Any day in February is a great day for a romantic meal.Linda Cahill shares some healthy and delicious recipes and cooking tips for warming up any winter day. Whether she’s demonstrating products for The Pampered Chef while preparing delicious recipes at a Pampered Chef party, helping out in her parish, entertaining friends and family, or making a meal for a sick friend, Linda always knows “What’s for Dinner?”
4 limes, divided
1 can (12 ounces) frozen cranberry juice concentrate
3 cups cold water
1 pint raspberry sorbet, softened
2 liters (8 cups) chilled ginger ale
Slice two of the limes using Ultimate Mandoline fitted with v-shaped blade; set aside. Pour cranberry juice concentrate and water into Family-Size Quick-Stir® Pitcher.
Juice remaining limes into pitcher using Citrus Press. Scoop sorbet into pitcher using Ice Cream Scoop; plunge to combine. Add ginger ale and lime slices. Plunge gently until well mixed. Serve over ice.
Yield: 16 servings
Nutrients per serving: Calories 130, Total Fat 0 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrate 34 g, Protein 0 g, Sodium 15 mg, Fiber 1 g
If desired, 2 cups flavored vodka such as raspberry, cranberry, currant, citrus or lime can be added to this recipe.
To garnish rims of glasses, zest one lime using Microplane® Adjustable Fine Grater. Combine lime zest and 1/2 cup sugar in (1-Cup) Prep Bowl. Place a small amount of sugar mixture onto small plate. Rub rim of glass with lime wedge to moisten. Dip rim of glass into sugar mixture.
For a simple garnish, using Zester/Scorer, score a lemon and zest a lime; thinly slice using Ultimate Mandoline. Make a cut to the center of each lemon and lime slice using Petite Paring Knife. Garnish each glass with one lemon slice and one lime slice.
Canola oil for frying (about 3 cups/750 mL)
1 pkg. (7.5 oz/212 g) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (10 pieces)
½ cup (125 mL) raspberry jam
Powdered sugar for dusting
Heat the canola oil in an Executive Nonstick Skillet, until the Candy Thermometer registers 375°F (190°C). (Oil should be about 1"/2.5-cm deep in the skillet.)
Meanwhile, separate the biscuit dough and cut each piece in half; then flatten each half into a round disc. Carefully drop the dough, 5 at a time, into the hot oil. Fry the dough for 30-60 seconds per side, or until they're golden brown. Using the Large Chef’s Tongs, carefully remove the dough from the oil to a Large Sheet Pan lined with paper towels. Repeat this process with the remaining dough discs.
Place the jam into the Decorating Bag fitted with the filling tip. Insert the tip into each beignet and squeeze the bag gently to fill the fritter with a small amount of jam. Sprinkle each beignet with powdered sugar using the Flour & Sugar Shaker.
Yield: 20 servings of beignets
SAVORY VEGETABLE MINI QUICHES
½ cup milk
4 slices bacon, crisply cooked, drained and chopped
½ cup finely chopped zucchini
½ cup finely chopped mushrooms
1 green onion with top, sliced
½ cup (2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 garlic clove, pressed
Dash of ground black pepper
1 package (15 ounces) refrigerated pie crusts (2 crusts)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Let pie crusts stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Lightly spray Deluxe Mini-Muffin Pan with vegetable oil using Kitchen Spritzer. Whisk milk and eggs in Classic Batter Bowl.
Chop bacon, zucchini and mushrooms using Food Chopper. Add bacon, zucchini, mushrooms, green onion, cheese, garlic pressed with Garlic Press and black pepper to batter bowl; set aside.
On lightly floured surface, roll one crust to a 12-inch circle using Baker's Roller®. Using 2 1/2” (6-cm) Biscuit Cutter, cut out 12 pastry pieces. Press one pastry piece into each muffin cup using Mini-Tart Shaper. Repeat with remaining crust to fill remaining muffin cups.
Using Small Scoop, fill each muffin cup with a rounded scoop of vegetable mixture. Bake 17-20 minutes or until crusts are light golden brown. Cool in pan 2 minutes; carefully remove mini quiches from pan. Serve warm.
Yield: 24 servings of 1 mini quiche
Nutrients per serving: Calories 100, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 25 mg, Carbohydrate 9 g, Protein 2 g, Sodium 110 mg, Fiber 0 g
U.S. Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1/2 starch, 1 fat (1/2 carb)
Cook's Tips: When using the Biscuit Cutter to cut out the pastry, start on the outside edge of the crust. Cut nine pastry pieces as close to each other as possible, then cut three pastry pieces from the center. If necessary, roll crust out just enough to accommodate the three center pieces.
The Small Scoop is a practical tool for filling tart shells, scooping cookie dough, making melon balls and forming meatballs.
Choose green onions with crisp, bright green tops and firm white bases. Store them, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
WARM RASPBERRY HABANERO BRIE
8 oz (250 g) wheel of brie
¼ cup (50 mL) Raspberry Habanero Sauce
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the brie wheel in the Garlic & Brie Baker and bake, uncovered, for 13–15 minutes or until the brie begins to soften. Remove the baker from the oven and top the brie with Raspberry Habanero Sauce.
Yield: 12 servings
Nutrients per serving: Calories 70, Total Fat 5 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 15 mg, Sodium 115 mg, Carbohydrate 2 g, Fiber 0 g, Protein 3 g
STRAWBERRY HEART BROWNIES
1 pkg. (18-21 oz/450 g) fudge brownie mix (plus ingredients to make brownies)
1 container (16 oz/453 g) white frosting
Cut the top off of a small strawberry in a V shape using a Quikut Paring Knife to create a heart shape and remove the stem at the same time.
Prepare box of fudge brownie mix in the Brownie Pan according to package directions. Once cooled, decorate as shown; pipe the lettering using the Easy Accent® Decorator filled with white frosting and fitted with the round tip and complete the sweet with a strawberry heart.
Yield: 12 servings
FLORENTINE STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS
1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms (about 3 medium mushrooms)
1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
1 small garlic clove, pressed
1 1/2 cups salad packed fresh baby spinach leaves, stems removed, coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dash of ground black pepper
1/4 cup chive and onion cream cheese spread
1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
Chicken and Coating:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6-8 ounces each), flattened (see Cook's Tip)
2 slices firm white sandwich bread, grated (1/2 cup crumbs)
2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 425°F. For filling, spray (8-in.) Sauté Pan with nonstick cooking spray; heat over medium heat until hot. Add mushrooms, bell pepper and garlic pressed with Garlic Press; cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until tender. Stir in spinach, salt and black pepper; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until spinach is completely wilted. Remove spinach mixture from pan to plate lined with paper towel; cool slightly. In Small Batter Bowl, combine cream cheese spread, flour and spinach mixture; mix well and set aside.
For chicken, rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Flatten chicken as thinly as possible without tearing (see Cook's Tip). For coating, using Rotary Grater, grate bread and Parmesan cheese. Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in shallow bowl. Add butter and mix until bread crumbs are completely coated; set aside.
To assemble, divide spinach mixture evenly onto center of each chicken breast using Large Scoop. Roll up chicken around filling tucking in sides to seal. Generously brush chicken bundle with egg white using Chef's Silicone Basting Brush. Place one chicken bundle into coating mixture; carefully pat mixture around bundle to coat completely. Place seam side down on Small Bar Pan. Repeat with remaining chicken bundle. Bake 25-30 minutes or until coating is deep golden brown and juices run clear.
This recipe can be easily doubled and baked on the Medium Bar Pan.
Yield: 2 servings
Nutrients per serving: Calories 490, Total Fat 20 g, Saturated Fat 11 g, Cholesterol 145 mg, Carbohydrate 24 g, Protein 51 g, Sodium 790 mg, Fiber 3 g
U.S. Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 1/2 starch, 7 low-fat meat (1 1/2 carb)
Cook's Tips: To flatten chicken breasts, place one chicken breast half in resealable plastic food storage bag and add 1 teaspoon of water (the water will prevent the chicken from tearing and sticking to the bag). Seal bag; fatten chicken as thinly as possible without tearing using flat side of Meat Tenderizer. Repeat with remaining breast half. Discard plastic bag.
TOMATO, MOZZARELLA AND BASIL SALAD
4-5 medium plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
7 ounces (200 g) fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
Snipped fresh basil leaves
Grilled or toasted baguette slices
Arrange tomato and cheese slices alternately in rows on Rectangle Platter with Handles.
Drizzle with oil and vinegar. Season with salt and black pepper; garnish with basil. Serve with baguette slices.
Yield: 4 servings
RASPBERRY-CHAMPAGNE CREAM CAKE
Nonstick cooking spray with flour
1 pkg. (18.25 oz or 510 g) white cake mix
3 egg whites
¾ cup (175 mL) pink champagne
½ cup (125 mL) milk
2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
1 tsp (5 mL) Double-Strength Vanilla
6 drops red food coloring
1 container (10 oz/300 g) frozen raspberries in syrup (see Cook’s Tip)
1 cup (250 mL) pink champagne (see Cook’s Tip), divided
1 tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch
2 cups (500 mL) heavy whipping cream
½ cup (125 mL) powdered sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
2 large marshmallows, sliced into quarters
Fresh raspberries (optional)
Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Spray Cake Pans with nonstick cooking spray with flour; set aside. Place cake mix in Stainless (4-qt./4-L) Mixing Bowl; whisk to break up lumps. Add remaining cake ingredients; whisk 2-3 minutes or until smooth. Divide batter between pans, spreading evenly. Bake 20-24 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Remove pans from oven. Press cakes gently with a clean kitchen towel; cool 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto Stackable Cooling Rack, then invert again so cakes are top-side up; cool completely.
Meanwhile, combine raspberries and 3/4 cup (175 mL) of the champagne in (1.5-qt./1.4-L) Saucepan. Cook on medium-high heat 6-10 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil. Combine cornstarch and remaining champagne in (1-cup/250-mL) Prep Bowl; stir until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture slowly to pan, whisking constantly with Stainless/Silicone Sauce Whisk. Cook 2-3 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Strain using (5-in./13-cm) Strainer into Small Batter Bowl; discard seeds. Refrigerate sauce 1 hour or until cool.
In Classic Batter Bowl, beat cream, sugar and vanilla on high speed of electric hand mixer until starting to thicken. Place marshmallows in another Prep Bowl. Microwave on HIGH 10-20 seconds or until almost melted; add to batter bowl. Beat on HIGH until soft peaks form. Place one cake on Cutting Board. With Color Coated Bread Knife, carefully slice cake in half horizontally to form two layers. Repeat with remaining cake. Place one layer on Cake Pedestal. Spread with 2/3 cup (150 mL) of the frosting; top with another cake layer. Repeat with remaining layers. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Garnish with raspberries, if desired. Serve with sauce.