Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dinner Recipes for: October 14- 19, 2012

Not-Fried Cheesy Chicken
This is a very flexible recipe. You can make it according to what you have and what your family prefers.
Makes: about 8-10 servings
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken (your choice-breast, tenderloin, or thighs)
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs (see below)
2 eggs, scrambled
4 Tbs. butter, melted, plus extra for pan (see directions, optional)
½-¾ cup shredded cheese (your choice- cheddar, mozzarella, or Monterey/Monterey Jack, etc.) to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  1. Put eggs in a small bowl and breadcrumbs in a medium bowl. Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray, or rub bottom of pan with butter
  2. Dunk chicken into eggs, and then put egg-coated chicken into bowl with breadcrumbs. Make sure both sides are covered with breadcrumbs.
  3. Put chicken in baking dish.
  4. Mix ½- ¼ cup cheese with remaining 4 Tbs. butter. Spread mixture on top of breaded chicken pieces.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

You can buy breadcrumbs pre-made, or you can make your own. Recipe adapted from Family Fun- To make 1 cup, all you'd need is 2 pieces of your favorite bread, torn up and pulsed in a blender or food processor until crumbled. If you want to make them Italian, all you have to do is add Italian seasoning mix. Most stores sell it. You can toast it in the oven a few minutes if you want to brown it, but I'm not very good at this so I can't speak of it from experience. I tend to burn things trying to toast them(I tend to think anything in the oven=a chance to sit down and read a story to the kids, or check Facebook…thus why I burn things that only need to be in the oven for a small amount of time).

Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese
Makes 8 servings
I found this from Family Fun
2 Tbs. butter, plus more for buttering the dish
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Cup breadcrumbs (see recipe, above)
1 small head cauliflower (to make about 7 cups of small florets)
1 lb. macaroni
12 oz. sharp cheddar, grated
1 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish with additional butter
  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil and salt it heavily. Make sure to taste it. If it's not as salty as seawater, add more salt.
  2. While the water is coming to a boil, melt the butter in a medium pan over medium heat and sauté the garlic until it's fragrant, about 2 ½ minutes. Add the bread crumbs and stir them in the butter and garlic just until they're coated, 30-45 seconds. Set the bread crumbs aside.
  3. Cut off the end of the cauliflower. Discard any ragged leaves (if you have a reptile or other vegetarian pet, feed these to him/her-check it's not toxic to them first!) Cut the head into very small florets and, if you like, thinly slice the stalk.
  4. Check the pasta package for the cooking time. Stir the pasta into the pot of boiling water. When there are 8 minutes left, add the cauliflower. If the pasta takes less than 8 minutes to cook, start with the cauliflower, and then add the pasta at the right time. Just make sure the cauliflower cooks 8 minutes!
  5. In a heat-proof bowl, mix the cheese and sour cream. Place over top of boiling pot of cauliflower/pasta, stirring the mixture occasionally until melted(This is optional, I mixed the two together and skipped to step 6, and everyone said it came out fine). Add pepper to taste.
  6. If heating cheese/sour cream mixture, remove the sauce carefully using oven mitts once the cheese is melted. Once the pasta/cauliflower is tender, reserve ½ cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and cauliflower. Return them to the pot, add the cheese/sour cream mixture and the reserved pasta water, and stir to combine. Add salt to taste.
  7. Put the pasta and cauliflower in buttered 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top, and put the pan in the oven.
  8. Bake about 12-15 minutes, until the bread crumbs are browned and the sauce is bubbling. Serve hot.

Multi-purpose Dough
The original recipe uses this dough for pizza, but I've found at least three uses for it since I've had the recipe- pizza, breadsticks, and dough for hot pockets. I've tried a lot of pizza dough recipes, and it seems as though they either took too long, didn't yield the results I hoped for, or weren't very friendly towards other uses. This one doesn't take too long, yields a healthy (and yummy!) result, and as I mentioned earlier, is very multi-purpose friendly.
You can bake it as intended immediately, or you can also freeze or refrigerate the dough until you need it. Just make sure to punch the dough down and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap if freezing it. Thaw it for 2-3 hours at room temperature or in the fridge overnight.
Makes- 1 large pizza crust, about 10-20 breadsticks (depending on how big you want them), or about 10-15 hot pockets
1 1/3 cups warm water
2 ½ tsp. (or one ¼ oz. package) active dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
2 ½ Tbs. olive oil
1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
¾ toasted wheat germ
1 ¼-1 ½ cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  1. In a large bowl, stir together the water, yeast and sugar. Set the mixture aside until bubbly and foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together the wheat flour, wheat germ, 1 ¼ cups of the bread flour, and salt.
  3. After yeast mixture becomes foamy and bubbly, stir in the olive oil.
  4. With a wooden spoon, slowly mix the flour mixture into the yeast mixture. You may need to work the last bits of the flour mixture into the yeast mixture with your hands.
  5. Sprinkle a little of the bread flour onto a dry work surface.
  6. Put the dough onto the work surface, and knead the dough until it's soft, about 10 minutes. If it's too sticky to handle, add a few tablespoons of bread flour into the dough as you knead it.
  7. Put a little oil in the large bowl you used for the yeast mixture. Place the dough in the bowl and roll it around to coat the dough with oil.
  8. Cover the bowl with a kitchen/hand towel, set it in a warm spot (on your stovetop, etc.), and let rise for about an hour or until double in size.
  9. Once double in size, use the dough as intended. See below for ideas.
  10. Bake about 10-20 minutes, let cool a few minutes before serving.

For Pizza-
Roll out onto pizza pan or baking sheet. You can lightly dust the pizza pan or baking sheet with flour or cornmeal. Top with your choice of sauce, cheese, and veggie/meat toppings. Bake 20 minutes
For Breadsticks-
Roll out dough and cut into 10-20 pieces with sharp knife/pizza cutter. You can either twist the dough or leave the pieces as they are. Lay dough pieces onto a lightly dusted baking sheet, optional (see "For Pizza"). For garlic breadsticks- Melt 5 tablespoons butter. Mix melted butter with ½ tsp. garlic powder. Brush onto dough pieces. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
For cheesy garlic breadsticks- melt 5 tablespoons butter. Mix melted butter with ½ tsp. garlic powder and about ¼- ½ cup cheese of your choice (cheddar or mozzarella or a mix of both). Brush onto dough, follow directions for garlic breadsticks.
For Hot pockets-
Roll out dough until it's about as large as it would be for a pizza. Cut into about 10-15 squares with sharp knife or pizza cutter. Add desired fillings (don't pile it on!), making sure to leave some space on each side of the square. Stretch and fold the dough overtop of the filling. Place on a baking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes.
If you have any questions or suggestions about any of the recipes, feel free to comment below or contact me on my Facebook page!
Happy Cooking!



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