Jonesin' For Taste

Jonesin' For Taste: June 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013

Pollo El Greco (gf)

This dish is a family favorite and one that I grew up having.  I remember asking for this once when we were visiting my great grandmother in Santa Maria during my birthday.  My sweet mom and grandmother made it for me.  It was obviously a good day because I still remember it years later.  It's the one my husband requests for our anniversary or his birthday or anytime I ask him what he wants for dinner.    If (and I mean if) you have any leftover chicken it is perfect for a salad.  Dinner and lunch the next day is good by me.

Pollo El Greco (gf)

4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 large onions, diced
2 sticks butter
1 cup olive oil
2 cups grapes (different grapes give slightly different flavors, I usually use green grapes)
2 cups pitted olives (about 1.5 to 2 15 oz cans)
2 tsp chopped mint
2 tsp chervil
generous dash salt
generous dash garlic salt
generous dash pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Put grapes and olives into a large oven proof casserole dish, at least a 9 by 13 inch pan.

In a large skillet, saute the onions in the butter and olive oil until lightly browned.  Pour the onions and olive oil/ butter sauce over the grapes and olives. Sprinkle the spices over the entire dish.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown quickly over medium high heat on both sides.  This should take maybe 2 to 3 minutes per side depending on how hot your pan is.  You just want a quick sear not any actual cooking. They will finish in the oven.  Transfer the chicken to the heat proof casserole dish.  I also like to sprinkle a little bit more of the mint, chervil, and garlic salt over the top of my chicken before I put it in the oven.

Bake uncovered for 1 hour.

Note: I cut our chicken breasts in half to make 8 portions.  This helps the meat go a lot further and helps us from over eating.  It's a great trick for portion control and is a lot easier to do before hand.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Christine's Pasta Salad

Can I just say that I grew up in a great food environment, I mean really great.  We had lots of different styles of food and my parents both made some awesome dishes that were family favorites.  This is another one of those recipes that I grew up with that my hubby now asks for often.  It's absolutely delicious and I think tastes better the next day making it perfect to make ahead.  Make the BBQ chicken for dinner the night before, making some extra to throw in this pasta salad.

Christine's Pasta Salad

For pasta salad:

Tri-colored spiral pasta (about 1-2 16 oz. bags depending on how much pasta to veggie ratio you want)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, whole
3.8 oz can sliced black olives
1/2 med. red pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 med. green pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite size pieces
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, cubed into approx. 1/2 inch squares
4 leftover BBQ chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
2 small jars artichoke hearts, halved (optional)
1 cup celery, coarsely chopped (optional)

*Note-My dad says that he blanches the broccoli in the pasta water just to soften it up and give it a little bit of a brighter color.  I think this is great and I will try it out and give more specifics on how long to blanch it.*

For dressing:

1 1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp ground rosemary
1/2 cup grated parmesan

Add salad ingredients into a large bowl.  Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well combined.  Pour over pasta salad and toss to coat.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Baked Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts

Living here in the south has been quite the adventure for our little family.  Perhaps my favorite store here has been Publix.  I subscribed to one of their magazines and quickly fell in love with their recipes.  Lots of delicious looking and sounding meals, healthy alternatives to favorite foods, definitely my kind of store!  This recipe is awesome and was a fast favorite for my little ones.  They get excited because they are eating doughnuts and I am excited because they are getting something much healthier.  My husband likes these but dislikes them being called a doughnut.  He calls them muffins in a doughnut pan.  Oh well, you can't win every battle but it doesn't stop him from eating them.

Baked Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts
makes 6 doughnuts or 6 muffins

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup ground flax seed meal
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp apple pie spice
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp butter, chilled
1/3 cup butter milk
1/4 cup plain yogurt (I use fat free greek yogurt)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped (3/4 cup)
Apple Glaze

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl combine the flour ground flaxseed meal, sugar, apple pie spice, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  With a pastry blender or fork cut in the butter until mixture resembles a fine meal.

In a small bowl whisk together the buttermilk, yogurt and egg until well combined.  Add mixture to dry ingredients and stir until just combined, being careful to not overmix.  Gently fold in apple.

Spoon batter into a ziploc bag and snip off the corner, the hole should be about 1/2 inch.  Pipe into a doughnut pan.  Cover pan lightly with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.  Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and doughnuts spring back when pressed gently with your finger.  Cool doughnuts in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.  Carefully invert pan to remove doughnuts.

Drizzle warm doughnuts with some of the apple glaze.  Serve warm.

Apple Glaze:

3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp apple juice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine ingredients in a small bowl.  Add additional apple juice if needed to reach a drizzling consistency.

I usually make a huge batch of these (like 6 batches!) and freeze the unfrosted doughnuts.  Microwave them for 30 seconds and drizzle the glaze over the top.  If doing a large batch I refrigerate the batter in a gallon ziploc bag and then pipe out what I need and bake immediately, returning the pastry bag to the refrigerator between batches.  Just place the bag into a bowl with the snipped off corner facing up
Note: If you want to make these as muffins, spray a 6-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray and bake as directed.

Recipe slightly adapted from Publix "Family Style" magazine, Fall, 2011, p. 20