Monthly Archives: August 2011

Pomme Frite Crisps

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These easy and yet just a touch of gourmet crisps/chips are quite delectable.  They are a perfect accompaniment to the Stuffed Chicken Cordon Bleu. Make these earlier in the day and serve them as nice after school snack or warm with a meal.

Again this is one of those recipes that the amounts will vary depending on how many you want to make.  Make a batch as big or small as you want!
You will need:
russet potatoes
salt and pepper
herbs d’ provence
and oil to fry in
Slice the potatoes  on a mandolin slicer and place slices in a bowl of ice water. This will help wash off the starch and make your chips crisper.  See how cloudy the water is? That is all the starch coming off.

Drain the slices on paper towels and pat dry.

In a large skillet heat about 1/4″ of vegetable oil to aprox 375. When you put a potato slice in it should bubble up all around it.  If it doesn’t the oil is not hot enough.  In batches fry the slices about 2 min on each side. Remove to paper towels then sprinkle with salt and pepper and the herbs d’ provence. Immediately put on a wire rack so they won’t get soggy.  Keep working in batches till all are done.

Enjoy your gourmet snack!

Stuffed Chicken Cordon Bleu

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We have just about been around the Globe together this week! Morocco, India, Asia, now France! This is my quick and easy version of a traditional Cordon Bleu. I wanted to show all my readers and my husband that chicken can be exciting and flavorful in ways he couldn’t imagine.  How do you all think I am doing?

One good thing about this recipe is that there is no exact measuring. So the amounts can be as large or as small as you want depending on how many you are feeding!
skinless boneless chicken breast
turkey or streaky bacon ( I like the turkey bacon healthier)
salt and pepper
herbs d’ provence
blue cheese slices or crumbles.

Fry bacon in a skillet, slice chicken breast half way through the thickest part of the breast to make a pocket.  Stuff with the blue cheese.  Sprinkle the salt and pepper and herbs d’provence, wrap two slices of bacon around each breast and arrange in a shallow baking dish.

Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Bon Appetite! Serve with the Pomme Frite Crisps and a spring salad.

Asian Fusion Chicken

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OK so believe me I know how pretentious that name sounds.  We just recently moved to Kansas City from California and everything in the Bay area is Fusion this, Fusion that….. It is all over the food world when you don’t have a pigeon hole to stick something we call it Fusion.  I could call this, it was at the end of paycheck and I did not have all the ingredients to make either Pad Thai or Chop Suey so I made this.  Somehow I don’t think you would respond to that so well. Asian Fusion it is!! This is the latest installment on my World Tour of Chicken Dishes!  If you like Pad Thai, and you like Chop Suey, or if you like one but not the other, I promise you will Love this!

For the Sauce

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup chicken broth
3 tbs peanut butter
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs brown sugar ( I use the Splenda Blend)
2 tsp Asian chili sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil

1 pound ground Chicken
1/4 red onion chopped
3 garlic cloves chopped
salt and pepper
1 tsp ginger powder
1/2 can water chestnuts chopped
1 bag of frozen chop suey vegetables or any other Asian vegetable blend

In a mixing bow combine all the sauce ingredients and cover and set aside. Do not chill.  In a hot wok or skillet, heat 1 tbs canola oil add onion and garlic.  Always add onion and cook for a few seconds before adding garlic. Garlic is tender and the pieces are small and will burn easy if you throw them in first.  Cook for 1-2 min.  Remove from pan and reserve.  Season the ground chicken with salt and pepper and ginger power and cook in the hot wok till crumbled and cooked all the way through.  Add the onions and the garlic back in and add the frozen vegetables.  Pour the sauce mixture over all and mix till all is coated. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer and cover.  Cook 7-10 min till vegetables are done, stirring occasionally.
Asian Fusion without the pretension served up on a platter!

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

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So Summer is winding down and we are all getting ready to have the kids head back to school!!! Yippee! All the stores have their fall decorations up and the sweaters are on the shelves.  It is easy to wish the days away when Corporate America has us all brain washed to start thinking Christmas Shopping Season is a mere few weeks away. Then we step outside and the blast of the heat is upon us! Step back Retail Guru’s, I am not ready to head into fall just yet.  It is August for crying out loud! It is HOT HOT HOT out there! So here is my toast to a Summer that I am not ready to give up on just yet!

This is super easy to boot!
1 package white cake mix
3 egg whites
1 cup water plus 2 tbs
1/3 plus 1/4 cup frozen pink lemonade concentrate thawed
2 tbs canola oil
pink gel paste food coloring
4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter softened
1/4 tsp lemon extract
2 1/2 tbs meringue powder
in a mixing bowl combing cake mix, egg whites, water, oil and 1/3 cup pink lemonade and a tiny amount of gel paste.  This stuff is strong so go light on it unless you want a pepto pink cake mix.

Line 24 cupcake liners in 2 muffin tins and divide the batter evenly filling each well about 2/3 full. When done give the pans a little jiggle to settle the batter and a quick tap on the counter to remove any air bubbles.  Cake mixes of today are nothing like the dry air filled mess that they used to be.  You can really jazz up a good mix and they are moist and tasty!

Bake for 20 min at 350 or till the batter is baked through and the cake springs back when you touch it.

Cool cupcakes on a rack.  The air circulation will cool them faster and keep the bottoms from getting soggy.  We have all had that cupcake at pot luck from the poor individual who just doesn’t quite get it.  If you are that individual this is the tip that fixes that!
While cupcakes are cooling make your frosting. If you plan on piping make a double batch of frosting as piping uses more product than just frosting with a palate knife.
Take the powdered sugar, 1/4 cup lemonade, 1/4 tsp lemon extract, 2tbs of water, and 2 1/2 tbs meringue powder in a standing mixer and combine till smooth and creamy.
If you pipe you can use room temperature cupcakes.  If you are going to frost with a palate knife the cooler the cupcake the better.  I would chill them for 30 min first.
Pipe or frost the cupcakes and enjoy your summery delight!!

Croissant Bread Pudding

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This is a melt in your mouth, OMG I have died and gone to heaven kind of dessert! The night I made this batch I got home late from work, the boys had been busy all day with soccer practice and getting packed for their yearly camping trip and we were all a bit tired and cranky.  I had two recipes I really wanted to make that night and I almost pushed this off for a bit.  Dear heavens that would have been a huge mistake.  As soon as we could smell the chocolate melting in the oven, our moods started to shift a little.  By the time our spoon with the first bite hit our mouths we were all laughing and the hard day was soon forgotten!  That is the power of a good desert!

6 mini croissants
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup 1/2 & 1/2
1 tbs powdered vanilla and 2 tsp of powdered vanilla beans (you can substitute with 2 split vanilla beans or you can try with liquid extract)
6 ounces semi sweet baking chocolate chopped in small pieces

Heat oven to 325.  Cut the croissants into 1″ pieces and place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes.  Shake and toss around and bake 8 minutes more. Til nice and golden and crunchy.Beat yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl. Heat both the creams and the vanilla in a sauce pan till just almost hot. Pour into the egg mixture.  Don’t let the cream get too hot or the eggs will curdle.
Divide the cubed croissants and the chocolate evenly in  6 ounce ramekins or make one batch in a 1 quart baking dish. Pour custard mix evenly in each ramekin.  To make sure your pudding cooks evenly you need to bake it in a water bath.

Place filled ramekins in a 9×19 baking dish and pour in HOT water till about 1/2″ to top of ramekins. Be careful not to splash any water into the ramekins. Place in the oven uncovered and bake at 325 for 40 min.  Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Delish! Decadent! Amazing! Family Mood Lifter! Dessert!
 

A Taste of North Africa in your Kitchen!

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In keeping with my global theme on chicken, I have a special delight for you tonight! This Moroccan inspired dish is healthy, fast, easy, and quite possibly the tastiest chicken you will ever eat!!!

3-4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup flour
olive oil to coat pan plus more
1 onion sliced
1 yellow pepper diced
2 garlic cloves minced
2 heavy dashes of cinnamon
1 short dash of cloves
1 heavy dash of nutmeg
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lemon keep lemon halves

Cut the chicken into 1″ cubes and salt and pepper.  Dredge in the flour and pan fry in the olive oil in a hot pan till golden brown.  You may have to do this in small batches. Be sure not to over crowd the pan or you will end up steaming the meat and not getting a nice crunch to it. Remove chicken from pan.

Add a bit more olive oil to the pan and add the chopped yellow pepper and sliced onion. Cook for approx 10 minutes stirring occasionally, till they are golden and tender. Return the chicken and add the chicken stock, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Add the juice of the lemon and toss the rinds in to add more of a lemon flavor.  If you have Sumac, (which I thought I had, but apparently not so much) you can keep the rinds out and just add 2 tsp.
Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 5-7 min.  Add the cilantro and stir.  Serve with Risotto, or couscous.  Tonight my dear husband made the Risotto, hence that is why it is not shown in the picture.  But he did try and it was so sweet to have a sous chef in the kitchen.

Grilled Chicken with Indian BBQ Sauce and Peach Relish

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So after a week of over indulgence in red meat it is back to my staple meat, CHICKEN!!!  Now don’t let the idea of bland, white, boiled, tasteless white meat rule your thinking of chicken.  I can make even the most mundane of proteins exciting for you!!! Just follow me on my global tour of chicken this week and I will make the most skeptical of you (my husband) see just how exciting and versatile this important healthy protein is!
For the Indian BBQ sauce
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup white wine
1 tbs brown sugar
1tbs chili powder
1tbs coriander
1tbs curry
1tbs cumin
1tbs paprika
1tsp allspice

For the Grilled Chicken
4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
olive oil
salt and pepper
For the Peach Relish
4 Large peaches
1 red pepper
1 jalapeno seeds and veins removed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup orange juice
juice of one lime
1 tbs honey

Slice peaches, dice both peppers and combine in a mixing brown with cilantro, honey, and lime and orange juices.

To make the BBQ sauce combine the vinegar, wine, all the spices and brown sugar in a mixing bowl, cover and chill.
Brush the chicken with olive oil on both sides and salt and pepper each side.  Grill over medium high direct heat 5-7 min each side. Making sure to baste the chicken multiple times each side with the BBQ sauce.

Plate the grilled chicken with the peach relish and serve with the extra BBQ Sauce.  A taste of Mumbia in your family’s kitchen!! Just think you didn’t even have to travel the 10,000 miles!!!