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Monday, April 18, 2011

Recipe Review - end Mar/beg April

I'm a few weeks behind here in my reviews - one little trip to the Cities rather derailed my new recipe endevors!  Funny how that happens.  And I've been cooking less with recipes lately, relying more on 'impromptu' type meals and simplicity. 

So, this is a "catch up review" as I try and sort through my notes on what I've been making - and we've had some good dishes!

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes (Ckng Lght, March 2010)
We've been doing Pancake Sundays for a while now, and subsequently, playing around with different types of flours.  This one grabbed my attention not only for the WW component, but also because it used buttermilk! Yum.


3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 large egg white

Cooking spray
3/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons butter

Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine buttermilk, oil, egg, and egg white, stirring with a whisk; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Heat a nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto griddle. Turn pancakes over when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Serve with syrup and butter.

Herbed Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts  (Ckng Light, March 2011)
I love anything that has goat cheese in it, and this one seemed quick and easy enough for a weeknight.  We weren't disappointed - the mint really brightened the flavors and was a nice counterpoint to the creamy cheese.  Made enough for two meals for us. 

I did deviate from the recipe by baking this rather than broiling.  I was baking some diced squash and it seemed to make more sense to just bake this as well. 

1/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 (4-ounce) package goat cheese
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1. Preheat broiler to high.  (**See note above; bake @400* for about 20-30 minutes)

2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each breast half to form a pocket. Stuff 2 tablespoons cheese mixture into each pocket; close opening with a wooden pick. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan. Add chicken to pan, and cook for 2 minutes on 1 side or until browned. Arrange chicken on a baking sheet (browned side up); broil for 8 minutes or until done.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole (Ckng Lght, March 2011)
This dish was a bit putzy and that was even with simplifying it by using pre-cooked chicken!  If you also go the rotisserie or leftover chicken route, I recommend starting the sauce while prepping the chicken.  It make more sence to have that reducing on the stove while mixing the chicken and cheese.  Overall, good flavor, a good way to use up leftover chicken, corn or tortillas.  I only wish I had made some cornbread to go with it.  This made more than four servings. 

Yeild: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 3/4 cups)

Prep/Cook Time: 1 hr +
4 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups chopped onion, divided
6 garlic cloves, minced and divided
1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
2/3 cup salsa verde
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeño pepper
9 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425°.

2. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; sauté 4 minutes on each side. Place skillet in oven; bake at 425° for 10 minutes or until done. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 15 minutes. Remove meat from bones; shred. Discard bones. Place chicken in a medium bowl. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro, corn, and next 5 ingredients (through black pepper) to chicken; toss to combine.

3. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup onion; sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 3 garlic cloves; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add onion mixture to chicken mixture; stir to combine.

4. Combine remaining 1 1/2 cups onion, remaining 3 garlic cloves, broth, salsa, 1/4 cup water, and jalapeño in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Carefully pour mixture into a blender; add 2 tablespoons cilantro. Process until smooth.

5. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tortillas; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Remove tortillas from pan; repeat procedure with remaining tortillas. Cut tortillas into quarters.

6. Spread 1/2 cup salsa mixture in the bottom of an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 12 tortilla quarters over salsa mixture. Spoon half of chicken mixture over tortillas. Repeat layers, ending with tortillas. Pour remaining salsa mixture over tortillas; sprinkle evenly with cheddar cheese. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Top with remaining cilantro

Root Veggie Stew (my own)
This is based on a recipe the Mom used to make but I changed it significantly enough that I felt it deserved it's own posting.  In the past I've used all Campbells soups; this time I did a vareity of organic soups (Amy's and Nature Valley).  Each offer their own unique set of  flavors.   This is kinda a "do what you want" recipe.  I was trying to use up a slew of root veggies and winter sqaush and was just kinda tossing things into the crockpot so my quantities are estimates.  

1 can cr of mushroom soup
1 can cr of chicken soup (or cr of celery if going vegetarian)
1 can tomato soup
1 lb butternut squash, cubed
1 cup parsnips, cubed OR
1 cup rutabega, cubed  (or both)
1 cup carrots, cut into coins
onion, chopped

Dump everything into a 4qt crockpot.  DO NOT ADD WATER.  Cook on low 6-8 hours OR cook on high for 4 hours.  Serve with some crusty bread to soak up all the great sauce.  Makes enough for about five lunches for two people.

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