Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Explanation of the Poor Bites Posting in June...

You might be wondering why Bites fell off the map and only had 3 postings in the entire month of June.  Partly it was because we had visitors for the entire month and I busted out a bunch of favorites- Slow Cooker Ribs, Sour Cream Pork Chops, Spinach Orzo Salad and Double Decker Tacos.  But the other and VERY exciting reason is that I'm pregnant!  We found out at the end of May and my loss of appetite happened right around the beginning of June.  Not much sounded good and many things sounded disgusting (it will be years before I can try Chicken Masala again).  So, we ended up eating a lot of random things- quesadillas, smoothies, Chipotle burritoes (an all time pregnancy favorite), etc  So, I hope you haven't lost faith in Bites and I hope you enjoy the new recipes I posted today!

Mexican Style Chicken and Dumplings

Photo courtesy of Sweet Savory Life

My sister recommended this recipe to me and now Sweet Savory Life is one of my favorite new recipe blog sites.  We served this for company and it was a hit around the whole table.

Chicken

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 can (14.5 ounces) chicken broth
1 jar (15 ounces) salsa verde (2 cups)
1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
1 large rotisserie chicken, meat deboned and left in large chunks (about 6 cups)

Dumplings

1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups bleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion greens
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

Chicken:  Heat butter over medium-high heat in a large (11 – 12 inch), deep ovenproof skillet or 5-6 quart Dutch oven.  Whisk in flour to make a paste.  Mix broth, salsa verde, and evaporated milk and whisk in all at once.  Whisk, vigorously at first, until mixture simmers and thickens to sauce consistency.  Stir in chicken, heat through, and cover to keep warm.  Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees.

Dumplings: Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan until steamy.  Mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, scallions, and cilantro in a medium bowl with a fork.  Stir in milk mixture to form a smooth, firm dough.  Pinch off Ping-Pong-ball-size peices of dough with your fingers and drop onto chicken mixture.  Return chicken to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Cover and transfer pan to oven and bake until dumplings are cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.  Serve.

Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce



Pioneer Woman must buy heavy cream in bulk.  I love ALL of her creamy sauce recipes, including this one.  And miracle beyond miracles, I've actually kept a basil plant alive for over 2 weeks.  Unbelievable!!!

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 cans (15 Ounce Each) Tomato Sauce Or Marinara Sauce
Salt And Pepper, to taste
Dash Of Sugar (more To Taste)
1 cup Heavy Cream
Grated Parmesan Or Romano Cheese, To Taste
Fresh Basil, Chopped
1-1/2 pound Fettuccine

Preparation Instructions
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
Heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for a minute or so. Pour in tomato sauce and add salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Stir and cook over low heat for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and stir in cream. Add cheese to taste, then check seasonings. Stir in pasta and chopped basil and serve immediately. (Thin with pasta water before adding basil if needed.)

Mushroom Egg Salad

I spotted this recipe on Angela's blog and knew it would be perfect for a summer picnic.  We served it on toast but it would be great in pitas!  My husband is not the hugest mushroom fan but he liked this.

5 Tbsp. canola oil
1 lb. mushrooms, roughly chopped
½ medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh dill (I used about 2 teaspoons dried)
4 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a 10” or 12” skillet over medium-high heat, and add the mushrooms. (If they don’t all fit in the pan at once, let the first panful wilt down a bit, and then add the rest. It’ll work out fine.) Cook, stirring often, until lighly browned, 14-16 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, and set aside. Wipe out the skillet.

Heat the remaining oil in the skillet over medium-high heat, and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until the onions begin to soften; then reduce the heat to low and continue to cook until lightly caramelized, 10-15 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the mushrooms. Add the dill and eggs, and stir to mix.

I used less mayo than the recipe calls for, and still didn't use up all my dressing.  I don't like my salad very wet, though.  In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, and lemon juice. Add a couple of spoonfuls to the mushroom mixture, and toss until evenly combined. Taste, and add more dressing as needed.  Season with salt and pepper. Depending on how deeply browned the onions are, you might also want an extra squeeze of lemon.

Pile on lightly toasted bread – preferably sourdough rye, if you’ve got some – and serve open-faced.

Simple Sesame Noodles

Super simple summer recipe.

12 ounces, fluid Thin Noodles, Cooked And Drained
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Sugar
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
3 Tablespoons Pure Sesame Oil
1/2 teaspoon Hot Chili Oil
4 Tablespoons Canola Oil
4 whole Green Onions, Sliced Thin

Preparation Instructions
Whisk all ingredients (except noodles and green onions) together in a bowl. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
Pour sauce over warm noodles and toss to coat.
Sprinkle with green onions and toss.
Serve in a bowl with chopsticks.

Phyllo Turnovers with Shrimp and Ricotta

I had leftover ricotta from making Manicotti (why didn't I post that recipe?  Hmmm...)  and leftover phyllo from making this recipe and so I used my favorite ingredient search on Allrecipes to find this recipe.  I left out the green pepper and still found it very flavorful!

3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/3 cup chopped celery stalk
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
2/3 cup chopped green onions
2 dashes hot sauce, such as Tabasco
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound large shrimp - peeled, deveined and chopped
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup milk
1 (16 ounce) package frozen phyllo dough, thawed
1/2 cup butter

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and add the canola oil. Stir in the celery and peppers; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the green onions, hot sauce, and salt; cook and stir until onions are wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir the flour, shrimp, ricotta cheese, and milk into the pepper mixture; cook and stir until the shrimp turn pink, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
Melt 1/2 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and keep warm. Stack two sheets of phyllo on top of each other, and cut into 3 strips about 3 inches by 12 inches. Brush the top of each strip with melted butter, and place a teaspoon of the shrimp mixture at one end. Fold phyllo dough over the filling, working back and forth from side to side to make a triangle. Seal the end closed with a little water or butter. Place triangle on an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining phyllo sheets and filling.
Bake in preheated oven until tops are golden brown and flaky, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Angela's Dad's Enchiladas


I love hearing about what people ate growing.  It's one of the many questions I like to ask people (I've been known to be a question-asker). Angela has shared a few of her family recipes with me and this one is not the fanciest, but it sure is tasty.  And when she left me with two cans of Hormel chili when she moved to London, I knew I'd be making this soon!

Two cans of Hormel no-beans chili. (make sure it doesn't have beans in it or any extra spice thing)
Lots of grated cheddar cheese (3-4 cups)
One medium onion, chopped
Corn tortillas (approx. 15)

Preheat oven to 350.

First, lightly fry the tortillas in veggie oil so they are easier to roll.  On med-high heat, the tortillas should only be in the oil for about 4 seconds. I like to layer mine between paper towels as I do it so at least some of the grease gets soaked up.

Working with one tortilla at a time, put a small amount of the chopped onion and grated cheese towards the edge of the tortilla closest to you.  Probably about 1/4 cup stuff total.  Roll tightly away from yourself, being careful not to tear the tortilla.  Place in pan seam-side down in a 9x13 baking pan and do the same with the rest.

Meanwhile, dump the cans of chili in a pan.  Rinse the cans out with about 1/4 cup water and dump that in the pan too.  Warm on the stove.

Pour chili over enchiliadas, using a knife or something to move them so you make sure to get some chili in between each of the enchiliadas.

Top with grated cheese and chopped onions.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.  After 25 minutes, if the cheese on top isn't done to your liking, just broil for a bit.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Clubhouse Chicken Pizza


When we visited Bend, OR this summer, we ate at Pizza Mondo.  We had a version of this pizza and it was so good I tried my best to recreate it at home.  I started with trader joes crust (baked it a little bit first) then spread a thin layer of ranch dressing and then crispy bacon, grilled italian chicken, baked tomatoes, pepperoncinis and mozzarella cheese on top.  Bake until melted.  Delish!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sweet Potato Biscuits

When we stayed with Nikki in May, her dad made sweet potato biscuits one night.  I had to restrain myself.  I wanted to eat about 20.  The recipe below is a compilation between his recipe and Paula Deen's.  Nikki's dad used yams which gave them a fun orange color.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) softened butter
2 to 4 tablespoons milk (depending on the moisture of the potatoes) (I used 2 T)
dash of vanilla

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Sift together flour, sugars, spices, baking powder and salt. In a separate, large bowl, mix the sweet potatoes, vanilla and butter. Add the flour mixture to the potato mixture and mix to make a soft dough. Then add milk a tablespoon at a time to mixture and continue to cut in. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and toss lightly until the outside of the dough looks smooth. Roll the dough out to 1/2-inch thick and cut with a biscuit cutter. Place the biscuits on a greased pan and coat tops with melted butter. Bake for 10-15 minutes.

PW Cinnamon Rolls

Emilie challenged me to try out Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls and compare them to the Clone of a Cinnabon recipe.  PW's recipe is for making a HUGE batch- enough for 7 pans.  So, I made a scaled back version for just 1 9x13 pan.  The rolls were very, very good but I have to say I personally like the clone of a cinnabon better.  I just love the thick cream cheese frosting.

1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1/2 package)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus 1/4 cup for kneading)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder (heaping)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda (scant)
1/4 tablespoon salt (heaping)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
2 teaspoons melted butter, for pans

Maple Frosting

1/2 pound powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
1/8 cup whole milk
1/8 cup melted butter
1 tablespoon brewed coffee
1/8 teaspoon salt


Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in the 1/2 package of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 2 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.
After rising for at least an hour, add 1/4 cup more of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it - overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).
When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/2 melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 1/2 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.
Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.
Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a 9x13 baking dish. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.
Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 400 degrees (see note below) until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.
For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. Go crazy and don't skimp on the frosting.

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