Monday, September 9, 2013

comfort foods from around the globe

I must be getting ready for fall - even though it is 90 degrees in Nashville today. I have been making some heartier meals and stocking our freezer full. Over the past few weeks, I made an assortment of what I think of as comfort foods (with some international flare - very minimal at times). Chicken Florentine bake, peaches 'n cream pork empanadas and chicken schnitzel with red cabbage and spaetzle.
Chicken Schnitzel for Two
2 chicken breasts, skinless/boneless pounded
1/2 cup wheat or white flour (for dredging)
1 large egg and a touch of water
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 
1 cup (or more) whole wheat bread crumbs  
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided  
Chopped flat-leaf parsley 
Lemon wedges  
 Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place flour on a plate. Beat eggs and Dijon mustard to blend in a shallow baking dish. Place bread crumbs in another shallow baking dish. Working with 1 chicken breast at a time, dredge in flour, shaking off excess, then dip into egg mixture, turning to coat evenly; carefully coat with crumbs. Transfer chicken to a plate. Heat oil in large saute pan. Add 2 chicken breasts to skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides, 8-10 minutes. Transfer chicken breasts to a paper towel then serve with a lemon wedge.

So Co Peaches 'n Cream Empanadas
I had about a pound of frozen pulled pork meat that I wanted to use up in a creative way so I tried something new. Empanadas are a delicious treat that Vance loves. Roll out pie or pizza dough and cut into squares, fill with whatever cooked food you like and make a triangle turnover. I used pizza dough and filled them with pulled pork with peach barbecue sauce and a dollop of cream cheese. Baked on prepared pan at 400 degrees for about 12-15 minutes until golden.
So Co Peach BBQ Sauce|
1 ripe peach, pureed
2/3 cup tomato sauce
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
½ teaspoon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
  2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon Southern Comfort (or other bourbon, etc.)
½ teaspoon smoked paprika

½ dried oregano
4-5 dashes of Chipotle Tabassco
Mix all ingredients together. Combine about half the sauce into the pork and use the rest as a dipping sauce. This sauce is delicious on chicken t

 "Lower Fat" Chicken Florentine Bake
2 large skinless chicken breasts, pre-cooked, cut into cubes
1/2 box frozen spinach, thawed & squeezed to remove access liquid
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon flour
juice from about 1/4 of a lemon 
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
pinch nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup low fat cottage cheese, blended to make smooth consistency
2/3 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated 
1/2 pound whole grain pasta (I used penne)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and mist a 9 x 11 baking dish with oil. Cook pasta according to package directions. In a large pot, heat olive oil to medium-low and saute garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add flour and whisk for 30 seconds. Add chicken broth and stir until thickened. Add lemon juice, nutmeg, oregano & pepper. Bring to simmer. Remove from heat and add blended cottage cheese, spinach, chicken, Parmesan cheese & pasta. Stir to combine. Place in casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden & bubbly.
This is delicious and creamy (and since it doesn't have heavy cream it isn't so terrible for you).

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