Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Chicken Cordon Bleu

I had boneless chicken breasts that needed 
inspiration. I also had deli ham and Swiss cheese 
in the fridge. That's when I remembered a 
recipe I hadn't made in years.
Chicken Cordon Bleu. 
I don't know why it's been so long because this
 recipe is very easy. Plus, you can make them ahead
 of time and even freeze them in individual bundles
 to have a nice dinner anytime.
 Flatten the chicken and lay on a slice of 
ham and cheese to cover. Roll into bundles.
(I cut the breasts in half after flattening)
 Melt butter on a dinner plate and coat chicken. 
 Combine the breadcrumbs and seasoning on 
another plate and roll the bundles, pressing on
the crumbs to cover completely. 
 At this point you can refrigerate to finish cooking
 later. You can also make extra bundles and freeze
 them in individual baggies for quick dinners. 
 You can bake them just as they are or melt
 additional butter on the plate to equal about
 2 T total and add 2 T lemon juice.
 Drizzle this over the bundles and bake for 
about 30 minutes @350º, or until golden.

Chicken Cordon Bleu
4 boneless chicken breasts
4 thin slices of ham
4 thin slicers of Swiss cheese
4 T butter, (1/2 stick)
1/2 C seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t paprika
Flatten chicken breasts between
plastic wrap. Cut in half if they are
very large. Lay a slice of ham and  
 Swiss cheese on to cover each breast. 
Roll or fold into thirds. Melt butter on
a dinner plate. Mix breadcrumbs and 
seasonings on another plate. Roll  chicken
bundles in the butter then roll in the 
breadcrumbs coating completely and 
pressing on. At this point you can cover 
and refrigerate or put each bundle in a 
small baggie and freeze. When ready to bake
place room temperature bundles in buttered 
dish, drizzle any remaining butter (use about 
2T melted on the plate) and add 2 T lemon juice.
Bake @350º for 30-35 minutes


Friday, February 7, 2014

The Best Buttermilk PANCAKES and 10 Tips

Pancakes are just right for a lazy weekend morning. It's a nice time to sit down and enjoy an unhurried breakfast. Homemade pancakes are so much better than pancakes from a mix. It's better than going out too, because you can eat them in your pajamas! I'm sure you have all the ingredients on hand and they take only 20 minutes from making to enjoying. Here are my 10 tips for light and fluffy buttermilk pancakes.
1. After combining the dry and wet ingredients separately, stir them together gently just until dry ingredients are moistened. A few lumps are OK. Overmixing will result in tough, rubbery pancakes.
2. Let the batter rest for at least 5-10 minutes while you preheat your pan or griddle on MH or to 375º. Time enough to get the coffee started and set the table. A nonstick pan works best. Grease very lightly. There is enough butter in the batter to keep the pancakes from sticking.
3. Test the heat of your pan with a small dollop of batter. It should make a sizzling noise. Then use a 1/4 C measure to make a 4" pancake. Allow plenty of room between pancakes for easier flipping.
4. Cook on the first side for about 2-3 minutes or until the edges look dry and bubbles appear on top and burst. Before flipping use a spatula to peek at the underside to make sure it's golden brown. Lower the heat if the pancakes are darkening too
quickly; raise the heat if they are too light when the bubbles on top have formed.
5. Before flipping to the second side is the time to sprinkle fruit (blueberries), nuts, or chocolate chips on top if desired. Cook on the second side for 1-2 minutes.
6. Pancakes cool quickly so serve them immediately on heated plates with lots of butter and warmed maple syrup.
7. You can keep pancakes warm in a 200º oven along with the plates.
8. If you are pressed for time in the morning, mix the dry ingredients in advance in a bag or covered bowl. The dry mix can be stored for up to 2 weeks. The wet ingredients can be mixed separately, refrigerated, covered up to 2 days. When you are ready simply combine the two.
9. Buy a quart of buttermilk. The real thing makes a big difference. Use the rest for making biscuits, salad dressing, cornbread, chocolate cake, or more pancakes next weekend. Keep a list of recipes that use buttermilk and plan accordingly.
10. Now all you need is a recipe for perfectly light and fluffy buttermilk pancakes.
Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes
2 C flour
2 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl
2 egg
2 C buttermilk
4 T butter, melted
Whisk wet ingredients together

Preheat pan on MH about 350º-375º. 
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and 
stir gently just until combined. Do not
 overmix. Let batter rest for at least 5-10 
minutes. Lightly oil the grill-pan and 
pour 1/4 C batter onto hot griddle spacing
 them apart. Cook for 2-3 minutes until 
bubbles cover the surface and the underside 
is golden brown. Gentry flip them over and 
cook about 2 minutes more until the other
 side is browned. Makes 18 pancakes.
Serve immediately on heated plates
serves 4-6. This recipe can easily be
 cut in half or can be doubled.