Friday, March 14, 2008

Chefs In Training Cooking Class

At our house we have renamed this "French Toast Pie" because some members of my family think that it sounds gross otherwise. It is fun to make and a great dessert!

Whole Wheat Bread Pudding
1 1/2-pound loaf sliced whole wheat bread
4 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
2 cups half-and-half or milk
1 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Step 1 Heat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 9-inch square baking dish or 9 1/2-inch round deep-dish pie pan, preferably ceramic or glass. You'll also need a shallow casserole that's large enough for the buttered baking dish to fit into.

Step 2 Trim the crusts from the bread, then cut it into 3/4-inch cubes (you should have about 7 cups of cubes) and spread them on large baking sheets. Place the sheets in the oven for 10 minutes to dry the bread slightly.

Step 3 Pour about 1/2 inch of hot water in the larger casserole, then place the casserole on the middle oven shelf.

Step 4 Whisk the eggs and yolks into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the half-and-half or milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt.

Step 5 Spread half of the bread cubes in the buttered baking dish and scatter the raisins over them. Pour just enough of the egg mixture over the bread to cover it. Let the bread soak for 10 minutes, occasionally pushing it down so it all gets saturated.

Step 6 Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle half of it over the bread. Drizzle on half of the butter.

Step 7 Add the remaining bread to the pan and pour the rest of the egg mixture over it. Wait another 10 minutes, then add the remaining sugar mixture and butter. The dish may be quite full.

Step 8 Place the baking dish in the larger casserole and bake the bread pudding for about 1 hour. When it's done, the top will be well crusted and the entire surface will be puffed up. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 30 to 35 minutes before serving.

Serve with Cool Whip or Vanilla Ice Cream
Makes 8 servings.

This is a family favorite. You can use any vegetables that you want, even though the recipe only calls for zucchini and carrot. Last night I used red pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, carrot, and broccoli. The sauce is mild enough for kids and picky adults.


Marinate: 1 pound sliced chicken meat
1 Tbls oil
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbls soy sauce
Halve and slice ½ inch thick: 1 ½ pds zucchini
Thinly slice 1 round onion and 1 large carrot
Finely mince: 1 tsp gingerroot and 1 clove garlic
Sauce: Mix and set aside until needed- 1 Tbls cornstarch, ½ tsp salt, ¼ cup oyster sauce, ¼ cup water

Heat 1 Tbls oil in wok until hot. Stir in half of the chicken and cook until done.Remove chicken and repeat with other half.
Heat 1 Tbls oil in wok and stir in vegetables and flavorings. Stir fry veggies until tender and then add cooked chicken. Stir in sauce mix, stir and cook until thickened.
Serve with hot rice and 1 large wedge of tomato, if desired.

This is one of my husband's absolute favorite dishes. It is supposed to be an appetizer, but if I make these, he will eat 10 or more. He also requests that I don't make them when people come over, because he wants to eat them all himself!

Chicken Pot Stickers
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 cups finely chopped green cabbage
1/2 cup water
1/2 pound ground chicken or turkey breast
1/3 cup minced green onions
1 tablespoon minced peeled gingerroot
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 egg white
1 garlic clove, crushed
30 won ton wrappers
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
1 cup water, divided

Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add cabbage; cook 9 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. While cabbage cooks, add 1/2 cup water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to keep cabbage from sticking to pan. Spoon cabbage into a medium bowl; let cool completely.

Add chicken and next 6 ingredients (chicken through garlic) to bowl; stir well. Working with 1 won ton wrapper at a time (cover remaining won ton wrappers to keep them from drying out), spoon about 1 tablespoon chicken mixture into the center of each wrapper.

Moisten edges of wrapper with water, and bring 2 opposite corners to center, pinching points to seal. Bring the remaining 2 corners to center, pinching points to seal. Pinch 4 edges together to seal.
Place pot stickers on a large baking sheet sprinkled with cornstarch; cover loosely with a towel to keep them from drying out.

Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place half of pot stickers in bottom of skillet; cook 3 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Add 1/2 cup water to skillet; cover and cook 3 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Place pot stickers on a serving platter; set aside, and keep warm. Wipe skillet with a paper towel. Repeat procedure with remaining vegetable oil, remaining pot stickers, and remaining water.
Yield - 24-30 appetizers (serving size: 1 pot sticker)