Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Winter Doldrums

As these long gray days of winter go on and on, I share with you some splashes of summer colors to brighten your spirits.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hungarian Chicken Paprika

Here is a recipe of an old favorite I hadn't made in some time.  It is from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham.  This is one of the cookbooks I refer to often and its recipes never fail me.  Many good old American standards plus a variety of recipes from other countries such as this one.

I did vary the recipe somewhat this time by using chicken tenders I had in the freezer instead of using whole pieces of chicken.  I must say that not only did it save immensely on cooking time, but the flavor was not compromised one bit.  I had this meal cooked in about 30 minutes as opposed to the 50-60 minutes called for, and it was a most satisfying Sunday dinner.
Of course, partaking in a crisp, dry vodka martini on the rocks while I worked certainly didn't hurt!
Hungarian Chicken Paprika

3 pound chicken, cut in quarters
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika
1 tomato, chopped
1/2-1 cup chicken broth
3 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream

Rinse the chicken and pat it dry. melt the butter in a heavy pan. Cook the onion until lightly browned, then add the chicken and sprinkle with the salt.  When the chicken pieces are browned, remove them from the pan and set aside.  Mix in the paprika and cook for 1 minute; add the tomato and 1/2 cup chicken broth, lower the heat, and simmer for 7 minutes.  Return the chicken to the pan, cover, and cook 30-40 minutes.  Remove the chicken to a warm platter.  Sprinkle the flour over the pan drippings, whisking briskly to smoth and blend, and cook for 3 minutes.  Gradually add enough chicken broth to make 1 cup of liquid, then sitr in the heavy cream.  When it is heated through, turn off the heat and whisk in the sour cream until well combined.  Spoon over the chicken pieces and serve over wide egg noodles.  (Serves 4).

Friday, January 4, 2013

Artichoke Cheese Bread

Here is a terribly (and by terribly I mean terrific) indulgent recipe for Artichoke Cheese Bread.  Think of that Artichoke Cheese dip served in restaurants as an appetizer and then think of it stuffed into crispy French bread and baked.  So, so good.  It's amazingly rich and creamy and quite honestly, could be a meal on its' own. In fact it was at our house.

The recipe calls for canned artichokes which I didn't happen to have so I used a jar of marinated artichokes and just rinsed them well before chopping them up. It worked just fine.  I have also seen frozen artichokes which would be another good option. I also cut back on the amount of sour cream so it wouldn't be so gloppy and I added a dash of onion powder to mine.  Experiment away with cheeses, perhaps mozzarella or Gruyere might be good. The end result will be fantastic any way you slice it!

Artichoke Cheese Bread
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
½ cup + 2 Tablespoons sharp cheddar, shredded, divided
1/4 cup Romano cheese grated
Loaf  of French or Italian bread, sliced in half lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all of the ingredients except for the bread, and mix well. Slice the bread in half lengthwise. I used half of a loaf, so each piece should be about 1 foot long. Remove about half of the inside of the bread. Spread the artichoke filling over the bread. Sprinkle with the extra cheese. Place in the oven for 20 minutes. Check after 15 minutes. If it is getting too brown, but the cheese is not melted, then cover with foil. Allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes. Slice and serve.