Thursday, February 25, 2010

Vday- Chicken Parmesan and Chocolate Lava Cake

For Valentine's Day we cancelled our reservations to Mezze in Baltimore because we were too lazy to drive up there with all the snow, etc. Instead we stayed in to cook and and watch movies.
After being together for 5 years it can be just as enjoying cooking together (doesn't happen often) and watching '50 First Dates' and the 4th Season of 'No Reservations'(his gifts to me, yey).
I chose the menu: Chicken Parmesan and Chocolate Lava Cake and got all the ingredients (my gift to him).

Chicken Parmesan (By: Ellie Krieger, Food Network)

4 slices whole-wheat bread (1-ounce each)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 egg whites
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 (6 ounce) skinless boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
Olive oil cooking spray
1 jar good-quality marinara sauce (about 3 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons (1/2-ounce) shredded Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

Place the bread in the bowl of a food processor and process until fine crumbs are formed, about 25 to 30 seconds. Put the crumbs on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, until golden. (You will wind up with about 1 1/3 cups toasted crumbs.)

The recipe called for 4 halves, but my packet only came with 3. This part was actually really fun! Put plastic over the chicken before hitting it to keep it clean.

In a medium bowl, toss the crumbs with oregano, garlic powder, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
In another bowl, whisk the egg whites and milk together.
In a third bowl stir together the flour, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
Dip each piece of chicken, 1 piece at a time, in flour, shaking off excess, then egg, then bread crumbs, shaking off excess.
I got a little egg yolk in the milk and egg white mixture, oops.

Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Place breaded breasts in a glass baking dish and spray on each side with cooking spray, about 5 seconds total per side. Bake breasts until cooked though and crumbs are browned, about 15 minutes.

Top with marinara sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan and return to oven for an additional 10 minutes.

It was really good! I was impressed since it was a healthier version because I didn't fry the chicken. It wasn't as crunchy as a restaurant version, but very tender and flavorful.

The bf loves Chocolate Lava cakes when we go out to restaurants so I found a high rated recipe by Paula Dean (Food Network) and it was so easy to do. I always thought the melted part in the middle was because of a 'filling', but its not the case!

Molten Lava Cakes

6 (1-ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate (I did 4oz)
2 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate (I did 4oz)
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 stick) butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 large eggs
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons orange liqueur (I omitted this since we didn't have any)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Grease 6 (6-ounce) custard cups. Melt the chocolates and butter in the microwave, or in a double boiler.

Stir in the eggs and yolks until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and orange liqueur.

Divide the batter evenly among the custard cups. Place in the oven and bake for 14 minutes.

The edges should be firm but the center will be runny. Run a knife around the edges to loosen and invert onto dessert plates. They're really delicate because the center isn't solid, so be careful when inverting them. I kind of splatted the 1st one I did, haha.

I bought some vanilla ice cream to go with it and it turned out perfect!

Thankfully the snow has been melting so we've been able to get out of the house and try some new places. Stay tuned! Thanks everyone for reading and supporting <3

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