Monday, April 23, 2012

Don't Panic Quick, Easy, and Delicious Meals for Your Family cookbook

What a fun cookbook! Packed full of tempting meals (and desserts!) for the family without a lot of time. I made four of the recipes in the book, three for my family and one for company. All three were very good.
Susie Martinez, Vanda Howell and Bonnie Garcia are back with a new collection of recipes in their Don't Panic Quick, Easy, and Delicious Means for Your Family book. And they truly are quick, easy and delicious.
I started with the Slow Cooker Coq au Vin from the Crockpot Collection. It came together very quickly and then cooked in the crockpot for several hours, filling the house with the best aroma! There's nothing like a slow-cooked meal after a long day. I'd never used pearl onions before so that was an added bonus for me.
I've got permission to share one recipe with you and this is the one I've chosen to share.

Slow Cooker Coq au Vin (page 125) serves 4-6

8 boneless, skinless chicken pieces (thighs and breasts) *I used only thighs
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4-5 slices bacon, cut into 1" pieces *I used beef bacon
10 oz whole mushrooms, quartered
2 cups pearl onions, frozen
2 medium onions, diced *I only used one
1 large carrot, sliced
olive oil for sauteing
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 bay leavees
2 tbsp tomato paste
1.5-2 cups dry red wine *one bottle of cooking wine
1 cup chicken broth

 Season chicken pieces with salt & pepper; set aside. In a large nonstick skillet, cook bacon pieces over medium heat until browned and crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Set aside until serving time.

In the same skillet, brown chicken over medium heat, about 5 minutes per side (this may take two batches). While chicken is cooking, place mushrooms and pearl onions in crock pot. Layer browned chicken on top of onions and mushrooms. 

In the same pan, saute diced onions and carrots over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add olive oil as needed and cook until onions are soft, about 2 minutes; add garlic and saute for one minute more. To this mixture add bay leaves, tomato paste, wine and chicken broth. Heat to boiling, stiffing, until tomato paste dissolves. Carefully pour this mixture over the chicken pieces. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

To serve, discard bay leaves. Crumble bacon into small pieces. Place chicken and sauce in large serving bowl and cover with bacon pieces. This is wonderful served with mashed potatoes.

Nutritional information: per serving, calories 285, fat 21.4 g. Cholesterol 31.9mg; sodium 429mg; total carbs 9.4g (dietary fiber 1.8g); protein 14.1g

The second recipe I tried was the Spicy Black Bean Soup from the Soups, Salads, and Sides section. It was so easy to make! I kinda felt like I was cheating after I made it because it came together in just minutes. My husband and I enjoyed it for lunch and it made enough so that I could enjoy it for a couple of days.

The third one I tried was the Chicken Piccata from the Savory Skillets and Quick Saute's. Chicken Piccata has long been one of my favorites but it always takes so long to prepare. Not anymore! This recipe came together in a little under half an hour, and I got to use another ingredient I'd not used before, capers! This was automatically a family favorite.

I do have to admit though that I tweaked each recipe a bit, making it my own, but I think that's what's cooking is all about. Making it your own.

I was really happy to see that the nutritional information for each dish was included at the end of the recipe.

The only thing I came across in this book that I didn't like was the spelling of the Grate Grills and Marinades section title. I get the play on words, but every time I see it it annoys me. Other than that I love this book! Can't wait to make more from it and I'm already planning my next grocery list!

Available April 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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