Baked Greek Chicken

If you follow the latest trends in restaurant dining or read any of the big foodie magazines, you’ll know that Greek food is currently the hottest topic.  Part of the Mediterranean diet, modern Greek food means eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, healthy grains, fish, poultry, and olive oil, as well as small amounts of red wine and dairy.  This dish is easy to prepare and, accompanied by a lovely Greek salad and a bottle of Greek wine, will guarantee a lovely evening with your friends.  Enjoy frequent Cape Cod visitor Simonne Protopappas’s recipe for Baked Greek Chicken.

                                                      Baked Greek Chicken

2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped, divided
1 (10 oz.) box thawed chopped spinach
2/3 cup crumbled Greek Feta cheese
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
3 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp. dried oregano
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts


Preheat oven to 425 degrees, Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and the garlic; cook until softened.  Transfer to a medium bowl to cool. Then, add spinach, Feta, nutmeg, and salt and pepper.  Make a pocket in the chicken breasts and stuff with spinach, feta mixture.  Mix the softened butter with panko and oregano.  Place the stuffed chicken breasts in the baking dish or on the baking sheet and top with the breadcrumb mixture.  Bake until breadcrumbs are toasty and the chicken juices run clear, about 25 minutes.

Yamas! (Phonetic Greek pronunciation for “Cheers”)

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Banana Muffins

Meet Josh Scaturro and Stan Cottner, the new owners of the Queen Vic Guest House in beautiful Provincetown, Massachusetts.  Having worked with Guest Houses in Key West for many years, Josh and Stan recently relocated to Provincetown and began looking for a special property.  It so happened that the historic Prince Albert Guest House was downsizing to one building and so the Queen Vic was born, reuniting Prince Albert and Queen Victoria. 

The Queen Vic is a magnificent historic sea captain’s house and Josh and Stan have added their luxurious sense of style, comfort, and service.  They arrived in Provincetown in December, 2014, with the worst winter in Cape Cod history about to arrive.  They survived and are very excited to be welcoming guests to this very special property.  If you are lucky enough to stay at the Queen Vic, one morning you may be treated to Stan’s fabulous banana muffins. Until you visit, he has graciously shared his banana muffin recipe with you.

Bon appetit!

Banana Muffins
¾ cup butter
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 ¼  bananas, (overly ripe is the best but you can use whatever ones you have around the house)  I always freeze the ones which get too ripe for later batches .
1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Finely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla ( I use real vanilla but if you have imitation that works as well ).

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease and flour muffin pan.
Cream together butter and sugar ( I leave the butter out for ½ – 1 hour before hand to soften but in a pinch the microwave works too; If using the microwave keep an eye on it or you will be cleaning up a BIG mess).

Add eggs and crushed bananas and combine well

Add flour, baking soda, salt, vanilla and nutmeg and combine all together

Using a tablespoon spoon into muffin pan a little over half full.

Bake at 350 on middle rack for around 20 minutes, check to see if done by poking muffins with a toothpick.  If the toothpick comes out clean they are finished.  If not put back into the oven and keep an eye on them for a few more minutes.  Once the muffins are finished set on a cooling rack for around 15 minutes.

While the muffins are cooling melt a little additional butter in a microwavable container.  Once the butter is melted take a small brush and brush the tops of the muffins with the butter.  (This is my little secret).

Take out of the pan and enjoy !

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Franck’s Mashed Potatoes

                                            Franck’s Mashed Potatoes

This recipe comes from Oceania Cruise Lines Corporate Chef, Franck Garanger.  It was one of the recipes shared in their Paris Bistro cooking class.  It’s one of the best mashed potatoes that we have ever tasted, plus it is easy.  The recipe serves 4 to 6 unless you really love lots of mashed potatoes.

Franck’s Mashed Potatoes (Serves 4 to 6)
1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup whole milk
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
8 tablespoons unsalted room temperature butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt

In a medium saucepan, combine the potatoes with enough salted water to cover them by at least 1 inch, and bring to a simmer over med-high heat.  Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 25 minutes.  Drain and let cool for 5 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooling, combine the cream, milk, and nutmeg in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the mixture is hot.  Remove from the heat.
Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer (if you ideally have one, or mash with a potato masher) into a clean saucepan.  Place over medium-low heat and stir with a wooden spatula for 5 to 10 minutes to remove any excess water and dry the potatoes.
Gradually stir in the hot cream mixture with the spatula, a little at a time.  Adding it slowly allows the potatoes to absorb it gradually, resulting in creamier mashed potatoes.  Stir in the butter pieces a few at a time until fully incorporated, and then add the salt.

Bon Appetit!!!

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