Friday, August 15, 2008

Sadie's Chicken Pasta with Gorgonzola, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Pinenuts

Otherwise known as Dang Good Pasta. Discovered by my fabulous sister-in-law, Sadie. Go to her recipes, here.

1/ 2 cup chopped, drained, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (3 tablespoons oil reserved)
2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (about 9 ounces total)
1/2 pound Penne or medium shell pasta. Using gnocchi is also an option. If you use fresh gnocchi use a full pound.
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (It has to be fresh, believe me on this one)
1/2 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
3/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (about 4 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped prosciutto
1/2 cup Parmesan
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Heat 2 tablespoon oil reserved from tomatoes in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet and sauté until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plate and cool; do not clean skillet. Cut chicken into 1/2-inch pieces.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta; transfer to large bowl.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon tomato oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté until tender, about 1 minute. Add sun-dried tomatoes, chicken, basil, broth, cheese and prosciutto to skillet and bring to boil.

While doing all this, toast your pine nuts in the oven. I usually set the oven to broil, move the oven tray to the top, and keep a close eye on the pine nuts. They toast very fast!

Add sauce to pasta and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Top with pine nuts and parmesan and serve.

I've also thought about adding 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream to give it more of a saucy texture. Next time I will add the cream and see how it goes.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Potato Puff Rolls

(disclaimer: this is a picture of a batch I did not do well... they are much prettier than this and when I make them again and make them right I will most definitely be replacing this picture)

warning: this makes 5-6 doz. so usually you would half it unless you're feeding an army.

4 c. warm water
1 c. powdered milk
1 c. shortening
2 c. mashed potato flakes
4 T. SAF yeast (instant rise yeast)
1 c. sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 T. salt
8-11 c. flour

Mix ingredients together in a mixer and knead for 5 minutes.
Let rise until double in size.
Roll out for dinner rolls.
Let rise again.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

BIG TIP: DO NOT OVER FLOUR! The trick to the absolute bestness of these is not adding too much flour AND not over cooking them. So, only add enough flour so that the dough is barely beginning to pull away from the sides of the bowl. After it has risen and you pull the dough out to roll... it will be sticky. Just flour up, baby. The extra flour that's on your hands and on the table will add just enough flour to make these perfect. THEN... many times I only set my oven to 325 and barely cook them for 18 minutes. It really depends on altitude and stuff like that (I think). If the tops are becoming golden brown pull them out. If the tops are cooked and the inside isn't... next time lower your oven temp. Seems complicated, huh? Ya, but once you get it right they are TO DIE FOR!... perfectly moist and SUPER SOFT!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Turkey Croissant Melts

Delicious. I really like the 'crispy' part about them so I, personally, would put the tops of the croissants under the broiler, too, to make them golden and a little crispy. Serving immediately is a must.

4 slices bacon
1 (3 oz) pkg. cream cheese softened
1 Tbs. grated parm. Cheese
1 Tbs. minced onion
1 Tbs. sour cream
4 large croissants split
6 oz. thinly sliced cooked chicken or turkey
2 tomatoes sliced
1 ripe avocado, sliced
8 slices American cheese
Alfalfa sprouts

Cook bacon until crispy. Combine cream cheese, grated parm., minced onion and sour cream – until creamy. Spread on cut sides of croissants. Layer turkey and next three ingredients on bottoms of croissants – place on a baking sheet. Broil 5 ½ inches from heat until cheese melts and the croissant gets crispy (about 2-3 minutes on high broil). Top with alfalfa sprouts and croissant tops. Serve immediately.

Given to me by Heidi R.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Southwestern Cobb Salad

This salad not only is a work of art but taste fantastic. And why wouldn't it with bacon and avocados and seasoned chicken. Given to me by Heidi R. ENJOY!

2 pkg. (10 oz. each) mixed baby salad greens, about ten cups
2 pkg. (6 oz. each) Oscar Mayer Southwestern seasoned chicken breast strips, about three cups
4 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1 can (16 oz.) black beans, drained, rinsed
1 C. Mexican style shredded four cheeses
12 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon
2 ripe avocados peeled and diced
2 C. halved cherry tomatoes
2/3 C. ranch dressing
1/3 C. salsa

1. Arrange salad greens evenly on a large serving platter. Arrange chicken, eggs, beans, cheese, bacon, avocados and tomatoes in even rows on top of greens.
2. Mix dressing and salsa.
3. Drizzle dressing mixture over salad. Serve immediately.

About fourteen servings.