Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cajun Andouille and Chicken Alfredo Sauce over Pasta



One of my favorite entrees at a certain restaurant chain is Cajun Chicken Pasta. When my husband and I were dating in college, I would make him take me there almost once a week so I could have it! I have tried a few variations of Cajun pasta, so far none have tasted like the restaurant version. This pasta dish originally called for shrimp, which I swapped for chicken. You can almost bet that if the recipe has andouille in it, my family will love it! Next time I make it, I think I will add some of the Cajun seasoning to the chicken before cooking. I tasted the sauce before adding everything together and it has the perfect kick to it. Once the sauce mixed in with pasta, chicken, andouille, and everything else, it lost a little bit of the spice. The end result was still delicious, but with my family, if the dish says Cajun it had better be spicy!!

Cajun Andouille and Chicken Alfredo Sauce Pasta

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1 pound boneless, skinless chicken cut into medium-size pieces

1 (12 oz) package fettuccine

1/2 pound Andouille sausage, chopped

1/2 cup butter

1 medium onion, chopped

1 small green bell pepper, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 tablespoons salt-free Cajun seasoning

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

6 oz parmesan cheese, shredded, plus more for tasting (Original recipe calls for pasteurized prepared cheese product)

3/4 cup chopped green onions

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Prepare fettuccine according to package directions; drain pasta, and set aside.

Cook chicken and sausage in a large Dutch oven over medium heat 10 minutes or until browned; remove chicken and sausage, and drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in Dutch oven. Set sausage aside.

Melt butter in drippings in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and green bell pepper; cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat 10 minutes. Stir in Cajun seasoning and flour. Cook over medium heat, 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in chicken broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Boil 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low, and stir in heavy cream; cook over medium-low heat 8 minutes or until mixture simmers. Add parmesan cheese, sausage, and chicken, stirring until cheese melts.

Source adapted from:

One Year Ago Today: Almond Rice Pilaf

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken



It’s been a while since I posted another recipe from my childhood. This is a recipe straight from my mom’s kitchen and one of my favorites. Think of this chicken dish as chicken parmesan a la carte. No sauce, no pasta, just parmesan encrusted chicken. My favorite way to eat it is to squeeze lemon juice on the chicken right before serving. The lemon gives it a surprising flavor component that I love. Serve the chicken with some mashed potatoes,corn, and bread rolls and you have a childhood favorite of mine!

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken

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4 boneless, skinless chicken breast

1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

2 eggs, lightly beaten (or melted butter if you are at my Mom’s house!)

lemon wedges, to taste

Combine the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.

Dredge chicken in egg, coating both sides and then dredge in bread crumb mixture, coating each side of the chicken.

Place chicken in a baking dish. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees.

Before serving, squeeze lemon juice over chicken.

One Year Ago Today: Bananas-n-Cream Cake

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fried Green Tomatoes with a Creole Remoulade



To say that my husband has been asking me to make fried green tomatoes would be an understatement…it’s been more like begging, Green tomatoes are hard to come by here in NY. I haven’t been able to find any at all. Luckily, Michael’s co-worker was nice enough to share some of her tomatoes with us. Whenever my husband and I visit locations in the South, we always make sure to order fried green tomatoes as an appetizer. We have tried several variations. Most restaurants serve them with some sort of remoulade sauce. The cornmeal batter keeps the breading nice and light. The remoulade adds just the right amount of kick to accompany the tomatoes. I think its safe to say I have fulfilled my husband’s appetite for fried green tomatoes for now! I suppose we will have to expand our garden next year so that we can plant more tomatoes!

Fried Green Tomatoes

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2 green tomatoes (sliced 1/4 inch thick)

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup corn meal

oil for frying

Season the tomato slices with salt and pepper. Dredge the tomato slices in flour, then egg, then corn meal. Fry the tomato slices in oil until golden brown on both sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Remoulade Sauce

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Creole mustard

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 teaspoon horseradish

1 small glove garlic

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 green onion, chopped

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon paprika

hot sauce to taste

Blend everything in a food processor until smooth.

Source adapted from: Closet Cooking

One Year Ago Today: A Coffee Lover’s Cookie

Friday, September 24, 2010

Game day Food


Things have been a little crazy since we made it back from our vacation. My husband was gone for most of last week on a business trip, so I haven’t been cooking much. I’m sure you have all missed my posts! I will be back next week with a few new recipes. College football is in full swing, the weather screams Fall, and Game Day food is what I’m looking forward to this weekend! Here are a few recipes for anyone that is still deciding what to make for the games this weekend:

Meatball Sliders


Buffalo Chicken Dip


Sausage Stuffed French Loaf


Alabama Smokehouse Burger


Sugar Cookie Bars


Banana Split Brownie Pizza


Friday, September 17, 2010

Bourbon Bread Pudding with a Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce



My husband has been on a bread pudding kick. If we go to a restaurant, he wants to order bread pudding for dessert. If I ask him what dessert he wants me to make, he suggests bread pudding. To satisfy this craving of his, I decided to try making bread pudding myself. I was happy with the results of my first bread pudding attempt! Had I not added the sauce, the taste of bourbon would not have been as present, but with the sauce you got just enough bourbon flavor. My only complaint regarding this recipe is the recommended loaf pan used to bake the pudding. A loaf pan is rather deep, so the pudding located in the bottom of the dish does not bake as well, even with the hot water bath. Next time my husband requests bread pudding, and trust me there will be a next time, I am going to try using a more shallow pan or possibly individual ramekins.

Bourbon Bread Pudding with a Bourbon Glaze

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8 oz baguette (or egg-rich bread), preferably stale – I used Challah

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

4 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

1 tablespoon bourbon

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract

Have a nonreactive 9x5 inch loaf pan on hand (a Pyrex or pottery pan is perfect here), as well as a roasting pan big enough to hold the loaf pan. Line the roasting pan with a double thickness of paper towels. Fill a teakettle with water and put it on to boil; when the water boils, turn off the heat.

Cut the bread into 1 inch cubes. If the bread is stale, put it in the loaf pan. If it is not stale, spread it out on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat and bake in a 350 degree oven to "stale" it for 10 minutes, then put it in the pan.

Bring the milk and cream just to a boil.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, yolks, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a bowl. Still whisking, slowly drizzle in about one quarter of the hot milk mixture - this will temper, or warm, the eggs so they don't curdle. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remaining milk. Add the bourbon and vanilla and almond extracts and whisk gently to blend. Rap the bowl against the counter to pop any bubbles that might have formed, then pour the custard over the bread and press the bread gently with the back of a spoon to help cover it with liquid. Cover the pan lightly with wax paper and leave it on the counter, giving the bread the back-of-the-spoon treatment now and then, for 1 hour.

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350.

Discard the wax paper and cover the pan snugly with a piece of aluminum foil; poke about 5 holes in the foil. Slide the pan into the oven and very carefully pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the pudding pan. Bake the pudding form 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for 15 minutes more, or until the pudding is puffed and golden and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean. Transfer the baking pan to a rack and cool the pudding until it is just warm, or until it reaches room temperature.

The bread pudding is best served at room temperature - the texture is best then and the flavors most pronounced. You can refrigerate the pudding, but it loses its lusciousness as its temperature drops. Cut the pudding into thick slices and use a pie server to lift the the pieces from the pan. Serve the pudding plain, with a big spoon,with fruit such as berries or caramelized apples, our with a Bourbon Butterscotch glaze (recipe below).


Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons bourbon

1/4 cup butter

1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients. Cook in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture just comes to a good simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 to 5 minutes, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Transfer to a heat-proof container, cover and cool slightly before serving. Sauce will thicken a bit as it cools.

Yields a little over 1 cup.

Source: Bread Pudding from Baking from my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan; Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce from Baking Bites

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches



Back when I was a summer intern in college, I would often eat at a certain restaurant for lunch. Once of my favorite things on their menu was oddly enough the salad that accompanied the meal. What made the salad so good was the barbecue ranch dressing that accompanied it. Whoever thought to combine ranch dressing with a sweet barbecue sauce was genius! When I saw the recipe for this sandwich and it called for a barbecue ranch sauce I knew I needed to try it! The pork was tender and moist, as always, but the sauce made the sandwich even better. The original recipe called for Kaiser rolls to be used, but my husband and I both thought the roll had too much bread for this particular sandwich. Next time I will try regular hamburger buns and see if that makes a difference. On another note, our family tends to grill even through the winter, but for those that don’t the pork could also be cooked in the oven.

Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches

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1/4 cup hot pepper jelly

1 teaspoon water

1 tablespoon paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins, trimmed

Cooking spray

1/4 cup light ranch dressing

1/4 cup sweet barbecue sauce (I used K.C. Masterpiece Original)

8 hamburger buns

Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

Combine pepper jelly and water; set aside.

Combine paprika, salt, sugar, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, and black pepper; rub evenly over pork. Place pork on grill rack coated with cooking spray; cover and grill 15 minutes, turning pork occasionally. Brush pork with jelly mixture. Grill an additional 5 minutes or until thermometer registers 155 degrees.

Place pork on a cutting surface. Lightly cover with foil; let stand 10 minutes. Thinly slice pork. Combine ranch dressing and barbecue sauce. Serve pork and ranch mixture with buns.

Source adapted from:

One Year Ago Today: All Occasion Sugar Cookies

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Yeasted Waffles



I have been wanting to try yeasted waffles for a while, but never found the time. Had I known how good they were I would have definitely made them sooner! You can smell the yeast as the waffles cook, leaving your mouth watering for a taste. The yeast flavor is also present in the waffle. The waffle itself has a crispy bite, but a soft center. As you can see, the waffle iron itself is in need of replacing (hence the half browned sections), but the waffles still manage to shine in flavor. I have made/tasted several types of waffle batter and while each give you and different taste and texture, this is by far my favorite waffle.

Yeasted Waffles

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1/2 cup warm water

2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

2 cups whole milk, warmed

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Combine the water and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Let yeast stand to dissolve 5 minutes before proceeding. Add the milk, butter, salt, sugar, and flour to the bowl. Whisk until well blended and smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature overnight.

When you are ready to make waffles, preheat the waffle iron. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and place a plate in the oven. Just before making the waffles, whisk the eggs and baking soda into the batter until smooth. The batter will be very thin. Fill batter in waffle iron and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Cook until crisp and golden. Transfer finished waffles to a warmed plate in the oven while you cook the rest of the batter. Top as desired with butter, syrup, etc.

Source: Annie’s Eats, originally from The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham

One Year Ago Today: Aloha Burgers

Monday, September 13, 2010

Oven-Fried Chicken



We are back from vacation in Sunny Florida, welcomed back to New York with cool Fall weather. Although I am very ready for some aspects of Fall, such as College Football, I’m just not ready for the colder weather. Due to the cooler temperatures I have been craving all things comfort food. Fried chicken and mashed potatoes was first on the list. The chicken is quickly fried in oil before being placed in the oven to finish cooking. You still get all the crunch when you bite into the chicken, but the benefit of not dealing with a lot of hot oil. The only adjustment I will be making to the recipe is to add either some paprika or cayenne to the flour mixture. My husband and I both agreed it was missing a little heat, but we still loved the meal!

Oven-Fried Chicken

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2 chicken (3 pounds each), cut in 8 serving pieces

1 quart buttermilk

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable oil or shortening

Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and pour the buttermilk over them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Take the chicken out of the buttermilk and coat each piece thoroughly with the flour mixture. Pour the oil into a large heavy-bottomed stockpot to a depth of 1-inch and heat to 360 degrees on a thermometer.

Working in batches, carefully place several pieces of chicken in the oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side until the coating is a light golden brown. Make sure to not overcrowd the pan. Remove the chicken from the oil and place each piece on a metal baking rack set on a sheet pan. Allow the oil to return to 350 degrees before frying the next batch. When all the chicken is fried, bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink inside. Serve hot.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Headed to the Beach…



My husband and I have been enjoying the beach for the last week. This was a vacation that both of us needed, filled with lots of R&R. Since I have been out of the kitchen the past week, The Sweet and Savory Kitchen is also going on vacation. I hope to have some new posts within the next week or so, but until then happy cooking and baking!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Spiced Peach Muffins



Before the peach season is over I wanted to share another recipe. I again had some peaches that were going bad and refused to let them go to waste. I was in the mood for muffins at the time and wondered if peaches would be good in a muffin. After a little searching, I found this recipe from King Arthur Flour. The spices in this recipe reminded both myself and my husband of pumpkin pie! The smell of allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg filled the house while the muffins were baking. The peaches worked surprisingly well the spices, but could easily be substituted with other fruits. The muffins were originally supposed to be made into over-sized muffins, but I went with more regular sized muffins and made close to 2 dozen.

Spiced Peach Muffins

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4 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups dark brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 eggs

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 1/4 cups milk

4 peaches, diced (not peeled) or 3 cups small whole berries or other fruit, diced

granulated sugar

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, brown sugar, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in eggs, vegetable oil and milk, then gently stir in fruit. Grease 16 muffin cups, and heap batter into cups; they’ll be very full. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until muffins test done.

Source: King Arthur Flour

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cupcakes and Blog Anniversary!!!



The Sweet and Savory Kitchen is one year old today!!!

I can’t quite believe that a year ago I started this blog and have actually been able to keep up and produce 200 posts within a year. I started this blog to give inspiration and share recipes with some of my family members, but I think the real joy and purpose has been trying new dishes and finding out favorite foods for myself and family. I went from only having a handful of recipes that I would repeat each week, to never cooking the same thing twice…unless of course its really good! I have now learned that there are so many recipes out there you shouldn’t be bored with what you eat! Enough about turning one…let’s talk cupcakes!

I thought it only fitting to have my one year anniversary post be something that I truly love. Chocolate and peanut butter is on of my favorite combinations. Be prepared to eat the cupcakes with some milk though because they are super rich! My only disappointment with the actual cupcake part was it was very dense, almost brownie-like. I would have preferred a more moist, crumb cake, but either way the cupcake had all the peanut butter one could possibly consume! A peanut butter buttercream frosting surrounded by chocolate cake and a surprise peanut butter filling once you bite delicious!!

Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

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For the Cupcakes:

2/3 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

3/4 cup sugar

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Peanut Butter Filling:

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted

3/4 cup smooth peanut butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Peanut Butter Icing:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 cup creamy peanut butter

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup heavy cream

To Make Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Put butter and chocolates in a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water; stir until melted. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly.

Whisk sugar into cooled chocolate mixture. Add eggs, and whisk until mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture; stir until well incorporated.

To Make Peanut Butter Filling:

Stir together all ingredients for filling until smooth. Use immediately.

To Assemble Cupcake Batter:

Spoon 2 tablespoons chocolate batter into each lined cup, followed by 1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter filling. Repeat with another tablespoon of batter,

Bake, rotating tin halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, about 40 minutes (Mine baked 25 minutes). Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature in airtight containers.

To Make Peanut Butter Icing:

Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

Source adapted from: Martha Stewart Cupcakes

Frosting adapted from: