Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pecan-Crusted Chicken in Honey-Mustard Sauce

I made this dish on Sunday night. I got it off of Kraft Foods. I made some alterations after looking at suggestions from others and it turned out FANTASTIC! It will be one of our new dishes. The dipping sauce is what makes this so yummy. You can click HERE to see the original recipe, but what I ended up doing to prepare it is below. You have got to try this, it was SO good!
Chicken:
1 pkt. SHAKE 'N BAKE Extra Crispy Seasoned Coating Mix
1 cup finely chopped Pecans
1 egg
2 Tbsp. water
flour (for dipping)
up to 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (I only used 3)
Cayenne pepper to taste
Dressing:
1/3 cup mayo
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1-2 TBSP honey
1-2 TBSP horseradish sauce
*I didn't measure the honey or horseradish sauce so that's why I have a range of 1-2 TBSP, just make it to taste. The more horseradish sauce you add, the spicier it is.*
PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Mix coating mix and pecans in shallow dish (add the Cayenne pepper at this point if your going to use it); set aside. Beat egg with water in separate shallow dish. Dip chicken in flour, then egg mixture, then in pecan mixture, turning to evenly coat both sides. Place on foil-covered baking sheet.
BAKE 18 to 20 min. or until chicken is cooked through.
MEANWHILE, mix all ingredients for sauce together. Serve chicken with sauce on the side.
I served this with some Parmesan garlic potato wedges made by Oreida and green beans.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Stromboli

This recipe is from the Girl Talk blog. My friend, Johanna, made it for us, and it has quickly become a family favorite!

Stromboli
2 - 16 oz. loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
¼ pound thinly sliced ham
¼ pound sliced hard salami
½ tsp. dried whole basil, divided
½ tsp. dried whole oregano, divided
3 oz. sliced provolone cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbs. butter, melted
Spaghetti Sauce

Place bread dough on a lightly greased baking sheet, pat into a 15x10 rectangle. Arrange ham slices lengthwise down the center; place salami on top. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp. basil and ¼ tsp. oregano. Arrange provolone cheese over herbs, and top with mozzarella cheese; sprinkle with remaining herbs. Moisten all edges of dough with water. Bring each long edge of dough to center; press edges together securely to seal. Seal ends. Brush dough with 1 T. butter. Carefully invert and brush top with remaining butter. Bake 375* for 20 to 22 minutes. Serve with your favorite jar of spaghetti sauce. Yields: 8 servings.



A few tips from Johanna (You might not need the tips because you are probably smarter than me when it come to bread dough)

1. The directions on the bread dough package will probably give you a quick thawing option which takes a couple of hours. You can do it much quicker by defrosting it in the microwave. Make sure you wrap the frozen dough in plastic wrap before you microwave it because it will dry out.

2. Make one for dinner and then freeze the other one. Don't forget to use plastic wrap with a little cooking spray.

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya

This is an easy and delicious meal that can feed a large crowd once or your family for a few nights. Enjoy!

1/2 stick of butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 lbs. chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
2 packages of smoked sausage, cut into bite sized pieces
1 2 lb. box of Uncle Ben's rice (not the instant!!)
3 cans of French Onion soup
3 cans of beef broth
salt and pepper, for seasoning

For the sake of convenience and because I do not own a pot/pan big enough to prepare this meal, I usually purchase a disposable aluminum roaster pan to cook this dish.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While preparing your meat, stick the 1/2 stick of butter and chopped vegetables in the pan and place in the preheated oven so the butter can melt and the vegetables can soften. (Note: You can also purchase a bag of the frozen seasoning mix already chopped. It typically includes onion, bell pepper, celery, etc.)

2. Once the butter is melted and the veggies have softened, remove the pan from the oven and DUMP the chicken, sausage, 2 lbs. of rice, and 2 cans of each soup. Mix and add salt and pepper. (Keep in mind the two soups are pretty salty to begin with, not to mention the sausage).

3. Cover with aluminum foil and cook in 350 degree oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, removing the foil the last 30 minutes of cooking time. Every 30 minutes or so, check and stir jambalaya and add in the additional cans of beef broth and French Onion soup as needed. I typically use all six cans! You will know the jambalaya is done when the rice is soft, not mushy!

I usually pair the jambalaya with a green salad and some good, hot French bread! I am a native New Orleans girl and learned this recipe while down there. It's not a spicy version, but it is full of flavor and DELICIOUS! Bon Appetit!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Vegetable Panzanella with Tuna

With the warmer weather are you craving lighter fare? Here's a great recipe. I don't want to be an ingredient snob, but it is worth it to get FRESH herbs for this and "first cold pressed" olive oil-it has a nice fruity flavor and light green color. I think this was a Cooking Light recipe originally-of coarse I changed it a little. Also, I double the vinaigrette-I've reflected the increase in the recipe.
Vinaigrette:
4 T chopped fresh parsley
4 T chopped fresh basil
4 T olive oil ("first cold-pressed" is best)
4 T red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic
Salad:
4 cups peeled diced cucumber (de-seed if you wish)
1 cup diced zucchini
1 cup diced red bell pepper
3/4 cup halved pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 tsp salt
3 tomatoes coursley chopped
2 cans albacore tuna (chunk light is ok too)
4 cups cubed or torn day-old french/italian bread (you can also just toast it)
Mix all together. Delicious! (If you do not want to serve it right away-just reserve your bread cubes until serving.)