Monday, November 20, 2006

Quick Steamed Broccoli

Ok, so steaming broccoli isn't rocket surgery, but I've got a great way of doing it that never fails and always tastes good. The broccoli is always tender perfect without being too crunchy from being underdone or too limp and overcooked. And best of all, it only takes a couple of minutes of prep and 2 minutes or so in the microwave.

All you need is:
a head of broccoli
a bowl
some cooking spray (the butter flavored stuff works well)
some seasoning like Lawry's season salt
2 tablespoons of water
plastic wrap

Put the water in the bottom of the bowl.
Trim the florets from the broccoli head and arrange them in the bowl so the florets all face up (stems down).
Spray the tops of the broccoli with the cooking spray.
Sprinkle some seasoning over the tops of the broccoli.
Cover the bowl very tightly with the plastic wrap - you are creating a nice sealed "oven-to-table" steamer.
Put the bowl in them microwave a fire it up on high for about 2 minutes or so depending on the power of your microwave (ooh..."Fire On High", great E.L.O song from the '80's - this is a weird little anime video using the song which also has a great not-so-"subliminal" message at the beginning of it).

Enjoy - both the music and the Broccoli!

Oven-Fried Mustard Chicken

Another old recipe from "First" Magazine from the early '90's, this is a good old standby for a tasty oven chicken breast dish. I've made it several times over the years and we always enjoy the tenderness of the chicken and the dijon flavor. Tonight's meal was made from a single chicken breast that weighed in at about a pound - they're just so large these days. I cut the breast up into 4 pieces and made the recipe below, along with some steamed broccoli and my son's favorite rolls - crescent rolls ( my piece of chicken came out a bit over-crusty around the edges, but I like the crunchy bits...).

Oven-Fried Mustard Chicken
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup dijon mustard
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter
4 boneless chicken breast halves, about 1 1/2 pounds

Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
Combine the bread crumbs, flour and paprika.
Combine the mustard, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 2 tablespoons water.
Melt the butter in a small bowl.
Line a shallow pan with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Dip the chicken in the mustard mixture, then coat with the bread crumb mixture.
Put the coated chicken in the prepared pan.
Drizzle the butter over the chicken.
bake he chicken until browned and cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes.

When I make this, I like to double the paprika, halve the salt, and drizzle with olive oil instead of butter.