Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Sure about the recipe, on the fence about the book

Sweet-and-Spicy Chicken Strips
The New Holly Clegg Trim & Terrific Cookbook Copyright 2002, 2006

1 cup picante sauce
¼ cup honey
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, mix the picante sauce, honey, and ginger. Toss the chicken strips with the picante sauce mixture. Place in a nonstick shallow baking pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until glazed and done, turning and brushing often with sauce during the last 30 minutes.

I have no idea who Holly Clegg is, despite the list of accolades on the back of this book. Knowing that many of my readers like quick recipes and they're also trying to eat healthier, I went out on a limb and grabbed an extra copy of this book for the cookbook giveaway.

First I had to test some of the recipes and so far I've made three of them. The first two weren't bad but they weren't great either. Oh no. Panic set in. I don't want to give away a crappy cookbook yet I don't want two of these either, ya know?

Then there was this recipe, from the appetizer section yet also suggested as a main course and more fittingly so, if you ask me. I thought this was great. I really liked the combination of picante sauce, honey and ginger. I suspect this is one of those combinations that have been around for years that I've missed. I didn't let these get to the point of 'glazed' since I think the chicken would have dried out by that time and also, I wanted some sauce to coat the rice.

So right now the score is 1 winner, 2 neutrals. I'm still on the fence. There are visible flaws in the cookbook - the pictures don't quite match up the recipes. For instance, in this case the picture clearly showed tenders, not a cut up breast. Not a big deal but why not mention you can use tenders in the recipe? Another page has two recipes for Mexican-style salads and the picture looks like a combination of both recipes. I clearly see beans and corn but there are no beans listed in one recipe, and no corn in the other. Other times the picture shows nuts but they don't mention them and for me, seeing nuts turns me off right away. I will say that this cookbook calls for less nuts than most.

I suspect (just a suspicion) that maybe they changed some recipes to bring down the numbers, after taking the pictures. This isn't a bare-bones light cookbook, more middle-of-the-road. There are plenty of carbs and she uses more reduced-fat rather than nonfat products.

It is built well - a nice hardcover with a spiral binding. She includes a kid section, too, which is always nice when you have kids or grandkids.

I think I need to try a couple of more recipes before I'm sure.

Blast From The Past: Dari's Picante Chicken from November 2006. That was another good combination of picante sauce and chicken.

Question of the Day: Have you ever heard of Holly Clegg?


Randi said...

No. I never heard of her.

MommyProf said...

How funny. My first thought at the top of the post was Who the heck is Holly Clegg?

DancesInGarden said...

Not a clue ROFL.

Anonymous said...

Never heard of her. This recipe sounds intriguing. The ginger and honey make it sound Asian but the picante sauce seems more Mexican. Hmmmmmmm. What a mix.

So can you tell us which recipes you rated as a neutral? I'm always curious!

Wanda said...


Jennifer said...


Anonymous said...

Actually, I have heard of her, but don't own any of her cookbooks.