Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lemon Cookies

Lemon Cookies
Courtesy of: my sister Cathi, via Rachel Ray
Yield: 36 cookies

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Oven Temperature: 350°F

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1-1/4 cup sugar (could sub in Splenda here)
2 lemons zested, freshly grated
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 lg egg
1-1/2 cup flour (my sister used white wheat flour)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, combine butter, 1 cup sugar, lemon zest, and juice until fluffy. Mix in the egg. Add the flour, soda, and salt; mix well.

Place 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl. Roll heaping teaspoon of dough into balls, then roll into sugar. Place on cookie sheet a few inches apart. Bake until golden brown (about 15 minutes)

Cool completely.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chicken Marsala

Clarified butter (butter without the milk solids) is ideal for searing meats because it can be heated to a high temperature without burning. Although you can purchase clarified butter, we detail how to make it below in the first step.

Chicken Marsala
Courtesy of: Cooking Light
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half, 1 cup pasta, and 1/4 cup sauce)

4 tablespoons butter, divided
Cooking spray
1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dry Marsala wine
1/2 cup frozen green peas
2 tablespoons half-and-half
4 cups hot cooked fettuccine (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)

Place 3 tablespoons butter in a small glass measuring cup. Microwave butter at MEDIUM-HIGH 45 seconds or until melted. Let stand 1 minute. Skim foam from surface, and discard. (Mixture will appear separated.) Pour melted butter through a fine sieve over a small bowl, and discard the milk solids. Set the clarified butter aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat; add mushrooms, shallots, and garlic. Cook 3 minutes or until moisture evaporates; remove mushroom mixture from pan. Set aside.

Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to a 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish; dredge chicken breast halves in flour.
Add clarified butter to pan, and place over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.

Remove chicken from pan. Return mushroom mixture to pan; add broth and Marsala, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until reduced to 1 cup. Stir in peas; cook 1 minute. Add 1 tablespoon butter, half-and-half, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, stirring until butter melts.

Return chicken to pan; cook until thoroughly heated. Serve chicken and sauce over pasta.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 585 (24% from fat)
Fat: 15.3g (sat 8.4g,mono 4.1g,poly 1g)
Protein: 51.4g
Carbohydrate: 55g
Fiber: 3.7g
Cholesterol: 133mg
Iron: 4.4mg
Sodium: 469mg
Calcium: 57mg
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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Beef Tortilla Casserole

An enchilada dinner kit creates a hearty beef casserole that's in the oven in just 20 minutes.

Beef Tortilla Casserole
Courtesy of: Betty Crocker

Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 50 min
Makes: 6 servings

1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 box (14.2 oz) Old El Paso® enchilada dinner kit
1/2 cup water
1 can (4.5 oz) Old El Paso® chopped green chiles
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. In 10-inch skillet, cook beef and onion, stirring occasionally, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in both pouches enchilada sauce (from dinner kit), the seasoning mix (from dinner kit), water and chiles; heat until hot.

2. In ungreased 11x7-inch baking dish, spread 1 cup of the beef mixture. Cut tortillas (from dinner kit) in half. Place 6 tortilla halves on beef; spread with 1/2 cup of the sour cream. Top with 1/2 cup of the cheese, 1 cup of the beef mixture and remaining 6 tortilla halves. Top with remaining sour cream, remaining beef mixture and remaining cheese.

3. Bake 30 minutes.

If desired, serve with additional sour cream, diced red bell pepper and chopped fresh cilantro.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Heat oven to 375°F.

Nutrition Information: 1 Serving:
Calories 410 (Calories from Fat 230)
Total Fat 25g (Saturated Fat 13g, Trans Fat 1 1/2g)
Cholesterol 90mg
Sodium 1000mg
Total Carbohydrate 24g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 5g
Protein 22g
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Friday, January 9, 2009

Spinach & Chicken Skillet

This one is on tap for our menu next week - so I'll try to get some pictures and replace the stylized one.

Fresh spinach paired with tender chicken is the perfect quick-fix meal for a busy weeknight supper.

Spinach & Chicken Skillet
Courtesy of: Betty Crocker

Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 25 min
Makes: 6 servings

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 3/4 pounds)
1 cup fat-free (skim) milk
1/2 cup Progresso® chicken broth (from 32-ounce carton)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 bag (10 ounces) washed fresh spinach, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. Remove fat from chicken. Spray 12-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Cook chicken in skillet 2 minutes on each side; reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in milk, broth and onion. Cook about 5 minutes, turning chicken occasionally, until onion is tender.

2. Stir in spinach. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until spinach is completely wilted and juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut. Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm.

3. Increase heat to medium. Cook spinach mixture about 3 minutes or until liquid has almost evaporated. Stir in salt, pepper and nutmeg. Serve chicken on spinach.

** I think I might add some feta with my spinach... but that would just be for me as John isn't a big fan of hot feta.

Did You Know...
Not only do we have Columbus to thank for exploring the New World, but we can thank him for nutmeg as well! He was searching for this fragrant spice as he set out from Spain to find the East Indies.

Special Touch
Dress up this tasty entrée with a side of pasta, rice or boiled new potatoes. Steamed matchstick-cut carrots also look--and taste--great with this nutritious chicken dish.

Nutrition Information: 1 Serving:
Calories 165 (Calories from Fat 35 )
Total Fat 4 g (Saturated Fat 1 g)
Cholesterol 75 mg
Sodium 310 mg
Total Carbohydrate 6 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Protein 30 g
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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ranch Chicken

Honestly, mine didn't turn out this pretty at all - but for several recipes I've borrowed pictures... so I'm not going to feel bad about doing it this time either. I try to replace the food styled pictures from the professionals when I make the recipe, so maybe next time I'll have a better shot.

These breaded chicken breasts are crispy and brown on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. The seasoned crumbs add extra flavor.

Ranch Chicken
Courtesy of: Betty Crocker

Prep Time: 5 min
Total Time: 20 min
Makes: 4 servings

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb)
1/4 cup ranch dressing
1/3 cup Progresso® dry bread crumbs (any flavor)
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

1. Dip chicken into dressing, then coat with bread crumbs.

2. In 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in oil 12 to 15 minutes, turning once, until outside is golden brown and juice is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut.

** I pounded out the chicken to try to allow it to cook through, but since the breading stuck to the pan anyway - I put it in the oven for about 20 minutes at 425 after browning what was left of the coating.

Try to test for doneness only once or twice to keep juices inside and chicken juicy.

Sliced or shredded leftover chicken breasts are perfect on sandwiches. Spread bread with a dab of cranberry relish for a sweet-tart flavor accent.

Nutrition Information: 1 Serving:
Calories 305 (Calories from Fat 160 )
Total Fat 18 g (Saturated Fat 3 g)
Cholesterol 80 mg
Sodium 290 mg
Total Carbohydrate 8 g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Protein 28 g
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