Archive for July, 2011

July 11, 2011

Crispy Parmesan Chicken

Hm, this one looks easy enough for me to try.

Ingredients

1/3 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup  seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp.  salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
6 small  boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1-1/2 lb.)
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted

Directions

HEAT oven to 400°F.
MIX cheese, crumbs and seasonings in shallow dish.
DIP chicken in butter; coat with cheese mixture. Place in 15x10x1-inch pan sprayed with cooking spray.
BAKE 20 min. or until chicken is done (165ºF).

Notes

-For the coating, I used Italian bread crumbs, grated Parmesan, (kosher) salt, and fresh-ground pepper, along with a few shakes of shredded Parmesan. No paprika. Couldn’t find it.
-In the melted butter, I mixed in some garlic and some onion powder.. just a bit of each.
-I let a bit of butter melt in the baking dish while the oven was preheating. When it was time to coat the chicken, I dipped it in the seasoned butter, then in the crumb mixture, then laid it in the buttery dish and turned it so that the outside coating also got buttery, top and bottom.
-I baked it for about 5-7 minutes longer than suggested.
-These given measurements only gave me enough for 4 breasts rather than 6. It was cool, we just had it with pasta to fill the extra space, but if we were wanting to make just this, we’d need to increase the coating amount for sure, and probably a bit more butter too. It was well enjoyed by all… even the little dude, after his corn was gone and he knew he had to resort to other foods.

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July 10, 2011

Steak Gorgonzola

A recipe we picked up from Hy-Vee to try out. Delicious! Joshua, Rowan, and I ate all of it, perfectly, as is. Jasper scraped the cheese off his but ate the meat afterwards. Elliot opted to pick all the cheese off.. and just eat the cheese, and maybe one or two bites of steak.

Ingredients

1 tbsp Hy-Vee canola oil, divided
2 large onions, sliced (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon Grand Selections balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pound New York strip or sirloin steak
1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola or blue cheese

Directions

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and brown sugar and cook, stirring often, until the onions are very tender and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Add broth, vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until the liquid has almost evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer the onions to a bowl; cover to keep warm.

Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper on both sides of each steak. Grill the steaks over medium-high heat and cook until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn them over and move to cooler part of the grill. Top with cheese, cover and grill until the cheese is melted and the steaks are cooked to desired doneness, 3 to 5 minutes for medium-rare. Serve the steaks with the caramelized onions.

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July 8, 2011

Creamy Garlic Chicken Pasta

From a Schnucks recipe. Says it serves 4.. may have to fiddle with amounts. But even the baby ate the veggies in the sample we had, so I’d love to try it at home.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz dry farfalle pasta (~3 cups)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, each cut in half
  • 7.5 oz package Oscar Mayer carving board chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 zucchini (~8oz), cut lengthwise, then into 1/2″ slices
  • 10 oz package Philadelphia savory garlic cooking creme
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

Directions

1. Heat large covered saucepot of salted water to boiling over high heat. Add pasta and cook as label directs. Remove 1 cup pasta cooking water; set aside. Drain pasta, then return to same saucepot.
2. Meanwhile, in 12-in skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, chicken, and zucchini and cook 5-6 minutes or until tomatoes soften and zucchini is tender, stirring occasionally. Add cooking creme and cook 2 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
3. toss chicken mixture into pasta. If desired, for a thinner sauce, add some pasta cooking water. Sprinkle with basil to serve.

July 4, 2011

Crispy Dijon Chicken

Another yummy Taste of Home recipe, scaled up from their version that originally served only 2. We eat much more than 2, so I tripled it.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt-free herb seasoning blend
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 cups cornflake crumbs
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 chicken breast halves

Directions

In a shallow bowl, combine yogurt, seasoning blend, lemon juice and mustard. In another bowl, combine the cornflake crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Roll the chicken in yogurt mixture, then in crumb mixture. Place in a greased baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 35-45 minutes or until juices run clear.

NOTES:
Breadcrumbs, Panko, or crushed Ritz crackers all work well in the coating.
Instead of greasing the dish, put 2-3 Tbsp of butter in the dish and melt it in the preheating oven while you prepare the mixtures. Once the butter is melted, pull the dish out and set it on a trivet next to the two mixtures. Coat chicken in yogurt mix, then crumb mix, then place in baking dish and immediately turn it over so that butter gets on both sides. Mmmm, crispy.

July 4, 2011

Minestrone

Best soup ever. Serves 6-8.

Ingredients

. 1 tbls olive oil
. 3 oz. pancetta, cut into 1/4 in. pieces
. 2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tsp.)
. 2 cans V8 juice
. 1 can chicken broth
. 1 can corn (Green Giant white and yellow sweet niblets)
. 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
. 1 can diced potatoes
. red pepper flakes
. salt
. freshly ground black pepper
. dried basil
. shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions

. Heat olive oil and pancetta in a medium Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pancetta is lightly browned and fat has rendered, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant and golden brown, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
. Add 1 can of V8, 1 can of chicken broth, and the other can of V8. Stir to combine. Add cannellini beans, corn, and diced potatoes.
. Add salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir, then increase heat to medium-high to high and bring to a boil.
. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, about 10 minutes. Stir in basil and cook for 2 minutes.
. Place soup in serving bowls. Just before serving, top each bowl of soup with shredded Parmesan cheese.

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July 4, 2011

Cacio e Pepe (aka Pecorino Pasta)

Seems so simple, tastes so good. From Cooks magazine.

Ingredients

6 oz Pecorino Romano cheese (4 oz finely grated, 2 oz coarsely grated)
1 lb spaghetti
table salt
2 Tbsp heavy cream
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1½ tsp finely ground black pepper

Directions

1. Place finely grated Pecorino in medium bowl. Set colander in large bowl.
2. Bring 2 qts water to boil in large Dutch oven. Add pasta and 1½ tsp salt; cook, stirring frequently, until al dente. Drain pasta into colander set in bowl, reserving cooking water. Pour 1½ cups cooking water into liquid measuring cup and discard remainder; return pasta to the now empty bowl.
3. Slowly whisk 1 cup reserved cooking-water into finely grated Pecorino until smooth. Whisk in cream, oil, and black pepper. Gradually pour cheese mixture over pasta, tossing to coat. Let pasta rest 1 to 2 minutes, tossing frequently, adjusting consistency with remaining cooking water. Serve, topped with coarsely grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

NOTES:
Make sure to use Pecorino Romano, not the domestic “Romano”.
A food processor can be used to grate the cheese: cut the Pecorino into 2-inch chunks and process until finely ground (about 45 seconds.)
For a slightly less rich dish, substitute half-and-half for the heavy cream.
Do not adjust the amount of water for cooking the pasta. Stir the pasta frequently to ensure it doesn’t stick.

July 4, 2011

Berry Shortbread Dreams

From Taste of Home, possibly my favorite cookies that my husband makes. (Yes, he makes cookies. No, you can’t have him. I wash his dirty socks, I get to eat his yummy baked goods.)

Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
GLAZE:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons water
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Directions

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in extract; gradually add flour until dough forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle. Roll into 1-in. balls. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make an indentation in the center. Fill with jam.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 14-18 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Spoon additional jam into cookies if desired. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over cookies.

July 4, 2011

Ranchiyaki Chicken

Chicken, cheese, bacon, ranch dressing.. how many of my favorite things can be crammed into one dish? This little bit of wonder was nabbed from here: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/06/crockpot-bacon-and-cheese-chicken.html

Ingredients

–2 T olive oil
–4-6 chicken breast halves, or equivalent bird pieces
–12 pieces cooked and crumbled bacon
–1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
–1/2 cup Ranch salad dressing
–1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

Put the 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the bottom of your crock and spread it around.
Put the chicken in the crock on top of the oil.
In a small bowl, combine the teriyaki sauce and the ranch dressing. I dislike teriyaki sauce, but this tastes great. Scientific proof that, with enough ranch, ANYTHING can taste good.
Pour sauce over the top of the chicken. Add the shredded cheese and the crumbled bacon to the crock, getting between the chicken pieces, if you can.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4. The cooking time will depend on how thick your chicken pieces are, and if they are fresh or frozen.

Other Tips
Put half the cheese in at the start, half on during the last half hour or so.
Serve with potatoes and use the sauce on top of those.

July 4, 2011

Pesto Spinach Lasagna

My favorite lasagna has no meat. Crazy. But it does have pesto, and is chock-full of deliciosity. Totally a pain in the booty to prep since I’m kind of lame in the kitchen, and not used to anything that requires steps. This, with all its layering, got its share of grumbles from me. But oh man it tasted yummy after it was done. And the boys even ate it – carnivorous hubby included. I just keep trying to convince myself the layering process is worth it so we can have it again.

Ingredients

serves 8

1 (26-ounce) jar prepared pasta sauce
1 (10-ounce) box lasagna noodles
1 (11-ounce) container pesto (though I’m pretty sure I used two little jars, having not found an 11oz one)
1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 (12-ounce) bag baby spinach
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
16 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
1/4 cup water

Directions

Put a spoonful of pasta sauce (about 1/4 cup) into the bottom of your cooker and swirl it around. Add a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles (you’re going to have to break them to make a layer). Smear ricotta cheese and pesto onto the noodles. Add a handful or two of baby spinach, and top with a layer of Parmesan and slice mozzarella cheeses. Repeat layers until you’ve run out of ingredients. The spinach is fluffy, so you may have to squish it down to make it all fit.
Before closing the pot, put 1/4 cup of water into the empty pasta sauce jar and close and shake. Pour this saucy water over the top of everything.
Now cover up and cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for about 3 to 4. You’ll know it’s done when the top layer begins to brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly. It will also pull a bit away from the sides. Taste-test a noodle to check texture.
Uncover, and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

July 4, 2011

Reese’s Peanut Butter Pie

Ingredients

CRUST
½ c semisweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp butter
2-3 tsp water
¼ c confectioners’ sugar
1 9″ pie shell (baked & cooled)
FILLING
1 c butter
1 c brown sugar, packed firm
1 c peanut butter
12 oz thawed Cool Whip
TOPPING
½ c semisweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp butter
2-3 tsp milk
1½ tsp light corn syrup

Directions

CRUST
In saucepan over low heat, melt chips and butter with 2 tsp water, stirring constantly until smooth. Stir in confectioners’ sugar. Blend until smooth, adding more water if necessary. Spread mixture over bottom and sides of crust. Refrigerate.


FILLING
In saucepan over medium heat, combine butter and brown sugar. Stir frequently until melted and smooth. Refrigerate 10 minutes. In a large bowl, beat peanut butter and sugar mixture at low speed to combine, then beat 1 minute at medium-high speed. Add Cool Whip and beat at low speed for 1 minute until smooth and creamy. Pour into chocolate-lined crust. Refrigerate.


TOPPING
In saucepan over low heat, melt chips, butter, and corn syrup with 2 tsp of milk. Stir constantly until smooth, adding more milk if necessary. Spoon over filling and carefully spread to edges to cover. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Garnish with whipped cream and peanuts.