Sunday, August 31, 2008

Spinach Chicken Nuggets

During one of my venture to The Fresh MarketI was browsing at all the wonderful and different items, as usual, and I saw some spinach chicken nuggets in the freezer section and thought that sounded pretty good.  I thought that was a different idea and a great way to incorporate veggies into a simple and all time favorite and a great way incorporate a different taste into a classic.  Once I saw this recipe I started thinking of ways to make up my own version spinach chicken nuggets; I looked at different chicken nugget recipes on line to see how they made theirs and to figure out what would be the best process to use.  I finally came up with a recipe to work with and I tried it out.  

It turned out pretty good; you really could taste all the flavors but one didn't overwhelm the other.  It was a great blend of all flavors.  I believe I did over processed it in the food processor just a little bit but they still turned out great.  Next time I make them I'll process a little less to leave the chicken a little more like pulled/diced chicken rather than more of a spread.  One thing I did find out by overprocessing this was...this would also be a great spread or dip for a party; serve with Triscuits or pita chips and that would be an awesome pair.

Spinach Chicken Nuggets:

2 Chicken breast

1 Tbs. cream cheese

1/2 Cup Spinach, coarsley chopped

Salt and Pepper

1 Teaspoon parsely

2 Eggs

Flour for coating

1/2-1 Cup cheese, shredded (I used parmesan)



Directions:

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Once boiling add chicken breast and season water with salt.  Boil chicken until cooked entirely through.  Once chicken is thoroughly cooked remove from heat and drain water.  Cut chicken in larger chunks then place in food processor, add coursely cut spinach, parsley, cream cheese, cheese, salt and pepper and process until everything is blended and until chicken is finely chopped. 



Once processed, begin rolling chicken mixture into small balls. 



Then roll chicken in eggs and coat in flour.



After coated, press the nuggets flat and then place in oil and fry on both sides until done.



 

Courtesy of Lynsey Lou

Swanson Mustard Honey Chicken and Rice

I was looking for a recipe that was simple, easy and very quick.  After work I had quite a bit to do so by the time I got home it was pretty late and I needed to get something ready for supper pretty quickly.  I started looking through cookbooks, on the internet and just thinking of stuff and I came across this recipe on Campbell's Kitchen website.  This recipe was very easy and so quick to throw together; plus it had all the veggies and starch in one.  I was pretty impressed with this recipe; especially since there was so little to it.

 

Ingredients:

2 cups Swanson® Chicken Stock
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. Dijon-style mustard
Vegetable cooking spray
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts halves
1 large carrot, cut into 2-inch matchstick-thin strips (about 1 cup)
1 medium onion, sliced (about 1 cup)
hot cooked rice
 
 




Directions:

Stir the stock, cornstarch, honey and mustard in a small bowl until smooth. Set  the mixture aside.

Spray a 10-inch skillet with the cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes or until it's well browned on both sides.

Add the carrot and onion to the skillet. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender-crisp. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the stock mixture to the skillet. Cook and stir until the mixture boils and thickens. Serve with the rice.



 

Courtesy of: Campbell's Kitchen

Buttermilk Biscuits with Sausage Gravy


We are huge fans of breakfast foods; not just for breakfast but for any meal.  My darling husband could eat breakfast 3 times a day everyday and never get sick of it.  I love making new things but you can also never go wrong with the good, old classics like biscuits and gravy.  I am always searching for a good white gravy that isn't too complicated and is pretty consistent everytime it's made.  I've tried several gravy recipes and they either turn out lumpy, runny, or some other type of consistency that gravy just isn't supposed to be.  I can finally say after searching for an incredibly long time that I've found the perfect white gravy recipe that is great with sauasage in it but is equally as good without the sausage.  Since I've come across this recipe I've made it 3 times; it's so good and easy and comes out at the same consistency every time.  This recipe is also very easy to half if you are feeding a small crew; like 2!

 Buttermilk Biscuits-

Ingredients:

2 Cups unbleached flour                                      

1 Tablespoon baking powder                                

1/2 Teaspoon baking soda                                 

 1 Teaspoon salt

6 Tablespoons shortening

 3/4 Cup buttermilk

 

Sausage Gravy-

1 Pound bulk pork sausage                                

3 Tablespoons bacon drippings                        

1/3 Cup flour                                                  

 1/2 Teaspoon salt

  1/4 Teaspoon black pepper

 1/4 Teaspoon red pepper flaces (optional)

3 Cups milk

Directions:

 To prepare the biscuits, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.  Add the shortening and cut in with a pastry blender or fork to resemble coarse crumbs.  Add the buttermilk and mix just until moistened; do not overmix.

Remove to a floured surface and sprinkle with additional flour.  Knead 4 or 5 times.  Roll 3/4 inch thick and cut with a floured 3 inch cutter.

Arrange the biscuits with edges almost touching on a baking sheet.  Bake at 450 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.

To prepare the gravy, brown the sausage in a large skillet, stirring until crumbly.  Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon to drain, reserving the sausage drippings in the skillet.  Add the bacon drippings ( I didn't have bacon drippings so I just used vegetable oil) and flour, mixing well.  Cook until the flour is gold brown, stirring constantly.  Whisk in the milk.  Season with salt, fresh ground black pepper, and red pepper flakes. 

 Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium.  Return the sausage to the skillet.  Cook for 15 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly.  Serve with biscuits.

  


 

Courtesy of: "Beach Appetit" by The Junior League of the Emerald Coast

Fanned Potatoes

Potatoes are such an easy and versatile vegetable to use for sides with multiple types of food.  I love potatoes and I love trying new recipes using them.  This recipe was so easy and very quick to put together.  You could use pretty much any type seasonings you wanted to to change it up and to make it compliment the taste of the main dish.  For this particular recipe I just used salt, pepper, butter and garlic salt to season; something very simple but it made the end result very good.  This recipe isn't just your average "baked potato" recipe; the inside of the potato is very soft more along the lines of a baked potato but the outer edges were a little crispy and gave the entire taste just a little something different.  We thoroughly enjoyed these and I'm sure we'll definitely be having these many more times.

 

Ingredients:

2 Potatoes-medium to large size

2-4 Tablespoons butter

1/2 Small onion, sliced

Salt and Pepper

Garlic Salt-(I use Lowry's Garlic Salt with herbs)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Thinly slice potatoes, but do not slice all the way through, making the end result look like a fan.  Rub the bottom of an oven safe dish with either part of the butter for spray with cooking oil.  Place potatoes in dish; season with salt, pepper, and garlic salt.  Spread onion slices over potatoes and dish and then set butter slices on top of potatoes.  Place in oven and bake for 30-45 minutes or until tender in middle.



 

Recipe Source: adapted from Recipe Zaar

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ham & Asparagus Lasagna

It has been so long since I've been able to sit down and actually post something to my blog.  I have been cooking quite a bit but it juset seems like time has been passing by extremely fast.  After I finish cooking and cleaning up the kitchen, I sit down and chill out for a minute and it's time to go to bed.  Thank goodness for 3 day weekends; I actually have time to sit down and update everything.  This recipe is for ham and asparagus lasagna.  I came across this recipe in Everyday With Rachael Ray.  When I first told my hubby about this recipe that I came across he was pretty skeptical; but I guess if your the type of person that hears lasagna and thinks traditional is the only way to go then it is pretty easy to be skeptical.  After I finally got him warmed up to the idea I got all the ingredients and decided to give it a try.  It was a super easy and quick recipe.  It's one of those that is great for a night where you don't have a lot of time to get something together but you still want to eat at home.  If you don't like ham or prefer a lighter meat I'm sure turkey would work just fine.  I'm a pretty big turkey fan myself but I stuck with ham for this particular recipe and it turned out pretty tasty.




Ingredients:
1 Pound asparagus, cut into 1 in pieces
1 Pound lasagna noodles
4 Tablespoons butter
1 Small onion, finely chopped
1/3 Cup flour
4 1/2 Cups milk
1 Cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Cup grated colby and monteray jack mix cheese
1 Teaspoon grated nutmeg
Salt and Pepper
1/2 Pound deli sliced baked ham, cut into 1/2 ribbons

Directions:


 Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the asparagus until just tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the asparagus to a strainer. Return the water to a boil, add the lasagna and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and transfer to a platter.


Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and simmer, whisking constantly, until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in half of the parmesan and half of the nutmeg; season with salt and pepper.


                                                        


Spread about 1/3 cup of the cheese sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Layer 4 noodles on the sauce and top with 3/4 cup cheese sauce. Sprinkle a quarter of the ham, a quarter of the asparagus, and 3 tablespoons of the remaining cheese over the sauce. Repeat the layering process three more times. Top with the remaining noodles, cheese sauce, cheese and nutmeg. Cover with foil and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for 10 minutes more. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.


   







Recipe Source: adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray
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