Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dinner and Dessert

Yesterday, when I got home, I searched for a recipe that I could use with some of the things that I had in the fridge that didn't get used from the party. I found this recipe from Rachel Ray and decided to try it out. I modified the recipes a little bit, but that's mostly just to fit with what I had in the pantry/fridge. It was easy and definitely looked like it took a lot more effort/work than it actually did and it tasted great! Kevin really enjoyed it, especially since he wasn't really expecting this kind of meal from just what we had at home.

Easy Chicken Wellington with Asparagus Almondine

  • - 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • - 2 chicken breasts
  • - salt and freshly ground black pepper (I also used garlic powder)
  • - 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
  • - zest of 1 lemon
  • - 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • - 1/2 pound button mushrooms, sliced
  • - 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • - splash of white wine or sherry
  • - 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, cut in half then in half again
  • - 1 egg
  • - 2 tablespoons water
  • - 6 thin slices of brie cheese (I just used a few slices mozzarella because that's what we had)
  • - 1/4 cup almonds
Preheat oven to 375. Bring pot of water to boil and cook asparagus until they are tender. Remove from heat and place in ice water to stop the cooking,drain and set aside.

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat and season chicken breasts with salt, pepper, thyme, garlic powder, and lemon zest. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for a few minutes on each side until golden brown, remove from pan and reserve.

To the skillet where the chicken was cooked, add olive oil, 1 tbs butter and sliced mushrooms. Cook until brown and then season with salt and pepper (and you can add a little tyme and garlic if you want), to taste. Then, add the dijon mustard and white wine and cook until there is no more liquid in the pan. Remove the mushrooms and reserve.

Take the pastry squares and brush the edges with the egg and water mixture. Then, add the cheese to the middle of the pastry, add the chicken breast, and top with sliced mushrooms.

Fold the opposite corners of the pastry together and pinch to form a package, repeat with other corners. Place the pastry on a baking sheet with the seam-side down. Brush the top of each pastry with egg wash, so that it will get golden brown and shiny in the oven.

Bake for about 15 minutes (although I ended up baking about 20 minutes until the pastry dough was browned to my liking).

When there are a few more minutes left for the chicken, add the asparagus and 1 tbs butter to the skillet with the remaining mushrooms. After the asparagus has warmed, add the sliced almonds and cook until browned, about 3 minutes.

Place the asparagus almondine on a plate and then add the chicken pastry, enjoy!

Here are the pictures from the original recipe to show the process:

So for dessert, I wanted something sweet but light, so I decided to make something up and see if it would work. It turned out pretty good, although it is very random and a mixture of a bunch of ingredients. Since the volume of this dessert is mostly fat free cool whip, it's actually pretty light and guilt free.

Raspberry Frozen Dessert

- 1 frozen pie crust, thawed

- 1 container of Cool Whip Free

- 2 oz. cream cheese, softened

- 2 oz butter, softened

- 1 cup powdered sugar

- 1/2 box of raspberry flavored gelatin

- fresh raspberries

- zest of a lemon, divided

Bake pie crust according to instructions, until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Mix cream cheese, butter, and some lemon zest in a stand mixer. Slowly add powdered sugar and gelatin to the mix. When combined, beat at medium speed for a few minutes until creamy. Pour mixture into the pie crust and freeze for 30 minutes. Top with fresh raspberries and garnish with lemon zest. Serve frozen for a cool dessert.

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