September ’10 – Week 3 – Thursday Dinner/Entree (to be served with green beans.)
Chicken Cordon Bleu, which means ‘blue ribbon‘ in French, is a classic roulade. This simply means that the meat has been rolled up around a filling. In this case, it’s tender ham and swiss cheese. My husband loves Chicken Cordon Bleu, and though my search for the perfect recipe marches on, this one is pretty darn good.
4-6 Chicken Breasts, beaten into thin paillards with a tenderizer or heavy pan
Thinly sliced Ham and Swiss Cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 C Flour
1 C Panko
2 t Water
1 t Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 350°.
Lay out slices of ham and cheese on the chicken breasts, being careful to leave a margin around the outside so the breast can be sealed and no cheese will escape while baking. Tucking in the sides of the roll, roll up tightly, taking care to squeeze and seal up edges as you do. Employ toothpicks for the cooking process if they will not stay rolled up. This may become an issue especially during the breading process.
Season the flour with salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge each chicken log in the flour mixture. Beat together eggs and water, dip each log in the egg mixture. Combine panko, oil and thyme, with salt and pepper. Gently roll each log in the breadcrumbs.
Bake in a baking dish for 20 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown.
September ’10 – Week 3 – Thursday Dinner/Dessert
This recipe is my go-to rebuttal to all those overly sweet and sugar-rush inducing holiday desserts we’ve become accustomed to. The first time I made it was Easter of 2008, and my stepfather-in-law loved it. It involves the use of a caramel drizzle to offset the tartness of the apples and sour cream, but it’s still a refreshing change!
8 Apples, (a combination of Granny Smith and Gala or Fuji is my go-to) peeled and sliced
1/2 C Sour Cream
1/2 C Brown Sugar
Cinnamon and Nutmeg to taste
1 C Pecans, crushed
Store-bought Caramel Sauce, such as Smucker’s brand
Store-bought Pie Crusts
In a large bowl, combine apple slices, sour cream, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Heap apple filling in a crust, topping with pecans. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes. If you notice pecans or crust browning, tent foil over the pie.
Remove from oven, let cool slightly before drizzling with caramel. Serve warm or cold, both are tasty!
September ’10 – Week 3 – Wednesday Lunch
This recipe is the best thing to do with leftover chicken, second only to my chicken salad recipe! These remind me so much of living in Arizona, and the food we used to snack on up in Sedona when we needed a break from all the walking around. This recipe is a little bit Americanized, if only for ease of cooking. These come together fast with the use of store-bought pie crusts.
3 C Chicken, chopped
8oz (1 package) Shredded “Mexican” or “Fiesta” blend cheese
4 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 C Red Pepper, diced
1 Jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 T Cumin, ground
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 package refrigerated Pie Crusts
Preheat oven to 400° and grease a baking sheet.
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, cheese, cream cheese, red pepper, jalapeno, cumin, salt and pepper.
Unroll piecrust onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 15-inch circle. Cut out rounds, using a 3-inch cookie cutter. Repeat procedure with remaining piecrust, re-rolling as needed, making 12 to 15 circles total. Arrange 1 round on a clean, flat surface. Lightly brush the edges of crust with water.
Place 1 heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of the round. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges with a fork to seal. Repeat with the remaining rounds and filling. These can be made ahead and frozen for up to a month.
Arrange empanadas on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
September ’10 – Week 3 – Wednesday Dinner/Entree
This recipe reminds me of Swedish food, where salmon is king. This is a delicious winter soup, and if your family enjoys exploring and celebrating different Christmas holidays from different cultures, as mine does, you might serve it on December 13 for St. Lucia’s day.
1 T Butter
1 C White Mushrooms, sliced
1 T Flour
3 C Milk
1 Slice of Onion
1 Can of Salmon (about 16 oz)
In a saucepan over medium heat, cook butter and mushrooms together until mushrooms are dark, fragrant and tender. Add flour and stir continuously, creating a roux. In a separate saucepan, scald milk with onion tossed in. Once hot and fragrant, remove onion and add hot milk to the roux, whisking continuously.
Open salmon, and look it over, removing any bones. Add salmon to the soup, season with salt and pepper, and allow to cook until thick and creamy. Serve hot.
September ’10 – Week 3 – Tuesday Dinner/Entree
Another feat of slow cooker heroics! So easy to throw together before heading out to work and school, or before a long day spent apple picking, leaf raking or snow shoveling- this meal is super super slapdash- so fast and it cooks itself! What could be easier?
4 Boneless, Skinless chicken breasts
2 T Butter
2 cans condensed, low sodium Cream of Chicken Soup
1 onion, finely diced
1 C chopped carrots
1 C peas
2 packages biscuit dough (refrigerated)
Put everything except for the biscuit dough into the slow cooker, and cook on high for about 6 hours. About a half an hour before serving, tear up biscuit dough into pieces and place all over the top. Cook until the dough is done all the way through, then serve.
September ’10 – Week 3 – Monday Dinner/Entree
4-6 Duck Legs
Ground Ginger (I actually prefer dried for this recipe.)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 jar pre-supremed Grapefruit Segments in juice
Preheat oven to 350°. Season duck with salt, pepper and ginger. Drizzle honey overtop and place in a baking dish. Bake for 90 minutes, basting every so often.
Quickly before serving, drain grapefruit segments and reserve juice. Toss segments with arugula and heap on plate. Using olive oil, grapefruit juice, salt and pepper, whisk together a vinaigrette to dress the salad with. Place duck on top, finished with the cooking liquid.
September ’10 – Week 3 – Sunday Dinner/Dessert, Monday Breakfast
Everyone knows that I love a good kitchen shortcut, but nothing quite compares to how quickly I slap together this caramel apple strudel. It’s not quite the same as the actual traditional Viennese dessert, but it sure does hit the spot for that autumn-induced craving for apples baked in pastry!
1 package frozen Phyllo Dough
3-4 Large Granny Smith Apples, peeled and chopped into bite-sized cubes
6 oz Creamy/Chewy Caramels (about 10-12 candies.)
Confectioner’s Sugar for Dusting
Preheat oven according to phyllo package directions.
Grease a large baking sheet and lay phyllo out so that it thaws enough to unroll it flat without it cracking.
In a skillet, toss together the apples, adding cinnamon and nutmeg to taste. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Add in the milk and caramel candies. Cook everything together until soft and creamy.
Once Phyllo is thawed, spoon apple filling into the center and fold the phyllo up around it, first the ends to seal in the filling, then the sides. Bake according to phyllo package directions, until dough is brown and crisp. Remove from oven and dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving.
September ’10 – Week 2 – Saturday Dinner/Entree
Is there anyone who doesn’t love some permutation of lasagna? From meat-stuffed, to full on veggie, and somewhere in between. Heck, even a napoleon is lasagna in dessert form! I always make my lasagna with spinach in it, as this recipe calls for, but almost any veggie is welcome on board. This recipe incorporates the more traditional bechamel sauce, adding a creamy counterpart to the rich tang of the tomato sauce.
For the Bechamel:
5 T Butter
1/2 C AP Flour
4 C Whole Milk, warmed to room temperature
1 1/2 C Tomato Sauce
Pinch of Nutmeg
For the Lasagna:
1/4 C Olive Oil
1 lb Ground Beef
1 1/2 lb Ricotta Cheese
1 lb Lasagna Sheets, cooked per package directions
2 packages frozen Spinach, thawed and water squeezed out
3 C shredded Mozzarella
1/4 C shredded Parmesan
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a saucepan, melt 5T butter over medium heat. Once melted, add flour, whisking continuously until smooth. Gradually add milk, whisking until smoothly incorporated and there are no lumps from the flour. Continue whisking over heat until sauce is thick and creamy, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add tomato sauce and nutmeg, incorporating completely. Salt and pepper to taste.
In a skillet, heat olive oil over med-high heat before adding beef. Brown the beef well, breaking up any lumps. Drain any fat and set aside to cool slightly.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together ricotta, eggs, and spinach. Salt and pepper to taste.
In a 9×13″ baking dish, start by cover the bottom with a thin layer of the sauce. Then add a layer of pasta. Next, a layer of the ricotta mixture, using it all up. Adding another layer of pasta, do a layer of all the beef next, covering the beef over with mozzarella cheese, and covering the cheese with the bechamel. Add the final layer of pasta, covering that with bechamel, then mozzarella, then the Parmesan.
Bake in a 375° oven, covered with aluminum foil, for a half an hour, then uncover and allow to cook for an additional 15 minutes.
September ’10 – Week 2 – Friday Dinner/Entree
Pescado con Coco, or fish in coconut sauce, is a warm and elegant dish. Its brilliant orange color is attributed to the use of powdered achiote seeds, which are the source of the common conventional colorant annatto. That’s what makes Goldfish crackers and Cheddar cheese orange! This interesting bit of trivia might excite kids into trying some!
4 Fish Fillets (Snapper, Grouper, or any other whitefish of choice.)
2 Red Peppers, cut into strips
1 Onion, cut into strips
1 t crushed Garlic
1 t Powdered Annatto
4 C Coconut Milk
2 T Cilantro, finely chopped
4 T Oil
Make diagonal cuts on the fish spaced about an inch and a half apart.
Mix the garlic, annatto and salt. Rub it all over the fish, being sure to fill in the cutmarks with the mixture.
Heat oil in a large skillet. Sautee fish on one side until browned, flip and cook other side. Add the vegetables and saute for a 5 minutes. Add coconut milk and cilantro. Simmer over medium heat until the liquid reduces halfway. Continue to turn fish, cooking evenly. When the liquid has reduced, salt to taste and serve immediately.
September ’10 – Week 2 – Friday Dinner/Dessert
Jalao de Coco is a traditional Dominican dulcito. It’s not pretty, but the taste will change your mind! It has two ingredients (although I have seen recipes that also add finely ground ginger to the mix.) And it comes together quickly.
1 C dried Shredded Coconut
1/2 C Honey
Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stirring regularly, allow to boil for 3 minutes, until it turns into a thick paste. Allow mixture to come to room temperature before forming small balls with your hands. Serve immediately!
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