Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cooking to Entertain...Pistachio Encrusted Chicken and Tofu with Pumpkin Orzo

The Menu:
Harvest Bounty Salad
Pistachio Encrusted Chicken or Tofu
Pumpkin Orzo
Steamed broccoli
Apple Crisp

Harvest Bounty Salad:
Serves 6

6 cups of mescaline mix or mixed greens
1 Macintosh apple, cored and diced
1/2 cup craisins
1/2 can sliced canned beets
1 sweet onion, sliced
1 cucumber, sliced

Toss all ingredients in a bowl and serve with a raspberry or herb vinaigrette.

Tofu Version
Pistachio Encrusted Chicken
Serves 6

1.5 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup pistachios
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
Salt and pepper, to taste

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
3 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp light mayo

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place the pistachios in a large ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to crush the pistachios.  Mix them into the panko bread crumbs and pour onto a plate.  Pound the chicken breast until it is 3/4 inch thick and cut into "tender size" pieces.  Mix the mustard, olive oil, and honey in a small bowl.  Dip each chicken tender in the mustard mix and then into the bread crumbs.  Spray a cooking sheet with non-stick oil and place the tenders in the oven.  Cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the center is no longer pink.

Pumpkin Orzo and Sage
Serves 6-8

1 pound of orzo
4 cups of water
3 cups of chicken stock, divided
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 shallot or sweet onion, diced
1 1/2 cups of pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp dried sage
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Bring water and chicken stock to a boil.  Add the orzo and cook for 8 minutes or until done, set aside.  In a small saucepan heat oil over medium heat, add shallots and cook for 2 minutes.  Add 1 cup of chicken stock and the milk and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add pumpkin puree and stir.  Add salt, pepper, and sage and simmer for 10 more minutes.  Stir in parmesan cheese and add the orzo.  Serve immediately.

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