All posts tagged spinach

Herb Chicken Mediterranean Pizza – Papa Murphy’s Copycat

Published May 16, 2013 by jenmatteson

Have you ever been so exhausted and in no mood to make dinner?  If not, I want your life!  

Herb Chicken Mediterranean Pizza

A little over a month ago, I didn’t make it to the gym in the morning, so I had gone after work.  This means I usually don’t get home until close to 7:30, and that’s leaving work early.  Not that 7:30 is late, but for us oldies, we are usually in bed by about 9:00 on weeknights, so dinner is usually on the table by about 6:30.  Lame, I know.  So on that particular evening, I stopped by Papa Murphy’s to get us a take and bake pizza.  The deLITE herb chicken mediterranean pizza sounded interesting, so I went with that.  We both really liked it.  So much so, that not only did we devour the entire thing, but it made its way to our kitchen two more times in the next two weeks.

Herb Chicken Mediterranean Pizza

I figured before we spend all of our wedding savings at Papa Murphy’s, I better try to make this at home.  This is also why I pre-made two batches of pizza dough, separated it, and froze it.  This way I could make pizza at the drop of a hat, instead of waiting a few hours for the dough to rise.  I’m pretty sure this was just as good as the take and bake from Papa Murphy’s!  I rolled the dough out really thin so it was similar to their deLITE crust, and it came out perfectly cracker thin and crispy.  The toppings make this pizza ultra light and doesn’t make you feel bad when you grab yourself a second slice…or forth 😉  Because who wants to deal with that guilt, especially when swimsuit season is just around the corner!  Do yourself (and your body) a favor, skip delivery and make this at home.  You can thank me later!

Herb Chicken Mediterranean PIzza

Herb Chicken Mediterranean Pizza

Source: Adapted from Papa Murphy’s
Servings: 1 small pizza, 2 servings


thin crust pizza dough (use your favorite, I used 1/4 of my whole wheat pizza dough)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp dried Mediterranean oregano
1/8 tsp marjoram
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
handful of spinach leaves (10-12), washed and dry
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup cooked chicken breast, diced
1/4 cup feta


1. Prepare pizza dough to specifications.

2. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, basil, oregano, marjoram, salt and pepper.  Brush evenly over pizza crust.  Cover oiled crust with mozzarella.  Evenly distribute spinach, tomatoes, chicken and feta over pizza.  Return to oven and cook until mozzarella has melted and crust is desired crispness.

Scallops with Tarragon Butter Sauce

Published February 12, 2013 by jenmatteson

Nate loves scallops. Whenever we go out to eat, and there are scallops on the menu, there is a 95% chance that is what he’s ordering. I find it adorable that he sometimes confuses scallops with scallions. Easy mistake when reading it on a menu – not like he looks at green onions and thinks they are scallops. If that were the case, I might be worried.

Simple ingredients make the best dishesScallops









Anyway, today is his birthday, so I wanted to make something special for him. I was really hoping I didn’t screw anything up, because wouldn’t that be a crappy birthday present? Even if I did, I would hope he would have been satisfied with his birthday weekend. We had a fabulous dinner at the Capital Grille in Minneapolis on Friday night. I am not kidding you – this was the best steak I have ever had. They were cooked absolutely perfectly, and the rubs they use are to die for! For dessert, he got the creme brulee and I ordered the flourless chocolate cake. My goodness, it was so delicious! On top of that, we had superb service. It’s too bad we waited for so long to try this place, but it was well worth the price tag! If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it.


Another reason he should be satisfied for his birthday (even if I did screw up the scallops), is that I got him a smoker. He’s been talking about this since we moved in. Nate doesn’t do a lot of cooking, though he does most of the grilling. Not that he’s incapable, but he just doesn’t do it. For this reason, I’ve put off indulging his fascination with a smoker. But, I found one that was a smoker and roaster, which my brother said was highly recommended by his customers, so I went with that one. Plus, bonus, it was in my budget. He was like a little kid on Christmas morning opening it up.


In case you are wondering why my pictures have a green tinge…it’s because I have a green case on my phone, and when I use my flash, it reflects off the side – I just realized this last night.  Duh.

Searing the scallops

Tarragon Butter Sauce









But, let’s get back on track. The scallops. I found this recipe on Food and Wine – my trusty standby for classic recipes. Nate and I both like tarragon, though it’s certainly a flavor that people generally hate or love. We are the latter! I served them over a bed of wilted spinach, with just a bit of lemon juice. I always seem to underestimate spinach – so much turns into so little! Either way, it was yummy. Surprisingly, I did a pretty good job on the scallops. I probably could have seared them for one minute more, but I was following the recipe and was more worried about over cooking them. My guess is that my pan wasn’t quite hot enough. They still had a nice color to them, and they tasted amazing. The pics aren’t too great, as I took the pictures around 6 PM, when it’s already dark out 😦

Scallops with Tarragon Butter Sauce

Nate said they just melted in his mouth. The tarragon butter sauce was the perfect complement. I thought the tarragon might be a little to overpowering for the delicate scallops, but they actually complimented each other perfectly. I now will not be so terrified to make scallops again – though I doubt I’ll make them often seeing as though they were $22/lb 😮 Another bonus, one more thing checked off my 30 before 30 list!

Scallops with Tarragon Butter Sauce

Scallops with Tarragon Butter Sauce

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 4


2 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp butter
1 lb sea scallops, dried well
1 tsp salt
fresh cracked black pepper
1 bunch fresh spinach
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup dry white wine
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon


1. In a large non-stick frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil with 1/2 tbsp of butter over moderate heat. Season scallops with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper. Put half the scallops in the pan. Cook until browned, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook until browned on second side and just cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes more. Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil with 1/2 tbsp butter in pan and cook remaining scallops. Remove and place on paper towel.

2. Reduce heat to low, and add spinach to pan. Turn several times to coat in pan juices. Add lemon juice, and quickly remove from pan as soon as leaves have wilted. Divide spinach on plates and place scallops on top of spinach.

3. Wipe out pan. Return pan to moderate-low heat and add wine. Boil until reduced to about 2 tbsp, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to lowest setting. Whisk the remaining 4 tbsp butter into the wine. The butter should not melt completely, but just soften to form a smooth sauce. Add remaining 1/2 salt, lemon zest and tarragon. Pour over scallops and serve.

The best picture of course is the one where Charlotte thinks this is her plate.

Charlotte trying to snipe my dinner - but a great shot of the scallops in the top right corner!

Eggs Baked Over Sauteed Mushrooms and Spinach

Published April 30, 2012 by jenmatteson

We love “brinner” (breakfast for dinner), however, we rarely utilize this dinner option.  This Food and Wine recipe has been in my “to try” pile since September, so I figured it was about time to make it.  Plus, we’ve been eating a lot of chicken, which we love, but I wanted to showcase something else for a change.  An added bonus is that this recipe only has 323 calories per serving (makes 4)!

The egg white seemed to take a long time to set (almost 20 minutes, where the recipe said 10-12), and by the time they did, the yolks were solid.  Next time, I’ll probably place the dishes on the top rack so the whites set quickly and the yolks stay runny.  The dish was still super good (and drinking wine with brinner makes it even more classy) and packed full of great veggies!

Eggs Baked over Sautéed Mushrooms and Spinach

Source: Food and Wine
Servings: 4


olive oil
1 large leek, white and light green parts only, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 lb white or cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup dry red wine
5 oz spinach
salt and pepper
4 large eggs
4 slices of whole-grain toast


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Heat olive oil in a deep skillet.  Add the leek and cook over medium heat until softened, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the butter and mushrooms, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are softened and a lot of liquid is released, about 7 minutes.  Uncover and add the soy sauce and red wine, cook over medium high heat, stirring until the liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 5 minutes.  Add the spinach and stir until wilted, 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

2. Coat four 1-cup ramekins or small gratin dishes with oil.  Transfer the mushrooms and spinach to the ramekins and top each with a cracked egg.  It’s best to crack each egg individually in a small bowl and not directly on top of the mushroom and spinach mixture, in the event the yolk breaks or it’s a bad egg.  Bake on the top rack for 10-12 minutes, until the white is barely set and the yolks are runny.  Let stand for 2 minutes before serving.  Serve with whole-grain toast.

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