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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Bock Beer and Pretzel Macaroni and Cheese


Author: Mac and Cheese Chick, adapted from Snyder's of Hanover
Recipe type: Main Course, Side Dish Cuisine: Mac & Cheese
Prep time:  10 mins Cook time:  60 mins Total time:  1 hour 10 mins
Serves: 6 as a side

Bock Beer and Pretzel Macaroni and Cheese

10 ounces Gemelli pasta
1 stick butter
2 tablespoons finely minced shallot
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon mustard powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne
¼ cup flour
½ cup Shiner Bock beer
2 cups fat-free half and half
4 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened
4 ounces Beecher's Flagship extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded and divided
2 ounces Fontina cheese, shredded
2 ounces Beecher's Smoked Flagship cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup Snyder's of Hanover pretzel sticks, crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and Pam a 11x7 oven-safe baking dish. In a large pot, cook pasta for two minutes less than called for on package directions. Drain and set aside.
In the same large pot, melt butter over medium heat until foamy. Add minced shallot, salt, pepper, mustard powder and cayenne pepper and cook until fragrant (about one minute).
Add flour and whisk until smooth. Continue cooking and whisking constantly until the mixture is a light golden brown. Slowly add beer and half and half and whisk until smooth. Continue simmering the mixture until it is thickened. Add cream cheese and whisk until completely smooth.
Reduce heat to low and while continuing to whisk, add the cheeses (reserving ¾ cup of the Parmesan for topping your mac and cheese later). Once the cheeses are all melted and incorporated, stir in the cooked pasta.
Pour mac and cheese into Pammed baking dish and top with remaining Parmesan cheese; finish by sprinkling on the crushed pretzel pieces and bake for 45 minutes or until the mac and cheese is browned and bubbling. Let sit for five minutes prior to serving.
Serve and scarf down immediately!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

chicken spiedini


Chicken tenders are marinated in Italian dressing, then coated in bread crumbs and grilled. They're served with a side dish of sauteed mushrooms, garlic, and prosciutto.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 30 mins

1 1/4  pounds chicken breast tenderloins
2/3  cup bottled sweet Italian salad dressing or bottled Italian salad dressing
3/4  cup seasoned fine dry bread crumbs
3/4  cup halved fresh mushrooms
2   cloves garlic, minced
1   tablespoon butter
1/4  cup coarsely chopped prosciutto
3/4  cup shredded provel cheese or mozzarella cheese (3 ounces)
1   lemon, quartered

1. Place chicken in a resealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish. Pour salad dressing over chicken. Seal bag; turn to coat chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours, turning bag occasionally.
2. Drain chicken, discarding marinade. Place bread crumbs in a shallow dish. Dip chicken in bread crumbs to coat. On five to six long metal skewers, thread chicken, accordion-style, leaving 1/4-inch space between each piece.
For a charcoal grill:
1. Grill skewers on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 10 to 12 minutes or till chicken is tender and no longer pink (170 degree F), turning once halfway through grilling. (For a gas grill: Preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place skewers on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as directed.)
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook mushrooms and garlic in hot butter until mushrooms are just tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add prosciutto; cook and stir 2 minutes more.
3. Remove chicken from skewers; arrange on a serving plate. Sprinkle the chicken with half of the cheese. Spoon the mushroom mixture over chicken. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Squeeze a lemon wedge over each serving. Makes 4 servings.

Oven Directions: Arrange skewers in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake in a 375 degree F oven about 15 minutes or till chicken is no longer pink (170 degree F).

nutrition information
Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 471, Fat, total (g) 22, chol. (mg) 113, sat. fat (g) 6, carb. (g) 22, Monosaturated fat (g) 6, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 6, sugar (g) 4, pro. (g) 46, vit. A (IU) 243, vit. C (mg) 4, Thiamin (mg) 0, Riboflavin (mg) 0, Niacin (mg) 14, Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 1, Folate (µg) 8, Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (µg) 1, sodium (mg) 1820, Potassium (mg) 491, calcium (mg) 212, iron (mg) 2, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Recipe from Midwest Living

Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Almonds


Gourmet | May 2006 
Food editor Maggie Ruggiero tasted this sweet, Moroccan-spiced dish on a recent visit to Marrakech, where chef Lafridi serves it at Jnane Tamsna. 

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1 teaspoon ground ginger 
1/2 teaspoon turmeric 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
1 1/4 teaspoons salt 
3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup olive oil 
1 (3-lb) chicken, cut into 6 pieces, wings and backbone discarded 
1 tablespoon unsalted butter 
1 medium red onion, halved, then sliced 1/4 inch thick 
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 
5 fresh cilantro 
5 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley 
1 1/2 cups water 
2 tablespoons mild honey 
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick 
1/2 cup dried Turkish apricots, separated into halves 
1/3 cup whole blanched almonds 
Special equipment: a 10- to 12-inch tagine or heavy skillet; kitchen string 

Stir together ground cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat well. 
Heat butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a base of tagine (or in skillet), uncovered, over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then brown half of chicken, skin sides down, turning over once, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Brown remaining chicken in the same manner, adding any spice mixture left in a bowl. 
Add onion and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to tagine and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Tie cilantro and parsley into a bundle with kitchen string and add to tagine along with 1/2 cup water, chicken, and any juices accumulated on plate. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. 
While chicken cooks, bring honey, remaining cup water, cinnamon stick, and apricots to a boil in a 1- to 2-quart heavy saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until apricots are very tender (add more water if necessary). Once apricots are tender, simmer until liquid is reduced to a glaze, 10 to 15 minutes. 
While apricots cook, heat remaining 1/4 cup oil in a small skillet over moderate heat and cook almonds, stirring occasionally, until just golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. 
Ten minutes before chicken is done, add apricot mixture to tagine. Discard herbs and cinnamon stick, then serve chicken sprinkled with almonds on top. 

Chicken Thighs with Apples, Onions & White Cheddar Polenta


Makes: 4 servings 
8 slices smoked bacon 
1 tablespoon EVOO 
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs 
Salt and pepper 
3 tablespoons butter 
3 liberty, Braeburn or other crisp apples, thinly sliced 
1 onion, halved and sliced 
2 tablespoons chopped thyme 
7 - 8 sage leaves, thinly sliced 
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste 
2 1/2cups chicken stock 
1/2cup apple cider 
1/4cup apple brandy 
1 cup milk 
1 cup quick-cooking polenta 
1 1/2cups/120g shredded sharp white cheddar 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the bacon on a broiler pan and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. 
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the EVOO, a turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper; add to the skillet and cook, turning once, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate 
Add the butter to the skillet to melt. Add the apples, onion, thyme, and sage. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook until the apples are crisp-tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in about 1/2 cup chicken stock, the apple cider and apple brandy. Add the chicken, coat with the sauce, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. 
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the remaining 2 cups stock and the milk to a boil. Whisk in the polenta and cook, whisking constantly, until thick, 2 to 3 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the cheese until melted. Serve on rimmed plates and top with the chicken, apples, onion and crisscrossed slices of bacon.

Chicken Thighs with Pear & Leek Sauce


Here, we combine currant jelly—a tasty “secret” ingredient in rich sauces for game birds or poultry—with a medley of fall flavors, such as pears, walnuts and leeks, to make a quick pan sauce. Serve with quinoa and broccolini.
Makes: 4 servings
Active Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

1 large leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced 
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 
4 large boneless, skinless chicken thighs, (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed (see Tip) 
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided 
1 large firm ripe pear, peeled and diced 
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided 
2 teaspoons cornstarch 
2 tablespoons currant jelly 
1/4 cup/32g chopped walnuts, toasted (see Tip)

Place sliced leek in a colander; rinse and drain well.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook until golden brown and no longer pink in the center, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pan. Add the leek and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown and soften, about 2 minutes. Add pear and 1/4 cup broth; simmer until the pear is soft and the broth is evaporated, about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup broth and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add currant jelly to the pan and cook, stirring, until melted. Stir in the cornstarch mixture, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring, and cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan and turn to coat with sauce. Serve sprinkled with walnuts.

Tips and Notes
Tip: You'll need about 1 1/2 pounds untrimmed boneless, skinless chicken thighs to serve four people. For recipes that call for one large thigh per person, buy them at the butcher counter; prepackaged thighs vary dramatically in size. Ask for four 6-ounce boneless, skinless thighs. To trim them well, we like to use kitchen shears to snip the fat away from the meat. After trimming, you'll have four 4-ounce/115g portions. 

Tip: Toast walnuts in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes. 
Per serving: 333 calories; 18 g fat ( 3 g sat , 7 g mono ); 76 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrates; 23 g protein; 3 g fiber; 530 mg sodium; 288 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (21% daily value).

Chicken Vegetable Soup with Caraway Gnocchi


We are bracing for subzero temperatures tonight with minus double-digit wind chills that will linger into tomorrow. Needless to say, it’s still soup weather here! There is nothing I know that warms you more than a big, hot bowl of soup. In addition, eating soup is known to help to drop those holiday pounds. See this article.

I haven't made chicken soup in a long while and, usually, I always turn to my tried-and-true chicken soup recipe with my mother's potato dumplings. When I saw this recipe in Stir by Barbara Lynch,  I knew I needed to depart from tradition. So far, I have loved everything I've made from this cookbook!

1 tablespoon olive oil 
4 large skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, about 2 pounds (I prefer thighs because they don’t get dry but you can use bone-in breasts if you prefer – just cut them into thigh-sized pieces) 
2 large celery stalks, coarsely chopped 
1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped 
1 large onion, coarsely chopped 
2 garlic cloves, crushed 
4 fresh thyme sprigs 
4 fresh parsley sprigs 
2 bay leaves 
Kosher Salt 
Freshly ground black pepper 
4 cups/1L no-sodium chicken stock 
4 cups/1L cold water 

1-1/2 cups finely shredded green cabbage (I used Savoy) 
1 cup/175g tiny broccoli florets (about ½ inch wide) 
1 cup tiny/325g cauliflower florets (about ½ inch wide) 

Caraway Gnocchi, freshly made or frozen (recipe follows)
Celery or Parsley leaves for Garnish 
Fleur de sel 

Do ahead tips: While the chicken is cooking in the soup (paragraph two), prepare the gnocchi but do not boil them. You could also make the gnocchi the day or even week ahead and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. The soup can be prepared up to the point of adding the cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, a day ahead. 

In a large, heavy pot big enough to hold the chicken with some room around the pieces, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add the chicken and sear on one side, until it’s quite brown. Turn the chicken and continue to brown it all over. This will take about 10 minutes. 

Remove the chicken from the pot and put it on a rimmed baking sheet to catch the juices. Add the celery, carrot, onion, garlic, thyme, parsley, bay leaves, 1 tablespoon salt and pepper to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Return the chicken and collected juices to the pot and add the stock and water. Cook over medium-low heat until the meat pulls easily off the bone, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

Transfer the chicken to a clean baking sheet. Pass the soup through a strainer into a large saucepan, using a ladle to press the juice out of the solids. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin and bones. Remove all of the meat and shred it with your fingers into bite-sized pieces. ** 

If possible, chill the stock first so you can skim off the fat from the surface. 

Heat the soup to a simmer over medium heat. Add the cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower and cook until just tender, about 8 minutes. Add the chicken pieces. 

Bring a pot of salted water to a gentle boil. Add the gnocchi and cook until they float to the top and are tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the gnocchi and place into the pot of soup or divide among serving bowls and ladle the soup over the top. 

Caraway Gnocchi 
Makes about 100 

1 pound starchy potatoes, such as russet, whole and unpeeled 
1 tablespoon caraway seeds 
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more as needed 
1 large egg 
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 

Toast the caraway seeds over medium heat in a small, dry skillet until fragrant, about 3 minutes or toast them in a preheated 350 degree oven for 3 minutes. Let cool and crush in a coffee/seed grinder, with a mortar and pestle or with the bottom of a heavy skillet. 

Bring the potatoes to a boil in salted cold water and cook until very tender, about 30 minutes. 

Drain the potatoes and allow to cool just until you’re able to handle them. Peel while still very warm. Put them through a ricer into a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. 

Have a parchment-lined, lightly floured baking sheet ready that will fit into your refrigerator or freezer. 

Dump the cooled potatoes onto a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle with ¾ cup of flour over the potatoes and gently mix it into them using your fingers. Carefully gather the potatoes into a mound and create a well in the center. Whisk the egg and salt in a small bowl and pour into the well. Mix by kneading the dough and sprinkle with more flour, if necessary (up to ¼ cup), just until it forms a ball and feels delicate and still a little bit sticky. Sprinkle the crushed caraway seeds over the dough and knead them in, adding a little more flour, if necessary. It should feel soft and pliable. Gather the dough and place back in the bowl while you clean off the work surface of any sticky bits. 

Sprinkle the work surface lightly with flour and roll the dough out with a rolling until to about ½-inch thick. Use a bench scraper or knife and cut the dough into strips about ½ to ¾-inch wide. Roll each strip into a log and then cut the logs into ¾-inch pieces. Place the gnocchi on the prepared baking sheet, making sure they don’t touch. If you are not boiling them right away, either freeze or refrigerate covered with parchment paper until ready to use. If freezing, after they are hard, place in airtight bags or containers.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Chicken Marsala


      By: Tova from Diabetic Survival Kit
This image courtesy of 
Learn how to make an Italian food dinnertime classic fit into your healthy eating lifestyle with this Chicken Marsala recipe from Tova of Diabetic Survival Kit. Here, lean chicken breasts are flavored with a rich sauce made from wine and sliced mushrooms. Best of all, you can cook up this diabetic friendly recipe in under 30 minutes. If you have these 9 ingredients on hand, then nothing should stop you from concocting this healthy chicken dinner idea.

1 1/4 pounds boneless chicken breasts (cutlets are best) 
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced 
1 cup marsala wine, or dry sherry 
1 tablespoon safflower oil 
1 tablespoon butter 
1/4 cup/32g flour 
1 dash white pepper 
1 dash oregano 
1 dash basil 

Mix flour and spices on a plate.
Heat oil and butter in a nonstick skillet.
When butter and oil are hot, coat chicken with flour mixture (both sides), then place on skillet. Do not discard leftover flour.
Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of chicken, then flip. Cook another 5 to 8 minutes.
Remove chicken from heat and set aside.
Lower heat.
Add sherry, mushrooms, and leftover flour. Cook about 3 minutes or until thick and bubbling.
Replace chicken in skillet and cook an additional 5 minutes with the sauce.
Plate and enjoy!

Nutritional Information
Serving Size = 1 to 2 cutlets, or 1/4 of the total dish

333 Calories
106mg Sodium
9.1g Fat
9.1g Carbohydrates
21g Protein