Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
cheesy chicken tortilla cups, guacamole
crabcakes, corn on the cob
crockpot chicken and noodles
Greek shrimp salad
Asian pulled pork sandwiches. edamame succotash
biscuit chicken pot pie, salad
hoisin glazed pork tenderloin, brown rice, broccoli

Monday, May 31, 2010

Buttermilk Pork Chops

This recipe was adapted from Tyler Florence's recipe for smothered pork chops. The tang of the buttermilk with the spices makes for a nice flavor.  These are great over steaming hot mashed potatoes.
Buttermilk Porkchops
serves 2

2 pork chops, sliced lengthwise into two or three pieces
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 table spoon olive oil
2/3 cup chicken broth
¾ cup buttermilk

Put the flour in a shallow platter and add the onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels to remove any moisture and then dredge them in the seasoned flour; shaking off the excess.

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and coat with the oil. When the oil is nice and hot, lay the pork chops in the pan in a single layer and fry for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove the pork chops from the pan and add a couple tablespoons of seasoned flour to the pan drippings. Mix the flour into the fat to dissolve and then pour in the chicken broth in, whisking. Let the liquid cook down for 5 minutes to reduce and thicken slightly. Stir in the buttermilk to make a creamy gravy and return the pork chops to the pan, covering them with the sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes until the pork is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper.
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Balsamic Chicken with Pears

I had two gorgeous pears left in my fruit basket and they were calling my name. I had originally bought them for Miss F, but she didn't enjoy them, so I ate most of them. I had contemplated making a pear and apple sauce for her, but I decided to try them in a savory dish instead. This meal was excellent, I really enjoyed it and it was really easy to get together. I will make it again, especially with roasted potatoes, which soaked up the sauce beautifully.
Balsamic Chicken with Pears
serves 2

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, pounded to ½” thickness
2 pears; cored and cut into 8 wedges each
1 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon herbs de Provence

In nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add chicken breasts and cook 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, until juices run clear when pierced with tip of knife. In same skillet, cook pear wedges until lightly browned and tender. In cup, mix chicken broth, balsamic vinegar, cornstarch, herbs and sugar until blended. Add chicken-broth mixture to skillet with pears. Heat to boiling; boil 2 to 3 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
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Monday, May 24, 2010

Chicken Taquitos

I love chicken taquitos. What's not to love? Chicken, cheese, tortillas and you get to dip them in guacamole!  I have made lots of things with the famous crockpot chicken soft tacos, but these may be one of my most favorite.  I also think that the filling would work well in the Southwest Egg Rolls.  My next time I make anything with the crockpot chicken soft taco recipe, I am going to attempt to make my own spice mixture instead of using the packet.  It should be reasonably easy and will help cut down on the sodium in it.  The packet lists cocoa powder as an ingredient, it has to be for color, right?
Chicken Taquitos
makes 16

3 frozen breasts of chicken
1 package Lawry’s chicken taco seasoning
1 can Rotel
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup water
16 six-inch flour tortillas
½ cup shredded Colby jack cheese
Cooking spray

Sprinkle the taco seasoning in the bottom of a crockpot. Place the chicken over top of it, pour the Rotel, the oil and water over top. Cook on low for 5 hours. Shred the chicken with two forks and cook for 15 minutes more.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place a wire cooling rack over a baking sheet. Place two to three tablespoons of the shredded chicken and one to two teaspoons of the cheese down the center of each tortilla. Roll up the tortilla tightly and place seam side down on the rack. Spray the taquitos with the cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Serve with guacamole, sour cream and salsa.
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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dinner in Under Ten Minutes (Seriously!)

Dungeness crab was on sale at Kroger for $5.99 a pound, who can pass up a deal like that? Combine that with fresh corn on the cob and a hearty green salad and you have a meal that can be made in under ten minutes flat. You cannot get faster than that and you cannot find a meal that screams summer more than fresh crab legs, corn and salad.
Dungeness Crab Legs, Maryland Style
serves 4

3 to 4 pounds Dungeness crab legs
3 tablespoons Old Bay, divided
1/3 cup butter
1 lemon

In a larger steamer pot, add 4 cups of water and 2 tablespoons Old Bay.  Once the water is boiling, add the crab legs and cover the pot.  Steam for 3 to 5 minutes, until the crab is heated through.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter, the remaining tablespoon of Old Bay and the juice of half the lemon.  Cut the remaining lemon into wedges for serving.

Serve the crab legs with the melted butter and lemon wedges, along with a nutcracker.
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Monday, May 17, 2010

Spring Vegetable & Chicken Pasta

This is going in to regular rotation for one very big reason: Miss F was obsessed with the chicken. Now, Miss F has never met a pork product she doesn't like, but chicken has been a little trickier (unless it is in nugget form). This dish comes together ridiculously quickly, in about 20 minutes. I will be making this again with other vegetables, red bell peppers come to mind.
Spring Vegetable and Chicken Pasta
printable recipe

¼ onion, chopped
2/3 cup fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup petite frozen peas
12 ounces of fettuccine
2 cups chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup whipping cream
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Melt the butter and oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and chicken to the pan and sauté 3 to 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and the peas to the pan and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes or longer depending on the firmness of the asparagus. Stir in the cream and garlic, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the sauce becomes thickened, about 5 minutes.

Add the fettuccine to the boiling water and cook according to package directions. Drain the fettuccine and reserve 1/2 cup pasta water. Add the fettuccine to the mixture and toss to combine. If sauce is not the right consistency, add a little of the reserved pasta water until desired consistency is reached. Sprinkle in the cheese and toss to combine.
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Friday, May 14, 2010

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

I had bought fresh raspberries on sale this week and Miss F was none too interested in them, she spit them out in fact. I wondered if adding chocolate cake and icing would change her mind, sure enough, it did.  These cupcakes marry chocolate and raspberry very well and aren't cloyingly sweet.  Miss F now will only eat raspberries with buttercream frosting, big surprise there.
Raspberry Chocolate Cupcakes
printable recipe

1 cup sugar
1cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons cocoa
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water
36 frozen raspberries
1 recipe buttercream frosting
12 fresh raspberries

Heat oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).

Fill cups 3/4 full with batter. Drop three frozen raspberries into each cup of batter. Bake 25-28 minutes. Cool. Frost with buttercream frosting and top each with a fresh raspberry.

Buttercream Frosting

¼ cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Combine in large bowl, with mixer at low speed, confectioners' sugar, butter, milk and vanilla.

Beat at medium speed 1-2 minutes until creamy. If desired, add more milk until frosting is spreading consistency.
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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Strawberry Syrup

Continuing to use up my vat of frozen strawberries, I made a strawberry syrup for Miss F's morning pancakes. C had to leave early for his Autocross race, so it was just she and I. She ate it up with a spoon, she was a huge fan.
Strawberry Syrup
printable recipe

1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, hulled
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice

In a medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the strawberries are soft and the syrup is thickened and reduced by one-third to one-half in volume, about 10 to 12 minutes. Serve over pancakes, waffles or French toast.
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Monday, May 10, 2010

Double Dredged Fried Chicken

I love What Would Brian Boitano Make, I have yet to miss an episode. It is the best show on the Food Network in years. Most importantly, his recipes always look fantastic. This past week, he had a recipe for chicken fried steak on a skewer. As I watched it on DVR with chicken thighs defrosting in the fridge, I decided to try it (with a few tweaks) that night. It was fantastic. The double dredge really sets this chicken apart.
Double Dredged Fried Chicken
printable recipe

1 egg
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups canola oil
6 to 8 pieces of chicken

In a baking dish whisk together the egg, buttermilk and hot sauce. In a second baking dish combine the flour, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, salt and pepper.

Heat the canola oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 350 degrees F.

Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture and shake off excess so they are lightly dusted. Dip them in the buttermilk and egg mixture coating both sides, then put back in flour mixture making sure to coat completely.

Fry the chicken in the hot oil until brown and crispy, approximately 8 to 10 minutes per side. Drain on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Keep warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve.
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Friday, May 7, 2010

The Gingerbread Man

Back in Severna Park, there was a restaurant called The Gingerbread Man (I found a link to a Facebook page of people who miss it...cracks me up!) I am not sure if it was a chain or not, but I would liken it to a Ruby Tuesdays. The big exception: the served giant pieces of warm gingerbread with either whipped cream or a lemon sauce. The gingerbread was so good. This cake nearly replicates it because it is so large. I love the flavor and eating it takes me back to high school dates and lunches with my mom while out shopping.
The Gingerbread Man Gingerbread
printable recipe

½ cup white sugar
½ cup butter
1 egg
1 cup molasses
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch square pan.

In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the egg, and mix in the molasses.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Blend into the creamed mixture. Stir in the hot water. Pour into the prepared pan.

Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan before serving.
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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Whole Chicken in the Crockpot

I was very wary of cooking an entire chicken in the crockpot. But as the sweltering summer approaches, I am always looking for ways not to have to use the oven. This dish is amazingly easy and provided great results. The chicken is so tender that it falls apart, no need for carving (which I am horrible at!) I read a ton of whole chicken recipes online and sort of took that knowledge to come up with this recipe.
Whole Chicken in a Crockpot
printable recipe

1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 lbs
3 sprigs fresh thyme
4 to 6 red potatoes, quartered
1 lemon, halved
½ onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
3 teaspoons cornstarch

Place the potatoes in the bottom of the crockpot. Rinse the chicken, removing the neck and organs, pat dry with a paper towel. Generously season with salt and pepper inside and outside the chicken. Place the sprigs of thyme in the chicken cavity and put the whole bird into the crockpot. Pour the onion and garlic over top of the chicken. Squeeze the lemons over the chicken and put the halves into the crock pot. Cook on high for 6 to 7 hours.

Whisk the cornstarch into the chicken broth to create a slurry. Remove the chicken from the crockpot, the chicken will nearly fall apart into its pieces, there is no need for carving. Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon. Ladle the liquid into a small saucepan and cook over medium high heat. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil to thicken. Ladle the warm gravy over the chicken and potatoes, serve.
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Monday, May 3, 2010

Bacon Cheese Chicken Sandwiches

I had two leftover honey wheat sandwich rolls, so a chicken sandwich was in order. The chicken is very flavorful since it is cooked in the bacon grease. Miss F most enjoyed the bacon, I had made her a mini-sandwich roll last week and used some of the chicken to make her own personal sandwich. She pulled it all apart and ate each piece separately.
Bacon Cheese Chicken Sandwiches
printable recipe

2 chicken breasts
4 slices of bacon
2 slices of white cheddar cheese
2 honeywheat rolls
2 pieces of lettuce

In a skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon slices. Drain and set aside.

Slice each chicken breast in half lengthwise; this is easiest done while the breasts are still a bit frozen. Salt and pepper each piece. Add each piece of chicken to the skillet with the bacon grease. Cook 5 to 7 minutes each side until cooked through.

Toast the buns under the broiler. Stack the two pieces of chicken, two pieces of bacon cut in half and a slice of cheese on the bun on the baking sheet and broil for one minute to melt the cheese. Top each with lettuce and the bun top. Serve.
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