Monday, January 16, 2006

Pepper Jelly Chicken, Gurkensalat, Mac & Cheese, and Yogurt Pie

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I’ve had this jar of Jalapeño Jelly sitting in my cupboard for some time, waiting for the right recipe. It came from a place called Honeyville, which is about 10 miles north of Durango, Colorado. As their name implies, their main product is honey, especially creamed honey in a multitude of flavors, but they also make jellies. I usually pick up jars of honey and jellies every time I go to Colorado (they’re sold in many different towns in southwest Colorado). I created this recipe this afternoon–a simple three-ingredient recipe. It tasted great!

Pepper-Jelly Chicken

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2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/3 c jalapeño jelly
1/2 packet dried onion soup mix

Put chicken in small baking dish. Combine jelly and soup mix; spread over chicken. Bake at 350˚ for 25-30 minutes, or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced.

Patti of Adventures in Food and Wine gave me the inspiration for this recipe. Yesterday she posted a recipe for macaroni and cheese that used smoked gouda. Wow! What a flavor that must have. As I was trying to figure out what to fix with our chicken for dinner, I remembered her yummy recipe and decided to make mac and cheese as well. I ddin’t have any smoked gouda, but I did have various other cheeses, so I decided to make a four-cheese mac and cheese. I also used only 6 ounces of pasta instead of 8, since it’s just DH and me. Patti’s wonderful smoked gouda mac and cheese is here.

Four-Cheese Mac and Cheese

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4 T butter
6 oz. pound elbow macaroni (I used soy macaroni)
4 T all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
dash cayenne
1/2 c Swiss cheese, grated
1/2 c sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3 slices Provolone
1 c cheddar, graded
1/3 cup fine bread crumbs
1/2 t seasoning salt

Preheat the oven to 350˚. Butter a 2-quart baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Drain well. Melt the remaining 5 tablespoons butter in a heavy 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, and stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, being careful not to let the flour brown. Using a whisk, add the milk in a steady stream and cook, whisking constantly, until thick and smooth, 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the salt, pepper, cayenne, the Swiss, sharp cheddar, Provolne, and 1/2 cup of the cheddar, and stir well. Add the noodles and stir well. Pour into the prepared dish. In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese with the bread crumbs and seasoning salt. Sprinkle evenly over the macaroni and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

My salad to go with dinner is another German favorite, something I can whip up in 2 minutes as long as I have a fresh cucumber. I checked with Ulrike (Ostwestwind) at Kuchenlatein if she made hers like this, and she said she did. She also passed on a unique recipe for cucumbers with peanut butter sauce, and I think I’ll try it next week with some chicken satay.

Deutscher Gurkensalat (German Cucumber Salad)

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1/4 c white vinegar
1/4 c water
2 t Splenda Granular
1/4 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced or waffle-sliced (see picture)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, water, Splenda, salt and pepper. Add cucumber and stir. Keep in refrigerator until you’re ready to eat it. Toss salad occasionally to get all pieces in the vinegar mixture.

Desset is this wonderful pie, adapted from a recipe I got on Recipe*Zaar
. The original recipe called for blueberries only, and sugar. I substituted mixed berries and Splenda, and it came out great. I need to get a set of pie crust shields, though, as every pie I cook gets overly-dark brown edges. DH had two slices; he said this is his favorite kind of pie–not too sweet. It is pretty tart, but tasty.

Mixed Berry Yogurt Pie

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1 9" pie crust
2 eggs
3 tablespoons Splenda granular
1 cup plain yogurt
3 T lemon juice
1 t vanilla extract
2 cup mixed berries (I used blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)

Preheat over to 350°F. Filling: Mix all the filling ingredients, except the blueberries until smooth. Put the berries into the pie shell and gently pour in the filling so the berries are coated and evenly distributed. Bake for about 60 minutes until the crust is browned and the custard has set. About halfway through, you'll want to cover the crust edges with foil or pie crust rims. Chill well.

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Paz said...

Wow! What a lineup of food! How'd you cut the cucumber like that. Special tool, I suppose.

Thanks for tagging me for the meme. I'm posted my respone here.


ostwestwind said...

Hi Cindy, I answered the meme. What gender is meme?

I don't have that "Reibeeinsatz" to cut the cucumber that way. I just had a parsnip soup, I went to the dentist today.

Punky said...

What a great idea for the chicken. I may have to give something like that a try. Thanks for the idea.

Ruth said...

Cyndi, I love using peppery jellies on chicken and fish. It tastes great, takes no time and wow's whoever eats it.

Those cucumber slices look awesome. How did you do the waffle slicing? I love it.