Thursday, October 7, 2010

Moroccan-Spiced Chicken With Rice

This recipe is one of my all time favorite chicken dishes.  I came across this recipe in one of the many Nestle cookbooks I own.  It was sandwiched between cookies and brownies, and I almost missed it.  I am so glad I didn't!!!  It is a wonderful meal, that while using some very common ingredients you can make something that tastes quite different and even a little exotic.  There is a TON of flavor in this dish, but nothing is too spicy or overpowering- my 3 year old absolutely loves it!  Now I know the thought of putting raisins in the rice might seem odd, but please don't omit them.  They completely round out the dish.  The raisins plump up nicely and add just the perfect touch of sweetness to balance the flavors of cumin and paprika.  Oh and guess what, it is soooo simple!  It is a quick weeknight meal, but also special enough to serve while entertaining.

When I made this on Tuesday night I had to do a few alterations.  I found that I was fresh out of cumin, so I substituted 1 tablspoon of curry powder plus a few shakes of cinnamon and a few shakes of chili powder in place of it.  I also didn't have any canned diced tomatoes.  Instead, I replaced them with 4 fresh tomatoes I diced, but still incorporated the juices.  I also didn't have any almonds on hand, so I just omitted them.  The dish was just as amazing!  This just goes to show how important it is to get to know your spices and not to be afraid to play around with them a bit.

Moroccan-Spiced Chicken With Rice
6 cups cooked long or medium grain brown or white rice
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground paprika
6 chicken thighs, skin removed**
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ Carnation evaporated milk
1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes, drained
2/3 cup raisins
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup toasted, slivered almonds (optional)

Preheat oven 375º F. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Combine cumin, salt, black pepper and paprika in small bowl; sprinkle 2 teaspoons spice blend on both sides of chicken thighs.

Heat olive oil and garlic in large skillet over medium-high heat. Place chicken in skillet; cook for 4 minutes per side or until browned.

Meanwhile, combine cooked rice, evaporated milk, tomatoes, raisins, lemon juice and remaining spice blend in large bowl. Pour rice mixture into prepared baking dish. Place chicken thighs on top of rice mixture.

Bake for 40 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Sprinkle with almonds before serving.

**Boneless chicken thighs can also be used. Reduce bake time by 10 to 15 minutes.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bacon and Cheese Quiche

As promised, here is another recipe from our last Girls Dinner night.  I already posted my Oven-Baked French Toast and now here is Bonnie's wonderful Bacon and Cheese Quiche.  I love, love egg bakes.  They are pretty simple, always look beautiful served for a brunch, and just by switching around some ingredients you have a very different tasting one each time.  Bonnie's recipe is classic, creamy, and the absolute perfect meal to make the next time you are entertaining friends.  

Bacon and Cheese Quiche
1 9 in. Pillsbury pie crust
1 T. butter
12 bacon slices, crumbled
1 bag mixed cheese
4 eggs
2 C. heavy cream
3/4 t. salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread crust into pie plate or quiche plate. Spread crust with butter. Sprinkle bacon and cheese on crust. Beat eggs w/ rest of ingredients. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes. Turn down to 325 degrees and bake 40 more min. Let stand 10 min.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Honey-Crunch Muffins

Guess what, I have a huge surprise- I'm in the mood for muffins.  Again.  Goodness, this pregnancy is going to be the (carb) death of me!  Oh well, I may as well enjoy it while I can.... OK, onto the yummy muffin!  Today I wanted to make one that wasn't overpowering of sweetness, or glitz.  I wanted one that would be lovely drizzled with a bit of honey, slathered in jam, or even as a nice accompaniment to a nice creamy bowl of soup.

This muffin is just that.  It works great as a sweet breakfast item, but would also be perfect served alongside your dinner.  They are super light and fluffy, puff up beautifully and have a subtle sweetness that isn't at all overpowering.  I somehow forgot to add the cornflakes as a topping to the muffins today- over excited about the yummy goodness I guess.  But that didn't take away from the flavor at all.  They just didn't have as much "crunch"as usual.  I like them both ways.

Print this Recipe

Honey-Crunch Muffins
makes 12-14 muffins

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup crumbled cornflakes, plus extra for the "crunch" topping
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup honey
1 cup milk

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees.  Lightly grease or line with paper baking cups.

In a large bowl, blend together the flour, cornflakes, baking powder and salt.  In a medium bowl beat the egg, butter, honey and milk until smooth.  Combine the two mixtures, blending until the dry ingredients are just moistened.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each 3/4 of the way full.   Top with additional crushed cornflakes.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5-7 minutes.  Serve warm of invert onto a wire rack and cool completely before storing in an airtight container.


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