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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Watermelon Sherbet

Oh, how I love sherbet! This reminds me of those watermelon cakes from Friendly's, especially if you include mini chocolate chips. Very cool and refreshing for a warm summer!

Watermelon Sherbet
Source: Norfolk Cooking Examiner; Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

¾ cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup agave nectar)
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 ¼ cups watermelon juice
2/3 cup heavy cream
3 drops red food coloring (optional)

To make the watermelon juice, process about 5 cups of seeded, chopped watermelon in a food processor until pureed. Strain puree through a sieve catching watermelon juice in a bowl until required amount is reached. This took about ¼ of a large watermelon for me.

In a food processor, combine sugar, salt and lime juice. Pulse until the sugar looks like wet sand; about 6 times. While the food processor is running, slowly pour in the watermelon juice. Process for about 1 minute to ensure that the sugar has been dissolved. Strain the liquid through a sieve, pour liquid into a bowl, and place in the freezer for about 1 hour. The mixture should be very cold but not frozen.

In a chilled bowl, whisk heavy cream until it reaches the soft peak stage. Slowly pour the cold watermelon liquid into the cream while continuously whisking. Add in the food coloring if using. I used it to make it look more like watermelon because the cream lightens up the color dramatically. Immediately pour into an ice cream maker and churn for about 30 minutes, or until it’s the consistency of soft serve ice cream.

Pour sherbet into a container, I like to use a loaf pan, and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of it. Freeze for at least 3 hours before serving. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Chicken Parmesan with Bulgur and Eggplant Bake

I'm no stranger to chicken parmesan recipes, but when I saw this recipe and how easy it came together, I had to try it. The quinoa and eggplant bake sounded fantastic too, but I was out of quinoa and substituted bulgur, which worked great!  I also decided to go with long strips of thinly sliced eggplant rather than chopping it into chunks, so it was almost like an eggplant lasagna.  Delicious!

This meal was absolutely delicious and paired together so well. The chicken parmesan was so easy to make, and the eggplant bake had such great flavor.

The ingredients of the bake seem a little sparse for the size of the pan, and I may switch to a 9x9 or similarly sized casserole dish next time, but it is still definitely workable as written.


Chicken Parmesan with Bulgur and Eggplant Bake
Source: Slightly adapted from Not Your Bubbe's Kitchen

  • 4 thin sliced chicken breasts, about 4 ounces each
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3 egg whites, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup tomato and basil sauce
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Using three shallow dishes, place flour in the first dish, egg whites in the second, and panko in the third, seasoned with the garlic powder, oregano, basil, parsley and 1 tbsp of Parmesan cheese.

Salt and pepper the chicken. Dredge chicken in flour, then egg, then panko mix. Heat 1/2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet. Add chicken to pan and cook about 5-7 minutes. Add another 1/2 tbsp oil, then flip chicken pieces.  Top with sauce, evenly divided among the chicken pieces, about 1/8 cup on each.  Then top with the remaining 1 tbsp of Parmesan cheese, evenly divided among the chicken pieces, and 1/8 cup of mozzarella on each chicken piece.  Cover skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes more.

  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 1 1/4 cups of water
  • 3 cups of peeled, diced eggplant
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 4 tbsp part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1.5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup tomato and basil pasta sauce
Cook the bulgur according to package directions. Mix all the cheeses together. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.  Spoon 1/2 of the bulgur in the pan, making a thin layer. Sprinkle in 1/2 of the vegetables: eggplant, onions, tomato, and garlic slices. Drizzle 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce on top of veggies. Dot the top of the sauce with about 1/3 of the cheese mix. Repeat layers, ending with the remaining 2/3 of cheese mix.
Bake at 400 degrees F for about 40-45 minutes.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Chicken and Artichokes with Wine Sauce

It should be no surprise that we love artichokes, chicken, and wine. Flipping though my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, I found a great sounding recipe that combined all three!

This sauce was fantastic and such a perfect topping for skillet cooked chicken. As an added bonus, it is quick to put together. We served it with mashed potatoes and fresh steamed broccoli for a wonderful meal.


Chicken and Artichokes with Wine Sauce
Source: Slightly adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, Bridal Edition, page 427
Serves: 4

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 8 or 9 ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and halved lengthwise (I used canned)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley

1.  In a shallow dish, stir together flour, sage, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper; reserve one tablespoon of flour mixture.  Coat chicken in remaining flour mixture.

2.  In a large skillet cook chicken in hot oil over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until no longer pink (170 degrees F), turning once.  Remove chicken from skillet; cover and keep warm.  Drain off any excess oil in skillet.

3.  In the same skillet, cook mushrooms and artichoke hearts in hot butter over medium heat for 3 minutes or until artichokes are tender.

4.  In a small bowl stir together reserved flour mixture, wine, broth, and 1/8 teaspoon salt until smooth.  Add wine mixture to skillet.  Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.  Cook and stir for 1 minute more.  Pour sauce over chicken.  Sprinkle with parsley and cheese.