Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Penne with Chicken, Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella

A few years ago we took SP's mom out to lunch at a local Italian restaurant. I ordered Penne with Chicken, Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella and it became my favorite dish to get at that restaurant. It's been quite a few years since we've eaten at that restaurant but when I was looking for something to make with chicken and pasta I remembered that dish and thought I'd recreate it at home.


This is a very simple dish, certainly nothing fancy, but delicious nonetheless. I love fresh mozzarella and SP's Sunday sauce is always a hit.

Penne with Chicken, Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella
Inspired by Massimo's Restaurant

1 chicken breast
salt and pepper
olive oil
1 lb penne pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
8 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into small dice
1/2 cup marinara sauce

Pound chicken to an even thickness then season with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until browned on both sides and cooked through. Remove to a cutting board and cut into slices or dice into bite-size pieces.

In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta, diced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and marinara together. Divide pasta in 4 serving bowls aand top with chicken.
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Monday, February 25, 2013

Sponsored Post: Taco Bell Cantina Steak Burrito

I couldn't tell you the last time I ate fast food but when I was asked to review Taco Bell's new Cantina Steak Burrito I was intrigued. SP has a soft spot in his heart for Taco Bell and I was pleased to see that Taco Bell doesn't use peanuts or tree nuts in any of their food - something we have to check now due to Baby Girl's allergy.

burrito inside

Last weekend Baby Girl took a long nap and we had some errands to run once she woke up. On the way home we joined a long line of cars in the Taco Bell drive-thru and grabbed two of the burritos.


The Cantina Steak Burrito is a new addition to Taco Bell’s Cantina Bell™ Menu. Created by Chef Lorena Garcia, the Cantina Steak Burrito is filled with citrus-herb marinated steak, Latin rice, black beans, guacamole, roasted corn and pepper salsa, a creamy cilantro dressing, and freshly prepared pico de gallo, wrapped in a warm flour tortilla. The description alone was enticing and I couldn't wait to see and taste the final product.

burrito outside

This is one hefty burrito. I unwrapped one and was surprised to see the griddle marks on the outside - it was a nice touch that added crunch to the burrito. I could really taste the citrus and cilantro flavors and I especially enjoyed the roasted corn salsa.

burrito inside 2

I'd be interested in checking out the other offerings on the Cantina menu the next time we need a quick lunch or dinner when we're out and about. Click here to learn more about the Cantina Bell™ Menu.

This post is sponsored by Taco Bell. See how great our steak is when you try the new Cantina Steak Burrito. Because when it comes to a great steak burrito, it's all about the steak.
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Friday, February 22, 2013

Cheesy Pearl Couscous with Roasted Broccoli

A lot of the women on my cooking board are pregnant or recently gave birth so at some point over the last few months the topic of make-ahead meals came up. You know, the meals people bring to new parents so they don't have to cook while sleep-deprived and learning how to deal with their new reality. One of the meals suggested was Cheesy Pearl Couscous with Roasted Broccoli. We all love pearl couscous but I hadn't been able to find it for a long time, which meant this recipe fell to the back of my to-make pile. Then the day came when the pearl couscous reappeared in the supermarket and this dish was back on my radar.


This is a great make-ahead meal that reheats beautifully. I cooked this during the day on a Tuesday (the night I have my exercise class) and separated it into four portions plus a small bowl for Baby Girl. A few minutes in the microwave and we all had a creamy, cheesy, delicious dinner, albeit eaten and enjoyed at different points in the evening.


The original recipe calls for gouda but I had some leftover havarti and cheddar so I made the swap. It was perfect, but use whatever cheese you like, something that melts well but has a nice, distinct flavor. The creamy couscous with the slightly crispy roasted broccoli and the little nuggets of corn was addictive. Such a great, comforting meal.

Cheesy Pearl Couscous with Roasted Broccoli
As seen in Everyday with Rachael Ray

5 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
8 oz. bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 box (6 oz.) Israeli or pearl couscous
8 ounces frozen corn, thawed
4 scallions, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper
8 oz. grated cheddar

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a small bowl, melt 3 tablespoons butter in the microwave, then stir in the garlic. Spread the broccoli in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet; drizzle the the garlic butter. Roast until tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, about 10 minutes; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Reserve the skillet, discarding all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the couscous until just al dente, 5 to 6 minutes; drain.

Add the corn and scallions to the reserved skillet and cook over medium-high heat until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Add the couscous and chicken stock and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, the broccoli, cheese and reserved bacon.
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sponsored Post: Sauteed Chilean Sea Bass

Certified Steak and Seafood is an online company that sells high quality meat and seafood. It was started by three brothers from a family with three generations of experience in importing seafood and selling it wholesale. They started Certified Steak and Seafood to sell their products online directly to people instead of to restaurants, resorts, hotels, and high-end retail stores.

I was given the opportunity to try their filet mignon and Chilean sea bass recently and I was particularly impressed by their shipping methods - the steaks and fish arrived still frozen, which is obviously important when transporting perishables. Although I love a good steak, I couldn't wait to try the fish. I don't cook fish often and I'd heard good things about the sea bass.


It did not disappoint. With super fresh seafood a light touch is all that's required. I simply dredged the sea bass in flour seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked it in a pan with a touch of oil before finishing it in the oven. A pat of butter melted over the top and a sprinkling of parsley was all that was needed before serving. It was just as promised - buttery yet meaty, with a very mild flavor. I absolutely loved it.

Certified Steak and Seafood's commitments to offering the highest quality products at the best price and backs it with a 100% guarantee. They source directly, which allows them to maintain the highest quality standards.

Sauteed Chilean Sea Bass
Adapted from Food Network Kitchens

1 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 Chilean Sea Bass fillets
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Place flour in a shallow bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Coat each fillet with seasoned flour and shake off excess.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add olive oil. Add the fillets and cook, shaking the pan from time to time, until the bottoms are nicely browned, about 3 minutes. Turn and brown the other side.

Remove the fish to a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Place in the oven and cook 8-10 minutes, until the fish is opaque throughout.

Meanwhile, wipe out the skillet and return to medium heat. Add the butter and, once it's melted, add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer while the fish cooks. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove fish from the oven and top with the sauce. Sprinkle chopped parsley over top and serve immediately.

Below is some more information about the cuts I received:

Buttery Prime Angus Filet Mignon

Each Prime Angus filet is slow aged, custom cut and trimmed for consistency in color and quality. It is a flavor you will remember long after your meal is over. Great accompanied by grilled root vegetables and horseradish mashed potatoes.

Chilean Sea Bass

A popular favorite in restaurants across America. Chilean Sea Bass from Certified Steak and Seafood is harvested and processed under close inspection of the National Marine Fishery Service. It is a soft, tender and smooth fish.

Visit the Certified Steak & Seafood website and use coupon code FBR125D to get $25 off your order.

This sponsorship is brought to you by Certified Steak & Seafood Company who I have partnered with for this promotion.
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Monday, February 18, 2013

Horseradish Burgers with Havarti and Caramelized Onions

I love a good burger, even when I have to cook it inside in a pan rather than out on the charcoal grill. I'm not a big fan of winter and there's just something about eating a burger that makes me feel like summer is right around the corner. These Horseradish Burgers with Havarti and Grilled Onions have been on my radar for awhile. The combination of SP chastising me for letting the freezer get out of control again after we had to toss everything due to Hurricane Sandy and an open bottle of horseradish that he bought after Christmas to go with the leftover roast beef meant it was time to finally make them.

horseradish burger2

This is one outstanding burger. I'd never had havarti before and didn't know what to expect, so Baby Girl and I sampled it together. In my opinion it tastes like a mild cheddar and I loved the creamy texture. Baby Girl kept asking me to cut off more so she could eat it, so I made sure to put a nice, thick layer on her burger, which she gobbled up.

I always have her smell and taste the ingredients I use in the kitchen and she was quite surprised by the pungent smell of the horseradish, which added a nice, subtle bite to the burgers without being overwhelming. I loved the sweet onions with the beefy burger, the creamy cheese and the bite from the horseradish. It's so simple but really delicious.

Horseradish Burgers with Havarti and Caramelized Onions
As seen on I Was Born to Cook, adapted from Tyler Florence

1 1/4 pounds ground beef
1/8 cup prepared horseradish
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
Sliced havarti cheese
Burger buns

Put beef in a bowl. Add the horseradish, salt and pepper. Form into 4 equal patties. Use your thumn to press an indentation in the center of each patty. Allow to rest at room temperature while you make the caramelized onions.

Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and season with salt and pepper. Allow the onion to cook slowly - you want it to get brown without burning. Lower the heat if the onions are browning too quickly. If the pan seems dry, add a splash of water. The onions should take about 20-30 minutes to turn a nice, caramel color and become soft.

When the onions are done, cook the burgers on a grill or in a pan on the stove. (I cooked these in a pan over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes per side, which was a perfect medium). After you flip the burgers add the cheese. Cover for 1 minute to melt the cheese. Serve on toasted buns with mayo and the caramelized onions.
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Friday, February 15, 2013

Recipe Swap: Carnival-Style Warm Chocolate Melting Cake

The theme for this installment of the recipe swap was Special Occasion recipes. I lucked out with Carnival-Style Warm Chocolate Melting Cake from Kate's Recipe Box. I've been in a cooking rut lately so instead of cooking a special dinner on Valentine's Day we ordered sushi (yes!!) These gooey chocolate cakes sounded like the perfect ending to a delicious meal.


Souffle or chocolate lava cake recipes tend to be cooked in a water bath, so I added that to the recipe below. I've also seen recipes that call for vanilla extract and thought that would be a nice touch (although I mistakenly added 1 tablespoon instead of 1/2 teaspoon, oops!) It's completely optional but adds a nice flavor to the cakes.

I wanted enough batter for 3 cakes so I upped some of the ingredients. I used two larger ramekins (7 ounces) and one smaller ramekin for Baby Girl.

Unfortunately SP was running late picking up dinner and these took twice as long to cook as the recipe stated, so I only had a little taste of the part of mine that was cooked. SP ate his after putting Baby Girl to bed and his was perfectly cooked and reheated well. What I ate tasted great so I need to try these again soon.

Carnival-Style Warm Chocolate Melting Cake
Slightly modified from Kate’s Recipe Box

1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons butter
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray two or three (depending on their size) ramekins with cooking spray. Place the ramekins in a 9×13 inch baking pan, and fill the pan with water until it surrounds the ramekins halfway up the sides.

In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate and butter, stirring the mixture every 30 seconds, until the chocolate and butter are homogenous mixture. You can also do this step over a double-boiler.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together for about a minute, until well mixed. Add in the flour, salt and vanilla extract, if using, and mix together. Pour the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.

Once everything is mixed, divide the batter into the ramekins. Bake for 10-20 minutes, depending on the size of the ramekins, until the top top puffs but the center is not set.

Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sponsored Post: Kung Wow Spicy Kung Pao Chicken Tenders

Chinese New Year began on Monday, February 10, and to help kick off the celebration Thai Kitchen and Simply Asia partnered with food bloggers to try some of their products.

thai kitche2

SP and I were looking for a quick meal after having a big lunch and this recipe for Kung Wow Spicy Kung Pao Chicken Tenders sounded like the perfect snack. From mixing the sauce to cooking the chicken, the whole thing took all of 15 minutes to prepare.

thai kitchen

Thai Kitchen and Simply Asia offer a complete line of Asian ingredients and convenience items, including sauces, curry pastes, rice noodles, fish sauce, coconut milk, noodle bowls, and more. Most items are gluten free and contain no artificial colors, flavors or MSG. Check out Thai Kitchen and explore their Asian cuisine ingredients.

I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor of the Kung Pao sauce. It wasn't overly spicy but added a pleasant heat to the chicken. The dipping sauce was the perfect compliment as well. The original recipe calls for either chicken tenders or chicken wings - I opted for the tenders because we had just purchased a club pack of chicken breasts at the store, but we both agreed the chicken wings would have been even better.

I'm including the recipe for both versions below. Obviously the tenders take much less time to prepare, which was perfect for our needs. However, wings would be a great alternative to the traditional Buffalo wings, a nice Asian twist perfect for celebrating the Chinese New Year.

Kung Wow Spicy Kung Pao Chicken Wings (or Tenders)
Slightly modified from Thai Kitchen/Simply Asia

1 pouch Simply Asia® Spicy Kung Pao Stir-Fry Sauce
2 pounds chicken wings (or breast tenders)
Cooking spray
1 Romaine heart, cut into large dice
Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce (recipe below)
2 scallions, thinly sliced

If using wings - Preheat an oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the wings in an even layer. Bake for 30 minutes, then baste the wings with some of the sauce. Bake for another 15 minutes, baste with sauce, bake for another 15 minutes.

If using tenders - Mix the stir-fry sauce with the chicken in a large bowl. Heat a non-stick skillet sprayed with cooking spray over medium high heat until smoking. Add chicken pieces in one layer. Cook, about 3 minutes per side, basting with more sauce as they cook. Flip, baste with more sauce and cook another 3 minutes or until cooked through.

Arrange the lettuce on a plate, top with the chicken pieces and dollop the Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce in the center. Garnish with the chopped scallion and serve immediately.

Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce
Recipe from Thai Kitchen/Simply Asia

1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup Thai Kitchen® Sweet Red Chili Sauce
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Store leftover sauce in the fridge.

Social Media

Follow Thai Kitchen on Twitter at @Thai_Kitchen
Follow Thai Kitchen on Facebook

Follow Simply Asia Food on Twitter at @SimplyAsiaFoods
Follow Simply Asia on Facebook

This sponsorship is brought to you by Thai Kitchen/Simply Asia whom I have partnered with for this promotion.
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Monday, February 11, 2013

Pasta E Fagioli

Around Christmas we went to a tree lighting with our friends C & D and their two kids. Before the lighting we met for dinner at an Italian restaurant. Being Italian, D was skeptical when the waiter said one of their soup choices was pasta fagioli since he has a very specific memory of his grandpa making this soup when he was a kid. The restaurant version wasn't even close and he was lamenting his inability to find good pasta fagioli these days. Melissa had posted this recipe for Pasta E Fagioli awhile back and I had a feeling it would live up to D's expectations. I quickly planned a meal around this soup and we set a date for them to come over.

pasta fagioli

I was a bit nervous making this soup for two reason - the dried beans and the ham hocks. I had never cooked with either ingredient before and really wanted this to be a great soup for D. Thankfully this was incredibly easy to put together, if a bit time-consuming due to letting the dried beans soak and the cooking time. I STRONGLY encourage you to make this soup the day before to really let the flavors blend together. D proclaimed this excellent and all of us, the kids included, loved this soup. Thanks Melissa!

Pasta E Fagioli
Slightly adapted from I Was Born to Cook

1 pound dry cannellini beans
2 smoked ham hocks
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup prepared marinara sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes or to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup ditalini, cooked according to package directions for al dente
Olive oil for drizzling

Lay beans on a rimmed baking sheet and pick through them to make sure there are no stones or any other foreign objects mixed in. Rinse the beans under cold water, then add them to a large Dutch oven and cover with water a couple of inches over the beans.

Bring beans to a boil then turn off the heat and let stand for at least one hour to soften. Drain the beans and add back to the pot. Fill the pot with fresh water a couple of inches over the beans. Add the ham hocks, garlic cloves and oregano. Let cook for 1 hour, then add the marinara and hot pepper flakes. Cook for another 45 minutes or until the beans are tender.

(If making the day before, allow the soup to cool then store in the fridge overnight).

When ready to serve, remove the ham hocks from the soup and cut off any meat. Coarsely chop and add to the soup. Bring the soup back to a boil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Right before serving, add the cooked pasta and let sit for a few minutes so the flavors can blend. Do this just before serving so the pasta doesn't absorb all the liquid. Ladle soup into bowls and drizzle with olive oil before serving.
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Friday, February 08, 2013

Tropical Chicken Quesadillas with Pineapple-Avocado Salsa

I've had this recipe for Tropical Chicken Quesadillas with Mango-Avocado Salsa printed out for awhile but I wasn't sold on the mango. Then I had leftover pineapple from these Island Burgers with Pineapple-Lime Salsa and realized I could sub the pineapple for the mango.

tropical chicken

I left the hot pepper out of the salsa because I'm not that into spice. I also opted to cook the onion until caramelized and leave out the red pepper because I don't particularly like peppers. As I was getting ready to cook the chicken I noticed the leftover spice rub from the BBQ Spiced Pork Tenderloin sitting on the counter. I decided to use it and wow, what a great idea. The flavors from the rub were perfect on the chicken and went so well with the onions and cheese.

But the real winner was the salsa combined with the quesadillas. The pineapple was a great substitute for the mango and when I put a little salsa on the quesadilla it was the perfect combination of tang from the pineapple, creaminess of the avocado and a slight bite from the red onion.

I can't wait to make these again.

Tropical Chicken Quesadillas with Pineapple-Avocado Salsa
Adapted from Apple a Day

For the salsa:
1 1/2 cups diced pineapple, cut into quarters (juice reserved)
1/2 avocado, peeled and diced
1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup thinly slicked red onion
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the quesadillas:
2 boneless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground ginger powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoons crushed dried rosemary
2 teaspoons oil, divided
1 onion, thinly sliced
8 medium/soft taco size tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican or cheddar cheese
Cooking spray

To make the salsa, combine all ingredients in a nonreactive bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Marinate the chicken breasts in the reserved pineapple juice for at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours.

Combine the brown sugar through dried rosemary in a bowl. Mix well. Remove the chicken from the pineapple juice and sprinkle the dry rub on the chicken breasts, coating evenly.

Preheat oven (or toaster oven) to 350 degrees. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet. Sauté chicken until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with tinfoil and put in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through. Set aside to cool slightly, about 3 minutes. Cut into a small dice or shred.

While the chicken is cooking, heat the other teaspoon of oil in a nonstick skillet. Add the onions and saute until caramelized and brown, about 15 minutes.

Lay out four tortillas and assemble quesadillas in this order - cheese, onion, chicken, cheese. Top with remaining tortillas.

Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Lay quesadilla in the skillet and let cook until the bottom of the tortilla is golden and crispy. Flip and let cook until the other side is also golden and crispy and the cheese is melted. Repeat cooking process with remaining quesadillas. Serve immediately with salsa.
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Wednesday, February 06, 2013

BBQ Spiced Pork Tenderloin and Corn Risotto

I had one more pork tenderloin in my freezer and I always keep frozen corn on hand as well, so when this BBQ Spiced Pork Tenderloin and Corn Risotto popped into my Google Reader I immediately put it on the menu.


This was another quick and easy pork tenderloin recipe to keep in my arsenal, although I wish I'd been able to take a better photo to go with it (the pork was pink but not as pink as this picture makes it look).

BBQ Spiced Pork Tenderloin and Corn Risotto
As seen on Our Share of the Harvest

For the Pork:
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground ginger powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoons crushed dried rosemary
1 1-2 lb pork tenderloin

For the Corn Risotto:
2 cups frozen corn, thawed (or fresh, if in season)
4 cups chicken broth
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Kosher salt and black pepper

In a small bowl, combine all spices. Rub mixture over surface of pork using as much or as little as you'd like. Keep the rest in the pantry in an air-tight container.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a hot skillet over medium-high heat, sear each side of tenderloin for 2-3 minutes. Place tenderloin in a small baking dish or roasting pan, coated with cooking spray, and cook in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the meat has reached 145 degrees. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

In a food processor, puree 1 cup of the corn until smooth. Heat the broth on the stovetop in a medium pot.

In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the shallot and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the chicken broth and the pureed corn. Cook, stirring, until the rice has absorbed the liquid, 5 to 7 minutes. Continue cooking with the remaining broth, adding 1 cup at a time and waiting until the liquid is absorbed before adding the next cup.

After the last cup of broth has been absorbed, let the risotto cook 3 minutes, stirring. Add the remaining cup of corn and thyme; cook 2 minutes more. Stir in the scallions, Parmesan, salt and black pepper to taste.
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Monday, February 04, 2013

Chipotle Turkey Sandwich

Sometimes I feel silly posting recipes for things like a sandwich, but then I realize that if it hadn't been for the post about these Chipotle Turkey Sandwiches, I wouldn't have thought to make them. So, I'm sharing my knowledge with you.

turkey chipotle2

I wasn't always a fan of chipotle in adobo but I recently discovered that I like it in moderation. And really, if you mix it with mayo the chances are good I'll eat it. These were delicious sandwiches - easy to prepare with great flavor. I added sliced tomato to my sandwich and really enjoyed it.

Chipotle Turkey Sandwich
As seen on My Life as a Mrs

For the Chipotle Mayonnaise:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo, finely diced

For the Chipotle Turkey Sliders:
4 burger buns
3/4 pound shaved turkey breast (ask the deli person to shave the turkey)
2 cups mixed greens
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
Chipotle mayo (above)

For the Chipotle Mayonnaise:
Mix ingredients together in a bowl and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes (may also puree in food processor or blender). Set aside until ready to use.

For the Chipotle Turkey Sliders:
Toast the buns. To each roll, add chipotle mayo, shaved turkey, a sprinkle of mixed greens and a few slices of red onion.
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Friday, February 01, 2013

Recipe Swap: Island Burgers with Pineapple-Lime Salsa

It's time for another round of the Blogger's Choice Recipe Swap. I was excited when I received Coleen's blog, The Redheaded Baker, which recently went through a redesign and name change.

My game plan when I get a blog for these swaps is to figure out what ingredient or cuisine I want to make to help me narrow down the choices. I had already made my menu for the week and decided I wanted something using ground beef. As soon as this recipe for Island Burgers with Pineapple-Lime Salsa popped up I remembered printing it out when Coleen made it for the Sandwich/Burger Swap.

island burger2

This was a messy but delicious burger. I didn't even bother making it for SP - he got a plain cheeseburger to dress however he wanted. It worked out well because my one pound of ground beef only yielded 3 burgers. The jerk seasoning added a wonderful flavor to the burger patties - I don't think I've ever had anything with that particular flavor profile before. The pineapple salsa was a great compliment to the burger but the chunks made it tough to eat - pieces were falling out left and right. It was worth it, though.

Thanks for a delicious burger, Coleen!

Island Burgers with Pineapple-Lime Salsa
As seen on The Redheaded Baker

For the salsa:
1/2 can diced pineapple, cut into smaller dice
2 tablespoons diced red onion
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 avocado

For the burgers:
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
4 teaspoons jerk seasoning
Cooking spray
4 slices Cheddar cheese
4 burger rolls

Early the day of serving, or the day before, combine the pineapple, sweet onion, cilantro, pepper and lime juice in a medium bowl. Toss to combine. Let stand at room temperature for one hour, then cover and refrigerate.

Divide the beef into 4 portions and form into patties. Use your thumb to press an indentation in the center of each patty. Sprinkle the top half of each patty with 1/2 teaspoon jerk seasoning. Flip over and season the other side with another 1/2 teaspoon of seasoning.

Spray a heavy skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Add the burgers and cook for 6 minutes. Split the burger buns, and place on parchment-lined baking sheet.

Flip and cook another 6 minutes for medium-rare doneness and place baking sheet in oven to toast the burger buns.

Place one slice of cheese atop each burger and cover the skillet with a large pot lid to melt the cheese. While cheese is melting, dice the avocado, add it to the salsa, and gently toss to combine.
Place one patty on each roll and top with a spoonful or two of the salsa.

To see what the other swap participants made click the links below.

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