Friday, August 5, 2016

Fiesta Chicken Kiev

I feel quite warmly toward this recipe.  Not only have I been eating it for decades, since my mom was the original discoverer, but it was the first meal I cooked for my sweetheart when we'd been dating for about 6 weeks.  I use "mild" chiles, but those with a stronger taste for spice can use the regular kind.
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Old English cheese spread (see note, below)
  • 1 tsp dried minced onion
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp chopped green chiles from a 4oz can
  • 1/4 C butter, melted
  • 1/2 C crushed cheese crackers (Cheez-Its)
  • 1 Tbsp taco seasoning mix
1.  Pound each raw chicken breast to flatten to 1/4 inch thickness.
2.  Beat together softened butter and cheese spread until well blended.  Mix in onion, salt, and chiles.  Divide mixture evenly between the two flattened chicken pieces, spreading along center.  Roll up each chicken piece, tucking in ends to completely enclose filling.  Secure with toothpicks if needed.
3.  Dip each roll in melted butter to cover, then coat with mixture of crushed cheese crackers and taco seasoning mix.  Arrange rolls in small oven-safe casserole or gratin dish.  Cover with parchment or wax paper and microwave for 4-5 minutes on 70% power, or until juices are clear and chicken is cooked through.

Robyn's notes:  served alongside steam-in-bag microwave rice and on a bed of lettuce with diced tomato.  The video shows what the cheese spread packaging looks like, it can usually be found in the cracker section of the grocery.  There will almost certainly be leftover filling, which is great when stirred into scrambled eggs in the pan.  Watch me demonstrate this recipe on youtube!  

**** 4 Stars: Very Good.  Enjoyed by us both, I will make this frequently. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cupcakes

I'm really quite pleased with this recipe.  I was doing some chores one morning recently, and thought to myself "a cupcake that tastes like my favourite instant oatmeal would probably be really good".  I was quite sure I could make an easy maple buttercream frosting, so the next step was the cupcakes themselves.  My elevation gave me some real challenges this time, so after I had the recipe working I had two family members test it for me, as they both live at sea level.  Came out even better for them than it had for me!
  • 1/4 C boiling water 
  • 1/4 C old-fashioned oats (not "quick cooking") 
  • 2 Tbsp sugar 
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar 
  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened 
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp beaten egg 
  • 1/2 tsp 100% real maple syrup (not Mrs Butterworth's, Log Cabin, Aunt Jemima, or other "breakfast syrups") 
  • 1/2 C flour 
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon 
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line four regular-size muffin cups with paper liners.
2. In a small bowl, pour boiling water over oats, stir so that all oats are wet, and set aside to cool.
3. In a medium bowl cream together sugars and butter. Beat in egg and maple syrup. Stir in oats.
4. Combine dry ingredients and add to batter. Blend until just combined, do not overmix.
5. Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups, and bake at 350°F for 19-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Remove cupcakes to cooling rack and allow to cool completely before icing. 

Maple Buttercream Frosting:

  • 4 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 Tbsp 100% real maple syrup (again, not "breakfast syrup")
  • 1 C powdered sugar
1. With a mixer, beat together butter and syrup until fluffy, add sugar and mix at low speed until combined.

Robyn's notes: high altitude may have to increase flour measurement to 2/3 C.  These will be just a little bit muffiny, but the frosting is so sweet that I think it makes up for that.  And since this is oatmeal, it could even be an excuse for cupcakes for breakfast, right?  Breakfast syrups have little or even zero actual maple syrup in them, and the main ingredient--hfcs--won't have the same reaction in baking as real maple syrup will, so the pure product is necessary.  After taking the picture I sprinkled some maple sugar on top of one of the cupcakes, since I had it in the house, and it was great!  But as that's a specialty ingredient I didn't mention it in the recipe.

**** 4 Stars: Very Good.  Enjoyed by us both, I will make this frequently.