Friday, June 29, 2012

Chicken in Lime Butter Sauce

How can something with so few simple ingredients be THAT delicious?  I don't know, but it is.  This moist, delicious, citrusy, buttery chicken may become a favorite at your house like it has at ours.  I got it out of this Taste of Home Grand Prize Winners recipe book.  I've made only a few changes.  One is that I double the sauce as we like to pour it over mashed potatoes on the side.  I've tried it with both fresh and dried dill.  Both are fine, but the fresh was a little better.

Chicken in Lime Butter

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (If you have time, they are even better marinated in lime juice for a couple of hours or overnight- or you can use orange juice.  Just put the breasts in a ziplock and pour in some lime or orange juice.  Seal.  Knead and turn occasionally.)
Oil, salt and pepper
!/2 cup butter, cubed
2 T. lime juice
1 tsp dill weed
Green onion, minced for garnish if desired
Salt and pepper the chicken breasts. Put some oil in large skillet and heat over med. heat.  When hot, add the chicken breasts.  Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side until chicken is no longer pink in the middle.  (This varies by the thickness of the chicken.)  Remove from the pan and put on a plate and cover with foil or a lid to keep warm.

Add the butter to the skillet.  Cook and stir until the butter is melted.  Add the lime juice.  Stir in the dill and green onion. Drizzle over the chicken. We love this with mashed potatoes and glazed carrots or summer squash on the side.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mimi's Cafe Honey Bran Muffins

Have you been to Mimi's Cafe and had the Honey Bran Muffin?.  Oh, my, they are good. They are very moist and are delicious, sweet, and ooey -gooey.  Man, they're good.  Did I already say that?  When I saw a recipe on Pinterest that claimed to taste like them, I had to try it.  That recipe was an adaptation of another one, so I went to that link, too.  They are very similar, and I've made my own adaptation of both.  I have no idea if this is really how Mimi makes her muffins, but they taste very much like them.  The great thing is that they get better and better for a few days if stored in a plastic container or ziplock.  They just keep getting gooey-er.  So they are the perfect make ahead for a special breakfast or brunch or they're great with a summer salad or soup dinner.

Mimi's Honey Bran Muffins

1 cup bran (all bran buds)
1/3 cup raisins
1 cup water

3 T. white sugar
3 T. brown sugar, packed
4 T. softened butter
3 T. honey
2 tsp. water

1 cup flour
4 tsp. dry milk powder
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
 1/4 cup honey
2 T. molasses
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
 1 tsp. (or less) grated orange zest, opt.

In a small saucepan, combine the water, raisins and bran.  Bring to a full rolling boil.  Turn off the heat and let set until somewhat cooled.  
While it cools, make the glaze:  Mix together the sugar, 3 T. brown sugar, butter, 3 T. honey and 2 tsp. water.  Divide the glaze evenly between the 12 muffin cups in a regular sized muffin tin.  Put 1/12 of the mixture in each of the (sprayed) cups.  Use a brush or your fingers to bring some of the glaze up the sides of the cups and spread as evenly as you can.  It doesn't have to be perfect.

In a bowl, mix together the flour, milk, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Make a "well" in the center of the dry mixture and set aside.
Put the raisin/bran mixture in a blender or food processor.  Add the 1/4 cup honey, 1/3 cup brown sugar,molasses, oil, egg, and zest to the blender.  Blend all together.  Scoop the mixture into the well in the dry ingredients and mix just until blended.  Don't overmix.  
Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups.  Bake at 350 for about 18-20 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean.  Immediately invert onto a cooling rack or waxed paper to cool.  Store in a tightly sealed container or ziplock bag.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas

A recipe I've made all 35 years of our marriage is Chicken Enchiladas.  When we were first married, and going to school, a couple had us over for dinner and served creamy chicken enchiladas.  I requested the recipe.  She was so certain I would ask for the recipe, that she had previously written the recipe on a card and had it all ready for me.  I thought that was funny.  I've made that recipe regularly for 35 years.  But I think I just discovered one that I like even better.  My complaint with the other one is that it just wasn't saucey enough.  This recipe has a delicious filling and separate sauce over the top of the enchiladas.  Now why didn't I think of that?  Try it;  I think you'll like it.  
I completely forgot to put the beans IN the enchiladas, so I just served them on the side.  I'm sure they would be delicious in.

Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas


3- 4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (you can use rotisserie chicken)
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, cubed
1 4 oz. can green chilis, drained
1 can black beans, drained


3T. butter
1 onion, diced
3T. flour
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup milk
2 14 oz. cans green enchilada sauce
1/2 cup sour cream

2-3 cups grated Mexican mix or Monterey Jack Cheese
10-12 Flour tortillas

Any or all of the following for toppings:
Sour Cream
Cilantro, chopped
Tomatoes, chopped
Black olives, chopped
Avocado, diced

Heat the oven to 375.
In a med. bowl, combine the filling ingredients.  I find it easiest to use my hands to combine.  Set aside.

In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter over med. heat.  Add the onion and cook until the onion is soft and transluscent.  Sprinkle the flour over the onions.  Cook and stir for about a minute.  Then add the broth and milk.  The mixture will thicken and smooth as you stir it constantly.  Cook for about 4-5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and add the enchilada sauce and the sour cream.  Stir to combine well.

Grease a 9x13 (or larger if you have it) pan.  Spread about 1/2 cup sauce (or a little more) on the bottom of the pan.  Lay the tortillas out and divide the filling evenly between them.  Top with a handful of cheese, then roll up enchilada style.  Place seam side down in the pan.  Pour the sauce over the enchiladas.  Depending on the size of your tortillas and how many you use, you may need to use a 13x9 and a smaller square pan to fit it all.
Top with more cheese and cover tightly with foil.  You can put this in the fridge at this point for up to several days, or put in the oven to bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes until heated through and bubbly and the cheese is melted.  Remove the foil at the end.  As you serve, have people top with any or all of the following: sour cream, cilantro, tomatoes, avocado, black olives.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Creamy Cream Cheese Frozen Custard

Ready for another homemade custard recipe.  This one is very rich and creamy.  The recipe suggested mixing in brown bread crumbs that you have toasted/ caramalized with sugar and cinnamon.  I made the crumbs and tried some on top, but we preferred it just creamy.  So we never even used the bread crumbs.  Here's the recipe for the custard ice cream:

Creamy Cream Cheese Frozen Custard
1 cup milk
1  1/2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
8 oz. package cream cheese, cubed
5 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
In a saucepan, heat the milk, 1/2 cup cream, salt, and sugar together.
In a bowl, pour the remaining 1 cup of cream and the cream cheese.  Put a mesh strainer over the bowl and put the bowl in an ice bath.
In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  Very slowly, add the warm mixture into the yolks, whisking all the while. Scrape the yolk mixture back onto the sauce pan and cook over low heat.  Scrape with a heat proof spatula constantly as you heat the custard.  When the custard coats the back of a metal spoon, it is done.  Pour the custard through the strainer into the bowl with the cream cheese and cream.  Stir until smooth and the cream cheese is melted.  Add the vanilla.  When well mixed and cooled, put the mixture into the fridge for awhile until thoroughly chilled.  Freeze in your ice cream maker.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Marshmallow Lime Fruit Dip

This is a delicious dip to serve with your summer fruit platters.  It goes well with about every kind of fruit.  My favorite is bananas, but is great with apple wedges, strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple and grapes. Every time I make this, I think of my little neighbor lady that used to live across the street.  She was a tiny little thing and didn't eat much.  Because of some health problems, the doctor suggested she needed to eat a banana each day.  She hated bananas.  I made her a batch of this dip and took it to her.  Her husband called to report that, with the dip, she was now happily consuming bananas!  But even if you do like naked fruit, it's always more fun to dress it up!

Marshmallow Lime Fruit Dip
13 oz. jar marshmallow cream
2- 8 oz. packages cream cheese (light works great, too), softened
1 T. frozen orange concentrate
Juice of 1 lime
Grated lime zest
1/4-1/3 cup coconut milk, optional (but yummy if you have it!)

With a hand mixer or stand mixer, mix all ingredients together until fluffy and well-blended.  Taste and add more orange juice or lime juice or coconut milk to your taste.
"You put the lime in the coconut and eat it all up!"

Friday, June 1, 2012

Cuban Paninis

Several years ago, Ken and I stayed with my sister Patty and her husband Hal.  They made us paninis on their panini grill.  I had never even heard of a panini, and fell in love.  I hurried home and bought me a panini grill and have been trying different combinations ever since.  My husband and I agree that this is the best one we've tried.  There's something about this strange combination of flavors that is absolutely delicious.  There are many variations of the Cuban Panini.  I looked on lots of recipe websites and kind of combined ideas from several.  It  appears you can use almost any kind of meat, but the most popular is pork.  I had some salami that I needed to use, so I used that with ham.  Man, is it good.  And good news:  You don't have to have a panini grill.  It makes the nice grill marks, but  the main thing is that the sandwich be "pressed."  You can use a regular skillet and just put another heavy pan on top of the sandwich and press down.  Be sure to put a piece of foil between.  Or another website suggested using a brick wrapped in foil.  The pressing makes it melt and goo together.  So here's my version of a Cuban Panini.  For each sandwich:
1 bun.  My favorite bread to use for these is the torta bread (it's actually Mexican bread) from Costco.  Any crusty roll or bun would work.
Ham slices( I like black forest ham)
Salami slices
Swiss Cheese slices
Herb and Garlic Boursin, opt.  (If you have some, spread it on.)
Two dill pickle slices (Vlasic is a good brand)
Soft Butter
Spread the bread with the mayonaise, mustard and cheese spread (if you're using it.)  Layer ham, swiss and salami.  Top with the pickle slices. Put on the other half of bun. Butter the outside of the bread, if you'd like. Cook on the panini grill or as suggested above for about 2-3 minutes until browned.   Cut in half and enjoy!