lattice chicken pot pie
Mexican street corn pasta
chicken Ghiveci
creamy chicken tortilla soup, jalapeno jack popovers
butter basted ribeyes, twice baked potatoes, broccoli
brisket tacos, pinto beans
pork souvlaki, naan

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Blueberry Pancakes

Blueberries are so tasty this time of year. I got a half pint for pancakes this morning. I love fresh berries in the summer. The berries I had today were grown in Texas and they were amazingly sweet.

Blueberry Pancakes

1 egg, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons of oil
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 pint blueberries

Heat griddle to 350. Lightly coat with shortening.

Mix all ingredients together except strawberries. Stir to combine, batter will be lumpy. Fold in blueberries. Scoop pancakes by the ladle full onto the griddle. Turn once they bubble all over. Serve warm with syrup.
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Grilled Zucchini and Red Peppers

We went to a friends house for dinner last weekend and they served amazing zucchini. It had been sliced lengthways and grilled. I tried to replicate it, just tossing it with olive oil, salt and pepper, then grilling. I also did the same with some red peppers left over from the peanut chicken pasta. I served it with a grilled ribeye and grilled corn.
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Peanut Chicken Pasta

One of my dear friends gave me on of the most amazing gifts, a Taste Book. It is the neatest thing. She compiled all her favorite recipes in a cookbook, how neat is that? I like to cook from it a lot. Last night I decided to try the Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce. I have had it before when she has made it and I really enjoy it. Her recipe calls for lots of microwaving (which I am terrible about and my microwave is less than stellar), so I adapted it for the stovetop so that all components would be warm and not messed up in my microwave. Just as tasty!

Spicy Peanut Sauce

¼ cup minced onion
2/3 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon lime juice
½ teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Hot sauce to taste
(I also added some rice wine vinegar to it)

Place onion and one tablespoon of broth in a 1 cup measure; cover with vented plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir in remaining broth and remaining ingredients. May be made two days in advance, covered in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature to serve.

Bring broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce to a simmer. Stir in remaining ingredients.

¾ pound skinless boneless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
½ pound uncooked thin pasta
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 carrot, julienned
½ cup snow peas
½ red bell pepper, julienned
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts

Season chicken with salt and pepper, place in a glass pie plate and cover with vented plastic wrap. Microwave on medium high (70%) 6 minutes or until juices run clear. Cool and slice diagonally into thin strips. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and toss with peanut oil. Set aside and keep warm. Place carrot in a 2 cup glass measure; cover with vented plastic wrap and microwave on high for 1 minute. Add snow peas, stir and recoverl microwave on high for one minute. Toss pasta with veggies, chicken and sauce. Sprinkle with peanuts.

In a large skillet or wok, heat oil at medium high heat. Add the chicken (I also added onion and garlic) and stir fry for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the carrots, stir frying for 2 minutes more. Add the snow peas and red pepper, stir frying for 3 minutes more. Add drained pasta cooked according to package directions. Pour sauce over top, tossing to coat. Serve with sprinkled peanuts.
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Burger Time

I am not a huge fan of hamburgers, in fact, I didn't try one until I was in college. The texture of ground beef has always bothered me. I still prefer a very thin burger, think McDonald's thin. Here is the recipe I used this Memorial Day. I made normal sized burgers for C and one tiny and thin burger for me. I much prefer the bread to the burger.

1.5 lbs of ground beef
2 teaspoons of worcestershire sauce
1/8 cup minced onion
1 egg
1 teaspoon Tony Chacheres spice
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 cup breadcrumbs

Mix ingredients together in a large bowl. Divide into 6 equal sections. Form each section into a patty and grill for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once. Add cheese if desired the last five minutes of cooking. Serve on toasted buns with any condiments you like.
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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Rustic Strawberry Tart

I had extra pie dough crust from making the Lemon Meringue Pie, so I went ahead and tried my hand at a rustic tart. I had never made one before, so I sort of had to improvise. I ended up taking it as a hostess gift, I sure hope it ends up tasting alright!

Rustic Strawberry Tart

pastry dough (see Pie posts for recipe)
4 cups strawberries, sliced
1/3 cup + 1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons corn startch
1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss sliced strawberries with 1/3 cup sugar, lemon juice and corn startch. Roll out pastry dough into a 9" circle. Lay pastry dough on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat. Mound the strawberry mixture on the center of the dough, leaving a 2" border. Wrap the border around the strawberry mixture. Brush the border with the milk and sprinkle with the teaspoon of sugar. Bake for 45 minutes.
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Saturday, May 23, 2009

A year of pies: Lemon Meringue

The recipe from C's pie anniversary book was not so hot. The filling turned out just awful, so it was back to the store for more lemons and off to the internet to find a better recipe. I used the meringue recipe from the original, just had to remake the filling. The first had way too much flour and not nearly enough sugar. It turned out well in the end, but C still ranks the blueberry pie as the best. I used the Martha Stewart crust recipe and I plan on using the excess crust to make strawberry tarts tomorrow or Monday.

Lemon Meringue Pie

5 large egg yolks
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons

For meringue
7 large egg whites, at room temperature 30 minutes
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup superfine granulated sugar

Make filling:
Whisk together yolks in a small bowl.

Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a heavy medium saucepan. Gradually add water and milk, whisking until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently as mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and gradually whisk about 1 cup milk mixture into yolks, then whisk yolk mixture into remaining milk mixture. Add lemon zest and juice and simmer, whisking constantly, 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in butter until incorporated. Cover surface with wax paper to keep hot.

Make Meringue:
Beat whites with cream of tartar and salt using an electric mixer at medium speed until they hold soft peaks. Increase speed to high and add superfine sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until meringue just holds stiff, glossy peaks.

Assemble and bake pie:
Pour hot filling into warm pie shell and gently shake to smooth top. Spread meringue decoratively over hot filling, covering filling completely.

Immediately bake until meringue is golden-brown, about 15 minutes. Cool completely on a rack, 2 to 3 hours. Cut with a serrated knife dipped in cold water.

Pie Crust
(one crust)
2 ½ cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1//2 inch cubes
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

Pulse flour, sugar and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter and process until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, add ice water in a slow steady stream until mixture just begins to hold together.

Shape dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour or up to 3 days, before using.
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cajun Chicken Legs

Central Market has a fantastic deal on boneless ribeyes right now, especially when used in conjunction with Foodie Cash and coupons...but C is still tired of steak (ack, no steak or seafood?!?!?). So, I ended up with some cheapo chicken legs from Kroger. I was originally going to grill them, but with all the grilling planned for the weekend, I decided to nix that idea and bake them instead. So the corn gets boiled instead of grilled and the broccoli sticks with being steamed.

Cajun Chicken Legs

1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon oregano
6 chicken legs

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease an oven proof dish. Mix all the spices together in a ziploc bag. Toss the chicken in oil (or spray with cooking spray). Add the chicken to the ziploc bag and toss to lightly coat with the spice mixture. Bake covered at 350 for 30 minutes, raise the temperature to 375, uncover and bake 15 to 20 minutes more.
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pork with Edamame and Green Peppers

Another easy stir fry. Thank good for Neon giving me the Chinese cooking class as a birthday gift, I use the lessons learned in it all the time!

Pork with Edamame and Green Peppers

3/4 lb thinly sliced pork, cut into bite-size pieces
1 Tbsp sherry
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsps vegetable oil
1/2 inch fresh ginger root, minced
2 small green bell peppers (about 1/4 lb), cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 lb edamame, boiled and shelled
1 1/2 tbsp water
1 1/2 tbsp sherry
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp katakuriko starch/corn starch
2 tsp water

Season pork with 1 tbsp of sherry and soy sauce in a bowl. Heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a large skillet and stir-fry the pork until changes its color. Remove the pork from the skillet. Mix measured water, sake, soy sauce, and sugar in a cup and set aside. Heat 1 tbsp of vegetable in the skillet and fry minced ginger, then stir-fry green peppers on high heat until softened. Put the pork back in the skillet and add edamame. Stir-fry all the ingredients, and pour the mixed seasonings over. When it boils, add the mixture of katakuriko starch and 2 tsp of water and stir quickly. Stop the heat. Serve over rice.
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Monday, May 18, 2009

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parm is one of C's fav when we go to Collina's, substituting fettuccine alfredo for marinara. Too bad making alfredo AND chicken parmesan is just too much for me. I think I dirty every dish in the house when I make it. So I just went with thin spaghetti with the leftover marinara for the parm. Much easier and much better for you, too.

Chicken Parmesan

2 14.5 ounce cans of tomatoes, diced
1 can of tomato paste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, sliced
1/2 of an onion
1 carrot
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon brown sugar
splash of red wine, if you have one open
salt and pepper

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium high heat. Process onion and carrot in a mini food processor. Saute onion and carrot in the oil until tender. Add the garlic, oregano and basil. Saute for 1 minute more. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, brown suger and wine (if using). Stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, stirring occassionally. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.

1/8 cup flour
1 egg
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup breadcrumbs (I use the pre Italian seasoned kind)
2 breasts of chicken
1/4-1/3 shredded mozzerella cheese
1 tablespoon of shredded parmesan cheese

Pound out chicken breasts between two sheets of wax paper. Dip each in flour, then egg whisked with water and then finally in the breadcrumbs. Saute in oil about 3 minutes per side to get a nice crisp crust. Drain on paper towels.

Preheat oven to 450. Place the chicken in a glass baking dish, top each with generous spoonfuls of the marinara sauce. Sprinkle 1/8 cup of mozzerella and parmesan cheese on top of each breast. Bake for 15 minutes.

Serve remaining sauce with whatever pasta you choose.
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Friday, May 15, 2009

Asian Chicken Salad

I had three great friends over for lunch today along with four babies~ we were outnumbered! I needed something that I could make in advance and it super easy. I had a Asian Chicken Salad in Las Vegas this past weekend and I tried to replicate it as best I could. It would also be good with orange slices or maybe some mango. I can also see making it with shrimp.

Asian Chicken Salad

1/2 bunch red Romaine, torn into bite sized pieces
1/2 head red cabbage, sliced
1 cucumber, peeled, sliced and quartered
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1/2 package edamame, cooked and drained
1 bunch green onion, sliced

Combine all ingredients. Serve with fried wontons, sliced chicken and Asian dressing.


2 breasts of chicken
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 clove garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients and marinate overnight. Bake chicken at 375 for 30-35 minutes, let rest until ready to serve. Slice and serve over salad.

Asian Dressing

1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/8 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a cruette with lid. Shake to combine, serve over salad.

Fried Wontons

5 egg roll wrappers

Cut egg roll wrappers into slices. Fry slices for 10-20 seconds, turning once, in oil heated over medium high heat. Drain on paper towels. Store in a plastic bag until ready to serve.
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Monday, May 4, 2009

Soy Lime Pork Tenderloin

Another great day for grilling, which of course means more corn on the grill, especially since corn is twenty cents right now. I am so glad it is coming back on corn season. I could eat it every night.

This pork tenderloin recipe is my mom's. It is very important that it be cooked on a grill. I have tried it indoors a couple of times and it is no where near as tasty. After tonight, we are out of charcoal, so I need to replenish the supply in order to keep enjoying the grill while the weather isn't too terribly sweltering.

Soy Lime Pork Tenderloin

2 Limes
2 Tablespoons wine or white vinegar
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon reduced-sodium Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon honey
2 Cloves garlic
½ Teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 ½ -2 lbs. Pork Tenderloin

Cut limes in ½ and squeeze juice in a 2 cup measure. Add vinegar, vegetable oil, soy sauce and honey. Peel and mince garlic and add to measure. Add the red pepper flakes. Whisk the mixture to blend honey.
Place meat in self sealing plastic bag and pour the marinade over the meat. Scrape out any honey that clings to the measure. Seal and refrigerate a day ahead of time.

Heat gas grill on high. Cook 6 minutes and rotate the meat _ turn. Cook 6 minutes more and rotate _ turn so all sides are brown. Cook 8 - 10 minutes longer until internal temperature is 160°. Serve at once or refrigerate until ready to serve.
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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake

Miss Finley and I made the go to welcome new baby dinner in preparation for Noah's arrival (either tonight or tomorrow!) We got this dish from Sarah when Finley was born and it has been a favorite around here ever since. The recipe makes enough for two 9x9 pans (one for now, one for the freezer). Tonight I also made a personal size for C to eat. I still do not believe it has cream cheese in just tastes like an amazing cream sauce. I roast the chicken to cook it, so much more flavor that way.

Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake

16oz. of uncooked pasta (I used bowties)
1 10 oz package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
4 cups of cubed cooked chicken
1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 8 oz. container of onion and chive cream cheese
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon Italian herbs
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Cook pasta and drain
2. Make sure spinach is well drained and pat dry.
3. Stir pasta, spinach, chicken, half of the mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, salt and pepper, and cream cheese in bowl.
4. Spoon into baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
5. Bake, covered at 375 for 30 minutes, uncover and bake for 15 more or until bubbly.
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Friday, May 1, 2009

Perfect Roast Chicken

Ina Garten is a goddess, er, Contessa, when it comes to cooking. I have yet to try a single bad recipe from her. Everything is perfectly seasoned and easy to prepare. This roast chicken recipe is amazingly easy and always comes out so moist, even moister than beer can chicken on the grill. Ina shares my love of all things lemon, but the lemon flavor is just a nuance, perfection.

The recipe calls for carrots, fennel and onions. I wasn't feeling roast vegetables today, so we had corn on the cob and sauteed zucchini. I made the corn and zucchini while the chicken was resting. Boil the corn for approximately 3-5 minutes. Saute the zucchini in 1 teaspon of olive oil with dried Italian herbs.

Perfect Roast Chicken

1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve.
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