May 2008 Posts

Slow-cooker chicken in spicy peanut sauce

This recipe had me at "slow cooker." Course, it almost lost me at "diced tomatoes" and "peanut butter," but then I thought again of "slow cooker."

I have to say this unusual combo was a great dinner. By that I mean very spicy with minimal clean up. There are no tricks here.

Just combine these seemingly uncomplimentary ingredients, add chicken, and leave on the "warm" setting of your crock pot all day long.

Slow-cooker chicken in spicy peanut sauce
1, 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with peppers
1, 10-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 C. peanut butter
1 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Set cooker to warm setting. Combine ingredients in slow cooker (don't drain tomatoes). Stir until peanut butter is well blended. Add chicken, covering it with the mixture. Cover with lid and cook several hours. Spoon chicken and sauce over rice to serve.

Rice Pudding

Are you, dare I ask, a rice over-estimator? Admittedly, I am.

Sure, I follow the directions that tell exactly how much to make for your desired serving size, but somehow I always end up with quadruple the amount I need. Thankfully, I have found a solution (other than just making one-fourth of what I think I need). Rice pudding!

This recipe is easy and has a long life, both on the front end (use rice that's been sitting in the fridge for awhile) and the back end (whip this up and it keeps for days).

Works great with whole grain and white rice.

Rice Pudding
2 C. cooked rice
2 1/2 C. milk
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg
1 C. sugar
3/4 C. raisins
In a small pot over medium heat, stir together rice and milk. Add egg, stirring until blended. Add sugar, cinnamon and raisins. Stir occasionally until desired thickness, reducing heat as needed to prevent boiling. Serve warm or cold.

Sun-dried tomato cashew stuffed pasta shells

Sun-dried tomato cashew stuffed pasta shells

Here's a baked pasta dish that has a nutty twist - literally.

This recipe calls for cashews in the standard ricotta cheese filling that we all know and love in our jumbo shells, manicotti, lasagna or whatever. We're also tossing in some sun dried tomatoes, which add some tang to the cheese mixture as well as the marinara.

Simply blend and fill your pasta. It's easy. I would sprinkle some broken cashews on top along with the cheese before baking for a little extra nutty crunch.

Sun-dried tomato cashew stuffed pasta shells
1 C. cashews
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
12 ounces ricotta cheese
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
For shells:
1 package jumbo pasta shells
1 jar marinara
1/3 C. sun dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
mozzarella or Parmesan, as desired
For filling: In a food processor, blend cashews lemon juice, olive oil and garlic until creamy. Add ricotta and basil and blend until thoroughly combined. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions. Spray a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and cover with a thin layer of marinara topped with a thin layer of sun dried tomatoes. Fill the pasta shells with cashew mixture and place in baking dish. Pour remaining marinara on top and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or so.


Experiments in Cookology by Brye Butler

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