Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Mindy can cook, too!!!

I am pretty sure I was born to bake. As a matter of fact, I consider it my favorite hobby. (I wish I could say I prefer exercising to baking, but...)

As long as I have friends and family to bake for, I'm quite happy in the kitchen making a mess measuring, sifting and mixing. However, sometimes I even like to cook. (Really, it's true.) Cooking for one is a challenge, though, since so many recipes yield such large amounts of food. I prefer baking simply because I can try numerous recipes of cookies, brownies, muffins, etc. and always have somebody willing to eat it. I'm pretty sure that nobody would appreciate my dinner leftovers the way they do a heaping plate of freshly baked cookies.

Anyway...

Recently in Paris, I ate a lot of roasted chicken and haricot verts (okay, I ate frites, too), and I was craving something similar today. Since I didn't leave my apartment at all today and still am in the same nightgown I woke up in over 11 hours ago, I figured I didn't have the "I'm too busy to cook" excuse tonight. Alas, I cooked Almond-Crusted Chicken Fingers from Eating Well and Sautéed Green Beans from Robin Miller (yes, the woman with the cheesy theme song and creepy eyes). Although my dinner tonight was frites-less and not as charming as eating in the late evening at a St. Germain des Pres bistro, it was nonetheless c'est magnifique.

Almond-Crusted Chicken Fingers

Source: Eating Well

Canola oil cooking spray
½ cup sliced almonds
¼ cup whole-wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoons paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 ½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 egg whites
1 pound chicken tenders

Preheat oven to 475°F. Set a wire rack on a foil-lined baking sheet and coat with cooking spray.

Place almonds, flour, paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard, salt and pepper in a food processor; process until the almonds are finely chopped and the paprika is mixed throughout, about 1 minute. With the motor running, drizzle in oil; process until combined. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish.

Whisk egg whites in a second shallow dish. Add chicken tenders and turn to coat. Transfer each tender to the almond mixture; turn to coat evenly. (Discard any remaining egg white and almond mixture.) Place the tenders on the prepared rack and coat with cooking spray; turn and spray the other side. (This is a little bit messy.)

(At this point, I let the chicken tenders sit for 15 minutes before baking so the coating would set and not come off after baking.)

Bake the chicken fingers until golden brown, crispy and no longer pink in the center, 20 to 25 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Sautéed Green Beans

Source: Adapted from Robin Miller/Food Network

2 cups green beans, trimmed
1 tablespoon salted butter
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a skillet, sauté the green beans in butter until tender-crisp. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Before serving, add the almonds to the skillet and heat through until the almonds are toasted.

Makes 4 servings.

 
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3 comments:

Kristen said...

I can't cook but I like when other people bake for me.

K

Freya and Paul said...

I'm always looking for new and unusual ways to cook chicken (in ways similar to Parmesan Chicken) and I am loving the almond crust! THanks for sharing!

Mindy said...

I get the hint, K. :)

Hi, Freya and Paul!!! I really liked the chicken fingers and will definitely make them again. Make sure you use generous amounts of the spices and let the chicken rest before baking so the coating stays on, though. Let me know if you make them and what you think.