Thursday, June 28, 2012

Baked Coconut Chicken

If you like coconut shrimp, you'll enjoy this chicken-based twist on the traditional dish.  In addition to substituting poultry for shellfish, the recipe is baked instead of fried for a healthier touch.  The chicken's complemented by a delicious, creamy mango chutney.  I served this with jasmine rice, edamame, and fresh pineapple.


2 eggs
2 Tbsp milk
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
2 Tbsp butter, melted
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup mango chutney
1/3 cup mayo

Heat oven to 375.  Line large rimmed baking sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.  Whisk eggs and milk in medium shallow bowl until blended.  Combine Panko, coconut, and butter in wide shallow bowl until mixed well.

Sprinkle chicken with salt.  Dip in egg mixture, roll in coconut mixture, pressing to coat completely.  Place on baking sheet, pressing any excess coconut mixture over chicken.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center.

Meanwhile, combine chutney and mayo in small bowl, serve with chicken.

Recipe Source: Cooking Club, Spring 2012 issue (


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Honey Ginger Salmon

We eat a lot of salmon in this house.  At least once a week.  I try to make it twice.  Many of the recipes are very similar, this one included.  But perfect and delicious.  And easy.


1/3 cup honey
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp water
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated or minced
1 clove garlic, grated or minced
12 oz salmon fillets 

Preheat oven to 325.

Combine honey, lemon juice, water, ginger, and garlic.

Pour into a small baking dish that will fit your fillets.

Place salmon skin side up in the baking dish, refrigerate 20 minutes.  

Turn fish over, sprinkle with salt and bake 7 minutes

Remove from oven, preheat broiler.

Brush fish with honey mixture from baking dish.  Broil until fish is browned and flakes easily, about 7 minutes, depending on thickness of fillets.  

Sunday, June 24, 2012

"Mock" Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Have you ever hopped on any of the low-carb diets?  If so, surely you've tried these "potatoes."  I love mashed potatoes and I love cauliflower, so this is a great side dish for me.  I also love the added texture you get when you use cauliflower versus the smoothness of potatoes.  I'm happy either way, but will usually choose cauliflower, especially if it's on sale!


1 medium head cauliflower
1 Tbsp cream cheese, softened (I used light CC)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/8 tsp straight chicken base or bouillon (may substitute 1/2 tsp salt)
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp chopped fresh or dry chives, for garnish
3 Tbsp unsalted butter

Set a stockpot of water to boil over high heat.

Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces.  Cook in boiling water for about 6 minutes, or until well done.  Drain well; do not let cool and pat cooked cauliflower very dry between several layers of paper towels.

In a bowl with an immersion blender, or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, chicken base, and pepper until smooth.

Garnish with chives, and serve hot with pats of butter.

Hint:  Try roasting the garlic and adding a little fresh rosemary for a whole new taste.

Recipe Source:  Chef: George Stella   

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Lime and Coconut Chicken

To grill a chicken breast is so easy in the summer, keeping your kitchen cool.  But let's be honest, it can get a bit boring.  Finally!!!  a wonderful marinade which makes a delicious chicken breast, plus you boil up the remaining marinade to make a fantastic sauce for the chicken.  This will definitely be on the menu again, and soon!


2 pounds boneless, chicken breasts
3 Tbsp oil
zest of one lime
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp kosher sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp curry powder
1 cup coconut milk (I used light)
pinch cayenne
1 small fresh hot chili, such as Thai, Serrano, or Jalapeno, finely minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Fresh limes, cut into wedges

For the marinade, mix all ingredients except chicken, cilantro, and limes.  Add chicken and marinade to a large bowl or ziploc bag and chill in the refrigerator 2-8 hours.  Remove chicken from marinade and grill (works well in the skillet with just a bit of oil).

While the chicken is grilling, pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a rolling boil.  Boil continuously for at least 2 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn't burn.  Sprinkle with fresh lime juice and cilantro.  Serve with sauce on the side or drizzled over the top.

Recipe Source: Chaos in the Kitchen  

Friday, June 22, 2012

French Onion Soup

I love French onion soup.  I order it every chance I get when dining out.  But I hadn't made it in years.  The reason:  the last recipe I used (which was absolutely out of this world) was a day-long process which including roasting beef bones.  It was in the days when grocery stores still had real butchers, not just packaged meat and you could order things like bones.

But I just had a craving for it the other day and found this Tyler Florence recipe on-line.   It's fast, easy, and absolutely delicious.  I'm listing the recipe as I found it, but next time I will cut the butter in was a bit rich for my tastes.  I also took a shortcut and used the boxed Swanson's beef broth, although if you happen to have any homemade on hand, here's a great excuse to use it!


1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped (2 tsp)
2 bay leaves
2 fresh thyme sprigs
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle
3 heaping Tbsp AP flour
2 quarts beef broth
slices of baguette bread
1/2 pound grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and S&P and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes.  Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes.  Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.  Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir.  Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.  Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.  Season, to taste, with S&P.

When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler.  Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer.  Sprinkle the slices with the cheese and broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3-5 minutes.

Ladle the soup in bowls and float the bread slices on top.

Alternate Method:  Ladle the soup into bowls, top each with slices of bread and top with cheese.  Put the bowls into the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Spinach Salad w/Sizzled Shrimp, Oranges, and Roasted Cashews

A perfect summer salad, either a main salad or a side salad.   I'm posting the recipe as I found it in the Spring 2012 issue of "Cooking Club" (, but since I prefer my shrimp roasted, I tossed my shrimp in olive oil and black pepper, and put them under the broiler for 5-6 minutes.


1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Dash salt
Dash black pepper
4 cups baby spinach
1 small Belgian endive, thinly sliced
1 orange, peeled, and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fennel
1/2 tsp olive oil
8 oz shelled, deveined uncooked medium shrimp (31/35 count)
1/4 cup roasted salted cashews, coarsey chopped (I left mine whole)

Whisk vinegar, honey, mustard, S&P in a small bowl until blended.  Toss spinach, endive, orange, and fennel in a large bowl with enough dressing to lightly coat.

Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot.  Cook shrimp 2-3 minutes or until shrimp turn pink, stirring frequently.  Spoon over greens, top with cashews.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rocky Road Trippers

Chocoholic Alert!!!!  If you are a chocolate lover, these are for you!  These are slabs of gooey chocolate, nuts, chocolate chips, and marshmellows.

I'm giving you the recipe as published (in Cooking Club's Summer 2012 issue,, but since I was making these for the office, instead of using the 1/4 cup doses, I went down to heaping tablespoons, baked for 6 minutes, added the toppings, then baked for another 6 minutes.  This made about 4 1/2 dozen cookies.  If you use the 1/4 cup, recipe says you'll get about 24 cookies.


8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped 
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut up (or set out at room temp for a while)
3/4 cup AP flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup mini marshmallows, divided
1 cup chopped pecans, divided
1 cup milk chocolate chips, divided (I used semi-sweet)

Microwave bittersweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, and butter in medium microwave-safe bowl 1-3 minutes or until almost melted, stirring every 30 seconds.  Stir until smooth, let stand 5-8 minutes or until cool, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in small bowl.  Beat eggs and sugar in large bowl at medium-high speed 5 minutes  or until pale and thick.  At low speed, beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla until smooth.  Beat in flour mixture just  until combined.  Stir in 1/2 cup each of the marshmallows, pecans, and chocolate chips.  Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or until firm (I refrigerated mine overnight).

Heat oven to 350.  Drop scant 1/4 cup dough per cookie onto parchment paper-line baking sheets (or Silpat), leaving about 3" between each cookie.

Bake 6 minutes or until the cookies begin to spread and are still moist on top.  Remove from oven.  Carefully sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup each marshmallows, pecans, and chocolate chips, gently press into cookies.  Bake an additional 5-6 minutes or until edges are firm and set but center is still moist.  Cool completely on parchment paper on wire rack.  (Cookies can be made 3 days ahead.  Store in an airtight container.)

Monday, June 18, 2012

King Ranch Chicken

This is a recipe that has been around forever.  And for a reason.  It is no fail, and always delicious.  I imagine the recipe you look for will be pretty much what I am posting, but I did get this recipe from (Foodie Heaven) Central Market in Texas.  I made the entire recipe, but split it into two 8x8 baking dishes since there are only two of us.  One is in the freezer.  Isn't it nice to have a dinner on hand and so handy?


1 grocery-store rotisserie chicken
10-12 corn tortillas
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 lb grated cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1/2 can Rotel tomatoes w/green chilies
small amount of chicken broth

Line bottom of 13x9 pan (oiled) or two 8x8 baking dishes with tortillas wilted in hot chicken broth.  Add in the following order:

chicken cut into bite-sized pieces
green pepper
grated cheese
chili powder
Rotel tomatoes.

Bake at 375 for 45 minutes. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fish Tacos w/Mexican Coleslaw and Cilantro-Lime Corn Saute

I decided on fish tacos for dinner last night, but wanted something different as a topping and a side dish.  I found these two recipes Cooking Club of American magazine (  I generally grill a mild white fish for tacos, but I had some frozen beer-battered fillets in the freezer I wanted to use.  Jim prefers corn tacos, so I simply microwaved each tortilla for about 15 seconds, added the cooked fish, and topped with the slaw.  This is a wonderful corn recipe.  I had misread the recipe when I was in the grocery store and only bought 3 ears of corn (we prefer the white corn).  Luckily, I had some frozen corn in the freezer, so that made up the volume and it was a very pretty presentation.  The lime took it over the top!

MEXICAN COLESLAW (8 {3/4} cup servings.....this was way too much dressing for me....I would cut this recipe in half next time)

6 cups thinly sliced green cabbage (from 12 oz cabbage) {I used a 10 oz bag of angel-hair pre-packaged cole slaw mix)
8 oz jicama, finely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped (1 cup)
1 medium carrot, shredded (1 cup)
1 cup (or to taste) chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup toasted salted pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
1 avocado, chopped

1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp grated orange peel
3 Tbsp lime juice
2 tsp grated lime peel
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Toss all coleslaw ingredients except pepitas and avocado in large bowl until combined.

Whisk all dressing ingredients in small bowl and blended.  Toss coleslaw with enough dressing to moisten.  Cover and refrigerate 1 hour to blend flavors.

Just before serving, sprinkle with pepitas; top with avocados.

CILANTRO-LIME CORN SAUTE (4 {scant 3/4 cup} servings)

3 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp sour cream
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup chopped onion
3 cups corn kernels (from 5-6 ears corn)
2 tsp grated lime peel
2 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Whisk milk and sour cream in small bowl; let stand at room temperature while preparing corn.

Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Cook onion 4 minutes or until beginning to soften and just starting to lightly brown, stirring frequently.

Stir in corn.  Cook, covered, 3 minutes or until slightly softened, stirring once.  Uncover, cook an additional 3-4 minutes or until almost tender with a slight bite, stirring frequently.  Increase heat to medium-high, cook 1-2 minutes or until corn is crisp-tender, stirring frequently.  Stir in lime peel, lime juice, S&P.

Remove from heat, stir in sour cream mixture and cilantrol    

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Special Lobster Bisque

OK....are you ready for a bowl of complete decadence?  I was amazed at how absolutely delicious this chowder is!  In fact, I had some leftovers one night at about midnight!  Bring it on!

I had happened upon a can of lobster meat on the clearance rack at Publix not long ago.  Had no idea what I was going to do with it, but it was such a good deal, I couldn't pass it up.  And it isn't nearly as fattening as I would have guessed, because this recipe (from uses milk, with just 2 Tbsp of light cream.  I would definitely stick with whole milk on this, although you could certainly lighten it up even more by using reduced-fat milk.  Regardless, if you find lobster or lobster meat on sale and enjoy yourself a good bowl of "chowda," give this a try.  It is definitely going into my file of "KEEPERS."


1 Tbsp and 1 1/2 tsp butter
1 Tbsp and 1 1/2 tsp AP flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp celery salt
1 cup + 2 Tbsp milk
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp chicken stock
2 1/4 tsp minced onion
3/4 cup lobster meat, shredded
3/4 tsp paprika
2 Tbsp light cream

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.  Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and celery salt until well blended.  Gradually stir in the milk so that no lumps form, and then stir in the chicken stock.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the soup begins to thicken.  Add the onion and lobster; season with paprika.  Cook and stir for 10 more minutes.  Stir in the cream, heat through and serve.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Asian Chicken Salad

Have I mentioned how much I love Asian-inspired dishes?  Well, here's another one for you!  And it is yummy!  I just so happened to have everything on herbs are in full bloom so that was a given, and the remains of a grocery store rotisserie chicken.  Although this calls for Napa cabbage, I used "Shreds," the shredded iceberg lettuce you can find in your grocer's bagged lettuce area.  This recipe came from this month's "Relish" magazine, which comes monthly in our local newspaper.

ASIAN CHICKEN SALAD (serves about 4)

1/2 head napa cabbage, thinly sliced
2 (3-4 oz) pkgs dried Ramen noodles, seasoning removed, broken into bite-sized pieces
 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 (1") piece ginger root, peeled and grated
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup peanuts, toasted
leaves from 1 bunch fresh basil, sliced
leaves from 1/2 bunch fresh ciltrano, sliced
leaves from 1 bunch fresh mint, sliced

Mix together cabbage, Ramen noodles, and chicken in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, mix hoisin sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, ginger, and green onions.  Pour over cabbage mixture and toss really well to coat all of the ingredients.  (You can do this ahead if you like the ramen noodles softened.  Personally, I like them crunchy, so I only toss it about 15 minutes ahead, at the most.)

Just before serving, sprinkle salad with peanuts and some of the basil, cilantro, and mint.  Or have the herbs in bowls and let your fellow diners put as much/little as they choose.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Blueberry Peach Cobbler w/Lemon Cornmeal Biscuit Topping

Jim's favorite, or just-about favorite, dessert is a cobbler.  Particularly peach.  Well, I had some leftover blueberries that I wanted to use up.  I've made a similar dessert (a Paula Deen recipe) in a crockpot.  I saw this recipe in a Cook's Illustrated magazine and just happened to have everything on hand, so decided to go with this one.  You can't go wrong.


2# peaches
1 cup fresh blueberries (about 5 oz)
1 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp juice from 1 lemon
pinch of salt

Biscuit Topping:
1 cup (5 oz) less 2 TBSP AP flour
2 Tbsp cornmeal
3 Tbsp plus 1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" cubes
1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt (I couldn't find whole milk, I had to use fat-free)
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 425.

Peel peaches then halve and pit each.  Using small spoon, scoop out and discard dark flesh from pit area.  Cut each half into 4 wedges.  Gently toss peaches and sugar together in large bowl; let stand for 30 minutes, tossing several times.  Drain peaches in colander set over large bowl.  Whisk 1/4 cup of drained juice (discard extra), cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt together in a small bowl.  Toss peach juice mixture with peach slices and blueberries  and transfer to an 8" glass baking dish.  Bake until peaches begin to bubble, about 10 minutes.

While peaches are baking, in food processor, pulse flour, 3 Tbsp sugar, baking powder, baking soda, lemon zest, and salt to combine.  Scatter butter over and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, about ten 1-second pulses.  Transfer to medium bowl; add yogurt and toss with rubber spatula until cohesive dough is formed (don't overmix dough or biscuits will be tough).  Break dough into 6 (I made 9) evenly sized (I used a small biscuit cutter) but roughly shaped mounds and set aside.

 After peaches have baked 10 minutes, remove peaches from oven and place dough mounds on top, spacing them at least 1/2" apart (they should not touch).  Sprinkle each mound with portion of remaining 1 tsp sugar.  Bake until topping to golden brown and fruit is bubbling, 16-18 minutes.  Cool cobbler on wire racks until warm, about 20 minutes.  Serve.    

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Pan-Seared Shrimp w/Ginger-Hoisin Sauce

We love shrimp around here and eat it in as many different ways as possible.  This was a new combo and just wonderful!  I found it an issue of "Cook's Illustrated."  This is Asian-inspired easy, easy to make and wonderful served with jasmine rice.  I added some steamed broccoli and clam chowder.


2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp water
2 scallions, sliced thin
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 to 1 1/2# 21/25 shrimp, peeled and deveined

Stir together the hoisin sauce, vinegar, soy, ginger, water, and scallions in a small bowl.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a 12" skillet over high heat until smoking.  Meanwhile, toss shrimp, S&P, and 1/8 tsp sugar in medium bowl.  Add half of shrimp to pan in single layer and cook until spotty brown and edges turn pink, about 1 minute.

Remove pan from heat; using tongs, flip each shrimp and let stand until all but very center is opaque, about 30 seconds.  Transfer shrimp to large plate.  Repeat w/remaining Tbsp of oil and shrimp; after second batch has stood off heat, return first batch to skillet and toss to combine, along with hoisin sauce mixture.  Cover skillet and let stand until shrimp are cooked through, 1-2 minutes.  Serve immediately.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Blueberry Coconut Cake w/Lemon Sauce

Here's an easy, peasy, lucious dessert for your friends or family.  I don't know what makes it the best: the blueberries, the coconut, or lemon sauce?  But it wouldn't be the same if any of these ingredients were missing.

I'm not a big fruit person, well, sweets in general.  But I know how good blueberries are for you and I look for any excuse to use them.  Here's a great reason!


For the Cake:
2 cups AP flour
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (unthawed)
2 Tbsp flour 
1 cup flaked sweetened coconut

For the Sauce:
1/2 cup sugar
4 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 cup water
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly grease a 9x13 aluminum baking dish and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and oil.   Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula just until moistened.  Toss the fresh or frozen blueberries with the 2 Tbsp of flour and fold them in very gently to the batter.  Don't overmix or the batter will start take on a blue-ish tinge.

Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle the top of the cake with the coconut and bake for 181-25 minutes, until a tootpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack.

For the Sauce:  In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and grated lemon zest.  Gradually whisk in the water until blended.  Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking often, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes at a boil until the mixture is thickened.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and lemon juice.  The sauce can be used warm or at room temperature.

Cut the cake into squares and drizzle each piece with lemon sauce.  Serve.    

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Smoked Salmon Nicoise

This is a dish I haven't made for years.  OK, maybe decades.  Why?  I can't tell you because it is absolutely delicious.  I wish I could give credit to the magazine that published this recipe, but the page I have doesn't have that info.

Now, it also helps that my sweetheart bought me a smoker last year.  I don't know how the idea popped into my head the other day, but I thought to myself "mmmm......a Salad Nicoise sounds good."  So I put it on this week's menu and threw everything together this afternoon.  And like it couldn't get any better, you can make everything ahead of time and then just toss the salad at dinnertime.    I didn't even bother with bread tonight.  This is an ample, healthy, wonderful meal in and of itself.  I hope you'll give it a try.

SMOKED SALMON NICOISE (serves at least 4)

1 pound smoked salmon fillet (note to myself:  I smoked a 1.75" fillet with apple chips for a very short time....30-45 minutes).  Cool
3 medium-sized red-skinned potatoes, cooked and sliced
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cooked (I just snipped of the stems and them broke them in half)
1 small red onion, sliced very thinly (I didn't use quite a whole onion....use to your taste)
1 small can (2.25 oz) sliced black olives
2 T minced fresh parsley leaves
2 T snipped fresh dill

For the Dressing:
1/2 cup canola oil
4 tsp garlic cloves, crushed (about 4 medium cloves)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 flat anchovy fillets, minced
S&P to taste

4 hard boiled eggs, sliced

In a large bowl, combine the salmon, potatoes, green beans, onions, olives, parsley, and dill.

Make the dressing:  In a small saucepan heat the oil with the garlic over moderately low heat until it is warm, discard the garlic with a slotted spoon, and reserve the oil.  In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, anchovies, S&P.  Add the oil in a stream, whisking dressing until it is emulsified.

Pour the dressing over the salmon mixture, S&P to taste.  Toss the mixture gently to combine.  Add the eggs and transfer salad to a platter.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

General Tso's Chicken

Marlene Koch is my current favorite cookbook author.  I have several of her books ("Eat What You Love" and "Eat More of What You Love".)  She takes traditional and restaurant favorites and "healths them up!"  Lowers calories, fat, sodium, etc.  For example, this General Tso's chicken:  an order packs a wallop with the average restaurant order loaded with as many as 1,200 calories and over 3,000 mg of sodium.  Marlene's?  300 calories and 510 mg of sodium.  And believe me, there is no loss of taste here.  Delicious.

I served this over jasmine rice with a size of potstickers.


1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
4 tsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp granulated no-calorie sweetener (or 4 packets)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp ketchup
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup sliced onion
3 cups broccoli small florets
1/4 cup AP flour
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" pieces
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbsp canola oil

To make the sauce, in a medium-sized bowl thoroughly whisk together the first nine ingredients (chicken broth through red pepper flakes).  Add onion and set aside.

Place the broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl.  Add 2 Tbsp of water, cover, and microwave for 2 minutes.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix flour, and black pepper.  Roll chicken into beaten egg, letting excess egg drip off, and coat the chicken with the seasoned flour.

Heat 1 Tbsp of the oil in a large non-stick wok or skillet over medium high heat.  Add half of the chicken and cook 4-5 minutes, or until well browned and cooked through.  Transfer chicken to a bowl and cover.  Heat remaining oil and repeat.

Whisk the sauce, pour it into the wok, and stir until it thickens and clears.  Add the chicken and broccoli, toss well, and cook 1-2 minutes or until heated through.

NOTE:  When I made this, I ended up freezing half of it.  I took it out the other day to thaw and had it today, July 9th, for lunch.  It is still delicious!  The presentation isn't quite as nice (the broccoli isn't the bright green as when it's fresh), but with just the girls looking on, I didn't mind! 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Cheddar Cheese Soup

Here's a wonderful, easy soup for you!  And an extra bonus:  prepare everything ahead of time and you can have this on the table in minutes!  I halved this recipe, but will never make that mistake again!  I would have definitely enjoyed extra leftovers.  I served this with that fantastic cod with tarragon sauce and they paired very well.  But this would be a great soup & sandwich soup.  The recipe came from December's issue of "Southern Living."  Their suggestion was to serve this with a sandwich of whole grain bread, guacamole, tomato slices sprinkle with S&P, bacon slices, and arugula.  Oh yum........I'm gonna have to try that one!


1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped celery 
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup AP flour
1 extra-large chicken bouillon cube
2 cups milk
1 (8 oz) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 tsp ground red pepper

Melt butter in a 3-qt saucepan over medium-high heat; add carrots and next 4 ingredients, and saute 5-7 minutes or until tender.  Sprinkle flour over vegetable mmixture, and stir until coated.  Stir in bouillon cube, milk, and 3 cups water; cook, stirring occasionally, 10-11 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened and bubbly.

Add shredded cheese and red pepper, stirring until well blended.  Serve immediately.