Friday, December 3, 2010

Chicken Divan...with inpromptu ingredients.

When I was a kid my mom used to make chicken divan a lot.  I remember disliking the exotic taste of the curry at first, but over time it grew on me.  Now I consider it comfort food.  I was craving some comfort the other day and decided to make some.  After my visit to the Costco to pick up a rotisserie chicken I realized I didn't have any cream of chicken soup to start the base of my sauce.  DAMN!!!  Lightening fast thinking...make my own cream of chicken!  And that is just what I did.  I don't think I will EVER use cream of chicken again. 

Chicken Divan - made up style:
1/2 Rotisserie Chicken - I always get mine at Costco and they are GIANORMOUS so I only used half. 
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon corn starch
2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons curry powder
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup cheese
2 cups broccoli - frozen or fresh

Preheat oven to 350 degree F. 

Cut up half a rotisserie chicken into small bite sized pieces and set aside. 

In medium saucepan melt butter.  Add flour and cook for a minute.  Add milk, cornstarch and curry.  Allow sauce to thicken.

Add cheese and  stir until melted. 

 In medium to large baking dish combine chicken and broccoli. Pour sauce over top and stir to combine.

 Cook for 25 minutes.

When I type the recipe out it sounds all thought out and professional, but it couldn't be farther from the truth! When I realized I didn't have the cream of chicken I went to making a roux. I was only going to add one cup of milk because I was going to make a smaller batch, but then thought better of it when I saw how much sauce that would give me. I decided that AFTER I had added the milk. I was worried that making more roux would mess up the recipe at that point so I opted to add cornstarch to thicken it up. BINGO!!! I REALLY liked the taste of the sauce. Canned sauces are handy when you need them, but if you can avoid them...DO!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Perfect Little Muffin Pan

O.K., I'm going to make a shameless plug for Pampered Chef.  In part because I started selling Pampered Chef, but more importantly, BECAUSE THIS PAN FREAKING ROCKS!!!!  Pampered Chef has a silly number of appetizer recipes you can make in this pan.  On future posts, I'll highlight some of my favorite appetizer recipes.  Today I'm going to share my first made up recipe I created in this pan for Thanksgiving appetizers.

So my Dad is pretty crazy about Brie en Cruet.  He gets a big round bite of Brie, puts some kind of jam on top and wraps it all up in puff pastry.  It is good, but I wasn't have a large crowd at my house for Thanksgiving and I wasn't sure about the palates of some of my guests.  As a result, I created the following recipe.

Mini-Brie en Cruet:
2 packages refrigerated Pillsbury croissant dough
1 pie slice of brie - my favorite is Presidente
1 small jar of your favorite jam - I used a raspberry habenero jam for a little KICK!

Open croissant package and cut the already pre-cut slices in half.  Push them into place in your mini-muffin pan.  (Pampered Chef also sells a wooden dowl to help you with this task.) - Sorry, I can't help myself. :)  Cut the brie into squares small enough to fit into pan without overflowing from the croissant dough.  If you are not keen on the rind around the brie, you can cut it off.  Spoon a small amount of jam on top and close the croissant dough around cheese and jam like it is a package. 

Cook according to instruction on croissant dough package.

Another option for this SWEET pan is the obvious...MINI-MUFFINS!  Now that my daughter is eating everything we are eating this is a FABULOUS option for kid sized muffins.  Today I made blueberry oatmeal muffins in this pan.  I love them because they are small and bite sized (and we all know food in cute shapes and small sizes taste better) and my daughter loved them because they fit her hand well.

Bisquick Sweet Muffins
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cups Original Bisquick mix
1/3 cup sugar

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Prep your muffin pan with cooking spray.  In medium bowl, beat milk, oil and egg with wire whisk or fork until blended.  Stir in Bisquick mix and sugar just until moistened.  Spoon batter into muffin cups.

Bake 8-9 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy your bite sized goodness!!!