Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hoisin Chicken with Peanuts

Hoisin Chicken with Peanuts
Servings: 4
Weight Watchers Points: 8 per serving

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
3 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 c. chicken broth
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. chili-garlic sauce
1 Tbsp. Canola oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 c. unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
2 c. cooked brown rice, kept warm.

Combine the chicken, 1 Tbsp. hoisin sauce and 1 Tbsp. cornstarch in a medium bowl; toss well to coat and set aside. Combine the remaining 2 Tbsp. hoisin, 1 Tbsp. cornstarch, broth, vinegar, sugar, ginger and chili-garlic sauce in a small bowl; set aside.

Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Swirl in the oil, then add the chicken. Stir-fry until almost cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 15 seconds. Add the bell pepper, carrots and peanuts, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the hoisin sauce mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens and the chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes.

Serve over rice.

NOTES: I'm such a sucker for Asian food. This dish is absolutely fantastic and I I'm making it again soon. The sweetness of the veggies and hoisin, the savory of the garlic and chicken and then the addition of peanuts give this dish a good balance of flavors and textures.

Gremolata-Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Tomato Relish

Gremolata-Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Tomato Relish
Servings: 4
Weight Watchers Points: 4 per serving

4 large plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 c. packed flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp lemon zest
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

To prepare the relish, combine the tomatoes, oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl; cover and let stand at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine the parsley, garlic, lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl.

Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of waxed paper. Pound the chicken to a 1/4-inch thickness, using a meat mallet. Remove and discard the top sheet of waxed paper; spread the chicken with the parsley mixture. Start with the narrower ends and roll each chicken breast around the filling; remove and discard the remaining waxed paper.

Place the chicken, seam-side down, on the baking sheet. Bake until the chicken is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Slice each breast on the diagonal into four pieces. Serve with the relish.

NOTES: Great technique! While this is really good as-is, I think putting some cheese in the chicken before rolling it - maybe some feta or goat cheese - would really make this pop. Alternatively, coating the rolled chicken pieces in panko before baking would be good, too. So many possibilities!

Wild Rice and Mushroom Stuffing

Wild Rice and Mushroom Stuffing
Servings: 4
Weight Watchers Points: 4 per serving

1 c. chicken broth
1 c. water
2/3 c. wild rice, rinsed
4 tsp. butter
2 c. shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 celery stalk, diced
6 shallots, finely chopped
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. dry red wine
1 c. fresh spinach, chopped

In a small saucepan, combine the chicken stock and water; bring to a boil. Add the rice and stir. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until tender, about 45 - 50 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees; spray a 2-quart casserole with cooking spray. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Sauté the mushrooms, bell pepper, celery, shallots, thyme, salt and pepper until the vegetables are softened, about 5 to 7 minutes; stir in the wine. Reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid evaporates, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the spinach and rice; transfer to the casserole, and bake until heated through, about 30 to 40 minutes.

NOTES: We haven't tried this recipe yet.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lemon Spaghetti

Lemon Spaghetti
Servings: 4
Weight Watchers Points: 4 per serving

6 ounces uncooked spaghetti
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. capers
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Cook pasta according to package directions.

While pasta cooks, combine thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, capers, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Drain pasta, reserving 2 Tbsp. cooking liquid. Add pasta, reserved cooking liquid and 1 Tbsp. cheese to the lemon mixture in the large bowl; toss well. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Serve immediately.

NOTES: Excellent side dish! We served this with Italian Baked Salmon (the recipe is also in this cookbook) and the pairing was perfect. Very flavorful, not to heavy and reheated well the next day.

Winter Vegetable Curry

Winter Vegetable Curry
Servings: 4
Weight Watchers Points: 9 per serving

1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
1 small cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
1 Tbsp. Canola oil
1 c. chopped onion
1 Braeburn apple, peeled and grated
1/2 c. golden raisins
2 Tbsp. curry powder
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 c. chopped tomatoes
1 c. chicken broth
3 c. sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 c. fresh spinach, chopped
Salt, to taste
2 c. jasmine rice, kept warm.

Sauté ginger, garlic, jalapeño, cinnamon and cloves in oil in a large pan over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add onion, apple, raisins, curry, bay leaf and pepper flakes. Cook until onions soften, about 3 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes and broth, and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, cover and cook until potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in spinach and season with salt.

Serve over rice.

NOTES: We haven't tried this recipe yet.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Parmesan Polenta

Parmesan Polenta
Servings: 2
Weight Watchers Points: 5 per serving

1 c. skim milk
1 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. yellow cornmeal
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. olive oil
Salt, to taste

Bring milk and broth to a boil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Slowly stir in cornmeal, reduce heat to low, and simmer until thick, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese and olive oil. Season with salt.

NOTES: Wonderful. This is so decadent, you won't believe it's not terrible for you. We dressed it up a bit by adding in some sun-dried tomato puree, but it was fantastic on its own when I tasted it before the puree went in.

Chicken Cacciatore with Red Pepper Tomato Sauce

Chicken Cacciatore with Red Pepper Tomato Sauce
Servings: 2
Weight Watchers Points: 8 per serving

1 oz. prosciutto
1 Tbsp. + 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 c. button mushrooms, quartered
1 c. onion, sliced
1/2 c. red bell pepper, sliced
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 c. dry white wine
1 can (14.5 ounce) whole tomatoes
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped

Fry prosciutto in 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat until crisp, about 2 minutes. Add chicken and sear 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken and prosciutto to a plate.

Saute mushrooms, onion and bell pepper in 2 Tbsp. olive oil in same pan over medium high heat until onion softens, 3 - 4 minutes. Stir in garlic, oregano and pepper flakes; cook 30 seconds.

Deglaze with wine, scraping bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer until the wine is nearly evaporated. Add tomatoes, crushing slightly, and bring to a boil. Return chicken and prosciutto to the pan, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 10 minutes. Stir in parsley. Serve over Parmesan Polenta.

NOTES: Some dishes are "company dishes" and this is one of them. Assemble and let it simmer on the stove until ready to eat. We serve this over polenta and it's to die for.

Salmon Patties with Creamed Pea Sauce

Salmon Patties with Creamed Pea Sauce
Servings: 4
Weight Watchers Points: 5 per serving

For the patties:
1 can (14.5 ounces) salmon, drained with liquid reserved
1 c. mashed potato flakes
1/2 c. egg substitute
1 onion, diced
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

For the sauce:
2 Tbsp. margerine
2 Tbsp. flour
1/4 c. reserved salmon liquid
3/4 c. skim milk
1 small can (8.5 ounces) peas
1/2 tsp. dried dill

To make the patties, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line eight muffin cups with cupcake liners. Combine all patty ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Press into muffin liners and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until browned.

For the sauce, melt margarine over medium heat in a small saucepan. Whisk in flour, being careful of lumps. Slowly add milk and salmon liquid. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in peas and dill.

Serve pea sauce over salmon patties.

NOTES: This is one of my childhood staple recipes. It's been lightened up a bit by using skim milk, margarine and egg substitute. Depression-era food that's not at all depressing. One of my favorites and easy to make with pantry staples.