March 30, 2012

Chicken and Waffles

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Sometimes it's nice just to have a simple southern comfort creation. Sometimes you don't even have to do much of the difficult cooking yourself.

Take, for instance, this chicken and waffles dish here. The fried chicken is leftover from Popeye's, baked in a toaster oven to get it crispy, then served with some homemade waffles and a side of poached collard greens and garlic. It was delicious in its simplicity, and it was exactly what the doctor called for.

A fun way to treat those leftovers is always a bonus. Enjoy!

March 20, 2012

Multigrain Chicken Continental

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All right, folks, we've done it again! An even healthier version of that oh-so-delicious Chicken Continental. We made it healthier once, and now we've done it again with the addition of some multigrain goodness from some spent grain leftover from homebrewing plus a mix of veggies and mushrooms. Yowza! it's good.

Multigrain Chicken Continental

Yield: Serves 4-8
  • 1.5-2 lbs chicken breasts or tender (cut up, bite-size, or as strips)
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp McCormick Montreal chicken seasoning (instead of salt and pepper)
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • splash canola oil
  • 3 10 1/2 oz cans 98% fat-free cream of chicken soup
  • 2.5 tablespoons dried onion
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt
  • dash pepper
  • 2 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried celery flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 soup cans water
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups spent grain
  • 2 cups Minute Rice
Cooking Directions
  1. Cut chicken and coat the seasoning mix. (salt, pepper Montreal chicken seasoning) (You can dip the chicken in 1 beaten egg if you want.)
  2. Brown the coated chicken in the melted Smart Balance and oil. Set that aside but save the drippings for soup mix.
  3. In a separate pot combine the soup, seasonings, drippings, veggies (minus mushrooms), and water. Heat to a boil. Put 1/4 to 1/3 of the soup mix aside.
  4. Put dry Minute Rice, spent grain, and mushrooms in the larger soup mix and stir, then put that mixture in a 9 x 11 cake pan or a casserole dish.
  5. Top with chicken and pore the rest of soup mix on top.
  6. Bake, uncovered at 375 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until lightly golden brown on top.

March 17, 2012

(B)Elated Irish Soda Bread (3 Variations)

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Belated Elated Irish Soda Bread. Long overdue but finally making its way to your very eyes is the much-anticipated, often-imitated-but-never-duplicated Irish soda bread.

There are three variations we have here:
- The first is Irish-Irish soda bread - like they invented in Ireland.
- The second is American-Irish soda bread - like the kind found in America with the raisins.
- The third is a mix between the two - no raisins but with a bit of egg enough to change the flavor.

Maybe (at this late juncture) you're craving a wee bit o' Irish, going through the withdrawls of St. Patty's Day. If you're like me, you most certainly are (except this feeling lasts all year), and hopefully, these wee treats will brighten your day. Enjoy!

March 06, 2012

Savory Butternut Squash and Kale Bread Pudding

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2 lbs peeled seeded butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
7 large eggs
2 1/4 cups half & half
6 tbsp dry white wine
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 sourdough baguette
1 cup chopped shallots (about 4 large)
2 bunches kale, ribs removed, coarsely chopped
8 oz. extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
olive oil
kosher salt and pepper


Cut baguette into 1-inch cubes and (if not dry) toast in 200 degree oven for about 10 minutes, until bread is dry, like day-old bread. Turn oven up to 400 degrees. Toss squash with 1 tbsp olive oil on rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake until squash is tender, about 20-25 minutes. Turn with spatula occasionally.

Whisk eggs in large bowl, add half & half, wine, mustard, and 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt and whisk to blend. Set aside.

Heat about 2 tbsp oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add kale. Cover and cook 2 minutes. Uncover and stir until kale is wilted but still bright green, about 5 minutes. (I cook mine longer, though, because I like the kale less crunchy.)

Reduce oven temperature to 350. Generously butter 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Spread half of bread cubes in the bottom, topped with half of kale mixture, then half of squash, and sprinkled with half of cheese. Repeat with remaining bread, kale, squash, and cheese. Pour egg mixture over the bread pudding. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered until custard is set and bread feels springy to the touch, about 20 minutes longer. Broil 2 minutes right before serving until cheese browns slightly.

*I don't like soggy bread pudding, so I altered the original recipe a little. Here are the things I did, so you can decide how you like it best.
* The recipe didn't call to toast the bread, just to cut it up, but I like it more stale.
*The recipe said to soak the bread in the egg mixture for 30 minutes before baking, but I completely skipped this step because I didn't want all soggy bread.
* When I did finally pour the egg mixture in the pan right before baking, I made sure not to completely cover the top pieces of bread, making sure they were still dry on top.
* I used more cheese

From the kitchen of Liza Wilson