Friday, April 25, 2008

A Very Yellow Dinner-Beer Batter Chicken & Hash Brown Casserole

I realized as I was plating this dinner, that besides being extremely fattening, it was all very yellow. The picture is probably not too appetizing but these two recipes were very tasty and VERY fattening. I realized that most of our dinners this week were not very health conscious!

Creamy Hash Brown Casserole
From Southern Living

1 (32-ounce) package frozen hash brown potatoes (I used Simply Potatoes southwest style)
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can fat-free cream of chicken soup (I used fat-free cream of mushroom soup)
1 (8-ounce) container light sour cream (I used regular sour cream)
1 small onion, chopped
1 (5-ounce) can low-fat evaporated milk (I used 5 oz skim milk)
1/4 cup light butter or margarine, melted (I used butter)
1 teaspoon dried rosemary (optional) (I omitted)
1/2 teaspoon salt (I omitted)
1/4 teaspoon pepper (I omitted)
Vegetable cooking spray
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (I used Mexican blend cheese)

Stir together first 9 ingredients in a large bowl.
Spoon mixture into an 11- x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle cheese evenly over top.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until bubbly and golden. Remove from oven, and let stand 10 minutes.

Beer-Battered Fried Chicken Tenders
recipe source unknown

1 ½ pounds chicken tenders (raw)
¾ cup vegetable oil

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 egg
¾ cup pale ale

Dipping Sauce:
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons pale ale
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, 1 teaspoon salt, lemon zest and cayenne pepper to make batter. In a small bowl, beat together the egg and ¾ cup pale ale or other beer. Pour beer mixture into flour mixture, stirring until just blended and slightly lumpy. Set aside.

To make dipping sauce, beat together in a medium bowl, mayonnaise, heavy cream, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons pale ale, and salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large, deep saucepan, place the vegetable oil. Warm over medium heat. Place chicken tenders in batter mixture. Remove tenders one at a time and gently place in hot oil; it should sizzle loudly. Cook chicken in three batches, turning, about 6 minutes per batch, or until crispy on the outside and fork can be inserted into chicken with ease. Remove chicken from pan with a slotted spoon. Set on a plate lined with several paper towels to drain. Serve chicken hot accompanied by dipping sauce.

Cajun Pasta

Here's one of our favorite dishes from my Southern Living cookbook - Cajun Pasta. I didn't have green or red peppers on hand, so I used mushrooms which I love.

Cajun Pasta
from Southern Living Cookbook Classics

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 pound unpeeled medium-size fresh shrimp
2 skinned and boned chicken breast halves, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1/2 pound andouille or Cajun smoked sausage, sliced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used red wine and it turned out fine)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon Cajun or Creole seasoning (I used Emeril's Essence)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon cracked pepper (optional)
1 green pepper, cut into thin strips
1 sweet red pepper, cut into thin strips
1 (16-ounce) package fettuccine, uncooked

Bring water to a boil; add shrimp, and cook 3 to 5 minutes or until shrimp turns pink. Brain; rinse with cold water. Peel shrimp, and devain, if desired. Set aside.

Cook chicken and next 3 ingredients in olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, until meat is lightly browned; remove chicken mixture from skillet and set aside.

Add wine to skillet. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 3 to 5 minutes or until wine is reduced to 1/4 cup.

Combine chicken broth and flour, stirring until smooth. Add chicken broth mixture, whipping cream, Cajun seasoning, tomato paste, and if desired, cracked pepper to skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.

Add chicken mixture and pepper strips; cook until thoroughly heat. Keep warm.

Cook fettuccine according to package directions; drain. Combine fettuccine and chicken mixture. Toss gently.

Serves 6 to 8.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Baked Buffalo Chicken Nuggets

I had this recipe starred in my Google reader for awhile now and just got around to making it. It was very good, despite the kind of bizarre picture. Our camera is in great need of updating and is on our list of things to buy. So don't pay attention to the picture, walk, no run to Amber's Delectable Delights to see a great picture and the original recipe! I served ours with blue cheese dressing and tater tots as a side!
Buffalo-Style Chicken Strips with Ranch Dressing
(Adapted from:

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten (I used 2 large eggs, not just whites)
1 1/2 cups coarsely crushed cornflakes
1 pound chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips
Cooking spray
1/3 cup hot sauce (I used Frank's Hot Sauce)
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (I used Tabasco)
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup fat-free ranch dressing (I used Ken's Blue Cheese dressing)
4 celery stalks, cut into 1/4 x 3-inch sticks (I omitted)
4 carrots, cut into 1/4 x 3-inch sticks (I omitted)

Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Place egg whites in a shallow dish. Place cornflakes in a shallow dish. Working with 1 chicken strip at a time, dredge in flour mixture. Dip in egg whites; dredge in cornflakes. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken strips, flour mixture, egg whites, and cornflakes.

Lightly coat chicken strips with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until done, turning once.

Combine hot sauce, pepper sauce, and Worcestershire in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in butter. Drizzle hot sauce mixture over chicken. Serve with ranch dressing, celery, and carrots.

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

We had some fresh shrimp from the grocery store in need of a good recipe. I received a Food Network cookbook for Christmas that I was thumbing through and found this recipe from Giada. We had never had Shrimp Fra Diavolo so we weren't sure what to expect. The sauce was quite thin but we loved the addition of the onions. Enjoy!

1 pound large shrimp
1 teaspoon salt, plus additional as needed (I omitted)
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons
1 medium onion, sliced
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup dry white wine
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
3 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves (I omitted)
3 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves

Toss the shrimp in a medium bowl with 1 teaspoon of salt and red pepper flakes. Heat the 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and saute for about a minute, toss, and continue cooking until just cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Transfer the shrimp to a large plate; set aside. Add the onion to the same skillet, adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan, if necessary, and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, wine, garlic, and oregano.

Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Return the shrimp and any accumulated juices to the tomato mixture; toss to coat, and cook for about a minute so the flavors meld together. Stir in the parsley and basil. Season with more salt, to taste, and serve.