Friday, March 5, 2010

Honey Mustard Drummettes

Tonight's adventure is Honey Mustard Chicken Drumsticks. I will be making them in the oven. Since I cannot find a recipe I used in the past I am going to wing it drawing on several recipes to formulate my own. This is what I have come up with for my marinade:
1/4 cup Spicy Brown Mustard
1/4 cup Honey
1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
Juice of 1 lime
2 tsp Olive Oil

For my coating:
2 cups dry bread crumbs
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp Paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste

So I am planning on marinating the chicken for a few hours. I will then roll the drumsticks in the coating and bake in the oven at 350 degrees. I will reserve some of the marinade for basting.

Meatloaf Muffins- Success at last!

They turned out fabulous! The consistency was spot on as well as the portion size. And of course the flavor profile was great too. Here are some pictures.
The whole Meal:

A muffin:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Meatloaf attempt #3- Muffins

Tonight I intend to prepare Meatloaf Muffins with Glazed Carrots served up with a side of homemade Mashed Potatoes.

This will be my third try at Meatloaf. I have been using a recipe from Paula Dean (love her) for Old Fashioned Meatloaf. I love the recipe but have not yet been able to execute it properly. The first time I made it the consistency was too moist. This may be because I used breadcrumbs instead of oatmeal as the original recipe called for. The second attempt yielded better results but the consistency was not perfect.

So this time I intend to combine the recipe from Paula Dean with one from Rachael Ray. She makes hers using a muffin tin to make mini loaves. I think this is a neat idea for leftovers. Also great for portion control.

I am doing glazed carrots as the side dish so I can use up my Fresh N Easy Find (see previous post).

Check back later this evening for the results and click the hyperlinks for the recipes I am using.

Fresh N Easy

Let me just take a moment to profess my undying love for Fresh n Easy. They have excellent prices and their produce is always fresh. I especially love their 98 cents produce packs. Things you can get in the 98 cents produce packs: 2lbs carrots, 4 medium onions in many varieties, 2 medium Bell peppers in various varieties, sack of potatoes, and then they rotate various fruits such as oranges and apples. It really is a steal! So if you are trying to be more money conscious like myself this is the way to go. I feel that if you buy fresh produce you are more likely to cook and eat at home.

They also have some outstanding deals on meats such as chicken and pork. Their pork chops come in packages of like 5-6 cops 1/2in thick and are very tasty. Yesterday I bought a pack of chicken drumsticks for $3.02. I intend to make Honey Mustard chicken Drummettes later this week. If Beef is your fancy then watch their weekly adds for deals. I like their ground beef when it is on sale as it makes for great hamburger patties. They have great steaks too!

This week's Ad:


Oh look pears!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Chicken Piccata

This evening's menu consists of a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa. She makes Friday night chicken dinner and so I am emulating that.

I will serve my chicken piccata with herb roasted red potatoes and steamed veggies (green beans and carrots). I will top the chicken off with the lemon butter reduction she uses in her recipe.



You may click the link above to watch her make it or simply follow the recipe below.
Ingredients

* 2 split (1 whole) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 extra-large egg
* 1/2 tablespoon water
* 3/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
* Good olive oil
* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
* 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons), lemon halves reserved
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* Sliced lemon, for serving
* Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and pound out to 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.

Mix the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a shallow plate. In a second plate, beat the egg and 1/2 tablespoon of water together. Place the bread crumbs on a third plate. Dip each chicken breast first in the flour, shake off the excess, and then dip in the egg and bread crumb mixtures.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Place them on the sheet pan and allow them to bake for 5 to 10 minutes while you make the sauce.

For the sauce, wipe out the saute pan with a dry paper towel. Over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and then add the lemon juice, wine, the reserved lemon halves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Boil over high heat until reduced in half, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and swirl to combine. Discard the lemon halves and serve 1 chicken breast on each plate. Spoon on the sauce and serve with a slice of lemon and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Burrito Bake

As promised the recipe:

For the crust-
1 Can of Refried Beans
1/4 cup of Water
1 cup of bisquick

Combine thoroughly to form the crust and press into a greased pie tin or glass Pyrex baking dish. I use an 8x8 glass baking dish.

1 lb ground beef* 2 options see below
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese ( I like the Mexican blend but cheddar is fine)
1 can of salsa (your choice) optional


Now there are two options for the filling. You can brown the ground beef and season with salt/pepper. Or if you have left over meat from taco night you can use it. Its just the beef seasoned with a Lowry's taco seasoning pouch. Combine the beef with the chopped onions. If you go with option one, add the beef mixture to the crust and pour 1 can of salsa over it then top with the shredded cheese. Otherwise pour the taco meat mixture (and onions) into the crust and top with the cheese.

Bake in the oven for 30minutes at 375 degrees. You can top the bake with sour cream, diced tomatoes, or even green onions.

This is what is on the dinner menu for tonight. Pictures to follow!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pasta Alfredo

So a great way to use leftover rotisserie chicken is to toss it into pasta. I found this pouch at the store for Alfredo. It cooks in 8 minutes and you just add water, milk, and butter. The noodles are already included. So my plan tonight is to make this pasta and then toss in the leftover pieces of chicken and serve it up with some green beans. I would toss broccoli in it but Gwendolyn doesn't respond well to it.

Tomorrow I am going to make a burrito bake using the leftover taco meat from last night. So check back for pictures and the recipe.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Frozen Bananas

Do you ever purchase a bunch of bananas at the store and find difficulty in eating them before they overly ripen (brown)? I find this to be an issue in my house. See I love bananas and usually will eat one with breakfast. I am not one for eating bananas at any other time of day, nor do I eat more than one in a day. Robert likes bananas too but is less inclined to eat one unless suggested. So the problem comes when I get a bunch of say 6-7 bananas. My thought is that we will eat them when in reality we is just me. Now I do try to buy smaller bunches and ones that are green if possible but this is not always the case.
What do you do with the bananas once they begin to ripen? I feel awful tossing them out as there is nothing wrong with them. They just happen to be sweeter and more tender than I care to eat. So I put them in my freezer. Yes, you read correctly, I place the starting to brown bananas in the freezer. Why do I do this? Because then I can use them at a later date to make muffins and bread.

Just take them out the night before you intend to bake and thaw them in a ziploc bad or dish in your fridge. You do not want to use a plate. The reason for this is that as the fruit thaws it will release the liquid that was previously stored in the fruit itself and the peel. If you use a plate you are going to end up with liquid all over your fridge if you are not careful.
I like to use Emeril Lagasse's recipe for banana bread.

Completed Slow Cooker Chicken

Little Miss Gwendolyn and I just sampled our Slow Cooker Chicken recipe. Although it is not a colorful dish it is rather flavorful. I would say the "sauce" is more of a broth and in the future would take steps to thicken it. I also find that the plate needs some color! So perhaps some frozen peas and carrots would brighten it up--next time.
I like the texture of the rice as a base. The onions and apples are very velvety in texture, melt in your mouth and pair nicely with the chicken and rice. The potatoes have a firmer texture and balance out the dish.
I forgot to mention that I stuffed the cavity of the chicken with one lemon quartered. I saw the Barefoot Contessa do it in a chicken recipe and thought it would be fun. I cannot tell if it affected the flavor profile of the dish.

So try it if your feeling adventurous and let me know how you liked the dish.

Here is the dish in the crockpot



Here is the dish served up over a bed of white rice



And here is little Gwendolyn during the cooking process. She was a great help! :)

Slower Cooker Chicken with Rosemary, Apples and Onions

While browsing the Foodnetwork for recipes I came across one for a slow cooker chicken. I decided to try it even though Robert has a strong disdain for onions. The only changes to the recipe I made was that I added two potatoes peeled and chopped, and I used a whole chicken. I cooked it for 6 hours on low, removed the chicken and broke it down into sections (legs, thigh, breast, wings, etc) and returned the chicken to the crock pot then cooked it for another hour. I intend to serve it over rice.

I think that this recipe would work better with pork and served over mashed potatoes or something. I do have an awesome recipe for pork loin that I will make this week and share with you all.

Here is the link to the recipe: slower cooker chicken

I will post pictures of the completed meal after we eat it tonight. Here's hoping it tastes as good as it smells!