Thursday, January 21, 2010

Chicken Dijon - sorta

While browsing my January 2010 Southern Living this recipe caught my attention. I had all the ingredients and the picture looked lovely. Ok, well. It looked nothing like the picture, but oh my! It is delicious. It's sorta like the recipe because I had to make some changes. And, honestly, I'm not sure SL got the right servings. The original recipe called for 6 boneless/skinless chicken breasts. Well, I used 3 and not sure it could take more. Anyhow, just wanted to give clarity.

Chicken Dijon - a la Miss Kitty Cooks

3 chicken breasts
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp butter
1 medium-sized red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 medium-sized sweet onion, cubed (I didn't have this, so I added a small can of chopped mushrooms instead)
1 (14 1/2-oz) can chicken broth
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp dijon mustard (I didn't have this, so I used horseradish mustard instead)

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
Melt butter in a large skillet over med-high heat; add chicken, and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from skillet; add bell pepper and onion, and cook, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes or until vegetables get tender. Return chicken to skillet. (I cubed the chicken. And, at this point, it will not be cooked all the way through!)
Whisk together broth and next 2 ingredients, and pour over chicken.
Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until chicken is done.

The magazine mentioned serving it with mashed potatoes. I think wild rice would be good with it. I served it with scalloped potatoes (recipe is on blog). I also think it would make a fantastic filling to a grilled sandwich, kinda Quizno's style. Enjoy!

Scalloped Potatoes

It's a bit eerie how good these taste...especially with such few ingredients. The nutmeg gives the potatoes a deep, almost smoked flavor. Eli had two helpings!

Scalloped Potatoes

1 clove garlic, smashed
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 1/4 pounds potatoes, peeled and sliced very thinly
2 cups half-and-half
1 Tbsp salt
black pepper
pinch of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8x8x2 dish with Pam (or butter!). {I sprinkled garlic powder in the bottom}
In a medium saucepan, combine butter, garlic, potatoes, half-and-half, salt, pepper to taste, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to med-high, and cook, stirring, until the mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the prepared dish.
Bake the potatoes, basting occasionally, until lightly browned and bubbly, about 1 hour. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

*I saw on a comment of this recipe that someone put half of the potatoes in the dish, topped them with thawed and strained spinach and ham. Then, added the rest of the potatoes. After cooking, they added cheese and broiled until melted and bubbly. I think this would be a delicious version! {although, I would use turkey or chicken}

Best Brownies

A good friend of mine gave me a Hershey's Classic Recipes cookbook a few Christmas' back. When you need a good and quick dessert, it's always a blessing to find you have the ingredients in your pantry!
These are classic brownies that deliver every time! The frosting is really good, but optional.

Best Brownies

1 stick butter or margarine, melted
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350. Grease a 9-inch square pan.
Stir together butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add eggs; beat well. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in nuts. Spread into prepared pan.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cool and frost.

Creamy Brownie Frosting

3 Tbsp butter or margarine, softened
3 Tbsp cocoa
1 Tbsp light corn syrup or honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 Tbsp milk

Beat butter, cocoa, corn syrup, and vanilla. Add powdered sugar and milk; beat to spreading consistency.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Apple Dumplings

This recipe is from the Pioneer Woman herself. And, it was her mother's recipe. Do I need to say more?
These are super easy to make, they smell delicous, they look amazing, and your guests will gush with complements...with their mouths full! Get busy! Make these! Now!

Apple Dumplings

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 8 slices each
2 cans crescent rolls
1 stick butter (the original recipe calls for 2, but 1 is all you need)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
cinnamon, to taste
1 can (12oz) Mountain Dew (I use Sprite)

Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a greased 13X9 dish.
Melt butter, gradually add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir and pour entire mixture over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.
Serve with ice cream, and scoop some of the sweet sauce from the pan on top.

This dessert has an amazing deep apple taste. It just might top apple pie in my book.

As the PW says: WARNING: Prepare this dish at your own risk. It is beyond imaginable.

Pear-Raspberry Heart Pies

I haven't made these...yet! This recipe was in my January Martha Stewart magazine. {I looked for a pic online, but the recipe isn't on her website. Ugh. Not a user-friendly place.} Anyhow, it makes super cute individual heart pies. And, the filling is the perfect red/pink color. I'll make it a point to take a picture when I make them! Who needs the web?

Pear-Raspberry Heart Pies
Makes 10

For the pastry
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp ice water

For the filling
2 firm, ripe pears (Anjou, Bartlett), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup fresh raspberries, coarsley chopped
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 Tbsp heavy cream, for egg wash
Sanding sugar for sprinkling

1. Make the pastry: Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor until combined. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 5 seconds.
2. Evenly drizzle ice water over mixture. Pulse until mixture just begins to hold together, about 10 seconds. Turn out dough onto plastic wrap, and wrap. Shape into a disk. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour or overnight.
3. Make the filling: Toss pears with lemon juice. Melt butter in a medium skillet over med-high heat. Add pears, and toss to coat. Cook, adding sugar a little at a time, until pears begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in nutmeg. Transfer to a bowl, and mix in raspberries.
4. Divide dough in half, and roll out each piece to 1/8 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 350. Drain pear-raspberry filling in a sieve. Cut out 20 hearts from dough unsing a 4-inch cutter, transferring them to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Lightly brush rims of half the hearts with egg wash, and top each with 4 heaping teaspoons filling. Top with remaining hearts, and gently press around sids to seal.
6. Brush pie tops with egg wash, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ultimate Beef Stew

Back in August 2008 I was walking (b/c I was pregnant with Abi Jean) on a treadmill at work, watching the Food Network. Tyler Florence had me so into this dish that I went back upstairs to my cube, turned my computer on, and printed the recipe. It's only now, January 2010 that I've gotten around to making it. I've talked about it. Thought about it. And, today, tasted it. It does not disappoint. This ain't your Mama's beef stew. It's fancy and flavorful enough to serve to guests. And, it helps that Chris licked his bowl!

Ultimate Beef Stew

1/4 cup EVOO
3 Tbsp butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 to 3 pounds beef chuck shoulder roast, cut into 2-inch pieces
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bottle good quality red wine (or, since I have no clue what this means, 1 bottle of Great Value cooking red wine)
8 fresh thyme sprigs
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 orange, zest removed in 3 (1-inch) strips
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 cups beef stock
9 small new potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut in 1/2
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cups frozen pearl onions, a large handful
1 pound white mushrooms, cut in 1/2
1/2 pound garden peas frozen or fresh

Preheat a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat wiht the oil and butter.
While the pan is heating, arrange the flour on a large dish. Season the cubed beef with some salt and pepper and then toss in the flour to coat. Shake off the excess flour and add the beef chunks in a single layer to the hot pan, being careful not to over crowd the pan, you might have to work in batches. Thoroughly brown all of the cubes on all sides. Once all the meat has been browned remove it to a plate and reserve.
Add the wine to the pan and bring up ot a simmer while you scrape the bottom of the pan with a wood spoon being sure to loosen up all those tasty bits. Once the wine has gotten hot add the browned meat, thyme, smashed garlic, orange zest strips, ground cloves, freshly ground black pepper and salt, bay leaves and beef stock. Bring the mixture up to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until the liquids start to thicken, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 1/2 hours.
After 2 hours add potatoes, carrots, pearl onions, and mushrooms, along with a pinch of sugar to balance the acid from the wine. Turn the heat up and bring to a simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables and meat are tender. Add the frozen peas during the last minute of cooking. Season with salt and pepper, remove the thyme sprigs.
To serve, place the soup in a bowl, top with parsley, sprinkle with olive oil and add a dollop of Horseradish Sour Cream. Right before serving add a slice of peasant bread, half submerged in the soup.

Horseradish Sour Cream
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp prepared horseradish
Olive oil
Chives, finely chopped

Combine sour cream, horseradish, and a drizzle of olive oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add a dollop to the stew and top with chives.

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

I'm considering making these for Abi's 1st birthday party! They're from a Martha Stewart magazine and the picture is delicious.

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

12 ounce strawberries, hulled and cup into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp coarse salt
3 ounces (6 Tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375. Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar.
Whish together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 7 Tablespoons granulated sugar in a large bowl.
Cut in butter with a pastry cutter, or rub in with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cream until dough starts to come together, then stir in strawberry mixture.
Using a 1 1/2 inch icecream scoop, or Tablespoon, drop dough onto baking sheet lined with parchment, spacing evenly apart. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
Cookies are best served immediately, but can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 1 day.
Makes about 3 dozen.

Impossible Pumpkin Pie

This is a Weight Watchers recipe...but you wouldn't know it by how good it is!

Impossible Pumpkin Pie

1 15-oz can pumpkin pie filling
1/2 cup lowfat bisquick
1 cup evaporated skim milk
2 egg whites
1/2 cup splenda
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix and beat together.
Pour into a 9" pie pan.
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Makes 6 servings. 3 points each.