Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Roast Beef & Cheddar Panini

I'm always looking for quick sandwiches to make for dinner on Tuesday nights. I get home late from my exercise class and it's nice to just throw together a quick sandwich that I prepped earlier. These Roast Beef & Cheddar Panini might not sound special but holy yum were they good.

Roast beef panini
Like Kate said in her blog post, the chipotle mayo and caramelized onions elevate this from an ordinary sandwich to something extraordinary. Make sure you use a nice, sharp cheddar so the flavor doesn't get lost in the shuffle. I actually brought out my Griddler to make these and I'm glad I did - the crispy bread really adds the finishing touch to these sandwiches. If you're looking for something a little different give these a try.

Roast Beef & Cheddar Panini
As seen on Kate's Recipe Box, originally from Williams Sonoma
Makes 4 sandwiches

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle sauce
1/3 cup mayonnaise
Cooking spray
8 slices country-style bread
Sliced cheddar cheese, to taste
3/4 lb thin slices roast beef

In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are completely limp, 10 to 15 minutes. Uncover the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are golden brown and sweet, 35 to 45 minutes; do not allow them to burn. Remove the pan from the heat and let the onions cool to room temperature.

Preheat an electric panini maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Stir chipotle sauce into mayonnaise.

Spray one side of each bread slice with cooking spray. Lay the slices, oiled side down, on a clean work surface. Spread the top of each slice with some of the mayonnaise mixture. Add slices of cheese. Divide the roast beef into four even amounts and place the slices on four pieces of the bread. Evenly divide the caramelized onions and top the roast beef with the onions. Top with the other bread slice, oiled side up.

Place each sandwich on the preheated panini maker and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions until the bread is golden and the cheese is melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the sandwich to a cutting board and cut in half. Serve immediately.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Mushroom Stroganoff

As you might know, we've been trying to eat more vegetarian meals lately (well, mostly vegetarian since I still use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth). One of our favorite dishes is beef stroganoff, so when Lishie posted a recipe for Mushroom Stroganoff I had a feeling it would be right up our alley. SP is a huge mushroom fan so this was destined to be a winner.

Mushroom stroganoff plate
Overall I think the concept of this dish is good but the flavors were lacking. I went back to our favorite Skillet Beef Stroganoff recipe and decided to simply omit the beef from that version and reprint it here. Yes, that recipe uses both chicken and beef broth (two essential flavor components, in my opinion) so it isn't actually vegetarian but I think both the cooking method of boiling the noodles in the liquid and the flavor profile will yield better results. I can't wait to make this again using this version.

Mushrooms Stroganoff Skillet

Mushroom Stroganoff
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Easy Skillet Suppers

Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced thin
8 ounces baby bell mushrooms, sliced thin
1 onion, chopped fine
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1/3 cup brandy
1/3 pound wide egg noodles (3 cups)
2/3 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet until shimmering. Cook mushrooms, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until liquid from mushrooms has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 30 seconds, then add both broths and the brandy.

Stir noodles into mushroom mixture, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until noodles are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Off heat, stir in sour cream and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Traditional Chili

To many people fall means chili. I have a go-to recipe I use whenever SP asks me to make chili, but I saw this Traditional Chili over at Southern Pink Lemonade and figured I'd give it a try.

This was an incredibly easy recipe - brown the beef, onions and garlic, add in the rest of the ingredients and leave it alone for a few hours. My chili was a little thick, so I had to add in some water as it was cooking. I modified the recipe to add in some water and cut the beer in half - a full bottle was a little too overpowering.

Full disclosure - I'm not a big fan of chili. I made this because SP loves it and so I'd have leftovers for the freezer. I've got big plans to make chili cheese fries sometime this fall.

Traditional Chili
Adapted by Peace, Love, and French Fries, as seen on Southern Pink Lemonade

1 1/2 - 2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, finely diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2- 15 ounce cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (you could also use black beans or pinto beans)
24 ounces tomato sauce
6 ounce bottle of beer
8 ounces water
6 ounce can tomato paste
4 1/5 ounce can diced green chilies
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon cumin
1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, depending on how spicy you would like your chili
1 teaspoon paprika
1-2 teaspoons hot sauce, depending on how spicy you would like your chili

In a large soup pot or dutch oven, brown ground beef with onion and garlic over medium-high heat. Drain beef of excess grease, if necessary. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low. Allow chili to simmer for 3 hours or until thickened. Stir occasionally.

Top with shredded cheese, green onions, or sour cream, if you would like. You can also serve chili over rice, fries, or even top your hotdog with it.
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Baked Chicken Burritos with Sour Cream-Poblano Sauce

I've had this recipe for Baked Chicken Burritos with Sour Cream-Poblano Sauce bookmarked for ages. I put it on the menu a few times only to swap it out for something else before we even got to the grocery store. I think the ingredient list was holding me back, although when you look at it more closely you see most are spices and things I already have on hand.

Baked Chicken Burrito
The other thing holding me back was time. This is not a weeknight meal. I started cooking the filling for the burritos and an hour later I was just finishing up the sauce. I made these on a Saturday afternoon and when it was time to eat all I had to do was wrap up the burritos and bake them off, then reheat the sauce and the refried beans I'd made to go with them.

We loved these. Absolutely loved them. I can't wait to make them again, which is saying a lot for a burrito (not typically my favorite Mexican dish). The tortilla was crispy, the filling was healthy and flavorful and Baby Girl finally realized she loves beans, inhaled the filling and asked for more.

I only made two minor changes - I increased the amount of chicken broth in the sauce since mine was very thick and I added a diced tomato for color and a little freshness. I also roasted the peppers on our charcoal grill over a small fire. It was so easy - just put them on and leave them alone. I checked on them every 10 minutes or so until they were nicely charred on the outside. No smoky pepper smell in the house and easy cleanup.

Baked Chicken Burritos with Sour Cream-Poblano Sauce
As seen on Smells Like Home, adapted from Elly Says Opa!

For the burritos:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, diced
1 lb ground chicken
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup water or beef broth
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Kosher salt
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
4 burrito-size tortillas
Cooking spray

For the sour cream-poblano sauce:
2 poblano peppers
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups chicken broth at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream (light is fine) or non-fat Greek yogurt
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Diced tomato, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400ºF and spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

To make the burritos: Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and then add the oil. Once hot, add the onions and cook for 3-5 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the ground chicken to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook for 30-60 seconds before adding in the beans. Add the water or broth, cumin, oregano, chili powder, cayenne, brown sugar and salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon). Reduce heat and simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Place 2 tablespoons of the cheese at the end of each tortilla and then spoon some of the chicken and bean mixture over the top. Fold the left and right sides of the tortilla in, and then roll the tortilla up, from the end closest to you, to the top. Place seam-side down on a baking sheet and lightly spray the tops of the burritos with cooking spray. Bake for about 20 minutes, until tortillas are golden brown and crispy.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Place the poblanos directly over a gas burner. Using tongs, turn occasionally until skin is blackened on all sides. Place in a bowl and top with plastic wrap or a clean towel, until cool enough to handle. (Alternatively, you can roast the peppers under the broiler until all sides are well-charred.) Peel the peppers, remove the stems and seeds, and dice them.

Heat a small sauce pan over medium heat and melt the butter; stir in the flour and cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and then the diced poblano; continue to simmer, whisking frequently, until thickened. Stir in the sour cream/yogurt and warm through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the sauce over the baked burritos, topped with the chopped tomato.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Soy Cilantro Roasted Potatoes

When Mary Ellen made these Soy Cilantro Roasted Potatoes for a recent recipe swap I immediately saved them to try when the temps dropped. Like Mary Ellen, I was intrigued by the use of soy sauce with potatoes and couldn't wait to see how they'd turn out.

The smell of these roasting was intoxicating. I served these with a roast chicken and they were delicious. Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, with a little bit of a glaze from the reduced soy sauce.

Soy-Cilantro Roasted Potatoes
From The Cookaholic Wife, as seen on Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations

5 large red potatoes
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
Several shakes of garlic powder
Salt and pepper
Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 450.

Rinse off the potatoes and cut into small wedges. Transfer the potatoes into a large bowl. Add the soy sauce, oil, cilantro, salt and pepper, and garlic powder. Toss well to coat. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Put the potatoes into the baking dish.

Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
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Friday, October 19, 2012

Recipe Swap Roundup - Blogger's Choice Part 8

In the time I've been hosting the recipe swaps I've never missed a single swap. Until now. But, I have a very good reason. This past week we took Baby Girl to California to visit my dad and stepmom and she got her first taste of the magical world of Disney. We had a blast seeing her experience all the rides, characters and fun that makes up Disneyland. I can't wait to take her back - she's a total fanatic now.

I knew with the week leading up to our trip being hectic at work (isn't that always the way?) and then being out of town I wouldn't have a chance to participate in the swap. Check out what the other ladies made in the links below.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Feta, Tomato & Basil Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Lately I've been obsessed with stuffed portobello mushrooms. They're a great vegetarian option that's hearty enough to serve as a main dish. Plus SP loves mushrooms so it's almost a foregone conclusion that he'll enjoy dinner. These Goat Cheese, Tomato & Basil Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms are another delicious recipe from Brianna over at Oiishi Food.

photo (38)
Just like the last time I made one of her stuffed portobello recipes, I modified the directions for the oven. We use a charcoal grill and it can be hard to control the heat of the fire.

I decided to change the cheese to feta because I needed some for another recipe later in the week. I would love to try these with goat cheese because I love the creaminess, but the feta worked very well. I also realized these were a lot like the Greek Pita Pizzas I made awhile back, which call for shredded mozzarella on top, so I added some to the mushrooms. I also wilted the spinach before adding it to the mushrooms because it tends to give off a lot of liquid and I didn't want to water them down.

These were hearty and delicious, served with crusty bread to sop up all the sauce from the balsamic, oil and tomatoes. Thanks for another winner, Brianna!

Feta, Tomato & Basil Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Modified from Oishii Food

4 portobello mushrooms
Balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Dried oregano
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
1 large tomato, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4oz feta cheese, crumbled
Cooking spray
1/2 bag baby spinach
4oz mozzarella, shredded

Preheat the oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using a knife, scrape the brown gills out of the mushroom caps. Discard gills. Remove and discard stems. Place mushroom caps on a large plate and drizzle both sides with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and season with dried oregano, salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, toss the chopped tomato with the garlic, fresh basil and oregano, crumbled feta and a little splash each of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Season to taste with salt. Set aside.

Place the mushrooms, gill side facing down, on the baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. Flip so the mushrooms are gill side up and roast for another 5 minutes.

While the mushrooms are cooking, spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium heat, then add the baby spinach. Toss until wilted. Allow to cool slightly.

Remove the mushrooms from the oven. Place a few pieces of wilted spinach in the caps, then top with a few spoonfuls of the tomato and feta mixture. Sprinkle with some shredded mozzarella cheese.

Return to the oven and cook until the mushrooms are tender and the filling is warmed, about 5-7 minutes.
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Friday, October 12, 2012

Pasta with White Beans

It never occurred to me to combine pasta and beans until college. I was living in England my junior year and we had to make our own meals in a communal kitchen. A friend told me about a pasta dish her dad used to make all the time - spaghetti with red kidney beans, diced peppers, onions and olive oil. I think I might have added a chopped tomato but I can't be sure. It was delicious, which shocked me. I made it often since canned beans and pasta were cheap. I can't believe I've never blogged that one for you guys - I need to get on that ASAP.

photo (35)
This Pasta with White Beans and Prosciutto was not new to me. In fact, I made a similar dish with sausage awhile back. I was intrigued by the changes that were made along the way and I had an already-chopped leek in the freezer, so I put this new version on the weekly menu.

I was not disappointed. I left out the prosciutto because it's so darn expensive (plus we prefer to eat it plain or with melon rather than mix it with other things), and also to make this more of a vegetarian meal. Baby Girl loved the sauce but wasn't a fan of the beans. Me, I could have eaten mostly beans and a little pasta. I love, love, love the creaminess of beans. This is a meal I'll be making often.

Pasta with White Beans
Modified from Good Thymes Good Food

1 lb. pasta, any type
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large leek, white portion only, washed and cut into thin rounds
2 (15-oz.) cans white beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
A pinch of ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
Zest of 1 large lemon, plus a squeeze of juice
Large handful of fresh basil leaves, shredded
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add pasta. Cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large deep sided skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil. Add leeks and sauté until soft, 5-6 minutes. Add in the beans, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and sauté 1 minute. Add the stock and simmer about 6 minutes.

Remove the pan from heat, add the cream cheese and lemon zest. Stir until the cheese is melted. Add the cooked pasta to the pan containing bean mixture. Add in prosciutto, basil, and half of the parmesan and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve immediately with remaining parmesan.
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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Greek Chicken Salad Sandwiches

I love chicken salad. It's so easy to make and the flavor combinations are endless. Last summer I made chicken salad at least once a week but this summer it just wasn't on my radar. Then I saw Josie post these Greek Chicken Salad Sandwiches and I was kicking myself for not making chicken salad more often.

photo (39)
Since SP isn't a fan of most Greek flavors this was all mine to enjoy. And enjoy it I did. Immensely. You can't go wrong in my book when you combine all those ingredients together and stuff them in a pita. I poached two chicken breasts, one for me for this recipe and one for SP (just mixed with salt, pepper and mayo), and when I added all the ingredients to my chopped chicken breast I had enough for 4 sandwiches (a pita cut in half and stuffed full of chicken salad). Keep that in mind when making this.

I absolutely loved the flavors in this chicken salad and can't wait to make it again.

Greek Chicken Salad
From Annie's Eats, as seen on Pink Parsley

1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup chopped cucumber (that has been peeled and seeded)
3/4 cup chopped tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup pitted and chopped Kalamata olives (optional)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 1/2 cups tzatziki sauce (see below)
Kosher salt and black pepper
Pita, for serving

Combine all the ingredients through tzatziki and stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve with pita bread.

Because so many of the components have a lot of water, if you are eating this as leftovers, just pour off whatever liquid has accumulated at the top of the salad.

Modified from I Was Born to Cook

1 cup plain greek nonfat yogurt
1 cup chopped cucumber (peel and seeds removed)
1/4 cup chopped dill leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small garlic clove, chopped
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix. Taste as you go along and adjust ingredients accordingly. Chill before serving.
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Monday, October 08, 2012

Ham, Egg and Cheese Cups

I had my eye on these Prosciutto Egg Cups from the moment I opened Nichole's email submission for the recent Breakfast Swap. The name alone grabbed me but then I read her post and saw how easy they were to make and I was sold.

I've actually been making these for a few weeks now but I didn't want to post about them until after the swap reveal. Since I don't keep prosciutto on hand I subbed regular deli ham. It worked just fine. I've experimented with various cheese as well, based on what we have easily accessible in the fridge. I always have American cheese for Baby Girl so I used that once. In this version I used a fun cheddar-like cheese we got after sampling it at the supermarket. Use whatever you like and have on hand.

What makes these stand out for me is the Italian seasoning. The first time I made these and took my first bite I was floored by the flavor. Silly me had forgotten about the Italian seasoning I'd just sprinkled on a mere 17 minutes earlier. That surprise flavor elevates these to another level.

I've yet to make these in advance and reheat them, but I'm sure they would do so beautifully. Thanks for submitting this awesome recipe, Nichole!

Ham, Egg and Cheese Cups
Adapted from Arepas to Zwetschgen via The Cookaholic Wife

Non-stick cooking spray
6 slices prosciutto or ham
Shredded cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, American, Swiss, etc.)
Dried Italian seasoning
6 large eggs
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375. Liberally spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.

Arrange each slice of prosciutto (or ham) in the muffin tin, covering the bottom and coming up the sides. Add a pinch of so of the cheese and a dash of the Italian seasoning. Crack one egg into each muffin cup and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for 15-18 minutes. 15 minutes will result in a semi-runny egg and 18 minutes will result in a fully cooked egg. Allow to cool in the pan for 2 minutes, then run a butter knife around the edge of each cup and gently remove the eggs from the muffin pan.
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Friday, October 05, 2012

Recipe Swap - Panera Bread's Spinach Artichoke Baked Egg Souffle

The theme for the latest recipe swap was breakfast, which happens to be one of my favorite meals to prepare. I generally prefer savory over sweet breakfast foods and I lucked out when I was assigned Panera Bread's Spinach Artichoke Baked Egg Souffle from Joanna. I love spinach and artichoke together, but add in eggs and a flaky crust and I'm in heaven.

photo (36)
I stuck pretty close to the original recipe, only subbing American for the Monterery Jack cheese and using Pecorino instead of Asiago since I had both on hand. I didn't realize how long these would take to prepare so instead of eating one hot out of the oven I allowed them all to cool, froze three and ate one for breakfast the next day. It was very easy to reheat (microwaved for a few minutes, then crisped up in the toaster oven).

photo (37)
Next time I'll leave out the red pepper because I felt it overwhelmed the other flavors. I'm hit or miss with peppers in general, though. I think leaving them out will allow the spinach and artichoke flavors to shine, which is what I wanted. These were still very tasty and I'll definitely make them again, being sure to plan ahead so I can enjoy one fresh from the oven.

Panera Bread's Spinach Artichoke Baked Egg Souffle
From Newlywed and Newly Cooking (as published by Good Morning America, 2008)

3 tablespoons frozen spinach, thawed
3 tablespoons minced artichoke hearts
2 teaspoons minced onion
1 teaspoon minced red bell pepper
5 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 8-ounce tube Pillsbury Crescent butter flake dough
Cooking spray
1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine spinach, artichoke hearts, onion, and red bell pepper in a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of water, cover bowl with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in the plastic. Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

Beat 4 eggs. Mix in milk, cream, cheddar cheese, Jack cheese, Parmesan, and salt. Stir in spinach, artichoke, onion, and bell pepper. Microwave egg mixture for 30 seconds on high, and then stir it. Do this 4 to 5 more times or until you have a very runny scrambled egg mixture. This process will tighten up the eggs enough so that the dough won't sink into the eggs when it's folded over.

Unroll and separate the crescent dough into four rectangles. Don't tear the dough along the perforations that make triangles. Instead, pinch the dough together along those diagonal perforations so that you have four rectangles. Use some flour on the dough and roll across the width of the rectangle with a rolling pin so that each piece of dough stretches out into a square that is approximately 6 inches by 6 inches.

Spray four 4-inch baking dishes or ramekins with cooking spray. Line each ramekin with the dough, then spoon equal amounts of egg mixture into each ramekin. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Asiago cheese on top of the egg mixture in each ramekin, and then gently fold the dough over the mixture. Beat the last egg in a small bowl, then brush beaten egg over the top of the dough in each ramekin.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until dough is brown. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes, then carefully remove the soufflés from each ramekin and serve hot.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Chicken Stroganoff

As much as I love traditional beef stroganoff, we've been trying to cut down on the amount of beef we eat. I saw this recipe for Chicken Stroganoff in the latest issue of Food Network Magazine and thought I'd give it a try.

photo (34)
I subbed chicken breasts for the thighs because I already had them in the freezer. I also upped the amount of chicken broth to make more sauce. For some reason this was a little salty, but still yummy. I think it was a little too saucy so I left the chicken broth as 1 cup (the original amount) in the ingredient list below.

Chicken Stroganoff
As seen in Food Network Magazine, October 2012

Kosher salt
12 ounces wide egg noodles
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped
4 ounces white or cremini mushrooms, sliced (about 2 cups)
1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika, plus more for topping
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup low-sodium chicken or mushroom broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup sour cream, plus more for topping
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook as the label directs, then drain.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until slightly soft, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, the chicken, flour, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring, until the chicken browns, about 3 minutes.

Add the chicken broth and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a gentle simmer; cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sour cream and season with salt and pepper. Continue simmering gently until the chicken is cooked through, about 2 more minutes.

Divide the noodles among plates. Top with the chicken mixture, parsley, some sour cream and paprika.

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Monday, October 01, 2012

Chickpea Salad with Tomatoes, Lemon, and Herbs

I don't know about you but side dishes frustrate me. I find myself making the same boring things over and over again because they're either easy or because I'm too lazy to think of something better. I had seen this recipe for Chickpea Salad with Tomatoes, Lemon, and Herbs on Kelsey's blog awhile back and thought it sounded like a great, light side dish (she serves it as a main course).

Then I completely forgot about it until I was trying to come up with something to serve with black bean burgers from the freezer. It needed to be something I could make in advance since I was planning to serve it for dinner on a Tuesday after my exercise class. Baby Girl and I threw together a half order after I picked her up from daycare and it sat in the fridge until SP and I enjoyed it about 4 hours later. I think it got better the next day once the flavors had married a little more and I finished it off for lunch.

I'm excited to have a new quick and easy side dish in my repertoire. This went well with the black bean burgers (I had mine with mashed avocado and it was divine). It would also go great with grilled chicken, steak, pork chops, seafood, portabello mushrooms, alongside a traditional burger or chicken sandwich, or as a salad tossed with chopped lettuce.

Chickpea Salad with Tomatoes, Lemon, and Herbs
As seen on Apple a Day, adapted from Bon Appetit, April 2011

2 (15-oz.) cans low-sodium chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
Zest of one lemon
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 small garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon each coarse sea salt and black pepper, plus more to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Taste salad and adjust seasonings as desired. The salad can (and should) be made ahead of time and chilled to allow the flavors to marry.
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