Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mac and Cheddar Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli

This is a great mac and cheese recipe if you are looking for a whole meal in one. We have had it a few times and when I made it last time I used the leftover chicken from my chicken dijonnaise. I am so glad I thought of this and it is a great way to use your leftover chicken (especially if your leftover chicken had mustard on it)!

I often watch Rachael Ray to get ideas for dinner and this is one of her mac and cheese recipes. Enjoy!

Mac and Cheese!
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
1 pound chicken breast tenders, chopped (we used leftover chicken from our Chicken Dijonnaise)
salt and pepper
1 small onion, chopped (we used frozen diced onion)
1 pound macaroni elbows or cavatapi corkscrew shaped pasta twists
2 1/2 cups raw broccoli florets, available packaged in produce department (we used frozen florets)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
3 cups whole milk
1 cup chicken stock
3 cups yellow sharp Cheddar
1 tablespoon prepared Dijon mustard

Place a pot of water on to boil for macaroni.

Heat a medium pan over medium to medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil and chicken and season with salt and pepper. Saute a couple of minutes then add onion and cook another 5 to 7 minutes until onions are tender and chicken is cooked through. Turn off heat and reserve.

To boiling pasta water, add pasta and salt to season the cooking water. Cook 5 minutes, then add broccoli and cook 3 minutes more or until pasta is cooked to al dente and florets are just tender.

While pasta cooks, heat a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Add butter and melt, then add flour, cayenne and paprika and whisk together over heat until roux bubbles then cook a minute more. Whisk in milk and stock and raise heat a little to bring sauce to a quick boil. Simmer sauce to thicken about 5 minutes.

Drain macaroni or pasta and broccoli florets. Add back to pot and add chicken to the pasta and broccoli.

Add cheese to milk sauce and stir to melt it in, about a minute or so. Stir in mustard and season sauce with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken and broccoli and cooked pasta and stir to combine. Adjust seasonings, transfer to a large serving platter and serve.

Chicken Dijonnaise

My husband and I absolutely LOVE this dish. This is right up there with Chicken Marbella. In fact, it is from the same cookbook, The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. This is a really nice, simple dish that we serve with rice and broccoli. We love to drizzle the sauce over the whole plate and dig in! Enjoy!

Chicken Dijonnaise

1 Chicken (2 1/2 to 3 lbs.), quartered-- I don't do this, I just buy chicken drumsticks and thighs since thats what my husband likes.
1/3 cup mustard- we use three types: Mild & Creamy dijon mustard (made with white wine), Harvest coarse ground with whole mustard seeds and Regular Dijon mustard (all three are Grey Poupon). Also this measurement is only for spreading on the chicken, we add more mustard when making the sauce to have more of it.
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup vermouth or dry white wine (we use the wine)
1/2 cup Creme Fraiche or heavy cream- we use the creme fraiche. For us you can buy it in 8oz containers and we use the whole container when making the sauce, so instead of a 1/2 cup we use 1 cup.
Salt, to taste

Coat the chicken with the mustard and set it in a bowl, covered to marinate at room temperature for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Arrange the chicken, skin side up, in a flameproof baking dish. Scrape out any mustard remaining in the bowl and spread it evenly over the chicken. Season lightly with salt and pepper and pour the wine around the chicken.
Set the dish on the center rack of the oven and bake, basting occasionally, until the chicken is done, 1 hour. You may have to bake the dark meat sections for another 5 to 10 minutes.
Scrape the mustard off the chicken and back into the backing dish (I always use a small sauce pan, it is easier for us). Transfer the chicken pieces to a serving platter, cover and keep warm.
Skim as much fat as possible from the cooking juices and set the baking dish over medium heat (or small sauce pan) This is where I add extra mustard (I always add equal amounts of all 3 kinds and I just add as much as I think will make enough sauce to our liking). Bring to a boil, whisk in the creme fraiche and lower the heat. Simmer the sauce until it is reduced by about one third, 5 to 10 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Taste, correct the seasoning if needed and spoon sauce over the chicken (and sides if you wish). Serve hot or at room temperature.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Yummy Steak

One night we really wanted steak one night so I came up with this little recipe. It is really simple and tastes great.

I used these ingredients:
Fresh chopped Rosemary
chopped garlic
Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

I didn't measure anything out, just eyeballed it. First I salt and peppered them and then coated each side in the rosemary, garlic and worcestershire sauce. I let the steak marinate for about an hour before we cooked them.
It came out great! We did a simple baked potato as a side.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Do you remember "The Next Food Network Star" season that ended a while back?

This recipe is from the last season of "The Next Food Network Star". My husband and I really liked the show and thought Melissa d'Arabian's pilot she auditioned with on the last episode was great and I decided to make her recipes from the show.

5 Minute Individual Potato Gratins

Vegetable spray

2 large russet potatoes, roughly peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese

2 green onions, finely chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper

¾ heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spray 8 muffin tins with vegetable spray. Layer potato slices, cheese, and onions into each muffin cup. Season with salt and pepper and top each gratin with 1 or 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. Cover with foil and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, removing the foil halfway through cooking time. Invert gratins onto plate and serve.

Flexible 4-Step Chicken for Family and Company - Rustic Lemon-Onion Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves,

1 teaspoon dried thyme, plus 1 small bunch fresh thyme, leaves chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup white wine, optional

1 cup chicken broth

3 lemons, juiced

1 to 2 tablespoons butter

Season chicken with dried thyme and salt and pepper. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and add the oil. Dredge the chicken in flour, add to the hot oil and saute until cooked through. Set chicken aside to rest on plate tented with foil.

In same saute pan, over low heat, add onions and fresh thyme and cook until aromatic.

In a measuring cup, measure out wine, if using, and broth, and add the lemon juice. Turn the heat up to high, and deglaze the pan with the broth mixture until starting to reduce.

Remove the pan from the heat and finish the sauce by whisking in butter. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.

Cinnamon Cake with Nutella Buttercream

I used this recipe for my mom's birthday cake back in July (shows how far behind I am!!) I got this idea from these wonderful little cake bites that I have made before (didn't get a picture but they are soooo good!). If you get a chance read the blog, she has some amazing stuff on there especially recipes having to do with Nutella.

Cinnamon Nutella Cake Bites

Cake recipe from Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan

Makes approximately enough cake for 2 8/9 inch rounds

2 1/2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons cinnamon

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

double pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups whole milk

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2- 8 inch round baking pans, and line bottoms with parchment or wax paper. Place pan on a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, the 2 1/2 cups sugar, the baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together milk, eggs and vanilla. Pour the liquid ingredients over the flour mixture, and whisk gently until you have a homogenous batter. Now, using the whisk or rubber spatula, fold in the butter with a light touch until the butter is absorbed. You'll have a smooth satiny batter. Scrape the batter into the pans. Smooth the top. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until cake is puffed and beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. A thin knife inserted into the middle will come out clean. Transfer cakes to a cooling rack, and let it rest for 15 minutes before unmolding them onto another rack. Peel off the paper, and cool to room temperature.

Nutella Buttercream

I believe I almost tripled the recipe to make sure I had enough..besides, who doesn't like snacking on buttercream??

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

3 cups sifted powdered sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1 cup Nutella

Mix butter until smooth and creamy. Add in Nutella and mix until nice and fluffy.

Add sugar 1 cup at a time until smooth. This will take about 3 to 5 minutes to get the desired consistency.