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

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Instant Pot Pulled Pork Carnitas

The Instant Pot is perfect for making carnitas and it does so about 10 times as fast as my go to crockpot recipe.   Carnitas are perfect in tacos, on a tostada or even in a bolillo for a delicious torta.  They also make great burrito and chimichanga fillings.  Since the recipe makes a ton of carnitas, I usually put a couple recipes calling for them on our weekly menu.  I also usually have enough left over to freeze for later.   I also freeze the leftover canned chipotles to use later, I really like the smoky flavor they add to this recipe.
Instant Pot Pulled Pork Carnitas

1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 ~4 pound pork shoulder, cut into 3” chunks
1 onion, sliced
1 cup chicken broth
1 chipotle, minced

Stir together the salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin and chili powder. Rub the pork pieces with the spice mixture. Add the pork, broth, onions and chipotle to the Instant Pot. Close the Instant Pot and set on “Meat” for 60 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then release the pressure manually. Shred the pork with two forks, discarding any large piece of fat. Serve as desired.
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Monday, March 27, 2017

Flat Iron Steak with Red Wine Sauce

I have been going through a flat iron steak obsession right now...they have so much flavor and are quite easy to cook.  I was the only one in the family who enjoyed the sauce with my steak, no one else was interested in having any.  Oh well, their loss.  We are still working with Miss F and eating asparagus.  She was happy to have her steak, she still refuses any and all potatoes, but she was content to only eat the stalks of the asparagus.  Such a strange child.  This recipe is inspired by Giada de Laurentis.
Flat Iron Steak with Red Wine Sauce

1 pound flat iron steak
1 tablespoon olive oil

3 tablespoons cold butter
½ onion, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 ¼ cups dry red wine

Pat the steak dry with a paper towel. Add the olive oil to the skillet, cook the steak 5 minutes per side for medium rare. Allow the steaks to rest 10 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain.

While the steak is resting, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the salt, garlic and oregano, sauté for 30 seconds more. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in the wine, simmer for 5 minutes or until reduced by half. Strain the sauce into a small bowl. Discard the solids and return the sauce to the pan. Bring to a simmer, then stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into the sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the sliced steak topped with the red wine sauce.
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Thursday, March 23, 2017

BLT Wedge Salad

BLT Wedge Salad

6 slices of bacon, cut into ½ “ pieces
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 head of Iceberg lettuce
18 grape tomatoes, halved

In a small skillet, fry the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain on a paper towel and cool. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, vinegar, pepper and garlic salt. Cut the lettuce into 6 wedges. Place the wedges on serving plates, top each with the bacon, tomatoes and dressing, serve.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Garlic Sizzling Shrimp

Is it bad that Miss F and I devoured nearly this entire pan of shrimp? That's how good they are. This recipe comes from Emeril Legasse (feel free to use his "essence" in place of the Tony's) and it is fantastic. I served these with corn on the cob and biscuits, a full on southern meal. The shrimp would be great over polenta or rice. Next time I make this, I will serve it with a big garden salad.
Garlic Sizzling Shrimp

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon Tony Chacheres or other Cajun seasoning
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon roughly chopped garlic
3 tablespoons chicken broth
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a medium sized bowl, toss the shrimp with the Cajun seasoning and salt. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, when hot, add the butter and garlic. After 30 seconds, add the shrimp and cook for 3 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through. Add the broth and lemon juice, cook for 1 minute more. Serve.
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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Best Buttermilk Biscuits

I love biscuits. I remember making biscuits at least once a month once I got my own apartment. These were of the Bisquick variety, usually in drop form, because I was too lazy to use a biscuit cutter. I may have finally found my most favorite ever recipe. The major break through for me was cutting the biscuits into squares instead of using a biscuit wasted scraps! More importantly, no overworked biscuit dough. These biscuits are incredibly fluffy and quite perfect. Maybe it's the stick of butter that goes into them...
Best Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, cut into cubes
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the butter cubes to the bowl, using two forks or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the flour until it is the size of small peas. Slowly stir in the buttermilk just until combined. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and shape into a 12” x 9” rectangle about 1” thick. Cut the dough into twelve 3” squares and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 14 minutes until golden brown. Serve.
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Monday, March 13, 2017

Lobster Risotto

Does it get any better than lobster risotto? According to Miss F, it's the best. But it's the best as long as you pick out the peas, or even better, don't bother to add any peas to the dish at all. This lobster risotto is incredibly easy, I purchase one of the cooked lobsters from Kroger, but feel free to steam your own. The lobster stock is incredibly simple to make, but adds a real lobster flavor to the dish, moreso than using any store bought stock.  The key is using the hot stock in the risotto.  It makes the stock absorb very nicely into the arborio rice.  Your hand may get a bit tired from all the stirring, but it is completely worth it when it comes time to eat.
Lobster Risotto

1 whole Maine lobster, cooked
4 cups water
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 cup Arborio rice
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup peas

Remove the meat from the tail and claws of the lobster, chop into bite sized pieces and set aside. Add the lobster shell to a sauce pan with the water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the salt. Ladle ½ cup of the water from the saucepan with the lobster shells into the saucepan with the rice. Stir constantly until all the liquid is absorbed, then add another ladle full and repeat. Keep adding the water from the lobster shell pot until there is none remaining, making sure to allow the rice to absorb all the liquid between each ladle. Stir in the reserved lobster meat and peas, cook for 3 minutes more, stirring. Serve.
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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Chicken Ramen Bowls

I have a small ramen obsession. My most favorite "snack" is drained ramen noodles doused in "lite" soy sauce. Preferably eaten with chopsticks. I used to enjoy this snack after school when I was a kid. It is a comfort food for me. The best flight ever for me was on Eva Air, manily because there was an unlimited ramen supply in the back of the could have it all flight long! I adapted this recipe from my favorite stir fry recipe.  Feel free to add whatever vegetables you have on hand....carrots, mushrooms, onions, zucchini...whatever works!
Chicken Ramen Bowls

2 packages ramen soup
½ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 head broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces

Bring four cups of water to boil in a saucepan. Discard the seasoning packet from the ramen, then boil the ramen noodles for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a two cup measure, whisk together the broth, soy sauce, vinegar, oyster sauce and cornstarch. Set aside. In a large wok or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, bell pepper and broccoli. Sauté for five minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Pour the broth mixture into the pan, heat for a minute more, until thick. Divide the noodles between four bowls, then top with a quarter of the chicken mixture in each bowl. Serve.
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Monday, March 6, 2017

Overnight Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

I made crockpot creamy TexMex chicken and was left with four ounces of cream cheese. I am not a huge eater of plain cream cheese, so I knew it had to be baked into something. Miss F and I decided to make my favorite overnight cinnamon rolls, but instead of their usual icing, we topped them with massive dollops of cream cheese icing. Delicious. Our family ate nearly the whole pan on Sunday morning.  There were only two left, which Miss F claimed for herself for breakfast during the week.  The cream cheese frosting makes these decadent treats even richer and even more delicious. I don't know that I will ever make the plain icing ever again.
Overnight Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

2/3 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
1 ½ teaspoons yeast
1/3 cup white sugar
3 cups flour
¾ teaspoon salt
2 eggs

½ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cup confectioners' sugar

Heat the milk in a small saucepan just until it begins to bubble, remove from the heat. Swirl in the butter until melted.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in the milk mixture. Add the sugar, 2 cups of the flour, salt and eggs; stir well to combine. Add the remaining flour a ½ cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Knead for 5 minutes using the dough hook of the stand mixer.

Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 10x10 inch square. Lightly brush the far edge with water. In a small bowl combine the cinnamon and brown sugar, sprinkle over the prepared dough. Roll up the dough into a log and seal the seam. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and place into a greased 9 inch cake pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rise overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, while the oven is heating, let the prepared rolls rise on the countertop. Bake the rolls for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. While the rolls are baking, cream together the cream cheese with the confectioners’ sugar, adding the sugar in ½ cup portions. Spoon the frosting over the baked rolls and serve warm.
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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Cheesy Chicken Corn Chowder

When I saw this recipe on Tide and Thyme, I knew I wanted to make it. Even though I have a ton of chicken chowder recipes, this one looked very special.  Unfortunately, the weather in Houston hasn't been very chowder friendly.  We had basically a three day winter and that has been it.  This is a great weeknight meal, it comes together quickly.  Don't make my mistake though, I served it without stirring in the cream.  It was sitting on the counter, pre-measured and all, and it just slipped my mind.  After a taste, I instantly realized my mistake, luckily, it was easily correctable.  I try to get everything organized for busy weeknights, but even when I try my hardest, there can often be mistakes.   
Cheesy Chicken Corn Chowder

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
½ onion, peeled and diced
1/3 cup flour
6 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 white potatoes, peeled and diced
1 (12 ounce) package frozen corn kernels
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup cream
2 cups shredded cheddar jack cheese

In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and onions, sauté for 2 minutes to soften. Sprinkle in the flour, stirring constantly, until a light roux is formed. Slowly add the chicken broth, stirring to incorporate. Bring the mixture to a boil, add the corn and chicken. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the chicken and shred with two forks, return the chicken to the pot. Stir in the cream and cheese, simmer for 5 minutes more. Serve.

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