Posted by: familiabencomo | Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Power Bread

WARNING: This bread is not for the faint of heart.

A few weeks ago I was researching nutrition for young athletes. My son is in constant motion and we worry that his diet isn’t keeping up with his activity. Despite going through 5 gallons of milk a week and feeding him constantly throughout the day, Alfredo & I still have concerns about providing him what his body needs. I came across a lot of information that I already knew: keep hydrated, carbo-load, stay away from sugars. Yes, yes, yes – I get all that. What I was really looking for was an easy answer. Someone telling me “Feed your child this.” I didn’t exactly find something as straight forward as that, but I did find a great “common-sense” article & this recipe for Power Bread on iVillage.

POWER BREAD

Ingredient Group A

  • 1 cup whole wheat
  • 1 up all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 3 cup wheat germ
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup unsalted, dry roasted peanuts
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

Ingredient Group B

  • 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/ 2 cup canola oil
  • 1 /2 cup molasses
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 medium bananas, mashed
  1. Mix together Group A in a large bowl.
  2. Whirl Group B (except apricots) in a blender (please note: too much liquid for an average food processor).
  3. Add apricots and whirl just to chop coarsely.
  4. Pour Group B into bowl with group A and blend until moistened.
  5. Pour into two greased bread pans and bake at 325 for one hour or until center is firm when pressed lightly.

This bread is best if wrapped tightly in plastic and stored overnight for flavors to blend. This bread is a good source of carbohydrates, protein, calcium, iron and vitamin A.

FINAL VERDICT:  There is no denying that this is healthy.  The bonus is that it’s tasty as well.  We all enjoyed a slice last night, but no one asked for seconds.  My son & I had a slice for breakfast….  I may have to freeze the second loaf for the next swim meet.  For me, I have to resist the urge to spread cream cheese all over it or toast it & add butter.  I do recommend trying this recipe, especially if you have an active child or if you act like a child – it’s good for you!

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Posted by: familiabencomo | Sunday, June 29, 2008

Daring Bakers’ June Challenge

I know that I’m starting to sound like a broken record…. This month’s challenge had me making up excuses from the get-go of why I had to skip it. Let’s see – busy schedule, school’s out for summer (read: mommy is going bonkers), I’ve never done anything like this & it looked Uber-complicated. I almost had myself convinced that I was going to skip this challenge. I mean, really, the recipe called for the use of both my paddle AND hook attachments for my mixer (glad to finally know what they’re used for!). Then, suddenly Friday morning I just had this overwhelming urge (or knead!) to bake. It was really quite a magical moment. I was filled with energy, looked at the recipe in full & set out to do it. I had almost everything in the house (noted in red are the adjustments I made) and because there is a good half hour between each fold I was able to prepare myself and the kids for a day at the cabana & then finish the Danish Braid upon our return.

Overall, this baking experience was very relaxing. I can count on one hand how many times in my life I have used a rolling pin. For some crazy reason, my mom had just bought me a HUGE rolling pin that I desperately wanted to exchange for something (anything!) else, but guilt forbade me to do so. And, I’m so happy it did! That monster came in handy. The mindless monotony of rolling out dough allowed me to finally slow down from the craziness we’ve had here the past several weeks and enjoy the task at hand. Then, while we were at the pool I looked forward to rolling it out one final time & braiding it.

Like the recipe states, it makes two large loafs. It is now Saturday evening and we only have half a loaf left! We are total gluttons. I took this out of the oven last night after dinner and served it warm with vanilla ice cream. My family went nuts for it. Alfredo went as far as to say that he liked it more than my Apple Pie…. shocking! My daughter had it again for breakfast. And, we all just recently stuffed ourselves for an afternoon snack. This Danish Braid WILL be made again – no question. It doesn’t require as much time to prepare as it does just waiting. So, if you’ve got things to do in between, then it goes by quickly.

Thank you Kelly of Sass & Veracity, and Ben of What’s Cookin’? for such a genuinely enjoyable challenge! I learned a few things & gained some confidence along the way. To see some more fabulous Danish Braids check out the other Daring Bakers.

“Danish Braid” from Sherry Yard’s The Secrets of Baking

DANISH DOUGH
Makes 2-1/2 pounds dough

Ingredients
For the dough (Detrempe)
1 ounce fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated (replaced with lemon)
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (ginger instead)
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped (opted for an extra 1/2 t of vanilla extract)
2 large eggs, chilled
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (lemon again)
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

For the butter block (Beurrage)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

DOUGH
Combine yeast and milk in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed. Slowly add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice. Mix well. Change to the dough hook and add the salt with the flour, 1 cup at a time, increasing speed to medium as the flour is incorporated. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until smooth. You may need to add a little more flour if it is sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Without a standing mixer: Combine yeast and milk in a bowl with a hand mixer on low speed or a whisk. Add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice and mix well. Sift flour and salt on your working surface and make a fountain. Make sure that the “walls” of your fountain are thick and even. Pour the liquid in the middle of the fountain. With your fingertips, mix the liquid and the flour starting from the middle of the fountain, slowly working towards the edges. When the ingredients have been incorporated start kneading the dough with the heel of your hands until it becomes smooth and easy to work with, around 5 to 7 minutes. You might need to add more flour if the dough is sticky.

BUTTER BLOCK
1. Combine butter and flour in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle and then beat for 1 minute more, or until smooth and lump free. Set aside at room temperature.
2. After the detrempe has chilled 30 minutes, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 18 x 13 inches and ¼ inch thick. The dough may be sticky, so keep dusting it lightly with flour. Spread the butter evenly over the center and right thirds of the dough. Fold the left edge of the detrempe to the right, covering half of the butter. Fold the right third of the rectangle over the center third. The first turn has now been completed. Mark the dough by poking it with your finger to keep track of your turns, or use a sticky and keep a tally. Place the dough on a baking sheet, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Place the dough lengthwise on a floured work surface. The open ends should be to your right and left. Roll the dough into another approximately 13 x 18 inch, ¼-inch-thick rectangle. Again, fold the left third of the rectangle over the center third and the right third over the center third. No additional butter will be added as it is already in the dough. The second turn has now been completed. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
4. Roll out, turn, and refrigerate the dough two more times, for a total of four single turns. Make sure you are keeping track of your turns. Refrigerate the dough after the final turn for at least 5 hours or overnight. The Danish dough is now ready to be used. If you will not be using the dough within 24 hours, freeze it. To do this, roll the dough out to about 1 inch in thickness, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze. Defrost the dough slowly in the refrigerator for easiest handling. Danish dough will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.

APPLE FILLING
Makes enough for two braids

Ingredients
4 Fuji or other apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped (1/2 t vanilla extract)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Toss all ingredients except butter in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat until slightly nutty in color, about 6 – 8 minutes. Then add the apple mixture and sauté until apples are softened and caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes. If you’ve chosen Fujis, the apples will be caramelized, but have still retained their shape. Pour the cooked apples onto a baking sheet to cool completely before forming the braid. (If making ahead, cool to room temperature, seal, and refrigerate.) They will cool faster when spread in a thin layer over the surface of the sheet. After they have cooled, the filling can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Left over filling can be used as an ice cream topping, for muffins, cheesecake, or other pastries.

DANISH BRAID
Makes enough for 2 large braids

Ingredients
1 recipe Danish Dough (see below)
2 cups apple filling, jam, or preserves (see below)

For the egg wash: 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk

1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the Danish Dough into a 15 x 20-inch rectangle, ¼ inch thick. If the dough seems elastic and shrinks back when rolled, let it rest for a few minutes, then roll again. Place the dough on the baking sheet.
2. Along one long side of the pastry make parallel, 5-inch-long cuts with a knife or rolling pastry wheel, each about 1 inch apart. Repeat on the opposite side, making sure to line up the cuts with those you’ve already made.
3. Spoon the filling you’ve chosen to fill your braid down the center of the rectangle. Starting with the top and bottom “flaps”, fold the top flap down over the filling to cover. Next, fold the bottom “flap” up to cover filling. This helps keep the braid neat and helps to hold in the filling. Now begin folding the cut side strips of dough over the filling, alternating first left, then right, left, right, until finished. Trim any excess dough and tuck in the ends.

Egg Wash
Whisk together the whole egg and yolk in a bowl and with a pastry brush, lightly coat the braid.

Proofing and Baking
1. Spray cooking oil (Pam…) onto a piece of plastic wrap, and place over the braid. Proof at room temperature or, if possible, in a controlled 90 degree F environment for about 2 hours, or until doubled in volume and light to the touch.
2. Near the end of proofing, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.
3. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan so that the side of the braid previously in the back of the oven is now in the front. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake about 15-20 minutes more, or until golden brown. Cool and serve the braid either still warm from the oven or at room temperature. The cooled braid can be wrapped airtight and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or freeze for 1 month.

Posted by: familiabencomo | Sunday, June 22, 2008

Apple Pie

I know I’m terribly late in posting this….. I actually had great intentions of posting it for Father’s Day. Ha!

Apple Pie is Alfredo’s all-time favorite dessert (however, I think he’ll say flan if his mother is around – just a suspicion). This is one of those desserts that I always make for his birthday, Father’s Day & any ol’ day I want him to feel special and loved. I’m sure we all have a of these desserts in our repertoire.

One thing is for sure, Alfredo certainly earned his favorite dessert for Father’s Day. He does ALL the things a good father should, but what make him a great dad are the things he doesn’t have to do. He works from home on the days that I chaperon a field trip or work in my son’s classroom, he can find anything on my shopping list at the grocery store or Costco without panicking or calling me a hundred times (only once or twice), he holds hands with the kids & skips, he plays video games & Barbie, and many times he’ll go solo with our son to endure 5 hours at a swim meet. It is my belief that great fathers are excellent husbands & partners. Alfredo definitely makes my job easier and if all it takes is an Apple Pie to make him happy, then by all means I will bake a pie for him whenever he wants! It’s a week late in coming, but Happy Father’s Day to everyone!

APPLE PIE

  • ½ c Sugar
  • ¼ c All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ t Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ t Ground Nutmeg
  • 6 c thinly sliced peeled Granny Smith Apples
  • 2 T butter

Heat oven to 425. Prepare pastry (I’m guessing everyone buys their pastries….) in 9” pie plate. Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg & apples in a large bowl. Toss well so that the apples are completely coated with the mixture. Pour mixture into pie plate, cut butter into small pieces & dot the top of the apples with them. Cover the mixture with the second pastry round, cut slits into the top for venting & flute the edges to seal the pie shells together. Cover the edges with foil to prevent burning. Bake for ~ 45, removing the foil the last 15 minutes.

Alfredo in the backyard having a water gun battle with the kids – the kids won!

Posted by: familiabencomo | Thursday, June 5, 2008

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

Aaaaarrrrrgh! Just one more week of school left…. I’m currently in panic mode trying to get everything done before next Wednesday. Why does being Room Mom seem so much fun in September, but by June you want to hide? The worst part is that Thursday is the official beginning of Swimsuit Season. Great. I have thoroughly enjoyed cooking & baking so many heavenly meals & desserts the last several months & its starting to show. So, on top of being crazy-busy I’m trying to lose 10 lbs…. My family loves being around me right now.

All of this panic led me to a great dinner solution – Barbecue Chicken Pizza. I had read on HoneyB‘s blog about how she made a pizza with a ketchup base. I haven’t tried her recipe yet, but it got my wheels spinning. Instead of using ketchup, I could use barbecue sauce! Having the sauce ready makes pizza a snap.

Pizza Dough

  • 1 Cup warm Water
  • 1 pkg Active Dry Yeast
  • 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt

Combine water & yeast first. Add about half the flour, mix well. Then, add oil, salt & remaining flour. Dust flour on the counter & “work” the dough for about 5 minutes adding flour if it feels sticky. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with towel & let it rest for about an hour until it doubles in size. Once risen, place on lightly dusted counter again, divide it in two (or more) balls & cover again for 15 minutes. Finally, dough is ready to be shaped, topped & baked.

Pizza Topping

  • Barbecue Sauce
  • Mozzarella Cheese, grated
  • Rotisserie Chicken, shredded
  • Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • Cheddar Cheese, grated (just a bit on top)

Once dough is ready, shape it on an oiled pan. Dust corn meal (I heard this somewhere & it seems to work). Spoon sauce on dough, add toppings . Bake on 400 for approximately 20 minutes.

Honestly, it’s impossible to feel frantic when your having pizza for dinner. Your kids totally forget that you have been snapping at them all day & think that you’re the best mom in the world. Your husband thinks your genius by whipping together such a tasty, happy meal (Oh, I forgot to mention that it’s best to hide the bottle of bbq sauce & any evidence of the rotisserie chicken – you get more accolades!). And, for yourself, there is the satisfaction of ending the day with everyone happy despite the chaos that was running amok for those 12 hours before dinner. Aaaah, serenity.

Posted by: familiabencomo | Sunday, June 1, 2008

Lamb Giouvetsi with Sandra’s Salad

Mom came to town this weekend which means that we typically spend a lot of quality time with food & wine. We now have a pretty established routine where I cook the night she arrives (dinner waiting on the table – aren’t I a great daughter?!?!), she cooks one night and we go out another night (or two). Her visits alway evoke an awakening of the taste buds. We like to comb through recipes & then pair the meals with just the right bottle of wine. I mean, does life get any better than this?

So, Thursday night I prepared Food Blogga Susan’s String Beans & Tofu with Thai Peanut Butter Sauce. This was the first time I had actually ever cooked with tofu (I’m from Texas, remember). Everyone loved the meal! I wish I had taken a picture, but my ever-loving & patient family was a bit anxious to eat. Take a peek at Susan’s photos…. Mine looked “just” like hers, I promise. 😉

Friday night was the feast that I was really looking forward to because I had found a Greek dish on Peter’s Kalofagas site, Lamb Giouvetsi. This recipe really spoke to our senses – rich & meaty. Honestly, we love these types of meals because they’re not really complicated recipes, you have that time while it bakes in the oven to sample cheeses with a glass of wine, and we love just trying new things.

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this meal and my boys went back for seconds. We served a Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel with the Giouvetsi which went along nicely with it. One or two bottles? I don’t remember…. Mom whipped up a tasty salad to compliment the meal. Lettuce, almond, green onions, pear, blue cheese – all typical stuff. However, her salad dressing was excellent & certainly worth sharing.

Sandra’s Salad Dressing

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (2 parts)
  • Lemon Juice or Apple Cider Vinegar (whichever you happen to have) (1 part)
  • Dijon Mustard (about 1 t)
  • Freshly Sliced Garlic (to taste)
  • Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper (to taste)

Combine all then toss with salad.

Enjoy!

Posted by: familiabencomo | Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Daring Bakers’ May Challenge

Initially, when I saw this month’s challenge I thought that it was way over my head and that I would just have to skip this one because there was NO WAY in…. Hades that I could possibly have any success at this challenge. I mulled it over for a few days and and finally concluded that if I ever want to improve my skills in the kitchen, then I just have to get in there, roll up my sleeves, get messy, get confused and just do it! And, I’m so glad that I did. This was the best cake that I have EVER made and possibly the best cake that I have ever tasted (if I do say so myself!).

I had the perfect occasion to bake this beautiful L’Opera Cake – one of my dearest friend’s birthday. Yuka was turning 29 again which always calls for a celebration. Another friend offered to host the barbecue and I jumped at the chance to bring dessert (he, he!). Since part of this challenge was to honor a fellow Daring Baker, Barbara, who “is the force behind the food blog event called A Taste of Yellow that supports the LiveSTRONG Foundation started by Lance Armstrong,” we were all asked to keep the cake light in colors and flavors…. I hope I didn’t vary too much because I really wanted to keep with the spirit of the challenge. I used white chocolate in lieu of the traditional chocolate, coffee or cocoa and then used Chambord, a raspberry liqueur, as my flavoring. The result was amazing & I look forward to when I turn 29 again so that I can make this for myself!

Yuka with the girls

LESSONS LEARNED: The whole process was a beautiful experience. I had two mornings that I planned to work on this cake without being rushed or distracted which was a huge blessing and I think why I enjoyed making this cake so much. The ONLY pitfall I had was the unusually hot weather. My mousse and glaze were melting from the heat. Then, when I was driving to Justine’s house I had to blast the AC & shade the cake from the sun. Oh well! If that’s my biggest complaint in the world, then I’m OK.

Thank you Lis, Ivonne, Fran & Shea for such a crazy challenge! I never in a million years would have come up with this on my own!!! Honestly, this cake is a show-stopper & I loved hearing all of the applauds. Yuka is still thanking me for making it for her. Happy birthday to you, my friend! To see some more INCREDIBLE L’Opera Cakes please check out the other Daring Bakers. For the recipe…. it was 7 pages long once I printed it up & I’m happy to email it to you if you like.

Posted by: familiabencomo | Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Roasted Asparagus, Red Onion & Ricotta Tart

Monday night I had the great pleasure to make a Roasted Tomato & Ricotta Tart which I found on Marie’s Proud Italian Cook blog. This was a huge success over here at Casa Bencomo…. So much so that I turned around and made something similar last night. I followed Marie’s directions exactly and just replaced the tomatoes with asparagus & red onions for Tuesday night. I had never used puff pastries before & was delighted by the ease of incorporating them into a meal. This recipe is extremely versatile and I bet there are a thousand different ways to switch up this dinner tart.

I made double use of the oven by baking my sweet potato rounds at the same time (40 minutes at 400, lightly coated with EVOO, salt, pepper). And, for the chicken…. well, Deeda at Passionate About Baking inspired me to use my last Meyer lemon (boohoo!) with her Citrus Makes Me Happy post. I marinated the breasts in lemon juice, diced lemon rinds (oh so sweet!), EVOO, sea salt & pepper. Then, cooked them in a large skillet with the marinade. Once they were done, I added more lemon juice & chopped fresh parsley. This was a surprising easy meal to make – less than an hour from the time I walked through my front door until we sat down for dinner. In fact, there was time to pour a glass of wine while I had everything in progress. Bliss.

On a COMPLETELY different note….. I have to share this photo with you. This is my son & Michael Phelps!!!! There was an International Swim Meet in Santa Clara this past weekend which we all attended. It was so much fun to be there watching all the hot-shots, Olympians & future hopefuls swim. We were surprised by the accessibly to these swimming stars and my son was awestruck to meet so many of his heroes. Every swimmer & coach (Bob Bowman!) that he spoke with was extremely kind and encouraging to him – they left an indelible mark. I only have Phelps here because he’s the most recognizable one.

my son is the little one

Posted by: familiabencomo | Sunday, May 18, 2008

Asian Chicken Salad

Dang, it’s hot!!! This coming from a girl who grew up in Texas. The biggest difference is that I had an air conditioner growing up. Typically, the weather is so mild here in the Bay Area that there is no need for an AC, but it has been oppressively hot for several days now & yesterday I reached my boiling point (ha, get it?!?!). My boys were at a swim meet & I knew they would be hungry when they returned, but the thought of turning on the oven was out of the question…. nix on the grill too (can’t ask a hungry man to grill when he’s tired & hot!). Solution: salad with rotisserie chicken.

Asian Chicken Salad

  • ž 3 ½ lbs Baby Bok Choy, chopped
  • ž 2 Ramen Noodle packages, crunched into small pieces, discarding the flavor pack
  • ž 4 Green Onions, diced (optional)
  • ž ½ cup Sliced Almonds
  • ž ¼ cup Sesame Seeds
  • ž 1 Rotisserie Chicken, shredded

Dressing:

  • ž ½ cup Butter, melted
  • ž ½ cup Sugar
  • ž ½ cup Canola Oil
  • ž ¼ cup Cider Vinegar
  • ž ¼ cup Soy Sauce

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine wet ingredients well then toss everything together until evenly coated.

You can use this recipe as a main course or as a side & skip the chicken. This is a family favorite and I hope it becomes yours too!  My mom gave me this recipe years ago while we still lived in Georgia so this dish has “staying” power.

Nutritional Facts about Baby Bok Choy

Posted by: familiabencomo | Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cowboy Caviar

I found out the other day that a dear friend is moving to Texas…. I refuse to be sad because I know this is a great opportunity for her family. Although, the truth be told, I am feeling a wee-bit sorry for myself because my friend is such a delight to be around and our girls are the best of friends….. (big sigh!). Soooo, to keep a positive outlook, I’m sharing this recipe with all of you in hopes that she has at least one appetizer to help set the mood for this big move to the Lone Star State.

COWBOY CAVIAR

  • 1 15-oz can black beans
  • ¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 lg garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup finely crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped

Drain black beans and place in a large bowl. Add onion, garlic, oil, vinegar, salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Stir until thoroughly combined. Cover and chill if serving later. Before serving, top with feta cheese and cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips.

our little cowgirls

Best of luck, my friend! Once you’ve settled in I’ll send you those recipes for Road-Kill Ragu & Armadillo Pie that every true Texan adores!

OH! And, thank your mom for the Meyer lemons from her tree (boy, do I love lemons!). You’d better enjoy those while you can… they’re a bit tricky to find in Texas. Below is a photo of what I made with them – another great recipe found on Susan’s Food Blogga site.  Originally, it called for lemonquats (!?!?!), but the Meyer lemons were a perfect substitute.

Coconut-Lemon Tea Cake

Posted by: familiabencomo | Saturday, May 10, 2008

Chicken Piccata with Lemon, Capers and Artichoke Hearts

In celebration of Mother’s Day, I have a simple, tasty recipe for you to help answer that tiresome question, “What’s for dinner?” My friend Michelle shared this recipe with me the other day while we were watching our boys at swim practice. The flavor is full enough to satisfy the sophisticated pallets of our husbands and mild enough for all of our kids to ask for seconds. She recommends doubling the entire recipe & I full-heartedly agree. Although the Food Network summary states this recipe serves 4, doubling the recipe is more accurate for a family of 4 (especially if you have a growing boy who acts like you starve him to death between the 4 meals you already serve him daily!).

Chicken Piccata with Lemon, Capers and Artichoke Hearts

Copyright, 2006, Robin Miller, All rights reserved

4 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Salt and ground black pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, quartered
1/4 cup drained capers
1 cup quick-cooking brown rice

1/2 cup frozen lima beans
Place chicken in zip-top bags and pound with a meat mallet or rolling pin until 1/4-inch thick. Remove chicken from bag and season all over with salt and black pepper. In a shallow dish (or plastic bag), combine flour, lemon zest, paprika, and garlic powder. Mix well. Add chicken and turn to coat. Remove chicken from flour mixture and shake off excess flour.Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and saute 2 minutes per side, until golden brown and cooked through. Add lemon juice, wine and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer 5 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and sauce thickens. Add artichoke hearts and capers and simmer 1 minute to heat through.
Cook rice according to package directions, adding lima beans at the beginning of cooking process. Serve chicken and sauce with rice.

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