Monday, June 28, 2010

Meals and Treats with Orange Juice

I have been wanting to post for a while now, but just haven't been able to find the energy! I've been cleaning the house like crazy in preparation for my hubby's 30th birthday party this past Saturday and my dear oldest son has decided that he no longer wants to nap in the afternoons.... for the past two weeks. *sigh*

I have recently found or been given a few recipes that involve orange juice and we have loved and devoured them all. In spite of my love for maple syrup, the French Toast with Orange Syrup has quickly become a new family favorite. It's even the meal my hubby requested for Father's Day! Citrus Pork with Egg Noodles comes from an old/new friend and was a nice way for me to use up some of the pork tenderloins I found on sale. What's even better about it is that my hubby loves Egg Noodles!

The Basil Orange Chicken came from a recent Good Housekeeping and is a great summertime meal. It's a bit of a pain to zest the fruit, but I have found that it freezes pretty well. Last time I made the meal, rather than halving the recipe to feed just hubby and myself, I made the full recipe and froze 2 chicken breasts in the sauce along with some of the sauce in a small container. It tasted great once it was thawed.

My last recipe, I have not tried yet. The recipe is actually called Lemon Fluff Dessert and came from Healthy Cooking magazine. It is a-maze-ing! My mother-in-law and I decided that it would probably taste just as good, if not better, with orange juice and orange gelatin instead of the lemon. I was going to try it this weekend for hubby's, but I kinda forgot and drank the only OJ we had in the house. Oooops. I made the lemon version instead. It's a good thing the recipe came from Healthy Cooking and doesn't have too many calories because I could eat the entire pan. Since hubby won't eat anything that contains cream cheese, I'm going to have to find some family or friends to pawn some of the leftovers off on.

French Toast with Orange Syrup (from The Taste of Home Cookbook)

3 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
8 slices day-old French bread

Orange Syrup
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup sugar
4 tsp butter
1 tsp grated orange peel (or 1 tsp orange extract)
1/2 tsp orange extract

In a bowl, beat eggs. Beat in the milk, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Soak the slices of bread for 30 seconds on each side. Cook on a hot greased griddle until golden brown on both sides and cooked through.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the orange juice, corn syrup, sugar, butter and orange peel (or 1 tsp orange extract). Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; stir in extract. Serve with French toast.

Citrus Pork with Egg Noodles

1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound boneless pork loin, cut into 2x1/2-inch strips
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 Tbsp corn starch
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 pound egg noodles, cooked, drained

In a small bowl, combine cumin, salt and pepper. Add pork; toss to coat.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add the pork and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes or until browned.

In a small bowl, blend the broth, orange juice, vinegar, and brown sugar. Reserve 1/4 cup of the broth mixture. Pour all but the reserved broth mixture into the skillet with the pork and garlic. Add the carrots. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium. Cook 7-8 minutes.

Blend corn starch into reserved broth mixture. Stirring constantly, pour the corn starch mixture into the skillet to thicken the sauce. Add the green onions. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 more minute.

Toss with the noodles. Serve immediately.

Basil Orange Chicken

1 lg navel orange
2 lemons
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1.5 lbs)
1/2 tsp sugar
1 pkg couscous
1 pkg (8 oz.) stringless sugar snap peas
Grilled orange and lemon slices for garnish

From orange, grate 1.5 tsp peel and squeeze 4 tbsp juice. From lemons, grate 1.5 tsp peel and squeeze 1/3 cup juice.

In medium bowl, combine 1 tsp of each peel and 1 tbsp orange juice with half of basil, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.

With flat side of meat mallet, pound chicken breasts (placed between 2 sheets plastic wrap) to an even 1/2 inch thickness. (I don’t do this and cooking time is longer without it.) Add chicken to citrus mixture, turning to coat; set aside.

In small pitcher or bowl, combine sugar, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper and remaining citrus peels, citrus juices, basil and oil; set aside. (Can be made to this point up to 8 hours ahead. Cover chicken and citrus sauce and refrigerate.)

Preheat large ridged grill pan or prepare outdoor grill for direct grilling on medium-high.

Meanwhile, prepare couscous as label directs. In 4 qt saucepan filled with 1/2 inch water, place a vegetable steamer. Heat to boiling on high. (I microwave my veggies instead.)

Add chicken to hot grill pan or place on hot grill grate; cook 4 minutes. Turn chicken over and cook 3 to 4 minutes longer or until no longer pink in center.

While chicken is cooking on second site, add snap peas to steamer; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until tender-crisp. Fluff couscous and spoon onto large platter; top with chicken and snap peas. Drizzle sauce over all. Garnish with citrus slices.

Lemon/Orange Fluff Dessert

1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 package (3 oz) sugar free lemon (or orange) gelatin
1 cup boiling water
3 tbsp lemon (or orange) juice
1 package (8 oz) reduced-fat cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Pour milk into a large metal bowl; place mixers beaters in the bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter; set aside 1 tbsp for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture into a 13x9 inch baking dish. Chill until set.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in lemon juice. Cool.

In another bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add gelatin mixture and mix well. Beat evaporated milk until soft peaks form; fold into cream cheese mixture. Pour over crust. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

Note: I had regular gelatin instead of sugar free in the house so I used that and the recipe came out just fine.

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