The opposite of Fail – happily ever after!
Posted by Lissa on July 29, 2009
Plus an official LookingForLissa product endorsement! We were seriously cynical about the THIRD pot-and-lid combo to be delivered — all three within seven days, mind you! — but they wrapped this one in a helluva lot of bubble paper and it got here just fine. Hooray!
I swear I came *this close* to tap-dancing while singing Hosannas to the heavens. Of course, Rajah doesn’t really approve of tap-dancing, so I refrained. Also that tap-dancing around a very-obviously-breakable casserole dish didn’t seem like the greatest idea.
And now, your product endorsement! So far we’re two-for-two with our new cookbook, 29 Minutes to Dinner (Volume 2) by the Pampered Chef. (Mike: “So are they pushing 29 because it’s *so much better* than those THIRTY minute meals?” Yes, Mike. Yes, they are.) Anyway, we’ve tried two recipes from the book and so far they’ve been amazing successes. Here’s the first one we tried, Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts with Creamy Lemon Sauce: They’ve got some very smart techniques for saving time and labor, y’all. Many of their recipes call for cooking the meat (especially chicken) in the microwave for the first half — gives you a head-start, you don’t have to stir it, you don’t lose moisture — before braising it, or pan-searing it, or whatever. Then you take the juices from the microwave dish and mix it with lemon juice, lemon zest, spices and a can of Cream of Chicken soup (reduced fat works fine) to make the creamy sauce. You dump the spinach in the colander and then drain the orzo over it — keeps the orzo from slipping out of the holes and wilts the spinach in one easy step. AND, it looks pretty!
We tried the Braised Cabernet Chicken last night and it was excellent. Again, as soon as you have the bacon frying, you pop the chicken in the microwave. The sauce was surprisingly simple and you only had to use one pan, but it came out better than other (far more complicated!) chicken marsala recipes we’ve tried in the past. (They’re silly for recommending potatoes on the side, though. It went over egg noodles. Duh.)
Now, I’m not saying that you can make these recipes in 29 minutes or less, as they claim. I can’t do it with Rachel Ray recipes either. (I will never chop and dice and slice things as quickly as a real chef does. I also prefer to carefully transfer things from one pot or pan to another. Thus, prepping and cooking takes me much longer. On the upside, I still have all ten of my fingertips and an absence of massive burn scars on my forearms.) Nevertheless, each recipe definitely took less than an hour, which is quick enough for me.
Moo Shu Pork with Mock Mandarin Pancakes tomorrow! Let’s hope to keep the streak alive!
P.S. I also highly recommend the Calphalon 3-quart casserole dish. If you can manage to get your paws on one that’s not broken.