Monday, December 5, 2011

Spicy Sprouts, Havarti & Ham Sandwich

Mr Reed & I love sandwiches - but sometimes the same old get so boring we find ourselves dreading the lunch hour menu. Recently I have discovered that I am not as picky of an eater anymore & have ventured into new sandwich toppings that have now turned my boring meat on a bun pallette into a salivating desire to concoct a new version. A little tidbit I find to making the lunch bun that much more appetizing is to find a local bakery close by & every other night/day run in & pick up enough fresh buns for your family to cover 2 days. This simple fresh statement will make all the difference. This is the sandwich I made for Mr Reed & I today for lunch - in an individual sandwich breakdown.

1 bun
5 slices shaved lunch meat
1 tsp light mayo
1 large leaf of lettuce
3 slices jalapeno havarti cheese
1/4 cup spicy alfalfa sprouts
   pickles sliced in circles
   red onion slices

1) Cut bun in half & spoon mayo mixture on the bottom

2) Place meat slices & then cheese & pickles

3) Add lettuce & then sprouts

4) Top with mustard, cover with top of bun & cut in half & serve do I store fresh herbs to use later on?

 If you're anything like me you enjoy the valued addtional of using fresh herbs - but can never seem to use them up before they expire. Below is a trick that I use & works great! I purchased the trays from Dollarama & the style of them works perfect. Try this out with all your favourite herbs.

Rectangle ice cube trays

1) Place sprigs evenly amongst ice cube trays

2) Cover with water & freeze for a few hours

 3) Once frozen remove from tray & freeze in ziploc bag

4) TO USE: Simply run lukewarm water over the ice to thaw then use as directed in your recipe

Friday, December 2, 2011

Potato Bacon Torte

The way to my husbands heart is bacon. If I could incorporate bacon into everything I made he would be a very happy boy. This year we celebrated American Thanksgiving at our home. We had several of Mr Reeds extended family come in to share the day together. I prepped this crust the evening before & served it for breakfast for Mr Reeds mom; himself & I then we got to work on prepping the delicious turkey dinner! This recipe is one that I pulled out of Food Network's December issue - & it was well worth it as this will be my new crust recipe from now on.

food pprocessor
2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup filled with 3 ice cubes & water

4 strips bacon (I opted for 1 cup precooked bacon pieces)
1 cup heavy cream
3 sprigs thyme, plus leaves for topping
3 medium baking potatoes, peeled
   salt & pepper
1/4 cup grated cheese
1 large egg yolk

1) Make the crust: Pulse the butter, flour & salt in the food processor until the mixture looks like a slightly wet sand
2) Add 8 to 10 tbsps ice water, 1 tbsp at a time, pulsing after each addition, until the dough just begins to clump together

3) Divide the dough between 2 resealable plastic bags & pat into disks

4) Refrigerate at least 30 minutes (or overnight)

5) Roll out 1 disk of dough between 2 floured wax sheets of paper into a 10 inch round

6) Fit dough into a 9 inch pie plate & refrigerate

7) Preheat oven to 375F

8) Bring the cream & thyme sprigs to a bare simmer in a saucepan over low heat

9) Remove from heat; let steep 5 minutes. Remove thyme

10) Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.

11) Remove the pie plate from the fridge & add a layer of potato slices over the dough in a circular pattern, overlapping

12) Season with salt & pepper & sprinkle with about 1/4 of the bacon

13) Continue layering until the pan is nearly full

14) Top evenly with cheese

15) gently pour the cream over the torte; allowing it to seep down between the potato slices

16) Roll out the remaining disk of dough into a 10 inch round floured surface

17) Lay the dough over the filling; press the edges of the 2 crusts together to crimp them closed

18) Beat the egg yolk with a splash of water & brush on the top crust

19) With a sharp knife, cut a few slits in the center of the crust to let the steam escape

20) Put the torte on on a baking sheet & bake until the crust is browned; 50 minutes to 1 hour (cover the edges with foil if they brown too quickly)

21) Let rest at least 15 minutes before cutting into wedges; top with thyme leaves

Monday, November 14, 2011

Chicken Casear Salad

This is a summertime favourite by far. Pairing up my Breaded Chicken Breast recipe with this simple salad leaves a fresh & full feeling over the attendees at the kitchen table.

Romaine lettuce or other greens
Red Onion, sliced thinly
Parmesan Cheese
Bacon bits
Marzetti Caesar Dressing

1) Wash lettuce leaves & slice red onion

2) Lay lettuce on plate, add red onion, croutons, parmesan cheese & bacon bits

3) Toss in dressing & add chicken breast

Hamburger Subs do I make a quick "burger like" meal that's not greasy?

How this recipe was concocted is really unknown to me other than one night my mom placed this in front of us & it instantly became the favourite Friday night meal for my dad & I. It's messy & devine all at the same time. It's ridiculously simple & can be modified by using your favourite toppings! You may opt to use ground turkey or chicken instead.

1 cup cooked ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 green onions, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
Salt & pepper
1 tsp olive oil

2 Submarine buns
1/2 cup grated cheese
4 tbsp mayo
1 plum tomato
Lettuce, shredded

1) Preheat oven to broil & 350F

2) Brown garlic, onions, salt & peper, & ground beef in olive oil

3) Place submarine buns cut half open on baking sheet & put in preheated oven & lightly toast

4) Remove buns from oven & put mayo on one side of each bun

5) Spread ground beef over one side of bun

6) Add cheese & tomato (do not fold shut)

7) Return baking sheet to oven until cheese is melted

8) Remove from oven & add lettuce

9) Fold shut; cut in half & serve do I dice an onion without crying?

Step 1 - Cut the onion in half down the middle
of the 2 ends

A couple months ago while visiting my middle sister; my brother in law (bumblingbakers hubby) demonstrated for us a lesson that I will never forget - how to dice an onion without crying!
Its really quite simple, far easier to handle & after all basically just common sense - & my tear ducts have been thanking me ever since!

Step 2 - Cut the half in half again avoiding the
end directly

Step 3 - Remove the skin then cut slits
lengthwise without going all the way through to
the roots 

Step 4 - Dice crosswise

Step 5 - Continue dicing until the end

Friday, November 11, 2011

Baked Breaded Chicken do I make a low calorie & versatile breaded chicken breast?

Breaded chicken is my weakness; & its definitely not a good weakness to have. In the summer Mr Reed & I eat salad at every meal & this addition to our greens was welcomed with lip smacking success. I have since done so many versions of it that I will post each separately here - but they all look the same. You can use it with so many different meals & will suddenly find yourself dreaming of ways to fit it in guiltlessly as the original (which I have adapted) comes from my Weight Watchers cookbook.

Orange Baked Chicken
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp Keens hot mustard
3/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 tbsp orange zest
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1) Preheat oven to to 350F

2) Spray a non stick baking sheet with non stick olive oil spray

3) In a small bowl combine orange juice, mustard & salt

4) In another bowl combine bread crumbs, orange zest, onion & pepper

5) Dip the chicken breast in the mustard mixture

6) Transfer chicken to crumb mixture & sprinkle mixture on top of chicken

7) Press crumbs firmly, flip & repeat to coat both sides

8) Place on baking sheet

9) Bake 15 minutes, turn over making sure you re-spray under the chicken again & bake until cooked through about 15-20 minutes longer

Lemon Baked Chicken

Lemon Rind
Lemon Juice

1) Substitute lemon rind & juice for the orange zest & juice above & repeat steps 1-9

Herbed Baked Chicken

Egg white
*Omitting mustard, orange/lemon rind & juice

1) Preheat oven to to 350F

2) Spray a non stick baking sheet with non stick olive oil spray

3) In a small bowl combine egg white & salt

4) In another bowl combine bread crumbs, basil, sage, onion & pepper

5) Dip the chicken breast in the egg white mixture

6) Transfer chicken to crumb mixture & sprinkle mixture on top of chicken

7) Press crumbs firmly, flip & repeat to coat both sides

8) Place on baking sheet

9) Bake 15 minutes, turn over making sure you re-spray under the chicken again & bake until cooked through about 15-20 minutes longer

...what can I use this chicken breast in?
Cut into strips & enjoy with:
-Chicken caesar salad
-Buffalo chicken sandwich