Archive for December, 2011

Meditteranean-Rubbed Chicken with Spring Ratatouille

This is another recipe I got from the Inspire magazine at my grocery store.

  • 5 garlic cloves, minced (we just used garlic powder to taste), divided
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 cups eggplant, cut into small pieces and soaked in cold water 5 min
  • 1 cup zucchini, cut into rounds
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cut into small pieces (omitted because I don’t like peppers)
  • 1 1/2 cup diced plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons oregano
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, torn into pieces (we just sprinkled some dry rosemary)
  • 3/4 cup peas (we used 1 small can)

1. Preheat oven’s broiler. Spread 1 tablespoon 1 garlic and the paprika on chicken. In a large skilled, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and brown chicken on both sides, 1 to 2 min.  Transfer to baking dish and broil until cooked through, 6 to 8 min (I am not sure if  it was because our pieces were a little large, but our chicken took double this to cook. We turned them at the half-way point).

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Add eggplant and cook until soft,3 min.  And zucchini and cook another 5 min. Set aside.

3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook onion, pepper and garlic (the magazine said to use 1 tablespoon of the garlic on the chicken and to use whatever is left here. We just did to taste), 8 to 10. Add tomatoes, salt, oregano and rosemary. Cook 15 to 18 min.

4. Stir in peas and eggplant mixture. Cook 3 more min. Serve vegetables with chicken.

Verdict: I found this recipe a little complicated. The chicken was dry. And we didn’t get the sauce like there was in the picture, because the cooking process kind of reduced it.

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In Search Of: the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Part 30: The Best Yet Chocolate Chip Cookie

I am pretty sure I found this recipe in a Crisco booklet.

  • 1 cup butter flavoured Crisco (we used butter)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (didn’t use because we use salted butter)
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (we used 1 1/2 cups, which we thought were enough)
  • 3/4 cups chopped cashew pieces

1. Preheat oven to 375F.

2. Combine Crisco (or butter), brown sugar, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Add in eggs and mayonnaise.

3. Combine flour, baking soda and salt (if using) in another bowl. Add to wet ingredients. Add in chocolate chips and nuts.

4. Drop spoonfuls onto baking sheet and bake 10 to 12 min.

Verdict: These were good. They were both crispy and moist (though a little crispier than I normally like). Though I don’t think cashews work for me personally in a chocolate chip cookie.

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Baked Eggplant Melt

 

I found this recipe in Inspire, a free food magazine handed out at my grocery store.

 

  • 1/2 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
  • 4 teaspoons basil
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 12 slices of eggplant, about 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 sub-style buns
  • 3 tablespoons Herbed tomato sauce
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (depending on how much you like!)

 

1. Preheat oven to 425F.

 

2. In a shallow bowl, combine breadcrumbs, basil, Parmesan cheese and salt. Whisk egg in another shallow bowl. Dip eggplant slices in the egg and then coat with breadcrumb mixture.

3. Place slices on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake 15 min. (We turned once about halfway through.)

4. Divide eggplant evenly between 4 buns. Spoon on sauce. Top with cheese. Broil for 2 min until bun is toasted and cheese is bubbly.

(I wish I had remembered to snap a picture!)

Verdict: Eggplant is one of those foods I am appreciating more as I grow up! These sandwiches were very good. For my taste, they needed more sauce, but still good!

 

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In Search Of: the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Part 29: Coconut, Chocolate Chunk, and Walnut Cookies

I found this recipe on another food blog.

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cup flour (I accidentally used 2 1/2 cup flour instead)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (omitted because I used salted butter)
  • 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips (we used 1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375F.

2. Mix butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl.

3. In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt (if using).

4. Stir flour mixture into wet ingredients. Add in chocolate chips, coconut and walnuts.

5. Drop by spoonful onto baking sheet and bake 8 to 10 min.

Verdict: Despite my mistake in the baking process, we all really enjoyed these cookies. They were a little denser than expected, because I used too much flour, so they needed about 11-12 min to cook. We made just under 3 dozen. Hopefully they taste just as good with the right amount of flour!

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Cheese and Broccoli Topped Chicken

I found this recipe in a Magazine called Inspire that they give out free at my grocery store.

  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup Mayonnaise style dressing (we used a Caesar salad dressing)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds

1. Preheat oven to 375F.

2. Blanch broccoli in boiling water for 3 min. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

3. Arrange chicken on a foil lined baking sheet or in a baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4. Combine dressing and mustard. Stir in broccoli, onion and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Spread evenly over the chicken pieces. Bake 15 to 17 min, until chicken is cooked through.

5.  Sprinkle remaining cheese and almonds on top. Broil until cheese is lightly browned.

Not that you can see the chicken.

Verdict: I liked this recipe, but didn’t love it. I am not sure why this didn’t come together as a meal for me, but there was a depth of flavour I thought was lacking.

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Cream of Vegetable Soup

I found this recipe in the French Metro Newspaper.

  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 4 potatoes, cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Chicken broth
  • 3 bay leafs (we didn’t have any)
  • 15% cream (I think we used about 1/4 cup)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Brown all of the vegetables. Add enough chicken broth to cover all vegetables. Add bay leafs. Cook until vegetables are tender.

2. Remove bay leafs. Use an immersion blender to cream all the vegetables. Add cream, salt and pepper to taste.

Verdict: I am not a fan of recipes that don’t have exact measurements. I also think this soup needed a lot of salt to give it taste, which I am also not a fan of.

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In Search Of: the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Part 28: Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookie

I am not sure where I found this recipe, but I think it is from the Baker’s chocolate company.

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (omitted because we use salted butter)
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (we used 1/2 cup)

1. Preheat oven to 375F.

2. Mix flour, baking soda and salt (if using).

3.  Beat together butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Mix well.

4. Gradually add in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate and walnuts.

5. Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheets. Bake 11 to 12 min (ours needed just around ten).

 

Verdict: These were delicious. Just the right blend of moist and crispy.

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