Recipes, Food and Cooking Newsletter

White Trash Mix

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner are you looking for something special to serve your family or friends that day? How about some “Trash Mix” or Chicken Boursin for dinner?

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Trash Mix

Original Chex Cereal – divided in 3 parts
6 oz. white chocolate chips
6 oz. chocolate chips
1 cup powdered sugar
4 oz. butter – melted
sea salt
M & M’s

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 1/3 of the cereal on a baking sheet. Pour the butter over the cereal, mix together. Add the sea salt. ( I added more than I thought I needed because I knew it was going to be hard to get it to stick) Bake for about 15 minutes stirring a couple of times.

Melt the chocolate chips, pour over 1/3 of the cereal. Stir until it coats the cereal. Set aside.

Melt the white chocolate chips, pour over 1/3 of the cereal. Stir until it coats the cereal. Put the powdered sugar in a sifter and dust the cereal with the sugar. Stir until it is evenly mixed. Set aside.

When all of the candied cereals have cooled and hardened mix them together.

To store, put in an airtight container.

Note: You can also add nuts, pretzels, dried fruits to the mix.

Chicken Boursin

Chicken Boursin

2 chicken breasts
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1 egg – beaten, for brushing on pastry

Boursin

4 oz. cream cheese
4 oz. butter
2 garlic cloves – minced
1/3 cup toasted pecans
salt and pepper

Mix together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Salt and pepper the chicken breasts. Saute the chicken until browned on both sides. Put in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. (Note: you do not want to fully cook the chicken here. You want it pink still in the center. It will finish cooking when you bake it) Cool.

Roll out the puff pastry just a little. Cut in half. Place 1/4 of the boursin mixture on the center of the puff pastry. Put chicken on top. Fold up the sides of the pasty to enclose the chicken. Place on a greased baking sheet. Brush the egg on top of the puff pastry.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Note: You can also use Filo Dough in place of the Puff Pastry.

Alice Springs Chicken

Alice Springs Chicken

4 chicken breast, pounded to an even thickness
1 bottle Lawry’s Original Seasoned Salt marinade
4 slices bacon
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup honey mustard dressing

Marinate the chicken in the Lawry’s Original Seasoned Salt marinade for at least 30 minutes. The longer the better.

While the chicken is marinating, cook the bacon reserving 2 Tablespoons of fat. Sauté mushrooms in bacon fat.

Grill the chicken 12-15 minutes, until done. You can also cook the chicken on the stove if desired.

Preheat the broiler on your oven. Place cooked chicken on a rimmed baking sheet. Spread 1-2 Tbsp honey mustard on cooked chicken. Top with bacon, mushrooms and cheese. Broil until cheese is melted.
Source: plainchicken.com

Pizza Dip and Foccacia Bread

Pizza Dip

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup mozzarella, grated
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
1 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
2 ounces pepperoni, sliced
2 tablespoons green pepper, sliced
2 tablespoons black olives, sliced

Mix the cream cheese, sour cream mayonnaise, mozzarella and parmesan and spread it across the bottom of a pie plate.

Spread the pizza sauce on top and sprinkle on the cheese, pepperoni, green pepper and olives.

Bake in a preheated 350 F. oven until the cheese has melted, bubbling and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Focaccia Bread
Yield: One 12×17-inch loaf
Active Prep Time: 1 hour Inactive Prep Time: 11 hours | Bake Time: 20 minutes

For the Bread:
5 cups high-gluten or bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups water, at room temperature
½ cup Herb Oil
Extra olive oil for the pan

For the Herb Oil:
2 cups olive oil
1 cup chopped fresh herbs (any combination of basil, parsley, oregano, tarragon, rosemary, thyme, cilantro, savory, and sage) – OR – 1/3 cup dried herbs or a blend such as herbes de Provence
1 tablespoon coarse (kosher) salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon granulated garlic or 5 to 6 fresh cloves, minced

1. To Make the Herb Oil: Warm 2 cups of olive oil to about 100 degrees F. Add 1 cup of chopped fresh herbs or 1/3 cup dried herbs. Add the salt, pepper, and garlic. Stir together and allow to steep while you prepare the dough. You can keep any leftover herb oil in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (it makes a fabulous dipping oil!).

2. Stir together the flour, salt, and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Add the oil and water and mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until all the ingredients form a wet, sticky ball. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes, or as long as it takes to create a smooth, sticky dough. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. You may need to add additional flour to firm up the dough enough to clear the sides of the bowl, but the dough should still be quite soft and sticky.

3. Sprinkle enough flour on the counter to make a bed about 6 inches square. Using a scraper or spatula dipped in water, transfer the sticky dough to the bed of flour and dust liberally with flour, patting the dough into a rectangle. Wait 5 minutes for the dough to relax.

4. Coat your hands with flour and stretch the dough from each end to twice its size. Fold it, letter style, over itself to return it to a rectangular shape. Mist the top of the dough with spray oil, again dust with flour, and loosely cover with plastic wrap.

5. Let rest for 30 minutes. Stretch and fold the dough again; mist with spray oil, dust with flour, and cover. After 30 minutes, repeat this one more time.

6. Allow the covered dough to ferment on the counter for 1 hour. It should swell but not necessarily double in size.

7. Line a 17 by 12-inch sheet pan with baking parchment and drizzle ¼ olive oil over the paper, and spread it with y our hands or a brush to cover the surface. Lightly oil your hands and, using a plastic or metal pastry scraper, lift the dough off teh counter and transfer it to the sheet pan, maintaining the rectangular shape as much as possible.

8. Spoon half of the herb oil over the dough. Use your fingertips to dimple the dough and spread it to fill the pan simultaneously. Do not use the flat of your hands – only the fingertips – to avoid tearing or ripping the dough. Try to keep the thickness as uniform as possible across the surface. Dimpling allows you to degas only part of the dough while preserving gas in the non-dimpled sections. If the dough becomes too springy, let it rest for about 15 minutes and then continue dimpling. Don’t worry if you are unable to fill the pan 100 perfect, especially the corners. As the dough relaxes and proofs, it will spread out naturally. Use more herb oil as needed to ensure that the entire surface is coated with oil.

9. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough overnight (or for up to 3 days).

10.Remove the pan from the refrigerator 3 hours before baking. Drizzle additional herb oil over the surface and dimple it in. This should allow you to fill the pan completely with the dough to a thickness of about ½-inch. Cover the pan with plastic and proof the dough at room temperature for 3 hours, or until the dough doubles in size, rising to a thickness of nearly 1 inch.

11. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

12. Place the pan in the oven. Lower the oven setting to 450 degrees F and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees and continue baking the focaccia for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it begins to turn a light golden brown. The internal temperature of the dough should register above 200 degrees F (measured in the center).

13. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately transfer the focaccia out of the pan onto a cooling rack.

14. Allow the focaccia to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing or serving.

Recipe adapted from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice

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