Potatoes au Gratin

Potatoes au Gratin

Potatoes au Gratin

Calling all potato lovers!  If you are anything like me you love potatoes in any form.  And really, potatoes are  a healthy, non-fattening food.  Its how they are cooked and what you put on them that makes all the difference.

The potato is best known for its carbohydrate content (approximately 26 gm, in a medium potato), with starch being its predominant form.  A large quantity of this starch is resistant to digestion, and so it reaches the large intestines largely intact.  This resistant starch is considered to have many beneficial effects similar to those of fiber.  When you eat the skin of a potato this increases the fiber benefit.  Without getting into a lengthy physiological explanation, let me just say that the bulk that fiber provides offers protection against colon cancer, improves glucose tolerance, lowers plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and increases satiety (feelings of fullness and satisfaction).

Most notably potatoes contain high levels of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and Potassium.  A medium potato also contains about 75 gm. water.  So you see, potatoes can be a healthy food.  Preparation is the key in preserving the nutrients.

The following recipe for Potatoes au Gratin in one that I like to make as an accompaniment to baked ham, or meatloaf.  You will note that I have kept the above mentioned facts in mind in my preparation:  using a good quality Idaho potato,  limiting the amount of cheese and using cheeses that provide good favor, and using low-fat milk with just a little flour for thickening.  Chopped green onions many be added as desired to the potato mixture for further flavor.

POTATOES AU GRATIN

Yield:   4 servings

Ingredients:

Note that only three potatoes are used to make 4 servings.

Note that only three potatoes are used to make 4 servings.

  • 1 lb. Idaho baking potatoes
  • 3 oz. grated cheese (Swiss, cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby are all good )
  • 3/4 cup milk  (I use skim milk with no problems)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  •  black pepper, to taste
  • 1  1/2 teaspoon flour
  • paprika

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Lightly butter a shallow au gratin dish, or spray with non-stick baking spray.

2.  Slice potatoes into 1/4-inch thick rounds.

3.  Arrange one layer of potatoes to cover the bottom of the baking dish.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4.  Mix together the cheese and flour, and sprinkle 1/3  of it over top of potatoes.

5.  Repeat with another layer of the potatoes, salt and pepper, 1/3 of the cheese and flour mixture.

Layering the potatoes with cheese/flour mixture.

Layering the potatoes with cheese/flour mixture.

6.  Repeat a third layer of potatoes, cheese and flour.    Warm the milk in the microwave, then pour gently over the potatoes.  Sprinkle with paprika.   Bake for 50 minutes until potatoes are tender and milk is absorbed.

Just out of the oven, nicely browned and crusty.

Ready for the oven.

Out of the oven, nicely browned and crusty.

Out of the oven, nicely browned and crusty.

SOURCE:   a Carolyn Original

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Chicken Maque Choux

Chicken Maque Choux

Chicken Maque Choux

Here it is at the end of summer and today I’m making a meal that I tend to make every year right about now.  I saw it in a magazine several years ago and once having made it, it has become a summer standard.  The dish changes from year to year depending on what vegetables I have on hand or what’s plentiful at the farmer’s market, making it a super versatile dish, with zucchini and other sumer vegetables making their way into the corn mixture.

Bone-in chicken thighs get rubbed with a savory mixture of cinnamon, cumin, garlic and onion powders, then they are sautéed  until crispy brown.  Fresh corn (or when out of season, canned or frozen corn), onions, tomatoes and bell peppers are added to the skillet to soak up the crispy brown bits in the pan, then the chicken is nestled in the mixture, covered and baked.  The vegetables soak up the yummy chicken juices for an easy dish that pleases and impresses everyone who tastes it.  Be sure to serve it with a baguette to soak up all those wonderful juices, or as I did today, serve with Israeli couscous, or rice.

Served with Israeli couscous, and heirloom tomato salad.

Served with Israeli couscous, and heirloom tomato salad.

So here’s my rendition of Maque Choux (pronounced mock-shoe).  This braised chicken dish is of French Acadian and Native American origin, popular in Louisiana.

CHICKEN MAQUE CHOUX

Yield:    4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder

    The veggie component plus the spice rub.

    The veggie component plus the spice rub.

  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2  tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 Tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels  (about 6 large ears)
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped

Instructions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375*F.

2.  Combine the first 7 ingredients in a small bowl.  Rub on chicken thighs.

3.  Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet.  Add chicken and cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side.  Transfer to a plate.

Chicken thighs nicely browned.

Chicken thighs nicely browned.

4.  Combine onions, corn, tomato and bell pepper in the skillet.  Stir to blend.

Add all the vegetables to the fry pan and mix to coat with drippings.

Add all the vegetables to the fry pan and mix to coat with drippings.

Place chicken on top of corn mixture.

Nestle the chicken pieces on top.

Nestle the chicken pieces on top.

Cover and bake 15 minutes.  Uncover and bake 15 minutes more or until chicken is tender and juices run clear.

Chicken Maque Choux

Chicken Maque Choux

IMG_5028

SOURCE:  Gourmet magazine, old edition

Scalloped Tomato and Cheese Bake

Scalloped Tomato and Cheese Bake

Scalloped Tomato and Cheese Bake

It’s “Theme Thursday”, and guess what it’s not about zucchini/squash.  I’m switching gears, ahem, vegetables.  Today starts a series about tomatoes.  I can’t pass by a display of fresh native tomatoes without stopping to look, feel and ultimately buy a few.  They are so good eaten right out-of-hand, with just a light sprinkle of salt and/or sugar, but let’s face it there are so many ways of cooking with tomatoes that I would like to pass along some of the ways that we enjoy eating them.

So delicious!

So delicious!

Today I want to share with you an old recipe that I’ve had for years. The clipping is yellowed and folded at the edges, taped into a notebook holding many such clippings that I’ve collected over the years.  An “oldie, but goodie” you might say, but old recipes can be made new again with some simple updating.  This one is the original, as I found it; as good now as it was then.  I hope you like it.   In the accompanying photos I am making half the recipe for two of us.

SCALLOPED TOMATO AND CHEESE BAKE

Yield:   Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

Just a few ingredients.

Just a few ingredients.

  • 4 large firm-ripe tomatoes
  • 1 medium-size onion, chopped ( about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups soft bread crumbs (4 slices)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. dried leaf marjoram
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1.   Core tomatoes; cut each into 8 even-size wedges

2.   Saute onion in butter in a large skillet until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add bread crumbs, salt, pepper, sugar and marjoram; toss lightly to coat.

3.   Line a 1 – 1/2 quart shallow baking dish with half the tomatoes;  sprinkle with half the bread crumb mixture.  Repeat with remaining tomato wedges and crumb mixture.   Drizzle melted 1/4 cup butter over the top.

Layered in a baking dish.

Layered in a baking dish.

4.   Bake at 350*F  for 25 – 30 minutes or until tomatoes are soft and crumbs are lightly browned.  Sprinkle cheese over top and return to oven until cheese melts, about 5 minutes.

Out of the oven, hot and bubbly with a crunchy, cheesy, topping.

Out of the oven, hot and bubbly with a crunchy, cheesy, topping.

A further note:   This vegetable casserole goes nicely served with baked fish, or baked potatoes and a meatloaf.  My two favorite ways to enjoy it.

SOURCE:   from an old clipping, don’t remember the source.

Yogurt Pancakes

Yogurt Pancakes

Yogurt Pancakes

“Best pancakes I ever had!,  Mmmmmm!”,  says Mr. D.      “Best pancakes I ever made!”,  says me.  No Kidding!!   These are the lightest, puffiest, thickest pancakes I have ever made,  they are absolutely delicious.  I used vanilla non-fat Greek yogurt, but I’m sure other flavors of yogurt would be equally delicious, and give lots of opportunity to vary the flavor of these.  Also you could add in other ingredients like blueberries, dried cranberries, banana, chocolate chips, etc.

The recipe makes 12 – 16 pancakes, and they can be frozen and reheated in a microwave on high for 40 – 50 seconds, so they are readily at hand for weekday mornings.  I really like it that they contain so much yogurt which provides 9 gm. protein in 2 pancakes yet so little fat–only what the two eggs supply.   This is a power-packed start to the day.

Makes enough extra to freeze.

Makes enough extra to freeze.

YOGURT PANCAKES 

Yield:   6 servings

Ingredients:

You will need 4 small cups yogurt to make 2 cups (16  0z.)

You will need 4 small cups yogurt to make 2 cups (16 0z.)

  • 2 cups all – purpose flour  (I used half white whole wheat flour.)
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups ( 16 oz. ) yogurt, preferable non-fat (I used vanilla flavored yogurt.)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • optional add ins:  chocolate chips, dried cranberries, sliced ripe bananas, blueberries, coarsely chopped nuts

Directions:

1.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs, yogurt, and water.  Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.   Batter will be thick.

Air bubbles start to form when the baking soda reacts with the yogurt.

Air bubbles start to form when the baking soda reacts with the yogurt.

2.  Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot griddle coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with optional ingredients if desired.  Turn when bubbles form on top;  cook until second side is golden brown.

Big, thick pancakes.

Big, thick pancakes.

Cook to golden brown,

Cook to golden brown,

3.  To freeze, arrange cooled pancakes in a single layer on baking sheets.  Freeze overnight or until frozen.  Transfer to a resealable plastic freezer bag.

4.  To use frozen pancakes:  place pancakes on a microwave-safe plate;  microwave on high for 40 -50 seconds or until heated through.

I served these pancakes with my blueberry sauce that I wrote about here.

Served with blueberry sauce.    Outstanding!

Served with blueberry sauce. Outstanding!

SOURCE:  Taste of Home

Spirit-Lifting Cherry Coffee Cake

 Cherry Cream Coffee Cake


Cherry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

“Forget your troubles, come on, get happy,  you better chase all your cares away”

The words to that song come to mind when I think about this coffee cake.  It’s guaranteed to be a spirit-lifter for anyone who tastes it.  Just looking at it makes me happy.

This recipe was featured recently on the blog “Rantings of an Amateur Chef”.  The blog author has been using Greek yogurt in a variety of dishes as a substitute for higher fat and calorie laden foods such as sour cream and cream cheese.

That is a technique that I also use on many occasions, so when I saw this recipe for Cherry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake, I knew I had to make it, not so much because of the substitutions, but because it contains almond flavoring.  My all-time favorite flavor in the world!!   But since I, too, would be incorporating the substitutions, I purchased 0%-fat Greek yogurt in Black Cherry flavor as a match-up with the cherry pie filling that is part of the cake’s filling.

Looks luscious.

Looks luscious.

“Shout Alleluia,  come on, get happy,”

The aroma of this cake baking was so enticing I could hardly wait for it to cool sufficiently before sampling it. While still a very rich cake, the yogurt did its job in making a very creamy layer of filling below the cherry pie filling.  The over-all texture is mouth watering and tender with a little crunch provided by the sliced almonds.  And the combination of cherries and almond flavoring is a classic that I love.  This cake could be served as a dessert,  as a fancy coffee cake for a brunch, or just for breakfast.  I would not hesitate to make and take it as a gift for someone whose spirits need lifting.

IMG_5020

“The sun is shining, come on, get happy”.

CHERRY CREAM CHEESE COFFEE CAKE

YIELD:  8 – 10 servings

Ingredients:

For the Crust:

Crust ingredients.

Crust ingredients.

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour ( I substituted in 1 cup white whole wheat flour)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup sour cream ( or 0%fat Greek yogurt)
  • 1 tsp. almond extract

For the Filling:

  • 1 package ( 8-oz. ) cream cheese, softened ( I substituted 8-oz. Black Cherry flavor 0% fat Greek yogurt)

    Filling ingredients.

    Filling ingredients.

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 can ( 21-oz.) cherry pie filling
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions:

1.    Preheat oven to 350*F.  Pan needed:  9 – inch springform pan with removable bottom,  ungreased.

2.  In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar.  Cut in butter until crumbly.

Cutting in the butter.

Cutting in the butter.

Reserve 3/4 cup crumb mixture and set aside.

Reserve some crumbs for the topping.

Reserve some crumbs for the topping.

Add the baking powder, baking soda and salt to remaining crumb mixture.

3.  In a small bowl, whisk the egg, then add sour cream and almond extract.  Whisk to blend.  Stir into the crumb mixture to form a thick dough.

Mix together the egg, sour cream and almond extract

Mix together the egg, sour cream and almond extract

4.  Press onto the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of the springform pan.

Press crust into bottom of pan.

Press crust into bottom of pan.

5.  Make filling:  In a large bowl, beat cream cheese (yogurt), and sugar for 1 minute.  Add egg; beat just until combined.  Spread over crust.

Pour on cream filling.

Pour on cream filling.

Carefully spoon pie filling over the top.

Spoon on cherry filling.

Spoon on cherry filling.

Sprinkle with almonds, and the reserved crumbs.

Top with sliced almonds.

Top with sliced almonds.

Sprinkle on reserved crumbs.

Sprinkle on reserved crumbs.

6.  Bake at 350*F for 50 – 60 minutes or until center is set.  Cool on a wire rack.  Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen;  remove sides of pan.  Store in the refrigerator.

Out of the oven.  Isn't that beautiful?

Out of the oven. Isn’t that beautiful?

Looks luscious.

Looks luscious.

Tastes as good as it looks.

Tastes as good as it looks.

SOURCE:  Taste of Home via Rantings of an Amateur Chef

Sweet Corn with Parmesan and Cilantro Spread

Sweet Corn with Parmesan and Cilantro Spread

Sweet Corn with Parmesan and Cilantro Spread

Right about now native sweet corn is everywhere;  the supermarket, the local farm stand or farmer’s market and maybe in your own garden.  Sweet corn ranks right up there with fresh native tomatoes on just about everyone’s list of favorite summertime foods.  I know we are eating it several times a week, because when its gone, its gone for another year.  However, as much as we love it, sometimes fixing it the same way all the time,  i.e.. steamed or grilled with butter and salt and pepper on it, gets a little boring.

A flavorful twist on the simple ear of corn.

A flavorful twist on the simple ear of corn.

If you are among those who would enjoy eating it with some slightly different flavors on it, then this recipe might appeal to you as it did to me.  You start out boiling the corn for just a couple of minutes, drain, and then spread each ear with this mixture of Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and some other seasonings, then fry the corn briefly to brown it up, and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.  If cilantro is not your thing, substitute some parsley.

A little tart, and a little tangy, this is a fun way to fix corn and a nice change from the usual corn on the cob.

SWEET CORN WITH PARMESAN AND CILANTRO SPREAD

Yield:  4 servings

Ingredients:IMG_4951

  • 4 large ears sweet corn, husks removed
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

1.  Place corn in a stockpot; cover with water.  Bring to a boil;  cover and cook for 3 – 5 minutes or until tender.  Drain.  Note:  do not overcook.  I cooked mine for 3 minutes and it was fine.  Remember, it will be cooked again in the fry pan.

2.  In a small bowl, combine the cheese, 5 Tbsp. oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin, hot sauce, salt and pepper.  Brush about 1 tablespoon over each ear.

Spread the seasoned cheese on each ear and fry to brown up.

Spread the seasoned cheese on each ear and fry to brown up.

3.  In a large skillet, cook corn in remaining oil over medium heat for 4 – 6 minutes or until lightly browned, turning occasionally.  Stir cilantro into remaining cheese mixture;  brush over hot corn and serve.

Almost at the point of perfection.

Almost at the point of perfection.

A great side to ribs and coleslaw.  Oh, Yeah!!

A great side to ribs and coleslaw. Oh, Yeah!!

SOURCE:   Taste of Home

Grilled Pork Ribs with Peach Barbecue Sauce

Pork barbecue is messy.  Sticky.  Lick your fingers.  Delicious.  It is a classic American food that inspires loyalty, competitions, and regional pride.   Whose is better,  yours or mine?   Everyone has their favorite, depending on where they live, and how they have always made barbecue.

Grilled Pork Ribs with Peach BBQ Sauce.

Grilled Pork Ribs with Peach BBQ Sauce.

Over the Labor Day weekend I made this recipe for Grilled Pork Ribs.  Like BBQ, Labor Day is a true American Holiday honoring all those who work/labor for a living.  So it seemed appropriate to make an all-American meal.  Although I had never made this particular recipe before, it came out really good, in fact, it was “finger-lickin good”.  Along with it I served coleslaw and corn on the cob, also done a new way.  Stay tuned for that recipe next week.

IMG_4959

The tangy peach barbecue sauce that glazes these ribs has multi-levels of flavor and is only brushed on the ribs as you finish cooking them on the grill.  The ribs are precooked by baking them in the oven until succulent and tender.  Then transferred to a hot grill, where the sauce gets brushed on and the ribs turned and basted frequently until they are nicely browned.  This sauce will be great on grilled chicken or salmon as well.  In place of ribs, bone-in pork chops (as opposed to boneless) may also be used as they are less likely to dry out.

GRILLED PORK RIBS WITH PEACH BARBECUE SAUCE

Yield:   Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients:

  • Pork Ribs, cut into serving-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup water

Place the ribs in a roasting pan,  add the water, cover tightly with foil, and bake for 2 hours at 325*F

For the Sauce:

Ingredients for the sauce.

Ingredients for the sauce.

  • 3  ripe peaches,  peeled, pitted, and cut into chunks
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  •  2 Tbsp. orange juice concentrate ( I used 2 T. Orange marmelade)
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard  ( I used 1 tsp. Dijon mustard)
  • 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper.

1.  Place peaches in a blender container and blend till smooth.  I added one Tbsp. lemon juice to this mixture to keep the peaches from darkening, and to help the blender get going.

Puree peaches in a blender.

Puree peaches in a blender.

2.  In a medium skillet, saute the onion in butter till tender.  Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

Saute onions and garlic in butter.

Sauce ingredients except for peach puree.

3.  Stir in the lemon juice (ie, 2 Tbsp. if you have used 1 in the peaches), OJ concentrate or marmalade, brown sugar, soy sauce, mustard, salt and pepper and peach puree.  Heat through, blending thoroughly.

Add peach puree and blend in thoroughly.

Add peach puree and blend in thoroughly.

4.  Drain ribs,    Preheat the grill.  Lightly coat the grill rack with cooking oil.  Grill the ribs, brushing occasionally with BBQ sauce till nicely glazed and sticky.  ( And you absolutely can’t wait any longer to eat one.)   This will take about 8 – 10 minutes over medium heat.

Glaze the ribs with the peach BBQ mixture.

Glaze the ribs with the peach BBQ mixture.

Grilled Pork Ribs with Peach BBQ Sauce.

Grilled Pork Ribs with Peach BBQ Sauce.

Ready for some fantastic eating!

Ready for some fantastic eating!

SOURCE:   Myrecipes. com

Summer Squash Casserole

Summer squash casserole with crumb topping.

Summer squash casserole with crumb topping.

I was tempted to call this post ” How to eat squash every day and not want to kill yourself”, but at the risk of offending someone I decided to rename it as you see here.   Yes, I know, it’s yet another squash recipe,  but at least it’s a switch from zucchini to yellow squash, and I think it just may be one of the best ones for yellow, summer squash.  This is the way my mother always, well almost always, fixed it, and we loved it.  So why mess with a good thing?

Summer squash can be pretty boring, when simply cooked and seasoned with salt, pepper and a little butter.  But when you bake it with cheddar cheese, and a topping made from Ritz cracker crumbs, magic happens.  This casserole and a green tossed salad satisfies me as a whole meal.  Mr. D., however likes a little meat with most of his meals so I served it with this chicken and some pasta.    Can’t tell you how good it was!  😀

Squash casserole served as  a non-boring vegetable.

Squash casserole served as a non-boring vegetable.

SUMMER SQUASH CASSEROLE

Yield:  makes 4 – 6 servingsIMG_4908

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 yellow squash, about a pound or a little less, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, sliced
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/2  cup Ranch Salad Dressing (light or low fat is OK)
  • 3/4 cup shredded, mild cheddar cheese
  • 8 – 10 Ritz crackers, crushed

Here’s how to make it:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.   Lightly spray a 1-qt. casserole with non-stick cooking spray.

2.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Spoon into the casserole.

3.  Top with cracker crumbs.

Top squash mixture with crushed Ritz cracker crumbs.

Top squash mixture with crushed Ritz cracker crumbs.

4.  Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until heated through, and squash is tender.

Summer squash casserole with crumb topping.

Summer squash casserole with crumb topping.

These are some ways that I have varied this dish:  substitute zucchini for half the squash,  add some grated carrot for some added color.  You can use reduced-fat Ritz crackers with good results,  regular onions instead of scallions,  Southwestern or Bacon Ranch dressing.  Add a can of diced green chilies for a little more zing, and use shredded Mexican Blend cheese.  YUM!  All are good.  Let your imagination run wild with this one.

SOURCE:   Family recipe, don’t know its origins

Grilled Peach Cobbler

Grilled Peach Cobbler

Grilled Peach Cobbler

As mentioned in an earlier post, I’m not done with fresh peaches yet.  This recipe was #1 on my list of peach recipes that I still am  anxious to try before the season is over.   With the holiday weekend just past, when we were using the outdoor grill anyway,  I decided to make this peach cobbler, and cook it on the grill.   This was so easy, and I didn’t have to turn on my oven.

Crushed pretzels add to the crunch of the topping.

Crushed pretzels add to the crunch of the topping.

Most cobblers are topped with a biscuit, or a crumb topping using oatmeal with the flour and brown sugar, but this recipe uses crushed pretzels instead.  That plus the addition of caramel ice cream topping with the peaches, makes for an interesting combination; sweetness and salty all rolled into one delicious bite.  This recipe is definitely a keeper for me, one that I’ll be making again.  Oh, and when grilling season is over you can just as easily bake it in the oven, and use frozen, unsweetened peaches.  A very versatile recipe, indeed.

Make it really sinful and add some ice cream.  :D

Make it really sinful and add some ice cream. 😀

Full disclaimer:   Don’t say I didn’t warn you–this recipe is NOT low cal, low carb, low fat, a dieter’s dream or gluten-free.  What it is is just plain awesome !

GRILLED PEACH COBBLER

Yield:   Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 5  medium fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced, or 5 cups frozen unsweetened peach slices, thawed.

    Cutting up the peaches.

    Cutting up the peaches.

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 3/4 cup coarsely crushed pretzels
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup butter

Directions:

1.  In a large bowl, combine peaches, granulated sugar, lemon juice, tapioca, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.  Place this mixture in a 2-quart foil baking pan (to cook on the grill), or a similar  size baking dish if oven baking.

Pour peach mixture into baking pan.

Pour peach mixture into baking pan.

Drizzle the 1/3 cup caramel topping over the peaches in the pan.  Cover tightly with foil if baking on the grill, otherwise leave uncovered.

Pour caramel topping over the peaches.

Pour caramel topping over the peaches.

2.  Make topping:  In a medium bowl stir together crushed pretzels, brown sugar, and flour.  Using a pastry cutter, your fingers or a fork, work in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.   Refrigerate until read to use.

Work the butter into the flour-pretzel mixture.

Work the butter into the flour-pretzel mixture.

3.   To cook on a grill:   Preheat grill.   Reduce heat to medium.  Adjust for indirect cooking, ( one side lit, one side off).  Place foil pan on grill rack over the burner that is turned off.  Cover and grill for 30 minutes.   Uncover foil pan.  Sprinkle topping evenly over peach mixture.  Cover grill; cook for 10 to 15 minutes more or until mixture is bubbly and topping is light brown.

Sprinkle crumb topping over partially cooked peaches.

Sprinkle crumb topping over partially cooked peaches.

4.  To oven bake:  Place baking dish with peach mixture in the oven.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until peaches are tender.  Top with crumb topping and bake for an additional  15 minutes, till topping is brown and bubbly.

Topping gets browned and crunchy..

Topping gets browned and crunchy..

To serve:   top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle with a little more caramel topping.

Soooo Good!

Soooo Good!

SOURCE:  Better Homes and Gardens.com

Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Breasts

Prosciutto-wrapped chicken breasts.

Prosciutto-wrapped chicken breasts.

It seems we can never get enough recipes for chicken dishes.  Chicken breasts are the most popular cut of chicken on the market, but because there is little to no fat on chicken breasts, you must be watchful when cooking them or they will be dry.  This is a recurring problem especially when cooking in dry heat, baked for instance.  That’s why when I saw this recipe I was eager to try it, because of the prosciutto that is used to wrap the chicken.

This recipe dresses up boneless chicken breasts by topping them with thinly sliced tomatoes, basil, prosciutto, and melted cheese.  Prosciutto is a very thin cut of Italian ham, that can be cooked crisp like bacon.  When used to wrap a piece of chicken breast, it bathes the meat with its juicy saltiness, and keeps the chicken moist.  The added tomato slices add to that juiciness, basil contributes fresh flavor with melted cheese on top.  Well, what I can I say about melted cheese that I haven’t already said a million times.  You know what I mean, and I know you love it as much as I do!!!

  YUM!

YUM!

This is such an easy, satisfying entree.  The combination of flavors seemed just right.  It can be served with a side of pasta with marinara sauce and a tossed salad, or as I have done, with a veggie casserole, and some pasta with marinara sauce.

PROSCIUTTO-WRAPPED CHICKEN BREASTS

Servings:   4

Ingredients:

3 large pieces of chicken, so I cut 2 of them in half.

3 large pieces of chicken, so I cut 2 of them in half.

  • 4  boneless, skinless, chicken breasts halves (about 1 pound) My package of chicken contained 3 large chicken breasts, so I cut 2 of them in half for this dish.
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4  thin slices prosciutto
  • 8  large basil leaves
  • 2  plum tomatoes, very thinly sliced
  • 4  thin slices Asiago ( or provolone or mozzarella ) cheese  ( I used provolone.)

Preparation:

1.  Preheat the oven to 375*F.  Prepare a shallow baking dish – large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer–with non-stick spray.

2.  Combine the flour, salt, garlic powder and a few grinds of black pepper in a shallow dish.  Lightly dredge the chicken in the mixture.  Shake off the excess and set aside.

3.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the chicken in a single layer and cook until light golden brown and just cooked through, 2 – 3 minutes per side (don’t over cook).  Remove from the heat.

4.  Separate the slices of prosciutto and lay them out on a flat surface.  Center a piece of chicken crosswise over each slice.  Arrange several slices of tomato on each chicken breast, then add 2 basil leaves.  Wrap the ends of the prosciutto up around the chicken and toppings and press gently to seal.

Place tomato slices and basil on top of chicken, then wrap prosciutto over the top.

Place tomato slices and basil on top of chicken, then wrap prosciutto over the top.

5.  Carefully transfer the chicken to the prepared baking dish.  Top each piece of chicken with a thin slice of cheese.

6.  Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the cheese is nicely melted.

Bake till cheese is nicely melted.

Bake till cheese is nicely melted.

Remove and serve with side dishes as desired.

Served with pasta and a vegetable casserole.

Served with pasta and a vegetable casserole.

Note:  For best results, choose relatively small chicken breasts and be sure that you don’t overcook them initially because the extra time in the oven could make them a little dry.

For the cheese:  Asiago is the favored choice for this dish because its tangy flavor complements the saltiness of the prosciutto very nicely, but don’t hesitate to substitute  with mozzarella or provolone.

SOURCE:  My Gourmet Connection