What's for Dinner? Recipes for the Dinner Menu.
Cheese Ball, Green Salad, Stuffed Chicked with Holandaise Recipe and Cheesecake Supreme
What's for dinner? What is For Dinner!? The family always exclaims, on a daily basis. Finding different foods to put on the dinner table for family and friends can be trying at times. Especially if you have kids at the table or people that are trying to keep a healthy diet. I always enjoy a variety of meats and at time vegetarian meals for my family and friends. A well rounded 4 course meal comes to mind especially if you have entertaining to do for your significant other.
A nice way to start a meal is with a simple recipe for a cheese ball made with cream cheese,bleu cheese, walnuts and bell peppers. Its a nice gift for the holidays as well and as a party favor when invited to someone's whom as a guest. You will need a large mixing bowl. A cookie sheet, a cutting board and chopping knife or a food processor and a spatula or large spoon.
11 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened)
1/4 cup Chopped Red Bell Pepper
1/4 cup Chopped Green Bell Pepper
1 Package Blue Cave Bleu cheese
3/4 cup of Toasted Walnuts
1 tsp. to 1 1/2 teaspoons of Garlic Powder (to taste)
In large mixing bowl. Place 11 oz. of softened cream cheese, Chopped or Minced Red and Green Bell Peppers. Crumbled Bleu Cheese and Garlic Powder. If the cream cheese is not soft enough you will have a very hard time mixing the ingredients together. Letting the cream cheese sit out for about 1 and 1/2 hours on the counter top should make it soft enough. It's perfectly OK the cream cheese won't go bad on you. And the Bell Peppers are actually better if you mince them in the food processor and not chop them on the cutting board. Besides, we wouldn't want ya cutting off any of those precious ligaments now would we. LOL
So after you mix the ingredients thoroughly. Take the spatula and form the cream cheese into a ball shape while the mixture is still in the bowl. The bottom of the cheese ball will be flat. But will get to that. Cover the mixture with Saran wrap and either let it sit over night in the fridge or wait till the cream cheese is back to refrigerated temperature. If you planning on making it for that same day the whole process of making the cheese ball will take around 6 hours, with getting it back to refrigerated temperature. Next you will need to heat the oven to 350 degrees and toast one of those small packages of walnuts you see in the store. It's says makes 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts on it or something like that. Put the walnuts on the cookie sheet and bake for 5 to 7 minutes. So they are toasted. You don't have to toast the walnuts but you should. It has better FLAVOR. Either chop them in the food processor and then lay them out on a cutting board or plate or chop them by hand. Next take out cheese ball from the fridge and form the ball even more into the shape of a ball. It will be easier not that the cream cheese has stiffened up a bit. Carefully remove it from the bowl with you spoon or spatula and place it on top of the toasted walnuts. Now roll that baby round and round till the nuts cover the entire outside of the cheese ball. Now you have a perfectly shaped nutty ball to eat. Pun intended. Garnish with a green olive in the center of it. Or a maraschino cherry. Serve on vegetable crackers,wheat crackers, or melba toast.First course made.
The green salad is next. Or could be last. Some people prefer to eat their salads at the end of the meal, after the main course. But here is how to make it none-the-less.
1 head Romaine Lettuce (chopped)
2 lg tomatoes (cubed)
1 lg Avocado (cut and cubed)
1 head Broccoli (cut)
1 boiled Egg (cubed)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1/4 cup cooked Hormel Real Bacon Pieces
Caesar Creamy Dressing to taste.
1/4 cup Croutons (Garlic cheese are great.)
Wash head of lettuce in cold water, shake out excess water over the sink . Chop on cutting board with a knife or use hands to tear lettuce into bite size pieces. If you cut the lettuce with a knife it tends to brown at the edges quicker, so I prefer to use my hands. Boil an egg or two and cool in cold water and chop using eggs slicer or with a knife and add it to the salad. Cut tomatoes, broccoli, and avocado and toss into salad along with egg and prepared salad. Add Hormel Real bacon pieces or cook up your own bacon and chop into bite size pieces. Add croutons just before serving so they do not get soggy. Some people like to add the salad dressing before serving it to there guests. However if you are serving a variety of people with different tastes in dressings it's best to wait and set out the bleu cheese, honey mustard, caesar or ranch dressing on the table along with the salad for your guests or family to choose for themselves.
For the main course. Baked Stuffed Chicken Breast with Knorr Hollandaise sauce. The recipe may seem difficult, but it is well worth the effort and it really doesn't take much time to prepare to bake. Total prep should only take 30 minutes and then it is ready to bake in the oven. You will need a skillet and two sauce pans and one 9x9 deep baking pan. This recipe makes two stuffed chicken breast and can serve up to four. It is extremely filling and more often than not, one chicken breast is enough to feed two people. If you serve this entire meal including the salad, the cheese ball for an horderve, the chicken breast and a choice of a vegetable ie... corn on the cob, green beans or asparagus along with some dinner breads or rolls. You and your guest will be full and satisfied with your meal. And may have to wait 2 or 3 hours or the next day to have the desert (LOL).
2 chicken breasts
1 box Stove Top Stuffing
1 package Knorr Hollandaise Sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil (for browning both sides of chicken breasts)
In large oiled pre-heated skillet (medium to medium high heat) brown both sides of chicken breasts. You want the outsides of the chicken breasts to have the apperance of fully cooked chcken. Don't cook the chicken all the way through. You have to stuff the chicken with the stuffing and then bake it in the oven for 55 minutes and then serve it with the hollandaise sauce on top. So put both the chicken breasts in the skillet and brown them for about 10 minutes on both sides. When working with raw chicken make sure you are washing your hands often with hot water and soap. Keep raw meat away from uncooked vegetables and make sure that the plate or cutting board you use for the chicken once it is browned and not yet baked is put in hot water and soap once your done with it. Place browned chicken on the cutting board or plate and cut it length wise. Prepare Stove Top Stuffing according to directions on the box. Then stuff the chicken like you would when making a sandwich. Bottom part of the chicken breast, then the stuffing and then the top half of the chicken breast.The box of Stove Top Stuffing makes enough to stuff 4 chicken breasts. If you are only making 2 chicken breasts and saving the stuffing left overs for another meal, then be careful to keep the utensils you use away from the raw chicken in the middle of the chicken breast. Place the stuffed chicken in 9x9 baking pan and cover with foil. Bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 55 minutes. Take the foil off for the last 5 minutes of baking. You should have an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees.
The hollandaise is easy to make. Follow the directions on the back of the Knorr Hollandaise package and prepare it just before your ready to serve the chicken on the plate along with the rest of your dinner. Place baked stuffed chicken breast on serving dishes and pour hollandaise over chicken breast.
For desert New York Style Cheesecake. It has a cream cheese filling and sour cream topping. I love this recipe and it is one of the best cheesecakes I have ever had. You need a blender, a graham craker pie shell, 1 pint of sour cream and 12 oz of cream chees (softened). You can make the graham craker shell by hand or you can buy one that is already prepared. Homemade is best I think.
Ingredients for the Crust:
1- 9 inch pie shell
1/3 cup butter
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 cup Graham craker crumbs
2 tbsp. sugar
Place around 8 graham crackers in pie shell and crush them with the back side of a spoon. Until graham crackers are fine. Add cinnamon and sugar. Mix dry ingredients together in pie shell. In a sauce pan melt butter and pour into pie shell. Mix ingredients until moist. Then use a spoon to cover the pie shell and its edges with graham crakers crust mixture. Set aside.
Ingredients for the Filling:
12 oz. Cream cheese or Neufatchel cream cheese (softened, like really softened)
1/2 tsp of vanilla
1/2 cup of sugar
In a blender(not a hand mixer, a blender). Blend cream cheese, vanilla, sugar, and eggs. Blend until there is no lumps at all in the filling. That is the reason you need the cream cheese softened, otherwise it won't come out right. Pour into prepared pie shell.
Bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Cook until the top of the pie is firm. So when you add the sour cream topping it doesn't pour through into the filling.
Take pie out of the oven and prepare the Sour Cream topping next.
Ingredients for Sour Cream Topping:
16 oz Sour Cream
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp sugar
Place sour cream,vanilla, and sugar in blender. Mix well. Pour over baked filling. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake an additional 7 minutes at 350 degrees. Cover and cool for 3 hours in refrigerator. Serve as is or top with strawberries or a carmel swirl on top. Whip cream is good too. Or maybe even bananas if you like. Serves 12.
I think that for the family this is a healthy well rounded meal and something that could be served for a dinner party as well. Dual purpose, as I always like to say. Another way to have this meal would to be to use cooked turkey with the stuffing and hollandaise as the main course, instead of going through the process of making the chicken breast. It's not something you can eat on a daily basis,without having to step of the scale. It is however a great dinner to have every so often.
And a big glass of Ice Cold Milk goes great for the kiddos. For the adults whom prefer a little vino with the meal, a cold glass of Chardonnay or a nice Pinot Noir is great compliment.
So that is the end of this series of articles of food for every time of day. I hope you find them useful and enjoy the fun of making new recipes. Oh and of course enjoy eating them as well.