Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

Living near Philadelphia, we are big fans of cheesesteaks. Many restaurants near us make their own cheesesteaks and, of course, there are the popular restaurants in the city itself. SP even made his own version recently. So when I saw this recipe for Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes on Kelly's blog, I had to give it a try.


These couldn't have been easier and the results were delicious. I added some green pepper for color and flavor and I think mushrooms would also be good. We only had two tablespoons of steak sauce left in the bottle, but that ended up being plenty. The cheese sauce is a great addition and made these taste like the cheesesteaks we know and love. I hollowed out the rolls to make a little bed for the meat mixture to sit in, which really helped keep everything together. I'll be making these again for sure.

UPDATE: I've remade these quite a few times and tweaked the recipe, decreasing the amount of broth and making some changes, like melting provolone instead of making the cheese sauce and omitting the green pepper (I'm not really a fan). Two of my favorite ways to serve these are with Cheez Wiz and as a cheesesteak hoagie with shredded lettuce, sliced tomato and sliced raw onion with a smear of mayo mixed with red wine vinegar and a dash of oregano.

phillyhoagie

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes
Adapted from Rachael Ray

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 softball-sized onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped (optional)
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons steak sauce, such as A-1
1/2 cup beef stock
Salt and ground black pepper
4 dinner rolls
Cheese sauce (see below) or sliced provolone or Cheez Wiz
Optional toppings: shredded Romaine, sliced tomato, sliced raw white onion, 4 tablespoons mayo mixed with a splash of red wine vinegar and a shake of oregano

Cheese sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
1 cup provolone, shredded

In large skillet over medium-high heat add the oil. Add the onion and green pepper and cook until soft and starting to brown. Add the ground beef and cook about 5-6 minutes. Drain off the fat, then stir in the steak sauce and beef stock, season with salt and pepper, bring to a boil and cook about 2 minutes.

Toast the rolls and set aside.

If making the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a medium-size pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and cook about 1 minute. Whisk in milk, bring up to a bubble and let thicken, about 2 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in the cheese.

To serve, place a scoopful of the meat mixture onto the bottom of the rolls, then top with the cheese sauce and replace the top of the roll. If serving as a cheesesteak hoagie, spread the mayo mixture on the top bun and add lettuce, tomato and raw onion on top of the meat.
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Monday, May 30, 2011

Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps

My friend Melissa raved about these Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps and then submitted them for one of the recipe swaps where the recipient also raved about them. I'm trying to cook out of my comfort zone while also finding healthier recipes that are more suited to the summer heat. This sounded perfect.


These were delicious, with just a hint of spice from the Sriracha and a vibrant burst from the cilantro.

I had some chicken breasts in the freezer so I used my food processor to grind my own chicken. I made the filling in the morning after Baby Girl and SP left for the day. The smell was intoxicating and I couldn't wait for dinner. I subbed butter lettuce for iceburg and served the wraps with white rice and Asian-Style Broccoli. Because I'd used chicken instead of turkey the filling was a little dry, but that can easily be remedied by upping the amount of sauce ingredients. I reread Melissa's blog entry after I'd made them and was kicking myself for not adding the water chestnuts she suggested - they'd make a great, crunchy addition so I added them to the recipe below so I won't forget next time.


I can't wait to make these again. Thanks for a real winner, Melissa!

Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps
Adapted from I Was Born to Cook

2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons ginger root, peeled and grated
1 1/2 lbs. ground chicken (or turkey)
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Sriracha
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 small can water chestnuts, chopped
1/3 cup chopped peanuts
1 head butter lettuce (or iceburg)

Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan, add onion and saute about 2 minutes, then add garlic and ginger root and saute another minute. Add ground chicken (turkey) to frying pan and break apart, then add soy sauce and Sriracha. Cook until the chicken (turkey) is brown and crumbling apart, and the sauce is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

While chicken (turkey) cooks, wash and chop cilantro. Remove the core end from lettuce and separate leaves. Chop peanuts and put in small bowl to serve at the table. When turkey is done, add chopped water chestnuts and chopped cilantro and cook 1-2 minutes more.

To serve: place chicken mixture on lettuce leaf, sprinkle with peanuts, and fold the leaf closed to make it easy to grab and eat.
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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Asian-Style Broccoli

I got into a discussion on my life board recently that resulted in one of the women sharing a recipe for Asian-Style Broccoli. We love broccoli but sometimes I get tired of steaming or roasting it, so I was excited for a new recipe.


I still need to perfect the balance of salty and sweet, but this was a real winner. Thanks, erosa!

Asian-Style Broccoli
Recipe from erosa

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 broccoli crowns, cut into florets
2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch

Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the broccoli, garlic and ginger and cook 2 minutes. Add a splash of water and cover the skillet, allowing the broccoli to steam (for crisp broccoli, 3 minutes).

Mix the soy sauce, chicken stock, brown sugar and corn starch in a small bowl until the corn starch dissolves. After the broccoli has steamed to your desired doneness, add the liquid to the pan, stirring to coat the broccoli in the sauce. Allow the sauce to thicken, about 2 minutes.
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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Weekend Food

This past weekend I had a craving for a gooey, cheesy grilled cheese sandwich. I sliced some tomato to add color and freshness to the sandwich:


The next morning I used the rest of the tomato to make myself a tomato and cheese omelet with breakfast potatoes:

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes

Updated July 18, 2011 with a new picture. This time they didn't fall apart and I was able to make them with fresh basil from my garden.

I love tomatoes. I eat them every day and can never get enough, especially this time of year. I've been wanting to make these Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes for awhile, but finally put them on the menu this week.


We were grilling steak anyway, so I wrapped these up and put them on the top rack of the grill to cook. We both kind of forgot they were there, so they ended up cooking way too long, but they were still utterly delicious even if they were falling apart. I just wish the photo had been better. I can't wait to make these with fresh basil once I've got my basil plant growing this summer.

Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes
The Novice Chef

4 medium tomatoes
1/4 cup of your favorite breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
8 basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Parsley for garnish

Slice off top of tomato, hollow out (leaving 1/2 inch thick shell), and chop pulp and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine bread crumbs, butter, basil, salt and pepper. Next stir in cheese and tomato pulp. Fill each tomato shell and then wrap each tomato individually in foil.

Grill, or bake (at 400 degrees) for 10 to 15 minutes, until cheese is completely melted. Garnish with parsley and serve hot.
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Harvest Salad

After last week's BBQ Chicken Salad I had about half a huge container of mixed greens leftover, as well as blue cheese and peach preserves. What better to make with it then another arranged salad, this time a Harvest Salad.


I made the dressing with some of the leftover peach preserves from the previous salad since we already had it on hand. It was delicious but I know the raspberry would also be wonderful. I think this salad will be making a regular appearance on our table. I love the combination of salty, sweet and tangy from the various ingredients.

Harvest Salad
Recipe from Allrecipes.com

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Mixed greens, baby spinach or arugula
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons red raspberry jam (peach also works well)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in oven for 5 minutes, or until nuts begin to brown.

Arrange the greens, walnuts, cranberries, blue cheese, tomatoes, avocado, and red onion on a plate.

In a small bowl, whisk together jam, vinegar, oil, pepper, and salt. Pour over the salad just before serving, and toss to coat.
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Asparagus Carbonara

I've been having a love affair with asparagus lately, so when I saw this recipe for Pasta with Asparagus, Bacon, and Egg I couldn't wait to try it.


The more I thought about it, the more I realized how much the recipe reminded me of carbonara, which if you've read this blog for any length of time you'll know is my all-time favorite pasta dish. I decided to combine the two recipes, subbing the asparagus for the onion in the original recipe. The result was a delicious and beautiful spring dish that feels healthier because of the beautiful, crisp, green asparagus.



Asparagus Carbonara
Recipes from The Local Cook and Nigella Lawson

4 ounces bacon, chopped
1 1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
Splash of vermouth
8 ounces short-cut pasta
2 eggs
Splash of heavy cream
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
salt and pepper to taste
Freshly ground nutmeg

Bring a large pot of water to boil and salt it. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.

In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until brown. Add the asparagus and cook to desired doneness (5-10 minutes). Once asparagus is cooked, add the vermouth and let it bubble so that, after a few minutes, you have a small amount of salty winey syrup left. Add the drained pasta to the pan and toss to coat the pasta with the winey syrup. Take the pan off the heat.

In a bowl beat together the eggs, Parmesan, cream, and pepper. Add the mixture to the pan, swiftly tossing everything to mix. Top with more grated cheese, if desired.
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Recipe Swap Roundup - Vegetarian

A lot of people I know are trying to eat more vegetarian meals. If you're anything like me, you need some help making a meatless meal exciting enough that you (or the people you're cooing for) don't miss the meat. Here are some excellent options from this week's cooking board recipe swap.

Heather's recipe for Crab and Corn Chowder, which includes crab tha can be omitted, was a hit with her Maryland-native husband:


Caitlin's recipe for Spinach Balls brought back happy childhood memories:


This was Golda's first time participating in the swap and she was happy she did when she received Eggplant Parmesan:


My recipe for Mediterranean Grain Salad was delicious and incredibly versatile:


Melissa had another easily adaptable recipe for Taco Pizza:


The Cookaholic Wife went way out of her comfort zone with Slow Cooked Red Curry:


Jey was very excited to try Spicy Grilled Eggplant Pasta:


Jaida had a wonderful Candied Orange & Walnut Salad with Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette:


Melissa really enjoyed her recipe for Black Bean and Salsa Soup:


Nicole had my incredibly easy yet incredibly delicious recipe for Portobello Parmesan:


And another Parmesan recipe, this time Tofu Parmesan from Moviegirl03:

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Monday, May 23, 2011

BBQ Chicken Salad

I love arranged salads, but they can be an awful lot of work. When I saw this recipe for BBQ Chicken Salad, though, I knew I needed to make it ASAP simply because it combines so many of my favorite foods into one salad.


Thankfully all of the prep work can be done ahead of time, which for me means in the morning before work after Baby Girl and SP have left for the day. When it was time to eat all I had to do was reheat the chicken and potatoes and arrange the salads.

BBQ Chicken Salad
Two Peas and Their Pod

For the Avocado Vinaigrette:
2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 medium shallot, chopped
3 tablespoons peach jam
1 medium ripe avocado
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Blue Cheese Vinaigrette:
2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 medium shallot, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, dry pan roasted and chopped
2 tablespoons peach jam
1 cup sour cream
1 cup blue cheese or Gorgonzola
Salt and pepper to taste

For the potatoes:
2-3 pounds red potatoes, washed
1 stick butter
1 medium shallot, minced
1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped

For the chicken:
Chicken breasts
BBQ sauce - use your favorite brand

For the salad:
Mixed greens
Tomatoes, chopped
Corn
French fried onions

To make the avocado vinaigrette-put all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender. Mix until smooth.

To make the blue cheese vinaigrette-put all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender. Mix until smooth. If the dressing is too thick, add a drizzle of extra olive oil and mix again.

To make the potatoes - boil a large pot of water and salt well. Boil potatoes until they are fork tender. Drain the water and return potatoes to the pot. Stir in butter, shallot, and parsley. Stir well. Set aside and keep warm until serving.

Grill the chicken and brush each piece liberally with BBQ sauce. Cut into strips and set aside.

To plate the salads - place mixed greens on a plate. Lay the sliced chicken on top of the greens. Top with tomatoes, corn, and fried onions. Place a few warm potatoes on the side. Drizzle entire salad with avocado vinaigrette and blue cheese vinaigrette.
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Friday, May 20, 2011

Recipe Swap - Mediterranean Grain Salad

Want to see what other Vegetarian recipes were made during the swap? Here is the link to the Vegetarian Recipe Swap Roundup.

This week's cooking board recipe swap theme was vegetarian. Like I said when my life board did a vegetarian swap, I was nervous about the recipe I might get. Not to worry, this Mediterranean Grain Salad was delicious, easy to make and didn't involve ingredients I'd never cooked with.


You can use any kind of grain as the base for this salad. I chose orzo because SP loves it and I had a box in the pantry all ready to go. The mix of vegetables is wonderful - very crisp and light. SP wasn't a fan of the white beans, but I loved them. I just wish the feta had been sharper. It got lost in the shuffle, but I know that was due to the brand we bought.



Mediterranean Grain Salad
Caitlin's Cooking and More

3 cups cooked and cooled grain of your choice (barley, rice, couscous, pasta, etc.)
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 medium red bell pepper, diced
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 cup olives, roughly chopped (grab a variety from the olive bar)
1 (15-ounce) can white beans, rinsed and drained
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, and vinegar in a bowl. Whisk to combine, and season with salt and pepper. Add the parsley through feta, stirring gently to combine. Cover and allow to sit either at room temperature or chilled for at least 30 minutes. Fold in the walnuts, and serve.
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Burger Friday - Creamy Red Pepper Burger

I told you the creamy red pepper sauce from my recent grilled chicken sandwich would be making a reappearance soon. I made a new batch for my burger, which I also topped with lettuce and thick slices of tomato.


Gorgeous. And delicious.
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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Orange Chicken

I love Chinese food. I usually shy away from making it at home because I can never get the flavors quite right, but this recipe for Orange Chicken has been making its way around the blogosphere and getting rave reviews, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Boy am I glad I did!


I don't usually order breaded and fried chicken at Chinese restaurants because most of them use mystery meat that's mostly breading anyway. This version has juicy chunks of breast meat. As SP pointed out, restaurant versions are much sweeter whereas this was tangy and spicy, which I preferred. I think I'll add some honey for SP the next time I make it, though. I served the chicken with rice and steamed broccoli.

Orange Chicken
Cooking at Home With America’s Test Kitchen

For the marinade and sauce:
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
6 tablespoons white vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar (dark or light)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 lbs. boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
8 thin strips orange peel (optional)

For the coating and frying:
3 large egg whites
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups peanut or canola oil

To make the marinade and sauce, combine the chicken broth, orange juice, orange zest, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper in a large saucepan; whisk to blend well. Measure out 3/4 cup of the mixture and transfer it to a large zipper lock plastic bag. Add the chicken pieces to the bag, pressing out the excess air and sealing well. Refrigerate and let marinate 30-60 minutes, but no longer.

Place the saucepan with the remaining mixture on the stove and heat over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until smooth. Add the mixture to the saucepan with the sauce. Continue simmering until the sauce is thick and translucent, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the strips of orange peel, if using.

To prepare the coating, place the egg whites in a pie plate and whisk until frothy. In a second pie plate combine the cornstarch, baking soda and cayenne pepper; whisk to blend. Drain the chicken in a colander and pat dry with paper towels. Place half of the chicken pieces in the egg whites and turn to coat. Transfer the pieces to the cornstarch mixture and coat thoroughly, shaking off the excess. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.

To fry the chicken, heat the oil in a Dutch oven until the oil reaches 350 degrees. Carefully place half of the chicken pieces in the oil and fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes, turning the pieces halfway through cooking. Remove from the oil with a skimmer or slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.

Reheat the sauce and toss with the cooked chicken pieces. Serve over rice.
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Friday, May 13, 2011

Recipe Swap Roundup - Burgers / Sandwiches

Anyone who has read this blog recently knows of my love for burgers and sandwiches. Heck, I even switched from Pizza Friday to Burger Friday for the spring and summer. The theme for this week's cooking board recipe swap was born of this love.

Jaida was thrilled to get my recipe for the Ultimate Sriracha Burger, and for good reason - these are delicious:


Melissa made waist-friendly Zucchini Turkey Burgers:


The Cooking Nurse ground her own chicken for Chicken Taco Burgers:



The Cookaholic Wife experimented with her recipe and came up with Reuban Burgers, which were a huge hit:


Christine's recipe for Croque Monsieurs came all the way from France:


Caitlin's recipe made meatloaf into a burger with BBQ Cheddar Burgers with Caramelized Onions:


Jey made a Mango HabaƱero Chicken Sandwich:


My Grilled Chicken Sandwich recipe was elevated beyond ordinary by an addictively delicious creamy red pepper sauce:


Jill had to adapt her recipe for Lamb "Burgers" with Indian Spiced Eggplant "Buns" since she's currently living in France:


Kate recipe was for no-fuss French Dip Sandwiches that were on the table in minutes:


Melissa had another crockpot meal, Italian Beef Sandwiches, that not only smelled delicious but tasted great:

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Recipe Swap - Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Want to see what other Burger / Sandwich recipes were made during the swap? Here is the link to the Burger / Sandwich Recipe Swap Roundup.

Two recipe swap posts in one day! The theme for this week's cooking board swap was sandwiches / burgers. I was lucky enough to get this amazing Grilled Chicken Sandwich recipe from my friend Jaida at Sweet Beginnings.


The ingredient list isn't anything unique, but don't be fooled. This recipe has a ton of flavor thanks to the delicious Creamy Red Pepper Sauce. Holy moly, was that stuff good. I slathered some on the sandwich and liked it so much I dipped the sandwich into the leftover sauce as I was eating. You'll be seeing that sauce again for sure.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich
Recipe from Sweet Beginnings

2 chicken breasts
2 bakery rolls, toasted
2 Romaine leaves
6 slices tomato
6 slices bacon, cooked
1 avocado, sliced
2 tablespoons Creamy Red Pepper Sauce (Recipe Below)

Prepare the red pepper sauce and refrigerate while preparing the chicken. Grill chicken and cook bacon, and set aside to drain and cool.

Meanwhile, slice tomatoes and avocado (or prepare guacamole), and toast bread.
Spread 1 tablespoon of Creamy Red Pepper Sauce onto 1 slice of the bread, top with avocado (or guacamole), 3 slices of bacon (halved to make 6 pieces), chicken, tomatoes, and leaf of lettuce. Top with second piece of bread, and repeat process for second sandwich.

Creamy Red Pepper Sauce
4 tablespoons cream cheese
3 tablespoons mayo
3-4 roasted red peppers, drained well
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all ingredients together in food processor until well-blended.
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Recipe Swap - Marinated London Broil

Grilling was the theme for the latest life board (aka, not the cooking board) recipe swap. SP loves London broil but I've never been a fan of just grilling it because I feel like it needs more flavor. Enter this delicious marinade.


I marinated the London broil overnight and the smell that wafted out of the bag when I opened it up the next evening was intoxicating. I thinly sliced the steak and made a sandwich for lunch the next day. Delicious.

Marinated London Broil
Recipe from Harriet

1 London Broil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1-1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2/3 cup olive oil

Mix all the ingredients in a large Ziploc bag. Refrigerate overnight. Use paper towels to wipe off the excess marinade before grilling. The marinade can be boiled and used as a dipping sauce.
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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Burger Friday - Guacamole Burger

I'm loving Burger Fridays. Burgers are just so versatile. The inspiration for this guacamole burger came from leftover guacamole and taco fixings from Cinco de Mayo.


It was a serious mouthful, but delicious.
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Saturday, May 07, 2011

Thai Coconut Curry Chicken

After the success of the Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp I decided to try the dish with chicken and vegetables.


I steamed chopped onion, red pepper, asparagus and green beans before adding them to the sauce, along with mushrooms and scallions. The veggies were a welcome addition, but I made a mistake - I had SP buy light coconut milk instead of the full-fat version. This version lacked the creaminess the shrimp curry had. Next time I won't make that mistake.

Thai Coconut Curry Chicken

1 tablespoon oil
1 lb chicken, thinly sliced
2 scallions, whites and greens separated, chopped
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
2 big cloves garlic, minced
1 can coconut milk
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Chopped/sliced vegetables (ex. red pepper, onion, mushrooms, green beans, asparagus, bamboo shoots)
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, steam vegetables until crisp tender.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add scallion whites, red curry paste and garlic. Saute one minute. Add coconut milk, and fish sauce and mix well. Simmer about 2-3 minutes, then add chicken and vegetables to the pan. Allow to simmer 5 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked. Remove from heat and mix in scallion greens. Serve over basmati rice.
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Friday, May 06, 2011

Shrimp Tacos with Jalapeno-Ranch Sauce

My friend Heather, who doesn't have a food blog but really should, raved about these tacos so much I had to make them to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.


I cooked the shrimp on my indoor grill but next time I'll have SP fire up the charcoal grill instead. I know these would be 100 times better with that charcoal flavor, which is saying a lot since these are pretty awesome all on their own. SP added a few drops of Blair's Original Death Sauce to his tacos and said that made them even better. I tried a bite and have to agree. So if you like some spice, add your favorite hot sauce.

Shrimp Tacos with Jalapeno-Ranch Sauce
Recipe by Heather

1lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
Olive oil
Juice of one lime
Chopped garlic
Chili powder or cayenne pepper
1 jalapeno, roasted, peeled and seeded
1 packet ranch dressing mix
1 cup sour cream
Flour tortillas
Shredded lettuce
Diced tomatoes
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Your favorite hot sauce

Combine shrimp, olive oil, lime juice, garlic and chili/cayenne in a bowl. Marinate shrimp for up to 30 minutes. Cook shrimp (on a charcoal grill, if possible).

Meanwhile, combine chilies/jalapeno with ranch dressing and sour cream in a food processor and blend until smooth. Warm the tortillas while the shrimp are cooking.

To assemble: smear some sauce on a tortilla, then top with shrimp, shredded lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. Drizzle with extra sauce and a few drops of hot sauce.
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Greek Feta Pasta

I had some leftover feta leftover from the Asparagus with Tomato and Feta I made for Easter. SP wanted to grill steak for Sunday dinner, so I searched through my recipe binder for something light to have on the side. This Greek Feta Pasta was easy to make and really good for something with so few ingredients.


I also grilled some asparagus to go with our steak and the pasta salad. We both kept going back for second and third helpings of the pasta salad. I can't wait to make this one again.



Greek Feta Pasta
Slightly modified from Adventures in My Freezer

4 cups pasta (bowties, shells, penne, rotini)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional as needed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
1 1/2 cups feta cheese, crumbled or diced
1 pint quartered cherry or grape tomatoes
1/3 cup sliced olives

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Put oil, garlic and oregano into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 30 seconds on high to blend flavors.

Drain pasta and and put in a large bowl. Add feta, tomatoes, olives and oil mixture. Toss to combine. Pasta can be served hot, room temperature or cold.
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Thursday, May 05, 2011

Sushi Feast

My stepdad and I recently went out for sushi. We both ate sparingly all day in preparation for a sushi feast. We ordered, from left to right, the X'mas roll, Incredible roll, spicy rock roll, Godzilla roll, Love roll and spiny tuna roll:


The X'mas roll has salmon, crab, cucumber, avocado, caviar and mayo. The Incredible roll has spicy lobster on the inside and tuna and tobiko on the outside. The spicy rock roll is one of the specials so it isn't on their regular menu, but I know it has tuna, salmon and avocado on the inside (among other things) and it's wrapped in soy paper. Our favorite is the Godzilla roll, which is tuna, salmon, white tuna, avocado, masago and scallion that's fried and topped with a spicy sauce.


The Love roll, which is salmon, tuna, asparagus and masago in a soybean wrap with nuta sauce looked pretty but was our least favorite roll and one we won't order again. And the perennial favorite, spicy tuna. Not only is there spicy tuna inside the roll, they top the pieces with even more spicy tuna. Delicious.

If sushi wasn't so expensive I'd eat it at least once a week.
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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Recipe Swap Roundup - Easy Weeknight Meals

If you're anything like me, you love cooking but sometimes find yourself pressed for time. Especially during the week. The need for delicious but easy weeknight meals prompted me to choose Easy Weeknight Meals as the theme for the second recipe swap.

Melissa made Bacon, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pasta:


I made Green Chile Cheeseburgers, which we loved and I can't wait to make again:


Lisa thought the Crabmeat Primavera Pasta needed a few tweaks:


Brianna loved her recipe for Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Kalamata Olives & Capers:


Kate enjoyed the flavors and ease of her recipe for Spicy Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps:


Jill and her husband loved her recipe for Balsamic Glazed Chicken (or “Sticky Chicken”) so much they made it three times before the swap results were posted:


Delia had a traditional English dish, Bubble and Squeak:


Christine added some vegetables to her recipe for Pierogi and Kielbasa Bake to make it a complete meal:


Melissa loved her recipe for Beef Au Jus Sandwiches, a perfect way to spice up deli meat:


Heather really enjoyed the fresh taste of her recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup:


Jey's recipe for Roasted Vegetables with Lentils and Crispy Chickpeas was not only delicious, it was beautiful on the plate:


Lisa made a dish called Acapulco Delight, which layered corn tortillas, meat with seasonings and salsa, beans, and sour cream:


Cassie loved the light, fresh flavors of Spaghetti al Limone with Shrimp:


Katie made another perfect spring dish, Chicken Bruschetta:


Carrie had a comfort food classic, Tuna Casserole:

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