Monday, May 10, 2010

Chicken with honey-orange sauce

Chicken with honey-orange sauce
adapted from the recipe at delish.com

2 navel oranges
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and tenders removed
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup white wine (or apple juice)
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons honey
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Zest and juice 1 orange. Remove skin and white pith from other orange, then halve and slice. Reserve zest and juice separately from orange slices.

Combine flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off any excess. Transfer remaining flour to a small bowl, add broth, and whisk to combine.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Add wine to pan and cook 1 minute. Add flour-broth mixture, reserved orange zest and juice, raisins, honey, cinnamon stick, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, return chicken and any accumulated juices to pan and cook, turning chicken once or twice, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 165 degrees F and sauce has thickened, 10 to 12 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a serving platter. Discard cinnamon stick. Spoon sauce over chicken and garnish with reserved orange slices and almonds.

Serves 4

**MY NOTES: This is another one of those recipes that I find needs very little tweaking. The recipe calls for freshly ground pepper. I use the ground pepper in the can because that's what I have. The recipe also calls for toasting the slivered almonds. I don't bother. I don't like the taste of toasted almonds. I barely like the taste of almonds to begin with.

Easy Salisbury Steak

Easy Salisbury Steak
source: unknown (I probably pulled this from one of the cook books on my shelf and adapted it into what it is here. I do that a lot.)

1 1/4 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup flour
1 egg
1 (10 oz) can beef gravy
seasoned salt

In a large bowl, combine beef, flour and egg.  Add a little seasoned salt and pepper.  Mix well. Shape into 5 patties and place in a shallow 7x11-inch baking dish.  Bake uncovered at 350 for 20 minutes; drain off any fat.  Pour beef gravy over patties.  Bake another 20 minutes.  Serve with rice or noodles.

**My Notes: First of all, use whatever size pan you have on hand. After that comment... I highly suggest using LEAN ground beef. The leanest you can find. It's been my experience that if more fatty ground beef is used, the amount of beef used should be increased. If I absolutely do not have or cannot find lean ground beef for a price I'm willing to pay and use ground chuck, I use 2 pounds of meat as most of it is fat and gets cooked out and drained. As to the "seasoned salt", put whatever you want in it. What spices go into this depend on my mood when I'm cooking it. Oh, yeah, and the gravy: use what you have. If you *make* your own gravy or have something other than canned gravy, use it! Just make sure you're using approximately the same amount as the can would add.

Hamburger Noodle Casserole

Hamburger Noodle Casserole
adapted from the recipe at Taste of Home

1 bag whole wheat egg noodles
2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
1 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook beef and garlic until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomato sauce, sugar, salt and pepper; heat through. Drain noodles; stir into beef mixture.

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, ricotta cheese and sour cream until blended.

Spoon half of the noodle mixture into a 13-inch x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with cheese mixture and remaining noodle mixture.

Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Yield: 10 servings.

**MY NOTES: I changed this recipe very little. As a matter of preference, I use whole wheat egg noodles, add a little more meat and cheese, and drop the green onions completely. This recipe is so easy that Mister and Girl can cook it with almost no input from me. On nights I actually cook it, I might toss in a few herbs for flavoring (a little parsley, a smidge of basil, etc.) if I remember/feel like it.