First of all, my apologies to everyone for my blog issue. I had a few e-mails from people wondering if David forbid me to blog again after my post about him. But not to worry because he never reads it. It’s good to know that I was missed, even thou most of the e-mails came from family and friends and my “closet fan Mark”, who expressed his concern about me posting recipes because he doesn’t cook and won’t be able to relate. I say, “Mark, try it. It may just be the cheapest marriage counseling you’ve ever had, or if you’re single, knowing how to cook is considered an asset by us women folk.”
Secondly, it’s 10:30 pm and I’m writing this post while I’m eating the entire top layer of a box of Pot Of Gold, and no, not a little box. And I’m even eating the ones I hate. I love Christmas.
I had some new friends over for dinner through the week and because we all have young kids and it was a school night we were eating at 6pm. I get home at 5:30. The only sensible thing to do was to make my meal the night before. It’s seems very organized of me but it’s really just laziness. So I’m posting my “everyone loves, especially kids, chicken Parmesan” which is a great make ahead meal. My friend Crystal Campbell told me that her son still talks about it a few years later. It’s so easy and so good.
Great for a big group. I often make a bunch and then freeze half.
4-6 chicken breasts (boneless skinless)
2 cups bread crumbs
1/4 cup dried summer savory
1 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup freshly graded parmesan cheese
3 eggs whisked in a bowl
really good mozza cheese slices
1/4 cup freshly ground parmesan cheese for the topping
pasta sauce (home made or bottled)
Place chicken on waxed paper and top with another slice of paper. Pound the chicken with a wooden meat tenderizer, or if you don’t have one, just use a rolling pin. I have one but Colin used it to dig a hole in my garden to bury my jewelry when he was playing pirates. We stopped asking why he does what he does. Cover the chicken with the flour, then the egg mixture. Mix the bread crumbs with the salt, pepper and the summer savory and place the egg soaked chicken in that. I find it easier to set up a little Chicken Parmesan sweatshop.
It’s messy, but well worth it!
Fry the chicken on each side until brown in oil. Drain on paper towel. Repeat with all of the chicken. Once it has drained of most of the oil, place in a casserole dish and top with the slices of mozza cheese.
I left one of the chicken breasts out just incase one of the kids didn’t like the pasta sauce.
Top with the pasta sauce and then with parmesan cheese. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 350.
Home made pasta sauce
Bottled sauce is good, but making your own sauce you can control the sugar and sneak in vegetables that your kids won’t know they are eating. It isn’t hard to make but does require time to chop and simmer. I always use half and freeze the rest.
1 carrot grated
1 celery stick
1 Spanish onion diced
1 cloves of garlic
2 cans of diced tomatoes or crushed
1Tbsp dried basin
2 Tbps olive oil
2 Tbps brown sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup tomatoes paste
diced green pepper and mushrooms if you wish
Heat oil and sauté the garlic, add onion and sweat. Once the onion is transparent add the carrot and celery. Cook for 2 mins. Add other vegetables if using. Stir in the tomato paste Add the tomatoes and their juices. Add all other ingredients except the sugar. Simmer with the lid on for an hour. Add the sugar. You may need to add more depending on the acidy of the tomatoes.
And you know, if you’re lacking time or tomatoes, bottled sauce is fine. But check the sugar content on the bottle.
The perfect side dish to go with the chicken is pasta, and I make a crazy easy sauce that is always a hit!
Boiled noodles and sauce
Melt 2 Tbsp of butter, sprinkle in 2 Tbsp flour stir and cook for 1 minute. Add 2 cups of scolded milk and whisk for a minute. Add a sprinkle of nutmeg, pepper and salt is a must. Add a bit of parsley and ½ cup Parmesan cheese or a tsp of graded lemon zest. Stir in noodles.
I didn’t take any pictures of our guests because they are new friends and I didn’t want to freak them out.
And of course, tis the season for drinks, and I would be remised if I didn’t add one. Lets see, I should go make one, so I can post a picture. I’m just selfless like that.
HOT SPICED APPLE CIDER
2 qts. sweet apple cider
1 tsp. whole cloves
1 tsp. whole allspice
2 cinnamon sticks
1/3 c. lightly packed brown sugar
Bring ingredients to a boil. Simmer 15 minutes. Remove spices. Serve hot in mugs with an ounce of your best amber rum, I’d suggest Appletons with a cinnamon stick and/or a toothpick with slices of orange and raisons marinated in rum. YUM!
Don’t miss next weeks! You’ll die! Well, you won’t really die, but you will be slightly aroused!