Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Menu

A few people have asked what I'm making for Thanksgiving this year, so I thought I'd post the recipes before I have pictures! My sister and I are doing the sides this year so here's what we're making. They've all been made in years past so they are all 5 stars in my book!

Praline Sweet Potatoes

4 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 pint heavy cream
1 stick of butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups chopped pecans
  1. Butter one 2 quart casserole dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, sugar, vanilla extract, eggs and cream. Blend well, and spread evenly in casserole dish.
  3. Prepare the topping by combining the butter, brown sugar, flour and pecans. Mix until crumbly, and sprinkle over sweet potato mixture.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven.
Creole Cornbread Stuffing

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups stone ground cornmeal
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons white sugar
5 eggs, beaten
6 tablespoons butter, melted
3 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons ground white pepper
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
4 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried thyme
6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
4 bay leaves
1 cup minced onion
1 cup chopped green onions
1 cup chopped parsley
2 cups chopped red bell pepper
2 green chile peppers, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup butter
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
2 cups evaporated milk
7 eggs, beaten
  1. To Make Cornbread: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Butter a 13x9 inch pan.
  2. Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and sugar, and mix well.
  3. Combine the 5 eggs, 6 tablespoons melted butter, and buttermilk. Add wet to dry while mixing on low with a mixer. Mix just until no dry ingredients remain. Pour into prepared pan.
  4. Bake until top is browned and a toothpick comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
  5. To Make Stuffing: In a small bowl combine the 2 tablespoons salt with the white pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, onion powder, oregano, thyme, basil, and bay leaves.
  6. In another bowl combine the minced onions, green onions, parsley, red or green peppers, chili peppers, and garlic.
  7. Melt 1 cup butter in a large fry pan. Add the spices and cook for a few minutes. Add the vegetables and cook about 5 minutes. Do not allow the vegetables to brown. Add the stock and Tabasco. Stir and cook 5 minutes more. Crumble the cornbread into the skillet and mix. Add the evaporated milk and 7 eggs OFF THE HEAT. Make sure to stir well when adding the eggs. Return to low heat and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Place stuffing in a bowl and cover. Cool before stuffing turkey.
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

6 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
7 baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place garlic cloves in a small baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, cover, and bake 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
  3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add potatoes, and cook until tender but firm. Drain, and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  4. Place roasted garlic, milk, Parmesan cheese, and butter into the bowl with the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Beat to desired consistency with an electric mixer.
Cranberry Jello Salad

2 (3 ounce) packages raspberry flavored gelatin mix
1 cup white sugar
2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 pound cranberries
1 orange
1 1/2 cups crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
1 1/2 cups diced apples
  1. Add the sugar to the gelatin. Stir in the boiling water and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Stir in the cold water or the pineapples juice. Chill until gelatin is thick.
  2. Finely grind the cranberries and the orange in food processor or run through the meat grinder.
  3. Add the ground cranberry mixture, drained crushed pineapple, grapes and cubed apples to the thickened gelatin. Pour mixture into one 9 x 13 inch pan or a large bowl. Refrigerate overnight before serving.
Smothered Green Beans

6 thick slices bacon, chopped
1/2 cup onions, minced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
1 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
  1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until the fat begins to render. Stir in onions and garlic; let cook for 1 minute. Stir in beans and water. Let the beans cook until the water has evaporated and the beans are tender. If the beans are not tender once the water has evaporated, add a small amount more water and let them cook until tender. Season with salt and pepper (to taste) and serve.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Salad Nicoise

A simple salad was a nice light weekday meal.

1/2 pound new potatoes, quartered
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup pitted nicoise olives
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 (6 ounce) can tuna
1/3 pound fresh green beans - rinsed, trimmed and blanched
1/2 pound mixed salad greens
1 cup lemon vinaigrette
3 hard-cooked eggs, quartered
3 roma (plum) tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon capers
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes, and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, parsley, olives, onion, tuna and green beans. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
  3. In large bowl, toss greens with vinaigrette and top with chilled potato mixture. Garnish with eggs, tomatoes, capers and anchovies.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly cracked black pepper
3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leave

Gently stir the first five ingredients together, do not emulsify. Just before serving, add the fresh Thyme leaves.


Ribollita is a yummy Tuscan soup with many variations but it always includes leftover bread.

4 thick slices bacon
5 garlic cloves
1 large onion
2 medium carrots
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced into rounds
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry red wine
One 15-oz can petite diced tomatoes
6 cups beef stock
4 cups chopped or torn stale bread (about 1/2 pound)
Two 15-ounce cans small white beans
4 cups chopped kale
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
10 leaves fresh basil, torn

1. Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the EVOO (3 turns of the pan), then add the bacon and cook for 4 minutes. Add the garlic, three-quarters of the chopped onion, the carrots and zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Cook the veggies for 7 to 8 minutes, then add the wine to deglaze the pot. Stir in the tomatoes and stock and bring up the heat. When the soup boils, reduce it to a simmer and stir in the bread and beans. Pile the greens into the pot and wilt them into the soup.
2. Simmer the ribollita for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring the soup as it simmers, until it thickens to a dense stewlike consistency. Turn off the heat, adjust the seasonings and ladle into shallow bowls. Top each bowl with some of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, an additional drizzle of EVOO, a spoonful of the reserved raw onion and some basil. Pass around the remaining cheese at the table.

Peppermint Bark Brownies

This is the perfect dessert to bring to a holiday party.  I found the recipe on-line after having something similar at Starbucks.  Just buy a brownie mix from the store and add this topping to it:

2 cups (12 oz.) white chocolate chips
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1/3 cup crushed peppermint candy (about 16 hard, round candies)

Place white chocolate chips and oil in small bowl. Microwave at 50% power for approximately 2-3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Spread melted white chocolate over cooled brownie. Sprinkle with crushed peppermint candy. Let topping set before cutting. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Italian Mac and Cheese

Emilie has been raving about this recipe so I figured it was about time to try it. It was fantastic!! I have to say that I liked it better right out of the oven than for leftovers the next day because right out of the oven it was SO creamy and bubbly.

1 pound ziti rigate, penne rigate or cavatappi (ribbed, hollow corkscrews)
1 pound Italian bulk sweet sausage
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 or 4 cloves garlic, chopped
12 crimini mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 (10-ounce) sack, 2 1/2 cups, shredded Italian 4 cheese blend
1 can diced tomatoes, drained well
1 teaspoon hot sauce , optional
1/2 cup Parmesan, a couple of handfuls


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt water and cook pasta to a chewy al dente, about 8 minutes.

In a nonstick skillet, brown and crumble the sausage. Drain cooked crumbles on paper towel lined plate. Return pan to heat and add extra-virgin olive oil, butter, garlic and mushrooms. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Saute 3 to 5 minutes, until mushrooms are lightly golden.

Preheat broiler to high.

To mushrooms, add flour and stir, cooking 2 minutes. Whisk in stock, then stir in cream. Bring cream to a bubble, then stir in 2 cups of 4 cheese blend. When cheese has melted into sauce, add tomatoes. When sauce comes to a bubble, remove from heat and adjust seasonings, adding hot sauce if desired.

Combine cheese sauce with sausage and pasta, transfer to baking dish, casserole or oven safe serving platter. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of 4 cheese blend and the grated Parmesan over the top and brown under hot broiler.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Banana Butterscotch muffins

These were SO good right out of the oven. Mark said he would prefer chocolate chips but my vote is with the butterscotch.

From Nigella Express

1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1-2/3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1-1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas
1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat the oven to 400 and line a 12 cup muffin pan with your liners. Mix into the flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl and then add the oil and eggs. Then follow with the mashed bananas. Fold in the chips and divide into the muffin pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Let them cool, if you can control yourself from grabbing one and enjoying, as they are fantastic all warm and gooey.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What is your favorite cookbook?

I'm always looking for fun new cookbooks to check out from the library. Please leave a comment with your favorite cookbook. Nigella Express is the cookbook I'm reading currently. Look for a couple of her recipes this coming week!

Dad's Chili

My dad (a.k.a. Grandpa Willie) is a die-hard Texan and is serious about his chili. There are a few rules you should know about. #1 No hamburger allowed. Ask your butcher to do a coarse grind on some sirloin or round steak for you. #2 No beans can be cooked in the chili. They are added in the bowl once the chili is done. #3 Texans like it hot so this has got a kick! James asked if we could give this 10 stars but I told him 5 was the highest rank that Bites gives out!

4 lbs. meat…use either coarse ground beef or hand-cut sirloin, round, etc.
2 medium onions
1-2 cloves garlic
3-4 Tbsp. Chili powder
2 Tbsp. Ground cumin
2 Tbsp. Paprika
2 tsp. Oregano
2 Tbsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Black pepper
1 12 oz. can tomato paste
1 12 oz. can beef broth
1 cup dark beer

Chop onions. Sauté onions and garlic in a small amount of oil. Remove onions and garlic from oil. Brown meat until cooked through. Add sautéed onions, garlic, spices, broth, tomato paste and beer. Bring chili to a boil, cover and simmer SLOWLY for 2 ½ to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasoning during final hour of cooking (salt and pepper). You may also want to remove lid to thicken chili. Serve with white rice and beans.

The Gaucho Burger

I seriously almost burnt down the house with this one. I started the jalapeno, tomato red onion until the broiler (500 degrees) and set the timer. I also had soup simmering on the stove top. I went to put James to bed and when Mark heard the timer go off he thought it was for the soup and took it off the burner. When I came back into the kitchen, I sat down with a book, waiting for the timer to go off. I thought I smelt something burning so I went to check the soup but that was ok. I went back to my book (I'm reading Twilight Book 3 and I'm kinda obsessed). So finally I said, "Something is seriously burning" and then realized that the veggies were way past their time and were scorched in the oven. We must have uneven heat distribution in the oven because the ones on the side were fine and were perfect to make the pico de gallo. Rachael Ray is the (self-proclaimed) Queen of the Burger. This one was mighty tasty! I served it with salt and pepper fries I got from PCC. Yum!

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef sirloin
1/2 cup beer
2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
2 T chili powder
1 T ground cumin
1 T ground coriander
1 T steak seasoning
2 t Worcestershire sauce
1 red onion, cut into 6 wedges
2 tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped cilantro (a generous handful)
Juice of 1 lime plus 1 teaspoon grated peel
8 deli-slices pepper Jack cheese
4 Kaiser rolls, preferably cornmeal-crusted, split and toasted
Shredded romaine lettuce


In a large bowl, combine the beef, beer, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, steak seasoning and Worcestershire sauce. Shape into four patties.

Pre-heat the broiler. Halve and seed the tomatoes and jalapeños before broiling. On a rimmed baking sheet, broil the tomatoes, jalapeños and red onion, turning once, until charred, about 15 minutes. Chop the charred veggies; transfer to a bowl. Add the cilantro, lime juice and lime peel; season the pico de gallo with salt.

In the broiler or on the grill, cook the burgers over medium-high heat for 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare doneness, melting the cheese over each burger during the last few minutes of cooking.

To serve, layer each roll bottom with lettuce, a burger, some pico de gallo and a roll top.

Classy Chicken

Classy Chicken is a simple chicken dish that always impresses company.

1 cup all-purpose flour
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup fat-free chicken broth
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 zucchini cut in half lengthwise, then sliced diagonally
5 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon dill weed
1/3 cup fat-free sour cream
  1. Place the flour into a shallow dish. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and then dredge in flour. Shake off excess. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken breasts on each side, about 3 minutes per side.
  2. Pour the chicken broth and white wine into the skillet, and scrape any chicken residue from the pan for flavor. Stir in the mustard. Cover, and cook for a few minutes until chicken is 'springy', but not cooked through. Add the zucchini and sun-dried tomatoes, then season with garlic and dill weed. Cover, and cook until the zucchini is tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken to a platter, and remove the pan from the heat. Stir sour cream into the pan liquid. If most of the liquid has evaporated, stir in a bit more wine or broth first. Season with salt to taste, and serve chicken with sauce poured over it.

Caldo de Queso

This Mexican potato cheese soup is so yummy in the tummy. For those of you in Tucson, the best I ever found was at El Minuto.

Caldo De Queso (Cheese Soup)
2 tablespoons oil
3 medium potatoes
6 green chiles, roasted and peeled
½ pound Mexican white cheese
1 onion, minced
¼ cup tomato sauce
½ cup milk
6 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Peel and dice the potatoes. Fry in the oil a few minutes, until glazed. Add the other ingredients, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, return to low, crumble in the cheese and simmer. Cook at least 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked.

Slow Cooker Chocolate Mess

Gooey. Warm. Chocolate. What more do I need to say?

1 package chocolate cake mix

16 oz (2 c.) sour cream
1 small package instant chocolate pudding
1 small bag (6 oz) chocolate chips
3/4 cup veggie oil
4 eggs
1 cup water

Coat inside of crockpot with cooking spray. Mix all ingredients, pour into crockpot, cook on low 6-8 hours. Serve with ice cream!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Garlicky Baked Butternut Squash

Trying out some fall veggies...

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

  1. In a large bowl, combine the parsley, oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Add squash and toss to coat.
  2. Transfer to an ungreased shallow 2-qt. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for 50-55 minutes or until squash is just tender.

Tomato and Basil Quiche

Some people say that quiche is a girly dish. Usually I load them with bacon so Mark will think it is manly enough but I had a bunch of basil to use up so we ended up with this vegetarian one!

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons fresh basil
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
1 1/2 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Bake pie shell in preheated oven for 8 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion until soft; remove from skillet. Sprinkle tomato slices with basil, then saute 1 minute on each side. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread 1 cup shredded cheese in the bottom of pie crust. Layer onions over cheese, and top with tomatoes. Cover with egg mixture. sprinkle top with remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until filling is puffed and golden brown. Serve warm.

Italian Tacos

Who knew pasta sauce in a taco could taste so good?? We don't repeat many recipes in the Heaviland household so the fact that we've made these at least 5 times tells you how much we like this easy recipe!

1/2 pound Italian sausage
1 pound ground beef
1 (16 ounce) jar tomato pasta sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
8 taco shells, heated
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  1. Combine the ground beef and Italian sausage in a large heavy skillet. Cook over medium heat until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease, and season meat with Italian seasoning.
  2. Heat the pasta sauce in a saucepan over medium heat until heated through. When the sauce is warm, stir in the sugar.
  3. Fill taco shells with the meat mixture, spoon pasta sauce over, and top with mozzarella cheese.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Creamy Spicy Corn Chowder with Chicken

This Chowder recipe is from my friend Jaime and it was a great fall meal. I felt like it needed a little more punch so next time I will add in some Frank's hot sauce and cayenne.


2 slices bacon, sliced in 1-inch strips
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 russet potato, diced
1 small red pepper, diced
3 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 cups milk
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups shredded rotisserie cooked chicken
Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
1 lime, cut into wedges


In a large saucepot over medium heat cook bacon until crispy and all fat has rendered out. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon fat, add onion, jalapeno, potato, red pepper, corn, salt and pepper and saute for about 5 minutes. Add thyme.
In a blender, puree half the mixture and add back to the pan. Add milk, chicken broth, and chicken and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
Transfer to serving bowls. Garnish each bowl with cooked bacon, fresh cilantro and a lime wedge.

Vietnamese Beef Pho

I had never heard of Pho until I moved up to Seattle. It is a Vietnamese Soup that is perfect on a cold, cloudy day. No wonder it is so popular here! When I pronounced it like "faux" I was quickly corrected and taught that it is actually pronouced "fuh". In traditional Pho you will find unusal items like oxtail but I played it safe with this recipe that calls for sirloin. Also, the meat is supposed to cook in the bowls in the hot broth but I was a chicken so I cooked it a little bit on the stovetop. I didn't have the time to simmer it for an hour so the broth wasn't as flavorful as I'd hoped. I saw a lot of other recipes calling for star anise, so maybe that is what it was missing.

8 cups beef broth
1/2 large onion, sliced into rings
3 slices fresh ginger root
1/2 lemon grass
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 pound sirloin tip, cut into thin slices
1/4 pound bean sprouts
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
1-1/2 fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced into rings
1 limes, cut into wedges
1 (8 ounce) package dried rice noodles
3/4 teaspoon hoisin sauce
1/2 dash hot pepper sauce

  1. In a large soup pot, combine broth, onion, ginger, lemon grass, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover. Simmer for 1 hour.
  2. Arrange bean sprouts, mint, basil, and cilantro on a platter with chilies and lime.
  3. Soak the noodles in hot water to cover for 15 minutes or until soft. Drain. Place equal portions of noodles into 6 large soup bowls, and place raw beef on top. Ladle hot broth over noodles and beef. Pass platter with garnishes and sauces.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Deep Dish Pizza

Mark is a HUGE fan of pizza. For awhile now he's been on the hunt for a Chicago style deep dish pizza recipe. After a few ok results, I realized he needed the right kind of pan. So for his birthday I got him this deep dish pizza pan. On the back of the packaging it had this recipe for a deep dish pizza. It sure was deep! The crust was over 1" thick and had the buttery, crispy bottom like pizza hut. I think the two secrets were the potato in the dough and the 4T of oil in the bottom of the pan. It's the best pizza I've had in two years- man we miss Zachary's in Tucson. We topped ours with red sauce, spicy italian sausage, banana peppers and cheddar cheese.

Deep-Dish Pizza Crust Recipe

1 medium baking potato, peeled and quartered
1 1/2 t rapid-rise yeast
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup warm water
6 T EVOO, plus more for oiling bowl
1 3/4 t salt

1. Bring 1 quart of water and potato to boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. then drain. When cool, grate through large holes on box grater. Measure 1 1/3 cups lightly packed potato and discard the rest.
2.While potato is cooking, add to bread machine- yeast, 1/2 c. flour and 1/2 cup warm water and combine. Let sit until bubbly (about 20 min). Add 2 T olive oil, remaining 1/2 c. warm water, 3 c. flour, salt and potato. Set bread machine to dough cycle and start.
3. Oil bottom of deep dish pan with 4T olive oil. Remove dough from bread machine (when complete), pat into 12" round. Transfer to pan, cover with plastic wrap and let rest about 10min.
4. Uncover dough and pull up into edges and up sides of the pan to form 1" lip. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for another 30min. Uncover dough and prick generously with a fork. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
5. Bake crust on lower rack of oven until dry and light, about 15min.
6. Add cheese and other topping and bake (still on bottom shelf) until cheese melts- 10 to 15 min. Move pizza to top rack and bake until cheese is spotty brown, about 5 min.
7. Let pizza cool for 5 min, then use a wide spatula to slide pizza from pan to cutting board.

Butter Chicken (Indian Chicken in Tomato Cream Sauce)

Butter Chicken was recommended to me by my friend Nisha. I have to admit I was a little worried about the cinnamon but the spice blend was perfect! Plus, this recipe was a good excuse to buy our favorite Naan from Trader Joes. Yum... We will definitely be making this again!

Spice Blend:

1 tablespoon garam masala seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne


3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 skinless rotisserie chicken, boned out and pulled into 1 1/2 by 1/2-inch chunks
1 (10-ounce) box frozen peas, placed in a colander and run under hot water to thaw
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Hot basmati rice, for serving
Pita or Naan bread, warmed according to package directions, for serving


To make the spice blend: Stir the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the pieces just begin to turn gold, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste and spice blend, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning. The spices will be fragrant. Add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes and stir well. Add the chicken pieces, spoon the sauce over the top and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and cook, uncovered, until the chicken is warmed through and the sauce is flavorful, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Remove the chicken to a serving dish and cover to keep warm.

Shake any excess water from the peas. Add the peas and cream to the sauce in the pan, stir well and heat through. Do not boil. Spoon the sauce over the chicken. Serve with rice and warmed pita bread.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Cordon Feta

Here's my modification of Cordon bleu. I am not a fan of blue cheese so we substituted feta. The chicken was really moist!

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
8 slices of deli ham; thin (I love black forest ham)
4 oz feta cheese
1 Tablespoon melted butter
1 Large egg; beaten
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Pound chicken breasts to about 1/3" thick. Place ham on breast then 1/2 oz of feta cheese. Roll up; securing with a toothpick. Dip each breast-roll into a mixture of the melted butter and beaten egg. Roll in Parmesan cheese and place in buttered baking dish. Bake at 350ºF for 30 to 35 minutes or until browned and tender.


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