Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Cooking

Signature Dish: Chicken With Sun-dried Tomatoes

Who: Gina Gathings, 58, of St. Petersburg, owner of Gina's Art and Science of Skincare

What: Chicken With Sun-dried Tomatoes

About the recipe: "Many years ago, I catered parties, and at that time ... I had over a thousand cookbooks," Gathings said. In the late '80s, she discovered in one of those cookbooks a recipe for chicken with sun-dried tomatoes, and she has been making it ever since. She still remembers the first night she cooked it for her husband.

" 'Oh, this is everything. This is the best,' " she remembers him saying.

Over the years, Gathings has experimented with the recipe. To add color, she sometimes serves it over spinach fettuccine. For extra flavor, she browns mushrooms in butter, sets them aside and adds them to the cooked chicken and pureed sauce. Every time, it's a success. Plus, it's "fast enough that it can be done on a weeknight after work," Gathings said.

Gathings, who describes herself as a "right-brained girl," loves the arts. She did ballroom dancing for 20 years, played the guitar, painted and did flower arranging. Cooking is yet another way to express her creative side.

"I have this wonderful husband who loves everything I make," she said. "It's such a pleasure to cook for someone like that."

On the side: a caprese salad with layered tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil

Tips: Although the recipe calls for red pepper flakes, you can leave them out (or reduce the quantity) for less of a kick. To make sure the chicken breasts all cook at the same pace, before cooking, Gathings covers them with plastic wrap and pounds them down with a meat mallet to make them uniform. She cooks them in a stainless steel pan to give them a golden brown color — which usually takes about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

Favorite thing to cook with: Fresh herbs, because they can turn any dish into something restaurant-quality. "I almost always pick up a package of the fresh herbs," she said. "Thyme and tarragon go beautifully with chicken as well."

Emily Young, Times correspondent

Signature Dish is published periodically in Taste. If you have a recipe that you would like featured or would like to nominate other home cooks and their dishes, please email the information to [email protected] with a name and daytime phone number. Include SIGNATURE DISH in the subject line. Nominations can be mailed to Taste, Tampa Bay Times, 490 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

Comments
Hereís the skinny on the ketogenic diet: What it is, how to follow it properly

Hereís the skinny on the ketogenic diet: What it is, how to follow it properly

It started with jugs of olive oil and cans of tuna, lots of it, which my husband hauled in one day and plunked on the counter. "Thatís my lunch!"That was about three months ago, and every day since there has been a new entity in our house to consider...
Updated: 1 hour ago
My husband has been on the ketogenic diet for three months. Hereís how he does it.

My husband has been on the ketogenic diet for three months. Hereís how he does it.

This week I wrote about something with which I have become very familiar: the ketogenic diet. If youíre like, "Huh?" you are where I was three months ago, before my husband, Phil, embarked on the weight-loss regimen. The keto diet is a high-fat, low-...
Published: 06/19/18
A perfect pick for dessert

A perfect pick for dessert

Americaís Test KitchenIt might seem impossible to improve on a perfect peach, but we decided to try. We wanted a simple, warm dessert that amplified the peachesí flavor. To achieve tender, flavorful peaches with a lightly sweet glaze, we began by tos...
Published: 06/19/18
Everything you need to know about marinating meat

Everything you need to know about marinating meat

For a lot of home cooks, marinating meat is almost as automatic as cooking the meat itself. Douse the meat in some kind of flavored liquid, pop it in the refrigerator overnight and cook it the next day.Seems straightforward enough, but there are reas...
Published: 06/19/18
Taste test: Chocolate chip cookies

Taste test: Chocolate chip cookies

When we started seeing ads for Nestle Toll House cookies already baked and prepackaged, I knew it was time for our tasters to get involved. They are cookie lovers, and one even has his own cookiemaking business. We found the Nestle brand and had hope...
Published: 06/18/18
Take grilled potatoes to another level with garlic and rosemary

Take grilled potatoes to another level with garlic and rosemary

By AMERICAíS TEST KITCHENGrilled potatoes are a summer classic. We wanted to put a new spin on this dish by adding rosemary and garlic. Unfortunately, we found it was difficult to add enough flavor to plain grilled potatoes. Coating the potatoes with...
Published: 06/13/18
Recipe for Stuffed Beef Burgers

Recipe for Stuffed Beef Burgers

Hidden inside these tame-looking burgers is a smoky and spicy blend of bacon, chipotle, cheese and something unexpected: pepperoni. Because the ground beef part of these burgers is patted fairly thin, thereís less of a chance youíll undercook it. For...
Published: 06/13/18
How to cook eggs for dinner: shakshuka, carbonara and more

How to cook eggs for dinner: shakshuka, carbonara and more

Eggs are an underutilized dinner ingredient. Aside from fried rice and a breakfast-for-dinner situation, I rarely use eggs in my cooking past the hour of 4 p.m. It makes no sense. Eggs are a great source of protein, able to be cooked in myriad ways, ...
Published: 06/12/18
Add some sweet heat to your cookout with these jerk chicken skewers

Add some sweet heat to your cookout with these jerk chicken skewers

By Matt BrooksBurgers and dogs may be the traditional staples of a cookout, but when youíre craving something more than meat on bun, a well-assembled skewer is a colorful showstopper on the grill.Itís scientifically proven that food tastes better whe...
Published: 06/12/18
Taste test: ballpark peanuts

Taste test: ballpark peanuts

For a time when my children were growing up, I thought I would spend purgatory sitting on a ballpark bleacher. Now, I cherish those days of watching my son and daughter play baseball and softball. I also have enjoyed my share of shelled peanuts. Noth...
Published: 06/11/18