Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Spiced Chicken Thighs and Parsley Couscous

D made this after we got home from the gym.  If it took 55 minutes, I didn't notice. I thought it took 30 or so.

We both liked it.  It reminded me of the Spicy Honey Brushed Chicken Thighs without the sweetness.  D thought it might be better on the grill, because it was a little greasy.  Overall, we both liked it and I think we would have again.

I probably should build the NI as the ingredients said the chicken should have been skinless, and the directions talked about skin-side down.

We had with Oven Roasted Green Beans.

Spiced Chicken Thighs and Parsley Couscous

Photo by ALB

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 2 thighs and about 1/2 cup couscous)
Hands-on:30 Minutes
Total:55 Minutes

2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 bone-in chicken thighs, trimmed and skinned (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2/3 cup uncooked couscous
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3/4 cup unsalted chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 425°.

2. Combine cumin, sugar, chili powder, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon salt, red pepper, lemon rind, and black pepper in a small bowl; rub spice mixture over both sides of chicken. Heat a large ovenproof skillet or cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken to pan, placing it skin side down; cook 5 minutes on each side or until chicken is browned. (If necessary, work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.) Transfer pan to oven. Bake chicken at 425° for 14 minutes or until done. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 10 minutes before serving.

3. While chicken rests, heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add couscous and garlic to pan; cook 2 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring frequently. Carefully stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and chicken stock. Bring liquid to a boil. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 4 minutes (avoid opening the lid). Fluff couscous with a fork, and stir in parsley and lemon juice.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 468; Fat: 19.3g; Saturated fat: 4.2g; Monounsaturated fat: 8.9g; Polyunsaturated fat: 4.3g; Protein: 44g; Carbohydrate: 27g; Fiber: 2g; Cholesterol: 219mg; Iron: 3mg; Sodium: 544mg; Calcium: 48mg

Cooking Light AUGUST 2014

Monday, July 28, 2014

Chicken Schnitzel and Smashed Mustard Potatoes

This was in the newest CL, so I didn't think to check the reviews. Had I, I would have known it got 5 stars therefore we would not like it.  On their site, I gave it 2 because we liked the potatoes.

Overally, the chicken tasted like a plain "fried" piece of chicken.  We both thought with a roll, cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayo it would be good. D said, on a blue cheese Buffalo burger as well (I'll take his word for it.)  We both thought it was similar to Yolanda's Famous Chicken, except Yolanda's Chicken is actually good.

Overall, we would have the potatoes again, but definitely not the chicken.

Chicken Schnitzel and Smashed Mustard Potatoes

Photo by ALB

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 chicken breast half and 1/2 cup potatoes)

1 pound small red potatoes, halved
1/3 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fat-free milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Cooking spray
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided

1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cook 12 minutes or until tender; drain. Return potatoes to pan; mash to desired consistency. Stir in stock, green onions, mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

2. Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper and salt. Place flour in a shallow dish. Combine milk and egg in a shallow dish. Combine panko, parsley, and garlic powder in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour. Dip in milk mixture; dredge in panko mixture, shaking off excess. Lightly coat breaded chicken with cooking spray.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add 2 chicken breast halves to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 2 teaspoons oil and remaining 2 chicken breast halves.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 433; Fat: 11g; Saturated fat: 2g; Monounsaturated fat: 5.1g; Polyunsaturated fat: 1.5g; Protein: 44g; Carbohydrate: 37g; Fiber: 3g; Cholesterol: 156mg; Iron: 2mg; Sodium: 508mg; Calcium: 58mg

Cooking Light AUGUST 2014

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cheesey Chorizo Caramelized Onion Dip

I was going to make this, but then I got tired so D made it. I was glad he did because I was going to put it in the crock pot and he thought it would get too oily so he decided to follow the directions. He also thought chopped onions were strange for caramelizing so he left them sliced.  (Update: Had this recipe again.  D cooked the chorizo earlier in the day and was able to drain the oil, so he put everything in the crockpot later in the day, and it wasn't oily).

We had it for a party. I actually had to move away from the bowl so I would be able to have other foods. I just couldn't get enough of it. Judging from the bowl, other people felt the same way. There was one bite left at the end of the evening (D doubled the recipe), and I believe it was the "I don't want to be that guy who eats the last bite" bite. I ended up being that last guy.

Anyway, I would have again.

Photo by ALB
Cheesey Chorizo Caramelized Onion Dip

From FoodieCrush.com
Serving Size: 2 cups

2 cups onion, chopped (sliced instead of chopped)
3 tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon thyme
(D added in balsamic vinegar, ~1 TBSP)
6 oz chorizo sausage
8 ounce package of cream cheese (used 1/3 fat)
1/4 cup mayonnaise (used RF Hellmans)
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped chives or green onions
kosher salt

Remove chorizo from casing and cook in a medium skillet over medium high heat for about 10 minutes, chopping with spoon and stirring occasionally. Set aside.

In another skillet, melt butter over medium heat and add onion. Add thyme, (balsamic vinegar), season with kosher salt and lower heat to medium-low and cook onion for about 20 minutes until onions become soft and caramelized.

In a medium sized bowl add cream cheese and mayonnaise and mix well until smooth. Add mozzarella cheese, caramelized onions, green onions and mix well. Gently fold in chorizo. Pour into a 2 cup baking dish.

Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degree F for 12-15 minutes or until dip is golden and bubbly. Garnish with additional green onion and serve with baguette slices or tortilla chips. (used Fritos)

German Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

So I never made a cheesecake.  D and I have been married 11 years, and 11 years ago as a present I got a springform pan.  It has sat in the cabinet for 11 years with me wondering if I would get the guts to make a cheesecake. Then I found this recipe.  What's odd is in 2012 I posted a German Chocolate Cake from David Lebovitz on my list of things to try.  I wouldn't have thought about it until I found this recipe.

Any way, D and I were having a party for our anniversary and I showed him this cake and he said ok.  I silently cursed myself for showing him this as it looked complicated and a lot of work.  So I said ok, and then signed us up for a 5K because having a race to do before making this cake, well, just seemed logical...haha. It actually took 2 days to make (started it Friday Night and got everything made but didn't assemble).

It took about 5 minutes to assemble and then at the party I released the springform.  I was super nervous but it came out fine.  Everyone who had some, liked it.  The only issue was the crust was a little hard.  I think this was too thick, based on my lack of expertise in ever making a cheesecake crust.

Cake Sliced: Photo by ALB
I would make again.

German Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking, with filling adapted from David Lebovitz
Yield: 10-12 servings

Crust Ingredients
1 package (about 38) chocolate sandwich cookies, finely processed into crumbs (oreos)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (used salted, so didn't use salt)
Small pinch of salt (didn't use)

Ganache Ingredients
3/8 cups heavy cream
5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (Had I read, I would have used half semisweet and half Ghirardelli 60% Cacao chocolate chips, but I used 1 oz choc chips and 4 oz of the Ghirardelli 60%)

Cheesecake Ingredients
3 packages (8 ounces each) of cream cheese, room temperature (I used 1/3 fat)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
3 eggs, room temperature
3 ounces or about 6 tablespoons chocolate chips, melted and cooled (I used semisweet)

Cake Ingredients
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/8 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (This is 6TBSP)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3/8 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/8 cup plus 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil (This is 2.5 TBSP)
3/8 cups warm water
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Filling Ingredients
2/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 ounces butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1 cup unsweetened coconut, toasted

Make the cheesecake crust
Combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, melted butter and salt in a small bowl. Toss with a fork to moisten all of the crumbs. Press into a thin layer covering the bottom and sides of the springform pan (at least 3 inches up the sides). It’s hard to get the crust up that high, but keep pressing the crumbs up from the bottom with a smooth-sided glass (twisting the glass as you do so, so the crumbs don’t stick) and working them around — you’ll want it that high to hold the cake layer. Patience helps with this step.

Make the ganache
Bring the cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan (or heat in the microwave for about a minute, watching to ensure it doesn’t boil). Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Once the cream reaches a simmer, pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand 1-2 minutes. Whisk in small circles until a smooth ganache has formed. Pour the ganache over the bottom of the crust. Freeze until the ganache layer is firm, about 30 minutes.

Make the cake
While the ganache is freezing, cut a circle of parchment paper and use cooking spray as “glue” to adhere it to a 9-inch round cake pan. Then grease the pan and the paper (Used PAM). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and coarse salt together in a mixing bowl. Beat the dry ingredients on low until combined before increasing the speed to medium and adding the egg, buttermilk, warm water, oil, and vanilla. Beat about 3 minutes until the mixture is smooth. Pour it into the pan.

Place the pan in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 25-30 minutes. Rotate the pan about halfway through so it’ll bake evenly. When you take the cake layer out, leave the oven preheated for the cheesecake. Let the cake layer cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before turning it out onto a sheet of wax paper and leaving it to cool completely. Wrap the cake layer and stick it in the freezer to firm it up for assembly.

Make the cheesecake
While the cake layer is baking, mix cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until well blended and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing between each, and continue mixing until combined. Add the chocolate and continue mixing until combined. Pour mixture into prepared crust and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake for 55 minutes or until center of cake is almost set. The top may crack, but it doesn’t particularly matter, since you’ll be covering it anyway. Let the cheesecake fully cool. When almost cool, place it in refrigerator to chill while you prepare the filling.

Cheesecake Filling: Photo by ALB

Make the filling
Place the butter, salt, toasted coconut, and toasted pecans in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream, sugar, and egg yolks over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened, coats the spoon, and reads 170 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Pour this mixture over the coconut mixture and stir until the butter melts. Let the mixture cool completely (I set mine in the fridge once it was almost cool to thicken it some more.)

Everything before Assemby: Photo by ALB
Assemble the cake
Place half of the filling on top of the chilled cheesecake and spread it out. Carefully place the chocolate cake layer on top. Spread the rest of the filling on top of the chocolate cake layer. Decorate with pecans. Chill for 3 hours or overnight. When completely chilled, loosen the cake from rim of springform pan by wrapping the pan in warm dishtowels. Remove the springform pan and serve.

Final Cake before sliced: Photo by ALB

Butterfinger Nutter Butter Cheesecake Bars

I don't know what exactly I was searching for when I found this recipe. I read it over and thought they looked pretty easy to make, so I'd try them.  Just when?  We were having a party and I like to have little desserts in case someone wants to snack before dessert is served, so these would serve the bill.

Some of the Ingredients: Photo by ALB
They were pretty easy make.

Ready to go in the oven: Photo by ALB
The result?  They were really good albeit a bit overly sweet (duh) so the fact they were cut in small pieces were good.  But they had a good peanut butter flavor with a tad of cheesecake.  And they were so easy, I would definitely make again.

Yum!  Photo by ALB
Butterfinger Nutter Butter Cheesecake Bars

Yield: 36 SMALL SQUARES (I got 25)
From Lauren's Latest

For the crust
16 whole nutter butter cookies
1/4 cup melted butter

For the cheesecake filling
8 oz. cream cheese, softened (used 1/3 fat Cream Cheese)
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour
6 fun size Butterfinger chocolate bars

For the topping
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9x9 square dish with foil or parchment and set aside. {If you are lining your pan with foil, lightly grease with non stick cooking spray.} Grind nutter butter cookies in a food processor until the consistency of graham cracker crumbs. Pour in melted butter and pulse a few times to mix. Press into prepared dish and set aside.

In a large bowl, whip cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Stir in egg, vanilla and flour. Finely chop butterfingers and fold into the cheesecake mixture. Pour over top nutter butter crust and bake for 18-22 minutes or until cheesecake has set. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until completely chilled.

Pour chocolate chips and butter into a small bowl and microwave using the 'melt chocolate' function, stirring every 20-30 seconds. If your chocolate is almost melted, don't put it back into the microwave! Just keep stirring- the residual heat will continue to melt the chocolate completely. {If your microwave doesn't have this function, zap your chocolate at 50% power at 20 second intervals, stirring in between.} Spread melted chocolate overtop of the bars evenly and place back into the refrigerator 5-10 minutes to harden the chocolate. (I did 7). Remove from refrigerator and using the foil or parchment, remove the entire block of bars from the pan. Cut into bars and serve. (I actually cut the bars still on the parchment and then put them back in to the tray to serve later in the day.)

Recipes Notes: If you leave the bars in the refrigerator longer than 10 minutes after you've topped it with chocolate, cutting into the bars might be more difficult and the chocolate is more likely to crack.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Pork And Fennel Meatballs

I'm not really sure how D found this recipe, but I'm glad he did.  It really should come as no surprise that we like pork.  So this is right on.

They were really flavorful and I would definitely have again. We had with Ian's Dad's Pasta and Rao's Marinara Sauce.

Photo by ALB

Pork And Fennel Meatballs

Makes 19 meatball

2 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
1 cup (70g) fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup (60ml) milk
1 lb pork mince (ground pork)
6 oz piece flat pancetta, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Olive oil, for cooking

Photo by ALB

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the fennel seeds and salt in a mortar and pestle and lightly crush.

Place the breadcrumbs and milk in a bowl and stand for 5 minutes.

Add the mince, pancetta, parsley and fennel-salt mixture and mix well for 2–3 minutes or until mixture comes together.

Shape 1/3 cupfuls of the mixture into balls.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat.

Add a little oil to the pan and cook the meatballs, in batches, until well browned on all sides.

Place on a baking tray and bake for 5–7 minutes or until cooked through.

Nutritional Information (from My Fitness Pal)
Calories: 130; Carbs: 5; Fat: 9; Protein: 6; Sodium: 370; Fiber: 0

Spices - Fennel seed, 2.5 tsp; Calories: 17
Spice - Coarse Kosher Salt, 2 teaspoon; Calories: 0
Progresso - Italian Style Breadcrumbs, 1 cup; Calories: 440
Milk - Reduced fat, 2% milkfat, 0.25 cup; Calories: 31
Pork - Fresh, ground, raw, 16 oz; Calories: 1,191
Boar's Head - Diced Pancetta , 6 ounce; Calories: 660
Parsley - Raw, 0.25 cup; Calories: 5
Oil - Olive, 1 tablespoon; Calories: 119