Thursday, April 07, 2016

Three Time Tested Recipes for Dinner - Or Lunch


I've been blogging so long that there are a huge number of recipes posted...over a thousand. Even so, there are three or four that keep being requested, shared, recommended and so on. The recipes are below the four descriptions, so keep scrolling!

Most recent: Mediterranean Couscous Chicken Salad - Served this at lunch yesterday. It was perfect for a warm day since it can sit for a little while and be served at room temperature, plus it has the zing of lemon, the great marriage of tomatoes and basil and the bonus of tangy feta cheese, all held together with couscous which cooks in 5 minutes. If you have cut up chicken or turkey in your fridge or freezer, it all comes together in less than 20 minutes, including clean up. Hard to beat that on a busy evening. It can also be made the day ahead and is just as good.

For a Crowd: Lemon Garlic Chicken for a Crowd serves 15 - 30 depending on the serving size (one or two pieces of chicken) and it can be cut by 1/3 to serve 4-6 people, too. Another dish that is great during citrus season (NOW!), it is another one that can be made or partially made the day ahead. As a matter of fact, it is better to let it marinate all day or all night. Lemon joins mustard and olive oil, garlic and rosemary to make a sublime dish. If you are feeling fancy there is also a bread crumb topping to make it party-worthy. This one isn't a last-minute deal like the Couscous Chicken, but it is worth the planning.

From the Moosewood Cookbook: Spinach Rice Casserole - This is a great vegetarian main dish or sturdy, tasty side dish. You can use brown rice or white rice, although it is healthier with brown rice and has better flavor. There are eggs and milk and cheddar cheese and sunflower seeds, plus you can use either fresh spinach or thawed, squeezed, frozen spinach. It all bakes up in a flavorful casserole that appeals to children and adults alike (although you may want to pass the hot sauce for the adults and adventerous kids).

My Most Used - Creamy Coleslaw Dressing - If you love coleslaw as much as Sweetie does and as much as I do with barbeque, then you will find this a go-to recipe, too. I use low fat mayo and some yogurt along with the mustard, sugar, and apple cider vinegar, plus I thin it if necessary with soy milk. Try it with broccoli slaw, dried cranberries and toasted walnuts for a different take.


1 Mediterranean Couscous Salad
Serves 6-8

1 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 (5.6 oz.) package roasted garlic couscous mix
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 (4 oz.) package crumbled feta cheese
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Garnish: fresh basil leaves

Note: You'll need to buy a 2/3 oz. package of fresh basil to get the right amount of basil for this recipe. Substitute 3-4 teaspoons (I used 3) dried basil if you can't get fresh.

Microwave broth and seasoning packet from couscous package at HIGH for 3-5 minutes or until broth begins to boil. Place couscous in a large bowl, and stir in broth mixture. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.
Uncover couscous and fluff couscous with a fork. Stir in basil and next 5 ingredients. Serve warm or cold. Garnish with fresh basil leaves or a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts, if desired.

G's Lemon Chicken for a Crowd
Serves about 25-30

30 boneless skinless chicken pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil for coating pans
1-2 heads garlic
6 lemons
1 16 oz. jar Dijon mustard
10-12 branches fresh rosemary, each about 5 inches long, divided
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (use the real thing for best flavor)
1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Arrange the boneless skinless chicken thighs (or substitute some boneless skinless chicken breasts if you wish) in three 11 x 13 baking pans where the bottom of the pan have been lightly oiled with the olive oil, evenly divided. Keep the chicken pieces touching each other. Place whole, unpeeled garlic cloves between some of the pieces, about 5-6 cloves of garlic per pan.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, the juice of 6 lemons, and 3-4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary. Whisk in 1/3 cup olive oil. Pour 1/3 of the mixture over each pan of chicken. Tuck a few sprigs of remaining fresh rosemary between some of the chicken pieces in each pan. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill 3-4 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover the chicken and place the pans in the oven, spacing evenly about the interior if possible. Bake for 40 minutes or until the juice runs clear when a piece of chicken is pierced.

If desired, about 10 minutes before the chicken is done, mix together the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and parsley; sprinkle this mixture evenly over the chicken, using about 1/3 for each pan. Return to oven to bake last 10 minutes.

Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, or boiled potatoes, with bread to sop up the sauce. The sauce is mighty good. The chicken is amazing.

You can divide this recipe by 1/3 to make chicken for a family :) Leftovers are delicious, too. You can also freeze this, well wrapped, for a month. Thaw in the refrigerator, then bake in a 350 degree oven until heated through, or in the microwave, reheating at no more than 50% power.

for a smaller group:
Sunny Citrus Chicken
Serves about 4-6

10 boneless skinless chicken pieces
1 tablespoons olive oil for coating pans
6-8 cloves fresh garlic
2 lemons
¼ cup Dijon mustard
4 branches fresh rosemary, each about 5 inches long, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh orange peel or lemon zest.

Arrange the boneless skinless chicken thighs (or substitute some boneless skinless chicken breasts if you wish) in a 11 x 13 baking pans where the bottom of the pan have been lightly oiled with the olive oil, evenly divided. Keep the chicken pieces touching each other. Place whole, unpeeled garlic cloves between some of the pieces, about 6-8.


In a mixing bowl, whisk together Dijon mustard, the juice of 2 lemons, & 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary. Whisk in the olive oil. Pour the mixture over the pan of chicken. Tuck a few sprigs of remaining fresh rosemary between some of the chicken pieces in the pan. Sprinkle the orange peel or lemon zest evenly over the pan of chicken. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill 3-4 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover the chicken and place the pan in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes or until the juice runs clear when a piece of chicken is pierced. Be sure to serve the sauce as well as the chicken.

Spinach-Rice Casserole
from Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen, 1977

4 cups cooked brown rice (or cooked white rice if you prefer) 
2 lbs. raw, chopped spinach (or one 10-oz pk frozen chopped spinach, thawed and extra liquid squeezed out)
2 cloves minced garlic
3 tablespoons butter (I used 2 tablespoons olive oil)
4 beaten eggs (I used the equivalent amount of egg substitute)
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons tamari (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt (More, to taste)
a few dashes each - nutmeg, cayenne
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
paprika

Saute' onions and garlic with the salt in butter (or oil). When onions are soft, add spinach. Cook 2 minutes. (Alternately, thaw and drain a 10 oz box frozen chopped spinach. Add to onion mixture, but don't cook any further.)

Combine the onion mixture with the brown rice, eggs, milk, 1 cup cheese, parsley, tamari, nutmeg, cayenne, sunflower seeds, paprika. Spread into buttered casserole and sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese on top.

Bake, covered, 25 minutes at 350 degrees F. Uncover and bake 10 more minutes.

Serves 4 - 6

Creamy Coleslaw Dressing
from The Good Home Cookbook, edited by Richard J. Perry

3/4 cup mayonnaise (or 1/2 cup mayonnaise and 1/4 cup sour cream or yogurt)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dry mustard (I used 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch celery salt

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. (If the dressing is too stiff, thin with a little milk if desired.)

Pour over a small head of shredded cabbage mixed with some grated carrots and, if desired, minced celery and sweet onion. Stir to coat the vegetables with the dressing. Serve salad chilled.
Serves 6-8

1 comment :

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