Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Chicken and Vegetable Strudel

This is a great way to use up some turkey leftovers from the holidays. But don't only make it at the holidays! It's a lovely main course any time, and also great to serve during football games, New Year's day lunch, etc. It also freezes well - freeze before baking, then defrost and bake; or, freeze fully baked if you prefer.

The original recipe for this strudel calls for 2 cans of crescent rolls. I prefer it using bread dough, which I make in my bread machine. You could also use a loaf of frozen bread dough.

Start by assembling the filling. Combine the broccoli, red pepper and carrots in a small mixing bowl.

Add the chicken,

mayonnaise, garlic, salt, pepper and dill,

and stir well to combine. Then add the cheese.

Now roll out your bread dough. Take it from me, do not make the length of your dough longer than your pan! For the rest of this recipe, do as I SAY, not as I do. (If you're using crescent rolls, unroll them to form a 15x12 rectangle.)

Transfer the dough onto a greased baking pan, then spread the filling down the middle, lengthwise. Then cut into the dough at about 1 1/2 intervals on both sides.

Take the strips and fold them over the filling

then fold the ends up.

(This is what happens when your dough is too long for the pan, you have to make it into an arc!)

Brush the dough with a lightly beaten egg white - this will help the dough become golden.

Then sprinkle with almonds.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until bread is golden brown and filling is bubbly.

Cut into slices and serve warm.

Need more ideas for leftover turkey? Try Twisted Chicken Tetrazzini, Chicken and Zucchini Pasta, BBQ Chicken Pizza and Mediterranean Casserole.

Get more inspiration at the Ultimate Recipe Swap, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday and Tuesdays at the Table.

Chicken and Vegetable Strudel

2 cups cooked, diced chicken or turkey
3/4 cup shredded carrots
1 cup finely chopped broccoli
3/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar or colby jack cheese
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. dill weed
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 pound bread dough
1 egg white, beaten
2 Tbsp. slivered almonds

In a bowl, combine the chicken, vegetables, mayonnaise, garlic, dill, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.

Roll out bread dough on lightly floured surface. Transfer to a greased large baking sheet. Spoon filling lengthwise down middle of dough. Cut dough into strips from edge to filling, 1 1/2 inches apart, on both sides. Starting at one end, alternate strips, twisting and laying at an angle across filling. Seal ends.

Brush dough with egg white; sprinkle with almonds. Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into slices and serve warm. Serves 6-8 as main course; 12 as appetizer.

(May be frozen before baking or after.)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6-7

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cranberry Bread

This is a delicious bread that would make a wonderful addition to Christmas morning brunch or to serve to guests who might stop by for coffee! The combination of cranberries and golden raisins is really good, and the bread has a sweet, crunchy streusel topping that makes it look like it came from a fancy bakery!

You won't need your mixer for this one either - just a pastry blender or clean hands.

Start by combining the flour, sugar

baking powder, salt and baking soda.

Cut in the butter until crumbly, just like in shortcake or fruit crisp.

In a measuring cup, combine the orange juice

and egg and whisk together. Add the orange peel to the flour mixture

then stir the orange juice/egg mixture into the flour just until combined.

Fold in the cranberries

and the raisins.

Then transfer to a greased loaf pan.

For the topping, combine the brown sugar, flour and butter,

cutting in the butter until crumbly. Sprinkle the topping over the batter in the pan.

Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the bread from the pan and onto a wire rack until completely cool.

For the glaze, combine the orange juice and powdered sugar

and stir until smooth.

Drizzle over the bread.

Isn't that beautiful?

Cranberry Bread

2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup cold butter
1 egg
3/4 cup orange juice
2 tsp. grated orange peel
1 cup chopped cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup golden raisins

1/3 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. cold butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. orange juice

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cut in butter until crumbly. In measuring cup, whisk together the orange juice and egg. Add to batter along with orange peel and stir just until all dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in cranberries and raisins. Transfer to a greased loaf pan.

Combine the streusel ingredients in a small bowl, cutting in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over the batter in the pan. Bake at 350 for 55-65 minutes or until bread tests done with a toothpick. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

For glaze, add orange juice to powdered sugar, stirring until smooth. Drizzle over bread. Makes 12 slices.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Layered Mint Fudge

This is one of my favorite things to make each Christmas. I never knew fudge could be so easy! It looks great on a cookie tray, and also makes a delightful hostess gift. The best part? You probably have all the ingredients on hand!

Start by preparing the pan. Line a 9 inch pan with foil. If you're using regular foil, grease the foil with butter. This time, I used Reynolds Release which worked really well - I didn't have to grease the foil and I didn't get the buttery "film" on the fudge. (Not that there's anything wrong with a buttery film on anything!)

Then combine the chocolate chips and 1 cup of the evaporated milk in a medium saucepan.

Heat over low heat and stir constantly until the chips melt. Stir well so that mixture is very smooth.

Remove from the heat and add the vanilla.

Pour half of the chocolate mixture into your foil-lined pan

and spread it evenly.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 15 minutes or until firm. Set the rest of the chocolate mixture (in the pan) aside for the time being.

To make the mint layer, combine the white chocolate chips with the remaining milk

and cook and stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat then add the peppermint extract.

Three teaspoons of peppermint extract will seem like a lot - it will smell very strong and you'll think it's too much. It's not. Add it all. You really need it to get the minty flavor.

Now add the green food coloring - just a few drops!

Note that I added way too much. My fudge is now leprechaun green instead of minty. Be careful! (Or use one of the food coloring bottles that only comes out a drop at a time, not one with an open top like I did!)

Stir well to incorporate the color and then spread over the chocolate layer.

Cover again with the plastic wrap and refrigerate to set, again about 15 minutes.

Now heat the remaining chocolate mixture over low heat so that it's spreadable.

Spread the chocolate over the mint layer,

then cover and refrigerate overnight. Now remove the foil and fudge from the pan, and peel back the foil.

Slice the fudge into strips

and then cut into bite sized pieces.

(Man, that is a bright green mint layer!)


Get more Christmas ideas at the Krazy Kitchen. And other recipe inspiration at Mouthwatering Mondays, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table and Tasty Tuesday.

Layered Mint Fudge

2 cups (12 ounces) semi sweet chocolate chips
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk, divided
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup white chocolate or vanilla chips
3 tsp. peppermint extract
1 to 2 drops green food coloring

Line a 9 inch square pan with foil; grease foil with butter, or use Release foil. In medium saucepan, melt chocolate chips and 1 cup sweetened condensed milk over low heat; cook and stir 5-6 minutes or until smooth. Remove from the heat and add vanilla; stir several minutes or until creamy. Spread half of mixture into prepared pan. Refrigerate 15 minutes or until firm. Set remaining chocolate mixture aside.

In a small saucepan, melt white chips and remaining milk over low heat; cook and stir for 5-6 minutes or until smooth. Remove from heat; add peppermint and green food coloring; stir for 3-4 minutes or until creamy. Spread evenly over chocolate layer. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until firm.

Heat reserved chocolate mixture over low heat until it achieves spreading consistency; spread over mint layer. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Using foil, lift fudge out of pan. Gently peel off foil; cut fudge into 1-inch squares. Store in the refrigerator. Makes 1 3/4 pounds.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Chocolate Coconut Neopolitans

These cookies are so festive for the season, and are a little different than what you traditionally see on a cookie tray. They're easier to make than they look (tricks people into thinking you fussed!), and they have a delightful buttery crumb and a trio of flavors.

Of course, REAL butter is the not-so-secret ingredient that makes these cookies (and most others!) great. Start by creaming together the butter and sugar.

Beat in the egg and vanilla, then combine the flour, baking powder and salt, and add that gradually to the creamed mixture, beating until all the ingredients are combined.

Now divide the dough into three portions.

To the first portion, add the almond extract and the red food coloring.

Stir it up really well so that all the mixture turns red (or pink...) Pat this mixture into a 9x5 loaf pan that is lined with wax paper.

Add the coconut to the second portion.

Stir it up to incorporate all the coconut, then spread it evenly over the red layer.

Add the chocolate syrup to the remaining dough,

then spread it over the coconut layer.

Cover the pan with foil, and freeze for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Remove from the pan and peel off the wax paper.

Cut the loaf in half lengthwise,

then cut each half widthwise into 1/4 inch slices.

Place slices on a greased cookie sheet

and bake for about 12 minutes or until the edges start to lightly brown. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Place the chocolate chips and shortening in a small bowl

and melt in the microwave. (I used half power and it took about 2 minutes, I stirred every 30 seconds.) Stir it up well to ensure that it is smooth.

Dip the ends of each cookie in the chocolate

and return to the wire racks to dry.

If you like, you can put the cookies on baking sheets and put in the refrigerator or freezer to help set the chocolate faster.

Get more great cookie recipes at the Krazy Kitchen.

Find more recipe inspiration at Food on Fridays, Friday Feasts, Foodie Friday, and Stop and Smell the Chocolate.

Chocolate Coconut Neopolitans

1 cup butter, softened (no substitutions)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. almond extract
4-6 drops red food coloring
1/2 cup flaked coconut, finely chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp. chocolate syrup
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tsp. shortening

Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with waxed paper and set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well.

Divide dough into thirds. Add almond extract and red food coloring to first portion; spread evenly into prepared pan. Add coconut to second portion; spread carefully over the first layer. Add chocolate syrup to third portion; spread over second layer. Cover pan with foil and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Unwrap loaf and cut in half lengthwise. Cut each half widthwise into 1/4 inch slices. Place on greased baking sheets and bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

In a small bowl, melt chocolate and shortening in microwave; stir until blended and smooth. Dip one end of each cookie in chocolate; return to rack to set (or place in refrigerator or freezer to set more quickly.) Makes 4 1/2 dozen.
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