The culinary ramblings of a picky eater.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Italian Chicken and Pastry Stacks

I bought some puff pastry dough not too long ago for something, but I didn't use it all. So as I was making up my meal plan, going through what I had in my kitchen, I came across the leftover dough. I decided to figure out something to make for dinner with it, and this is what I came up with. My husband has already asked that I make it again. I guess that means it was good. Haha.

This does take a little time, but not because it's complicated. I used cooked and shredded chicken, so that took a little time before assembling the end product. Frozen pastry dough also takes about an hour to thaw, but you can also put it in the fridge in the morning and it'll be pretty much ready to go at dinner time. If you do the chicken in advance and put the dough in the fridge in the morning, this would only take about 10 minutes to assemble and 15-20 to cook in the evening. Super simple and easy. One pastry sheet made 3 stacks, so adjust accordingly.

Hope you enjoy!

-1 frozen puff pastry sheet
-2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
-approximately 1 cup seasoned tomato sauce (jarred pasta sauce works)
-6 sandwich-sized slices mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix together the shredded chicken and the tomato sauce.

Lay the pastry sheet out flat. Cut into thirds, then cut each third in half, creating six equally sized rectangles of pastry dough.

Lay three of the pieces out on a baking sheet.
Place one slice of the mozzarella on each piece of dough.
Scoop equal portions of the coated chicken on each piece of cheese covered dough.
Top the chicken with another slice of the mozzarella.
Finally, place each of the other three pieces of dough on top of a stack.

Bake the stacks for 15-20 minutes, until the pastry is flaky and golden, and the chicken and cheese bubbly.
Serve immediately and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bacon and Green Pea Pasta

You all know my affinity for pasta. This is just another way to indulge my pasta favoritism. Peas and bacon go really well together. In fact, I have a feeling this is going to be a regular in the pasta rotation at my house. This was really quite yummy. And it has veggies in it, which makes it better, right? :)

This is a simple cream sauce, and I just added some pre-cooked bacon pieces and some frozen peas. So simple, so easy, so yummy. Try it out. You won't regret it.

-1/2 box pasta (I used spaghetti, and this was for two people, and we had just a smidge left over. adjust accordingly)
-3 tablespoons butter
-2 tablespoons flour
-1/2 cup heavy cream
-1 cup milk
-1 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (optional, but oh so tasty)
-2 tablespoons pre-cooked bacon pieces (more if desired)
-1/4 to 1/2 cup frozen peas (no need to thaw)

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter over medium/medium low heat (a 4 on a 10 point burner) in a medium skillet. When the butter is melted, whisk in the flour to make a roux. Cook for a couple minutes, stirring frequently. Add in the cream and whisk to incorporate. Cook for a minute until the sauce begins to thicken. Add the milk and whisk to combine. Continue stirring frequently while the sauce cooks and starts to thicken. Add the garlic powder and cheese and continue stirring until well incorporated.
If the sauce gets too thick, just add a tablespoon or so at a time of milk to thin it out to the right consistency.

Add the bacon pieces and frozen peas.
Stir in to the sauce. Let the peas get warmed up by the sauce for a few minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the drained pasta
and toss to coat with the sauce.
Serve immediately and enjoy! So yummy!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Chicken Cordon Bleu Rollups

This meal was a result of boredom and ingenuity. I was bored with everything I had been cooking, and this was all pretty much stuff I already had in my pantry and fridge.

I used thin-cut chicken breasts, purchased that way from the store. They're thinner and cook more quickly, and in the case of this meal, are easier to wrap around things. If you only have regular chicken breasts available, just butterfly them all the way through to make thinner pieces. Basically, one chicken breast would become two thinner ones.

This was actually very tasty. My hubby enjoyed it, and so did I. I served this with fresh green beans and some rolls. Yum! This was easy and delicious, and didn't take very long. Great weeknight meal!

-thin-sliced chicken breasts, enough to feed everyone.
-ham lunch meat (any kind will do, really)
-swiss cheese, sliced thin for sandwiches
-toothpicks, for securing the rolls

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Lay the chicken out flat.
Place a slice of the swiss cheese in the center of the breast.
Next, layer on a couple slices of the ham,
followed by another slice of the cheese.

Carefully roll the chicken around the cheese and ham, securing with a toothpick.
Place on a greased or non-stick baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray to keep the chicken from drying out while baking.

Bake until chicken is cooked through and cheese is melted, approximately 15-20 minutes.
Serve immediately and enjoy! Yum!

Monday, April 9, 2012

London Broil

This is a pretty simple, easy meal to make. The cut of meat isn't very expensive, and it feeds a decent number of people. The marinade I used was just a bunch of stuff I threw together and already had on hand. It was great.

I served this with roasted garlic asparagus and roasted herb potatoes. And rolls. Yum. I hope you enjoy!

-1 London broil (the market usually labels it as such. If you can't find it, flank steak works too)
For marinade:
-4 tablespoons veggie oil
-1 tablespoon garlic powder
-1 teaspoon onion powder
-1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
-1 tablespoon ketchup

In a small bowl, whisk together all the marinade ingredients.

Lightly core the meat in a large cross-hatch pattern (think tic-tac-toe board) on both sides. Place the London broil in a large plastic zip-top bag, or a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over it and massage into the meat. Place in the fridge to marinate, at least 30 minutes. Overnight would be ok too.

After it's been marinating or a while, place the meat in a slow cooker, with the excess marinade. Cover and cook on low until cooked through, about 4 hours. (I think my slow cooker cooks hot and quickly, so adjust this based on your machine's quirks)

Remove from the slow cooker and slice to serve. I made a brown gravy to supplement. Yum!