Friday, July 11, 2014

July 11, 2014

We've had a stretch full of pretty relaxed summer days this week; it has been wonderful.  Mornings over watering the garden (our first tomato and zucchini were ready to harvest!), trips to the park and the pool, evenings with friends.  I love this pace - enough in each day to make it fun, but no set schedule, just what we needed.

This week we also ended up with two keeper recipes.  A peanut butter cupcake that you can easily pair with the vanilla or chocolate frosting of your choice and a new chicken dish.  We only tried 3 recipes so winding up with 2 keepers was a great outcome for the week!  And actually I think you could use the roasted red pepper relish as a topping on bread for a twist on bruschetta - that would be absolutely delicious!

Time to get back out to the firepit!  Happy Cooking!

New Recipes
Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Pan Seared Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Relish

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

* 2 1/4 cups AP flour
* 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
* 1 cup peanut butter
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1/2 tsp baking soda
* 1 1/4 cups milk
* 2 tsp vanilla extract
* 3 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line or grease 2 muffin trays.
2. In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, peanut butter and butter.  Mix at low speed until crumbly.
3. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl, in order, and blend at low speed to combine everything.  Once combined, beat at medium speed for 3 minutes.  The batter will become light in color.
4. Divide the batter into the 24 muffin cups.  Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes and then remove  and place on a cooling rack.
5. When the cupcakes are completely cool, frost as desired.

I used skim milk and it worked well, so use whatever milk you have in your fridge.  These cupcakes came out very light and moist and were a hit with everyone that tried them!  We used chocolate frosting, but I am sure that vanilla frosting would be delicious on the them as well.

Pan Seared Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Relish

* 1/2 cup AP flour
* 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
* salt and pepper
* 2 tbsp vegetable oil
* 1 tbsp butter
* 1 shallot, minced
* 1 garlic clove, minced
* 2 roasted red peppers, chopped fine
* 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
* 1 tbsp fresh basil or parsley, minced

1. Put the flour in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper.
2. Pat the chicken dry, then lightly dredge in the flour to coat; shake off any excess flour.
3. Heat the oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.  Add the chicken and cook until lightly golden brown on each side, approximately 10 minutes though depends on the thickness of the chicken.  Transfer the chicken to a plate to keep warm; set chicken aside.
4. Add the butter to the pan and melt over medium heat.  Add the shallot and cook until softened, approximately 2 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, approximately 15 seconds.
5. Add the roasted peppers and vinegar to the pan and cook until warmed through, approximately 2 minutes.  Be sure to scrape the brown bits and incorporate into the relish.
6.  Remove from the heat and stir in the basil or parsley.  Spread over the chicken and serve.

This is definitely not a sauce for the chicken, but it was delicious!  With each bite of chicken make sure to have a little of the red pepper mixture on your fork and your taste-buds will be in heaven.  I could definitely see making the red pepper relish in the future to use on bread as an alternative to traditional bruschetta.  If you try that, add 1 tbsp of olive oil with the butter in step 4 because the pan will not have any remaining oil from the chicken preparation since you would skip those steps.  We served this chicken with a side of buttered egg noodles, and we all agreed it was a keeper!