Monday, March 30, 2009

Menu Monday

Another winter/spring week ahead, so I'm using the oven, the crockpot, and the grill depending the weather du jour.
Sunday - grilled bratwurst, baked beans, strawberry/mascarpone tart
Monday - chicken francese, brown rice, steamed broccoli, strawberry tart
Tuesday - Beef tips (crockpot), egg noodles, green beans
Wednesday - Pecan crusted pork chops, baked sweet potato, steamed asparagus
Thursday - Chicken ceasar pita sandwiches, sun chips, fruit salad
Friday - grilled burgers, green salad, cottage cheese, chips

Chicken Francese
Recipe from Once in a Blue Moon

thin cut chicken breasts, pounded flat (I will butterfly two regular breasts, then pound them)
coat in flour, dip in egg, parmesan, and parsley
brown in olive oil, then remove to a warm oven

1/2 C white wine
1 C chicken broth
5 lemon slices
2 Tbs. butter (I'll use half butter, half olive oil)
cook down to thick sauce and spoon over chicken

Edited after I cooked this: The chicken was really good. The sauce, not so much. I don't know what I was thinking, but I cooked it in a cast iron skillet - never make a lemon sauce in cast iron... At least there was enough chicken with no sauce that Greg got a nice sandwich from it - he was happy. :o)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Country-Style Chicken Pot Pie

This recipe came to me from the wife of an interim pastor we had many years ago. I think she got it from a Country Woman magazine or cookbook.
I used the leftover rotisserie chicken from Sunday's lunch, including boiling the carcass to make the broth. (I love having homemade broth in the freezer.)
This makes so much filling that I put about a third of it in the frig for Greg's lunch later.

Country-Style Chicken Pot Pie
3 TBS butter (I used part butter, part olive oil)
3 TBS flour
2 C chicken broth
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2-1 can cream of chicken soup (I use Healthy Request)
3 carrots, cooked and diced
frozen green peas, cooked (I steamed the carrots and peas together in a zip 'n steam bag)
1/8 tsp curry & pepper, mixed
1 tsp salt
2 large potatoes, cooked and diced (I had a can of potatoes, used those)
chicken, cooked and cut up
Melt the butter. Add flour and allow to bubble one minute. Add broth and stir w/ wooden spoon. Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice and soup. Drain veggies, add to sauce (by steaming, there was nothing to drain), add seasonings and chicken. Pour into a deep 2 quart casserole. Top with biscuits or crescents.
Bake @ 350 for 45 minutes.

I didn't have any biscuits or crescents, so I dug out an old recipe by Mollie Katzan in a Moosewood cookbook:
Baking Powder Biscuits
3 C flour
scat 1/2 tsp sal
1 TBS baking powder
6 TBS cold butter
3/4 C buttermilk, yogurt, or sour milk
Preheat oven to 450. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Put dry ingredients in a food processor bowl w/ a steel blade. Cut in butter until uniformly integrated and mixture has texture of coarse meal
Add buttermilk/yogurt/sourmilk and process for a few more seconds (til dough holds together).
Turn out and knead briefly. Roll out to 1/2-3/4" thickness. Arrange close together on baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes.
To freeze: Roll dough into a log shape. Wrap tightly in foil and freeze.
To use: Let sit at room temp 5-10 minutes. Slice 1/2-3/4" thick and bake.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Chicken Piccata

It's been several years since I first used capers in a recipe and discovered how much I like them. Chicken piccata makes wonderful use of these flavorful little flower buds.This is a lighter version of the traditional dish and comes from an old South Beach Diet newsletter.
So sorry I didn't get a photo - I wasn't feeling well and was happy to just get supper on the table. :o)

Serves 2

IngredientsNote: Omit the brown rice, and this is a Phase 1 recipe.

3/4 pound whole skinless boneless chicken breast, halved lengthwise

2 tablespoons dry sherry

1 tablespoon capers

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons trans-free margarine

1/4 teaspoon paprika

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste


Pound the chicken pieces to flatten them slightly. Season them with salt and pepper to taste. Heat an empty pan on high heat, then add the oil and one tablespoon of the margarine and allow that to get hot (but not smoking), then carefully add the chicken, making sure the oil doesn't splatter. Doing this process will prevent the chicken from sticking. If you heat the oil and pan together, or if the pan isn't hot enough, the chicken will stick.

Sauté the chicken pieces for 1 minute on each side, or until they are cooked through. Transfer the chicken with tongs to a platter and cover it loosely to keep it warm.

Pour off any remaining fat and oil from the skillet. Return it to the stovetop and add the remaining 1 tablespoon margarine, the sherry, and the lemon juice, and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the capers, the parsley, the paprika, and salt and pepper to taste, and spoon the sauce over the chicken.

Serve with 1/2 cup brown rice per person.

Menu Monday & recipes

While planning menus this morning, I kept in mind some things in the frig that needed to be used up, and which meats I already have in the freezer. Grocery shopping will be minimal this week, and that's always a good thing.
Monday: Green salad w/ warm goat cheese and stuffed mushrooms (recipes at the end of this post). I meant to make bread this afternoon to go with this, but got busy around the house and forgot until it was too late.
Tuesday: chicken piccata, angel hair pasta, steamed broccoli, focaccia bread
Wednesday: grilled steak and shrimp kabobs, couscous, grilled veggies
Thursday: grilled burgers, baked beans, fresh veggies w/ dip
Friday: crock pot pot roast w/ veggies, homemade artisan bread
Recipes for tonight's supper:
Salad w/ Warm Goat Cheese
(adapted from Ina Garten)
1 (11 oz.) log plain or herbed Montrachet (I used plain goat cheese)
2 extra large egg whites, beaten w/ 1 TBS water
fresh white bread crumbs (I don't buy white bread, so mine were wheat bread crumbs - no big deal)
Slice the Montrachet into 12 (1/2" thick) slices (use dental floss). Dip each slice into the beaten egg whites, then the bread crumbs, being sure the cheese is thoroughly coated. Place the slices on a rack and chill them for at least 15 minutes.
Melt 1 TBS oil and 1 TBS butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat and just under smoking. Cook the goat cheese rounds quickly on both sides until browned on the outside, but not melted inside. Top each salad with 2 warm rounds and serve. (I used only one round per salad.)
I used a combination of romaine lettuce and mixed baby greens, tossed with a low-cal balsamic vinaigrette.
Stuffed Mushrooms
(Allrecipes "Andie's Stuffed Mushrooms")
1 pound lean ground beef
2 pounds fresh mushrooms-stems removed,
chopped and reserved
1/4 cup margarine
1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves, crushed
2/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup soft bread crumbs
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
(I add a little salt and pepper, too)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Place ground beef in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the margarine and stir in the mushroom stems, green bell peppers, garlic, parsley and basil.
In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, mushroom stem mixture, dry bread crumbs, soft bread crumbs and Cheddar cheese.
Place the mushroom caps, upside down, on a large baking pan. Generously stuff each cap with the mixture.
Bake in the preheated oven 15 to 20 minutes, or until the filling is golden brown.

Cube Steaks w/ Onion Gravy

We scarfed these down before I thought to take a photo. The cube steaks weren't as tender as they could have been - perhaps simmering a little longer than 5 minutes in the sauce would help - but this was still a tasty dish. One change I made was adding thick-sliced mushrooms to the pan while cooking the onions.
(From "Saving Dinner the Low-Carb Way" by Leanne Ely)
4 cube steaks
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp thyme
2 TBS olive oil, divided
1 large onion, sliced
1 C beef broth, divided
1 TBS whole-wheat flour
Season steaks w/ salt, pepper, and thyme on both sides. In a large skillet, heat half the olive oil over med-hi heat. Brown the steaks on both sides, about 3 minutes each. Remove from pan and keep warm.
Add the remaining olive oil, heat, then add the onion. Cook until the onion becomes translucent; add half the broth, deglaze the pan w/ a wire whisk andlet simmer about 5 minutes to reduce slightly. Place the steaks on top of the onion, cover, and simmer on low for about 5 minutes. Remove beef and onion and keep warm. Turn up the heat and continue heating remaining liquid in the pan.
Take the remaining beef broth and mix w/ the flour. Pour into the sauce, stirring till thickened. To serve, place steak on the plate, top w/ onion, then ladle gravy over the top.
4 servings
296 calories per serving