Monday, November 16, 2009
Tonight's dinner left me, my hubby and sister in a very happy and satisfied state. Now all I want to do is hop into my clean, warm and cozy sheets and sleep. Forget that I am still supposed to workout and cycle tonight, get up and nurse my baby twice and then wake up at 6am with my 3 year old. Sometimes a great meal helps me relax and blow off the rest of my to do list for the night. Cheers to good food and it's ability to make me feel satisfied about my day even when I shouldn't be.
PS- The butternut squash and curry pair so well together. If you make this, be sure to garnish with cilantro and cashews, it really completes the meal. Good luck making this at your dinner party tomorrow Derek! If you prepare the squash ahead of time, this is a 20 minute meal.
Serves 4 to 6
1 2 to 2 1/2 pound butternut squash
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon curry
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1 14 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
1 14 oz can/box chicken broth
2 cups, cut up/cubed cooked chicken breast (I used the breast of a rotisserie chicken I bought at the market)
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Hot White Jasmine Rice, prepared as instructed or to your preference. At least 2 cups. The rice should be plain to balance out the curry. I make mine with a little bit of butter and a pinch of sea salt.
Cashews (I used/ like raw the best)
Fresh chopped cilantro
For the squash (you can do this up to a day ahead, which will allow you to make this in about 20 minutes)
Preheat oven to 350
Spray a rectangular baking dish with cooking spray.
Cut squash lengthwise and remove seeds and pulp.
Place squash flesh side down onto the baking dish.
Bake for 30 minutes.
While squash is baking, make the Jasmine rice (which should take 12 to 14 minutes for 2 cups prepared) and mix together 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1 teaspoon curry powder in a small bowl .
Remove squash from oven and flip the squash right side up.
Sprinkle the quash with brown sugar and curry mixture and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until quash is soft and the flesh can be scooped out.
Scoop squash out into a bowl and mash well with potato masher, set aside until needed.
For the soup, saute onion in olive oil over medium high heat until the onion is translucent and soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and cook for another minute.
Add squash, coconut milk, chicken broth, chicken, curry, salt and pepper. Cook soup until heated through.
On the bottom of a soup bowl, hot rice (or more if you like, I prefer less rice, my hubby prefers more) and ladle curry bisque over the rice.
Garnish with plenty of chopped cashews and cilantro (which can be prepared while the soup is heating through/simmering or while the squash bakes if you are making the meal all at once).
Unfortunately, I cannot take full credit for this recipe, it was adapted from a recipe in the Cookbook Better Homes and Gardens Annual Recipes 2003. Which, is a great cook book by the way.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
I made these twice last week and I still can't stop thinking about them! This was inspired by an old recipe clipping from Cooking Light that I found. The combination of flavors is fantastic. The slight tang of the dijion and the sweetness from the apple and apricot pairs well with the chicken and buttery Muenster Cheese (I love Muenster). This is an easy 20 to 30 minute meal tops, great for a quick weeknight meal. This would also be fun for an easy luncheon with your girlfriends (or guys) paired with a yummy salad.
The following recipe is for two, if you want to have 2 halves (I think it would be sad to only have 1 half). Be sure to double it for 4 people.
4 Tablespoons apricot preserves
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 large good quality white rolls (such as kaiser)
1 large apple, peeled, thinly sliced (Fuji or Gala is a good choice)
1/2 white onion, diced small
1 cup prewashed bagged spinach (if you use fresh make sure you ring it out in a towel after washing, you want the spinach really dry)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied- to make 4 pieces
4 slices Muenster cheese
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Salt and Pepper
1. Preheat Broiler
2. Make the spread- Combine apricot preserves and mustard in a bowl, stir with whisk, set aside.
3. Prepare the chicken
Heat large skillet over medium heat with a couple swirls of EVOO (about 2 to 3 tablespoons)
Salt and pepper the chicken and add to heated pan.
Cook for 3 to 5 minutes on the first side, flip chicken and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. *This is a great and quick way to make moist, flavorful chicken breast, make sure that your pan is hot, that way the chicken cooks quickly.
Set chicken aside, wait 5 minutes and slice the chicken into strips.
4. In the same pan that you made the chicken, reheat and add 2 more tablespoons of EVOO. Add apple and onion and cook for 3 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally, scraping the chicken drippings into the mixture. Add chopped spinach, cook for 1 minute, until the spinach begins to wilt.
To assemble, layer each of the 4 bread slices in the following order-
Evenly spread 1/4 of the apricot spread onto each slice of bread.
1/4 of the apple mixture
1/4 of the chicken strips
1 slice of cheese
Place sandwiches on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray and broil for about 1 1/2 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.
Remove from heat, serve immediately.
This is pretty simple but I have step by step pictures if anyone wants to make this and they feel like the pics would help. Email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org and I am happy to send them your way.