Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Redemption

I’m pretty sure that I’ve redeemed myself on the cooking front after last night’s dinner.  Seriously delicious.  After last weeks dismal failure with the horrible thighs (I’ve you’d like more info, see the post here) and the non-existent dessert along with the way too spicy chili later on in the week, I needed a confidence boost.  
I found this recipe on recipezaar - a place I frequent.  Apparently, the original recipe was found on the back of some cereal box.  With how amazing this tasted, I’m pretty impressed with that cereal... whatever it was.  Without further ado, I present to you:

Chicken Calido with Creamy Margarita Sauce.


I did adapt the recipe a bit, and have listed my changes below in purple so you will know where I strayed, in case you want to go by the book (which a rarely, if ever, do).  Just so you know, the recipe on recipezaar seemed a little off to me... there were no instructions for making the sauce, just a list of ingredients and the ingredients for the chicken included olive oil, which wasn’t included in the directions, so I’m really not sure what to make of that.  I have to admit,  after I started cooking and noticed these issues, I thought I’d missed a page, so I went back to my computer to check.  But, no, it wasn’t me this time.  Just some weird little snags.  I decided to wing the one or two unclear parts and hope for the best.  I also had to cook it double the amount of time listed - but I think that’s just my oven.  It happens all the time.  Apparently I need to calibrate it - who would have known?
You can find the recipe here.

The chicken I did pretty much according to the recipe, except I added garlic salt to the flour mixture.  I decided to serve my chicken over some angel hair pasta to make a complete meal, so I wanted to make sure there was enough margarita sauce to cover the noodles, too.  So, I doubled the cream, and added more onion and cilantro than the recipe called for.  (Unfortunately, I never measure, so I can't tell you how much more exactly.  It was a whole large bunch of cilantro and a little over a quarter of the onion.)  I increased the lime juice to two tablespoons and used garlic salt instead of regular salt.  I cut the cilantro and the onion and then put everything into the blender and pureed it.  I refrigerated it while the chicken cooked, so it was a cold dressing instead of a hot sauce and it was super delicious this way.  The only thing I would have changed was adding a bit more garlic salt, so consider that for yours.  
When it was done, I was a little afraid to taste it.  Like I said, last week was not good with my forays into food.  Plus, the unclear directions did nothing to help my unease.  I was trepidatious. I made my family eat it first.  They raved.  They ooo’d.  They ahhhh’d.  I was sucked in.  I took my first bite... it was pretty good.  I took another, and another.  No, no.  This was better than pretty good.  Mr was finished before my fourth bite, so it was a winner with him!  Bug said, “Mmmmm, I like it!” so that’s obviously a plus.  And Mini looked on enviously, so I know she was jealous.  Mr told me this was one dish that was restaurant quality - oh come now, you’re making me blush.... no, go on... - so despite the moments of panic in discovering inconsistent directions, everything turned out alright!  I’ve never made anything with a cornflake breading and it was perfectly crispy and crunchy.  I’m going to try cornflakes in everything now!
But I’ve saved the best for last.  Are you ready for the piece de resistance?  

That’s right.  I whipped up those cute little chocolate pudding cakes that I was supposed to make last week.  I also made the caramel sauce to go with it and topped it all with homemade whipped cream.  

For some reason, I can't find the recipe for the chocolate pudding cakes on Martha's website at all (I can find other cakes, but not the same ones I made).  It doesn't exist.  So I am including it here.  This was in the October issue of Everyday Food.

6 TBS cold, unsalted butter, cubed (plus more to coat ramekins)
1/3 cup sugar (plus more to coat ramekins)
6 oz bittersweet chocolate
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp coarse salt

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter four ramekins and coat with sugar, sprinkling out the excess.  In a microwave safe bowl, heat the butter and chocolate together until melted (about 1 min).  Stir until smooth.  In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, egg yolks, flour, and salt.  Add chocolate mixture and whisk to combine well.  Fill each ramekin 3/4 full.  Refrigerate on baking sheet for 15 minutes.  Bake until the center is soft but not wet, about 30 minutes.  Serve cakes warm. 

Homemade whipped cream is ridiculously easy, I learned.  If you don’t know how, here’s the “recipe”:
Homemade Whipped Cream
Heavy Whipping Cream (I used about 1 cup)
Powdered Sugar (I used about 1/2 of a cup, maybe a little less)
Beat the sugar into the cream a little at a time.  Keep beating.  Beat some more.  When you think you are done beating, beat for a little longer.  Beat, beat, beat.  Repeat.  And voila!  Whipped Cream!  (I guess it makes sense that whipped cream really is just cream that is whipped a lot).
Holy cow, were these babies delish.  And very easy to make too.  
I should mention that the directions for the caramel sauce tell you to use a heat resistant spatula and then show a little picture of one of these:  


Don’t listen to them.  If you do, you will end up with a spatula that looks like this:


Yes, my spatula specifically said it was heat resistant.  And it may have been.  But what it was not was heat PROOF.  I would have just used a wooden spoon if not for those very specific directions and pictures, but I trusted Martha more than myself.  After stirring for much longer than the directions indicated I would have to and noting that the little white chunks were still not dissolving I thought something must be wrong.  I lifted out the spatula to have a little taste (see, I learned my lesson with the chili) and saw to my horror, the vision you see above.  I wasn’t upset about the spatula, but I sure wasn’t going to serve my parents plastic caramel sauce.  So I had to start over.  You will save yourself from a similar fate if you use a wooden spoon right off the bat.  Learn from my mistakes.
I’ve eaten similar individual cakes to this one, and actually think the other ones are a bit better.  You can find them here on the Kraft magazine site.  They are called Molten Chocolate Cakes.  (we serve them with ice cream, not cool whip, but now I might serve them with caramel sauce and whipped cream!).  The Chocolate Pudding Cakes of last night were amazing, but REALLY rich.  So rich, they gave three out of four of use small tummy aches for just a bit afterwards.  You should make them and decide for yourself if the stomach ache is worth it!  
Just so you know: Both the Martha recipes and the recipezaar recipes have the annoying habit of listing the nutritional facts - most specifically the fat and calories.  I think this is extremely rude, so I ignore it.  If you are one of those who MUST look, consider yourself warned - be prepared to implode by the sheer amazingness.  These are NOT low fat items - no, not even a little.  I let myself and mr splurge this one night a week and we eat lettuce the rest of the time.
A recap?  Aside from the horribly scarred and disfigured spatula, this dinner earns 5 stars from my fam!




















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5 comments:

rmpalmer0412 said...

Really, really delicious - - I can attest!
Mom

alicia said...

I'm so impressed. Not sure I have the patience to work so hard in the kitchen, but tempting. Looks yummy. Thanks so much for linking up with my tasty tuesdays. Come back any time.

alicia @ a beautiful mess

Kimberly said...

Lish - that's why it only happens once a week! Most days mr says "what are we having for dinner?" and I say, "whatever you can find." :)

Courtney said...

wow, yum! Thanks for sharing!

Firefly@fireflyblog.org said...

Yummy! Visiting you from Tasty Tuesdays!

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