Monday, March 29, 2010

Crisp Baked Lemon Cod

What a tasty dish this was! It couldn’t have been easier to prepare. As the oven was preheating, I combined the crumb mixture and coated the cod fillets. After baking in the oven, it came out perfectly cooked—light, flaky, juicy, and entirely full of flavor! I slightly modified the original recipe by lightly wilting the spinach with a little olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice, which I was able to cook while the fish was baking. Seriously, dinner was on the table in 15 minutes!

Source: Crisp Baked Lemon Cod, Martha Stewart Living, April 2010

2 cups toasted-rice cereal, such as Rice Chex, crushed
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
¾ teaspoon coarse salt
4 cod fillets (4 ounces each), skinned
3 ounces baby spinach (4 cups)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine rice cereal, oil, parsley, zest, and salt.

Set a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Press fish in crumb mixture, turning to coat. Transfer to wire rack. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, 14 to 16 minutes. Divide fish and spinach among 4 plates.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Caesar Club Sandwich

I’ve been really busy at work this week, so it was a relief to see such an easy recipe for this Barefoot Bloggers selection, chosen by Karen of Shortbread. McHubby loves chicken Caesar salads, so this dish was right up his alley. The flavors of the peppery arugula, salty pancetta, sweet sun-dried tomatoes, and garlicky Caesar dressing were perfect together. McHubby really enjoyed this one! While I thought the flavors of this dish married wonderfully, I don’t usually eat sandwiches and I don't care for mayonnaise, so unfortunately this recipe was only okay for my taste. I’ll stick with having it as a salad.

Source: Caesar Club Sandwich, Barefoot Contessa at Home

2 split (1 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
Good olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta
1 large garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 ½ teaspoons anchovy paste
1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup good mayonnaise
1 large ciabatta bread
2 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry
12 sun-dried tomatoes, in oil
2 to 3 ounces Parmesan, shaved

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan skin side up. Rub the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until cooked through. Cool slightly, discard the skin and bones, and slice the meat thickly. Set aside.

Meanwhile, place the pancetta on another sheet pan in a single layer. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until crisp. Set aside to drain on paper towels.

Place the garlic and parsley in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until minced. Add the anchovy paste, mustard, lemon juice, and mayonnaise and process again to make a smooth dressing. (Refrigerate the Caesar dressing if not using it immediately.)

Slice the ciabatta in half horizontally and separate the top from the bottom. Toast the bread in the oven, cut side up, for 5 to 7 minutes; cool slightly. Spread the cut sides of each piece with the Caesar dressing. Place half the arugula on the bottom piece of bread and then layer in order: the sun-dried tomatoes, shaved Parmesan, crispy pancetta, and sliced chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and finish with another layer of arugula. Place the top slice of ciabatta on top and cut in thirds crosswise. Serve at room temperature.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes

For St. Patrick’s Day today, I made these delicious cupcakes. Brown sugar pound cake is the cake part of the cupcake, a dense but moist cake. They are topped with Bailey’s Irish Cream frosting, a perfect complement to the cake. Yummy!

Source: Brown Sugar Pound Cakes and St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes, Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

Brown Sugar Pound Cakes
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 large eggs, room temperature
¾ cup buttermilk

Bailey’s Irish Cream Frosting
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each ¾ full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. (Cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.)

Make the frosting. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter until smooth. Reduce speed to medium. Add the confectioners’ sugar, ½ cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed, about 5 minutes total; after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds (to aerate frosting).

Add Bailey’s and vanilla, and beat until combined and smooth. Spread generous amounts of frosting over cupcakes, and let set.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chicken Parmigiana

McHubby loves chicken parm, but I don’t make it very frequently. This Martha Stewart Living recipe is a lighter take on this classic dish. I was surprised at how quickly it came together. While it definitely is not as indulgent as the regular version, it was still pretty tasty. I served over a bed of whole-wheat pasta.

Source: Chicken Parmigiana, Martha Stewart Living, February 2010

3 ounces baked whole-grain wheat crackers, such as Triscuits (about 12)
⅓ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ teaspoon dried oregano
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes (no salt added), with juice
½ medium onion (3 ounces), coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped (2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large egg whites
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
3 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
1 ounce Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated (about ½ cup)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Pulse crackers, parsley, oregano, and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor until finely ground. Season with pepper, and transfer to a plate. Puree tomatoes with juice, onion, garlic, and ½ teaspoon salt with an immersion blender on in clean food processor until smooth.

Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with oil. Lightly whisk egg whites, and transfer to a shallow dish. Dip each chicken breast half in whites to fully coat; let excess drip off. Dredge chicken in crumb mixture, lightly pressing, to coat both sides.

Transfer chicken to prepared baking dish, and flip once to coat in oil. Bake until crisp, about 10 minutes.

Pour tomato sauce over chicken, allowing some sauce underneath each piece. Top with cheeses, and bake until bubbling and top is lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ina's Mini Meat Loaves

McHubby and I love meatloaf, so when Tonya of What’s on My Plate chose this Barefoot Bloggers selection, I was happy to try Ina’s recipe. I used one package of ground chuck and a package of lean ground beef to lighten it up a little. Other than that small change, I kept to the recipe pretty closely. The onion mixture sauce smelled so good, and while it seemed like a lot of onions, they provided a sweet flavor after they were sautéed. For shaping the loaves, I actually used my mini loaf silicone pan.

These little meat loaves were tasty and perfectly sized for individual portions. While we enjoyed these, I have to confess that we still prefer our
favorite meatloaf. Maybe I’ll just make our favorite in the smaller, individual size next time.

Individual Meat Loaves, Barefoot Contessa

1 tablespoon good olive oil
3 cups chopped yellow onions (3 onions)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
⅓ cup canned chicken stock or broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 ½ pounds ground chuck (81 percent lean)
½ cup plain dry bread crumbs (recommended: Progresso)
2 extra-large eggs, beaten
½ cup ketchup (recommended: Heinz)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Add the onions, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not brown. Off the heat, add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, onion mixture, bread crumbs, and eggs, and mix lightly with a fork. Don't mash or the meatloaf will be dense. Divide the mixture into 6 (10 to 11-ounce) portions and shape each portion into a small loaf on a sheet pan. Spread about a tablespoon of ketchup on the top of each portion. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the internal temperature is 155 to 160 degrees F and the meat loaves are cooked through. Serve hot.