Saturday, January 30, 2010

Orange Chicken

2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
¼ cups Cornstarch
Salt And Pepper
1 cup Fresh Orange Juice
1 cup Water
2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
3 strips Orange Zest - 1" Wide By 2" Tall
½ cups Lightly Packed Brown Sugar
½ teaspoons Fresh Minced Ginger
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Tablespoons Light Soy Sauce
4 whole Dried Red Chilies, Broken In Half (or red chili flakes)
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch, For The Slurry
2 Tablespoons Water, For The Slurry

In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat about an inch of vegetable or canola oil to about 375F. Heat the oven to 250F.
In a large zip top bag, combine the cornstarch, salt and pepper. Add the chicken chunks and seal the bag. Toss to coat completely.
Add the coated chicken to the hot oil in two or three batches. Cook until lightly golden and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 F. Transfer the cooked chicken to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Hold the chicken in the oven.
In a sauce pan, combine the water, orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice, vinegar, orange zest, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and dry chilies. Stir to combine. Place the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the sauce reduce by 1/3.
In a small bowl, prepare the slurry by combining the cornstarch and water until smooth. Pour the mixture into the sauce and whisk until the sauce thickens. Add fried chicken pieces. Stir to coat. Serve immediately.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Menu #28

Monday: Slow Cooked Chicken Tacos
Spanish Rice
Black Beans

Monday: Patty Melt sandwiches on Rye
Homemade French Fries
Fruit Salad

Tuesday: Chicken Scampi from Spain
Garlic Bread
Green Salad

Tuesday: Walmart Pizza
Green Salad
Scrumptious, huh?

Wednesday: Black Bean Soup with Crab & Kielbasa Sausage
Brown Rice

Wednesday: Crockpot Beef and Mushrooms
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans

Thursday: Chicken in Parmesan Chive Cream Sauce
Brown Rice

Thursday: Taco nite!!
Corn Salad- I'm adding black beans to the salad

Friday: White Chicken Chili

Friday: Mashed Potato Soup
Crusty Bread
Green Salad

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mashed Potato Soup

I like to fly by the seat of my pants... it's just the way I am. I like to try to make things I love, without a recipe. I will almost always love it, but will just as often, not write anything down.
So, I will try to tell you how I made this soup, 2 times already!

4-5 medium size potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
3-4 T butter
1.5 cup chicken broth
1.5 cup heavy cream
1 tsp chili powder
salt & pepper to taste

cheddar cheese

Boil potatoes in a large pot -- until tender, when pierced with a knife, but still holds it shape. Drain potatoes and set aside for a few minutes.
With same pot, over a medium heat, melt butter and add onion and garlic to just translucent. Season with salt & pepper.
Then add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, add heavy cream and chili powder. Then add potatoes and season again with salt & pepper.
Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. The potatoes will start to mash a bit and the heavy cream will thicken. If soup is too thick, add a bit more broth or water, til desired consistency.

on a side note....
when I place any food on the table, my kids automatically say, ewww. but once they tried this, they ate it up... no fighting or struggling to make them eat. and one of my kids called it, mashed potato soup - and it stuck!

Menu #27

Monday: Rotisserie Chicken Penne with Roasted Vegetables
Garlic Bread

Monday: Pesto, Artichoke, Sundried Tomato and Feta Pizza

Tuesday: Southwest Pulled Brisket
Cole Slaw
Pickled Red Onion

Tuesday: Whole Wheat Penne with Sweet Italian sausage and Roasted Vegetables
Fresh Sourdough Bread

Wednesday: Out

Wednesday: Tuscan White Bean & Garlic Soup
Fresh Bread
Cucumber & Heirloom Tomato Salad with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar

Thursday: Chicken Milanese
Escarole Salad

Pickled Red Onion

Thursday: Italian Marinated Grilled Chicken Breast
Cauliflower Gratin
Cranberry orange parfait

Friday: Brisket Rolled Tacos
Homemade Refried Beans
Spanish Rice

Friday: Homemade Cream of Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Panini (Foccacia bread with Ham and swiss cheese)

Monday, January 11, 2010

menu #26

Monday: Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu
Mashed Potatoes
Sauteed Spinach

Tuesday: home made pizza (deli pepperoni, fresh mozzarella)

Wednesday: Open-Face Burgers with Blue Cheese
Sweet Potato Fries

Thursday: Pannini's (deli ham, havarti cheese)
Home Made Potato Chips

Friday: Ranch Chicken (cheddar & bacon)
Baked Potatoes

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Chicken Scampi from Spain

This is the last of my fav's from the Holidays. I don't have a picture of it.. but it is beautiful, healthy and o-so delicious. This is a recipe from my sister in law, Cristy, who prepared it for our lunch one day. Cristy got this recipe while living in Spain. This recipe is very lemony. This is not a problem for me, because I happen to think there is no such thing as too much lemon. But You may want to add the lemon juice a little at a time to suit your taste.

1 Chopped onion
5 Garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup Olive oil
4 tbs Butter
3 Chicken breasts, chopped to bite size pieces, uncooked
Juice of 3 lemons
12 Mushrooms, sliced
4 Tomatoes chopped
salt and pepper
Cooked Penne Pasta enough to feed 4-6

In a large skillet, heat olive oil and butter. Add onions and mushrooms. saute until onions are translucent and mushrooms are a bit browned. Add garlic and saute for 45-60 seconds, do not let burn. Add Chicken and cook until no longer pink. Add tomatoes, juice of 3 lemons and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve over pasta
Serves 4-6

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cauliflower Gratin

This is my second favorite recipe from the Holiday. I love Cauliflower. This was so creamy and yummy.

3 slices white sandwich bread, torn into large pieces - or you could use store bought bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cored and cut into small florets
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (1 cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, combine bread and Parmesan. Pulse until coarse crumbs form, about 3 to 4 times; set aside.
In a large saucepan with a lid, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour; cook, whisking constantly for 1 minute. Whisk in milk.
Add cauliflower, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cover, and cook until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; gradually stir in Gruyere.
Pour mixture into a 2-quart baking dish, and sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture. Cover with aluminum foil; bake until cauliflower is easily pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. Remove foil, and bake until breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 20 minutes more. Serve. Serves 4.
Everyday Food, Martha Stewart

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Caramel-Pecan Apple Pie

I am back from my 2 week Griswold Family Vacation trip. I came back with 2 extra suitcases packed full of toys and 7 extra pounds packed on my tush. So before I jump on my elliptical, I wanted to share a few of my favorite recipes from the holidays. This is number one. This pie was so darn good. Even people who didnt care for apple pie were pushing and shoving into the line for seconds.
7 cups sliced, peeled tart apples
1 ts. lemon juice
1 ts. vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tbs. sugar
4 1/2 ts. ground cinnamon
1 tbs. cornstarch
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping, room temp
1 unbaked pastry shell (or you can make your own)
3 tbs. butter, melted
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup sugar
6 tbs. cold butter
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping, room temp

In large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice and vanilla.  Combine the pecans, sugars, cinnamon and cornstarch; add to apple mixture and toss to coat.  Pour caramel topping over bottom of pastry shell. Top with apple mixture.  Shell should be full.  Drizzle with butter.
In a small bowl, combine flour, pecans and sugar. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over filling. 
Bake 350 for 55-65 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is browned.  Immediately drizzle with caramel topping. Cool on wire rack. 8 servings.

Taste of Home

Monday, January 4, 2010

Red Beans & Rice

Living in Texas adds so many different flavors to my cooking. We have southern food (I tried, for the first time, black-eyed peas and collared greens on New Years Day). We have Tex-Mex, and being from California originally, it has been pretty hard to get used to.
I often find myself looking at the menu I had planned and just don't feel like making it. When I came up with this recipe, I was looking for something to make with a new Wild Rice blend I had found at the grocery store. I really loved the flavors of it all - and thought I would share with you!

Red Beans & Rice
1 cup Wild Rice (I used a white, brown, red, & wild rice blend)
1.5 cups Chicken Stock
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Garlic Cloves, minced (or more if you like!)
1/2 of an Onion, diced (any kind you prefer, I used red in this)
1 Rotisserie Chicken
1 can Kidney Beans, drained & rinsed
-- Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium saute pan and bring to a boil. Then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
--While the rice is working, cut up the rotisserie chicken into bite size pieces.
-- Once rice is done, add the chicken and beans, stir to combine. Then cover over a small flame for another 5-10 minutes.
--I served this with tortilla's, chopped cilantro & diced tomatoes. I think a grated pepper jack would be delicious, even some sliced olives.
Or go a different way and drizzle with some BBQ sauce and grated cheddar cheese.

menu #25

Monday: Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Onion Rings (i finally made this after 3 weeks of it being on the menu!)

Tuesday: White Chicken Chili
Jalapeno Cornbread

Wednesday: Out

Thursday: Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu
Mashed Potatoes

Friday: Herb Crusted Salmon
Red Potatoes
Sauteed Spinach

and I (Nancy) am off on Christmas vacation! I hope to come back with some great recipes while I sit back in Colorado, enjoying the snow and my mothers fantastic cooking!