Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Country Chicken Piccata

This is an oldy but goody. I found this recipe years ago on the Land O' Lakes website, and it has been one of our all-time favorites! We love the zing the fresh lemon juice gives it. It is very fast and easy.

Country Chicken Piccata
¼ c. milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 c. corn flake crumbs
1/3 c. flour
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
4 (4 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 TBSP butter
1 tsp chopped garlic
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
½ c. sliced green onion

Combine milk and egg into a small bowl. Combine corn flakes, flour, salt and pepper in pie pan. Flatten chicken to ¼” thick between waxed paper (or in a zip-lock freezer bag - see picture above). Dip chicken into milk mixture, then flour mixture. Melt 4 TBSP butter in skillet till sizzling, add chicken and garlic. Cook over medium heat, turning occasionally until golden brown. Remove chicken. Add remaining 2 TBSP butter to drippings in pan. Stir until butter melts, stir in lemon juice and green onions until heated through. Spoon over chicken.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cedar Plank Pork Loin with Dry Rub and Glaze

This is one of our Sunday dinner all-time favorites! KC is the grilling pro in our home. He has come up with this great recipe.

You can buy cedar planks at Costco during the summer months. You have to soak the plank for at least 4 hours before cooking on it. I have found that it works well to put it in a cookie sheet and cover it with water and weight down the plank with a glass of water so it doesn't float.

We buy the pork tenderloins (not pork loins), also available at Costco, and they usually come with two in each package. KC makes the Carolina BBQ Rub recipe (see below) and it lasts for many uses if kept in an airtight container. You first coat the tenderloin with a little olive oil, then sprinkle and rub in some of the dry rub. The BBQ Rub has some 'zing' in it, so if you don't like spicy, go easy on the rub. Then, place the seasoned tenderloin on the soaked cedar plank, which has also been coated with a little oil after being dried off with a paper towel.

Place the plank on the BBQ away from the direct flames (ours works well in the center), and cook with the lid closed until the meat reaches 160 degrees - which takes about 20-25 minutes. Don't worry if the plank chars a little around the edges, this is normal. When the meat reaches 160 degrees, take the meat off the plank and place on a platter. It should rest for at least 5-7 minutes before slicing. You can throw away the plank once it is completely cold to the touch.

It is so good when served with the Barbecue Glaze recipe shown below. Just drizzle a little on the meat on your plate. The combination of the smokey cedar taste, a little Carolina zing and this yummy glaze is to die for!

Note: You can also cook this in the oven instead of on a plank. Just put it in a shallow pan and bake at 425 degrees until the meat reaches a temperature of 160 (about 35-40 minutes). You'll miss out on the smokiness, but it is still really good!

A Carolina BBQ Rub
From Chuck Ozburn

2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup paprika

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well; use as a dry rub on beef, chicken, lamb or pork.

This is a really good glaze for any pork. I think it is best as a sauce served with the meat, but it can be put on the last few minutes of BBQing. Be very careful as this glaze burns very easily.

This recipe makes a lot, I usually make half the amount for our Sunday dinner.

Barbecue Glaze
1/2 c. soy sauce
3/4 c. catsup
3/4 c. honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco

Combine all ingredients and mix well. It should sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Fresh Apple Muffins

This is a recipe that I got in the very first ward we lived in as newlyweds. There were many wonderful cooks and I learned from many of them. This is a great fall muffin.

Fresh Apple Muffins
¾ c. milk
1 egg, beaten
¼ c. melted butter
2 c. flour
½ c. sugar
1 TBSP baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 c. finely chopped or grated apples
¼ c. raisins
Beat egg in small bowl. Add milk to the egg. Stir in melted butter. In separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Stir in apples and raisins. Add the liquid mixture and stir just until moistened. Do not overmix. The batter should be lumpy. Line muffin tins with paper cups or spray with PAM. Fill 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 12 muffins.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Turkey Burgers with Peanut Sauce

When I have tried turkey burgers in the past, I have been disappointed in the bland flavor. This recipe is FULL of flavor! It is also a healthy option. We really like it.

Turkey Burgers with Peanut Sauce adapted from Cooking Light
2 TBSP peanut butter
2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 ½ tsp sesame oil
1 tsp water
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
To prepare sauce, combine ingredients and whisk together until smooth.

½ c finely chopped green onions
1 TBSP chili paste with garlic
1 tsp grated fresh ginger (I use the bottled kind)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
¼ tsp salt
1 lb ground turkey
Cooking spray
4 whole-grain 100% whole wheat hamburger buns
1 c alfalfa or broccoli sprouts
Prepare grill.
To prepare burgers, place onions, chili paste, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, salt and turkey in a food processor and process until coarsely ground. (You could just mix together if you don’t have a processor) Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a ½ inch-thick patty.
Place patties on a grill rack coated with cooking spray or oil; grill 4 minutes on each side or until done. Place buns, cut side down, on grill rack: grill 1 minute or until toasted. Place 1 patty on bottom half of each bun; top each serving with ¼ c sprouts, and about 1 tablespoon sauce, and top half of the bun. Yield 4 servings.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Banana Bread

This is a really yummy banana bread recipe that is assembled much differently than others I have tried. I really like the flavor and texture of it. It is from taste buds.

Banana Bread (recipe from the Joy of Cooking)
1 1/3 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
5 1/3 Tbsp butter; room temp
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs; lightly beaten
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 in. loaf pan (or three mini loaf pans). Whisk dry ingredients together thoroughly. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar on high speed, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the flour mixture until blended and the consistency of brown sugar. Gradually beat in eggs. Fold in bananas & nuts. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 50-60 min. for large pan; 25-30 for small pans. Let cool in the pan (s) on a rack for 5-10 min before unmolding to cool completely on rack.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fresh Cowboy Salsa

This is a great way to use your home grown tomatoes. It is very yummy. I do all the chopping in my food processor (separately) and I make the dressing that goes over it in the food processor also. (I mix the vinegar and seasoning first, and while the processor is running, slowly pour the oil in so that it emulsifies the sauce and it won't separate.)

Cowboy Salsa3-5 tomatoes chopped
2 cups frozen corn
½ bunch cilantro (washed and chopped)
1 bunch green onions chopped
1 can black beans

Mix together in large bowl

½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 pkg. Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix
¼ cup salad oil

Mix and pour over salsa
Refrigerate for an hour before serving

Serve with tortilla chips. I have found several healthier options that are really good. (The black and white bag is from Costco)

Fresh Lime Sherbet

This is a light, fresh tasting dessert that is very quick and easy to make. It is also REALLY yummy done with lemons instead of limes. It fits perfectly into a small ice cream freezer.

Fresh Lime Sherbet
1 ¼ c. sugar
2 c. half & half
1/3-1/2 c. fresh squeezed lime juice (according to your taste -I use 1/2 c)
2 TBSP. grated lime peel (zest)
2 drops green food coloring

Mix until sugar is dissolved. Freeze in 1 qt. ice cream freezer.
(If you have a food processor - I put the lime zest and sugar together and process for about 2 minutes.  It makes the sugar and lime zest very fine - without any stringy pieces)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Apple Pork Chops

This is a recipe I got from my daughter Rachel. Very quick and yummy! It is definately a keeper. I loved the flavor of the apples with the pork, and the carmalized onions were very sweet.

Apple Pork Chops

4 boneless pork chops
2 TBSP canola oil
1 large onion, sliced and separated into rings
1 tsp dried marjoram, crushed
4 tsp coarse-grain brown or Dijon mustard
2 fuji apples, cored and cut into wedges

Season pork with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chops in oil for 4 min., turning once. Remove chops and cook onion rings in reserved drippings over medium heat for 4-5 min. until crisp-tender. Reduce heat to medium-low. Sprinkle onions with ½ the marjoram, place the chops on the onions. Spread the chops with the mustard and top the chops and onions with the apples and remaining marjoram. Cover and cook until the pork reaches 155 degrees.

Almond Streusel Baked Pears

This recipe comes from my good friend Melinda, who is a wonderful cook. I made it last night for a gathering and it was a big hit! It tastes like fall to me.

You will need:

1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
2 TBSP honey
cooking spray
1 cup oats
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 TBSP all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp ground all-spice or pumpkin pie spice
6 TBSP butter, softened
2 TBSP sliced or slivered almonds
4 large, firm-ripe pears, washed (do not peel)


Heat oven to 350. Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray. In small bowl, combine sour cream (or yogurt) and honey. Mix well. Cover; chill. In medium bowl, combine oats, sugar, flour, and allspice; mix well. Cut in butter with two knives until mixture is crumbly. Stir in almonds. Set aside. Cut pears in half, lengthwise. Using a small spoon, remove center portion of each pear half, leaving a 1/2 inch shell. Place scooped pears cut-side down in pan; spray with cooking spray. Bake 20 min, or until pears feel tender when pierced with a small, sharp knife. Remove pan from oven to wire rack. Turn pears cut-side up in pan. Spoon oat mixture over pears. Return to oven. Continue baking 20 to 25 min. or until topping is light golden brown and pears are tender. Cool pears 5 min. in pan on wire rack. Drizzle sauce onto dessert plates (in a beautiful squiggly pattern). Place warm pears on top of sauce. Drizzle a little more sauce over each pear.

Tip: A zip-lock bag works great to use in drizzling the sauce. Squeeze the sauce into one corner and cut a small hole in the corner and drizzle sauce with no mess!
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