99 Types of Chicken: #2 Chicken Cordon Bleu

We eat a lot of chicken at our house, so it’s good to have a lot of chicken recipes on hand.  This is my version of Chicken Cordon Bleu, which is relatively simple.

First, I bread chicken cutlets and brown them in a cast iron skillet.

breaded chicken cutlets in cast iron

Next, I dot the chicken breasts with a pat of butter, so that the chicken doesn’t get too dry and the swiss cheese gets extra melty.

chicken cutlets dotted with butter

Swiss cheese, Canadian bacon, and more Swiss cheese top it off,

chicken cordon bleu pre-baking

A brief transfer to a hot oven and the cheese melts to blanket the chicken.

 

Chicken Cordon Bleu

 

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu

  • Servings: 4
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Breaded chicken cutlets topped with Swiss cheese and Canadian bacon

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken cutlets
  • 3 Tb butter
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tb milk
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 4 slices Canadian bacon
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Season the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper.  In a shallow bowl, beat the milk with the egg.  Dredge the chicken cutlets in flour, then dip in the beaten egg, and then coat both sides with breadcrumbs.
  2. Heat 2 Tb butter and 2 Tb olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Add  the chicken to the  skillet.  Cook the chicken on both sides until browned, about 3 minutes per side.  Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking chicken on both sides until cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, cook the Canadian bacon in a small skillet over medium heat until slightly browned.
  4. Top each chicken cutlet with a small pat of butter.  Lay a slice of Swiss cheese on each cutlet, followed by a piece of Canadian bacon, and another piece of Swiss cheese.  Transfer the cast iron skillet to the oven and bake for 3-5 until the cheese has fully melted.  Remove from the oven and serve.

99 Flavors of Meatballs: #1 Sticky Garlic Meatballs

Since my Sticky Garlic Chicken is so good, I decided to pour the sauce onto some tender meatballs.  The result – tasty!

This dish is spicier than the chicken version because I added crushed red pepper to the meatballs.  If you prefer a milder version, you can omit the spice.  I baked these meatballs in the oven on parchment paper to eliminate the grease.

meatballs to be baked

While the meatballs are baking, you have time to make the sauce.  This sauce is so amazing – what else could I put it on?

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Once the tender meatballs come out of the oven, just toss them with the sauce and serve!

Sticky Garlic Meatballs

 

Sticky Garlic Meatballs

  • Servings: 4
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Tender meatballs tossed in sticky garlic sauce.

354 calories per serving

Ingredients

Meatball ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 ts minced garlic
  • 1/2 ts dried minced onion
  • 1/2 ts salt
  • 1/4 ts pepper
  • 1/4 ts crushed red pepper
  • 1 Tb soy sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten

Sauce ingredients

  • 3/4 cup chicken broth (I use reduced sodium)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (I use reduced sodium)
  • 3 Tb dark brown sugar
  • 2 ts sriracha sauce
  • 1 ts sesame oil
  • 1/4 ts salt
  • 2 ts minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tb cornstarch
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1 ts vegetable or canola oil

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.

2. Crumble ground beef into a large bowl.  Add all of the remaining meatball ingredients and mix well (mixing with your hands works best).  Form into meatballs and place onto sheet pan.  Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes.

3. While meatballs are baking, prepare the sauce.  Heat the vegetable or canola oil in a small saucepan.  Add the garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the chicken broth, soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, and dark brown sugar. Stir in the salt.  In a small bowl, stir the cornstarch into 1/4 cup cold water.  Add to the sauce mixture.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens, about 5-7 minutes.  Turn the heat off and stir in the green onions.

4. When the meatballs have finished baking, transfer them to a large bowl.  Pour the sauce over the meatballs.  Serve with white rice, fried rice, or rice pilaf.

99-taste.com

 

99 Kinds of Sandwiches: # 1 Open-faced Italian Chicken Cutlet Sandwich

This Open-Faced Italian Chicken Cutlet Sandwich makes a great summer-time dinner.  The only prep work is cooking the chicken, which is quick because the chicken is pounded very thin.

chicken cutlets for italian open-faced sandwiches

Adding garlic bread, pesto, tomato, and mozzarella cheese to the chicken creates a flavorful sandwich.

Open-faced Italian Chicken Cutlet Sandwich

Thinly sliced tomato works best so as not to over-power the chicken.  After topping with mozzarella, you can pop the sandwich under the broiler, in the microwave, or leave as is.  Any way is delicious!

Open-faced Italian Chicken Cutlet Sandwich with melted cheese

Open-faced Italian Chicken Cutlet Sandwich

  • Servings: 4
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Thin chicken cutlets coated in Italian breadcrumbs, served open-faced on garlic toast with pesto, tomato, and mozzarella.

468 calories per sandwich

Ingredients

  • 2 large chicken breasts or 4 chicken cutlets
  • 3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tb grated parmesan
  • 1/4 ts lemon pepper
  • 1 Tb butter
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • pesto
  • garlic Texas Toast
  • tomato, thinly sliced
  • mozzarella, sliced

Directions

1. If using chicken breasts rather than prepared cutlets, slice them horizontally and pound very thin.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan, and lemon pepper in a large, shallow dish.  Dredge the chicken cutlets in the breadcrumbs.

2. Heat the butter and olive oil over high heat in a large skillet.  When the butter has melted and is sizzling, add the chicken cutlets.  Brown each side over high heat, about 2 minutes per side.  Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking an additional 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

3. Heat garlic Texas toast according to manufacturer’s directions.  Spread pesto on garlic toast and top with a chicken cutlet, a thin slice of tomato, and a slice of mozzarella cheese.  Place under a broiler or in the microwave to melt the cheese, if desired.

99-taste.com

 

99 Flavors of Burgers: # 2 Double Smashburger with Secret Sauce

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers of the world!

Being a mom is a hard job, so I hope you get treated royally today.  That includes eating whatever you want.  So today I can cheat and eat ground beef in this indulgent Double Smashburger with Secret Sauce.

I’ve come to love smashburgers and prefer them over a traditional thicker patty.  You can use a burger press, a rolling pin, or a spatula to smash your burger patty, which I did for this version.

smashburger

You don’t need to add any seasonings to the meat, just a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  It’s important to use fattier meat (80/20) so that the smashburger can cook in it’s own grease (I know, healthy right)?

cooking smashburgers

American cheese is added while the burgers are still in the frying pan, resulting in melty goodness.

smashburgers with American cheese

The secret sauce lends the perfect amount of zing and when layered with two burger patties and American cheese, the result is amazing!

secret burger sauce

Just for good measure, I buttered and toasted the bun.

double smashburger

You know you want to bite into this sloppy burger mess.

Double Smashburger with Secret Sauce

 

Double Smashburger with Secret Sauce

  • Servings: 4
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Thin smashed burger patties layered with American Cheese and a tangy sauce

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs 80/20 ground chuck
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 Tb mayonnaise
  • 2 ts sriracha sauce
  • 2 ts white sugar
  • 2 Tb sweet pickle relish
  • 1 Tb butter
  • 4 soft potato hamburger buns
  • 8 slices American cheese

Directions

1. To make the secret sauce whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar, sriracha, and pickle relish in a small bowl until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce is smooth.  Set aside.

2. Place a large skillet on stovetop and turn heat to high.  Separate ground chuck into chunks that are a little less than a quarter of a pound.  You do not need to shape the chunks of meat. Place them directly into the skillet and flatten as much as possible with a large spatula.  Sprinkle the patties with salt and pepper.  When the first side has browned after 2-3 minutes, flip each patty.  Smash them again with the spatula.  Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until juices run clear and burgers are done.

3. Place a slice of American cheese on each burger patty and let sit in the skillet until the cheese has melted.  Butter both the top and bottom of the hamburger buns and toast them slightly.  Place a burger patty on the bottom bun, top with secret sauce, another patty, more sauce, and the top bun.

 

 

99 Kinds of Stir Fries: # 2 General Tso’s Chicken

Since my Sticky Garlic Chicken is my most popular post so far, I decided to share my version of General Tso’s Chicken.  Unlike the Sticky Garlic Chicken, which has a very balanced flavor, General Tso’s Chicken is spicy.  My version is coated in cornstarch and stir-fried in a small amount of oil, rather then deep-frying, which makes it healthier.  I also use reduced sodium soy sauce and chicken broth.

The smaller you make your pieces of chicken, the crispier and saucier they will be.

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Stir frying involves high heat, which creates the crunch of the coating.  You only need a small amount of oil and about 20 minutes total cooking time.cooked cornstarch coated chicken

I’ve fine tuned the sauce from multiple General Tso’s recipes.

General Tso's Sauce

This recipe is quick, easy, and one of our favorites.

General Tso's Chicken

General Tso's Chicken

  • Servings: 4
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Crispy coated pieces of chicken in spicy General Tso's sauce

Ingredients

  • 3 TB oil
  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 rice vinegar
  • 1 ts minced garlic
  • 1 Tb cornstarch mixed in ¼ cup water
  • 1 ts red pepper flakes
  • 2 green onions, sliced

Directions

  1. Cut chicken breast into small bite-size pieces.  Pour cornstarch into a plastic gallon bag. Add chicken pieces and shake to coat.
  2. In a bowl, combine all of the sauce ingredients: chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, and garlic.  Stir until sugar has dissolved.  In a separate bowl, stir 1 Tb of cornstarch into ¼ cup cold water. Add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce, stir,  and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok.  When the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces. Cook on high about 10 mins, stirring and flipping the chicken often, until the coating is browned and crispy.  Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking another 10 mins until chicken is cooked through.
  4. Remove the chicken from the skillet.  Turn heat back to high and add the sliced green onions and red pepper flakes.  Cook, while stirring, for about 30 seconds, until green onions are wilted and red pepper flakes are fragrant.  Pour the sauce into the skillet. Cook on medium-high for about 3 minutes, until sauce just begins to thicken.  Add the chicken pieces back into the skillet and stir to coat.  Cook for another 2 minutes or so until sauce has thickened.  Serve with cooked white rice or fried rice.

99-taste.com

99 Kinds of Stir Fries: # 1 Sticky Garlic Chicken

I love stir fries because they come together quickly enough to be made on a weeknight, they are relatively healthy, and they can be made in a lot of different variations.  Sticky Garlic Chicken has a very balanced flavor – not overly salty, spicy, sweet, or vinegary.  The sticky sauce coats the chicken nicely and the cornstarch coating provides wonderful crispiness.

The smaller you make your pieces of chicken, the crispier and saucier they will be.

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Stir frying involves high heat, which creates the crunch of the coating.  You only need a small amount of oil and about 20 minutes total cooking time.cooked cornstarch coated chicken

My family loved that the sauce was not over-powering, but still flavorful.

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To finish the dish, I garnished with green onions.

Sticky Garlic Chicken

For a milder Asian tasting dish, give this one a try.

Sticky Garlic Chicken

  • Servings: 4
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Cornstarch coated chicken pieces tossed with a sticky, garlic sauce

Author: 99Taste original by Leslie

Ingredients

  • 3 TB oil
  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • ¾ cup chicken broth (I use reduced sodium)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce (I use reduced sodium)
  • 3 Tb dark brown sugar
  • 1 ts sesame oil
  • 2 ts sriracha sauce
  • ¼ ts salt
  • 1 Tb cornstarch mixed in ¼ cup water
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 ts garlic, minced

Directions

  1. Cut chicken breast into small bite-size pieces.  Pour cornstarch into a plastic gallon bag. Add chicken pieces and shake to coat.
  2. In a bowl, combine all of the sauce ingredients: chicken broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, sriracha, and salt.  In a separate bowl, stir 1 Tb of cornstarch into ¼ cup cold water. Add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok.  When the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces.  Cook on high about 10 mins, stirring and flipping the chicken often, until the coating is browned and crispy.  Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking another 10 mins until chicken is cooked through.
  4. Add the minced garlic.  Cook and stir until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Pour the sauce into the skillet. Stir until all chicken pieces are coated.  Continue cooking on medium-low until sauce has thickened, about 3 mins. Add the sliced green onion and cook until slightly tender.  Serve with cooked white rice or fried rice.

99 Flavors of Pizza: # 1 Thin Crust Pizza

I’ve made A LOT of homemade pizzas in the past 30 years.  Every few years, I try a new pizza crust recipe, and we decide that it is our new favorite.  But I’ve never found a truly thin crust recipe – until now.  My family said this is the best pizza I’ve ever made.  The crust is the same recipe that I used for my calzones.  It requires no rising and baking it on my pizza pan with holes on the bottom resulted in a thin, crispy bottomed pizza.

For the dough, make sure you are using a rapid rise or quick rise yeast.  Add the yeast dry to the flour.  Your water must be very warm – 120 to 130 degrees for the yeast to activate.  You’ll need to knead the dough for several minutes to achieve smoothness and elasticity.

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My husband, having worked at pizza parlor in his younger days, rolled and stretched the dough.  He said the elasticity was perfect.  Your initial rolling doesn’t have to be a perfect circle, because you can finish stretching it on the pizza pan.

Thin Pizza Crust

My family will not let me divulge my secret pizza sauce recipe, which I have been making unchanged since I was eight years old.  All I can tell you is that it’s very simple and involves a can of tomato sauce with spices and seasonings.

Pizza Sauce

The crust recipe makes enough for two thin crust pizzas.  I made a large 14″ and a small 10.”  Top with whatever toppings you like.  I used a combination of mozzarella and shredded Mexican cheese, which we preferred over just mozzarella.

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To achieve a truly crispy crust, you do need a pizza pan with holes in it.  Otherwise, the crust will be soft.

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I could eat this thin crust pizza every week!  It really is that good.

Thin Crust Pizza

 

Thin crust pizza

  • Servings: 6-8
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Credit: 99Taste original by Leslie with crust adapted from Fleishmann’s

Crust ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 envelope or 2 ts rapid rise yeast
  • ½ ts salt
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 1 cup hot water (120-130 degrees)

Topping ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup pizza sauce
  • 12 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • sliced pepperoni, cooked sausage, or any desired pizza toppings
  • cooking spray & cornmeal (for dusting the pan)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, mix 2 cups flour with the dry yeast and salt. Stir in the hot water and olive oil, then add ½ cup more flour.  When the dough starts to come together, transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 5 minutes. Whenever the dough feels sticky while kneading, add a tiny bit of flour. After the dough has become completely smooth and elastic, cover with a clean dishcloth and let rest 10 minutes.
3. Divide the dough into two pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a thin circle. Spray a pizza pan that has holes in it with cooking spray and sprinkle with cornmeal.  Transfer the crust to the pizza pan and stretch the dough to the edges of the pan.  On each crust, spread on pizza sauce, top with both cheeses, and desired pizza toppings.
4. Bake the pizzas on lower rack in the oven for about 10 mins, or until crust is browned on the bottom.  Slice with a pizza cutter and enjoy!