What’s Cookin’ – May 28, 2009

May 28, 2009 // 0 Comments

Cheers to the Spears by JEANNE BRIGGS They’re long, green and their tips are packed with fresh flavor. That’s right, it’s asparagus season! Many people view these scrumptious spears as difficult to prepare, and reserve them for special occasions. This nutritious veggie cooks remarkably fast, so your family can raise a fork and say, “Cheers to the spears,” in no time. Cooking Instructions:  Boil a half inch of water in a large skillet. Roll up a piece of aluminum foil into a tube and place it inside the skillet around the edge. Add one pound of cleaned and trimmed asparagus with tips resting on the foil. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender. Add to your recipes as required. Baked Asparagus Cheese Soufflé 6 slices firm bread, crusts removed 6 slices Swiss cheese 6 eggs 2 cups milk 1/2 teaspoon salt Freshly ground pepper 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 2 tablespoons chopped onion 18 cooked asparagus spears 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese Arrange the bread in a buttered 9×13 pan. Top each slice of bread with a slice of Swiss cheese. Beat eggs, milk, onion and seasonings together; pour over bread. Bake at 325F for 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Top each bread slice with 3 of the trimmed asparagus spears. Sprinkle with the Cheddar cheese. Bake another 15 minutes or until custard is set. Serves 4 to 6. Quick Chicken with Asparagus and Provolone 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 5 tablespoons olive oil 2 eggs beaten 1-1/2 cups Italian-style dry breadcrumbs 1 (15 oz.) can chicken broth 1 (10 oz.) can asparagus, drained 4 slices Provolone cheese Heat oil in large skillet. Dip chicken in egg, then coat in breadcrumbs. Brown in skillet on both sides. When chicken is browned, drain off oil. Add broth, and place asparagus evenly over chicken. Lay a slice of cheese over each chicken piece. Cover skillet and cook over medium-high heat for 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside. Serves 4. Hot Bacon Asparagus Salad 7 bacon strips, diced 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed 1/3 cup vinegar 1 tablespoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard 1/4 teaspoon pepper 4 cups torn salad greens 1/2 cup sliced almonds 2 […]

What’s Cooking, April 30, 2009

April 30, 2009 // 0 Comments

  Jewels that Melt in Your Mouth  by JEANNE BRIGGS Remember when we were kids, we ate a lot of carrots, always raw and dipped or sprinkled with salt? I think that’s the way many folks approach carrots’as a snack between meals or on a relish tray, or perhaps chopped for a stockpot or in a stew or soup. And as a matter of fact, it’s not surprising that carrots are often overlooked by home cooks and restaurant chefs as well. But carrots can hold their own and actually be the star of a soup, salad, savory soufflé, or side dish. Let’s venture into some new ways with carrots. Let’s go gourmet and get started!   Glazed Carrots and Shallots 1-1/2 pounds (small or baby) carrots 6 shallots 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces 1/3 cup water 1 teaspoon kosher salt 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar Sour cream, as a topping If using small or baby carrots, leave then whole. Peel the shallots; cut larger ones into quarters lengthwise and smaller ones in half. Put the vegetables in a pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add the butter, water, salt and sugar. Bring the liquid to a boil; reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and checking to be sure the vegetables aren’t too dry. Add a teaspoon of water, if needed. Remove the lid, increase the heat to high and cook, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the carrots become caramelized and glazed, about another 10 minutes. Serves 4. Don’t forget that sour cream… it’s delicious.   Carrot and Coriander Soup 6 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced 3 pounds carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 bunch cilantro, stems attached, washed well, a handful of leaves reserved for garnish 1 jalapeño, stemmed, halved, seeded 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon ground coriander 6 to 8 cups chicken broth 1/2 cup sour cream In a large saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, cilantro, jalapeño, salt and ground coriander. Continue to cook the vegetables for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add […]

Fresh and Fabulous Chicken Salads

March 26, 2009 // 0 Comments

by JEANNE BRIGGS Of all the myriad preparations to which chicken so beautifully adapts, perhaps none is as simple or as popular as the salad. Chicken provides a light but flavorful foil for any number of other flavors: chicken with apples, chicken with olives, curried chicken with chutney, chicken with avocados-the combinations are endless. First you will have to begin with poached chicken, and I have added a master recipe for poaching perfect chicken that will remain moist in the salad. Let’s start cooking! Poached Chicken Breasts Place the chicken breasts in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water or broth. Add salt to the water if you wish, but it is not necessary. Bring slowly to a simmer over moderately low heat. Simmer skinless, boneless breasts for 10 to 15 minutes; chicken on the bone with skin for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let chicken cool in liquid if you have time, or pat dry and use immediately. To keep the chicken moist and juicy, cover with cooking liquid and store in refrigerator. Use within a day or two. Bombay Salad 1 cup sour cream 1/3 cup mango chutney, such as Major Grey’s, finely chopped 1 tablespoon lime juice 1 teaspoon curry powder 1/3 cup shredded coconut, toasted 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted 2 cups diced (1/2-inch) cooked chicken 1 bunch watercress, large stems removed 3 medium peaches, peeled and sliced 4 plums, sliced 2 kiwi, peeled and sliced Combine sour cream, chutney, limejuice, curry powder, 1/4 cup of the coconut, and the almonds. In a medium bowl, toss chicken with 3/4 cup of the curry dressing. Cover and refrigerate chicken mixture and remaining curry dressing separately for about 30 minutes to develop the flavors, or longer if desired. To serve, arrange watercress around the edge of the platter. Mound the chicken salad in the center. Arrange peaches, plums, and kiwi alternately around the chicken. Sprinkle remaining toasted coconut on top. Serve extra dressing on the side. Serves 4. Sante Fe Layered Salad 3 cups cooked cubed chicken 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen, thawed 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained 1 red pepper, diced 2/3 cup thinly sliced scallions 1 cup mayonnaise 2 fresh jalapeño peppers, […]

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