Chicken Monte Cristo Sandwich

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After a day of cleaning and decluttering, I wanted to make something simple for dinner.  Pulling out some boneless chicken breasts I first thought maybe I’d do chicken and waffles.  And then my eyes landed on the white bread and I thought…not waffles…french toast!  Thus was born my chicken Monte Cristo.

1 lb boneless chicken breasts, sliced thin

8 slices potato bread (or any kind you prefer)

4 slices swiss cheese

3 large eggs, whisked

2 TBS butter

3 TBS flour

canola oil

1/4 cup water

Melt the butter in a skillet on medium high heat.

Dust chicken with the flour and then add to the skillet, and let brown on each side.  Remove from pan.

Dip bread into eggs and doing just a few slices at a time, brown in the same pan with just a bit of oil added.  When all the bread is fried, it’s time to assemble it.

Place the chicken on four of the the bread slices, and top with the swiss cheese [omitting the top slice of bread].  Without crowding the pan, and moving quickly, place the open-faced sandwiches on the hot pan, add a bit of water and quickly cover the pan.  This will melt the cheese quickly.  Repeat with remaining sandwiches.  When you remove them from the pan, quickly place the top slice of french toast on each sandwich, pressing lightly.  The gooey deliciousness of the cheese will adhere the bread to the sandwich.

Delicious on it’s own, but feel free to serve with maple syrup or even strawberry preserves like the original Monte Cristo.

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Recipe Testing: Roasted Brussel Sprouts

We love brussel sprouts in our family (really!) and often roast them with olive oil and garlic.  The brussel sprouts from Steamy Kitchen have a secret ingredient.  But shhh…I can’t tell.

So easy to make!

Recipe Testing: Asparagus

I’m delighted to have been selected as one of the recipe testers for Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen’s next cookbook.  The first recipe I’ve made for dinner this evening is Steamed Asparagus with Miso Ginger Butter.

It was so simple, and so delicious my husband declared it “better than restaurant food.”  I think he meant that as a compliment. 😉

 

Shrimp Francaise

Raw shrimp, ready for cooking.

I’ve been dying to make Shrimp and Grits and finally got around to buying some grits.  I was all set to make it for dinner tonight but was told by the Golden child that “ugh, I don’t like grits”.  Time for plan B.  He suggested Shrimp Piccata, but I decided to take it a step further and make it Francaise style, which basically means dipped in flour and egg and sauteed.

This is an adaptable recipe.  Use the same method on any kind of fish, chicken cutlets, pork, veal, even vegetables.  Serve with pasta (I just tossed some rotelli with a bit of olive oil and 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese) and a salad or green vegetable (I made  roasted broccoli.)

I’ll make the Shrimp and Grits later in the week.

1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp

1/2 cup all purpose flour

2 eggs, beaten with 1 TBS water

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup chicken stock

3 TBS lemon juice

1/4 cup cream (you could use evaporated milk or soy milk)

2 TBS butter

1 TBS flour

Oil to cover the bottom of the pan

Pat shrimp dry with a paper towel and dredge in flour.  Coast with egg, and then in flour again.

Heat oil in pan.

Add shrimp to the fry pan in batches but be careful not to crowd.  Saute until both sides are a medium golden brown.  Remove from pan, and continue until all the shrimp are done.

Pour out all but a little bit of oil, and deglaze pan with wine over medium heat.    Add chicken stock and lemon juice.  Stir for two minutes.

Mix four and butter, and add to pan juices to thicken.  Add more chicken stock as needed, and more lemon juice to taste.

Add cream and stir.  Take pan off heat.

Return shrimp to pan to coat.

Enjoy!

One roast chicken: Five meals

Roast chicken, the most commonly eaten white meat

I recently bought a big and juicy roast chicken from Costco. (Making a roast chicken is almost as easy and if you don’t know how, I highly recommend the method detailed on the America’s Test Kitchen site from this year:
http://www.americastestkitchen.com/recipes/detail.php?docid=31237&incode=M**ASCA00 )

Since there are only two of us, there was 3/4 of a roast chicken left.I allowed it to cool and then cut most of the meet off the chicken, storing it in the refrigerator.  The carcass went into a soup pot along with 1 cup of baby carrots, a bunch of fresh dill, roughly chopped kale (whatever I had left over in the refrigerator) three roughly chopped garlic cloves and covered it with water.  Brought it to a boil and then turned it down on low to simmer for several hours.  If I had some leftover rice, that would have gone in during the last 15 minutes, but it’s fine without it.

The rest of the chicken was used in three additional meals!!  Chicken salad, chicken croquettes, and a copycat version of Olive Garden’s Chicken Gnocchi soup!

That’s five meals from one roast chicken.  I’ll post the soup recipe later in the week.

Eggplant “Fries”

Česky: Lilek vejcoplodý Deutsch: Aubergine Eng...

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I’ve always been a fan of fried eggplant, but as I become more health conscious I’m less inclined to actually fry foods.  So I was determined to come up with a recipe for eggplant that was not oily, crunchy but not dried out, with just the right amount of creamy center.  After a bit of experimentation, here’s what turned out to be perfectly yummy!  I serve it just as is for a side dish, but have also used it on pizza, a delicious combo eggplant/chicken parmesan dish, and as an interesting addition to a panzanella salad.

1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/4″ x 2″ sticks

3 TBS vegetable oil

1 TBS kosher salt (can use coarse grain sea salt as well)

4 TBS flour

2 eggs, beaten with 1 TBS water

1-1/2 cups Italian flavored Panko breadcrumbs

3/4 cup regular bread crumbs

3 tsp garlic powder (or to taste)

Preheat over to 300 F.

Add oil to bottom of a sheet pan and distribute.

Place cut eggplant into a colander and sprinkle with salt.  Toss to distribute.  Leave for at least 20 minutes.

Set up three bowls:  1) with beaten egg, 2) with mixure of panko and regular breadcrumbs plus garlic powder and 3) with flour

Toss 1/4 of the eggplant in flour mixture at a time.  Make sure they are all coated.

Toss floured eggplant in egg mixture.  Shake off any excess and toss with breadcrumb mixture.

Put breaded eggplant sticks on oiled sheet, making sure they are in an even layer.

Bake for 15 minutes.  Turn and bake another 10-15 minutes.

Remove from oven and enjoy!