EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

September 28, 2012

Glazed chicken, cheesy grits

Pat's Kitchen
Patricia Altomare

---- — In the last few years I have referred to this first recipe many times. It is definitely a meal that can be on the table in 30 minutes, and it always comes out good.

I found this recipe in a 2007 “Eating Well” magazine that had partnered with Cabot Cheese of Vermont, to run a recipe contest. All the recipes entered were tested by the New England Culinary Institute of Vermont, who also chose the winning recipe. That honor went to a woman from Utah (I did not write down her name). Ever since then, I always keep quick cooking grits in my cupboard. When I make this for company, I use regular cheddar cheese. When I make it for my family, I use the 50 percent reduced fat cheddar that Cabot Cheese makes; I think it’s good!

Pears are in season now, readily available in the supermarket or take a trip to the closest orchard and pick them fresh off the trees, which I love to do (but probably won’t).

Plan to make this dessert as it will be a delicious way to end this meal; something fresh, something different.


Maple-Mustard Glazed Chicken with Cheddar Cheese Grits

Serves 4.


3 tablespoons real maple syrup

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup quick cooking grits

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (reduced fat will work if desired)

In a small bowl, stir together maple syrup and mustard.

Coat a non-stick skillet with cooking spray, then preheat skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes. Flip chicken and cook until nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Add the maple-mustard sauce to chicken and cook until thick and syrupy, about 5 more minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper; cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil, slowly stir in grits. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove lid and stir in three-quarters cup of cheddar cheese, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle remaining cheese on the top of the grits and cover to heat and melt cheese.

To serve, divide grits between four plates. Top each with a chicken breast and some pan sauce. A garnish of fresh chopped sage or chopped green onions is optional.

Gingersnap Pear Dessert

Serves 8


4 medium firm pears

1/4 cup orange juice

1/2 cup gingersnap crumbs

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Light cream or half and half , optional

Peel and core pears; cut in half lengthwise. Place pears, cut side up, in a buttered 11-by-7 inch baking dish. Pour juice over pears. Combine crumbs, sugar, walnuts, and butter; sprinkle over pears. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender.

Best served warm or room temperature with a little cream if desired.

Good to hear

from you


Hello Pat,I have a question about using evaporated milk in chowder. A friend says she always uses it when making her corn chowder. I am thinking of making a chowder soon, but wanted to ask you what you use. I learn so much from your columns.

Lori M, Methuen

Dear Lori, I grew up on chowders; mostly corn and occasionally fish chowder. I also have my aunt’s recipe for salmon chowder from Alaska. I learned from my mother who always used evaporated milk in her chowders, as did my aunt and grandmother. I believe they, at first, used evaporated milk for economic reasons (which would pertain to today as well).

I actually prefer it as I cannot taste it, and it is a bit of a thickener. The added flavors in most chowders are onion and bacon or salt pork, that have been browned right in the pan. I have sent you my family recipe for corn chowder. Try it and if you just can’t abide using evaporated milk, use half and half or whole milk.

Cordially, Pat

Hi Pat


I love reading your column every week. You mentioned zucchini cupcakes with caramel frosting. They sound fabulous! Would you be so kind and send it to me? Margo P., Bradford

Dear Margo, I have emailed the recipe to you, and I hope you enjoy the cupcakes. Pat

Hi Pat,Regarding your article on vegan, I wanted to tell you it grabbed my attention.

Your article was wonderful, but I would like to point out that I believe in general there is too much emphasis on protein when people eat a vegan diet. According to the sources listed below, if you are eating decent food you will not have a protein shortage.

Protein is in proper ration in vegetables and other sources such as nuts (nuts should be eaten raw only). I have never heard of anyone having a protein shortage. Anyway, here are some good sources of info that I have found to be informative and turn people to:

“The China Study” (book)

“Fit For Life” (book)

“Curing Cancer From the Inside Out” – DVD

David V.

Dear David, I’m glad you enjoyed that column and I appreciate your feedback.

I would add that if someone should have a concern over protein, they can always consult a nutritionist for suggestions of other protein sources besides meat, poultry, cheese, and eggs.

Cordially, Pat


Patricia Altomare invites feedback. Email her at patakitchen@yahoo.com.