Monday, March 31, 2008

Cranberry-Pecan Chicken Salad

8 cups chopped cooked chicken
3 celery ribs, diced
5 green onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups chopped, toasted pecans
1 (6-ounce) package sweetened dried cranberries
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Sweet-Hot Honey Mustard

Stir together 8 cups chopped cooked chicken; 3 celery ribs, diced; 5 green onions, thinly sliced; 1 1/2 cups chopped, toasted pecans; 1 (6-ounce) package sweetened dried cranberries; 1 cup mayonnaise; and 1/2 cup Sweet-Hot Honey Mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill up to 3 days.
Makes 6 to 8 servings

*** I did not add the green onions when I made it for Lunch Bunch. I also did not have that kind of mustard so I just used less of some stone ground mustard that I had on hand.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Broccoli Salad

This is Ashley Beard's recipe - super easy and SO YUMMY!

1 bunch of broccoli
1 lb. of shredded cheddar cheese
4 green onions, chopped
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 Tbs. vinegar
1 pt. mayo
1 cup sugar

Chop broccoli and onions. Combine with cheese and bacon. Mix mayo, sugar and vinegar. Add mayo mixture to the broccoli mixture. Serve chilled. I usually don't use that much onions or bacon.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Southestern Chicken and Black Bean Burritos

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp ground cumin1 tsp chili powder
a couple shakes cayenne pepper sauce, such as Frank's Red Hot or Tabasco
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium spanish onion chopped (I just used regular yellow onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
3 Tbsp smoky barbecue sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 heart of romaine, shredded6 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
4 large flour tortillas, flavored or plain
Rub chicken with cumin, chili powder, and cayenne sauce. Heat a griddle pan to high. Cook chicken breasts 4 minutes on each side and remove from heat.While chicken is cooking, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Go once around the pan with oil. Cook onions and garlic until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add beans and barbecue sauce. Chop cooked chicken breasts and drop into barbecued beans. Heat mixture through. Season with salt and pepper.Place a tortilla on a plate and pile chicken and beans in center. Top with lettuce, scallions, and tomatoes. Wrap, roll, and repeat with remaining tortillas and filling. Serve with chips and salsa.

Double Chocolate Tart with Dulce de Leche

From Food Network Kitchens

Crust: 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced (1 stick)
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large egg yolks
Filling: 1/2 pound quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup prepared dulce de leche(I used ice cream topping)
1/2 teaspoon medium gray salt or other quality sea salt, optional
Special equipment: 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom
Crust: Whisk the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda together in a medium bowl. Put the butter, confectioners' and brown sugar in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Add the dry ingredients and pulse to combine. Add the egg yolks and continue to pulse to make a smooth dough. Remove the blade, and turn dough out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap, form into a disk, and wrap tightly. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
Meanwhile, make the filling: Put the chocolate in a medium bowl. Put the cream and sweetened condensed milk in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. (Alternatively, heat the cream and milk in the microwave.) Pour the cream over the chocolate and whisk until smooth and shiny. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until smooth. Cover, and set aside at room temperature.
Place the dough between 2 pieces of waxed or parchment paper and roll into a circle about 1/4-inch thick. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Peel off a piece of parchment from the dough, then gently flip dough into tart pan, peeling away the rest of parchment. Carefully press dough into the tart pan so that it sits evenly in the pan. Trim excess dough from the edges, if needed. Line the crust with wax paper or lightly sprayed parchment paper and fill with pie weights or baking beans (see photo).
Place tart shell on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and continue to bake until the crust sets and looks a little dull (a sign it is cooked), about 5 minutes more. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
Remove tart pan from oven and spread the dulce de leche evenly over the warm crust. Then top with the chocolate filling. Bake until the filling sets around edges but is still slightly wobbly in the center, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely.
Serve. For a final flourish, sprinkle lightly with gray salt just before serving, if desired.

Busy Bakers' Tips: - Make dough and freeze for up to a month ahead. - Form, bake and freeze crust, tightly wrapped, for up to 1 week. - Assemble and refrigerate up to 2 days, tightly wrapped.

Smoky Mac and Cheese

This recipe is from Kellee and it is super easy.
12 oz. uncooked elbow macaroni (3 cups)
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese (sometimes I'll put in 2 different kinds of cheese; mostly all cheddar and some Asiago but I've done it with all cheddar and its pretty much just the same)
2 cans (14 oz each) fire roasted diced tomatoes, well drained (Muir Glen is the brand I buy but it doesn't matter and if you can't find diced, just buy the whole tomatoes and dice them yourself; I've had to do that before)
1/4 cup sliced green onions--I think I usually do a little less
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup bread crumbs--Italian or plain
2 tsp. olive oil
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray glass baking dish with cooking spray. Cook and drain macaroni as directed on box; return to pot and pour cheese mixture over and stir.While pasta cooks, heat cream, mustard, salt and cayenne pepper in saucepan until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat; stir in cheese(s) with whisk until smooth. Pour sauce over macaroni. Stir in tomatoes and onions. Pour into baking dish. In a small bowl, stir together Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs; stir in olive oil. Sprinkle over top of macaroni mixture.Bake 15-20 minutes or until edges are bubbly and top is golden brown. Serves 8.

Chicken Saltimbocca

6 (3-ounce) chicken cutlets, pounded to evenly flatten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 paper-thin slices prosciutto
1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 (14-ounce) can low-salt chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Place the chicken cutlets flat on the work surface. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Lay 1 slice of prosciutto atop each chicken cutlet.
Squeeze the frozen spinach to remove the excess water. Season the spinach with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, toss the spinach with 1 tablespoon of oil to coat.
Arrange an even, thin layer of spinach atop the prosciutto slices. Sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over each. Beginning at the short tapered end, roll up each chicken cutlet as for a jellyroll. Secure with a toothpick.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and cook just until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Add the chicken broth and lemon juice, and scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Cover and simmer until the chicken is just cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Simmer the cooking liquid over high heat until it is reduced to about 2/3 cup, about 5 minutes. Season the cooking liquid with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove toothpicks from the chicken. Drizzle the reduced cooking liquid over the chicken and serve immediately.

Fudge Pie

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

2 squares (2-ounces) semisweet chocolate 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter 1 cup sugar 2 eggs, beaten 1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Melt the chocolate and butter together in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat and add the sugar, then the eggs; beat well. Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake for 25 minutes or until just set. Serve warm or cold, with ice cream or whipped cream.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Carrot Cake Cookie Sandwiches with Cream Cheese Icing

These are the invention of my sister Katy - super yummy!

Carrot Cake Cookies
1 box carrot cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 tablespoons water

Mix ingredients together, drop by tablespoonful onto cookie sheet, bake at 350 for 11-13 minutes. Cool.

Cream Cheese Icing
One 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
1 lb. pkg. powdered sugar

Beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Blend in vanilla. Sift powdered sugar. Gradually beat together powdered sugar and mixture.

Make sandwhiches with the cookies and cream cheese icing. Roll cookies in chopped pecans (they will stick on the icing) for a little extra crunch.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Tart

1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
3 large eggs
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 325. Butter a 9-inch pie plate. In bowl, microwave chocolate and cream for 25 seconds until melted. Whisk until smooth and let cool. Whisk in eggs, maple syrup, sugar and salt. Pour mixture into pie plate and add macadamia nuts to top in even layer. Bake for 40 minutes until set. Cool and serve in wedges.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Warm Leek & Goat Cheese Dip

4 Tbs. unsalted butter
8 small leeks, white and tender green part only - thinly sliced
1 lb. goat cheese at room temperature
1/2 lb. cream cheese at room temperature
2 Tbs. snipped chives
Serve with flatbreads, pita crisps, crackers or crusty bread

Melt butter in large skillet. Add leeks and stir to coat. Cover and cook over high heat until leeks begin to soften - about 3 minutes. Uncover and cook over medium heat until starting to brown - about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in goat cheese, cream cheese and S&P; stir until melted. Transfer to shallow serving dish and sprinkle with chives.

You can make this ahead and then heat in oven at 325 for 15 minutes before serving.

Mustard Roasted Chicken

1 pkg chicken breasts
3 Tbs. whole grain mustard
2 Tbs. soy sauce
4 carrots, cut in half (or use the little ones from the bag)
1 medium fennel bulb, cut in wedges
1 red onion, cut in wedges
8 sprigs Thyme
2 Tbs. olive oil

Heat oven to 400. Combine mustard, soy sauce, 1/4 tsp. pepper in bowl. Add chicken and coat. Combine carrots, fennel, onion, thyme, oil, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper in roasting pan. Add chicken to vegetables. Roast until cooked - about 45 minutes.

I like to serve with mashed potatoes.