One woman's foray into cooking for herself, for her family, and for her friends. It's not always picture-perfect, sometimes a little messy,
but it's always delicious. Join me in exploring new recipes, savoring the "résultats" and learning from the "erreurs".


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lunch & Dinner, Italian-Style

I was wandering around my kitchen at about 1:30 this afternoon, trying to figure out what I was going to have for lunch, a big concern since I hadn't had anything but coffee for breakfast. I was hungry. I had a summer squash sitting on the table that needed to be used. I opened the fridge and saw some leftover artichoke hearts, there's a little bit of fresh mozzarella, half of a nice tomato. There's half a loaf of bread I made on the counter. Ah. A panini. I grilled slices of the yellow squash, onion, and the artichoke hearts, and layered it on the bread with mozzarella on the bottom and top of the vegetables, drizzled with a little balsamic vinaigrette. I was happy with my panini-on-the-fly. And I cleaned out the fridge a little in the process!

For dinner, I tried a recipe my friend Linda from How To Cook A Wolf shared with me recently. The dish, Pasta alla Amatriciana, (Pasta with Tomato, Bacon and Onion), was so easy to prepare. I was surprised at how just a few ingredients could make such a big flavor impact! So delicious. Thank you, Linda!

Pasta alla Amatriciana
Pasta with Tomato, Bacon and Onion

"This dish is traditionally made with bucatini, also called perciatelli, which appear to be thick, round strands but are actually thin, extra-long tubes. Linguine works fine, too. When buying pancetta, ask the butcher to slice it 1/4 inch thick; if using bacon, buy slab bacon and cut it into 1/4-inch-thick slices yourself. If the pancetta that you’re using is very lean, it’s unlikely that you will need to drain off any fat before adding the onion. Use 1 1/2 small (14 1/2-ounce) cans of diced tomatoes, or dice a single large (28 ounce) can of whole tomatoes packed in juice."

Serves 4


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces pancetta (1/4-inch-thick sliced) or bacon, cut into strips about 1 inch long and 1/4 inch wide
1 medium onion , chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
2 1/2 cups diced tomatoes with juice
Table salt
1 pound bucatini , perciatelli, or linguine
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)

1. Bring 4 quarts water to rolling boil in large stockpot or Dutch oven.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until shimmering, but not smoking. Add pancetta or bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer pancetta or bacon with slotted spoon to paper towel–lined plate; set aside. If necessary, drain all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet. Add onion to skillet; sauté over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and cook to release flavor, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and salt to taste; simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

3. While sauce is simmering, add 11/2 teaspoons salt and pasta to boiling water. Cook until pasta is al dente; drain and return pasta to empty pot.

4. Add pancetta to tomato sauce and adjust seasoning with salt. Add sauce to pot with pasta and toss over low heat to combine, about 30 seconds. Add cheese and toss again; serve.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Potato, Onion & Yellow Squash Frittata

It was a rainy day here. I generally like rainy days. They're 'cozy days'. As I considered what I wanted for dinner, I thought that this cozy day deserved a cozy, comforting meal. After a bit of pondering, I decided on Seafood Risotto. I have a wonderful recipe for it and thought it would be perfect. Then the afternoon passed. And I wasn't hungry for risotto anymore. Nor was I in the mood for much cooking. My lethargy led me to a frittata. It's my go-to meal when I know I need some protein but am not up to exerting much effort in the kitchen. Fifteen minutes from start to finish, and dinner is on the table. *sigh* Maybe I'll make risotto later in the week...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Chicken Cutlets with Tomato, Artichokes and Mozzarella

I printed out this recipe about 7 or 8 years ago but had never made it. Until tonight. I didn't have the artichoke hearts called for in the recipe but for some reason had a can of artichoke bottoms in the pantry. Okay - that would work. Just dice them up and we'll be good to go. Unfortunately, as I was trying to get the can open, I sliced my finger open. I hate when I do stupid stuff like that. I just wrapped it tight, and eventually the bleeding stopped. Gag. But I had my dinner halfway done, and I was bound and determined to complete it. Once I stopped feeling like I was going to pass out, I got the chicken pounded thin, seasoned and dredged in flour, and into the skillet. Measure everything out ahead of time and it goes together in no time at all. And the pay off? Delicious! This is going into my regular repertoire. No doubt about it.

Chicken Cutlets with Artichokes, Tomato, and Mozzarella

boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded 1/4" thick
Salt, to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper, for dredging the cutlets
1/4 cup unsalted butter, divided
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic, or to taste
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
8 slices tomato, 1/4"-thick
1 cup sliced drained marinated artichoke hearts
8 slices mozzarella, 1/4"-thick
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

Sprinkle the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper, to taste, and dredge them in the flour, coating them thoroughly and shaking off the excess.

In a heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and the oil over moderately-high heat until the foam subsides. Saute the cutlets in 2 batches for 1 minute on each side, or until they are just cooked through, transferring them as they are cooked to a heated flameproof platter.

Remove the skillet from the heat, add the garlic, and cook it over moderately-low heat, stirring, until it just begins to color. Add the wine and the lemon juice and simmer the mixture until it is reduced by half.

Remove the skillet from the heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and swirl the skillet until it is incorporated. Pour the sauce over the cutlets and top the cutlets with the tomato, the artichoke hearts, and the mozzarella. Broil the cutlets under a preheated broiler about 3 inches from the heat until the mozzarella is melted and sprinkle the cutlets with the parsley.

Yield: 4 servings



Source: Foodtv Recipes

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Blueberry Scones


This is another one of Ann's recipes (Thibeault's Table). I've been making these scones for years - they're quick and easy to put together. Ann's secret is to freeze the fruit before adding it to the flour mixture. The original recipe calls for raspberries, but I tend to make blueberry scones as they are my favorite. The fruit can be omitted altogether and replaced with any cheese or herbs of your choice. Or use poppyseeds and drizzle with a little lemon glaze once they're cooled. I often brush a little cream or egg wash over the raw scones and sprinkle with demerrera or some other sugar. This time I used a vanilla sugar -it was perfect over the blueberry scones. What could be a better way to start the day?!

Blueberry Scones

2-1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter
3/4 cup blueberries, frozen
1 scant cup cream
Additional cream & sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 450 F. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut butter into flour mixture with pastry blender until it resembles coarse meal. Add cream and frozen blueberries to dry ingredients. Mix lightly with fork until mixture forms a stiff dough. Knead on floured board just to incorporate all flour; try not to damage berries.

Roll into 7-inch round and cut into 6 or 8 wedges. Place 1 inch apart on greased baking sheet; brush tops with additional cream and sprinkle with sugar if desired. Bake for 15 - 18 minutes.


Source: Thibeault's Table


Friday, July 24, 2009

Foodie Friday - Biscuits & Jam


Thanks to Michael of
Designs by Gollum for hosting Foodie Friday. Check out her blog fo
r a dose of humor, fun food, and beautiful home decor. Her FF post will also have a list of all the other Foodie Friday participants... You'll be amazed at the wonderful food ideas you'll find there!


This morning I decided to make biscuits. From scratch. Not one to make biscuits on
a regular basis, I knew I was going to need a fool-proof recipe. And one of my favorite sources for fool-proof recipes is Thibeault's Table, and I was not disappointed. Her homemade country biscuits were so simple to put together and loved her tip of grating the butter into the flour mixture. They were tender and delicious. I'll be trying a savory version next time.

To go with my homemade biscuits, I broke out a jar of my homemade Raspberry-Plum Jam. It's my favorite. If you are into making jams & jellies, be sure to try this one. It makes enough for you and your friends and family. It gets more raves than any other jam or jelly I make.

Ann's Country Buttermilk Biscuits


2 cups of flour
1 Tablespoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shortening, lard, crisco or butter (Ann's note: I use butter)
1 cup of milk (cream) or buttermilk
- (if using buttermilk add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda)

Optional. Add a little sugar if you prefer sweet rather than savory.


Mix the flour with the baking powder, and salt. Cut in shortening until it resembles coarse meal. Stir milk or cream in to flour mixture. Mix quickly with fork until dough comes together. Using hands gently pat the ingredients together. Do not over-handle. Pat out to about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick on a lightly floured board. Cut with biscuit cutters
and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for approximately 12 to 15 minutes at 450°F.

If making cheese biscuits add the mustard and cayenne to the dry ingredients and add the cheese after the shortening has been cut into the flour.


Tip: An easy way to cut the butter into the flour is to use a box grater. The large side of the grater makes the perfect size pieces of butter.


**********

Raspberry-Plum Jam

About 2-1/2 pounds Santa Rosa or other firm ripe plums
2 packages (about 10-ounces each) frozen raspberries in syrup (thawed) or 3 cups fresh raspberries
10 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 pouches (3-ounces each) liquid pectin

Prepare 12 half-pint canning jars.

Rinse plums and remove pits. Finely chop or force plums through a food chopper, to make 4 cups. Place plums and raspberries in an 8-quart pot. Stir in sugar and lemon juice until well-blended.

Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly; boil, uncovered and stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and immediately stir in pectin all at once; boil 1 minute; skim off foam. Fill jars to within 1/8-inch of rim.

Makes 12 half-pints.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Watermelon-Lime Sorbet

Giving my ice cream maker another workout. Watermelon season is in full-swing, and I was wanting to give a watermelon sorbet a try. The recipe from Epicurious.com I located called for a little lemon juice to brighten the flavor. I thought lime would be better. It was. By far. So instead of the lemon juice, I added the juice and zest of one lime. My frozen treat menu is growing. We won't mention my hips...

Watermelon-Lime Sorbet
Yield: Makes 1 1/2 quarts

8 cups cubed (1 inch) watermelon, seeds and rind discarded
1 cup simple syrup*
grated zest of 1 lime
juice of 1 lime

Puree the watermelon cubes in a food processor. Measure 4 cups of the puree and place in a bowl. Add the simple syrup, lime juice, and lime zest, and stir well. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

*Simple Syrup:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water

Combine sugar and water in saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer 5 minutes. Cool completely. Store in refrigerator.

Source: Adapted from epicurious.com

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Onion Rings

Dinner tonight was a breaded chicken breast and sauteed grape tomatoes. As another side, I decided to make onion rings. I hadn't made them in quite awhile, so when Ann of Thibeault's Table recently made them, and with such an easy recipe, I had to give them a try. They were the best onion rings I've ever had. Super light and crispy, even as they cooled. I will definitely make these again.

Onion Rings

1-1/2 cups buttermilk
1 sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Walla Walla), thinly sliced into rounds, then separated into rings
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 cups canola oil (for frying)

Pour buttermilk into large bowl. Add onion rings; toss to coat. Let stand 1 hour, tossing occasionally. Mix flour and seasonings in another large bowl.

Pour enough oil into heavy large skillet to reach depth of 3 inches. Heat over medium-high heat to 350F. Working with a few onion rings at a time, shake off excess buttermilk, then turn onion rings in flour mixture to coat. Fry onion rings until deep golden brown, adjusting heat as necessary for each batch to maintain temperature at 350F, about 2 minutes. Transfer onion rings to paper towels to drain. Can be kept warm on a sheet pan in a 350F. oven


Source: Adapted from Dlundin/Diana

Friday, July 17, 2009

Guilty Pleasure - Cake Ice Cream & Malted Milk Balls

Dinner tonight was really good - a marinated flank steak topped with a smoked paprika/basil compound butter. Sooo good. And a salad of sauteed corn, grape tomatoes, diced avocado, green onions, lime juice, olive oil, and a tiny bit of adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers. The perfect summertime accompaniment for just about any meal. However, the photos were terrible - and I realized too late that I had my camera on the wrong setting. Ugh. Well, I'll definitely make that again. And I'll be sure to check my camera settings next time!

But for dessert... Well, I have to tell you a secret. I love good food, including well-made desserts. Not a big fan of mixes. Okay - that's not the secret, but this is...My summertime guilty pleasure is birthday cake flavored ice cream at Marble Slab Ice Creamery. And I like it with crushed Whoppers mixed in. (I warned you this was a guilty pleasure...) Another one of my internet research sessions turned up a recipe I knew I could handle. The main flavor component is dry cake mix. Yep, I know. A mix. But I like this flavor. So, I was willing to give it a try.

Now the recipe calls for bringing milk and a little cake mix to a simmer, then chill the milk mixture for about 2 hours. Then, when you're ready to process the mixture in the ice cream maker, you add heavy cream and vanilla extract. I forgot to add the cream and vanilla. (Yes, I was suffering from brain freeze today - quite a feat in 102 F. heat... ) I let the original mixture process for 20 minutes, then added the crushed malted milk balls and processed for another 2 - 3 minutes. I was nervous about how this was going to taste and what the texture might be like after I realized my inadvertent omission. Nothing to worry about. It was delicious and creamy. I was happy. On top of that, a couple of fortunate things happened here... I saved on some major calories in 2 ways: 1) by not adding the cream, and 2) I ended up with only 3 cups of this delicious concoction.

Oh yeah. Uh huh. I did that on purpose after all...

Birthday Cake Ice Cream Recipe
Philadelphia
Style

Prep Time: 12 minutes
Chill Time: at least 2 hours
Ice Cream Maker Time: Approximately 20-25 minutes
Makes: 1 1/2 quarts

Servings: Ten 1/2 cup servings

1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup cake mix
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 to 1/2 cup add-ins

In a saucepan over medium low heat, combine milk, sugar, and cake mix. Stir constantly until mixture starts to bubble. Remove from heat and cool completely in refrigerator (about 2 hours). Stir in cream and vanilla. Pour into ice cream maker. Mix approximately 15-20 minutes or according to manufacturer's instructions. Pour in add-ins. Mix in ice cream maker for 5 more minutes. Scoop it out and enjoy!


Source: serving-ice-cream.com

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Grape Sorbet

It's been hellaciously hot here in the Dallas area. Triple-digit heat is oppressive, so anything one can do to stay cool is very welcome. My Cuisinart ice cream maker has been getting a workout making fruit sorbets. They're so refreshing. Most contain just fruit, water, and sugar, so are easy to make. I had some grapes that needed to be used up and came up with a sorbet recipe to use them. It turned out to be just the heat relief I needed -


Grape Sorbet

2 - 3 pounds black grapes, stemmed
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
Juice of 1 orange

Put all ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. Mash grapes to help release the juices, and simmer for about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Let a fine sieve with 3 - 4 layers of cheesecloth, and drain the grape mixture, pressing to get as much of the juice out of the cooked fruit as you can. You should have 3 - 4 cups of juice.

Process in ice cream maker for 30 - 40 minutes. Remove sorbet to a container and freeze until sorbet is firm.

Yield: 1 quart

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Baked Ziti

Another quick meal. Boil the pasta, make a quick red sauce, and mix up the cheese filling. I decided on individual servings instead of a big dish full of baked ziti. A little sauce in the bottom of the dish. Layer the pasta with the cheese, cover with the sauce, sprinkle with chopped up mozzarella and grated parmesan. Bake. Dinner is done.

Sauce

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes Escalon's 6-in-1 tomatoes are my favorite - I order them by the case
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
salt & pepper to taste

Heat oil in saucepan. Add garlic. When garlic is cooked (not browned), add tomatoes. Season sauce with the herbs and salt & pepper. Simmer 10 - 15 minutes.


Cheese Filling

15 ounces whole ricotta
4 ounces mozzarella, shredded or grated
1 egg
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Mix all ingredients together.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cook 8 ounces of ziti.

Cover bottom of baking dish(es) with sauce. Layer pasta and cheese filling until dish is full, ending with pasta layer. Spoon sauce over top, sprinkle with additional grated mozzarella and parmesan. Bake 25 - 35 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Shrimp & Polenta

It was getting late, I was getting hungry, and I had no idea what to make for dinner. I hadn't taken anything out of the freezer... My go-to protein when that happens is often shrimp. It thaws so quickly. Dinner options were starting to get narrowed down... barely. I remembered seeing a recent Bobby Flay show where he made shrimp & grits. I've never had that before and it sounded so good. No grits in the house. So I did a little internet search and saw several recipes for shrimp & polenta. Polenta I had. After looking at several recipes, I came up with my own.

The polenta was easy enough: 1/2 cup of coarse corn meal added to 3 cups of boiling water, then simmer for about 20 minutes. When the polenta was finished cooking, I seasoned it with salt and a pat of butter.

For the shrimp component of the dish, I chopped up a couple of strips of bacon and cooked them. In the resulting bacon grease, I sauteed minced red bell pepper and onion. Once they were cooked down, I added a couple of cloves of garlic, minced. Added a big pat of butter, a little white wine, a little tomato paste, a squeeze of fresh orange and lemon (if I'd had a Meyer lemon on hand, I would have just used that), and seasoned the whole thing with creole seasoning and a pinch of salt, and let the liquid reduce. I finally added in about a half pound of shelled and cleaned small shrimp and let them simmer in the liquid until they were cooked through. Checked for seasoning then served the shrimp and sauce over the polenta.

Oh wow. I loved the flavor combination and the different textures between the soft, creamy polenta and the shrimp mixture. I will definitely be making this again.

Pancakes

For my 100th post, I decided to make a pancake breakfast. Fluffy, light-as-a-feather pancakes and applewood-smoked bacon (my favorite kind of bacon) was a perfect breakfast. A bit of butter and just a touch of maple syrup (real maple syrup, of course) is all I like on my pancakes. The batter for these pancakes has more than the usual amount of baking powder. Once you mix it all together and let it rest for just a few minutes, you can see your batter "poof" up. Not your run-of-the-mill pancake batter. Definitely not your run-of-the-mill breakfast!


Feather Pancakes

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 beaten egg
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Sift together dry ingredients. Combine egg, milk, and vegetable oil. Add dry ingredients to liquid; beat until smooth. Cook on hot griddle. (Bubbles will appear on the uncooked side of the pancakes as they start to cook through. When bubbles pop and sides of pancakes appear dry, it is time to flip pancakes to cook other side.) Makes about 12 dollar-size pancakes or 8 four-inch pancakes.


Source: Better Home and Gardens New Cook Book

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Mini Cherry Clafouti

I made some cherry jam the other day and had some cherries leftover. I found a recipe on Epicurious.com for cherry clafouti, something I've always wanted to try. I decided to pare down the recipe and make a couple of mini clafoutis. The cherries look mamouth in the photo, but they were normal-sized cherries. In retrospect, it might have been a good idea to cut them up to fit the mini baking dish a little better. Either way, though, it was delicious. Next time I'll make a regular sized edition of this recipe. Maybe it won't look so much like a prop in Gulliver's Travels...

Bing Cherry Clafouti
Gourmet | May 1993

(Baked Sweet Cherry Pudding)
Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.
Yield:
Serves 2

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup Bing cherries, halved and pitted
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into bits
vanilla ice cream as an accompaniment if desired
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a blender blend together 1/3 cup of the sugar, the flour, the eggs, the milk, the vanilla, the zest, the almond extract, and the salt until the custard is just smooth. Arrange the cherries in one layer in a buttered 3-cup gratin dish or flameproof shallow baking dish, pour the custard over them, and bake the clafouti in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top is puffed and springy to the touch.

Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, dot it with the butter, and broil the clafouti under a preheated broiler about 3 inches from the heat for 1 minute, or until it is browned. Serve the clafouti with the ice cream. (I didn't do this part - just sprinkled the top with a little confectioners' sugar.)


Source: Epicurious.com

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Blondies


I was in the mood for a little bit of retro baking. When I was a little girl, we always had dessert after dinner. Mom would always make some kind of sweet. Because Dad wasn't keen on brownies, Mom would occasionally make blondies. And they are my preference over brownies, too. I haven't had them in many years, so I decided to make them today. They were as chewy and moist as I remembered. *sigh*

Blondies

1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups (scant) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Remove pan from heat and stir in brown sugar. Add eggs, beating well after the addition of each one. Stir in vanilla.

Add dry ingredients; mix thoroughly. Spread in greased 13-inch x 9-inch baking pan. Bake 25 minutes. Cut in bars while warm; remove from pan when almost cool.

Source: Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Italian Open-Faced Sandwich

Many years ago I copied down this recipe from a cooking show on TV. I believe it was a PBS show since this was pre-Food Network. It's certainly not a difficult or gourmet dish, but oh so good. The flavors meld so well. What made it even better this time was the homemade baguette I baked today knowing this sandwich was on the menu. I know I always say this, but it was easy, easy, easy! I promise!


Italian Open-Faced Sandwich

1 baguette, sliced in half lengthwise
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup chopped black olives
thinly sliced tomatoes
thinly sliced ham (preferably Black Forest ham, though prosciutto works really well here, too)

Mix the mozzarella, olive oil, vinegar, oregano, onion and black olives. Mound the mixture on the cut side of the baguette halves. Bake at 425 F. oven for 8 - 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and layer sliced tomatoes and ham over baked sandwich and serve.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Spicy Chicken Cakes

I came across this recipe on a cooking discussion website. It intrigued me, so I copied and pasted it to my hard drive. Going through my recipes trying to decide what to make for dinner, I'd often open it up, think about it, and then go to another recipe. But I finally decided to try it tonight. What was I waiting for?? They are surprisingly delicious! Instead of the horseradish aioli suggested in the recipe, I decided on "fake aioli": mayo, grated garlic, grated lemon zest, lemon juice, salt. One other change I tried out on one of the cakes was to mix the remaining fresh bread crumbs with some Italian-style dried bread crumbs to coat one of the cakes with before browning. That was just as good. The texture, the flavor, the ease of making... this is definitely a winner recipe!

I served it with wild rice and fresh green beans that I coated with egg whites that had been mixed until they were a bit foamy. Sprinkle some Italian-style dried bread crumbs over the beans and put them in a 450 F. oven for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle sea salt over the beans when they come out of the oven. They were good with the aioli, too!

Spicy Chicken Cakes with Horseradish Aioli

CAKES:

2 (1 1/2-ounce) slices whole wheat bread
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons canola oil

[ORIGINAL AUTHOR'S NOTES:

- I used real Helmans, not low-fat and I added a minced garlic clove and cayenne pepper in place of the cajun seasoning.

- Made my own Aioli. A garlic Lemon Aioli using the extra egg yolks, and adding 3 large cloves of garlic, fresh squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest salt, pepper and olive oil.]

AIOLI:
2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon salt

To prepare cakes, place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1 cup (discard remaining breadcrumbs). Set breadcrumbs aside.

Place chicken in food processor; pulse until ground. Combine chicken, chives, 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon salt, egg whites, and breadcrumbs in a medium bowl; mix well (mixture will be wet). Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add patties; cook 7 minutes on each side or until done.

Source: Linda/"doucanoe


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