Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Food I Crave

My mom bought me Elie Krieger's newest book, "The Food You Crave", the day it came out. (Seriously people, is my mom the best or what?) So when my mom and sister came over for our weekly dinner together, I knew I had to try one of the recipes. I love watching Elie Krieger's show and finding healthier ways to make great food. Still, I had my doubts as to how much flavor and goodness would remain in a dish with so little fat. I'm happy to report that Elie really did accomplish her mission with this recipe. Mom, sis, and I all loved our healthy and delicious meal. I just wish I'd remembered to take a picture before we ate! Oh well, the leftover picture didn't come out too bad...


Tuscan Chicken and Roasted Vegetables

Elie Krieger

6 Roma tomatoes (about 1 lb.)
3 medium zucchini (about 1/2 lb. each)
1 bulb fennel
3 Tbsp oil, divided
3/4 tsp. salt, divided
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp lemon juice
4 chicken breast halves skinless, bone-in (about 2 1/2 lbs)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 TBSP fresh chopped rosemary leaves or 1 tsp dried


Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Cut the tomatoes lengthwise into quarters and remove the seeds. Trim the zucchini and cut it in half crosswise and then cut each piece in half lengthwise once if the piece is thin and twice if it is thicker, so that the pieces are relatively uniform.
3. Remove the outermost layer of the fennel bulb and discard. Cut the bulb in half so that each half retains part of the stem end. Cut each half into 8 thin wedges so each wedge is held together by a little piece of stem.
4. Put the vegetables into a large baking pan. Toss them with 2 tablespoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Arrange the chicken pieces in the pan with the vegetables.
5. In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon of oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, the garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice. Rub the mixture into the chicken in the pan. Season with a few turns of pepper.
6. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, then give the vegetables a stir and add the rosemary. Cook for about 20 to 30 minutes more until the chicken is done and the vegetable are tender and beginning to brown.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Thanks Mom!

So I owe my mom major thanks (don't we all?). The thanks for this post are two-fold. First of all, she got me totally hooked on "America's Test Kitchen". The first time we watched it together, the ATK people were hard at work creating a recipe for the world's best lemon bundt cake. A couple of weeks later, Mom gave me a bag full of gigantic lemons from her lemon tree. It was bundt cake fate.


Lemon Bundt Cake
America's Test Kitchen

Serves 12 to 14

Cake
3 lemons , zest grated and saved, then juiced for 3 tablespoons juice (see note above)
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (15 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk (preferably)
3 large eggs , at room temperature
1 large egg yolk , at room temperature
18 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 1/4 sticks), at room temperature
2 cups sugar (14 ounces)

Glaze
2 - 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (see note above)
1 tablespoon buttermilk
2 cups confectioners' sugar (8 ounces)


1. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 12-cup Bundt pan with nonstick baking spray with flour (alternatively, brush pan with mixture of 1 tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon melted butter). Mince lemon zest to fine paste (you should have about 2 tablespoons). Combine zest and lemon juice in small bowl; set aside to soften, 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Combine lemon juice mixture, vanilla, and buttermilk in medium bowl. In small bowl, gently whisk eggs and yolk to combine. In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, cream butter and sugar at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes; scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Reduce to medium speed and add half of eggs, mixing until incorporated, about 15 seconds. Repeat with remaining eggs; scrape down bowl again. Reduce to low speed; add about one-third of flour mixture, followed by half of buttermilk mixture, mixing until just incorporated after each addition (about 5 seconds). Repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining buttermilk mixture. Scrape bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at medium-low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour. Scrape into prepared pan.

3. Bake until top is golden brown and wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into center comes out with no crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes.

4. FOR THE GLAZE: While cake is baking, whisk 2 tablespoons lemon juice, buttermilk, and confectioners' sugar until smooth, adding more lemon juice gradually as needed until glaze is thick but still pourable (mixture should leave faint trail across bottom of mixing bowl when drizzled from whisk). Cool cake in pan on wire rack set over baking sheet for 10 minutes, then invert cake directly onto rack. Pour half of glaze over warm cake and let cool for 1 hour; pour remaining glaze evenly over top of cake and continue to cool to room temperature, at least 2 hours.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Lady's Cheesy Mac

I am a huge fan of mac and cheese. Not the funky, cardboard, powdered cheese kind, but the creamy, gooey, fresh-from-the-oven, homemade kind. I've tried several different recipes and this is one of my favorites. So thank you, Miss Paula, for this yummy recipe.


The Lady's Cheesy Mac
Paula Deen

4 c. cooked elbow macaroni, drained
2 c. grated cheddar
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. sour cream
4 Tbsp. butter, cut into pieces
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. milk

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Once you have the macaroni cooked and drained, place in a large bowl and, while still hot, add the cheddar.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and add to the macaroni mixture.

4. Pour macaroni mixture into a casserole dish and bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Top with additional cheese if desired.