Friday, May 26, 2017

Pork and Vegetable Stir Fry

I used to make stir fries all the time and then I just...stopped. I have no clue why. Maybe we got burnt out on them or maybe they just fell off my radar the way things do when you're a food blogger who's always trying to make something new so you have content to blog. Whatever the reason, it's been a very long time since I made a stir fry.

Pork stir fry with udon noodles

While meal planning last week I found a recipe for Pork “Lo Mein” Ramen that I'd printed from my friend Katie's blog. It sounded easy, which I really need these days. I had two pork chops in the freezer to use up, and veggies are amazing right now, so I was psyched. While looking up ramen on Wegman's website, to see how many ounces of noodles are in a package, I discovered that ramen isn't safe for someone with a nut allergy. Who knew? Poor kid will never know that particular joy of college dorm life. This meant finding a different, safe noodle. I ended up getting these udon noodles and the texture was perfect - silky smooth, with a nice chew.

I figured one pack of udon noodles was equal to four packs of ramen, so I doubled the original recipe, which was perfect. It seemed like a lot of food but we were all so in love with this recipe we went back for seconds and there are barely any leftovers. Thanks for an amazing recipe, Katie, and for helping me rediscover my love of stir fries!

Pork and Vegetable Stir Fry
Adapted from So Tasty, So Yummy

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon chile garlic sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 cup chicken broth
1 12-oz package udon noodles
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 pound pork loin chops, sliced thin
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 small red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 cup shredded carrots
1 8oz bag snow or snap peas
1 teaspoon sesame oil

In a two cup measuring cup, whisk together the cornstarch, chile garlic sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce and chicken broth.

Cook the udon noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Stir fry the pork, ginger and garlic until almost cooked through. Remove the pork from the wok and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, mushrooms, bell pepper and carrots. Stir fry for 3 to 5 minutes, until the veggies start to soften.

Pour the broth mixture over the vegetables, bring to a boil and cook for a minute more. Add the pork and snow or snap peas. Cook for another minute, then add the udon noodles and sesame oil. Toss to coat the noodles evenly with the sauce. Serve.
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Friday, May 19, 2017

Shrimp Enchiladas with Sour Cream Poblano Sauce

For some reason I got it into my head that I wanted shrimp enchiladas. Mind you, I've never once ordered shrimp enchiladas at a Mexican restaurant so I can't for the life of me figure out where the craving came from. But there it was and so off I went to find the perfect recipe.

Shrimp enchiladas

I ended up combining recipes from two of my favorite bloggers and the results were sensational. A word of warning, though - these are a wee bit time consuming for a weeknight. There's nothing complicated about the recipe, it's just a lot to put together between peeling and roasting the shrimp, roasting the poblanos, making the sauce, and cooking the filling. Work has been insane so I've been trying to do dinner prep either early in the morning or late at night. I highly recommend cooking all the components ahead of time. Then you can assemble the enchiladas right before you bake them.

Shrimp enchiladas

Shrimp Enchiladas with Sour Cream Poblano Sauce
From Damn Delicious and Annie's Eats

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 onion, diced
3 cups coleslaw mix
3 cups baby spinach
1 tablespoons chipotle pepper, in adobo sauce
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
12 (6-inch) corn or flour tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack or Mexican cheese

For the sauce:
2 poblano peppers
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 400. Place shrimp onto a baking sheet. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper, and gently toss to combine. Place into oven and roast just until pink, firm and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before dicing into bite-size pieces. Reduce oven temperature to 375.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion and cook until the onions become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add coleslaw mix, spinach, chipotle pepper, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach just begins to wilt, about 1-2 minutes. Add shrimp and gently toss to combine.

If you have a gas stove, place the peppers directly on the burner over the flame and roast, turning often, until the skin is blistered and black all over. If you have an electric stove, preheat the oven to 475˚ F. Place the peppers in a baking dish. Bake, turning every 6-8 minutes or so, until the skin is blistered over most of the surface about 20-25 minutes total. Transfer the peppers to a bowl, cover with a plate or plastic wrap and let sit 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel away the skin, stem, seeds and ribs and discard. Coarsely chop the peppers and set aside.

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in the chopped poblanos. Sprinkle in the flour and stir, cooking briefly just until golden, about 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the broth and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream and cilantro.

To assemble the enchiladas, spoon half the sauce over the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish. Lay one tortilla on a flat surface and add some of the cheese, along with some of the shrimp mixture to the center. Roll the tortilla and place seam side down onto prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and shrimp mixture. Pour the rest of the sauce evenly over the top and cover with the remaining cheese. Place into oven and bake, covered, until lightly golden and bubbly, about 20 minutes.
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Monday, May 15, 2017

Chocolate Chip Croissant Bread Pudding

You guys. This chocolate chip croissant bread pudding is Ah-May-Zing. Utterly and completely decadent and worth every calorie.

Chocolate chip bread pudding

I was looking through my recipes for something to make for Mother's Day dessert when I stumbled upon this recipe from Fake Ginger I'd printed a while back. You probably don't know this about me, but I'm a sucker for a chocolate croissant. I used to get them from my college bakery all the time. I'd ask them to heat it up to slightly melt the chocolate in the middle. What I appreciated the most was that the chocolate actually went from edge to edge, not like some bakeries where there's maybe 1 tablespoon of chocolate inside. This recipe is basically turning my beloved chocolate croissant into a shareable dessert!

Chocolate chip bread pudding

After reading the directions I decided to skip slicing and toasting the croissants. Bite-sized pieces are more traditional for bread pudding and toasting seemed completely unnecessary. The result was fantastic. Some of the bread pudding was ooey and gooey, other bites were crispy. It was the perfect blend of textures. We were all oohing and ahhing as we ate and I'm already dreaming about the leftovers in the fridge.

Chocolate Chip Croissant Bread Pudding
Slightly modified from Fake Ginger

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 croissants, torn or cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish.

Whisk together the melted butter, eggs, milk, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Place half the croissant pieces in a 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle about 2/3 of the chocolate chips over them and then top with remaining pieces of croissant.

Pour the egg mixture over top, pressing down gently to make sure most of the croissants are covered. You don't want all the pieces completely submerged.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top and bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes more.

Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
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Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Bacon Broccoli Pierogie Bake

Bacon broccoli pierogie bake

I've been making this recipe for Bacon Broccoli Pierogie Bake for years but apparently I only blogged it as Bacon Pierogie Bake (served with a side of steamed broccoli) or Broccoli Pierogie Bake (back when I was trying to eat less meat). Since I only make it this way now - gotta love one-pot meals - I figured I better make a new post so I could share it with all of you.

Bacon broccoli pierogie bake

Lately I've been buying mini pierogies (because they're just so darn cute) and doubling the recipe so we have plenty left over for lunch the next day. The doubled recipe is below.

Bacon Broccoli Pierogie Bake
Slightly Adapted from Elizabeth's Edible Experience

2 large broccoli crowns, cut into florets
Cooking spray
2 (16-ounce) packages frozen mini potato pierogies
6-8 center-cut bacon slices, chopped
6 ounces cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper
1 cup chicken broth
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
3-4 thinly sliced scallions
1/2 cup chopped seeded plum tomato

Preheat oven to 400°.

Steam broccoli until tender. Coat a 9 x 13" baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange the broccoli and frozen pierogies in the dish.

Cook the bacon in a saucepan over medium heat until crisp; remove to a paper towel-lined plate.

Add the cream cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper to the bacon drippings and cook until cream cheese begins to melt, stirring frequently. Gradually add the chicken broth, whisking until smooth. Pour the cream cheese mixture evenly over the pierogies and top with the cheddar cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and add the bacon and scallions. Bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the tomato. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then serve.

MAKE AHEAD TIP: You can steam the broccoli, cook the bacon, shred the cheese, chop the scallions and tomatoes and make the sauce ahead of time. Store everything in separate containers in the fridge until you're ready to assemble the casserole.
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