Monday, January 31, 2011

Scones


Also for the British night! Best scone recipe I've ever made. SOOOO moist and buttery. We'll be making them again soon with chocolate chips.

1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup raisins (optional)

In a small bowl, blend the sour cream and baking soda, and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt. Cut in the butter. Stir the sour cream mixture and egg into the flour mixture until just moistened. Mix in the raisins.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead briefly. Roll or pat dough into a 3/4 inch thick round. Cut into 12 wedges, and place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown on the bottom.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Greek Nachos


SOOOO good! Opa!

4 pita pockets, white or whole wheat, cut into wedges
About 1/2 cup olive oil
Salt
4 ounces feta cheese
1/2 cup yogurt, preferably whole-milk
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 pound ground lamb
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 or 3 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled and seeded if necessary, and chopped
1/2 cup calamata olives, pitted and halved (optional).


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Arrange pita wedges in one layer on baking sheets and brush or drizzle with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Bake until they begin to color, turning once or twice, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, turn off oven and put chips back in to keep warm.

2. In a blender or food processor, combine feta, yogurt, 1/4 cup olive oil, mint and zest and juice of lemon; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Blend or process until smooth. (You can also mash mixture by hand, with a fork.)

3. Put two tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add lamb and cumin and sprinkle with salt and pepper; continue cooking until meat is cooked through, about 5 to 10 minutes more. Put chips on a serving plate and top with lamb, sauce, tomatoes, cucumbers and olives if you’re using them.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Breakfast Egg Strudel


I originally saw this recipe in a Cuisine at Home magazine and saved it for a fun breakfast with a couple of my girlfriends. It makes two strudels so we warmed the other one up in foil for dinner that night and it was just as good!

2 sheets puff pastry
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup frozen cubed hash brown potatoes
1 cup red pepper (I didn't have one so I left it out)
1/2 cup onion
1 cup diced ham
11 eggs
4 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons orange juice (I was a little nervous about this so I only added about 1T)
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

1 Preheat oven to 400°F.
2 Thaw pastry according to package directions, about 30 minutes.
3 Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. add potatoes and sauté 5 minutes.
4 Stir in bell pepper (can be red or green) and onion; sauté 3 minutes then add cubed ham.
5 Add eggs cream cheese and orange juice in blender blend at medium till mixed well.
6 Add eggs to the pan and scramble till set.
7 Season with salt and pepper to taste.
8 Refrigerate eggs while working with puff pastry.
9 Unfold a pastry sheet on a work surface that's been lightly dusted with flour. Roll pastry lengthwise to 12X10 then transfer to a piece of parchment cut to fit a baking sheet. Trim pastry cut off top corners notch bottom to create flaps.
10 Spoon half the egg mixture down the center; cut strips on both sides at a a 45 degree angle.
11 Fold up the flaps at both ends, then braid the strips across the filling.
12 Lift parchment and strudels onto baking sheets.
13 Combine the remaining egg and water; brush over top of strudels. Sprinkle with cheese and bake 20-30 minutes, or until golden.
14 Let cool 5 minutes before slicing.

Baked Kale Chips


Hmmmm...what to do about this kale that came in our produce delivery box this week?? How about this recipe? Our whole family gobbled these up and that is definitely the first time we've consumed an entire bunch of kale in one sitting!

1 bunch (about 6 ounces) kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 300°F. Rinse and dry the kale, then remove the stems and tough center ribs. Cut into large pieces, toss with olive oil in a bowl then sprinkle with salt. Arrange leaves in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until crisp. Place baking sheet on a rack to cool.

Chicken Piccata

I have yet to make a chicken piccata recipe that isn't too salty. This recipe was no different. Am I supposed to rinse the capers or something??

2 or 3 chicken breasts, skinless & boneless, butterflied and pounded thin
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup bread crumbs
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
garlic salt
5-6 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup capers
1/3 cup sherry
1 3/4 cup chicken stock
1 T cornstarch
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Juice of one lemon

Whisk cornstarch into chicken stock to combine, then set aside. Saute mushrooms in a tablespoon or two of butter, then set aside.

Mix flour and bread crumbs together on a large plate. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. While you wait for it to heat up, season chicken breasts with kosher salt, garlic salt, and pepper. Dredge into flour/bread crumb mixture. Add chicken to pan and cook for a few minutes on each side until it's golden brown. Remove and transfer to plate. Add remaining butter and oil and repeat with the rest of the chicken.

Reduce heat to low and add a touch of olive oil if needed. Add garlic and saute for a few minutes. Add capers, then add sherry, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour in lemon juice and chicken stock mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Add mushrooms, parsley and more pepper.

Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5-15 minutes, moving the chicken around so each piece gets coated in sauce. Serve with white rice. Spoon sauce over chicken and rice.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mac and Cheese Soup with Buffalo Chicken Tenders


Recently, I've been craving some diner food. You know the old-time diners with the adjustable bar stools? Basically, I've had greasy food on the brain! Well, Emilie gave me this recipe from her Cuisine at Home magazine and it hit the spot! It was soooooooo good!

1 1/2 cups dry elbow macaroni
1/2 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced celery
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose four
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups low-sodiun chicken broth
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cups whole milk
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste

Cook macaroni in a pot of salted wsater according to ackage directions; drain and set aside.

Sweat onion and celery in butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.

Stir in flour to coat and cook 1 minute. Deglaze with wine and simmer until nearly evaporated. Stir in broth, mustard, nutmeg, and cayenne. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes, then whisk in milk and warm through. Do not let boil or base may become grainy.

Add cheddar, 1 cup at a time, allowing it to melt completely before adding the next cup. Stir in macaroni, lemon juice, and salt; remove from heat.

Buffalo Chicken "Fries"

Ingredients

1/3 cup hot sauce (such as Frank's)
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbsp. honey
1 lb. boneless, skinless chickenbreast halves, slice lengh-wise into 1/2 inch wide strips, seasoned with salt and pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided

Whisk together hot sauce, butter, and honey in a large bowl.

Toss chicken strips with flour in a large resealable plastic bag until coated; shake off excess four.

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil inn a large saute pan over medium-high; add half the chicken strips, saute until browned, about 2 minutes per side, then transfer to hot sauce mixture and toss to coat. Repeat with remaining oil and chicken strips.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Teriyaki Wraps


Jaime told me about this recipe they do a lot. Basically it's like a teriyaki bowl in a wrap but with Parmesean Couscous instead of rice. So good!

Near East Parmesean Couscous, cooked to package directions
Broccoli, steamed and chopped
Chicken breasts marinated in teriyaki sauce and grilled and chopped
Teriyaki Sauce (We love Mr. Yoshida's)
Sriracha sauce (optional for kick)
Tortillas

Put all the filling ingredients inside the tortilla and wrap 'em up!

Mini Meatball Sandwiches


Sigh. I miss natural light photographs. Eventually the sun will stop setting at 4:30pm and I can get some decent pictures. Mark is still raving about this recipe.

1 pound Ground Chuck Or Ground Beef
½ cups Panko Or Other Bread Crumbs
1 clove Garlic, Minced
½ teaspoons Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
½ cups Milk
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
½ whole Medium Onion, Diced
1 jar (large) Marinara Sauce
12 whole Dinner Rolls (or Slider Rolls)
4 slices Provolone Cheese, Cut Into Four Wedges Each


Preparation Instructions
Mix meat with bread crumbs, garlic, salt, pepper, and milk. Knead together with hands. Roll into heaping tablespoon-sized rolls.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook for one minute. Add meatballs between the onions and brown for one minute. (You might have to do this in two batches, depending on the size of your skillet.)
Pour in jar of marinara; shake pan gently to mix. Put on lid and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
When ready to serve, cut each dinner roll in half. Place a wedge of Provolone on the top and bottom of each roll. Spoon a meatball with the sauce onto the bottom bun; top with the top bun.

Tangy Slow Cooker Pork Roast

FAIL. No picture needed for this recipe because there was really no flavor in the meat and it was pretty dry. The first night we slathered it in bbq sauce and the second night we shredded it over tortillas with cheese and put them under the broiler for tostadas. I just didn't want anybody else to be deceived by the 888 reviewers on allrecipes.com who gave it almost 5 stars.

1 large onion, sliced
2 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin roast
1 cup hot water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 dash hot pepper sauce, or to taste

Arrange onion slices evenly over the bottom of the slow cooker, and then place the roast on top of the onion. In a bowl, mix together water, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, and hot sauce; pour over roast.
Cover, and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours, or on High for 3 to 4 hours.

Tuna Melts

Mark grew up eating open-faced tuna melts as a quick go-to meal. So this is a shout out to the Heavilands! Just mix the tuna up like you would for a normal tuna sandwich (mayo, mustard, pepper, etc), put it on toast, top with cheese and put them under the broiler for about 5min.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Cucumber Sandwiches

Definitely one of my most requested appetizers I make.


1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian salad dressing mix
2 loaves French bread, cut into 1 inch slices
2 medium cucumbers, sliced
1 pinch dried dill weed

In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise and Italian dressing mix. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight.
Spread the cream cheese blend onto slices of French bread. Top with a cucumber slice, and sprinkle with dill.

Yellow Squash and Thyme Quiche


To make this doable for a weeknight meal, I used a Trader Joes pie crust instead of the original recipe's homemade crust. It was the first time I had used Trader Joes' crust and I will be using it again for sure!

Ingredients
CRUST
1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 tablespoons (or more) ice water

FILLING
1 tablespoon butter
12 ounces yellow crookneck squash, cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
6 large eggs
1 cup whipping cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
3/4 cup (packed) coarsely grated mozzarella cheese (about 3 ounces) (I used gruyere)

Preparation
CRUST
Blend flour and salt in processor. Add butter. Using on/off turns, blend until coarse meal forms. Add 4 tablespoons ice water. Using on/off turns, blend until dough comes together in moist clumps, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap and chill at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll out dough on floured surface to 14 1/2-inch round. Transfer to 10-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Fold overhang in; press to form double-thick sides. Push sides up until 1/4 inch higher than top edge of pan. Pierce crust all over with fork. Freeze 10 minutes.
Line dough with foil and dried beans or pie weights. Bake until sides are set, about 25 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Bake until crust is golden, piercing with fork if crust bubbles, about 15 minutes. Transfer crust to rack; cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
FILLING
Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add squash and thyme. Sauté until squash is just tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Whisk eggs, cream, salt, pepper, and hot sauce in bowl. Arrange squash over bottom of crust. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Place tart pan on oven rack. Pour egg mixture into crust, filling completely (some egg mixture may be left over).
Bake quiche until filling is golden and set in center, about 35 minutes. Transfer quiche to rack; cool 15 minutes.

Jalapeno Popper Spread



This is not my photo because I find it impossible to take good photos of dips. Take this appetizer to any party and I bet you'll come home with an empty bowl. I dare you!

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
2 ounces canned diced jalapeno peppers, drained
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Stir together cream cheese and mayonnaise in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in green chiles and jalapeno peppers. Pour mixture into a microwave safe serving dish, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Microwave on High until hot, about 3 minutes.

Thai Chicken Burgers


I was looking for another recipe to use red curry paste in and I found this recipe. These were totally awesome!

2 pounds ground chicken
2 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup Thai peanut sauce
2 tablespoons red curry paste
2 tablespoons minced green onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
8 hamburger buns, split and toasted

In a large bowl, mix together ground chicken, panko crumbs, Thai peanut sauce, curry paste, green onion, parsley, soy sauce, garlic, lemon juice, lime juice, and hot pepper sauce. Be careful not to over-mix. Divide into 8 equal size balls. Flatten into patties about 1/2 inch thick.
Preheat the grill for medium-high heat.
Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill burgers for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until well done.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pico De Gallo

My mother-in-law got me this awesome cookbook for Christmas. It it right down my alley with tons of different taco and salsa recipes. This is the first recipe I tried and it was amazing. Makes 2 1/2 cups.

4 large, ripe Roma tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced small (about 2 cups)
1/2 c finely diced white onion
1/2 medium serrano chile, seeded and minced (I used the whole chile)
1/2 c loosely packed, roughly chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 t salt
1 T fresh lime juice

Combine all the ingredients 1 hour before serving. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or lime juice as needed. This salsa is good for 24 hours, refrigerated but may need to be drained and reseasoned.

Brussel Sprout Pasta

WAIT!!!!!!!!!!! Before you skip right over this pasta recipe (don't lie, I know you were about to), I just have to tell you how great it was! Seriously. Even Mark said, "Who knew Brussel Sprout Pasta could be so good??" And this is coming from the guy who thought I was joking when I told him what we were having. He was prepared to hate it! Give it a try- even our kids gobbled it up!

¾ lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed
3 Tbsp. pine nuts
½ lb. dried pasta, preferably fettuccine or another long noodle
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
½ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. heavy cream
Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving

In a food processor fitted with the slicing disk, slice the Brussels sprouts into a fine hash. Set aside.

Place a large pot of salted water over high heat.

While the water is heating, prepare the pine nuts. Place a large heavy skillet over medium heat. When the pan is warm, add the pine nuts and, shaking the pan frequently, toast until golden and fragrant. (Careful: they burn easily.) Transfer to a bowl or small plate, and set aside. Set the pan aside as well, but do not wash it: you’ll use it again in a minute.

When the water boils, add the pasta and cook until al dente.

While the pasta cooks, prepare the Brussels sprouts. Return the skillet to the stove, and place over medium-high heat. You want it to get quite hot. Add the olive oil and butter. When the butter has melted – it’s okay if it browns a little; mine did – add the Brussels sprouts and salt. Sauté, stirring frequently, until bright green and just tender, about 4 minutes.

If the pasta is ready at this point, drain it, reserving ¼ cup cooking water, and add it to the skillet with the cooked Brussels sprouts. Alternatively, if the pasta is not yet ready, transfer the sprouts to a large bowl. (You don’t want them to sit in the hot pan too long.) Either way, when the pasta is ready, toss it with the sprouts. Add the pine nuts and cream, and toss again. If the pasta seems a bit dry, add a splash or two of the cooking water.

Serve immediately, with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and additional salt at the table.

Mac and Cheese Lorraine


The ingredients in this mac and cheese recipe are a twist on quiche lorraine. The problem was that I made it 2 hours before we served it at Bible study and I just kept it warming in the oven. Well, it got a little dried out, so my rating is probably not a fair assessment. The flavors were great and it probably would have been much creamier if I had served it right away.

Salt
1 pound gemelli pasta or other short cut pasta
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound bacon, chopped
1 onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup whole milk
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups shredded Gruyere
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Heat water for pasta, salt water and cook pasta to al dente.

While pasta water comes to boil, heat extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add bacon and crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Add onions and cook 10 minutes until soft and beginning to caramelize. Add wine and cook out, 1 minute.

While onions cook, heat a sauce pot over medium heat. Add butter, melt and whisk in flour. Cook 1 minute then whisk in stock and milk and bring to a bubble. Thicken a few minutes then season with salt and pepper. Melt in cheese stirring it in a figure-8 motion with a wooden spoon. Add nutmeg and mustard and adjust salt and pepper.

Drain pasta, toss with onions and stir in cheese sauce to coat. Top with crispy bacon and serve.

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