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Archive for April, 2009

artichoke-spinach-dip

Spinach Artichoke Asiago Dip

Ingredients
1 (14 ounce) can artichokes quartered
1 cup spinach blanched or frozen
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup asiago cheese, shredded
salt and pepper

Directions
shred or chop blanched or frozen spinach in a blender or food processor.
chop artichoke hearts into quarters if they are larger than a thumb.
mix everything together in a medium sized bowl.
add salt, pepper to your taste.
add more shredded cheese to your taste.
best made a day ahead of time to let flavors meld together.

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olive-garden-tuscan-garlic-chicken

Olive Garden Tuscan Garlic Chicken

Ingredients
4 each (4 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups flour, plus 1 tablespoon
1 Tbsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 lb fettuccine pasta, cooked according to package directions
5 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp garlic, chopped
1 red pepper, julienne cut
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 lb whole leaf spinach, stemmed
2 cups heavy cream
1 cups Parmesan cheese, grated

Pre-heat oven to 350ºF.

1. Mix 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in the mixture, shaking off any excess.

2. Heat 3 Tbsp oil in a large skillet. Cook chicken breasts 2 at a time over medium-high heat until golden brown and crisp (2-3 min). Add more oil for each batch as necessary.

3. Place cooked chicken breasts on a baking sheet and transfer to preheated oven. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165°F.

4. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a sauce pan. Add garlic and red pepper and cook for approximately 1 minute. Stir in 1 Tbsp flour, wine, spinach and cream and bring to a boil. Sauce is done when spinach becomes wilted. Complete by stirring in parmesan cheese.

5. Coat cooked, drained pasta with sauce, then top with chicken and remaining sauce. Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4

Source: Olive Garden

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Cooking Tip
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Chicken Tenderness Tips

Avoid freezing whenever possible to eliminate additional moisture loss during thawing, which results in less tender meat.

Keep chicken from drying out in the refrigerator by keeping it tightly wrapped. If the chicken dries out, it will become tough.

Leaving the skin on the chicken, when cooking it, helps to hold in juices, which increases tenderness.

To keep breast area of chicken from drying out during roasting, place a piece of foil over this area. Remove during last 30 minutes of roasting time to allow the skin to brown properly.

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