Wednesday, January 27, 2010

White Chicken

This recipe is another one from my mother-in-law Jerrie. It is one of her favorite dishes and now one of mine as well. After baking for an hour and a half, the chicken is pull apart tender and coupled with a delicious sour cream sauce. With sour cream ranking as my #1 favorite condiment, I typically double the sauce so there is extra to go around.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies


I love chocolate chip cookies! My earliest memories of baking are of making chocolate chip cookies with my mom and brother. I can remember making them without a mixer, creaming the butter and sugar by hand with a spatula. Not sure why we did it the old fashioned way, but it was fun! My dad would always sneak up and steal big bite of dough and then take claim over licking the bowl, which he still does to this day. Thomas would always place an order for chocolate chip cookies minus the chocolate chips which I must admit are delicious (and no that doesn't make them sugar cookies). We experimented with every recipe out there, from using crisco to butter to margarine, and tried them chewy, crispy and all textures in between.

Trying to please everyone is always hard, but I think this recipe is close to being a perfect chocolate chip cookie. It is a little more work than your typical Tollhouse cookie recipe as it requires 2 different flours, but well worth the try! It is crispy, chewy, chocolaty, salty goodness! I took this recipe from smittenkitchen.com but have made a few adjustments of my own. Here is the link to that cookie blog post:
http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/11/leites-connusmate-chocolate-chip-cookie/

The kicker to this recipe though is that it calls for you to make the dough 24-36 hours in advance so the dough can rest. Therefore it is important for you to learn how to figure out your inner cookie cravings at least one day before it hits! (good luck with that)

Chocolate Chip Cookies
(adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Ingredients:
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/4 c light brown sugar
1 c plus 2 T granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 t vanilla
2 c minus 2 T cake flour**
1 2/3 c all purpose flour (she called for bread flour, but I have no use for bread flour)
1 1/4 t baking soda
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t coarse salt (I cut back to about 1 1/4 the second time I made the cookies)
Chocolate chips - the recipe calls for chocolate disks or feves with at least 60% cocoa content, but who has the time to shop for fancy chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salts together in a bowl and set aside.
2. Cream together butter and sugars in your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a regular hand mixer).
Cream until very light, about 5 minutes.
3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between each. Add vanilla.
4. Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour mixture until just combined.
5. Stir in chocolate chips and then refrigerate the dough.
6. When it comes time for baking, preheat oven to 350.
7. I try to let the dough come back to room temperature or just slightly chilled in order to make scooping easier, but the original recipe did not specify what to do. Use your own judgment here.
8. Bake cookies for about 10 minutes, until edges become golden brown. Let cool a few minutes so you get the best of the crispy/chewy texture. Enjoy!!

**If you don't have cake flour, here is how you make it:
1. Measure out 1 cup of flour. Remove 2 T of flour from the cup. Put flour in a sifter set over a bowl. Add 2 T of cornstarch to sifter. Follow this pattern until you have enough flour for your recipe.
2. Sift flour and cornstarch together. Repeat sifting 5 times. Voila..you have cake flour.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Panko Chicken


I heard about panko on the Food Network (Japanese bread crumbs) and have always wanted to try it. While home in early December I ran to the local Publix and they had a yummy sample of chicken breast using panko. This recipe is as easy as they come and very delicious for a simple meal. It is a perfect weeknight dinner that can be prepped in about 5 minutes! I can't wait to try something new with my remaining panko crumbs.

Panko Chicken

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb chicken breast (I used 4 breasts because they fit nicely in my casserole dish)
1 can cream of chicken soup (I prefer the 98% fat free)
1/2 c light mayo
1 1/2 c panko crumbs
1 c cheddar cheese, shredded
3T softened butter (I omitted)
Salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425. Spray baking dish with non-stick spray.
2. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in baking dish.
3. Combine soup with mayo (I actually skipped the mayo but I bet it would make it have a little more flavor). Spread mixture evenly over chicken breasts.
4. Combine panko and cheese and stir with softened butter, mixing until crumbly.
5. Top chicken with panko mixture.
6. Cover dish with foil and bake 10 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking 10-15 minutes until top is golden brown. Depending on how thick your chicken breasts are you may need more or less time.