Monday, September 23, 2013

Chicken Piccata

Chicken with lemon, wine, and capers is one of the 
easiest and fastest 'special' dinners. It's perfect 
to serve guests, yet still easy enough for any night 
of the week. I combined several lemon chicken, 
piccata recipes to find the best of both worlds; 
simple and delicious. 
If the chicken breasts are very large, I use just 
2 and cut them in half after pounding.
Flatten between plastic wrap to about 1/2".
Have all the ingredients ready.
Coat chicken in flour.
Heat large pan and and add 2 T butter
and 1 T olive oil. Saute the chicken until browned 
on both sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
 Remove cooked chicken to an ovenproof plater
 and keep warm in a 250 oven while you finish
the sauce. Add the remaining 2 T butter to the pan
 and the minced garlic. Swirl to melt the butter. 
Add the wine and lemon juice scraping up the 
browned bits. Add the capers and simmer for 
2 minutes until slightly thickened.
Note: I never liked capers until a friend convinced
me to give them another try a few years ago.
 Now I love them! They give food that right amount
of salty-briney flavor boost. I wrote a post about
it in Rules for Life
Serve chicken on pasta and spoon on
the the sauce. Sprinkle with parsley. 

Chicken Piccata
4 boneless chicken breasts
1/4 C flour
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 T olive oil
4 T butter; divided
1/2 C white wine
1/4 C lemon juice
 2 T capers
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T chopped fresh parsley
Rinse and pat dry chicken.
Place chicken breasts between plastic wrap 
and pound flat to an even 1/2" thickness.
Place flour in a shallow dish and dredge the
chicken in the flour; coating well and shaking
off excess. Heat 2 T butter and oil in a large 
skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken,
and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side,
until nicely browned; sprinkle with salt 
and pepper. Remove chicken to a platter
and place in a 250 oven to keep warm.
Add remaining 2 T butter, garlic, lemon juice, 
wine, and capers to the pan; scrape pan to 
loosen browned bits. Cook 2 minutes or 
until slightly thick. Spoon sauce over chicken,
 sprinkle with fresh chopped parslet. 
Serve over pasta. Garnish with lemon slices.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Cinnamon French Toast

"Heavy on the cinnamon, and light on the clove." 
 If you love movie quotes you may remember 
this one from, It's A Wonderful Life. 
That's how Clarence, the angel, ordered his
 mulled wine at Martini's Bar, just before he and
 George Bailey were thrown out into the snow. 
Well, this French toast is heavy on the cinnamon, 
and that makes it just right.
 Slice your bread into thick 1" slices.
Add flour to a shallow pan; a pie pan works great, 
whisk in the milk, then eggs and the rest.
I only used 1/3 the recipe this morning, so don't
 let the amounts in the pictures confuse you. 
We don't drink whole milk but I often buy a quart
to use in cooking; pancakes, mashed potatoes, 
stratas/bread casseroles, baking, and French toast.
 Heat a large pan. I like to use my favorite; 
cast iron because it gives the toast a crispy crust. 
Add butter and let it get foamy hot. 
The unusual ingredient, flour keeps the bread
from becoming soggy and gives it a slight crispy
crust. The rest is easy. Just make sure you let
the bread soak up the egg mixture-
at least a minute per side.
 That's what makes the centers nice and fluffy.
 Cook on medium heat for 2 minutes per side or 
until golden and cooked through.
 Have warm plates in the oven ready for serving. 
Plate with a dusting of powdered sugar, a drizzle 
of maple syrup, and fresh berries.

Cinnamon French Toast
1 loaf bread; 
French, challah, or brioche
1 C whole milk
1/4 C flour
3 eggs
1 T cinnamon
1 T sugar
1 t vanilla
pinch salt
Slice the bread into 1" thick slices.
Put the flour in a shallow pan and whisk in 
the milk until smooth; then whisk in the eggs
and remaining ingredients. Soak the bread 
slices in the mixture, turning the bread until 
the liquid is thoroughly absorbed.
Heat a large skillet on medium and add
2 T butter. When melted and hot, add the
bread and let cook at least 2 minutes each
side until golden and cooked through. 
serves: 12 slices

*Clarence: Wait a minute, wait a minute, I got it. A mulled wine, heavy on the cinnamon, and light on the cloves. There we go, off with you lad and look lively.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Easy Sausage Alfredo

Here's a tasty dinner you can have on 
the table in 15 minutes. That's a good 
thing to have in your recipe file.

1 pkg. Hillshire Farm® Smoked Sausage, 
diagonally cut into 1/4” slices
8-12 oz. pasta, cooked, drained
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. PREPARE pasta according to 
directions; drain and set aside.

2. SAUTE sausage in a large skillet over 
medium-high heat for 5 minutes, turning occasionally.

3. ADD cream and Cajun seasoning; bring to a 
boil. Reduce heat; simmer gently for 3-4 
minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. 
Remove from heat; stir in Parmesan cheese. 
Add pasta to the sauce.
STIR to combine.
I cut the recipe in half. Next time I'll make the 
whole recipe and have a little leftovers for
 lunch the next day. 

Tip:  For added fresh flavor, add 1 cup frozen green peas or broccoli in last 3-4 minutes of cooking pasta.  Continue as directed. Can also stir in chopped green onions and tomatoes before serving and sprinkle it all with fresh chopped parsley. Whatever you want.  Or just serve a green vegetable or salad on the side. 


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Cube Steak with Sauteed Mushrooms and Onions

We always called these minute steaks...
because they cook quickly in just about
a minute on each side. 
We like them smothered with sauteed
onions and mushrooms. 
 Slice one onion and 8-oz of mushrooms.
 I like to use a cast iron skillet for this because
I can get it hot enough to sear and brown the meat.
 First, quickly saute the onions and mushrooms
in a little oil, adding salt and pepper until golden.
 Remove back to the plate.
 Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel.
Generously salt and pepper them. Add a coating
of oil to the bottom of the pan and make sure
it's very hot. Add the steaks and brown quickly
on one side for about a minute. Flip and
 brown the other side another minute.
 Return the onions and mushroom to the pan
 for a minute to mingle the flavors. You can add a
dash of Worcestershire sauce if desired.
Remove to the warmed plates.
 I like to serve this with rice and add the cooked
 rice to the pan and give a stir to get up all the
browned bits and help flavor the rice.
 Heep on the mushrooms and onions.
Serve with rice or mashed potatoes.
Start those cooking first.
Simple, simple, simple. 

Cube Streaks Smothered with 
Sauteed Mushrooms and Onions
4 medium cube steaks
1 onion, halved and sliced
8-oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
salt, pepper, oil
Worcestershire sauce if desired.
Cast Iron Pan

Heat the skillet on MH, add oil.
Saute onions and mushrooms , seasoned
 with salt and pepper until golden.
Remove from pan. Pat the steaks dry.
Season meat well with salt and pepper.
Add more oil to coat the bottom of the
hot skillet. Brown the steaks on high for
one minute on each side. Return the onion
and mushrooms to the pan for another minute.
Check for doneness. Do not overcook.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Tex-Mix Stew

This zesty hamburger stew is a nice
 change-up from regular chili. 
Very little prep required. 
 Just seed and chop the peppers. You could even 
 use 1 C frozen chopped green and red peppers
 Brown the beef in a large deep pot for 5 minutes.
Stir in the peppers.
 Mix in the dry onion soup and the seasonings. 
 Add the canned vegetables.
 Stir in the water. 
 Simmer, covered, about 30 minutes.
Combine the 2 T flour and 1/4 C water in a jar. Stir 
into the stew; cook another minute, until thickened.
Serve with corn chips or homemade cornbread.
It's a tasty fall and winter dish that
 goes great with football watching...

if you're so inclined!

Tex-Mex Stew
1-1/2 lbs ground beef
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 pkg dry onion soup mix
1 T cumin
1 t garlic salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t oregano
1/4 t red cayenne pepper
1 can (15-1/2-oz) black beans
1 can (11-oz) corn niblets, drained
1 can (4-1/4-oz) diced green chilies
2 C water
Brown the beef in a 5-qt deep pot over 
medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. 
Stir in the peppers; then stir in the 
onion soup and seasonings. Mix in the water.
Simmer, covered for 30 minutes.

In a jar combine:
2 T flour and 1/4 C water
Stir into the  stew; cook until thickened,
about 1 minute. Serve with corn chips
or homemade cornbread. 


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Apple Cobbler

Warm apple cobbler, ice cream and coffee.
That's the perfect intro to fall.
I love to use my apple baker. It hangs on my 
pot rack just looking cute when not in use.
I found it at a crafts fair while driving 
through charming Helena, Montana. Just a
lucky day that was part of our road trip.
You can also use a pie dish.
 This is so much easier than making a pie.
 Peel, core and slice the apples. Toss the slices
with a squirt of lemon juice then toss again
with brown sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon.
 Use the butter wrapper to grease your dish.
 Pile in the apples
 Combine the flour and sugar. Cut in the butter.
I found this cute red wood handled pastry blender
in a thrift shop. Love it! Hang that up too.
 Add the streusel crumbles to the top.
 Bake until golden and apples are bubbly, about
40-45 min.
 I like to use Granny Smith or Macintosh apples.
Serve warm with ice cream.
Save some to warm up for breakfast.

Apple Cobbler
5 apples, peeled and sliced
1t-2t lemon juice
1/3 C brown sugar
1 T cornstarch
1/2 t cinnamon

1 stick butter, (1/2C or 1/4 pound)
at room temperature
1 C flour
1/2 C sugar
Toss together the filling ingredients and place
 in a buttered pie pan or baking dish.
Mix the flour and sugar together. 
Cut in the butter until mixture is crumbly.
Sprinkle over apples. Bake @400 for 45 minutes,
until golden and apples bubble around the edge.
Let stand 10 minutes.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream if desired.