, Assyrtiko.  I paired this wine up recently with another of my “Not Bad” dinners and was pleasantly surprised with how things turned out.  Now on with the wine!

2009 Galavas, Santorini

2009 Galavas Santorini
2009 Galavas Santorini

The Nose: Lemons, grass, and wet stone backed up by a slight hint of apples.

The Taste: Crisp and refreshing green apple, lemon zest and chalk, It really tastes like champagne without all of the bubbles!

The Mouth Feel: Light and wispy, a hint of effervescence super long finish like mineral water.  This wine is refreshing, a definite summer-sipper.

The Color: Pale yellow to white.

The Nitty Gritty:
ABV 13%
Grape Varietals:
90% Assyrtiko
10% Aidani
Retail Price $19

The Verdict: This wine is really nice, the tart fruit and acidity make for an exceptionally long and enjoyable finish.  This wine paired perfectly with my tomato and chicken dish from the last “Not Bad.”  According to the bottle it would also do well with fish or other white meat dishes.  I’d have to agree.  Add two varietals to my checklist on my century journey, but the trouble now is I have yet another great white wine to go to on a hot summer day.  Ah to have troubles like this all of the time!

87 Pts, B

2009 Galavas, Santorini
2009 Galavas, Santorini

In Vino Veritas:  This wine was provided as a professional sample with the intention of review.


My Big Fat, Not Bad for a Greek Thursday Night Dinner – Summer School Edition #3

In my continuing new endeavor of joining that elite group, the Wine Century Club, I have been buying up and begging for varietals that I’ve never had before.  After checking out Joe Herrig’s (Suburbanwino) post about fighting sea monsters with which he paired up an Assyrtiko, it got me thinking that I should do my own Greek themed dinner.  I don’t have the latitude to cook up any old thing since the wife just doesn’t do fish, so there was a snowball’s chance in hell that I could get away with a seafood dish.  Anyhow, after a little research I found a nice chicken dish and paired up with a  pasta with a little puffed cheese and egg appetizer.

Here’s this week’s Not Bad for a Thursday Night Dinner, Greek Style.  All this week’s recipes were sourced from Visit-Santorini’s website:

Greek Chicken with Cheese


1/2 lb Feta cheese — crumbled
6 Chicken drumsticks
2 tbsp Olive oil — divided (or more)
1 medium Onion — thinly sliced
2 lg Garlic cloves — minced
17 oz Plum tomatoes — undrained
1/2 tspn Oregano

Place feta in water and set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in skillet and brown chicken pieces. Transfer chicken to a platter. Add the teaspoon of oil to the pan along with the sliced onions.

grilled onion
Grill up some onion

Cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 5 minutes or until onions start to brown. Add the chopped tomatoes and liquid, oregano and pepper. Place chicken pieces on the sauce.

Put the Chicken Back in the pan

Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 40 minutes. Remove feta from water and arrange on top of chicken.

Add Feta to the Chicken
Add Feta to the Chicken

Cover and cook for another 15 minutes.

So the pasta dish is pretty basic, just spaghetti with some butter and shredded Romano.  The recipe calls for a Greek cheese named Kefalotyri, however I couldn’t track any down but I checked in at the local Oliver’s Market which has an on staff Cheese Master, I’m not sure what her title is but she knows cheese like a Sommelier knows Wine, she did some research and found out that it is similar in taste and nature to Romano, but is less salty, nonetheless, I used some Romano.


1 lb Spaghetti or other pasta
1/2 lb Butter
1/2 c Kefalotyri or Parmesan-(Grated)

Fill a large deep pot 3/4 full with water. Add salt and bring to a rolling boil. Add pasta slowly, without breaking the boil. Cook 10 minutes. Place a colander in sink and turn pasta into it. Rinse under hot running water, allowing the water to drain through the spaghetti.  Heat the butter in a small saucepan to a honey brown.  Watch it carefully for these minutes; it burns quickly and suddenly. Return spaghetti to large pot and dribble hot butter over it. Sprinkle with half the cheese and toss gently to mix.  Transfer to a large ovenproof platter, sprinkle top with more cheese and bake for 10 minutes at 350 F. Serve hot.

Here’s where I tried something that is way out of the norm.  This didn’t really turn out all that great, but it sounded good so it was worth a try.  I’m not sure what is missing or what but I think perhaps some more flour might actually help it a bit.  Regardless, here’s the recipe I used.


5 Eggs
1/2 cup Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 cups Kefalotyri cheese — cubed
1 teaspoon Parsley — minced
Butter for frying

Butter makes it better

Beat eggs well; add flour sifted with baking powder and salt. Add parsley and cubed cheese. Mix together well. Brown in butter in frying pan, and drop in the batter, a spoonful at a time, to fry. Keep the heat regulated so puffs do not burn. When they are lightly brown,  turn carefully, with slotted spoon, without peiercing, and drain on absorbent paper. Serve hot.

I received a sample of wines from Santorini, and paired this dinner with ΓABAΛA from Santorini  (I have no idea how to say what the name of the wine is, it’s Greek to me, I think it’s pronounced Gah-vah-las).  Regardless of how to pronounce the name all you need to know is that it is a great match and really tasty.  Look for a review soon!

The verdict on dinner was a mixed review, the wife wasn’t terribly keen, I thought it turned out really nice.  The tomato and feta cheese add tartness and the wine is really complimentary with these flavors.  So give it a try.  Opa!  (no plates were injured in the making of this Thursday Night’s Dinner)

Not Basd 15
Not Bad for a Greek Thursday Night Dinner