Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Satay Chicken Pasta Salad

This is a Pampered Chef recipe which I originally tasted at one of their cooking shows. It is a great main dish for summer because of all the fresh veggies available, but really yummy anytime. It's a good potluck dish, too.

8 oz. uncooked bowtie pasta (I've also subbed penne or angel hair)
1 cup Asian vinaigrette salad dressing (I especially like Ken's brand)
2 Tbsp. Pampered Chef Asian seasoning mix (or 1 1-in. piece peeled fresh gingerroot, finely grated; 2 garlic cloves, pressed; 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper)
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
2 medium carrots, peeled
1 medium red bell pepper
1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts
1 cup lightly packed fresh basil
3 cups diced cooked chicken (about 1 lb.)
Add'l chopped peanuts, if desired

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse under cold running water. Transfer to large mixing bowl and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, for dressing, combine vinaigrette, seasoning mix (or gingerroot, garlic and cayenne) and peanut butter in small bowl. Whisk well and set aside.

3. Cut carrots into julienne strips. Cut bell pepper lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips. Cut carrot and pepper strips crosswise into 1-in. pieces. Finely chop peanuts and basil.

4. Add chicken, carrots, bell pepper, peanuts, basil and dressing to pasta; mix well. Garnish with add'l chopped peanuts if desired.

If I have shelled edamame on hand, I'll throw that in (cooked) as well. Everyone in my family likes this, even my 3 and 1 year old daughters!

White Pizza

Yum! Something a little different, and incredibly fast.

1 prepared pizza crust
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 c. grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, divided
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
pepperoni slices if desired
seasonsed salt to taste

Place pizza crust on a lightly greased pizza pan or baking stone; bake at 425 degrees until dough rises, about 3-5 minutes. Spread garlic over crust; sprinkle with 1/2 of the cheeses. Arrange tomato and pepperoni slices on top; sprinkle with remaining cheese and seasoned salt. Bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes.

Friday, October 8, 2010

No-Knead Parmesan-Garlic Bread

This recipe makes a beautiful, tasty loaf of bread (or two!). Great presentation and guaranteed to be enjoyed by all. Although it does take some time to make because of the rise time, it's really not very difficult to make. Try it for dinner with a great Italian meal.

Place oven rack below center of oven. Warm oven briefly.
Scald 1 cup of milk.

1 package active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
1 cup lukewarm milk from above (scalded then cooled)
¼ cup softened margarine or butter
¼ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ teaspoon salt
4-4 ½ cups all purpose flour

Parmesan-garlic filling:
          ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
          ½ cup margarine/butter softened
          3 tablespoons parsley flakes (I usually use just under 3 Tbsp)
          ½ teaspoon garlic powder
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in milk, margarine, sugar, eggs and salt. Stir in a cup of flour. Stir in remaining flour. Continue stirring scraping dough from side of the bowl, until soft sticky dough forms. Cover, let rise in a warm place until double, about one hour. (Dough is ready if indention remains when touched.) Stir down dough by beating about 25 strokes. Turn dough onto well floured surface; roll or pat in rectangle 18x12 inches. Spread Parmesan-garlic filling evenly over dough. Cut dough into 3 strips 18x4 inches. (I often make 2 smaller loaves because it makes one really HUGE loaf if not made into two and I have a hard time putting it on one cookie sheet.) Roll each strip into rope, pinch edges and ends to seal. Place ropes diagonally and close on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Braid ropes gently and loosely. Do not stretch. Pinch ends to fasten. Tuck under securely. Cover, let rise until 1 ½ times original size about 30 minutes. Mix one egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water, brush over braid. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional). Place oven rack below the center of the oven if it is not already there. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 25-30 minutes until braid is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. If braid is browning too quickly, cover with aluminum foil.