Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Go...cook these...now!

Ever get stuck in a dinner rut? Yea, I do all of the time. Somedays we have grilled cheese and fruit. Or macaroni and cheese and fruit. Or quesadillas and fruit. Hmm... there seems to be a pattern. Anyway, I recently came across these two recipes and after a few tweaks I think they are nearly perfect. I have single-handedly saved your boring dinners for the next two nights. You didn't know my love language is words of affirmation? Well, it is and I am not above begging. :)

Chicken Florentine
adapted from this recipe

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 tbls. butter
1/4 cup butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbls. lemon juice
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 cup half-and-half (or single cream in the UK)
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese 
3-4 handfuls of fresh baby spinach leaves (real scientific measurement, huh?!)
6 mushrooms, sliced (whatever variety you have on hand)
4-6 bacon slices
1-1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Saute the mushrooms, 1 minced garlic clove and spinach in the 1 tbls. of butter until the spinach is wilted. Spread on the bottom of a glass baking dish (I used a 8 inch round dish). Place raw chicken on top. Salt and pepper the chicken to your taste. 

Melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, Stirring constantly mix in the rest of the garlic, lemon juice, cream of mushroom soup, dried herbs, cream and Parmesan cheese. Pour over chicken. Arrange bacon slices on top of the chicken.

Bake 25 minutes uncovered. Take out and sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese. Return to oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Serve with rice. I like to put my chicken directly on top of the rice along with the spinach and mushrooms. Cover with the sauce.

Beef with Peppers
adapted from this recipe

1-1 1/2 pound Flank Steak, sliced very thin against the grain (if you are like me and can't find flank steak, any cut that can be sliced thinly should do the trick)
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tbls. sherry
2 tbls. packed brown sugar
2 tbls. cornstarch
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. red chili paste (or a few dashes of red chili oil)
2 tbls. canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced

Mix together soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch, ginger, garlic, and chili paste (or chili oil.) Place sliced beef in the mixture and toss to coat. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high to high heat. When it is very hot, throw in the onions and cook for less than a minute. Remove to a separate plate. Return skillet to flame, allow to reheat, and add bell peppers. Cook for a minute, tossing, until peppers have brown/black bits but are still firm. Remove to a plate.
Return skillet to heat and allow to get hot. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Add 1/3 of the meat mixture, evenly distributing over the surface of the skillet. Allow to sit for 20 to 30 seconds, then turn with tongs. Cook for another 30 seconds, then remove to a separate plate. Repeat with remaining meat until all brown.
Reduce heat to low. Add all meat, onions, and peppers to the skillet and toss to combine. Pour in remaining sauce and stir. Allow to simmer on low for a few minutes. Sauce will slowly thicken. Turn off heat. Serve with rice or rice noodles if you can find them. We also had steamed purple cabbage with this and it was a great compliment.
Bon appetite! 


Amanda Woodruff said...

Amber- I'm trying a recipe similar to the beef and peppers one this week! It's for the crockpot. I'll let you know how it turns out! Amanda

TheFerebeeThree said...

Amanda - that sounds great! Let me know how it turned out. I need some more slow cooker/crockpot recipes.