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Showing posts from December, 2010

Ginger Brandy Cookies

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Gingerbread people have long been holiday staples around our house. My sons loved decorating as much as they enjoyed eating the sweet treats. But these days we're a house full of grown ups and it seemed like a good idea to create a slightly more sophisticated version of our old favorite. We used mini-cutters from Williams Sonoma for crisps to top holiday flan, but two inch rounds make a tasty accompaniment for a nice cup of afternoon tea. Hope you like them!
GINGER BRANDY COOKIES 3/4 cup butter 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup sugar 1 package vanilla instant pudding 1 egg 2 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 shot ginger brandy FRUIT CRUMBLE 1/4 cup dried fruits (I used pineapple, mango and papaya bits) 1 tablespoon flour 1 tablespoon white sugar 4 ounces white chocolate chips (to melt for for dipping) Put fruit bits, flour and sugar in a mini-processor until finely ground. If mixture is sticky add a little more flour and sugar in equal amounts un…

Rush Hour Chicken

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Properly sautéed chicken breasts are deliciously simple. Do what you like with them when they're done: make a simple pan sauce: maybe add a few sun-dried tomatoes  and eat them as is, or slice them up to top a salad: or toss with pasta: or  fill tortillas (throw a few green peppers in the pan and a squeeze of lime). I like a side of risotto but buttered noodles are nice, too.  A few tips for great taste: thick chicken pieces take too long to cook and the middle will be bland. Use small breasts or cut each in half lengthwise to make thinner cutlets. Pounding with a meat tenderizer thins them out nicely as well; Use an all clad stainless pan instead of non-stick for better browning; Slice each cutlet crosswise before serving to allow the sauce to coat each tender morsel. SAUTEED CHICKEN CUTLETS
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts halves Dash of sea salt 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon butter 1/2 cup chicken broth and 1/2 cup dry white wine or cooking sherry 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsle…

Happy Healthy Holidays!

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Risotto is great comfort-food and an easier than you think way to wow family and friends. With a side salad and fresh fruit it makes a low calorie, high energy dinner. Fill a flute with sparkling water garnished with a few raspberries for an elegant holiday table.

Not to mention, risotto is a satisfying and filling main dish to feed your vegetarian dinner guests without meat-eaters feeling like something's missing. Just be sure to use vegetable broth rather than chicken broth.

MUSHROOM RISOTTO
3 cups fat-free chicken or vegetable broth
2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry sherry or dry white wine
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup fresh arugula, chopped

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Sauté garlic until softened and fragrant. Sprinkle dried herbs and pepper. Add sherry and simmer gently 2-3 minutes before adding rice. Stir quickly to …

Leftover Rice?

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Lots of meals call for rice as a side instead of potatoes. Braised lamb in stewed tomatoes is great with white rice. Plum chicken and pea pods is another better with rice dish. There's always leftover rice. 
Even Chinese take-out always come with too much white rice, but not quite enough to save for another day. Here's an easy and yummy solution for leftover rice. 
RUM RAISIN RICE CUSTARD 2 cups scalded milk 2 eggs, beaten 1/4 c. sugar  Dash salt 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/4 cup raisins or zante currants 1/4 cup rum or brandy 3/4 cup cooked white rice Heat rum and 1/2 cup water to just below boiling. Remove from heat and soak raisins for an hour while making custard. Whisk together eggs, sugar and salt in a medium size metal bowl. Bring milk to scalding in a very heavy medium pan. Pour scalded milk over egg mixture, stirring constantly. Pour mixture back into the heavy pan and cook over medium low heat until custard thickens, stirring constantly. It will take about 10-15 minutes until custard …