Monday, July 12, 2010

7/9/10 Recipe Testing Day #3

Today was yet another day of preparing green beans, which I've explained before, so I won't go into detail about it again. We did that for about three hours, then we cleaned up and moved on to recipe testing. The dishes of the day were Olive Oil Orzo, Greek Goddess Mac N Cheese, Applesauce Cake (with raisins), Pasta with Greens and Feta, and Inside-Out "Fried Chicken". Starting with the Pasta with Greens and Feta, there was just enough flavor, but not too much flavor, I'm not sure how to describe it in more detail, but it was good. Next was the Mac N Cheese, which contained what I assume to be cherry tomato bits, some kind of green, and a cheese sauce. It was full of flavor, and everything blended together well, so look forward to that being in the school cafeteria! After that was the chicken, which I personally think wasn't too great, because there was almost no flavor, and it was served cold, so maybe it'll be better next time. Lastly, the Applesauce Cake (simply cake with applesauce mixed in to give it a unique texture). The cake was served hot, so we didn't get to try it cold, but it was still pretty tasty. My only complaint about it was the raisins, so it might be worth leaving out the raisins next time, because not everyone likes raisins.

Try these recipe's at home:

Olive Oil's Orzo  - Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes - Serves 6

10 ounces dried orzo (1/2 cups)
One 6-ounce bag prewashed baby spinach (about 4 packed cups)
1/3 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
1/4 cup pitted kalamta olives, chopped
1/4 Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1. cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain immediately return tot he hot pan.
2. Add the spinach and toss until the leaves wilt
3. Add the pine nuts, olives, Parmesan cheese, oil, vinegar, salt, and garlic powder and mix until well combined.
4. Serve hot or refrigerate for several hours and serve chilled.

Greek Goddess Mac & Cheese - Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes - Serves 6

12 ounces dried spiral shaped pasta such as gemelli or cavatappi ( about 4 cups)
2 1/4 cups 1% low fat milk
3 table spoons all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
2 cups pre-shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
One 6-ounce bag prewashed baby spinach (about 4 packed cups)
One 1-pint container grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup kalamta olives, coarsely chopped, or one 2 1/4 -ounce can sliced black olives, drained
Salt and Pepper
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
2. While the pasta is cooking, whisk together the milk, flour, garlic powder, and dill in a medium saucepan until well blended.  Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.  Reduce the heat and continue to simmer and stir gently until the mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.
3. Add the cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese and stir until the cheese melts.  Remove from the heat and set aside.
4. When the pasta is done drain and immediately return to the saucepan.  Add the spinach and stir until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, olives, and cheese sauce and stir to combine.  Reheat if necessary.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Place in individual bowls and top with feta cheese.

Inside-Out "Fried" Chicken - Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 40 minutes - Serves 4

Vegetable oil cooking spray
8 pieces skinless bone-in chicken, breast, thighs, or drumsticks
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup seasoned dried bread crumbs
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon slat
1 teaspoon garlic powder, optional
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees , Spray a large sheet pan with cooking spray.
  2. Place the chicken in a bowl large enough to hold all of it. 
  3. Pour the oil over the chicken and rub it into all pieces.  Set aside.
  4. Combine the breadcrumbs, cornmeal, and seasonings in a separate large bowl. 
  5. Dredge the chicken through the breadcrumb mixture. 
  6. Arrange chicken on prepared pan so the pieces don't touch.
  7. Bake about 40 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking.
  8. The internal temperature of chicken should reach 165 degrees
  9. Serve hot.
Applesauce Cake - Prep time: 20 minutes - Cooking time: 45 minutes - Serves 8 to 10

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups applesauce
1/2 raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
Powdered sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  1. In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream the butter.  Add the brown sugar and continue mixing.
  2. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla, then mix until well blended and fluffy.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.  Add the creamed mixture alternately with the applesauce. 
  4. Fold in the raisins and walnuts.  Pour batter into a greased and floured loaf or tube pan and bake until fir to the touch.  About 40 to 45 minutes.  Let cool in the pan then turn it out, and dust with powdered sugar.

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