Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Prosciutto-Stuffed Chicken

8 medium skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 2-1/2 pounds total)
8 thin slices prosciutto or 4 pieces Canadian-style bacon, halved
6 cups cooked long grain white and wild rice blend* or cooked white rice
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sliced green onions (8)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups milk
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh asparagus (about 12 spears) or chopped fresh broccoli
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup dry sherry, white wine, or milk
3/4 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. With a small sharp knife, make a 2-inch-wide horizontal slit in the side of each chicken breast to create a deep pocket. Stuff each pocket with 1 piece of the prosciutto or half of a piece of the Canadian bacon, folding or cutting as needed to fit.
2. Spread rice in a lightly greased 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Top with chicken. Bake, covered, for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add green onions; cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Whisk in flour and pepper until well mixed. Add milk all at once, whisking to combine. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Stir in asparagus, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, and the sherry. In a small bowl combine the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, the panko, and Italian seasoning.
4. pour sauce over chicken; sprinkle with crumb mixture. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fudge Pie

1/4 cup butter, melted
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 - 9 inch pie shell

1. Melt butter
2. Add cocoa powder, sugar, eggs, evaporated milk, and vanilla.
3. Pour into unbaked pie shell
4. Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Be careful not to over bake as this will affect the taste.
5. Cool for at least one hour before serving and store leftovers in the fridge.

This is one of those wonderful pies that my Mom makes every Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have many really warm memories of family holidays that include fudge pie. It is now a tradition in my family to make this for every holiday.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Raspberry Bellini

1 bottle of Sparkling wine (Champagne)
1 bottle of Peach Schnapps
1 bottle of Raspberry Chambord
Fresh Raspberries

For the drink:
3 parts Sparkling Wine
1 part peach schnapps
1 part Raspberry Chambord

Mix well and chill.  Serve with a couple of frozen raspberries in a champagne flute.

For Supper Club: cover fresh raspberries in sugar then freeze in a Ziploc baggie. They are on sale right now at Costco for about $3 for a big container!  dip the rim of the glass you are using in corn syrup and then into sugar that has been colored red.  You do not have to use champagne flutes, just an idea. You can get plastic ones in every color at Party City if you go that route. Just buy cheap champagne..we don't need the expensive stuff! I make this in a pitcher and use a 1 cup measuring cup so 3 cups wine, 1 cup schnapps, and 1 cup chambord.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chicken Parmesan

5-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded flat and dried
1 bag of Caesar Salad croutons
1/4 cup of Italian breadcrumbs
1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 package of fresh mozzarella  (one large ball or loaf)
1 batch of Gena's Red Sauce (see recipe on this blog)
Canola oil

Place croutons in food processor and pulse until they are fine crumbs. Pour into a bowl with the Italian breadcrumbs and stir to combine, add Parmesan cheese.

Add oil to a skillet and heat slowly on medium. You only want the oil hot enough to fry slowly, not burn!

Crack eggs into a bowl and add about 1 tsp. of water, whisk until smooth. Dredge chicken breast in breadcrumbs, then into egg mixture, and back into breadcrumbs until coated well on both sides.
Place chicken in hot oil and fry just until lightly golden on both sides.  Remove from oil and place on cookie sheet. The chicken will not be cooked through. 

Top each breast with a spoonful of red sauce. Slice fresh mozzarella and place on top of chicken to cover each breast. Bake for about 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Serve immediately with pasta of your choice and the rest of the red sauce.

Supper Club: I would make one breast for each guest. You can buy fresh mozzarella at Costco for about $7.50 for two.  The reason I use croutons with the breadcrumbs is because they add so much flavor and tend to get very crispy when fried so they chicken stays crispy when its baked in the sauce.  Be careful not to let the oil get to hot and burn the chicken when frying or all the other pieces you cook will taste burned.
Feel free to call me with any questions..or better yet come over and we will make it together!

Zucchini Stuffed Mushrooms

3 1/4 cup shredded zucchini
1 teaspoon salt
30 large fresh Mushrooms (about 2 pounds)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/3 cup crushed ritz crackers
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 oil-packed dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 teaspooon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

*Combine Zucchini and salt in a colander; let stand for 30 minutes. Press zucchini between paper towels to remove excess moisture.
*Clean mushrooms with damp paper towels. Remove stems. Brush mushrooms with 3 Tablespoons of butter. Place on a rack in broiler pan.
*Saute garlic in remaining 1 Tablespoon butterin a large skillet over medium-high heat 1 minute. Add zucchini, and cook 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
*Stir in Ricotta cheese and remaining 5 ingredients. Spoon mixture into mushroom caps. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
*Serve immediately. Makes about 2 dozen

For Supper Club: I would prepare these ahead of time, and then bake them at the host house. I don't think you will need to double the recipe. I would suggest getting your mushrooms at Costco if possible.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Caesar Salad and Dressing

CAESAR SALAD DRESSING
1 clove garlic, smashed into a paste with a little olive oil and salt
4 anchovy fillets
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 lemons, juiced
2 Tablespoons water
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
black pepper

Combine garlic paste, anchovies, egg yolks, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and water in the blender. Blend until smooth. With the blender running add olive oil until emulsified. Add Parmesan cheese and black pepper to taste. Refrigerate if you are not using right away. 

CAESAR SALAD CROUTONS
1 baguette
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
Cut baguette into cubes. Melt butter in skillet and season with garlic powder, paprika and pepper. Add bread cubes and saute just until bread cubes begin to brown. Set aside to cool.

CAESAR SALAD
Romaine lettuce
Fresh grated Parmesan
Caesar dressing
Croutons
Wash and dry lettuce. In a large salad bowl combine lettuce, dressing and croutons. Top with freshly grated Parmesan. Toss gently to combine well

Supper Club: I would buy the Romaine from Costco and use at least 4 heads. This recipe uses raw eggs so to avoid making us all sick please wash your hands and the outside of the egg with antibacterial soap before cracking, then be sure to avoid the shell coming into contact with the inside of the egg.  Keep all salad ingredients separate and then combine at the host house just before serving.  Tip when making the croutons, stale bread works best for these so leave your baguette out all night and then make your croutons.

Tiramisu

6 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
4 cups mascarpone
1 cup tiny chocolate chips
6 cups boiling water
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup instant espresso powder
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup coffee liqueur
2 (14-ounce) packs Savoiardi cookies (Italian ladyfingers)
3/4 cup finely grated chocolate

Directions :

In a metal stand mixer bowl, combine the eggs and granulated sugar. Beat well to combine. Place the bowl on top of a small pot with 1-inch of boiling water; be sure that the bowl does not touch the water. Beat the eggs until they have tripled in size and the whisk leaves a trail, 5 to 7 minutes.

Once the eggs have tripled in size, remove the bowl from the double boiler and put on the stand mixer equipped with the whisk and beat on a medium speed until the bottom of the bowl feels cool, about 5 minutes. Add the mascarpone and chocolate chips and mix until just combined. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Combine the boiling water, brown sugar, espresso powder, cocoa powder, and coffee liqueur. Stir until everything has dissolved. Let cool.

When the espresso mixture has cooled, dip the cookies in the liquid one at a time and line the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Spread 1/3 of the chilled mascarpone mixture over the cookies. Repeat this process 2 more times finishing with a layer of mascarpone. For more stability, lay the second layer of cookies in the opposite direction of the first layer.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight; the longer it chills the easier it will be to slice.

Supper Club: If you don't have a stand mixer just use a hand mixer, it will work fine. I have espresso powder and coffee liqueur so you don't have to buy those ingredients if you won't use them again. CUB and Festival both have mascarpone cheese in their specialty cheese cases. You can usually find Ladyfingers in the bakery section of the grocery store, if not then just ask and they can direct you to them. I would suggest making this first thing in the morning before Supper Club.

Gena's Red Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed with some kosher salt to make a paste
2 (28-ounce) cans plum tomatoes and their juices, pureed in a blender
1 (16-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 small bunch Italian parsley
1 Cubano chile pepper, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Directions
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add pureed tomatoes with their juices, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 cup water, bay leaf, parsley, Cubano pepper, and bring to a boil. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Remove the bay leaf. Add the basil.

Supper Club: I call this Marinara sauce although classic Marinara tends to be more runny and have bigger chunks of tomato. This is a traditional Italian sauce that would probably be refered to as a "meat sauce".

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hot and Spicy Peanut Chicken

2 medium onions, cut into thin wedges
1-1/2 cups sliced carrot (3 medium)
1 small red sweet pepper, cut into bite-size strips
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1/2 tsp. finely shredded lime peel
2 Tbsp. lime juice
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. quick-cooking tapioca
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
2 to 3 tsp. red curry paste
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup frozen peas
Hot cooked Jasmine rice
Chopped peanuts (optional)
Snipped fresh cilantro (optional)

Directions :

1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, place onions, carrot, and sweet pepper. Top with chicken. In a medium bowl, whisk together broth, peanut butter, lime peel, lime juice, soy sauce, tapioca, ginger, curry paste, and garlic until smooth. Pour over all in cooker.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Stir in coconut milk and peas. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
3. Serve chicken mixture over hot cooked rice. If desired, sprinkle each serving with chopped peanuts and cilantro. Makes 6 servings.

I leave out the curry paste when I make this for my family, it is just to spicy! This is a really good, easy one dish meal!

Tomatillo Chicken Soup

6 medium tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
1-1/2 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 32-oz. box chicken broth
1 medium green sweet pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 4-oz. can diced green chiles
2 Tbsp. snipped fresh cilantro
1 fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced*
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. lime juice
2 tsp. chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper

Dairy sour cream, chopped green onion, chopped red sweet pepper, sliced jalapeño peppers, snipped fresh cilantro, and/or tortilla chips (optional)

Directions :

1. Chop three tomatillos. Place remaining tomatillos in blender. Cover; blend until smooth. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker combine pureed and chopped tomatillos, chicken, broth, sweet pepper, onion, celery, chiles, cilantro, jalapeño, cumin, lime juice, chili powder, garlic, and 1 tsp. each salt and pepper.
2. Cover; cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or high for 3 to 3-1/2 hours. Remove chicken; let stand until cool enough to handle. Shred chicken; return to soup. If desired, top with sour cream, additional chopped red sweet pepper or jalapeño peppers, snipped cilantro, and/or tortilla chips. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Apple Viniagrette Dressing

1/2 cup flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup olive oil
3 basil leaves
2 teaspoons honey
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Serve at room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers. Makes about 1 cup.

I had several of you ask for this dressing recipe. It is on my menu for 9/19-9/23. I make a simple salad of endive, romaine, and fresh spinach, diced Braeburn apples, walnuts, and cubed sharp cheddar cheese to put this on.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

P.M.S. Cookies

1 box of Ritz crackers
1 jar of creamy peanut butter
1 jar of marshmallow cream
1 package of chocolate bark

Spread peanut butter, then marshmallow cream onto Ritz cracker, then top with another cracker to make a "sandwich". Melt chocolate bark in microwave or double boiler. Dip sandwiched cookies into chocolate, covering both sides. Place cookies on waxed paper and allow to harden.

These cookies are called P.M.S. cookies because they will satisfy every craving you have, and make you smile when Flo has got you down! Make some for a girlfriend today!

Hunka Hunka Elvis Cupcakes

I found my thrill...and it is these cupcakes!  All of Elvis' favorite flavors in one small package...now if we can just figure out how to get bacon into these......ha ha!  I usually double this recipe and triple the frosting recipe..because they go fast!

2 Cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup real mayonnaise
1 1/3 cups mashed ripe banana, about 3 medium (the blacker the better)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
18 chocolate kisses

Peanut Butter Frosting:

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 to 4 Tablespoons milk
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips, melted

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.  In another bowl combine the mayonnaise, banana, and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until combined.

Spoon 1 Tablespoon of batter into each paper-lined muffin cup. Top each with a chocolate kiss, pointed side down. Fill cups two-thirds full with remaining batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire racks to cool completely.

In a large bowl combine the peanut butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Frost cupcakes. Drizzle with melted chocolate. Makes 18 cupcakes.