Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cooking Outside the Box....of Mac and Cheese

I'm no Rachel Ray but I enjoy cooking a good meal. Here are my limitations:
  • it cannot have more than 10 ingredients
  • I don't do herbs
  • if its a spice it better be in a container not any of this fresh stuff
  • cheese makes anything better, as does salt, sour cream or more cheese
  • If it involvs any sort of weird term such as "broiling", "shucking", or "flambe" just forget it
Otherwise I'd say I cook a pretty good meal. I also cook for the bf who prefers cheese on everything while I attempted a year of Weight Watchers last year. How to find a happy medium? I try some fun recipes with simple ingredients and use them in a new way. Here are some of my favorites. What are yours?

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

2-1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 pkg. KRAFT Shredded Colby & Monterey Jack Cheese, divided
1 cup BREAKSTONE'S Sour Cream, divided
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, divided
12 Flour tortillas (8 inch)
1-1/2 cups TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Thick 'N Chunky Salsa

HEAT oven to 350°F.

MIX chicken, soup, 1 cup cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream and 3 Tbsp. cilantro until well blended. Spoon down centers of tortillas, adding about 1/4 cup to each; roll up.

PLACE, seam-sides down, in 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; top with salsa and remaining cheese.

BAKE 25 min. or until heated through. Top with remaining cilantro and sour cream.

Pasta with Roasted Garlic Cheddar Wine Sauce

8 oz. tube shaped pasta, such as penne
1½ tbsp. butter
¼ cup roasted garlic paste*
1½ tbsp. flour
¼ cup dry white wine
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets and blanched until crisp-tender
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, grilled and cut into bite size pieces

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente according to the package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet or saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the roasted garlic paste and cook just until fragrant, 30-60 seconds. Whisk the flour into the mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to turn golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Stir the white wine and broth into the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the cheddar and stir until melted. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
Mix in the broccoli florets and chicken pieces, and cook just until heated through. Mix in the cooked pasta until evenly coated with the sauce. Serve warm.

Bruschetta Chicken Bake

1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1/2 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

HEAT oven to 400°F. Mix tomatoes, stuffing mix, water and garlic just until stuffing mix is moistened.

LAYER chicken, basil, cheese and stuffing in 3-qt. or 13x9-inch baking dish.

BAKE 30 min. or until chicken is cooked through. Enjoy now or cover and refrigerate. To reheat, microwave each serving on HIGH 2 to 3 min.

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