Monthly Archives: October 2009

Creamy Chicken Parmigiana

What a festival of flavor you will have going on in your mouth with this Italian classic. When placing the plate in the oven to melt the cheese please note that you should do this quickly so your plate does not get hot enough to break. It only takes about 10 -15 seconds at the most. If you do not have any breadcrumbs on hand then simply throw some old stale bread or toast in the food processor and make your own.

1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1 (15 ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon basil, dried
5 chicken breast, boneless and skinless
1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
3 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons cream
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella/cheddar cheese

1. For sauce, in a medium saucepan cook onion and garlic in hot butter until onion is tender. Carefully stir in the undrained tomatoes, sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring to a full boil; reduce heat. With a wooden spoon carefully break tomatoes up. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in basil and cream. Reduce to simmer.

2. Meanwhile, with a meat mallet, pound each chicken breast half between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4-inch thickness.

3. In a shallow dish stir together bread crumbs, the 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning. In another bowl stir together the egg and milk. Dip chicken breast halves in egg mixture, then in crumb mixture to coat. In a 12-inch skillet cook chicken in hot oil over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Transfer chicken to a serving platter.

4. Spoon sauce over chicken. Top with shredded cheese and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese. Place plate in the oven on broil to melt cheese.

Simple Salad

You can whip this salad up in no time and have a fresh and bright dish on the table. The sumac not only adds a great color but gives a sensational taste.

2 tomatoes, cubed
2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
2 scallions, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sumac

1. In a medium sized bowl add tomatoes, cucumbers and scallions. Drizzle olive oil on top then sprinkle sumac.

Yields: 4 servings

Lamb Kofta Stew

Hawaij is a Yemeni spice blend which you can buy mixed or easily make at home. This aromatic spice goes perfect with lamb. If you have never had ground lamb do not be afraid like many people seem to be. Ground lamb is excellent and taste even better then ground beef. This dish is cram packed of healthy vegetables making it yet another dinner that you can be satisfied to serve your family.

500 grams ground lamb
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tablespoons butter
1 (400 gram) can diced tomatoes in juice
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 carrot, finely diced
1 potato, finely cubed
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 lamb bullion cubes
3 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
1-1/2 tablespoon hawaij
1/4 teaspoon ground bay leaves

1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium sized bowl add lamb, salt and pepper, mix well. Shape into small balls the size of marbles. Place balls on a baking sheet and allow to cook for 15 minutes.

2. In a 2-quart saucepan on medium-high heat add butter, carrots, onions and garlic, cook until tender. Add tomatoes including juiced, water, tomato paste, potato, peas, lamb cubes, water, bay leaves and hawaij. Mix well. Carefully add baked lamb into the pan. Bring to a full boil then reduce to low for 45 minutes covered. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Caramel Corn

If you have never had the pleasure of making homemade caramel corn then your in for a real treat. Every Fall I have warm memories of my child hood and all the fun traditions we had during this time. Caramel corn just happens to be one of those. I am sure you all remember Cracker Jacks and how all you ever cared about was the toy? Well, good ole’ Cracker Jacks do not have anything on a fresh batch of caramel corn. Make some with your family for Fall memories that will last a life time.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 cups popped popcorn

1. Preheat oven to 250F. In a 2-quart saucepan on medium-high heat add butter, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup and baking soda, stir until well mixed. Remove from heat add vanilla, mix well.

2. In a 13 x 9 inch baking pan add popcorn. Carefully pour caramel mixture atop then mix well trying to coat all of popcorn. Place in oven checking on corn every 10 minutes and mixing with a wooden spoon to insure all corn is coated. Allow to bake for 1 hour.

Yields: 12 servings