Monday, May 23, 2011

Dad's Jerk Chicken

My dad was mortified when I told him we cooked the chicken in a skillet because it was 50 degrees outside.  I assured him it was still out of this world.  Make this and the salsa that goes with it THIS week!  Definitely a crowd pleaser.

1 Tbsp. ground allspice
1 Tbsp. dried thyme
1 ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 ½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 ½ tsp. ground sage (I found in the bulk spice section at my store)
¾ tsp. ground nutmeg
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup soy sauce
¾ cup white vinegar
½ cup orange juice
juice of 1 lime
3 habanero peppers, finely chopped (I just used one jalapeno so it wouldn't be too spicy for the kids)
1 cup chopped white onion
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 whole chicken, cut up into serving pieces

In a large bowl, combine the allspice, thyme, cayenne pepper, black pepper, sage,
nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, garlic powder and sugar. With a wire whisk, add the olive
oil, soy sauce, vinegar, orange juice, and lime juice. Add the habanero peppers, onion,
green onions and mix well. Add the chicken, cover and marinate overnight. Remove
the chicken from the marinade and grill until fully cooked. While grilling, baste with the

Mango Salsa

This salsa recipe was so refreshing.  We served it over chicken but it would also be amazing on grilled tuna or shrimp.

1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and diced (about 1 1/2 cup) (See: How to Cut a Mango)
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 Jalapeño chile, minced (include ribs and seeds for a hotter taste if desired)
1 small cucumber, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
(Also good with diced red bell pepper and jicama)

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the salsa ends up being a little too hot or acidic for your taste, you can temper it by adding some diced avocado.

Pork Parmigiana Sliders

Yummmmmm.  This recipe was a keeper!

1 pork tenderloin, sliced thin and pounded
Salt and pepper
Wondra flour, for coating (found near other flours in my local grocery store- looks like a breadcrumb can)
2 eggs
Plain breadcrumbs
A handful Italian parsley
About 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
Olive oil or canola oil, for frying
1 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 cup Italian tomato sauce
Slider rolls

Dip cutlets in Wondra mixed with salt and pepper. Beat eggs in a shallow dish with a splash of water. Dip cutlets in egg wash. Dredge cutlets in breadcrumbs mixed with parsley, half the cheese, salt, pepper and garlic.

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add cutlets and quickly fry cutlets until golden brown. Remove and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

Add some tomato sauce to the frying pan. Add cooked cutlets back to the pan and top with a little grated parm, additional sauce and a slice of mozzarella. Cover pan to melt cheese.

Serve on Slider rolls.

Amy's Stromboli

Thank you Amy for this fun recipe!  You'll want to click on her link to see her finished stromboli photos.  Our dough was really sticky so when we tried to fold the dough into a U shape, it kind of just turned into a messy blob.  But, it was a delicious blob!

1/2 lb. wine infused salami, sliced
1/4 lb. pepperoni, sliced
1/2 lb. procutto, sliced (we didn't use this)
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
2 cups mozzarella cheese
garlic powder
italian seasoning

With your own homemade pizza dough or your favorite pre-made dough, roll out dough into a long rectangle. Then add your favorite toppings.  Then take the edge of two sides of the dough and fold over to meet the other sides.  Press the sides of the dough together, mesh with your fingers and then a fork to make sure the two pieces of dough become one and seal the insides.  Reshape the long oblong shaped item to fit your pizza stone or baking sheet (some sort of stoneware will work best) Brush the top with olive oil and add seasonings such as rosemary, basil, oregano or a simple italian seasoning blend. Bake according to your stoneware, for me this was 425 for 20 minutes until golden brown

Rebecca's Bran Muffins

Before you skip over this post, I want to tell you that these are not your normal bran muffins. They are moist, sweet and delicious.  The recipe calls for two different kinds of all bran cereal but I just used bran from the bulk section of my local store.  It worked great!

1/2 cups Nabisco all Bran
1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cups sugar
1 egg
1 c kellogs all bran
1 c buttermilk
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt

Pour boiling water over nabisco all bran. Allow to cool. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light. Add egg and beat. Then Put in all bran and add flour, salt and soda alternativly with buttermilk and mix well. Then add the rest of all bran and mix well. Store in refrigator in covered containter (do not freeze). Bake in greased muffin tins 2/3 full at 400' for 15 minutes. The batter will keep up to 6 weeks to 2 months. Just stir it up and bake what you desire, then cover and store in refrigator until next time.

Bacon-y Bok Choy

Photo courtesy of

We got some baby bok choy in our bountiful basket this week.  Bok choy is not a recipe I feel comfortable cooking.  When I ask people how to cook it, they almost all tell me, "Just throw it in a stir-fry!"  Hmmm...well I don't know where to start.  Throw it in whole? Chopped? So I did a little research to figure out how to prepare it first: 1) Trim off the end of the stem 2) Separate the bok choy leaves 2) Rinse WELL under cool water. Then I found this recipe that included bacon and I figured you couldn't go wrong.  The flavor was very similar to these brussel sprouts.  Very good!

4 slices bacon, chopped
2 pounds baby bok choy, chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
salt to taste

Fry bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove bacon and drain the fat, reserving one tablespoon of the grease in the skillet. Add the olive oil, onion, red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook and stir over medium heat until the onions are starting to be tender.
Add the bok choy, and place a lid on the pan. Let cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the lid; cook and stir until the bok choy is tender but still crunchy, about 2 minutes. Stir in the bacon, and season with salt. Serve piping hot!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Zucchini 'Crab' Cakes

I will definitely be making this recipe again this summer!  Delicious!

2 1/2 cups grated zucchini
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup minced onion
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning (I used cajun seasoning)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying

In a large bowl, combine zucchini, egg, and butter or margarine. Stir in seasoned crumbs, minced onion, and seasoning. Mix well.
Shape mixture into patties. Dredge in flour.
In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat until hot. Fry patties in oil until golden brown on both sides.

Jackie's Peanut Butter Waffles

Thanks for the recipe recommendation Jackie! We loved this peanut-buttery twist on a normal waffle. PS- I recently splurged and bought REAL maple syrup brand from Costco (Kirkland Brand) and oh my goodness- it makes such a difference. No more Aunt Jemima for me!

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
6 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
bananas, maple syrup for serving (optional)

Preheat waffle iron. If you want to make all of the waffles before serving, preheat oven to 275 F, set a wire rack inside of a rimmed baking sheet and pop in the oven.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In your blender, combine the melted butter and peanut butter, and blend until smooth. Add the buttermilk and eggs and blend to combine. Pour the wet ingredients from the blender over the dry ingredients and stir just until incorporated.

Fill the wells of the waffle iron and cook according to the manufacturer's instructions. You want the waffles golden brown when they're finished. Serve with bananas and maple syrup, if desired. (Transfer the waffles to the wire rack in the oven to keep warm if not serving immediately.)

Yield will depend on size/shape of your waffle iron

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Wacky Cake

Otherwise known as Better Than ___ Cake, you can't go wrong with this cake. It's the perfect cool summer treat! Plus, I've been looking for an excuse to buy Trader Joes caramel sauce. And yes, it's as delicious as it looks!

1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
1/2 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
6 ounces caramel ice cream topping
3 (1.4 ounce) bars chocolate covered toffee, chopped (Heath Bar)
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Bake cake according to package directions for a 9x13 inch pan; cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Make slits across the top of the cake, making sure not to go through to the bottom.
In a saucepan over low heat, combine sweetened condensed milk and caramel topping, stirring until smooth and blended. Slowly pour the warm topping mixture over the top of the warm cake, letting it sink into the slits. Let cake cool completely, then top with whipped topping. Decorate the top of the cake with the chocolate toffee bar chunks and swirls of caramel topping. Refrigerate and serve right from the pan!

Thai Salmon with Coconut Milk

Wow, this recipe was good! I loved the different flavors and textures of the veggies in the sauce. Definitely a keeper!

1 1/2-pound salmon fillet
salt and pepper
1 T lemongrass. finely minced (from the white part of the stalk)
1 T scallions, chopped
2/3 of a 14 oz can of light coconut milk
1 t Thai red curry paste (or more for more heat)
3/4 c green beans, chopped
3/4 c yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 c shitake mushrooms, chopped
1/4 c cilantro
1/4 c fresh basil (I used 1 t. dried basil)

Salt and pepper a salmon fillet. Heat skillet to medium-high heat and add a little canola oil. Place salmon in skillet flesh side down and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes until nicely browned. Remove from skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add lemongrass and chopped scallions and stir around for one minute. Then add coconut milk, a generous squeeze of lime, and Thai red curry paste (to taste). Whisk together and let simmer for five minutes. Add salmon back in, skin-side down, nestle into the sauce. Simmer (uncovered) for 10 minutes, then add a handful of each of the following: chopped green beans, chopped yellow peppers, chopped shiitake mushrooms. Simmer another 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in chopped cilantro, chopped basil. Cook another 5 minutes. Serve with jasmine rice, more cilantro, scallions, and a squeeze of lime.

Cornflake-Crusted Halibut with Chile-Cilantro Aioli

Jaime gave me this recipe and said she hadn't made it but thought it looked like my type of recipe. She sure was right! We loved this. Now, if only I could find halibut for less than $20/lb I'd be making this every month!

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup milk
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
2 cups cornflakes, finely crushed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 (6-ounce) halibut fillets
Lemon wedges

To prepare aioli, combine first 4 ingredients, stirring well.
To prepare fish, combine milk and egg white in a shallow dish, stirring well with a whisk. Combine cornflakes, flour, salt, and black pepper in a shallow dish.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Dip fish in milk mixture; dredge in cornflake mixture. Add fish to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. (After browning in skillet, I had to bake at 350 for 5min to finish cooking through) Serve with mayonnaise mixture and lemon wedges.

Angela's Mexican Lasagna

Yum! If all vegetarian dishes tasted like this, I might be able to give up meat! It was flavorful and filling.

2 tsp olive oil
11⁄2 cups chopped onion
1 lb zucchini, diced (about 3 cups)
21⁄2 tsp ground cumin
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with chiles (Rotel), drained
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (11 oz) corn, drained
1 can (10 oz) mild enchilada sauce (or make your own!)
1⁄2 cup chopped cilantro
5 (8-in.) whole-wheat flour tortillas
11⁄4 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar
Garnish: reduced-fat sour cream

Heat oven to 400ºF. Coat a 3-qt round baking dish with nonstick spray.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cumin, and sauté 5 minutes or until zucchini is crisp-tender. Stir in tomatoes, beans, corn and enchilada sauce; bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

Put 1 tortilla in baking dish. Top with 11⁄2 cups zucchini mixture; sprinkle with 1⁄4 cup cheese. Repeat layers 4 times.

Cover with foil and bake 20 to 25 minutes until bubbly around edges and cheese is melted. Cool 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream, if desired.

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Favorite Sandwich

Mark made my favorite sandwich for my mother's day lunch- cream cheese, ham, avocado and sprouts on a flaky croissant. Yummmmmmmmmmmmm

Adelle's Chicken with Herbed Goat Cheese

Kitchen confessions: I hate chicken skin and bones. Ewww. I love rotisserie chickens but every time we get one, Mark has pull the meat off it because I can't stand to touch the bones. If at all possible, I will substitute a boneless breast for any recipe that calls for bone-in chicken. Although mocked by certain friends, I just can't do it :) This recipe is a perfect example. Instead of pulling up slimy, bumpy chicken skin with my fingers, (I can't even type that without gagging) I just butterflied a chicken breast and stuffed the basil and goat cheese in the middle. It was fantastic!

3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
12 ounces Montrachet goat cheese, with garlic and herbs
Fresh basil leaves
Good olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Loosen the skin from the meat with your fingers, leaving one side attached. Cut 12 thick slices of the Montrachet and place 2 slices plus a large basil leaf under the skin of each chicken breast. Rub each piece with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Bake the breasts for 35 to 40 minutes, until just cooked through. Serve hot or at room temperature

Greek Spinach and Feta Pie (Spanakopita)

I pulled this recipe out of my sister's Cook's Illustrated magazine. Surprisingly, I didn't have to use every dish in my kitchen and spend 3 hours making this (as I have in the past with CI recipes). It was very, very tasty!

28 oz. frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and well-squeezed of water (if using fresh, simply steam, drain, and chop)
12 oz. feta, rinsed, patted dry, and crumbled
3/4 c. Greek yogurt
4 medium scallions, sliced thin (about 1/2 c)
1/4 c. minced fresh mint leaves
2 tbsp. minced fresh dill (I used 1 t. dried)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon juice
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more, for kicks)

phyllo layers:
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted (CI calls for just 7, but that just wasn't realistic)
1/2 lb. phyllo (14" x 9") thawed - and I mean COMPLETELY thawed.
1 1/2 oz. grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1. Mix the drained spinach and all other filling ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

2. Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat oven to 425℉.

3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush a 14" x 9" rectangle on the parchment with butter and lay the first sheet of phyllo atop this rectangle. Brush the phyllo with butter, and layer on another sheet of phyllo. Repeat the buttering and layering with 10 total layers of phyllo.

4. Spread the spinach mixture over the phyllo, leaving a 1/4" border on all sides. Cover spinach mixture with 6 more sheets of phyllo, brushing each with butter and sprinkling each with Pecorino cheese. Lay 2 more sheets of phyllo on top, brushing with butter but no Pecorino.

5. Working from the center outward, use palms of your hands to compress the layers and press out any air pockets. Use a sharp knife to score the top three layers of phyllo into 24 equal pieces. Bake until phyllo os golden and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet 10 minutes to 2 hours. Slide the spanakopita, still on parchment, onto a cutting board. Cut into squares and serve.

Over-the-border shrimp enchiladas

Another yummy recipe from Kae Cee. I didn't really like them reheated the next day (shrimp never seems to reheat well) so make them on a night when you've got guests to eat up the leftovers.

1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed
8 flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed
1 1/2 cups chunky salsa
1 1/2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese

In a large skillet, saute onion in oil until tender. Add the shrimp, green chilies, chili powder, salt, cumin and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink. Stir in cream cheese until melted.

Place 1/3 cup shrimp mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in greased 13x9 inch baking dish. Pour salsa over the top; sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Jaime's Cherry Coffee Cake

Can I eat coffee cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Please?

1¼ cup flour
½ cup sugar
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
4 Tbsp butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1-21 oz can cherry pie filling
½ cup flour
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp butter

1. Stir together first 4 ingredients. Cut in the first 4 Tbsp butter till mixture is coarse crumbs.
2. Combine egg, milk, and vanilla; add to dry ingredients and mix well. Spread in a greased 11x7 inch pan, spoon cherry pie filling over top. Combine the remaining flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in remaining butter till mixture is coarse crumbs, sprinkle over pie filling. Bake 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.

Sriracha-Glazed Chicken

Tyler Green needs to try this recipe asap. He drinks about a bottle of Sriracha a week. The flavor of the chicken was awesome and I only marinated it for about 15min. Next time I'll try overnight. You'll see in the recipe below that the original recipe is for chicken wings. However, Mark and I prefer boneless bites better so I used cubed chicken tenders.

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 pounds chicken wings, cut in half at joint (wing tips removed), or drumsticks (I used tenders)

In a glass baking dish, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, Sriracha sauce, sugar, ginger, and sesame oil. Add chicken and toss to coat. Marinate 30 minutes, tossing halfway through. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Bake until chicken is cooked through and sauce thickens, 30 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through


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