Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Coconut Chicken with Apricot Sauce

262. Hats off to my fellow bloggers who post fabulous recipes!!! This is one of those jewels!
We found this recipe and just had to make it. We were not disappointed. The recipe is for Coconut Chicken with Apricot Sauce from Pennies on a Platter's Blog. This is a keeper and would be great on skewers or bamboo sticks as an appetizer. The recipe was easy, with several ingredients and came together within 40 minutes.
Coconut Chicken with Apricot Sauce

Yield: 4 servings

1 egg
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts trimmed and cut into strips, pat with paper towels to dry
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup apricot preserves
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard or deli mustard

Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Lightly beat the egg in a medium bowl; set aside. Mix the coconut, flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.

Working with one chicken breast at a time, dip the chicken in the bowl with the beaten egg and then coat with the coconut mixture.

Place on the baking sheet. Once all chicken breasts are coated and on the baking sheet, evenly drizzle with the melted butter. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, flipping once halfway.

To prepare the apricot sauce, mix the apricot preserves and the Dijon mustard in a small bowl. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Serve with rice and a vegetable. The apricot sauce is just wonderful!

"The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star. "
~Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

"Hunger is the best sauce in the world."

Sunday, February 26, 2012

King Cake

261. King Cake is a seasonal treat for a great many people. The history of King Cake is so interesting. Representative of the Magi who came from far to lay gifts before the "King" boy child, Jesus. Between January 6th and the day before Lent begins, this cake is enjoyed.
I've never made a King Cake but always love a raised dough pastry. Recently I visited several bakeries here in New York, but could not find a King Cake. So, I decided to try a recipe I found on "One Perfect Bite's" blog. The recipe is a John Besh recipe, who is a fantastic chef in New Orleans. It is King Cake - Gateau de Rois and you can find the original recipe here.

I tweeked the recipe a bit and adjusted a few measurements.
I also made my dough in my famous Bread Machine.
Fresh nutmeg was added too.
The dough was beautiful!
King Cake

For a Bread Machine recipe:
1 cup warm milk
2 sticks butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 egg yolks and 1 whole egg
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
4 1/4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
dash of fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
2 Teaspoons yeast

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup broken pecans
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup melted butter

2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
milk or cream

Prepare dough in bread machine. Roll out on floured surface into a large rectangle. Spread the filling ingredients over the dough and roll up like a jelly roll.
Place on a parchment lined sheet. Brush with oil and cover. Allow dough to rise approximately 30 minutes till doubled.
Cut slits on top so dough will not split.
Bake 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes or till light brown. Cool on rack.
At this point, the "trinket" is to be placed in or under the cake such as a small plastic baby, coin, porcelain figurine, etc. Supposedly, the person who finds the "trinket" will be considered "King for a day", or may have certain obligations to fulfill. (Read about the history here and Emeril Lagasi's recipe for King Cake.)

Prepare the icing and three colored sugars: purple, green and gold.

Spread icing over entire cake and sprinkle colored sugar in a pattern over the cake.
Transfer to a serving plate.
Slice and enjoy with a hot tea or coffee.

"Don’t get me wrong, I hardly pass up a piece of king cake no matter what it looks like; from the kind that is essentially a multicolored glazed donut (yes Meche’s I love yours too!) to the most nontraditional filled king cakes (get you a Zulu one at Ambrosia in Baton Rouge and you will NOT regret it) it takes all types to feed the need."
~The Cajun Foodie

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

260. Hands down...this Oatmeal Cookie is one of the best oatmeal cookie recipes I have found. It has a great balance of chewiness to crispiness and the flavor causes you to come back for another and another...till they vanish! I found it on the side of a Quaker Oats container many years ago. You can find the recipe online here.
I have used old fashioned oats as well as quick oats. Either works well although the old fashioned oats produce a denser cookie. I have also added white chocolate, chocolate chips or coconut. All variations have been winners.
Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 3 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of

    electric mixer until creamy, approximately 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well.

    Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls

    onto parchment lined cookie sheets.

    Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered, although this won't be necessary...your cookies will vanish away.

    • Prep Time: 20 min
    • Cook Time Time: 08 min
    • Pour a glass of milk orbrew a pot of coffee and indulge!

"You have to eat oatmeal or you'll dry up, anybody knows that."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Corn Bread

259. Corn Bread can be a touchy subject for some people. Add sugar, don't add sugar, corn bread must have kernels of corn, there should be no corn added. Cornmeal, polenta, masa harina or corn flour...which is the best? It depends what part of the country you are from. Up North or down South, this will determine your ingredient do's and don'ts.

My recipe may not be acceptable to everyone, but our family loves it and it's a great compliment to chili or soup.

Corn Bread

1 cup milk
1 egg
2 Tablespoons butter, melted or 2 Tablespoons corn oil
1 cup yellow corn meal
1 cup flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

In a mixing bowl add milk, egg and melted butter/oil. Blend together well. All at once add corn meal, flour, sugar baking powder and salt. Mix together just till liquid is absorbed. Pour into an 8x8" square or round baking dish lightly oiled. Allow batter to sit for 15 minutes.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes. Do not over bake.
Remove from oven and immediately spread butter over the top of the hot corn bread. Slice and serve.

Options: Add 1/2 cup cooked corn, 1 finely chopped jalapeno, 1 cup shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese, 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper. Add any of the optional ingredients after the liquid.
Slice this beautiful bread and serve with butter, honey, jam or preserves. I also use this recipe for Corn Muffins. Either bread or muffin, the recipe has always been a winner.

"The North thinks it knows how to make corn bread, but this is a gross superstition. Perhaps no bread in the world is quite as good as Southern corn bread, and perhaps no bread in the world is quite as bad as the Northern imitation of it."
~Mark Twain

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mizeria Polish Cucumber Salad

258. A side dish is the special part of a meal that provides the added enjoyment to the main event. How would a Hot Pastrami sandwich taste without that kosher dill pickle or crispy coleslaw? Or, what would roasted turkey do alone without smooth, buttery, whipped, mashed potatoes covered in gravy? These sides provide the framework, the balance to enhance the whole eating experience.

One favorite side is Mizeria, a Polish Cucumber Salad. My mother would make this salad often to accompany pork, seafood or sausage dishes. It was a labor intensive task, but oh so worth the time and effort.

Though some cut the cucumbers with a mandolin, my mother would patiently shave each cucumber slice with her little peeler and chopped the fresh dill perfectly with her little paring knife.
Mizeria Polish Cucumber Salad

1 large cucumber, (option with or without seeds, your preference) thinly sliced
1/2 of a granny smith green apple, thinly sliced (optional)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup small onion, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon small chopped fresh dill
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper

Thinly slice the cucumber paper thin. It is not necessary to maintain full slices but half slices work just fine. Place the cucumber in a small colander to drain liquid or simply squeeze the liquid gently from the slices. Place cucumber slices in a bowl.
Thinly slice the apple, paper thin and add to the cucumber. Add sour cream, onion, dill, salt and pepper. Stir all together till sour cream is dispersed evenly. Chill for 10 minutes before serving.
Note: The longer this salad sits, the wetter it becomes. Serve directly after quick chill.
This is a lovely and delicious salad enjoyed any time of the year.

"It's the sense of what family is at the dinner table. It was the joy of knowing mother was in the kitchen making our favorite dish. I wish more people would do this and recall the joy of life.
~Chef Paul Prudhomme

Thursday, February 2, 2012


257. My honey is testing recipes for a "Wings Throw Down"! No, it's not with Bobby Flay *sigh*. This Throw Down is with my husbands friends. They have done a Chili Throw Down and a Lasagna Throw Down...and David has won each time!!! But, David has moved away...so there is a new playing field. Although, David has threatened to visit just to be a part of the Throw Down...the guys went nuts! They started to make up new rules on the spot: Entries only if you live local; NO visitors allowed; Change the date so David won't know when the actual Throw Down is; Etc.....

For my honey's wing recipe, our family agreed to be the "Special Wings Testers". We told him to make a different batch every week and we would let him know which ones were the best. Of course I have an alternative motive, but we just want to help him win, *wink, wink*.
This was the first batch, "Baked Hot Wings". But, they just were not hot enough. We ended up placing the Red Hot bottle on the table and used it as a dipping sauce.We suggested more garlic, more hot ingredients and more spices.

So, the saga continues...Stay tuned!

Our second attempt was packed with flavor but the coating was too thick.

"Telling someone to get a bunch of ingredients together has zero impact. When you take the dish and show someone how, it becomes so much clearer. My passions comes from being able to create on the fly."
~Bobby Flay ( discussing his 2008 Bon Appétit Magazine Cooking Teacher of the Year award - September 5, 2008)


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