Monday, March 29, 2010

Blue Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Buffalo Sauce


















This recipe is from Cooking Light and it's not as bad for you as it looks =) The chicken was very good and crispy. I love blue cheese (er, any cheese!) but Jason does not. I didn't tell him it was stuffed with anything just to see if he'd notice and... he did. But he ate it anyways. To please The Picky One, I'll use another kind of cheese next time.

Blue Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Buffalo Sauce
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon reduced fat sour cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
4 (6 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons 2% milk (I used skim - it's what I had)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup panko
1.5 tablespoons butter, divided
6 tablespoons finely chopped drained bottled roasted red bell peppers (mini chopper is great for this!)
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (I used more - just added until it tasted good)

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine first 4 ingredients in small bowl. Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket. Stuff cheese mixture into pockets.

Place flour in a shallow dish. Combine milk and egg in a shallow dish, stirring well with a whisk. Place panko in a shallow dish. Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dredge chicken in flour, then dip in egg mixture, then dredge in panko. Repeat until all are finished.

Heat a large overproof skillet over med-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter to pan; swirl until butter melts. Arrange chicken in pan; cook 4 minutes until browned. Don't mess with it until one side is browned or the breading will come off! Turn the chicken over and put skillet in oven for 20 minutes or until done.

While chicken bakes, combine remaining 1.5 teaspoon butter, peppers, water, Worcestershire, and garlic in small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer or until butter melts. Remove from heat and stir in hot sauce. Serve sauce with chicken.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Panera's Broccoli-Cheddar Soup
















Technically, this soup is "Almost Famous Broccoli-Cheddar Soup" since it's a knock off from Panera Bread. From Food Network magazine, this is a winner. Really good and tasted like, well, Panera's! I served it with tuna sandwiches (though if I were at Panera, I'd have it with a Bacon Turkey Bravo!)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups half and half (I used fat free)
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head)
1 large carrot, diced
2.5 cups grated sharp cheddar (8 ounces), plus more for garnish

Melt butter in large dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in flour and cook until golden, 3-4 minutes. Gradually whisk in half and half until smooth. Add chicken broth, bay leaves and nutmeg, season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to med-low and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes.

Add broccoli and carrot to the broth mixture and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Puree the soup either in a blender in batches and return to the pot OR use an immersion blender (what I did - much easier!). You'll still see flecks of carrot and broccoli.

Add the cheese to the soup and whisk over medium heat until it melts. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cheese.

*You can also buy sourdough bread boules (round loaves), hollow out the inside, and serve it in that

Monday, March 22, 2010

Perfect French Toast
















Perhaps you're like me and always have soggy in the middle french toast - this is the trick! The outside will be crispy and browned and the inside cooked through. Plus, it means that all of dinner (or breakfast!) is finished at the same time because you bake it all on the same pan.
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This is from the latest Food Network magazine.

Perfect French Toast.
4 eggs
1.5 cups half and half or milk
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 350.

Whisk the eggs, milk, nutmeg, vanilla extract, sugar and salt into bowl.

Heat the butter in nonstick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, dip thick sliced white bread into mixture and cook in skillet until golden - 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer each piece to a baking sheet and bake until puffed, 8-10 minutes.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Indian Butter Chicken

















This is probably one of my favorite meals - esp since Indian food is hard to find in this area. It is not diet food, and a little time consuming, but worth the splurge on occasion. You can find the spices at someplace like World Market.
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Indian Butter Chicken
1 cup butter, divided
1 onion, minced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
3 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garam masala
1.5 pounds boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons tandoori masala
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Preheat over to 375.

Melt a few tablespoons butter in skillet over medium heat. Stir in onions and garlic and cook slowly until onion caramelizes to a dark brown, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat along with the tomato sauce, heavy cream, salt, cayenne pepper, and garam masala. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then stir in caramelized onions.

While the sauce is simmering, toss cubed chicken with vegetable oil until coated, then season with tandoori masala, and spread out into baking sheet. Bake in oven until cooked through, about 12 minutes.

Once chicken is done, add it to the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.
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I serve it over Indian rice.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chipotle-Lime Pork with Rice and Black Bean Pilaf
















My friend, Kathy, passed on these two recipes - they were both delicious!
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Chipotle-Lime Pork
4 pork chops (I used pork loin chops)
1 tsp oregano
1/4 c olive oil
chopped parsley
2 chipotles canned in adobo, chopped, seeds removed
2 minced garlic cloves
2/3 c. lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
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Combine all ingredients and pour over pork. Marinate 4-24 hours. Remove from marinade and grill. Per Kathy's suggestion, I boiled the marinade and used it as a sauce.
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Rice and Black Bean Pilaf - from Ellie Krieger (Food Network)
1 cup brown rice
2 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
1 (15.5 ounce) can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley leaves
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Place rice and chicken broth in saucepot and bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook rice, covered, until tender and all liquid is absorbed, 30-35 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover, and fluff with fork.
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Heat oil in saute pan over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, celery, carrot, cumin, and chili flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender but not mushy, about 6 minutes. Stir in black beans and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes.
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Combine black bean mixture and hot rice in a serving bowl and toss to combine. Garnish with parsley.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Jambalaya
















I've tried several jambalaya recipes and this is our favorite. I really don't measure (this is why I don't bake!) so each time ends up a little different but overall, it's a great guideline. This calls for chicken and kielbasa but I've done shrimp, sausage, chicken or any combination of the three. Jason's favorite is all three - heavy on the sausage. Sausage makes me gack but I can tolerate a little bit of it if it's well mixed. You can easily adjust the heat - tonight I threw in some extra "cajun dust" (thanks Sheryl!) and hot pepper sauce.

I found this recipe on All Recipes originally.

Jambalaya
2 teaspoon olive oil
2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
8 ounces kielbasa, diced
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup diced celery
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used "cajun dust" my NOLA friend sent me instead)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups uncooked white rice
4 cups chicken stock
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Heat oil in large pot over medium high heat. Saute chicken and kielbasa until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Stir in onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic. Season with cayenne, onion powder, salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes, or until onion is tender and translucent.

Add rice, then stir in chicken stock and bay leaves. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover, and simmer 20 minutes or until rice is tender.

Stir in Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce.

*I just added my shrimp the last 4 or 5 minutes of simmering

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sesame Noodles


















This is another Pioneer Woman recipe which came highly recommended by some friends. Since Jason is convinced it's not a meal without meat, I broiled some shrimp to throw in with it. This was SO FAST, easy, and tasty.

Sesame Noodles
12 ounces thin noodles (angel hair, spaghetti, whatever) cooked and drained
1/4 cups soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons pure sesame oil
1/2 teaspoons hot chili oil
4 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoon hot water
4 whole green onions, thinly sliced (I didn't have any on hand)

Whisk all ingredients (except noodles and onions) together in a bowl. Taste and adjust as needed. Pour sauce over warm noodles and toss to coat. Sprinkle with green onions and toss. Enjoy!

Bacon, Ranch, and Chicken Mac & Cheese


















From the March 2010 Cooking Light, this recipe was easy and tasty. This isn't a traditional baked mac and cheese stuffed full of cheese but is a way to get a mac and cheese fix with less calories. Don't bother cooking chicken just for this - shredded meat from a rotisserie chicken is perfect.
Bacon, Ranch, and Chicken Mac and Cheese
8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
1 slice applewood smoked bacon
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1.5 cups fat free milk
1/3 cup condensed 45% reduced sodium 98% fat free cream mushroom soup, undiluted
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded six-cheese Italian blend
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded colby-jack cheese

Cook pasta according to package, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

Cook bacon in non stick skillet until crisp. Remove bacon, reserve drippings. Finely chop bacon and set aside. Add chicken to drippings and saute 6 minutes or until done.

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat; sprinkle flour evenly into pan. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Combine milk and soup, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add milk mixture to saucepan, still stirring with whisk. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat and let stand 4 minutes. Add italian cheese blend, onion powder, garlic powder, dill, and salt and stir until cheese melts. Stir in pasta and chicken.

Preheat broiler.

Spoon mixture into 8x8 pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle bacon and colby-jack cheese on top. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts.



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