Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday April 20, 2012

This week, similar to last week, was getting away from me, but I did manage to try a few new recipes, and I have three keepers for you this week!!!  Activities have been clogging up our afternoons and evenings, leaving little time for me to experiment in the kitchen and get creative.  But, even with the time crunch, I have two quick recipes for you, and one that is a little more involved, but worth the time!

First the quick - cinnamon rolls and green beans!!  You might not want to eat these at the same meal, but you will love both.  The cinnamon rolls couldn't be any easier; they begin with a tube of crescent roll dough.  My oldest likes these, so she was thrilled to see the tube in the fridge.  Little did she know that I was going to transform them into something even yummier for her...she loves cinnamon rolls.  When I woke her up one morning this week and let her know I was cooking cinnamon rolls to go with breakfast before school, she probably thought she was dreaming!

As for the green beans - it probably isn't really a "new" recipe for many of you, but it was for me.  The green beans are blanched first, then sauteed with the seasoning of your choice.  I think I could eat these every night and just vary the spices I added to coincide with the meal I prepare.  Crisp green beans with flavor - what a concept!  I always just steamed them then added salt and pepper.  I was worried that boiling them would make them mushy.  But, the key is to quickly boil them, then throw the beans in the ice water bath to stop the cooking and keep them crisp.  Give these a try this week.  I know, I know, many of you have probably  always made your beans this way, but if you are like me and missed that memo, give this "recipe" a go one night this week.

And finally...nut crusted chicken breasts!  If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know I trust Cook's Illustrated (99.9% of the time).  I got the latest cook book from them, and marked bunches of recipes to try.  This week I tried the Nut Crusted Chicken breasts, and my oh was voted a keeper unanimously within the first bite from everyone at the table.  I just love it when that happens!

Enjoy the recipes, and we'll see what next week brings!

New Recipes
 School Morning Cinnamon Rolls
Sauteed Green Beans
Nut Crusted Chicken

School Morning Cinnamon Rolls

* 1 can Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, or crescent roll sheet
* 6 teaspoons softened butter, divided
* 1/4 cup brown sugar
* 1/4 cup white sugar
* 1 tsp cinnamon  

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the bottom of a pie plate. Add the brown sugar to the butter and stir to combine.
3. Unroll crescent dough and pinch seams together to create one big sheet (or if it is just one sheet, no need to pinch seams!). Spread with remaining softened butter. Combine white sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the buttered dough.
4. Roll the dough back up into a log, and cut into 8-10 cinnamon rolls.
5. Place rolls in prepared pie plate. Sprinkle with any remaining cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
 6. Top with glaze or frosting of your choice and serve warm.

What a brilliant idea to create a cinnamon roll that uses crescent roll dough as the base!!!  My kids love cinnamon rolls, and I love the ease of this recipe.  When crescent rolls or sheets go on sale, this will be a recipe I will be making for the family!

Sauteed Green Beans

* Green beans
* 1-2 tsp olive oil
* seasoning of your choice (I like to use Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle seasoning)
* salt and pepper, optional

1. Clean and trim the green beans. Blanche in boiling water for about 6 minutes, then cool in an ice water bath.
2. Heat the oil in a saute pan, and saute the green beans with the seasoning of your choice. Cook them for just a few minutes, maybe 2-3.  You want them to be hot, but don't let them get mushy!
3. When the beans are done, transfer to a serving plate and if desired, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

These are easy and delicious beans! Green beans aren't always my first choice in vegetables, but since I've been making them this way, they are finding their way into my grocery cart more and more often! I use Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle seasoning most often, to give the beans a little kick!

Nut Crusted Chicken

* 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat
* Kosher salt
* 1 cup peanuts
* 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
* 1 medium shallot, minced (or about 3 tbs of onion if that is what you have on hand)
* 1 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
* 2 tsp finely grated lime zest
* 1 tsp chile powder
* 1/2 tsp ground cumin
* 1/2 tsp ground coriander
* 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
* 3 large eggs
* 2 tsp Dijon mustard
* ¼ tsp ground black pepper
* 1 C unbleached all-purpose flour

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°.
2. Poke thickest half of each breast 5-6 times with a fork, Sprinkle evenly with ½ tsp kosher salt.  Refrigerate while preparing coating.
3. Process nuts in food processor until they resemble coarse meal.
4. Heat butter in 12-inch skillet over medium heat; cook 4-5 minutes, swirling pan constantly, until butter turns golden brown.
5. Add shallot (or onion) and ½ tsp kosher salt. Cook stirring constantly until just starting to brown (about 2 minutes). Reduce heat to medium-low, add panko and ground nuts. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, until golden brown.
6. Transfer panko mixture to pie plate and stir in lime zest, chile powder, cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper.
7. Lightly beat eggs, mustard, and black pepper together in second pie plate. Put flour in third plate.
8. Pat chicken dry with paper towel. Dredge chicken breast in flour (one at a time), shaking off excess, coat with egg mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Coat all sides of chicken with panko mixture, pressing gently so crumbs stick.
9. Transfer breaded chicken to a prepared wire rack set on rimmed baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes until the juices run clear.

You will be amazed at how well the coating sticks to the chicken, and how crispy this gets in the oven.  The recipe may seem like there is a lot going on between the spices, mustard, butter and so forth, but it is worth it, and turns out delicious!!!  Way to go Cook's Illustrated!!!