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Dash of Class: Whip up some courage, try new recipes in new year

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Food column by Nora Sweat

By Nora Sweat

Today, I want to touch on some New Year’s resolutions. I have some new ones to offer to you for consideration.

To have more patience, whether it is when you are behind a slow driver or in a slow-moving grocery line, join me in working on having more patience.

Enjoy life. Don’t get so bogged down in everyday living that you don’t have time for fun with friends and family or just something fun that you haven’t done in a long time.

Take time to thank the Lord for everything you have — your talents, your health, your abilities, your family, your career and on and on.

Lastly, be brave and try new recipes. Don’t get in a rut by having the same thing for dinner every night. As I told my students, take a recipe one line at a time. Have your ingredients and measuring cups and spoons close and prepare cooking dishes. It makes preparing a new dish a snap.

I hope 2013 is a happy, healthy year for you and yours. In thinking what you might like to make — something that you have never tried before — I suggest Chicken Cordon Bleu and Chicken Divan. They are two of my favorites. I hope you enjoy. Both make two servings, so multiply as needed.

Nora Sweat, author of “Mama and Me,” is a native of Hardin County and a retired home economics/family and consumer science teacher. She can be reached atnorasweat@thenewsenterprise.com or by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701.

Golden Chicken Cordon Bleu

  • 2 boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 slices deli ham
  • 2 slices Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/8 t. paprika
  • 1/8 t. pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T. milk
  • 1/2 c. seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • 1 T. melted butter

Flatten chicken to ¼ inch thickness; top each with a slice of ham and cheese. Roll up and tuck in ends; secure with toothpicks.

In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, salt, paprika and pepper. In another bowl, whisk egg and milk. Place bread crumbs in a third bowl. Dip chicken in flour mixture, then egg mixture; roll in crumbs.

In a small skillet, brown chicken in oil on all sides. Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Discard toothpicks. Drizzle with butter.

Source: Taste of Home, 2011

Chicken Divan

  • 1 large bunch broccoli, trimmed and cut into 4-inch long spears
  • 1/2 stick butter, diced
  • 5 T. all purpose flour
  • 2 c. chicken broth
  • 1/2 c. well chilled heavy cream
  • 3 T. medium dry sherry or sherry cooking wine
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. pepper
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and sliced thin

In a large saucepan of boiling, salted water, cook broccoli for 6 to 8 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside, covered. In a heavy saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add broth and bring mixture to a boil. Cook on low, stirring, for 10 minutes or until thick.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, then add to flour mixture, along with sherry and lemon juice to taste. Season the ingredients with salt and pepper. Arrange broccoli on a flameproof platter. Top with half the sauce. Stir ¼ c. Parmesan into the other half of the sauce. Arrange chicken on broccoli, pour remaining sauce over top, and sprinkle mixture with remaining ¼ c. Parmesan.

Broil, about 6 inches from heat, for 1 minute or until sauce is golden and bubbling.

Source: Sherri Shepherd, of television’s “The View”

Editor’s note: The recipe for Crock Pot Candy ran incorrectly in the Jan. 1 edition of The News-Enterprise because of an editor’s error. The correct recipe is below.

Crock Pot Candy

  • 16 ounces salted dry-roasted peanuts
  • 15 ounces unsalted dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 bar German sweet chocolate
  • 12-oz package semisweet chocolate chips (about 2 cups)
  • 2 1/2 lbs white almond bark

Put the peanuts in the bottom of a 4-quart slow-cooker. Layer the chocolate over the peanuts, beginning with the sweet chocolate, followed by the chocolate chips, and then the almond bark. Set the temperature on low and cook for 3 hours. Do not stir the mixture.

After 3 hours, stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until smooth. Drop the candy into cupcake pan liners, using about 2 tablespoons per liner. Allow the candy to cool completely before removing the cupcake liners. You also can drop onto waxed paper.