Get out your pots and pans because that's what's on this week's menu thanks to the folks behind the new CBC daytime series Best Recipes Ever.
The new daily Canadian cooking series kicks off Monday, Jan. 4 at 3 p.m., following the re-launch at 2 p.m. of CBC daytime gadabouts Steven & Chris. It's all part of an aggressive 2010 reboot for CBC which launches several new prime time offerings this month, including the new comedy 18 To Life Monday at 8 p.m. and the new drama The Republic of Doyle at 9 p.m. Wednesday.
Best Recipes Ever is hosted by perky Kary Osmond (above), who was working CBC's winter press launch last month and was happy to provide a recipe for this site which will be featured an upcoming episode. The best part of this TV Dinner-like concoction, according to Osmond, is that you can eat it with your fingers and a fork, "which leaves your thumb free to work the remote."
Osmond is a newcomer to TV but comes by the cooking thing honestly, developing a passion for food while chopping vegetables and rolling Swedish meatballs back at her family's Mississauga, Ont., catering and deli business. She later went from pie charts to pie making when she ditched a career in marketing for something a little more savoury, sharpening her skills at the George Brown College Chef School.
The Best Recipes Ever she prepares on the show are from the Canadian Living test kitchen, which I can attest is a good thing. The CL test kitchen was a yummy bonus over a decade ago when I worked at TV Guide. Canadian Living magazine shares Yonge and Shepherd office space with TV Guide.ca (both part of the Transcontinental family) and, back in the day, some of us would time our elevator exits to take advantage of the goodie grab coming out of the CL test kitchen.
In keeping with the spirit of this site, the recipe below is a healthier take on those crazy Swanson TV dinners popular back when foil and cellophane were a homemaker's best friend.
So sharpen some knifes and tackle these three easy entrees: Chicken Fingers with Peanut Apricot Sauce, Roast Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Corn and Zucchini Saute.
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp (15 mL) cold water
1 cup (250 mL) dry bread crumbs
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh coriander (or 1/2 tsp/2 mL dried basil)
1 tsp (5 mL) Cajun seasoning
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
Peanut apricot Sauce:
1/4 cup (50 mL) apple juice
1/4 cup (50 mL) smooth peanut butter
2 tbsp (25 mL) apricot jam
1 clove garlic, minced
1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) cider vinegar
Slice each chicken breast lengthwise into 4 strips; set aside. In shallow bowl, whisk egg with cold water. In another shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, coriander, Cajun seasoning and salt. Dip chicken strips into egg mixture, then into bread crumb mixture to coat all over.
Arrange chicken on greased rimmed baking sheet. Bake in 400*F (200*C) oven until golden and no longer pink inside, about 15 minutes.
Peanut Apricot Sauce: Meanwhile, in microwaveable bowl, combine apple juice, peanut butter, apricot jam, garlic and vinegar; cover and microwave at Medium-High (70%) for 2 minutes or until blended and warm, stirring once.
Serve warm with chicken strips for dipping. Serves four.