Saturday, September 16, 2017

Apple Cider Fritters

Total Time 40 Minutes       Makes  4 dozen (serving size: 3 fritters)
These tender, sweet fritters deliver full-on fall flavor, and couldn’t be easier to make. Just be sure you’re starting with clean, fresh oil for frying so that the fritters don’t pick up any stale flavors, and use a candy thermometer to closely monitor your oil temperature. Going lower than 360 degrees will leave you with greasy fritters, but go over 370 degrees, and you run the risk of over-browning or burning. Finish the fritters off with a sweet creamy glaze and serve with coffee for a delightful autumn treat. 

FRITTERS :
2        cups (about 8 1/2 oz.) all-purpose flour 
2/3     cup granulated sugar
 2       teaspoons baking powder
 1       teaspoon table salt 
1        teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1        teaspoon apple pie spice 
3/4     cup apple cider (such as Zeigler’s)
 2      large eggs, lightly beaten
 3      tablespoons (1-1/2 oz.) salted butter, melted and cooled
 1      teaspoon vanilla extract 
2      cups diced peeled apples (such as Granny Smith or Fuji) (about 3 apples)

GLAZE :
3        cups (about 12 oz.) powdered sugar 
1/2     cup apple cider (such as Zeigler’s)
 1/2    teaspoon table salt
 1/2   teaspoon vanilla extract

1.  Prepare the Fritters: Whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and apple pie spice in a large bowl. Stir together apple cider, eggs, butter, and vanilla in a small bowl. Add apple cider mixture to flour mixture, and stir just until combined. Gently fold in diced apples.

 2 .  Prepare the Glaze: Whisk together all Glaze ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth.

3 .    Pour oil into a Dutch oven to a depth of 3 inches. Heat over medium to 360°F to 370°F. Working in batches, drop tablespoonfuls of batter into hot oil. Fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer Fritters to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.


4 .  Dip Fritters in Glaze, and place on a wire rack on a baking sheet to catch drips. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Heart healthy

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Heavenly Southern Chicken Lasagna

Makes 8  servings

1         tablespoon butter or margarine 
1/2      large onion 
1          (10 1/2-ounce) can reduced-fat cream of chicken soup, undiluted
 1        (10-ounce) container refrigerated reduced-fat Alfredo sauce
 1        (7-ounce) jar diced  
 1        (6-ounce) jar sliced mushrooms, drained  
1/3     cup dry white wine
 1/2    teaspoon dried basil
 1        (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed 
1         cup cottage cheese 
1         cup ricotta cheese 
1/2     cup grated Parmesan cheese 
1         large egg, lightly beaten
 9        lasagna noodles, cooked
 2-1/2       cups chopped cooked chicken
 3         cups (12 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided

 1.  Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in soup and next 5 ingredients. Reserve 1 cup sauce.

 2 .  Drain spinach well, pressing between layers of paper towels.

 3 .  Stir together spinach, cottage cheese, and next 3 ingredients.

4 .  Place 3 lasagna noodles in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Layer with half each of sauce, spinach mixture, and chicken. Sprinkle with 1 cup Cheddar cheese. Repeat procedure. Top with remaining 3 noodles and reserved 1 cup sauce. Cover and chill up to 1 day ahead.

5 .  Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup Cheddar cheese, and bake 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

TIP :You can use   Cantadina Light Alfredo Sauce, found in the dairy section of the supermarket.

Heart  healthy

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Baked Chicken & Peaches

Talk about a chicken recipe that's downright peachy. When combined with peach preserves, this recipe will be the sweetest part of your day. Say goodbye to bland dishes that are the pits. 

16         ounce can beans baked with brown sugar
2            tablespoons  ketchup
1/2        cup peach preserves
2            tablespoons chopped onion
1/4        tsp. soy sauce
4            chicken thighs or breasts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine beans, ketchup, preserves, onion and soy sauce in a 10 x 6-inch baking dish. To coat chicken pieces evenly with sauce, nestle chicken in bean mixture, skin side down, then turn pieces skin side up; cover and bake 1 hour. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes, basting chicken with sauce occasionally.
TIP:
Ready in 1 ¾ hour
Heart healthy

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Chicken alla Diavola Italian Style

Total Time   3 Hours             Serves : 4

1/2          cup white wine vinegar 
1               tablespoons dried oregano
 1/2           cup extra-virgin olive oil 
2                3- to 3 1/4-pound chickens 
2                teaspoons dried sage 
1                 teaspoon kosher salt 
1                 teaspoon piment d' Espelette or Aleppo pepper, or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
 1               teaspoon dried rosemary
 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 .  In a small jar, combine the white wine vinegar with the dried oregano. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 2 days. Strain the oregano-infused vinegar into a small bowl and stir in the olive oil.

 2    .  Using kitchen shears, remove the wing tips and the backbones from the chickens. Set the chickens on a large rimmed baking sheet, skin side up, and press down firmly on the breastbones to flatten them so that the legs face the breasts. Score each breast, drumstick, thigh and wing halfway to the bone in two places per part. Drizzle all but 2 tablespoons of the vinegar-oil mixture over both sides of the chickens and rub the mixture into the meat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

3   .  In a small bowl, combine the dried sage with the kosher salt, piment d' Espelette, dried rosemary and ground black pepper. Rub the seasoning all over the chickens. Let the seasoned chickens stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

 4    .  Preheat the oven to 425°. Roast the chickens in the upper third of the oven, skin side up, basting both chickens with the remaining vinegar-oil mixture half way through, until the chicken is just cooked, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°, about 45 minutes.

5    .  Preheat the broiler. Pour the pan juices into a small saucepan. Broil the chickens about 4 inches from the heat, rotating the pan, until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Carve the chickens. Reheat the pan juices and serve with the chicken.
TIP :
Make Ahead
The oregano vinegar can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
Suggested Pairing
This variation on pollo alla diavola is less fiery than the classic version, and definitely more exotic. Yet at its heart it's still a luscious roast chicken, making it an ideal match for a medium-bodied red wine—especially one with a touch of exoticism itself. Look for a blend of Sagrantino, Montepulciano and Sangiovese.
Heart Healthy

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sweet Pepper Pasta with Sausage

                          Time : 50 Minutes          Serves 6
1          pound uncooked orecchiette pasta
1        pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed 
3        tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1       pound multicolored sweet baby bell peppers, thinly sliced crosswise
 2        tablespoons red wine vinegar
 1-1/2     teaspoons kosher salt 
1         garlic clove, minced
1/3         cup coarsely chopped fresh oregano
1-1/4     ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, finely shredded (about
1/2 cup)
1/4         cup torn fresh basil

1 .  Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups cooking water.

 2 .  While pasta cooks, cook sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high, stirring to break into bite-size pieces, until cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Discard drippings.

3 .  Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to skillet, stirring and scraping to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet. Add peppers, and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Stir in vinegar, salt, and garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in pasta, sausage, and remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Stir in cooking water, 1/4 cup at a time, until sauce is smooth and coats pasta. Discard any remaining cooking water. Stir in oregano.

 4 .  Top servings evenly with cheese and basil.

Heart healthy

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Turkey and Andouille Sausage Gumbo

Total Time   55 Minutes       Serves 8 (serving size: about 1 cup gumbo and 1/2 cup rice)
This gumbo is a great use for leftover roasted turkey, though cooked chicken will also work. We skip the long-stirred roux here in favor of filé powder, a thickener made from the sassafras plant; look for it on the spice aisle. For the best results, stir in the filé powder off the heat.

2       center-cut bacon slices,
 chopped 3/4 cup chopped onion 
1/2      cup chopped green bell pepper 
1/2      cup chopped celery
 2       large garlic cloves, minced 
4       cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
 1/2       cup chopped yellow bell pepper
 3/4       teaspoon kosher salt 
6       ounces andouille sausage links, thinly sliced
 1      (14.5-ounce) can unsalted diced tomatoes, undrained
 1      (10-ounce) package sliced frozen okra
 1/4     cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
 2       teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
 9       ounces cooked skinless,
 boneless turkey breast, shredded (1-1/2 cups)
 2       teaspoons filé powder
 4       cups hot cooked rice

1 .  Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat 4 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon.

 2 .  Add onion, green bell pepper, celery, and garlic to drippings in pan; sauté 5 minutes. Add stock, yellow bell pepper, salt, sausage, tomatoes, and okra to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in parsley, thyme, and turkey; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove pan from heat; stir in filé powder. Divide rice among 8 bowls; top evenly with gumbo. Sprinkle evenly with reserved bacon.

Heart healthy

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Carrot Cake

Make  this classic favorite for a crowd and you might not have any leftovers to bring home. For more flavor, try toasting the nuts and coconut before adding them to the batter. It's important to cool the cakes completely before frosting, otherwise the frosting will just melt right off. To expediate the cooling process, you can put the cakes on their wire racks in the freezer (don't worry, it's not cheating), checking until they're thoroughly cool. This is a cake you can bake for any occasion.

2       cups all-purpose flour 
2       teaspoons baking soda 
1/2       teaspoon salt 
2       teaspoons ground cinnamon 
3       large eggs 
2       cups sugar 
3/4       cup vegetable oil 
3/4       cup buttermilk 
2       teaspoons vanilla extract 
2       cups grated carrot 
1       (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
 1       (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut
 1       cup chopped pecans or walnuts 
Buttermilk Glaze Cream Cheese Frosting

1 ,  Line 3 (9-inch) round cakepans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour wax paper. Set pans aside.

2 .  Stir together first 4 ingredients.


3 ,  Beat eggs and next 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Fold in carrot and next 3 ingredients. Pour batter into prepared cakepans.

 4 .  Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Drizzle Buttermilk Glaze evenly over layers; cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.

TIP :
This cake recipe is a crowd favorite, no matter what season it is. Add some extra spice, rum, or brown butter during the cold months. During the spring, decorate it with flowers or maybe even hints of fruit.
 Heart  healthy