Archive for January, 2009

Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina

italian-baked-chicken-and-pastina
Recipe & picture courtesy of Food Network

Cook Time: 40 min
Yield: 4 servings

  • 1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

**Personal Review: No Review Yet**

Easy Cauliflower & Broccoli Au Gratin

easy-cauliflower-broccoli-au-gratin
Recipe & picture courtesy of Kraft Foods

Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 23 min
Makes: 10 servings, about 3/4 cup each

  • 1 lb. large cauliflower florets
  • 1 lb. large broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup BREAKSTONE’S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
  • 1-1/2 cups KRAFT Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 10 RITZ Crackers, crushed
  • 3 Tbsp. KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
  1. Combine vegetables in 2-qt. microwaveable casserole. Add water; cover with lid. Microwave on HIGH 8 to 10 min. or until vegetables are tender; drain. Set aside.
  2. Microwave cream cheese and milk in 2-cup microwaveable measuring cup or medium bowl 1 min. or until cream cheese is melted and mixture is well blended when stirred. Stir in sour cream; pour over vegetables. Sprinkle with Cheddar; microwave 2 min. or until melted.
  3. Mix cracker crumbs and Parmesan; sprinkle over vegetables.

**Personal Review: No Review Yet**

Roasted Garlic Twice-Baked Potatoes

roasted-garlic-twice-baked-potatoes
Recipe & picture courtesy of Kraft Foods

Prep Time: 1 hr 10 min
Total Time: 1 hr 40 min
Makes: 8 servings, one stuffed potato piece each

  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 4 large baking potatoes (2-1/2 lb.)
  • 1 cup BREAKSTONE’S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
  • 1/2 lb. (8 oz.) VELVEETA Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, cut up, divided
  • 1/4 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 4 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon, crisply cooked, drained and crumbled
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut thin slice off top of garlic head to expose cloves; discard top. Place garlic head on square sheet of foil; drizzle with oil. Wrap garlic loosely with foil. Prick potatoes in several places with fork. Bake potatoes and garlic 1 hour.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF. Cut small slice off both ends of each potato. Cut potatoes crosswise in half. Scoop out centers, leaving 1/8-inch-thick shells. Place potato flesh in medium bowl; mash. Squeeze garlic out of papery shell into bowl with potatoes. Add sour cream, three-fourths of the VELVEETA and the Parmesan cheese; beat until fluffy. Spoon evenly into shells, mounding filling as necessary to use all the filling; place in shallow baking dish.
  3. Bake 30 min.; top with remaining VELVEETA. Bake an additional 5 min. or until VELVEETA is melted. Sprinkle with bacon.

**Personal Review: No Review Yet**

Garlicky Peppers & Shrimp

garlicky-peppers-shrimp
Recipe & picture courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens

Makes: 4 servings
Start to Finish: 20 minutes

  • 1 9-oz. pkg. refrigerated spinach fettuccine
  • 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 small red, green, yellow, or orange sweet peppers, seeded and cut in strips
  • 2 medium onions, cut in thin wedges
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. peeled and deveined medium shrimp
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and return to pan. Toss with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, in skillet heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir in peppers, onions, and garlic; stir-fry 4 to 6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add shrimp and cayenne pepper. Cook 2 to 3 minutes more or until shrimp are opaque, stirring occasionally. Serve over pasta.

**Personal Review: No Review Yet**

Seared Scallops and Tenderloin Steaks in Manhattan Sauce

seared-scallops-and-tenderloin-steaks-in-manhattan-sauce
Recipe & picture courtesy of Rachael Ray

Makes 2 servings

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), 1 turn of the pan, plus more for drizzling
  • Four 1-inch-thick beef tenderloin steaks (about 4 to 6 ounces each)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 large diver sea scallops, trimmed
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sweet vermouth
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped or snipped chives
  1. Drizzle some EVOO over the steaks and season with salt and pepper. Get a large nonstick skillet screaming hot and add the meat. Cook the meat over high heat for 3 minutes on each side for medium rare, 4 for medium to medium-well. Remove the meat from the skillet and pull the pan off the heat to cool.
  2. Drizzle some EVOO over the scallops and season them with salt and pepper. Get another large skillet screaming hot and cook the scallops over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until caramelized.
  3. Bring 2 inches of water to a boil in a medium skillet.
  4. Return the meat pan to medium heat and add the EVOO, 1 turn of the pan. Add the shallot and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the vermouth and reduce by half, about 30 seconds. Add the butter to the pan to finish the Manhattan sauce.
  5. Add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the asparagus and dress with the lemon juice and a drizzle of EVOO; season with salt and pepper.
  6. Place 2 steaks on each plate and drizzle with the Manhattan sauce. Place 2 scallops on top of each of the steaks and garnish with the chives. Serve the asparagus alongside.

**Personal Review: This came out amazing and I was really surprised by how easy this recipe really is. The end result is mouth watering, the steaks were so tender. I loved the idea of lemon juice on the asparagus, I usually just add butter. Jason was thrilled with this dinner as well, it will continue to be a “special occasion” dinner.**

Spanish Fideos with Shrimp

spanish-fideos-with-shrimp
Recipe & picture courtesy of Rachael Ray

Makes 4 servings

  • Salt
  • 1 pound thin egg noodles (fideos), broken into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 pound medium shrimp-peeled,deveined and chopped
  • 2/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (a couple of generous handfuls)
  • 1/3 cup dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • Hot pepper sauce
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the noodles and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the EVOO, 4 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat until rippling. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add the scallions and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the noodles to the shrimp mixture; toss to coat. Add the parsley, sherry, soy sauce and a little hot sauce. Stir in the reserved pasta cooking water. Top with the nuts.

**Personal Review: YUM! This was sooo easy to make and it tasted wonderful! I used angel hair pasta instead of the fideos – I could find them. It was gobbled up quickly!**

Chicken with Sherry-Soy Sauce

chicken-with-sherry-soy-sauce
Recipe & picture courtesy of My Recipes

Makes 4 servings

  • Cooking spray
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions, optional
  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken with salt and black pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove from pan; keep warm.
  2. Add sherry, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, and red pepper to pan; scrape pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute. Stir in oil.

**Personal Review: This was really easy to make and it turned out wonderful. Very quick, very simple.**