Friday, September 26, 2008

Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Browned Butter from Cooking Light Magazine, September 07

40 asparagus spears, trimmed (about 2 pounds)
Cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Cracked black pepper (optional)
Grated lemon rind (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Arrange asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet; coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes or until tender.
3. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat; cook 3 minutes or until lightly browned, shaking pan occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Drizzle over asparagus, tossing well to coat. Garnish with cracked pepper and rind, if desired. Yield: 8 servings.
Carolies 45, Fat 3g, Protein 1.9g, Carb 3.9g, Fiber 1.7g, Chol 8mg, Sodium 134 mg

Melba's Note: Sammie's comment on this is: "Why didn't you start making this when we first got married?" I agree!

Creamy Spinach Ravioli from Pampered Chef Lite

1 pkg (8 oz.) mushrooms, sliced (I leave this out cuz we're anti-mushroom in this house)
1/2 cup chopped onion (I used onion powder tonight and it worked)
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper (I also left this out tonight, but I've put it in before...)
2 packages (9 oz. each) refrigerated light cheese-filled ravioli
2 garlic cloves, pressed (I used garlic powder tonight and it worked)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
1/3 cup fat-free evaporated milk
1 pkg (10 oz.) frozen creamed spinach in low-fat sauce, thawed
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1-2 Chicken breasts, chopped (This isn't in the recipe, but I added chicken on my own because Sammie's such a meateater, and we really like it.)

Slice mushrooms, chop onion, and dice bell pepper.
Cook ravioli according to package directions. Drain.
Meanwhile, heat large skillet over medium heat. Lightly spray skillet with nonstick cooking spray; add mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, garlic (pressed) and black pepper. Add chicken at this point, if using. Cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are tender and all liquid is absorbed (and chicken is cooked).
Reduce heat to low; add cream cheese and evaporated milk. Stir until cream cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Stir in creamed spinach. Simmer over low heat 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Pour vegetable mixture over ravioli; stir gently. Serve immediately. Serve with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Yield: 6 servings
Nutrients per serving: Calories 340, Total Fat 10g, Cholesterol 45 mg, Carbohydrate 44g, Protein 18g, Sodium 580 mg, Fiber 4g

Melba's note: If you don't make any other recipe on this site, MAKE THIS ONE!! It's SO yummy and looks impressive, but is super easy.
Whenever I make a new recipe, I always ask Sammie for a quote to write on the recipe so we can remember what we thought. He'll also rank them as a "1st stringer," "2nd stringer," etc. Here's his quote from the first time I made this: "Came in strong at training camp. Took a while for the scouts to recognize him. Performed well in 1st real game. And he will stay there." It's a 1st stringer. That about says it all.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Souffle Stuffed Chicken from The South Beach Diet Cookbook

1 package (12 ounces) Stouffer's frozen spinach souffle, not thawed (I've never actually found this, so I use frozen creamed spinach)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4" thickness
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley, for garnish
Slices lemon, for garnish
Sprig parsley, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Using a serrated knife, cut the spinach souffle crosswise into 4 equal pieces. Top half of each whole breast with one of the pieces of souffle. Fold half of the chicken over the filling and fasten the edges with wooden picks.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes, or until golden. Discard the garlic. Add the chicken breasts to the skillet and cook for 7 minutes per side, or until well-browned on both sides.
Remove the chicken breasts to an oven-proof dish. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
While the chicken is baking, add the broth, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and pepper to the large skillet. Heat to boiling. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced about 1/2.
To serve, remove and discard the wooden picks. Arrange the chicken on a warm serving platter, and spoon the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with the chopped parsley, lemon, and parsley sprig.
Nutrition: 308 calories, 15 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 32 g protein, 9 g carbohydrate, 1 g dietary fiber, 136 mg cholesterol, 719 mg sodium

Melba's note: I read Sammie his choices for dinner tonight and he said, "What about that one dish that's like chicken cordon bleu but spinach." From this rather inelegant description, I was finally able to determine that this is what he was talking about. It's delicious!

Chicken Cordon Bleu from Lion House Recipes

8 chicken breast halves
8 thin slices cooked ham (I usually use the lunch meat variety)
4 slices Swiss cheese, cut into fingers about 1 1/2 inches long and 1/2 inch thick
Thyme or rosemary
1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
1/2 cup cornflake crumbs

Place each chicken breast between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with meat mallet to about 1/8 inch thickness.
On each ham slice place a finger of cheese. Sprinkle lightly with seasonings. Roll ham and cheese jelly-roll style, then roll each chicken breast with ham and cheese inside. Tuck in ends and seal well. (Tie rolls if necessary, or fasten edges with toothpicks.) Dip each roll in melted butter, then roll in cornflake crumbs, turning to thoroughly coat each roll.
Place rolls in a 9X13 pan. Bake, uncovered, in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes, or until chicken is golden brown. Serve with Cordon Bleu Sauce, if desired.

Cordon Bleu Sauce
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Blend ingredients and heat. Serve over chicken rolls, if desired.

Melba's note: Sammie took leftovers of this to work/school today and some of the women in his office requested the recipe. So... this one is for them! (Thanks for taking care of Sammie at work. :) )
This recipe seems intimidating, but is actually pretty easy. The part I hate the most is pounding the chicken, but Sammie loves to do that, so I don't have to. Very delicious and very impressive!
Oh... and I rarely serve it with the sauce. Also, Sammie doesn't like herbs in the middle, so he requests his plain.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Monte Cristo Sandwiches from Matt and Marcia Parkinson

4 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 tablespoons strawberry or raspberry preserves
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
12 slices high-quality white sandwich bread, lightly toasted (the thicker the better!)
18 this slices deli Swiss or Gruyere cheese
12 thin slices deli ham, preferably Black Forest
12 thin slices deli turkey
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Confectioners' sugar

1. Adjust oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Whisk the eggs, cream, sugar, salt, dry mustard, and cayenne in a shallow dish until combined. Stir the jam and Dijon mustard together in a small bowl.
2. Spread 1 teaspoon of the jam mixture on one side of each slice of toast. Layer slices of cheese, ham, and turkey on 6 slices of toast. Repeat with a second layer of cheese, ham, and turkey. Add a final layer of cheese and top with the remaining toast, with the jam side facing the cheese. Using your hands, lightly press down on the sandwiches.
3. Pour the oil onto a rimmed baking sheet and heat in the oven until just smoking, about 7 minutes. Meanwhile, using 2 hands, coat each sandwich with the egg mixture and transfer to a large plate. Transfer the sandwiches to the preheated baking sheet and bake until golden brown on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Serve immediately with the remaining jam mixture and a sprinkling of confectioners' sugar.

Melba's Note: Matt and Marcia are fellow Olympus High Titan grads. Imagine my delight when I learned that Matt would be my bishop when Sammie and I moved to State College! He's quite a comical bishop with quotes such as (while conducting Ward Conference): "It's ward conference this week and we have a lot of Stake leaders here so please remember the answers we rehearsed last week, in case Stake leaders should ask any questions." Marcia is the ward volleyball expert and YW leader extraordinaire. The ward loves them!