Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dinner Lately

We've been trying to mix it up a bit and try some new recipes for dinner. And when I say "we" I really mean Zak, because let's be honest, he does the cooking around here and I do the baking. Two words: stress baker. Wish more of you lived closer. Then I'd have someone to pawn all the treats on. Instead I have to eat them to prevent wastefulness. If there's anything I hate more than beans, it's wastefulness.

Back to the subject at hand. Dinner recipes. This week we sampled not one, but two new recipes and both were DELICIOUS! In fact, I would venture to say that both have won spots in our menu rotation.

First up Chicken Tikka Masala. Yes, I was skeptical as well. We've attempted Indian at home many times and failed miserably (to the point of tears once-mine not Zak's and I was pregnant at the time. I get very emotional about food when I'm pregnant). But this is THE recipe. Try it. You will not disappointed. Although you might want to pick up some Naan at a local restaurant. Not perfected that one yet (if you have a recipe for that-please share!).

Chicken Tikka Masala
(adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe)

1 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips or chunks

Combine all ingredients except chicken. Pour sauce over chicken and refrigerate for 1 hour. Grill or cook chicken in frying pan. Discard marinade
1 tablespoon butter
2 small cloves garlic, minced (or 1 large)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces tomato sauce
1 cup cream

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic for one minute, until you can smell the garlic cooking. Season with cumin, paprika and salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve over hot rice.

I'm always looking for new ways to cook chicken because it's the meat of choice in our house. And this was a dang good way to do it. I ate the leftovers for lunch the next day and it was just as fabulous as I had remembered. Hold your applause, but I actually cooked this one, not Zak! Miracles occur in March too.

Breaded Garlic Chicken in Lemon Butter Sauce
(adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup seasoned flour (1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper)
3 eggs
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons parsley flakes or 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup butter

Place the seasoned flour in a large gallon-size ziploc bag. Set aside. In a shallow pie plate, beat the eggs until mixed and add the Parmesan cheese. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
In a large skillet, melt one tablespoon butter and one tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Let it begin to heat and sizzle while you prepare the chicken but be careful not to let the butter burn and turn brown.
Put the four chicken breasts in the bag with the seasoned flour, close the bag, and shake to coat the chicken in the flour. One by one, take the chicken out of the bag and dip into the egg/Parmesan mixture. Place the chicken carefully in the skillet with the hot oil/butter. Repeat with the other chicken breasts. Let the chicken cook on the first side, without moving or flipping the chicken, for 1-2 minutes until a nice, golden crust has formed. It will smell quite eggy (not a word, just go with it) while it's cooking, but doesn't effect the taste once the chicken is baked. Carefully, using a wide spatula, flip the chicken and let it continue to cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side until it is golden brown.
Remove the chicken to a 9X13-inch pan. Set aside while you make the sauce. In the same skillet that you browned the chicken, melt the stick of butter (1/2 cup butter). Add the garlic, lemon juice, and parsley. Simmer the sauce for 1-2 minutes, stirring and scraping up any browned bits that were on the bottom of the skillet. Pour the sauce evenly over the chicken breasts and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Serve over noodles, rice or potatoes. Drizzle excess sauce from chicken over noodles.

And because I just can't resist a good dessert, here's one we've been loving lately.

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake
-just like the little cakes you get on a cruise! (adapted from Pioneer Woman)

*I cut the recipe in half, making only two cakes because there are only two of us (we don't share this one with the kids).

2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chip
1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup
Powdered Sugar

1 whole

1 whole
Egg Yolks
Tablespoons Flour

Preheat over to 425 degrees. Spray 2 custard cups (I don't have custard cups, I just use small glass Pyrex bowls, about the same size as a custard cup). Microwave chocolate chips and butter on high for about 1 minute, until butter is melted and then stir until chocolate is also melted. Stir in powdered sugar until well blended. Whisk in eggs and eggs yolks. Stir in flour. Pour half of batter into each cup.
Bake 13-15 minutes until the sides are firm (they look brownie like) and the center is soft. Let stand one minute. Serve with ice cream (original recipe calls for whipped cream, but I like ice cream with them so much more!)

Any recipes you've been loving lately? I'm always looking for something new to add to our weekly menu.


shauntel said...

Thank you for posting these!!! (yes, i did just put 3 exclamation points). I have really been needing new recipes lately, and since I don't like to cook anything I don't have a friend recommending I have had very little in the way of ideas...

Shenna said...

I tried the lemon chicken - LOVED IT! Wow, it was so good...maybe because it is smothered in butter, but hey, it was good. Jeff told me I didn't make enough and to put it in rotation. The girls ate some of theirs and didn't hate it...successful!

Megan said...

Oh I am totally going to try that Tikka Marsala chicken. Sounds like something that Kiefer would really like and it doesn't look too complicated to make, which is always a bonus for me.

jacs said...

We made the lemon chicken, too. Only substitute was basil for parsley cause thats what I had. SOOOOO good and my husband said he would not only eat it again but would encourage me to make it. From him, that's huge. lol.

Thanks for posting this. We are going to try the Tikka Marsala next. :)

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