Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cooking Weekend night #3

I think yesterday's dishes are the winners so far this weekend! I took the Chocolate Crunch No-Bake Cookies to the neighbor's Rose Bowl party and brought a whole bunch of people back to the 70s with that classic recipe. Then I baked up the Blue Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts and it really did taste just like buffalo wings without the sticky fingers! While it isn't the lowest fat or calorie dish on the list, I'll hang on to the recipe and make it again for sure.

Chocolate Crunch No-Bake Cookies
(from a recipe card written in my 12-year old handwriting, circa late 1970s)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter

Mix together and bring to a boil for 1 minute (don't overboil). Remove from heat

6 heaping tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups quick oatmeal
1/4 cup peanut butter

Mix together. Pour melted butter/sugar mixture over and stir until completely covered. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper and let harden.

Variations include anything you like, really. Nuts or raisins or cranberries. The classic 70s version includes chow mein noodles. I'll be making a batch of those today.

Blue Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Buffalo Sauce
(from Cooking Light magazine)
Note: I realized after I took the photo that although I thought to add rice as a side, my dinner was sadly lacking in vegetables. So I added some green beans. Pretend there's some kind of vegetable on the plate too...
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 tbsp reduced-fat sour cream
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

4 (6-oz) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp 2% reduced-fat milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup panko
1-1/2 tbsp butter, divided

6 tbsp finely chopped drained bottled roasted red peppers
2 tsp water
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1/2 tsp hot sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket. Stuff cheese mixture evenly into pockets.
3. Place flour in a shallow dish. Combine milk and egg in a shallow dish, stirring well with a whisk. Place panko in a shallow dish. Working with 1 chicken breast half at a time, dredge chicken in flour, then dip in egg mixture; dredge in panko. Repeat with remaining chicken breast halves.
4. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter to pan; swirl until butter melts. Arrange chicken in pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned. Turn chicken over; place skillet in oven. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until done.
5. While chicken bakes, combine remaining 1-1/2 teaspoons butter, bell peppers, water, Worcestershire sauce and garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer; cook until butter melts. Remove from heat and stir in hot sauce. Serve sauce with chicken.

One good note from the magazine is not to turn the chicken over too soon or it will stick. I waited and it didn't stick at all. Also, I would follow the 'finely chopped' directions for the bell peppers. I got lazy and didn't process enough and I think it would have turned out better if it was a smoother sauce.

Now on to the thumbprint cookies and roasted veggies. Christmas decorations are almost all down and the Christmas New Year's cards are finally out. Riley scored an indoor play group session at the dog training place down the street so I'd better get cracking on the rest of my chores!

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