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Menu Plan and Recipes

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chicken cheese
Cheesy Chicken

pimiento barley
Pimiento Barley

broccoli
Broccoli with Shallots
and Mustard

 

Menu Plan for the week of Feb. 22, 2013:  Thursday's Recipes

Cheesy Chicken
Barley with Pimiento
Broccoli with Shallots and Mustard

Cooking time:  30 minutes for menu          Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

     An easy dinner to end the week.  Substitute 1 onion, divided, for the 4 shallots if you prefer.

Cheesy Chicken                                                          Preparation and cooking time:   30 minutes
     Melted cheese tops this chicken with a light dill sauce - comfort food. Cut the chicken breasts in half for a nicer presentation.

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
2 shallots
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken stock
1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) white wine
1 tsp dried dill weed
2 tsp maizena (cornstarch) dissolved in 1 tbs water
1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) shredded cheese

Roughly chop shallots.  Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add shallots and sauté until tender and starting to brown.  Move to the side and add chicken.  Brown well on both sides, about 10 minutes total.  Add stock, wine, dill, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 10 minutes. 
Dissolve cornstarch in water. Add to skillet, stirring until sauce is thickened.  Top chicken with cheese, cover until cheese melts, 2 - 3 minutes.  Serve.

Pimiento Barley                                                          Preparation and cooking time:  20 minutes
   A bit of pimiento or roasted red pepper adds not only some bright color but some bright flavor to almost any food.  Here we use it to add zest to barley.  I use quick-cooking barley, which takes about 15 minutes.  Cook in chicken stock for added flavor.

2/3 cup quick-cooking barley
1 1/3 cup (11oz, 330ml) chicken stock (or more, depending on type of barley)
1 tsp white Balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
3oz (90gr) pimientos, or roasted red peppers about 1/3 cup

Cook barley in stock until done, stirring occasionally. If all stock is not absorbed, drain. 
Slice pimiento or red pepper if needed. When barley is done, stir in herbs, vinegar and pimiento. Serve.

Broccoli with Shallots and Mustard                     Preparation and cooking time:  25 minutes
   
The broccoli is steamed, just until done, but should retain a bit of crispness.  It's finished with a pungent mustard and shallot sauce.

1/2 head broccoli  
2 shallots
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp whole grain mustard
2 tbs chicken stock

Cut broccoli into bite size florets and stems.  Put in a steamer basket in a saucepan with an inch of water in the bottom.  Put on medium heat and steam for 10 - 12 minutes or just until done.  Remove broccoli and keep warm. 
Peel and thickly slice shallots.  In same pan heat the oil.  Add shallots and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes.  Add mustard and stock, stir well.  Add broccoli, toss to coat and heat through.  Serve.

Cooking schedule: 30 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
medium skillet with lid, small saucepan with lid,
medium saucepan with steamer basket and lid

Peel all shallots
Roughly chop shallot for chicken, sauté
Slice shallots for broccoli, set aside
Cut chicken
Move shallots to side, brown chicken
Shred cheese if needed
Start to cook barley

Turn chicken
Trim broccoli, cut, steam
Add stock, dill, wine to chicken, cover, simmer
              Pause while it all cooks
Remove broccoli
Sauté shallot
Slice pimento if needed
Dissolve cornstarch in water, thicken sauce for chicken
Top chicken with cheese, cover to melt
Add mustard, stock to shallots
Add broccoli, heat through
Finish barley, Serve