Sunday, August 19, 2007

Chicken Nuggets

As far as I know, there is no truth-in-advertising law for blogs, but I will tell you up front that these chicken nuggets are not going to taste like MacD's. (As they say on Seinfeld, not that there's anything wrong with that.) I can't even walk into a MacDonald's, or I walk out with asthma. Something with soy in it--fryer grease? non-stick spray for the grill?--is in the air.

We serve these hot over salad with a creamy dressing.

Chicken Nuggets
(more of an idea than a recipe)

1 - 1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken
flour (white, whole-wheat, or a mix)
sesame seeds
Old Bay seafood seasoning or celery salt
canola or other soy-free oil
Asian sesame oil

In a shallow bowl or pie plate, put some flour (1/3-1/2 cup?) and add 2 or 3 tablespoons of sesame seeds, about 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, several shakes of Old Bay or celery salt, and stir to mix.

Cut the chicken into chicken-nugget sized pieces and dredge in the flour mixture. Heat a couple of tablespoons of canola oil in a skillet, and add a teaspoon or two of sesame oil. Saute the nuggets unti golden brown and the chicken is cooked through (cut one in half to see.)

You can serve these over salad like we do, or you can dunk them in sweet-and-sour sauce.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hooray for the bread machine, part 3: Almond Braid

Well, we are on a bread kick, apparently. An old friend of mine from my graduate school days is in town and she came this morning for coffee. She offered to bring doughnuts, but if they don't have soy flour in them (like Dunkin Donuts) they are fried in soy oil. So that's out. I made one of my husband's favorite coffee cakes. It's reminiscent of an almond danish:

Almond Braid

3/4 cup milk (skim is fine)
1 egg
2 Tbs butter
1/2 8-oz can almond paste (or 1/2 7-oz tube)*
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

1.) Put all the ingredients in the bread machine in the order called for in the machine's manual. Process on "dough" mode.
2.) On a floured board, pat the dough into a rectangle and cut in thirds. Roll each third into a long rope, about 18 inches. On a cookie sheet lined with parchement or buttered foil, braid the three ropes together, pinch the ends, and tuck under.
3.) Bake at 375F for 25 minutes. When cool, glaze (see below).

Almond Glaze
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
1-2 Tbs milk
sliced almonds

Measure the confectioner's sugar in a one-cup measure and leave it in the cup. Add the extract and let it melt a hole into the sugar. A little at a time, add the milk, stirring until the glaze is thin enough to spread but not runny. Spread it over the braid, and sprinkle with the sliced almonds.

* Save the other half in the freezer. You'll want to make this bread again.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Hooray for the Bread Machine, part 2: Cinnamon Rolls

You know how tired you get when you're shopping in a mall, and how hungry you get, and how those cinnamon rolls smell so good? Well, when you're soy allergic, you can't buy them. They may be soy-free--who knows? The company doesn't post this information on their website, and I haven't written them. In any case, here's a recipe that's pretty close, except I don't use a cream-cheese based frosting:

Cinnamon Rolls

2 teaspoons yeast
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk*
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, cut into small chunks
1 egg

2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

For pan:
2 tablespoons melted butter

1 tablespoon melted butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons hot water or milk

1. Put all the dough ingredients in the bread machine in the order specified in the manual and process on "dough" mode.
2. Turn out onto a floured board and roll out into a rectangle 1/2" thick or slightly less.
3. Spread dough with 2 Tbs melted butter, leaving one long edge unbuttered. Mix together 2/3 cup sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over dough, avoiding the unbuttered edge.
4. Roll up jellyroll fashion, starting with the long edge opposite the unbuttered one. Wet the unbuttered edge with your finger, and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12 pieces.
5. Coat bottom of a 9"x13' pan with 2 tablespoons melted butter.
6. Place cinnamon roll slices in 4 rows of 3 each in the pan. Let rise in a warm place until dough has doubled, 30-45 minutes.
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 25 minutes.
8. Prepare glaze. In small bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon melted butter, vanilla, and enough warm water or milk to make spreadable. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.

*note: can use 2 Tbsp dry milk powder and another 1/2 cup of water