Marge Perry Newsday columnist Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition. In her long-standing capacity as a Newsday columnist, Contributing Editor for Cooking Light, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, restaurant critic, recent columnist for several leading magazines (Better Homes & Gardens, Prevention); regular contributor to many magazines, (including Self, More, Coastal Living, and Relish) and frequent guest on television and radio, Perry is an accessible and authoritative guide for anyone who cooks, eats and travels.

In addition to Dinner Tonight, the cookbook based on her daily Newsday column, Ms. Perry has contributed recipes and text to nearly 20 other food and nutrition books. Her articles have been syndicated internationally in magazines and books, and her recipes have appeared on the Television Food Network and numerous television news segments.

Perry teaches cooking and food writing at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, food writing at mediabistro.com, and is a guest lecturer at the culinary management graduate school at New York University. Her extensive involvement with the food industry ranges from writing and reporting about cooking and nutrition, chefs, restaurants, growers, producers and manufacturers; restaurant reviewing; menu consulting; consumer trend analysis; and volunteering to bring food and cooking/nutrition know-how to those in need. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Libby Hillman Award for Culinary Excellence and the Food Writers’ Symposium scholarship and the Association of Food Journalists Award for Best Food Essay for an ode to her mother and strawberry-frosted cupcakes.

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MOZZARELLA AND SUN-DRIED TOMATO-STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS

2 tablespoons chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained

4 large basil leaves, chopped

2 ( 3⁄4-pound) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

4 ounces part-skim mozzarella, cut in 4 slices

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

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1 tablespoon olive oil

 

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Combine the sun-dried tomatoes and basil in a small bowl.

3. Cut each breast in half, crosswise, so you have 4 even pieces. Then slice a pocket into each piece, stopping when you are 3/4 of the way through, and open it like a book. Place one-quarter of the cheese on one half of each piece of chicken and top with one-quarter of the tomato-basil mixture. Close, and secure the edge with a toothpick. Season the stuffed chicken on the top and bottom with the salt and pepper.

4. Heat the oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Add the chicken and cook until well browned on the underside, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken and place the skillet in the oven.

5. Bake until the thickest part of the chicken (not the center, where the filling is) registers 160 degrees on an instant-read meat thermometer, about 12 minutes.

6. When you remove the pan from the oven, push any cheese that has leaked out onto the pan back toward the chicken. As it cools slightly, the cheese will stay in place. Makes 4 servings

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 270 calories, 36 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 13 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 578 mg sodium

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PLUM-GLAZED CHICKEN BREASTS WITH GRAPES

1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder

1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper

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2 ( 3⁄4-pound) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tablespoon olive oil

1⁄3 cup plum preserves

1⁄4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 cup seedless grapes, any color

 

1. Combine the garlic powder, coriander, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

2. Cut each breast in half, crosswise, so you have 4 even pieces. Season the pieces evenly with the mixture.

3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add the chicken and cook until golden on the underside, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and cook until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted horizontally into the center. Transfer to a plate.

4. Melt the preserves, broth and vinegar in the skillet, stirring constantly until smooth and thickened, about 1 minute. Add the grapes and cook, stirring, 1 minute to soften. Add the chicken to the pan and turn it once to coat both sides in the glaze. Makes 4 servings

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 312 calories, 35 g protein, 26 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 7 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 378 mg sodium

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SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN

1 1⁄4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 3⁄4-inch pieces

2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided

3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce, divided

1⁄2 cup ketchup

1⁄4 cup packed brown sugar

1⁄4 cup cider vinegar

2 (8-ounce) cans pineapple chunks in juice, drained and juice reserved

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

2 green bell peppers, cut into 3⁄4-inch pieces

 

1. Combine the chicken, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon soy sauce in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, ketchup, sugar, vinegar and reserved pineapple juice.

2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high; add the chicken and cook until lightly browned, turning once, about 4 minutes. Add the ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the pineapple and green pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until the pepper begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the ketchup mixture, bring to a boil and cook until thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Makes 4 servings

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 368 calories, 30 g protein, 46 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 756 mg sodium