Monday, July 20, 2015

Chicken Cordon Bleu en Croute

2 large 1/2 chicken breasts
2 thin slices of deli ham
3-4 thin slices of deli swiss
2 sheets Pillsbury Puff Pastry
1/4 c Soy
1/4 c Balsamic Vinegar
Olive oil (for coating top of pastry)
Dry Thyme (for topping)

preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1. Place chicken breasts in a 1 gallon plastic back with soy and balsamic vinegar. Massage a bit and place in a container in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
2. Defrost puff pastry per instructions.
3. When chicken has marinated, remove the chicken and place each in a separate empty 1 gallon plastic bag. Make sure to remove the air and center the chicken inside the bag.
4. Now using a pan or mallet, place the chicken in the bag on a cutting board and pound the meat to about 1/4" thick. Be careful to get an even thickness. Repeat for both chicken breasts.
5. Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Coat with olive oil or cooking spray. Remove each pounded chicken breast from it's bag and one at a time, brown both sides for 5-7 minutes. Remove and allow to cool on a plate.
6. Place one sheet of the puff pastry on a a floured surface. Roll out to even thickness and to flatten the folds. Add a layer of swiss cheese to a 6" square in the center. Cover swiss cheese with a slice of ham. Now add one of the chicken breasts broken into pieces to cover the cheese and ham. Now take each corner of the pastry and fold it to the center, overlapping each time to form a closed square package. Place seam side down into a well greased glass 9x13 pan. Repeat for the second package.
7. With a pastry brush coat the top and sides of each package with olive oil. Sprinkle with dry Thyme.
8. Bake in 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until pastry is puffed and browned.
9. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Remove each package from the pan, and cut in 1/2 (each serving is 1/2 of a package.)  Serve immediately.

Twice baked potatoes with crimini and bleu cheese

4 large white baking potatoes
8 oz crimini mushrooms
2 T butter
4 oz crumbled bleu cheese
1/2 c unflavored yogurt
1/4 c Parmesan cheese

Parmesan cheese (for topping)
Dried Thyme (for topping)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Wash potatoes, puncture with a fork and bake in the oven for 1 hour
3. Wash mushrooms, remove stems, slice into 1/4 slices then cut again to make smaller pieces
4. Heat a saute pan on medium heat and add 2 T butter
5. Add mushrooms to saute pan. Salt to taste.
6. Saute for 10 minutes or so until liquid is sweated out and mushrooms are softened. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
7. In a large bowl mix yogurt, 1/4 c Parmesan cheese and bleu cheese. Then when cooled, fold in the sauted mushrooms.
8. When finished, remove the potatoes from the oven and allow to cool 10-15 minutes (until you can handle them).
9. Cut each potato in half, length-wise.
10. Using a large spoon, carefully remove the inside of the potato into the bowl containing yogurt, cheese and mushrooms. Do not break the skin and set each emptied skin aside for refilling.
11. Once all of the potato is in the bowl, fold the mixture together breaking up any large chunks of potato.
12. Using a large spoon, divide the potato mixture into each of the eight 1/2 baked potato skins, smoothing the top.
13. Place refilled skins on a lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese and thyme.
14. Bake in the 400  degree oven for 20-30 minutes. Remove and serve.

Green Beans with Black Bean sauce

1/4 c low-sodium Soy Sauce
2 T Black Bean Garlic paste (Lee Kum Kee)
1 qt fresh green beans
1 T butter

1. Wash and cleanup green beans
2. Whisk Soy Sauce and Black Bean paste in a mixing bowl
3. Heat saute pan over medium high heat
4. Melt butter then add green beans
5. Saute until they begin to brown and wilt - 10 minutes or so
6. Deglaze with Soy/Black Bean paste mixture
7. Make sure all beans are well coated with sauce.
8. Remove from heat and serve