Friday, October 18, 2013

October 18, 2013

We just got in from the team is the night before the state cross country meet!  The girls are excited and nervous, and so supportive of each other, it is really great to see.  Pasta, of course, was the perfect option for the runners, and now we are settled into our room for the night.

This week we tried a few new things and 2 recipes earned keeper status!!!  A third new dish, baked potato fans, were a great hit in theory, but they were a bit dry and the flavor profile needed some improvement.  I have seen many recipes so we'll try them again and see if we can get it right.  But the keepers were a pureed black bean soup, and a new panko breaded chicken.

We have been completely spoiled these last few weeks with amazing weather, but this week autumn finally arrived.  It is mid-October, so we can't really complain that the temperature has dipped below 70!  On Saturday we felt like soup, so I suggested a black bean soup to Ryan.  When he heard the first step involved bacon, we was all for giving it a try!  I actually took two recipes and made my own version.  We all loved it - even Liam!!

The other recipe was a new way to bread chicken.  We eat chicken a lot and we are always looking for a twist to change it up, and we found something new this week.  A little zingy with Dijon mustard and cayenne then breaded with panko.  Liam thought it was a little too spicy, but the rest of us loved it!  We could easily mix it up without the cayenne to do one piece for him, then add in the cayenne to prepare the rest.

Next week I'll let you know how the team did in the meet!

Happy Cooking!

New Recipes
Panko breaded chicken with mustard and cayenne
Black bean soup

Black Bean Soup

* 4 slices bacon, finely chopped
* 2 cups chopped onion
* 6 garlic cloves, rough chopped
* 4 cups chicken broth, divided
* 1/2 cup chopped tomato
* 1 tbsp cumin
* 1 tbsp chili powder
* 4 cups black beans (canned, or previously prepared)
* kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4 cup lime juice
* thinly sliced green onions, cooked and crumbled bacon, grated cheddar, sour cream for garnish

1. Cook the bacon over medium heat in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven.  After 4 minutes, add the onions.  Cook and stir for another 4 to 5 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute.
2. Add the tomatoes, 2 cups of chicken broth, cumin, chili powder and the beans.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes.
3. Puree the soup until smooth.  Return to the pot, add the additional 2 cups of chicken broth, and season with salt and pepper.  Simmer an additional 15 - 20 minutes.  In the last 5 minutes before serving, add the lime juice.
4. Serve with garnishes of cheese, bacon, green onions, sour cream.

I keep bacon in the freezer to use in recipes.  I chopped the bacon while it was still frozen and then just tossed it in the pot to cook.   Also, I pureed this soup all the way to make it extremely smooth and silky, and it was fabulous!  The lime juice added at the end really added a bright note to the soup.  this made quite a bit of soup! I also make black beans to have on hand for all sorts of recipes and dinners so I used my beans for the soup.  If you used canned beans, don't forget to drain the liquid.  We served the soup with a warm loaf of French bread - yum!

We did try to freeze this and then have it a different time, but it was not good after thawing and reheating.  So enjoy it the day you make it, and eat the leftovers the next few days from the fridge, but don't freeze it.  You will be disappointed with the results.

Panko breaded chicken with mustard and cayenne

* 1 lb chicken breast, put into strips
* 2 tbs Dijon mustard
* 1/2 tsp kosher salt
* 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
* 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
* 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

1. Mix the mustard, salt and cayenne pepper in a bowl.  Mix the cheese and panko in a second bowl.
2. Dredge the chicken in the mustard mix, then coat with the panko mix.
3. Place the chicken on a rack prepared with cooking spray placed on a baking sheet.  Bake the chicken at 450 for 15 - 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Delish!  If not everyone at the table will enjoy the cayenne, the possibly prepare one piece before you add in the cayenne, then add in the cayenne and complete the rest of the chicken.