Bored Cook In The Kitchen

Tried and true recipes, new twists on old favorites, and new dishes to expand my family's palate.

Tag Archives: food

Chicken Cordon Bleu – Inside Out & Easy

I learned early on in my marriage that one of my husband’s favorite dishes was Chicken Cordon Bleu.  I also learned early on that it’s a pain in the neck to make.  Getting everything rolled up inside the chicken just perfectly, making sure to bread it fully so that everything doesn’t seep out.  After awhile I just didn’t make it anymore.

A few years ago I came up with the idea of making it easier.  I had boneless chicken breasts, swiss cheese and ham in the fridge and asked myself why it had to be “inside” the chicken instead of on top of the chicken.  So I made it that way, it took minutes to do and tasted just as good, if not better.  In fact the chicken being cooked in a thin layer made it not only easier but kept the chicken more moist.

Give this a try on a night when you are pressed for time and want something delicious but easy!

CHICKEN CORDON BLEU – INSIDE OUT!

  • 4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of all fat and filet so that you end up with 8 pieces of chicken.
  • 8 Thin slices of deli ham. (I use Boar’s Head brand since I think it’s best)
  • 8 Slices Finlandia Swiss Cheese (or your favorite swiss cheese)
  • 1 Cup Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. Milk
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Olive Oil for browning

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Set up your station to dip and coat your chicken breasts.  Add two eggs to a shallow pie pan and the milk.  Beat together until well blended.

Trim chicken breast of all fat, then filet so you have 8 pieces of chicken.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Dip each chicken breast in the egg/milk mixture, than coat in the breadcrumbs.

In a large skillet heat a few tablespoons of olive oil.  Once hot, begin browning the coated chicken breasts.  Do this in batches of three or four at a time.  Once you have some nice browning happening, remove from the pan and place in a large casserole dish in a single layer.  I used a 13″ x 9″ baking dish.

Place in a hot oven, uncovered, and allow to bake for 15 minutes, or until you are sure the chicken is fully cooked.  If the breasts are no more than 1″ thick you should be able to achieve this in 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and place a piece of ham and top with a piece of swiss cheese.  Return to the oven uncovered and allow to bake until the cheese is melted.

Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

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Slow Cooker Chicken With Broccoli

I found this recipe in one of my cookbooks and realized as I was making it that it was no longer going to really resemble the original recipe at all.  I think the original recipe was a good foundation for this dish, but it needed more.  A lot more. 

All three of my children have always loved broccoli.  Over the past year my 8-year-old decided he hated it and his 4-year-old sister decided to agree.  My oldest still eats it.  My husband will not even look at broccoli let alone eat it, so I was hesitant to add it to this dish in fear that nobody would touch it.

I ended up being pleasantly surprised.  My husband didn’t come near it, which was no surprise, but my youngest son liked it and my daughter ate two helpings of it, asking for more broccoli than chicken.  Go figure.

The original recipe called for frozen broccoli, but I opted to use fresh instead and I think I made the right choice.

I would definitely make this again, but it needs some serious color.  The lack of color from the sauce, pasta and chicken, with only with the green of the broccoli doesn’t make it aesthetically pleasing to look at.  Tastes good, but it needs a little color.  The next time I make this I plan on adding a small jar of drained and chopped pimento.  I have a feeling that will fit in perfectly here!

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN WITH BROCCOLI

  • 4 Large Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Packet Good Seasons DRY Italian Dressing Mix
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Low Fat Sour Cream
  • 1 8 0z. Brick of Cream Cheese (I used Neuchâtel for a lower fat content)
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash Original Salt Free Blend
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Small Jar Chopped Pimento, drained. (I didn’t add this to this version I made but plan to in the next one) *optional
  • 2 Cups Fresh Broccoli Florets
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth (low sodium)
  • 1 Can Campbells Health Request Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 Pound Penne Pasta
  • 1 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter

Add the chicken, olive oil, italian dressing mix and the Mrs. Dash and set to high.

In a skillet set to medium, add the butter.  Once hot, add the onions and sauté until soft.  

Once the onions are soft, add the can of soup, sour cream, cream cheese, chicken broth, nutmeg, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper and stir well with a whisk.  Allow the mixture to come to a low simmer.  Once this is achieved, pour the sauce over the chicken in the slow cooker and stir well to combine.  Cover and allow to cook on high for one hour.

After one hour, turn the slow cooker to low and allow to continue cooking for another two hours.  At the end of the two hours, add in the broccoli florets and the drained pimento, if using.  Stir again to combine, cover and allow to cook on low for an additional hour.

Just before done, cook the pasta in a large pot of well salted water.  Once aldente, drain and add to a large bowl.  Pour the sauce over the pasta and mix well.  Serve immediately with some additional grated parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mini Meatball & Alphabet Soup

This is enjoyed by both kids and adults and you hear nothing but slurping when I serve it up.  In fact, I haven’t made this in a while and making it the other night brought comments from my four-year old daughter like, “Mom, this is the best dinner ever.”  Wouldn’t it be great if you got to hear that every night? 

The original recipe for this soup was inspired by the traditional Stracciatella soup.  Stracciatella in Italian means “torn rags”.  The soup got that name for the egg that is swirled through the soup and breaks up to look like torn rags.  If you don’t know it by now, I hate eggs. I cook and bake with them yes, but you won’t ever see me eat an egg in its natural state.  I cannot and will not and that’s just the way it is.  So I certainly have no intention of ever adding an egg to this recipe.  Okay, I did add it to the meatball mixture, but that’s different.

Also, in a typical Stracciatella soup you would add some shredded spinach, which to me would have been perfect.  However, my children have an aversion to anything green and it took awhile just to talk them around the parsley that was flecked in the meatballs.  Sometimes I will split up the batch of soup and add the spinach to half and leave it out of the other half.  And since spinach cooks up quick enough, you can always add it to your own dish before serving. 

Whichever version you choose, with our without spinach, this is a simple but delicious soup.  The recipe I’m providing below is a double batch since I always serve up one batch and then freeze the second batch for a later day.  You can cut the recipe in half if you want to just make it for a single family meal.  I serve this with some grilled cheese sandwiches and call it a night.

MINI MEATBALL & ALPHABET SOUP:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 quarts chicken broth (use low sodium or homemade if possible)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup dry tiny pasta such as alphabet, orzo, or other
  • few sprigs of fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Begin my filling a large stock pot with the chicken broth and water.  Turn heat to high and bring to a boil.

While waiting for the broth to boil, mix up the meat, parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, egg, onions, parsley, salt and pepper.  Roll the meatball mixture into tiny meatballs about 1/2″ in size. 

Once the broth is boiling, add the meatballs carefully to the broth along with the pasta.  Turn heat to low and allow the pasta and meatballs to fully cook.  The meatballs will float at first, but will eventually sink to the bottom.   Season with additional salt and pepper as needed.

Once done, serve up immediately with some extra parmesan cheese sprinkled on the top. 

Enjoy!

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Parmesan Couscous Salad

This was my lunch the other day and it was just what I was craving.  Simple, tasty, and something you can do with whatever you choose.  There are no measurements for this dish because it’s pretty much just a catch-all for whatever fresh produce you have on hand and want to throw in and mix up.  Simple!

PARMESAN COUSCOUS SALAD:

  • (1) 5.9 oz. Box Near East Parmesan Instant Couscous prepared according to package directions making sure to use the olive oil and not butter when preparing.
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon (or a whole lemon if you are a lemon lover like me)
  • 1/2 seeded, peeled and diced cucumber
  • 8 to 9 Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
  • Couple tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley
  • Handful or two of torn baby spinach leaves
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

After cooking the couscous according to the package directions, fluff with a fork and then refrigerate until cool.

Add couscous to a large bowl, add in all remaining ingredients and mix together.  Serve immediately.

You can switch this up with some lime juice and fresh cilantro. 

Add some vinegar in place of the lemon and top with some feta cheese. 

The possibilities are endless. 

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

I’ve seen these made all over the internet and had them in the back of my brain to try.  Then I attended a bake sale and these little beauties were right there staring me in the face.  I bought a couple and fell in love!  If you are a chocolate lover there is no way you can’t enjoy the overload of chocolate denseness in this treat. 

I asked for the recipe and the woman told me she got it from Betty Crocker.  I love you, Betty!

I’ll give you the link to the recipe here, where you can see pretty much everyone else that tried this loved it as well.  I did make some slight changes to the recipe which I will list here. 

  • I added extra semi-sweet chocolate chips.  About 1/2 cup to the brownie mix.
  • I didn’t add the frosting on top because I wanted to keep these more low-cal.  Yeah, are you believing that?  Didn’t think so.  There is nothing low-cal about these brownies, but they are perfectly delicious and perfectly easy to make!

Here is the link for these Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies from Betty Crocker’s website.  Check it out and try these!  They won’t last long in your house, especially if you have a husband and children.  Trust me.

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