Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chicken Paprikash and Nut-Crusted Tilapia

If you're a When Harry Met Sally fan, all you're thinking right now is, "Waiter, there is too much pepper on my paprikash."  I did have an urge to watch the movie after I made this.

Every once in awhile you try a new recipe and it is so good, you put it right on your menu for the following week and it becomes a staple.  This amazing phenomenon occured twice in my household last week and I am beyond thrilled!  Two brand-new, delicious dishes, courtesy of Rachael Ray, that the entire family devoured.  My facebook friends have been dying for these recipes, so here they are in all their glory.

Chicken Paprikash

sliced or diced chicken breast, about a pound.
2 Tbsp Dry Sherry (you can find the cheap stuff with the vinegars)
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
2 1/2 tsp cornstarch
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 sliced onion
1 julienned red pepper
1 Tbsp sweet paprika (not spicy)
1/3 cup sour cream
parsley, salt and pepper

Combine the chicken, 1 tbsp sherry, garlic, 2 tsp cornstarch, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in a bowl.  Stir in 2 tsp vegetable oil.

In a separate bowl, combine the chicken broth, 1 tbsp sherry, and 1/2 tsp cornstarch.

You're supposed to use a wok for this but I just used my largest non stick skillet.  Please keep in mind that you're not supposed to heat these skillets empty, or to high temperatures because teflon fumes can be toxic or something.  You'd think they'd make frying pans out of safe stuff, but apparently not.  So I put some oil in the pan before heating it.  Get it nice and hot, then add your chicken and cook it in a single layer for a minute or two.  Stir it around until all sides are browned.  Transfer it to a plate.

Lower the heat slightly and add the onion and bell pepper; saute them until softened, then add the paprika and the cooked chicken, along with any accumulated juices.  Increase the heat to high, stir to combine, then add the broth mixture.  When the chicken is cooked through, add the sour cream and parsley and serve over rice.

This was DELICIOUS.   We all loved it, but next time I will add a little spice.  Some crushed red pepper had to be added to my husband's plate for him to eat it :)  I had him do all the prep for this, and then I did the cooking so this might give you an opportunity for a little teamwork in the kitchen.

Nut-Crusted Tilapia With Spinach and Roasted Carrots

Slice 4 carrots, toss them with olive oil, spread them out on baking sheet, and season with salt and pepper.  Put them in the oven at 375 degrees.  Roast about 25 minutes.

Combine 1/4 cup ground (in a blender) cashews, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, and a little pepper in a bowl. 

Place 4 to 6 tilapia fillets on a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet.  Spread mustard over the fillets.  You want to use a high-quality, grainy, REAL mustard.  Please do not use yellow mustard.  This is not a hot dog.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the fillets and press to coat.  Drizzle 2 tbsp olive oil on top.  Bake for 12 minutes.  If you want them done the same time as the carrots, put them in when there are 12 minutes left on your carrot timer.

In a medium skillet, saute the garlic in olive oil just until fragrant, then add the spinach and cook until wilted (if you're using fresh) or warm (if you're using frozen).  Season with salt and pepper.

Simply serving a tilapia fillet, a scoop of carrots, and a scoop of spinach on a plate looks so pretty. It was lovely to see all those colors on one dinner plate, and the double serving of vegetables will make anybody happy.  The fish was beyond delicious, and we can't wait to have this dish again.  Experiment with mustards to find one you like.  We really like strong-flavored, seedy mustards, but a dijon would probably work just as well if you need a milder flavor.  You could also serve some rice or pasta with this.

I also made Chocolate Chip Cookies with my three year old and it went pretty well.  I pre-measured all the ingredients and used a stand mixer, so she just poured and watched. 

Try these recipes!  You will not regret it!!

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