Sunday, April 19, 2009

Thai Chicken with Cashews

I have had this recipe on my to-make list for months now. I'm so glad I finally got around to making it. Oooo yum! Brian says this is his new favorite meal. He'd eat it every week if I agreed. It's so simple and delicious.

Just a note when you're making it: Hot oil does not look hot. I learned this last time I made this by throwing the chicken into the hot oil thinking it "didn't look that hot, but hot enough (what does that mean, exactly, Laura?) and consequently the hot oil spit up out of the pan at me and scorched one of my fingers. Ow. Comfy. So use caution around hot oil :)

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Ingredients:
1 bunch scallions
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I use chicken breast)
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 ½ tbsp. finely chopped peeled fresh ginger (or 1 ½ tsp. dried)
¼ tsp. roasted red pepper flakes
¾ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 ½ tbsp. soy sauce
1 ½ tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. sugar
½ cup salted roasted whole cashews
cooked white or brown rice for serving

Chop the scallions, keeping the green and white parts separated. Chop the bell pepper, garlic and ginger and set combine with the white ends of scallions, then set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok over medium-high heat.

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and pat dry. Coat with salt and pepper. Once the oil is heated, add the chicken to the pan and cook completely until no longer pink in the center. Remove the chicken from the pan and transfer to a plate. Set aside.

Add the bell pepper, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and scallion whites to the pan and cook until the bell pepper is tender.

Mix the soy sauce, chicken broth, sugar and corn starch together in a medium bowl, then pour into the wok over the vegetables. Stirring occasionally, simmer until the sauce has thickened.

Add the chicken back into the pan with the cashew and green portion of the scallions and mix everything together, then serve over rice.

 

Source: Annie's Eats

Chocolate Chip muffins

I can't get enough of new muffin recipes. They're my favorite breakfast- so much more interesting and yummy than boring cereal. These muffins are fantastic, slightly rich, and so tasty!

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Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 and line muffin cups with paper liners (this made about 15 muffins for me).

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, mix and set aside.

In the bowl of electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, combining well. Mix in vanilla.

Add half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture, and mix. Next add the milk, mix. Add the last of the flour mixture and blend until just combined.

Fold in chocolate chips. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake 21-23 minutes or until a toothpick insert in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Source: Annie's Eats

Creamy chicken pasta

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Ingredients:

2-3 chicken breasts, cut into pieces
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2T EVOO
1-2T butter
1T (heaping) flour (not a measuring Tablespoon, use the Tablespoon that comes with your flatware)
1 can chicken broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Half and half
Bay leaf
2t tarragon
1T parsley

Directions:

Sauté chicken & onion in butter and EVOO. When chicken is about done add in garlic. Simmer until tender

Sprinkle flour over chicken, then add broth, soup, and half and half until it reaches the correct consistency (creamy and a bit thick).

Add bay leaf, parsley and tarragon. Simmer mixture for about 20 minutes.

Serve over egg noodles.

Source: My mother-in-law, original source unknown

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pork Chops with Balsamic-Maple Glaze

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Ingredients:

2 pork chops (I 3 since they were small-ish)
2 tsp. herbs de Provence
salt and pepper
2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

Direction:

Pat the pork chops dry and rub each side with the seasoning, salt and pepper.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Cook the pork chops until just slightly underdone, then remove from the pan.

Heat the pan to medium-high heat and deglaze with the vinegar, scraping the bottom as it cooks. Reduce vinegar by half, then add the syrup.

Add the pork chops back into pan and finish cooking until cooked-through.

Drizzle the pork chops with any additional glaze not soaked in and serve.

Source: Elly Says Opa

Ginger Molasses Cookies

I absolutely love gingersnap cookies, but I really prefer my cookies to be softer, chewy-er than the traditional gingersnap is. Enter: These cookies. They're marvelous. As a matter of fact, I made them last week and the next morning all but 5 of them had already been eaten. Apparently The Husband liked them too :)

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Ingredients:
2 1/4 c. lower-protein unbleached all-purpose flour (like Gold Medal or Pilsbury)
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tso finely ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
12 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1/3 c. packed dark brown sugar
1/3 c. granulated sugar, plus 1/2 c. for rolling
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup molasses

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375°. Place oven rack in the middle position.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I didn't do this, just used my trusty airbake pan)

In a bowl mix together flour, spices, baking soda, pepper and salt. Set aside

With an electric mixer, beat togther butter, brown sugar, and 1/3 C of granulated sugar until well light and fluffy. Mix in egg yolk and vanilla until well combined. Add in molasses and blend until well-mixed.

On lowest mixer speed, add in flour combo and mix until just combined, scraping bowl once.

Place 1/2 C sugar in a small, shallow bowl for rolling. Fill another small bowl with cold tap water.

Dip your hands in the water, then scoop out 1 Tbls of dough and roll it into a ball. Drop the ball into the sugar, coating it.

Place each dough ball on the cookie sheet about 2" apart. Bake for 11 minutes. The cookies will crack on the top when done. Inside the cracks will still look raw. Don't overbake!

Cool cookies on a baking sheet for 5 minutes, then move to a cooling rack.

Source: Good Things Catered

Friday, April 3, 2009

Chicken Marsala with Shallot Sage Penne

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Ingredients:

For the chicken:

1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (14 fl oz)
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 oz mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (2 lb total)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons dry Marsala wine
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

For the pasta:
8 oz mini penne
1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
1/2 c dry white wine
Shredded cheese (I used Parmesan)


Directions:

For the chicken:

With oven rack set in the middle, heat to 200 degrees.

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan, uncovered, over high heat. Reduce to about 3/4 C. (approx. 20 minutes)

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook shallots in 3T butter until they are golden. Add mushrooms, 1 tsp of sage, salt, and pepper. Stirring occasionally, cook until mushrooms begin to brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

Pound the chicken breasts until they are thin, pat dry, season with salt and pepper, then dredge through a bowl of flour.

Heat 1T butter & 1T oil over medium heat in the large skillet. Once the foam subsides, saute the chicken until golden and cooked through. Transfer the cooked chicken to an oven-safe plate in the warmed oven.

Add 1/2 cup of wine to the skillet and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan while stirring. Add the reduced chicken broth, cream, mushrooms and shallots and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened (approx 6-8 minutes).

Add lemon juice and remaining wine with 1/2 teaspoon of sage to sauce.

For the pasta:

While cooking the chicken ingredients, bring a pan of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, then drain.

Heat olive oil and butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Slowly cook shallots until they are golden (6-8 minutes).

Add sage and simmer another minute.

Add wine to pan and simmer for a few minutes, until alcohol has cooked off.

Combine sauce with drained pasta, sprinkle with salt, pepper and cheese.

Serve and enjoy!

Source: Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations chicken recipe & pasta recipe