Friday, January 25, 2008

Deluxe Chicken Divan

1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 quart chicken stock
1 lemon, zested
2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/2 cups white rice
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds chicken breast cutlets, 8 cutlets
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons plus about 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of pan
6 or 7 large button mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup half-and-half
1 rounded tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons, a couple sprigs, fresh tarragon, leaves chopped
2 scallions, chopped
Toast almonds in a small skillet until golden. Set aside.
Bring 2 3/4 cups chicken stock, the zest of 1 lemon, thyme sprigs and a tablespoon of butter to a boil in a medium pot with a tight fitting lid. Add rice to water, stir. Return the water to a boil then reduce heat to simmer and cove the pot. Cook 18 minutes or until tender, remove from heat. Remove the thyme sprigs, the leaves will have fallen off in the rice.
While the rice cooks, season chicken with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Dredge chicken in about half cup of flour then discard the rest. Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, and 1 tablespoon butter to the large skillet. To the hot butter and oil, add the cutlets and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove the meat to a large platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
Return chicken skillet to the heat and add 2 tablespoons butter. Melt butter, add the mushrooms and saute for a couple of minutes. Whisk in 2 rounded tablespoons flour. Cook the flour 1 minute then whisk in 1/3 cup white wine, a couple of glugs. Cook off wine, 30 seconds, then whisk in 1 1/4 cups of chicken stock (remainder of the quart) then the half-and-half. When sauce bubbles, stir in mustard and tarragon and let sauce simmer and thicken 2 to 3 minutes. Stir scallions into rice and fluff with fork. Make a bed of rice on each dinner plate. Top with a serving of steamed asparagus then 2 cutlets of chicken. Cover the chicken with the tarragon sauce, allowing the gravy to spill over edges of rice. Sprinkle the plates with toasted nuts.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Spaghetti w/ Spinach, Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

3/4 lb. spaghetti
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (or use the kind in a jar)
pinch of crushed red pepper
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
S&P to taste
8 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup grated peccorino cheese (or parmesan/reggiano)
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

Cook spaghetti, drain and save 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil and cook garlic and red pepper until tender. Add tomatoes, season with S&P and cook over medium heat about 2 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Add the spaghetti, pasta water and peccorino cheese - toss over low heat until pasta is coated with sauce. Add the goat cheese and toss gently.

Transfer to serving bowls and top with additional greated cheese. Can be served with chicken or shrimp, but I like it plain. Serves 4 and only takes about 30 minutes!

Stuffed French Toast

This is so easy and sooo good!

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
8 slices wheat bread, crust removed
3 Tbs. blueberry (or your favorite) preserves or jam
8-10 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 Tbs. vanilla

In a small bowl, stir cream cheese and ricotta until smooth. Divide cheese among 4 pieces of bread and spread to edges. Spoon jam in middle of each slice on top of cheese. Top with other slice of bread and slice in half diagonally.

In a 9x13 pan, beat eggs with whipping cream and vanilla. Soak "sandwiches" in egg mixture, turning once.

Heat butter in large pan or griddle over medium heat (I put an electric skillet on about 300). Saute French toast until brown on each side, turning once.

Serve with warm maple syrup and fresh fruit.

This easily serves 4-6 people.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Creole Shrimp with Garlic and Lemon

1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 Tbs. minced garlic
1 Tbs. Creole seasoning
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Toss shrimp with garlic, Creole seasoning and bell pepper.

In a skillet, saute the shrimp in the oil over med-high heat, turning once until white throughout. Add the lemon juice and parsley and serve over/with rice or pasta.

This is a really quick recipe - only about 30 mins and serves 4.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Blackened Chicken

1 T. paprika 1 t. onion powder
1 t. garlic powder 1 t. cayenne pepper
¾ t. black pepper ½ t. dried thyme
½ t. oregano ¾ t. red pepper
½ stick melted butter
boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Mix all dry ingredients. Dip chicken in melted butter and sprinkle with mixture of dry ingredients. Heat a heavy skillet and cook chicken about 3 minutes on each side. Be sure chicken is cooked through.

Chocolate cake with icing

2 c. sugar 2 c. flour
1 stick margarine ½ c. Crisco
4 T. cocoa 1 c. water
½ c. buttermilk 2 eggs
1 t. soda 1 t. vanilla
1 t. cinnamon
Mix together sugar and flour into a large bowl. Put margarine, Crisco, cocoa and water into saucepan. Bring to a rapid boil, while stirring constantly. Pour over flour and sugar. Stir well. Add buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, and soda. Mix well. Bake in 16x11 sheet pan for 20 min. at 400. Spread soft chocolate icing over cake.

Soft Chocolate Icing
1 stick margarine
4 T. cocoa
6 T. milk
1 T. vanilla
1 box powdered sugar
1 c. finely chopped pecans(optional)
Melt together margarine, cocoa and milk. Bring to
Boil and remove from heat. Add powdered sugar,
vanilla and pecans. Beat well and spread on cake
is still hot.

Green Salas Chicken Enchiladas

8 chicken breasts(2 c. cooked chicken)
16-20 tortillas
2 28 oz. jars salsa verde (I used 1 medium/1 hot)
2c. Monterrey Jack cheese
2c. Cheddar Cheese
2c. whipping cream

Dip boths sides of tortilla in salsa. Put 3 T. chicken, some cheese and roll up. Fill pan with tortillas. Pour whipping cream over tortillas. Cover with remaining cheese and salsa. Cook uncovered at 350 for 20 min. You can put green onions on the top.

Tina's Cheese Soup

1 stick unsalted butter
1 small onion chopped
3 carrots grated
3 ribs celery sliced
saute above in the butter add 2 cans low salt chicken broth--simmer 30 mins.
add 2 cans potato soup
1 can fiesta nacho soup
1 lb.velveeta cheese
stir until melted
add 8oz lite sour creamstir until melted

add dash of curry,cayenne pepper,and nutmeg(or to taste)