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

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lemon Ice Cream

Lemon Ice Cream
I hauled my ice cream maker down to my parents' house to make this ice cream. My mom loves Blue Bell lemon ice cream, but she has yet to find it in Texas. Apparently it was easily found in Atlanta, but now that she is in Blue Bell's home state, she cannot find it. Apparently there is some lemon cookie ice cream that works in a pinch, but it isn't perfection. This ice cream is. It takes some time to allow the mixture to chill in the refrigerator, but it is completely worth the wait. I was nervous making ice cream with eggs, but it couldn't have been any easier.  Credit to Your Homebased Mom for the delicious recipe, I did adapt it a bit because I have a lemon zest aversion, but feel free to add it back in if you love it.
Lemon Ice Cream

½ cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 ½ cup heavy cream

In a saucepan whisk together the juice, sugar and eggs. Add in the milk. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until it comes to a simmer. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. Stir in the heavy cream and freeze in the ice cream maker per manufacturer's instructions.
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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Secret Recipe Club: Firecracker Shrimp

Firecracker Shrimp
For this month's Secret Recipe Club, I received the blog Fried Ice and Donut Holes.  This month's decision was easy: Firecracker Shrimp was an obvious choice for me.  And for Miss F.  She loves shrimp.   These shrimp were so easy and so delicious.  I must confess that I devoured this entire plate.  I am a huge fan of Sriracha, I regularly go through the large bottle.  These shrimp have some heat, so if you don't like the spice, cut the Sriracha amount in half.  Please be sure to check out all the other amazing recipes this month in the links below.
Firecracker Shrimp

1 pound shrimp (16-20 count), peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons Sriracha
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
4-5 garlic cloves, minced

Combine all ingredients in a zip top bag and add shrimp. Marinate for 20 minutes to 2 hours. Skewer shrimp and grill until opaque with a slight char, about two minutes a side. Alternately, melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium high heat and sauté the shrimp about two minutes a side.

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Recipe Swap: Shake Shack Burgers

Shake Shack Burger
I have a confession. I am no hamburger fan. If there is a cookout, I always hope there are hot dogs served so I have something to eat. I didn't eat my first burger until college. And that was a 29 cent hamburger from McDonald's. If forced to eat a burger, I prefer it to be of the McDonald's variety, super thin meat on a bun. The idea of a thick and juicy burger grosses me out a bit. So needless to say, I was a bit worried when I received the Shake Shack Burgers in the swap from our hostess, Taste of Home Cooking. I did know that everyone else would enjoy the burgers, but I was worried about how I felt about them. The sauce was very Big Mac-esque (a positive thing for me) and I did make my burger at least half of the recommended size. It was good.
Shake Shack Burgers

¼ cup mayonnaise
½ tablespoon ketchup
½ tablespoon yellow mustard
2 slices kosher dill pickle, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon paprika
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 ¼ pounds ground sirloin
Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter, softened
4 burger rolls, preferably potato
4 slices yellow American cheese
4 leaves lettuce, tops of leaves only
4 slices ripe tomatoes, center-cut preferred

Combine mayo, ketchup, mustard, chopped pickle, garlic powder, paprika and cayenne in a bowl. Set aside.

Form the ground beef into 4 patties. Sprinkle the top side heavily with salt and pepper.

Heat the grill to medium-high heat.

Split the buns and spread the softened butter on the tops and bottoms of all 4 rolls. Place under the broiler or toast until golden brown. Once toasted, top with 1-2 teaspoons of sauce on each bun. On the top bun, add one leaf of lettuce and one slice of tomato. Set prepped buns on parchment paper.

When the grill is heated, place the burgers on the grill seasoned side down. Using the back of a spatula, flatten the patties to 4 inches wide. You want the beef to stick and get a nice crust. Season the top side with salt and pepper. Cook until crisp crust forms, about three minutes. Flip burgers and top each with one slice American cheese. Cover and cook until cheese melts.

Transfer patties to bottoms of burger buns and cover with toppings and bun tops. Wrap in parchment paper and let sit for 1-2 minutes to let the juices from the burgers sink into the buns and the sauce to meld with the other toppings and cheese. Don't skip this step, it really makes a difference! Unwrap and serve immediately.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Grilled Salmon with Creamy Dill Cucumber Salad

Grilled Salmon with Creamy Cucumber Dill Salad
Back in March we planted a small raised bed garden in my parents' backyard. It hasn't been the most plentiful this summer, but we did get one gorgeous cucumber this week. And it was destined for this dish.  The dill plant has been suffering in the Houston heat, but there was more than enough for this dish.  Firstly, this salad was amazing.  I will have it on its own as well as on the salmon.  I did have some adventures with my parents' grill.  When I went to get the salmon, the skin was on fire.  Literally.  Apparently this happened last time they cooked on it...looks like it is time for a new grill.  Luckily the salmon was fine once we took off the skin.  Credit to Once Upon a Chef for this wonderful meal.
Grilled Salmon with Creamy Cucumber Dill Salad

1 English hothouse cucumber
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 salmon fillets
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Cut cucumber in half by slicing down the middle lengthwise. Scoop out the center seeds. Cut into thin slices and place in a colander with the salt.. Toss with salt and let sit in sink at least 30 minutes to drain the water out. While the cucumber is draining, make the dressing. Whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, white wine vinegar, dill, garlic, sugar and black pepper in a medium bowl. Pat the cucumber dry with a paper towel, then toss it with the dressing.

Preheat the grill to high heat. Brush the grill rack with oil. Brush the salmon with olive oil and season generously with kosher salt and pepper. Place fillets skin side down and grill until golden brown and slightly charred, about 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the fillets over and continue grilling another 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve with the cucumber-dill salad.
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Monday, July 22, 2013

Lattice Chicken Pot Pie

Lattice Chicken Pot Pie

As I type this, C is stranded in the Denver airport.  Needless to say, this commuting back and forth between Houston and Aspen has been a bit crazy.  He just missed the last flight to Aspen because of a delayed flight from Houston.  And of course it is the last flight of the day.  As bad as that is, at least I know I sent him off with a new twist on his favorite dish that I make, Chicken Pot Pie.  This was one of the first things I ever cooked for him and after baking the nectarine raspberry pie, I was inspired to actually use a pie crust instead of puff pastry on my pot pie.  And C and Miss F both loved it, both agreed they liked the new crust.  It takes a bit more effort, but it is totally worth it.  Now I just need to get over my bag of frozen veggies crutch...
Chicken Pot Pie

For the crust:
1 ¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, cut into ½” pieces
1 to 2 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:
½ cup butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1 cup flour
1 pint of cream (or half and half)
2 ½ cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
¾ lb chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
1 russet potato, cut into bite sized pieces
10 ounce package of mixed frozen vegetables of your choice

2 tablespoons cream

In a food processor, process flour and salt until combined. Add the butter and process for 10 seconds. Add the water through the feed tube in a slow stream. Process until the mixture begins to come together. Place the dough in a large Ziploc bag and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Boil potatoes in a small saucepan for 10 minutes. While the potatoes are boiling, melt ½ cup butter in a Dutch oven with the garlic and shallot. After the shallot has softened, whisk in the flour a ¼ cup at a time (you may not need all of the flour). When completely mixed in, add the cream, whisking more to incorporate into the roux. Add the chicken broth. Continue whisking; add the bay leaf, the parsley, the tarragon, salt and pepper. Add the potatoes and chicken, let cook for 10-15 minutes on the stovetop to cook the chicken and thicken the sauce, stirring the whole time. Add the package of frozen mixed veggies (I use the peas, carrots, corn, green beans and lima beans mixture) and stir to incorporate. Salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the crust from the freezer and roll out six 1 ½ inch strips. Pour the pie filling into a deep dish 10 inch pie plate. Place the crust over top in 3x3 lattice, crimping at the edges. Brush the lattice with 2 tablespoons cream. Place the pie dish on a baking sheet to collect any overflow.  Bake at 425 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Serve.
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Friday, July 19, 2013

Crab Imperial

Crab Imperial
We had a ton of steamed crabs for my birthday celebration and the extras we picked to have crabmeat in the freezer. I haven't had crab imperial since we lived in Maryland, but when I saw it on Tide and Thyme, I craved it instantly. I didn't use her recipe since I felt it was a bit too similar to crab dip and I wanted something a bit different. This recipe comes from Phillip's, which is also the source for my friend Lance's famous crab dip. The recipe read just like I remembered crab imperial from my childhood. My main memory of eating it was at Philip's in the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, usually as my reward dinner for making straight A's...I couldn't imagine a better way to celebrate a kid's success. Let's hope Miss F grows into loving crab as much as I do.
Crab Imperial

1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 egg
1 teaspoon Old Bay
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon melted butter
1 pound lump crabmeat

Imperial Sauce:
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons half and half
½ teaspoon Old Bay
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

4 ramekins for baking (or empty natural crab shells)
Pinch of Old Bay

Whisk together the parsley, lemon juice, egg, Old Bay, Worcestershire, mayonnaise and butter in a small dish. In a separate bowl, add the crab meat and pour the mixture over the crab meat. Fold together the crab gently to avoid breaking crab lump meat. Place ½ cup of the mix into each ramekin (or natural crab shell) and bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the imperial sauce. Top each ramekin (or natural crab shell) of crab imperial with imperial sauce and a pinch of Old Bay. Place under the broiler until golden brown.
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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Raspberry Nectarine Pie

Raspberry Nectarine Pie

I love a good fruit pie. The only thing is that I need to have vanilla ice cream with it. And I have to warm it. We have been living on peaches and nectarines around here, it is the best time of year for them. Lately the nectarines have been much sweeter than the peaches, so I decided to try making a pie with them. I found this recipe on Baking and Mistaking. I made a few changes, mainly using Martha Stewart's recipe for pie crust since it never steers me wrong.  My mom says that my grandma's pie crust recipe calls for flour, oil and water.  One of these days I will be brave enough to try it.  I remember making pies with her as a child and her crust was definitely the best I have ever tasted. This will be my new go to stone fruit pie since you don't have to fuss with peeling the nectarines.
Raspberry Nectarine Pie

For the crust:
2 ½ cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, cut into ½” pieces
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:
2 ½ pounds nectarines, pitted and sliced
1 cup raspberries
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch

In a food processor, process flour, sugar and salt until combined. Add the butter and process for 10 seconds. Add the water through the feed tube in a slow stream. Process until the mixture begins to come together. Place the dough in a large Ziploc bag and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Stir the nectarines, raspberries and 1sugar together in a large bowl. Let sit for 30 minutes.
Drain any excess juice in a large colander, and toss the fruit with the lemon juice and cornstarch.
Roll out the dough to fit a 9” pie pan, reserving enough dough to create the lattice top. Once the dough is lining the pie dish, pour the fruit mixture over top. Roll the remaining dough into 6 strips that are ½” wide.

Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes, then reduce to 375 degrees and bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool at least two hours before serving.
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Monday, July 15, 2013

60 (80) Minute Sandwich Bread

60 (80) Minute Sandwich Bread
I came to Houston to go to school at the University of Houston (Go Coogs!)  I moved into the dorms and relied on my microwave to cook anything.  Until one day I had a genius idea.  So many things were banned from our dorms, but no where in the rules did it say that a bread machine would not be welcome.  So I bought one.  And I regularly made bread in my dorm room to satisfy any carb craving.  I have since upgraded my machine, but I still rely heavily on it.  I rarely make bread by hand, but this recipe from Yammie's Noshery. intrigued me.  It actually took about 80 minutes to make the bread, but it was still quicker than my machine, even on the quick setting. 
60 (80) Minute Sandwich Bread

2 ¼ teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup warm water (between 105 and 115 degrees)
¼ cup olive oil
3 cups bread flour (all-purpose works too)
1 teaspoon salt

Mix together the yeast, sugar, water, and oil in the bowl of the stand mixer, allow to sit for 5 minutes. Add the flour a half cup at a time with the mixer speed on low with the dough hook. Add the salt. Knead for 10 minutes with the dough hook. Spray or brush the dough with oil and let it rise 30 minutes or until doubled. Punch it down and form it into a log. Place it in a well-greased loaf pan and grease the top with oil or spray. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Let the dough rise for 10 minutes more. Slice the top with a sharp bread knife or any serrated knife. Bake for 10 minutes and then lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake for 5 to 15 minutes more. You'll want the top to be very brown. When it's done it should slide easily out of your greased pan and it should sound hollow if you tap it. Allow to cool before cutting.
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Friday, July 12, 2013

Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sandwiches
These were loosely inspired by enjoying Spicy Pineapple Chicken so much while we were in Aspen that I wanted to use more pineapple this summer and once I got home, I knew I wanted to use my crockpot while we enjoyed our day on the boat all day. We had a great time on the boat, we even saw some dolphins, and when we returned home, the pork was ready and the house smelled amazing. I just warmed some sweet potato fries in the oven and dinner was served. Miss F gobbled up the pork, no bread needed for her.  One day I will try my hand at making my own Kings' Hawaiian Rolls, but for an easy summer meal, store bought works just fine.  And the bonus is that Miss F and I have leftover pork to have once C returns to Aspen for the work week.
Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sandwiches

1 pork shoulder
1 can crushed pineapple in juice (8 ounces)
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup water
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons mustard
2 teaspoons Sriracha
½ onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, smashed

Add the pork shoulder to the crockpot. Whisk together the pineapple, ketchup, water, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire, soy sauce, mustard and Sriracha in a 4 cup measure. Add the onions and garlic to the crockpot, pour the sauce overtop. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Shred pork 30 minutes before serving. Return shredded pork and sauce to crock pot and reduce heat to warm. Serve on Kings Hawaiian rolls.
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cheese Crusted Pork

Cheese Crusted Pork
I have had this recipe pinned for awhile. The name isn't very appetizing to me at all, but the pork is quite tasty. I cannot believe Martha Stewart couldn't come up with a better name than Cheese Crusted Pork.  Even though the name isn't great, the pork is.  This is a great way to use up leftover cheese from pasta, which is exactly why I made it while we were in Aspen.  I am pretty sure C would never touch the fancy cheese left in the refrigerator.  He is quite happy with his three kinds of processed cheese slices...shudder.
Cheese Crusted Pork

¾ cup breadcrumbs
¾ cup finely grated Pecorino Romano (3 ounces)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
4 boneless pork loin chops (1 pound total)
¼ cup olive oil

In a shallow dish, combine the breadcrumbs, pecorino and Italian seasoning. In a second shallow dish, whisk the eggs. In a third shallow dish, add the flour, salt and pepper.. Season pork with salt and pepper. Coat pork in flour, shaking off excess; dip in egg, then coat with the cheese mixture, pressing to adhere.

In a nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high. In 2 batches, add pork and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate; repeat with remaining pork.
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Monday, July 8, 2013

Szechaun Chicken with Noodles

Szechaun Chicken with Noodles
As soon as I saw Szechaun Chicken with Noodles on Prevention RD, I knew I had to make it. It is such a simple, quick and easy dish to prepare.   I also knew I wanted to make a few changes.  I never like traditional pasta in Asian dishes, the texture doesn't work for me.  Unfortunately the Asian section of the grocery store in Aspen leaves a lot to be desired.  I was able to find rice noodles, but there was only one kind.  I am used to the countless varieties at Ranch 99.   Miss F wasn't a huge fan, she said she only liked the chicken.  She likes broccoli whole, but I think the slaw confused her a bit.  I really enjoyed this dish, I will make it again at home with my preferred noodles and with shrimp.
Szechaun Chicken with Noodles

8 ounces rice noodles
2 chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 ounces broccoli slaw
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Sriracha
2 teaspoons sugar

Prepare noodles per package instructions, drain and set aside. Toss the chicken with the cornstarch in a large Ziploc bag. Heat the oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken and sauté 3 minutes. Add the broccoli slaw and sauté 3 minutes more. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the drained noodles to the skillet. Add the sugar, soy sauce, and vinegar to the wok and stir fry for 1-2 minutes to heat through. Serve hot.
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Friday, July 5, 2013

Spicy Pineapple Chicken

Spicy Pineapple Chicken
Over ten years ago my roommate made me Chicken, Pineapple and Peppers. Still to this day it's one of my favorite easy weeknight recipes. When I saw Spicy Pineapple Chicken on Elly Says Opa, I knew I would enjoy it.  I did make some adjustments to accommodate my Aspen pantry supplies, I am going to try it with Sambal Oelek at home next time I make it.  This was equally a hit as my old standby.  Miss F even cleared her plate, though she no longer likes pineapple like she used to.  It is strange how her tastes have changed.
Spicy Pineapple Chicken

For the sauce:
1 cup pineapple juice
1 tablespoon Sriracha
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon cornstarch

For the chicken and vegetables:
¼ cup cornstarch
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ medium onion, diced
½ red bell pepper, sliced
½ green bell pepper, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup chopped pineapple

In a small bowl, whisk together the pineapple juice, Sriracha, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, water and cornstarch and set aside.

Toss the chicken in the cornstarch until well coated. Add the oil to a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the chicken for two minutes, add the onion and bell pepper, sauté for two minutes more. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Pour in the sauce, allow to come to a boil and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring in the pineapple during the last minute. Serve over rice.
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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Baked Chicken Fajitas

Baked Chicken Fajitas
I love fajitas. If we are out for TexMex, nine times out of ten I am ordering fajitas. The main problem I have with making fajitas at home is that I am usually juggling warming the tortillas, setting out the toppings, warming the sides and cooking the meat all in the final ten minutes before we eat. It is usually kitchen chaos! Enter Baked Chicken Fajitas from Alida's Kitchen.  This recipe solves the kitchen chaos and makes delicious fajitas.  I omitted the diced tomatoes from the recipe because I have never seen tomatoes in fajitas and it just didn't seem right for me.  Rotel works great for soft tacos, but not so much for fajitas.
Baked Chicken Fajitas

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 bell peppers, sliced
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons hot sauce
¼ teaspoon salt
1 lime
12 tortillas, warmed
Toppings: shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, guacamole

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the chicken, onion and bell pepper in a 9x13 baking dish in a single layer. In a small dish, whisk together the oil, cumin, hot sauce, salt and juice of the lime until combined. Drizzle over chicken mixture and toss well to coat. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and vegetables are tender. Serve the chicken, peppers and onions in the warm tortilla topped with cheese, salsa, sour cream and guacamole.
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Monday, July 1, 2013

Lemon Spinach Carbonara

Lemon Spinach Carbonara
Ever since first making Carbonara, I have been a wee bit obsessed. How did I go so many years without having it in my life? It comes together so quickly, which is perfect for a weeknight meal.  We had been exploring the ghost town near Aspen all afternoon and we all arrived home starving.  15 minutes later, we all had plates of spaghetti for dinner.  Miss F even ate her spinach, but only in the same bite as bacon.  She can eat her weight in bacon.  This recipe was inspired by Drizzle and Dip.
Lemon Spinach Carbonara

3 egg yolks
¼ cup heavy creamy
½ cup Parmesan cheese
Fresh diced parsley or dried flakes
¼ teaspoon salt
½ pound bacon, cut into lardons
½ small onion, chopped
juice of one lemon
12 ounces spaghetti
2 cups baby spinach leaves

Whisk together the eggs, cream, Parmesan, parsley and salt together in a bowl. In a large non stick pan, fry the bacon until crisp and set aside. Drain all but on tablespoon of the bacon grease; sauté the onion for 3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the lemon juice.

Prepare the spaghetti per package instructions. Drain the pasta and while still warm, add to the onions. Pour cream mixture into the spaghetti, and stir over low heat for one minute. Stir in the spinach and stir for one minute more over low heat. Top with bacon and serve with additional Parmesan.
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