My mom lives a couple of hours north and when we go to visit, we often time it so that my brother and his family are up there too. We always have such a great time together. We spend most of the time in the kitchen. I usually hate a crowded kitchen and prefer being in there by myself doing my thing but I don’t mind it up there. My brother usually is in charge of the meat and my sister-in-law and myself are doing side dishes and desserts.
A while back, during one of our visits, my sister-in-law starts pulling out canned pineapple, bread, sugar, eggs…I asked her what she was making and she told me it was pineapple souffle. I had never heard of it but supposedly it’s a southern thing. Whatever. I’m not really that “southern,” so I miss the boat on a lot of “southern” things.
Anyway, she commenced making this pineapple souffle and once we sat down to eat, I quickly discovered that it was DELICIOUS! I make it regularly now. I love it with pork and it works as either a side dish or a dessert.
1 stick of butter (because that’s how all good southern dishes begin)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
6 slices of white bread (possibly a little more, depending on the size/thickness)
1 20oz can pineapple chunks, drained
1/2 T cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray an 8″x8″ (or similar size) baking/casserole dish. Heat butter in microwave until it’s mostly melted. Cream with sugar in large mixing bowl. Add eggs one at a time, making sure that butter and sugar mixture aren’t warm enough to cook the eggs. Mix in milk. Tear bread into bite size chunks and fold into mixture. Add pineapple and fold it in as well. Add cinnamon and mix thoroughly, making sure all bread is soaked and pineapple is evenly mixed in. mixture should be loose but not soupy. If soupy, add another piece of chunked bread. Pour into baking dish.
Sprinkle brown sugar evenly on top. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
Anyone who knows me knows I am a FREAK about balsamic vinegar. It’s like Frank’s Red Hot Sauce for me. I put that $#!% on everything! From salads to desserts.
There’s a balsamic chicken recipe making the rounds on Facebook and so, it inspired me. I only glanced at the actual recipe but then improvised my own.
Orange Balsamic Chicken (feeds 2)
2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
1 packet dried onion soup mix
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch kosher salt
fresh basil (for garnish)
Combine all ingredients except for basil in crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours or low 6-8 hours.
I served it over angel hair pasta but it would work equally well over egg noodles or alongside mashed potatoes. If you want to turn the juice into a thicker sauce, you can add a bit of cream and some cornstarch slurry and allow to thicken for a few minutes. Chiffonade fresh basil (roll leaves tightly and cut in strips on a bias) and sprinkle on top.
Last night’s dinner was a homerun. I wanted to come up with something unique and I’ve been on a little of an amaretto kick lately. I also love peaches and we have a fabulous peach farm here in GA called Pearson Farm. They come to the local market every weekend, so I always buy plenty and freeze a bunch for use throughout the year. I knew peaches were fabulous with some amaretto sauce and whipped cream but what about with chicken? It was worth a try! So I came up with the following and it was delicious! I highly recommend it. The only thing that was missing was the cinnamon basil chiffonade which I had every intention of adding but completely forgot.
Creamy Peach Amaretto Chicken with Angel Hair
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into chunks
2 Tbs olive oil
2 small peaches (or 8oz can in light syrup), sliced and skinned
2 small peaches (or 8oz can in light syrup), sliced, skinned and pureed
1 can chicken broth (I make my own and freeze it, but I realize most people use pre-packaged broth)
1/4 cup amaretto
1 Tbs sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
angel hair pasta
I always like to use a Dutch oven for such dishes. Season chicken with salt and sauté in olive oil until browned and cooked through (cook on a medium-low for more tender chicken). Remove chicken pieces from pan and deglaze pan with chicken broth. Add amaretto, sugar, peach puree and sliced peaches. Cook on medium-low for about 20 minutes or until sauce is reduced to about half. Add heavy cream and continue to cook for 5-8 minutes, just until sauce begins to thicken. Return chicken to pan and allow to heat through. Sprinkle with slivered almonds and serve over angel hair pasta.