Sunday, February 23, 2014

Potato and Chicken Casserole

I had some leftover roasted chicken in the fridge, so I had to come up with a way to use it. I thought a casserole of some kind was the way to go, so I sliced up some potatoes, grated some cheese and came up with this yummy dinner.

Because I roasted my chicken with seasoning salt, I didn't add any extra salt to the dish. I figured between the chicken and the cheese, that would be salty enough for us. I also didn't add any flour. I knew that the potatoes would absorb most of the liquid, or at least thicken it, and they did their job.

This would have been even better with bacon and green onions!

I put cheddar between the layers, and pizza mozzarella on top.

Potato and Chicken Casserole
4 servings

2 cups 2% milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 chicken breast halves, cooked and sliced (about 10oz)
4 medium baking potatoes, thinly sliced (I used a mandolin)
2 1/2 cups grated cheese (I used cheddar and mozzarella)
2 tablespoons Italian seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a baking dish. I used a round one.

In a small pot over medium heat, combine the milk with the butter, paprika, granulated garlic, onion powder, nutmeg, thyme, parsley and pepper. Heat just until the butter is melted. Set aside.

Place a layer of potatoes into the prepared dish followed by a layer of sliced chicken and a sprinkle of cheese. Pour over a ladle of the milk mixture. Keep making layers like this ending with potatoes and then cheese. If it looks like a pyramid, just push it down in the middle to flatten it out a bit as you go along.

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top and cover with foil.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours covered, then, remove the foil and bake for another 1/2 hour until the potatoes are tender. The top should be nice and crispy. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Cranberry Breakfast Cake -Secret Recipe Club

Welcome to my first Secret Recipe Club post of the year! This time, I was assigned a fabulous blog called A Spoonful of Thyme. I was thinking I might like to go and live with Kate so she can feed me. I’ve been pretty lazy about cooking lately, and all her food looks so good. There were so many delicious recipes to choose from and it was hard to pick just one. At first I was going to make Potato Cheese Soup, but I didn't have any ale. These Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms also looked pretty amazing. In the end, I decided to go with a Cranberry Breakfast Cake, because I felt like having cake. This recipe was super easy, and I made it 3 times in one week.

I always have cranberries in the freezer because you just never know when you’ll need some. There’s no reason why you can’t have cranberry sauce with your chicken all year long is there? This recipe calls for fresh, but mine were still frozen and they still worked out perfectly.

I used a loaf pan the first time, and a round pan the second and third time. The second time, I cut the recipe in half. It took about 10 minutes less to cook, but then I had to make another cake the next day because we wanted more.

I didn't have any turbinado sugar left, so I just used regular granulated sugar and it was fine. It adds a little crunch to the top. The second and third time I chopped up some almonds and sprinkled them on top before baking. Nuts are optional of course, but they had a nice roasted flavour and we like them.

Secret Recipe Club

Cranberry Breakfast Cake
From A Spoonful of Thyme
Makes 10 slices

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all purpose flour 
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 heaping cup of fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons sugar (turbinado if you have it)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a loaf pan (or round pan) and set aside. I also lined mine with parchment.

In a bowl, mix the melted butter and sugar with a wooden spoon. It won't take long. 30 seconds will do.

Beat in the eggs and extract until creamy. Another minute here.

Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt just until combined, then gently fold in the cranberries.

Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. The batter was very thick, you can just use a spoon to push it evenly into the pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes depending on your pan. Use a toothpick to test at 30 minutes.

Let the cake cool completely before cutting.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Mu Shu Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I saw this recipe pop up on my news feed on Facebook the other day, and thought it looked pretty tasty. So I went out and picked up a few things so I could make it. I didn’t bother buying sherry, because it’s not something I would use often, and it seemed like a waste. Instead, I Googled sherry substitutes. Someone suggested using a combination of vinegar, sugar and lemon juice, so that’s what I did. I mixed 1 ½ teaspoons white vinegar + 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice + ½ teaspoon of sugar.

This recipe is very easy. The post said it should take 20 minutes to make. I didn’t time it, but it went together pretty fast. I cooked my own chicken though, so that took a little extra time, but if you use left-over or store-bought rotisserie chicken, you will definitely get this done in 20 minutes or less.

Mu Shu Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Makes 4 Servings

2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry (or dry white wine / other substitute)
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon grated garlic
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 package coleslaw mix (14oz - 4 cups)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (skinless)
1 bunch (about 1/2 cup) sliced green onions, divided
12 lettuce leaves (I used iceberg, but anything you can roll will work)
¼ cup chopped cashews

In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, sherry, hoisin sauce and vinegar. Set aside.

In a large pan, heat the sesame oil over medium heat for a minute. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for about 30 seconds.

Add coleslaw and sauce mixture and cook for one minute, stirring frequently. Then, stir in the chicken and ½ of the sliced onions. Cook for another minute until the cabbage starts to wilt a bit.

Divide the mixture among the lettuce leaves and top with remaining onions and cashews.

If you want to bring some to work the next day, keep the chicken in a separate container so you can heat it up. Bring the other stuff on the side.