Thai Basil Chicken

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Looking for a way to spice up your weekly night dinners?  Try this!  The blend of flavors is exciting and different, plus easy to put together.  Thanks Trisha for this yummy recipe!

Serve this Thai-inspired dish over rice and offer chopped peanuts and shredded coconut on top.

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons veg. oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 red or green jalapeno chilies, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves

1. Cut each chicken breast in 1 inch pieces
2. Heat oil in wok or 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat. cook garlic and chilies in oil, stirring constantly, until garlic is golden brown.
3. Add chicken, stir-fry 8-10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Stir in fish sauce and sugar.
4. Remove from heat, sprinkle on the basil and mint.

-adapted from Betty Crockers Good and Easy Cookbook

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Creamy Baked Chicken

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This is a guilty pleasure at our house!  Sooo tasty and easy!  I love it when friends give me their recipes, because it reminds of them every time I make it.  Our good friend Noelle brought this to our house after Henry was born – and we've loved it every since.  It's great over rice!

2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
1/3 Cup Salted Butter
1 Cup Dry White Wine
4-6 Chicken Breasts
4-6 Slices of Swiss Cheese
2 cups Pepperidge Farm Seasoned Stuffing mix

In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt the butter, and add the Cream of Chicken, and the wine stirring occasionally until well blended. In a large baking dish place the Chicken breasts in a single layer with the swiss cheese slices on top of each. Pour the Sauce over the chicken breasts and cheese. Sprinkle the top of the dish with the stuffing mix. Bake for 45 mins to 1 hour at 325 degrees.

Butternut Squash and Pear Bisque

Soup is, as you can tell, one of my favorite things.  I was so excited to see butternut squash in the stores again.  We ate this soup constantly throughout the fall last year.  My only suggestion would be making absolutely sure that your squash is ripe when you buy it at the store.  Press it to feel if it has any give – not too squishy – but you want some release of pressure.  Don't buy one with green stripes!  I made this mistake and opened my squash to find it hard as a rock and not sweet at all.  The more ripe your squash, the sweeter and more flavorful your soup!

Butternut Squash and Pear Bisque
from "A Harvest of Pumpkins and Squash" cookbook

2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion
1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds) peeled, seeded, and cut into one inch chunks
1 large Anjou pear, peeled, halved, cored, and cut into chunks
1 parsnip or carrot, peeling and cut into chunks
1 quart chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream or whole milk
shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onions and saute until translucent, 8 minute.  Add the squash, pear, parsnip (or carrot) and saute for a few minutes longer.  Raise the heat to high and add broth, bay leaf, honey, and thyme.  Season lightly with salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the squash is soft, about 15 minutes.

Remove bay leaf and let the soup cool slightly. Working in 2 or 3 batches, in a blender or food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the soup into a smooth puree.  Alternatively, use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pot.  Return the soup to the pot if necessary and stir in the cream.  Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.  Stir over low heat until the soup is hot throughout.  Ladle into bowls and garnish with the cheese or croutons.  Serve immediately. 

Mustard Rubbed Pork with Blackberry Mustard Sauce

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Looking for a non-dessert option for all those extra yummy blackberries from this season?!?  Try out this great recipe!  Andrew whipped this up this interesting and delicious dish last night.  We served it with oven baked frites – just baked sliced potatoes and drizzled the sauce over both. 

Mustard Rubbed Pork with Blackberry Mustard Sauce
Martha Stewart, The Original Classics

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons whole brown or yellow mustard seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds, toasted
2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, toasted
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 pounds pork tenderloin
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 pint blackberries (about 5 ounces)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, for garnish

Directions:

1.  Place seeds and peppercorns in a spice grinder (or mortar and pestle), finely grind until chopped, but not powdery.  Transfer to a small bowl; stir in thyme, dry mustard, ginger, 1 tsp salt, and sugar.  Set aside.

2.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, with rack in the upper third.  Meanwhile, rub the pork with 1 tbsp Dijon mustard.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 tsp salt and 2 tbsp of the spice mixture; pat with your hands to make it stick, and place the pork in the roasting pan.  Cook until the pork is 150 degrees on meet thermometer, about 25 minutes.  Transfer pork to a cutting board and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.  Don't clean the pan.

3.  Place roasting pan on stove over med high heat.  Stir in wine; scrape pan to loosen any browned bits on the bottom.  Stir in broth; cook stirring occasionally, until reduced by half; 5-7 minutes.  Whisk flour with 1/4 cup water in a bowl; whisk into simmering stock.  Whisk in remaining mustard; cook until mixture thickens, 2-3 minutes more.  Stir in berries, cook until softened, about 2 minutes.  Slice pork, transfer to a serving platter.  Serve with the blackberry mustard sauce and fresh thyme.