Sunday, August 24, 2008

Breakfast Break

Nothing fancy today, just a reminder that biscuits and gravy are the best thing ever and you should treat your family to this treat at least once a year! Its a great way to dirty every dish in your kitchen, eat then lay around in your pj's the rest of the day! You can always have me do it! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lighten Up!

Ah the infamous alfredo sauce..packed to the gills with the heart stopping stuff we all love. Most alfredo sauces have at least one stick of butter and two cups of cream. Tack on all the cheese and you are definately not talking about a figure friendly dish! Because of its high fat and calorie content, its not a regular at our house. I would be stricken with guilt for weeks over the event and my arteries would punish me as well. BUT when you get that craving for something it just will not go away until the need is met and I had that this morning. I considered making the original roman fat laden sauce for my dinner tonight-then I looked at my gutter and thought again. I made a low fat alfredo a few years ago-in fact it was my second blog entry in my old blog. The picture was fuzzy, the lighting was bad and the pasta was meh too. Here it is!

I knew it could be better so I whipped this up. The original recipe is from cooking light and I have to say they did a damn fine job of reinventing the alfredo sauce. Its thick and creamy and cheesy just like you expect it to be, but minus most of the guilt. I don't think that anyone would notice the difference between the real deal and this version. It has only ONE Tablespoon of butter and uses low fat milk. The key to the sauce is the cheese you use.
Maybe its the guilt I was craving because after dinner I still wanted a fried ice cream blast from Sonic :)

Fettuccine Alfredo w/Chicken!
Adapted from Cooking Light

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
8 oz package of sliced bella mushrooms-sauteed (optional)
2 T Cream cheese
9 oz of fresh pasta (or the dried-we like the fresh)
1 1/3 cups of 1% milk
1 T of butter
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 cup of parmasan cheese-grated
fresh cracked pepper
1 T all purpose flour
chopped parsley for garnish

For the chicken: preheat oven to 375. Lay breasts on a baking sheet. Drizzle each with olive oil and then salt and pepper. Roast them in the oven for about 35 minutes.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in flour. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk. Cook 6 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, cream cheese, and salt, stirring with a whisk until cheeses melt. Toss sauce with hot pasta. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and chopped parsley. Garnish with black pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.
***I also reserved a cup or so of the pasta water to use after I mixed the pasta in to make the sauce silky. Start slow-I think I used 1/4 cup all together

Friday, August 1, 2008

Chicken Satay Stir-Fry with Orange Scented Jasmine Rice

I don't have a lot of experience with asian cuisine. To me, when I get a craving for this fare its just a hell of a lot easier to cruise down to Bo Lings and let them do the dirty work! I try to make something new every week or so and this recipe struck me as interesting. I am not a fan of RR, but her recipes are usually point on and very tasty! I loved using some different ingredients and spices that I don't normally get to use. This was really good and we had lots of leftovers :)

Chicken Satay Stir-Fry with Orange Scented Jasmine Rice
Courtesy of RR
3 3/4 cups water
2 oranges, zested
2 cups jasmine rice, rinsed
2 tablespoons canola or safflower oil, 2 turns of the pan
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds chicken breast tenders, 2 packages, sliced on an angle into bite-size pieces
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium yellow skinned onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, quartered and sliced
1 cup shredded carrots, store bought, or 2 medium carrots cut into matchsticks
6 scallions, cut on an angle into 2 inch pieces
1 cup snow peas, a couple of handfuls
Satay sauce:
4 rounded tablespoonfuls chunky peanut butter
3 tablespoons dark soy, Tamari
3 tablespoons honey
1-inch ginger root, peeled and minced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 orange, juiced

2 ounces (1/4 cup) chopped peanuts or nut topping, available on the baking aisle
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves or flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

Heat water with orange zest to boiling. Add rice, return to boil, stir. Cover pot and reduce heat to simmer. Cook rice until tender, 18 minutes. Fluff with fork.
For stir-fry, heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add chicken, garlic and onion, stir-fry 3 minutes. Add remaining veggies and stir-fry 5 minutes more. Heat all ingredients for sauce together in a small pot over low heat, stirring the sauce until all ingredients are combined. Transfer stir-fry to a large platter and pour sauce evenly over the chicken and vegetables. Sprinkle the platter with chopped nuts, cilantro, and basil. Serve jasmine rice in a separate dish with an ice cream scoop to serve the rice with -- it makes perfect, pretty, round portions of rice on the dinner plates.