Friday, January 21, 2011

Adventures in Cooking: Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, Grilled Brie and Apple sandwiches, and Skillet Lasagna

In addition to making pastries, like a normal person, I must eat three meals a day.  I also have two children, which multiply by a factor of 7 when left with just one adult, a job, and we haven't yet discussed the fact that I'm doing Weight Watchers to lose my baby weight.  So I'm always on the lookout for dinners to make that are easy, yummy enough to make me forget that I'm on a diet, and quick.  Husband and I probably try 1-2 new recipes a week.  If they are yummy enough to make me want leftovers, it's a winner.  So, I thought I'd share with you some of the recent dinners we've made.

Weight Watchers has a new iPad app that is a bunch of recipes, and is amazingly, free.  So, we tried two new recipes with it.  On Sunday (this is not a weeknight recipe--too time consuming), I tried Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, which I've tried in a few variations over the years . I love love love roasted garlic.  Love it.  I'm indifferent about chicken.  I don't like dark meat.  Roasting a whole chicken seems complicated to me:  it's huge, you have to carve it which seems like there are rules involved I don't understand, and I have this aversion to touching raw meat (I delegate these tasks to Husband.)  So, this recipe, which is only chicken breasts, was right up my alley.  I only used 3 lbs of chicken breasts, which is still a lot, so you should invite people over for dinner or think about ways you can use cooked chicken all week if you make this.  I also used probably closer to 60 cloves of garlic to make it more awesome. The recipe randomly refers to taking the temperature in the thigh of the chicken, which since you only used chicken breasts, makes no sense.  I overcooked the chicken slightly as a result of trying to take it's temperature and then Googling for the right chicken breast temperature for doneness, when really I should have just cut into the chicken to see if it's done.

Husband thought it was okay.  I thought it was awesome.  I also made this while Husband dropped off our daughter at church school (we're Catholic, church school is at 5pm on Sunday -- yes, I realize that makes no sense), while watching our son alone (the equivalent of 7 children), and I touched raw chicken so my sense of accomplishment was very high.

Two weeks ago, we made Grilled Brie and Apple Sandwiches.  Awesome.  It's a sandwich, so it's fast, with caramelized onions, brie, and apples. I used lower calorie bread, which knocked down the points to 5 points.  It was like a little bit of heaven on bread.  (If you have a mandoline this is a good recipe to use it for.)

And finally, we have made Skillet Lasagna from the The Pampered Chef 29 Minutes to Dinner cookbook a weekday staple.  I love to make it on Monday so we have leftovers (this serves 6-8) throughout the week for lunches or for kid dinners (for times we have something spicy for dinner that little palates don't care for).  I should warn you that this makes a LOT, so if you don't have a large 12 inch skillet, use a pot.  It's a quick moving recipe (they are not kidding about 29 minutes), so be sure to read the whole recipe in advance, as while things are bubbling, it has you preparing other things. The end of the recipe calls for you to use the Pampered Chef Medium Scoop, which is PC code for Cookie Scoop (if you don't have one, which frankly it's not that necessary of a tool in life, you can just spoon in the cheese).  Also, the recipe calls for grating your own cheese.  Buy pre-grated, like a sane person instead.