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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hawaiian Chicken



I saw this recipe in the Dec/Jan 2011 Taste of Home magazine.  I thought it looked like it was worth trying, so I gave it a whirl last night for dinner.  And I am very glad I did! It is wonderful! And fairly easy to make!  Took about 20 minutes of prep time. I definitely will be making it again!

The chicken came out so moist and tender! The sauce, which seemed to me like it had A LOT of sugar came out really delicious!  Give it a try and let me know what you think!




Served over a bed of rice (I used a box of Near East Almond Pilaf) and green beans on the side.



After coating chicken pieces in a flour mixture, you brown them in a pan with a little oil.  Then lay them in a baking dish like the above photo.




Stir together the sauce and cook it for 2 minutes.  Pour it over the chicken pieces and top with pineapple and green pepper.  I didn't have the green pepper on hand so I skipped it.  Bake for 20 minutes!


HAWAIIAN CHICKEN


1/2 cup all-purpose flour


1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
(I used 1 1/2 lbs. of chicken tenders)

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
(I used chicken broth instead...see below)

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 can (20 ounces) unsweetened sliced pineapple

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 medium green pepper, cut into rings

Hot cooked rice


Directions


In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Add chicken, one piece, at a time, and shake to coat. In a skillet, brown chicken in oil. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, bouillon and ginger. Drain pineapple into a 2-cup measuring cup; set pineapple aside. Add enough cold water to juice to measure 1-1/4 cups. Stir in vinegar and soy sauce. Gradually whisk into sugar mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Pour sauce over chicken; top with green pepper and reserved pineapple. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-30 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170°. Serve with rice.

Yield: 6 servings.

 
I don't keep chicken bouillon on hand because it has msg in it.  So, what I did for this recipe was substitute chicken broth (I like Swanson's Low Sodium with no msg) for the cold water.  It came out great this way!!

And a hint on chicken broth...If you open a can and only use a little bit out of it, instead of throwing it away or letting it sit in your frig for 2 weeks and then throwing it out, pour it in a freezer proof container and freeze it!  Then it is there when you need it!  You could even freeze it in an ice cube tray so you would have smaller portions of it!

 
Happy Cooking!!
--Mindy


Monday, April 25, 2011

Chicken Salad Pita

I have had my eye on this recipe for a while and finally had everything on hand to make it.  

Wow, is it tasty!! 

The combination of sweet and salty is just right!   Stuffed into pita bread with some fresh spinach, it is just about perfect!  Make it and invite a few ladies for lunch and they will love you forever!




CHICKEN SALAD PITA


Chicken Salad:

4 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1 1/2 cups seedless grapes, halved
1 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup sliced green onion
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Dressing:

1/2 cup mayonaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 T. dijon mustard
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. celery salt
1/8 tsp. dry mustard
1/8 tsp. paprika

Mix dressing ingredients together and mix with chicken mixture.  Add the almonds at serving time.  Serve in pita pockets with fresh lettuce or spinach.  Mmmm!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bow-tie Pasta

I guess I am in an Italian kick!

This recipe is so quick, so easy, and so FABULOUS!!  I love anything with marinara sauce on it, so this recipe is a winner with me!!  My family loved it too!!

It was so good, if I had the ingredients on hand I would whip it up for lunch right now!! (Yes it is that quick to make!)

This picture doesn't do it justice, but it will have to do!






BOW-TIE PASTA


1 pound lean Ground Beef
1/2 cup diced onion
1 box Bow-Tie Noodles
3 cups (or more) Spaghetti Sauce 
(I used Barilla Tomato & Basil)
Garlic powder
Italian seasoning
Crushed red pepper
Oregano
Basil
Lawry's All Purpose Seasoning
Pepper
1/2-1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Sour Cream
Grated Parmesan Cheese


Cook the bow-tie pasta according to package directions.  If it gets done before your sauce does, drain and toss with a little olive oil.  (Save a little of the pasta water in case you need to thin your sauce a little.)

Fry ground beef and onion in pan until no longer pink.  Drain or wipe out any grease.  Season with garlic powder, italian seasoning, crushed red pepper (just a few flakes!), oregano, basil, Lawry's, and pepper.  I just sprinkle each spice over the meat fairly generously.  

Add in spaghetti sauce.  When sauce is bubbly, add in mozzarella cheese and sour cream.  Heat together about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Stir in pasta.  Add a little pasta water if sauce seems to thick.  Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve!!

I added some garlic toast (french bread sliced, and topped with butter, garlic powder, and Lawry's, then toasted under the broiler until brown) and a green tossed salad to complete this meal!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Super Stuffed Shells

Italian food is among one of my favorites!  I found this recipe on The Food Network.  This website is a great resource!  I love the fact that you can read reviews on the recipe before you try it, so you are less likely to be disappointed with the results! Nothing worse than slaving in the kitchen for hours, not to mention spending money on ingredients and the result is less than satisfactory!

This particular recipe is from Emeril Lagasse.  They are delicious (as are a lot of his recipes!) Topped with a  simple homemade marinara sauce, and cheesy and meaty on the inside!  Your whole family will love them!




Mmm...




I made the whole recipe and split it into two pans. A 8x6 pan and a 8x11 pan.  We ate the smaller pan for dinner which was more than enough for my small family of 3!  I did not bake the other pan.  Instead, I wrapped it in 2 layers of saran wrap and aluminum foil and popped it in my freezer to have a meal ready after I have my baby. (Six weeks left!) 

I make up the whole amount of Emeril's seasoning and keep it in a jar in my spice cupboard.  It is a great seasoning!



SUPER STUFFED SHELLS

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 (12-ounce) box jumbo pasta shells (18 to 20 shells)
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Basic Red Sauce, recipe follows

Directions


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 2-quart casserole dish with 1 teaspoon of olive oil.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt and the pasta shells, and cook until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally with a long-handled spoon to prevent the shells from sticking together. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Drain
In a medium skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until very soft, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the ground veal and cook, stirring, until cooked and browned. Add the squeezed spinach and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese, and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Add the spinach mixture, the extra-virgin olive oil, Essence, remaining teaspoon of salt, the basil, oregano, and pepper, and stir to combine thoroughly. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the spinach-ricotta filling into each cooked pasta shell. Place the filled shells in the prepared dish.
Pour the Basic Red Sauce over the filled shells and top with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, until bubbly, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.


Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup

Basic Red Sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 16 ounces whole peeled tomatoes, broken into pieces, and their juices
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce
  • 4 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, salt, basil, oregano, and pepper, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, and sugar and stir well. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until thickened and fragrant, 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from the heat and keep warm until ready to use.
Yield: 3 cups

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Easy Veggie Medley

This is one of my favorite ways to prepare veggies.  It seems to go great with almost anything!  I believe my Mom came up with the recipe... It is quick and easy! (Seems to be the theme of my cooking this week!)  I am 8 months pregnant, so quick and easy is what I need right now!



These are the raw veggies.  Red potatoes, carrots, onions.  I always add zucchini and yellow squash, but I forgot to get it when I was at the store.  :(   Season it up with whatever sounds good! I will put what I used in the recipe below.




Just out of the oven!  Mmm...this is comfort food!! Warm and full of flavor!  

They were steaming so much my camera lens kept fogging up!  Even without the zucchini and squash it was delicious!


EASY VEGGIE MEDLEY

Red potatoes, quartered
Whole baby carrots, or peeled carrots chunked
Red or white onion, sliced
Zucchini, halved and thickly sliced
Yellow Squash, halved and thickly sliced
Olive oil
Garlic Pepper Seasoning
Lawry's All Purpose Seasoning
Dill Weed
Water


Place all veggies in an oven-proof dish.  Drizzle with a decent amount of olive oil.  (Not a ton so it is really oily, but enough to coat the veggies).  Sprinkle with desired seasonings.  Salt, pepper and dill weed would be great if that is all you have!  I really like the addition of the dill though, so don't skip out on that!  Sprinkle with a few tablespoons of water and cover tightly with aluminum foil.  Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  

Note:  The potatoes take a lot longer to cook than the squash, so  you can add the squash in about 20 minutes into the cooking process.  I have done it both ways :)  If you add the squash in the beginning, just cut it as large as the potatoes and it will be fine!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chicken Caesar Salad

I actually made time to do a post!! 

Need a quick, easy, and delicious dinner??  Those are my favorite kind!  

This Chicken Caesar Salad is tasty and filling!  

Thanks to my Aunt Norma for the marinade recipe!  The chicken comes out so moist and flavorful!



CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 T. dijon mustard
chicken breasts or tenders
romaine lettuce, chopped
Caesar croutons
Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
Caesar dressing
 ( I love Naturally Fresh brand found in produce dept.)


Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, and mustard.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and cover with marinade.  Let sit at least 30 minutes.

Grill over medium heat until cooked through, but not overcooked!  Slice diagonally into thin slices.

To chopped romaine lettuce add croutons, parmesan cheese, and dressing.  Add dressing slowly and toss as you go along so you don't overdress the salad!  Dress salad right before serving to prevent soggy lettuce and croutons.

On individual plates put a pile of salad.  Top with sliced chicken and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Add some bread (garlic toast, ciabatta roll, focaccia bread) and you have a fabulous meal!


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