Monday, January 17, 2011

Clean Eating Magazine Appearance

Okay, for those of you who said you didn't get to see it or couldn't find the magazine....I'm posting it.  I am not afraid to toot my own horn.  I love testing the recipes for Clean Eating Magazine.  They are always healthy recipes that I don't mind "trying out" on my family.  This was a favorite of my family's, so it is great that the magazine used my comments for this publication!  (Although they did spell my first name wrong.)  lol

Anyway, if you have never heard of this magazine, it is an excellent one to subscribe to.  There are tons of healthy recipes and alternatives to family favorites that make them healthier.  I recently found out that there is even a cookbook of their best recipes.  I definitely need to add it to my collection.

I actually blogged this recipe when I made it.  So if you want to try it out, you can look for it on this blog under Breakfast Casserole.  It is really good and you can eat it any time of day.

Enjoy.  :) 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Easy Parmesan Risotto and Parmesan Chicken

This is so much easier than it looks and sounds.  I love risotto, but I don't love to make it.  The constant adding liquid and whisking has kept it off my table for years.  When I got Ina Garten's latest cookbook, How Easy Is That?, I stumbled upon an EASY recipe for risotto.  You dump everything in the pot and let it do the work.  I made it with Parmesan chicken.

Parmesan Chicken (also by Ina Garten) is a favorite at my house.  It is also extremely easy.  So if you want a dinner that looks and tastes delicious, but doesn't take all night, this is your winner.  The chicken is super easy.  All you do is take however many chicken breasts you need for your family and pound them to 1/4 inch thick.  Be careful to do this evenly so that your chicken will cook evenly.  You are going to dip them into a flour/salt&pepper/grated Parmesan mixture, then into egg wash, then into Italian bread crumbs.  Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Once it is melted, place the coated chicken breasts into the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.  Add more oil and butter and cook additional chicken breasts.  That's it! (recipe at the end of this post)

I cooked the Risotto in my Deep Covered Baker.  Use whatever casserole type dish that you have with a lid on it.  IT HAS TO HAVE A LID.

Give these a try and let me know what you think. 
Easy and delicious!!

Easy Parmesan "Risotto"
Ina Garten's "Barefoot Contessa: How Easy Is That?" cookbook

* 1.5 cups Arborio rice
* 5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade, divided
* 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
* 2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 cup frozen peas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the rice and 4 cups of the chicken stock in a Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset. Cover and bake for 45 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente. Remove from the oven, add the remaining cup of chicken stock, the Parmesan, wine, butter, salt and pepper, and stir vigorously for two to three minutes, until the rice is thick and creamy. Add the peas and stir until heated through. Serve hot.

Parmesan Chicken 

  • 4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 1/4 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • Unsalted butter
  • Good olive oil
Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4-inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin.
Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly.

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mini Turkey Pot Pies

My husband is addicted to these.  I had left over "pie filling" and had to make more crust tonight to make the rest of these.  I quote, "I could eat these every day.  When are you making them again.  Can I have these for lunch tomorrow?"  I told him, the boys may want some...he looked at me with a blank stare.  I guess he will be coming home for lunch tomorrow to have them.  :)

This all started when I saw a food network program use leftover turkey and green bean casserole, stuff them into puff pastry in a muffin pan and bake them.  I thought, I don't have the green beans but could easily find a recipe for a filling.  I came across Simple Comfort Food and found my filling recipe.

You will not believe how easy the filling is to make!

I used my Martha Stewart Home Baking Handbook to get my recipe for the pie crust.  It is super easy and only has 4 ingredients:  flour, salt, butter and water.

I used biscuit cutters to cut the "bottom crust" (4 inch circle cutter) and "top crust" (2 inch circle cutter). 

The Simple Comfort Food website uses ramekins for the pot pies, which I do have, but the muffin pan seemed so much easier.  You just line the muffin pan with the larger circles, making sure they reach to the top.

Fill each pie crust with the prepared filling.  I made the filling first because it allows it to set to cool a bit which made it easier to handle.  I used a large scoop to get an even amount into each cup.  Add the small circle cut outs to the top of each pie and make sure they seal to the bottom dough so the filling doesn't ooze out while baking.  

Brush each mini pie with egg wash and cut two slits in the top to let the steam escape while it is baking in the oven.  Bake 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.  

Can you say yum?  You will LOVE these!  You could really use chicken or turkey.  We just had a lot of leftover turkey.  Enjoy!  Let me know what you think.

Here are the ingredients for the filling:
  • 4 cups of cooked turkey breast, cut into cubes
  • 2 sheets of pie crust (I used Martha's recipe from The Homebaking Handbook)
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, cleaned, and thinly diced (I skipped the celery)
  • 2 carrots, cleaned, skinned, and thinly diced
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 1 tsp of dried thyme (I used fresh)
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry (I used extra chicken stock)
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten, for brushing on top of the pie crust
  • Ramekins (I used a 12 cup muffin pan)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large pot slowly melt the butter. Next, add in your onions, celery, and carrot and cook for about 10 minutes, stir occasionally. Add the flour, and stir, cooking for another couple of minutes. Whisk in the milk and continue to whisk until smooth. Stir in the chicken stock, and sherry (if using, or extra stock). Bring the heat to low, and cook for another 10 minutes. The sauce will thicken. Stir in the thyme, parsley, peas, turkey, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spray the muffin tin with Pam.  Line each muffin cup with the larger dough cut out.  I actually rolled them out a little larger to make sure they reached the top of the sides of the cups all around.  Fill each cup with a large scoop of the filling.  Top each pie with the small cut out and crimp them together.  It is fine to have the cup "overfilled" a bit.  Brush with egg wash and cut a couple of slits in the dough for steam.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, or until they are a nice golden brown.  Allow to cool on a cooking rack for 10 minutes before removing.  Use a butter knife to cut around the edges to get them out.