Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cheese and Broccoli with Packaged Chicken and Vegetables

This week I decided to make Mashed Cauliflower with Cheese (pg. 281) and Chicken Cutlets with Grated Vegetables in Packages (pg. 683 - 684) from Mark Bittmans's How to Cook Everything.

The Mashed Cauliflower with Cheese called for:

1 large cauliflower trimmed and separated into florets
1 cup milk or cream
2 Tbsp butter
Salt and ground black pepper
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
Chopped parsley leaves for garnish

I decided to use broccoli instead of cauliflower. The recipe gave broccoli as a vegetable I could use instead. This was great because I had a lot of leftover broccoli from a past recipe. I also omitted the nutmeg and parsley.

First I brought a pot of water to a boil and salted it. When it was boiling, I added broccoli and let it boil for about 15 minutes. I then drained it, but kept about a cup of the cooking water.

I put milk, butter, and cheese in a pot, and sprinkled it with salt and pepper. I turned on the burner and stirred it until it made a cheese sauce. I then added the broccoli.  I also had some diced potatoes from the other recipe I made, so I added them to the broccoli and cheese sauce. I continued to cook it until the potatoes softened. The recipe said to mash it, but I couldn't find my masher! Also the cooking water was to be used it it wasn't the right consistency, but mine was very creamy, so it wasn't needed. I decided to just serve it as broccoli and potatoes in cheese sauce.

The Chicken Cutlets with Grated Vegetables in Packages called for:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast

salt and ground black pepper
4 slices ripe tomato
12 fresh tarragon leaves or about 1/2 tsp dried tarragon, basil, chervil, or dill
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cups mixed grated vegetables such as carrots, zucchini, onion, potatoes, turnips, sweet potato.
balsamic or other vinegar

I used broccoli from the first recipe. I just took some of the broccoli out of the boiling water after it had cooked for a couple minutes. I then cut up onion and potato into cube size pieces. After that I put the broccoli, onion, and potato in a food processor, so they would be in smaller pieces and mixed together.

 I preheated the oven to 450. I put pieces of foil on a baking sheet. I then put a chicken breast on top of it. I salted and peppered the chicken breast, and spooned the vegetable mixture on top of it. After that, I sprinkled some vinegar and olive oil on top of the chicken. I sealed the packages and repeated the process five more times to make six packages. I then baked the chicken packages for about 20 minutes.

As I said earlier, I wasn't able to mash the broccoli, potato and cheese sauce, but my mom said she loved the cheese sauce. Even though I didn't follow the directions exactly, it still turned out great. The chicken also turned out really good. It was cooked thoroughly and very moist.

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