Saturday, December 31, 2011

Spicy Orange Chicken

For New Year’s Eve, we had two couples over to help us bring in the new year…Asian style!

Names for the placecards were written in Chinese.
Here was the menu, although I’m only sharing one recipe with you:

Appetizer: Chicken Egg Rolls
Main Dishes: Spicy Orange Chicken over Rice and Vegetable Stir-fry over Egg Noodles
Dessert: Fortune Cookies and Mango Mochi


Spicy Orange Chicken: The star of the meal.

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 egg
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
1/2 cup cornstarch, plus
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup flour
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
4 green onion sprigs, sliced diagonally in one inch strips
2 Tbsp rice wine

Orange Sauce
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
7 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp white vinegar
Zest of one orange

In a large bowl, combine egg, salt, pepper and 2 Tbsp oil; mix well. Stir in cornstarch and flour. Add chicken pieces and coat with mixture.

In a frying pan, heat 1 inch of oil over med-high heat. Add small batches of chicken at a time and fry 3 to 4 minutes or until golden crisp. Remove chicken from oil with slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towels; set aside.

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the sauce. Whisk together; set aside.

Discard oil from pan, wipe it clean and add 1 Tbsp of fresh oil. Add ginger and garlic; cook until fragrant. Add red peppers, green onions, rice wine and orange sauce. Bring to a boil, then turn to low. Stir in chicken to coat with sauce. To thicken sauce, stir in 1 Tbsp cornstarch and cook until sauce thickens.

Serve over white rice and garnish with fresh orange slices.

A simple dessert,

Mediterranean Meatballs over Couscous

1 lb ground beef, pork or turkey (I used beef in this dish)
1 egg
¼ cup breadcrumbs
1 small red bell pepper, diced
½ yellow onion, diced
2 Tbsp Moroccan Gourmet Garden Fresh Blends (found by the fresh herbs)
1 box of couscous (my favorite brand is Near East)
A large handful of fresh baby spinach
EVOO

In a large bowl, combine meat, egg, breadcrumbs, pepper, onion and Moroccan spice; mix well. Using wet hands to prevent meat from sticking, shape mixture into meatballs the size of golf balls. In a frying pan over med-high heat, drizzle EVOO and cook meatballs. Brown all sides and make sure they are cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, make the couscous according to directions on the box. After 5 minutes when couscous has absorbed the liquid and is ready to be fluffed, stir in the baby spinach; cover and set aside.

Serve in a shallow bowl by making a bed of couscous and topping with meatballs. Drizzle with any remaining pepper and onion bits that might be left in the pan.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Picadillo

I came across this Latin American dish called Picadillo when I was searching for a recipe to make with the ground beef I had. There are several different versions with a variety of different spices and ingredients depending on the region it’s made. After reviewing several recipes, I decided to make a combination of the Costa Rican and Mexican Picadillo.
1 lb of beef or pork
EVOO
1 small onion, diced
1 russet potato, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
Juice from one lime
1 cup of thick & chunky salsa
1 small can of tomato paste
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp crushed thyme
2 Tbsp freshly minced cilantro, same some to sprinkle as a garnish
½ green bell pepper, diced
½ red bell pepper, diced
10 large green olives, pitted
Salt and pepper to taste
*If the mixture seems too thick, add ½ - 1 cup of broth or water

Heat a few drizzles of EVOO in a skillet over med-high heat. Start to brown meat. Add onion, potato, carrot, garlic, lime juice, salsa, tomato paste and spices. Cover, lower heat to medium and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add peppers and olives, cover and continue to cook for another 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. If the mixture seems too thick and the potatoes aren’t cooking, add broth or water. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve Picadillo over rice, sprinkle with cilantro and enjoy!

NOTE: This recipe serves 4. Or you can serve 2 and use the rest for taco or tamales filling. I’m going to try to make Papas Rellenas, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Scampi Style Chicken Pasta

This dish would taste great with some toasted pinenuts too, but I just didn't have any on hand.


1 lb egg noodles
2 Tbsp EVOO
1 lb chicken tenders, cut in thirds
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 small zucchini, diced
Juice of one lemon, plus zest of one lemon, save some zest for the garnish
1/2 cup white wine
5 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, minced
Salt & Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Crumbled feta cheese

In a medium pot, cook pasta in salted boiling water per directions (about 10 minutes).

Meanwhile, preheat EVOO in a sauté pan over high heat. I used a wok pan since you’ll be tossing the pasta with the chicken mixture afterwards and it provides more room. Add chicken and sauté for a couple minutes until browned. Remove from heat to a bowl; set aside.

Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and zucchini to the pan; sauté for about 1-2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and white wine; turn heat to high. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes and let liquid reduce and zucchini to cook. Add butter, parsley, lemon zest and a couple spoonfuls of pasta cooking water and return the chicken. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Remove from the heat.

Drain the pasta and add to the pan. Toss with chicken mixture.

Serve in a shallow bowl, sprinkle with feta cheese, top with a little of lemon zest and parsley.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Chicken in Spicy Vegetable Sauce

A healthy dish that's quick and easy to make. Perfect for those new year's resolutions of starting to eat right.

4 thin chicken breast filets
Salt
Pepper
EVOO
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 large carrot, diced
1 small onion, sliced
3 baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced
Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (optional)

In a sauté pan, heat a couple drizzles of EVOO over high heat. Season each side of chicken with salt and pepper. Quickly sear each side until browned, but do not cook through. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Turn heat to medium, add vegetables to the same pan; sauté until tender. Add vegetables to a blender and puree until smooth. If necessary, add water to help it get started. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Over low heat, return chicken to pan, add vegetable mixture, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked all the way through. Before serving, stir in a couple tablespoons of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt to make sauce creamy (optional).

Serve over rice or pasta.

NOTES:
- To give dish a stronger garlic flavor, don’t sauté with vegetables and instead add to blender raw.
- To make dish spicier, don’t sauté jalapeno with vegetables and instead add to blender raw. Or if you don’t want a spicy sauce, omit the pepper entirely.



Sunday, December 25, 2011

Baked Brie with Cherries, Pecans and Rosemary

I made this delicious appetizer for our Christmas appetizer. It was a huge hit and was gone in about 15 minutes. Everyone was asking for the recipe. I should have made three!

1 egg, beat in a small bowl
1 tablespoon water
1/3 cup dried cherries, soften in warm water for 20 minutes, then drain
1/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 puff pastry sheet (1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package), thawed
1 (15-ounce) Brie cheese round

Heat the oven to 400°F. In a small bowl, mix together the cherries, pecans, honey and rosemary.

Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Spoon the cherry mixture in the center of the sheet. Top with the cheese. Fold the pastry corners up over the cheese, pressing corners of sheet together. Using a spatula, carefully flip the wrapped cheese and place seam-side down onto a baking sheet. Brush the top with the egg mixture. (Optional, decorate the top with the any extra pastry scraps and additional rosemary.)

Bake for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Let stand for 45 minutes (otherwise the cheese will just pour out if you cut into it too soon). Serve with the crackers or a sliced baguette.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Lentil Chili

This dish was really tasty. Next time, I'll probably add kidney and mung beans then call it 'three bean chili'. 
1 cup lentils
1 lb of ground beef or turkey
2 celery ribs, diced
½ red bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (with jalapenos if you want to add some spice)
1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
1 Tbsp chili powder
½ tsp cumin

In a pot over high heat, add lentils and cover with water - about one inch over lentils. Bring to a boil then turn to low and simmer; cover and cook for about 30 minutes until lentils are tender. Drain any excess water and set aside.

In a sauté pan, brown meat; drain any excess fat. Add veggies and cook together until vegetables are soft. Stir in diced tomatoes, sauce, chili powder, cumin and lentils. Cover and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes.

Serve with a few dashes of hot sauce for an extra kick.

Note: If you don’t have chili powder or cumin, you can add a package of chili mix instead of the individual spices.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chicken Vegetable Soup with Lentils

A warm, hearty soup for a cold day.

1 whole chicken
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
water
1/2 cup of dry lentils
3 celery ribs, sliced
3 carrots, sliced
2 garlic gloves, minced
¼ cup minced parsley
1 tsp minced Rosemary
2 Bay leaves
1 tsp all spice
Salt & pepper

In a large pot, add chicken and thyme, cover with water and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 ½ hours. When the chicken easily comes off the bone, it’s done. Give the drumstick a little wiggle to test it. Remove chicken and place in a bowl; set aside and let cool. Remove and discard the thyme stems.

Add lentils, celery, carrots, garlic, parsley, rosemary, bay leaves and all spice to the pot of chicken water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer; cook for about 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Shred chicken and add bite sized pieces back to soup. When the lentils are tender, the soup is done.

Serve with a nice crusty bread and enjoy on a cold day!

Note: If you don’t want to cook a whole chicken or don't have the time, use chicken broth and start the recipe where you add the lentils.



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mexican Casserole

I couldn’t decide if I should call this a Mexican Lasagna or a Mexican Casserole...you decide!


1 can of enchilada sauce
About 10 small corn tortillas, sliced into pieces
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 can of corn, drained
Cheddar cheese, shredded
9x9 casserole dish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Layer the casserole dish with enchilada sauce, tortillas, chicken, peppers, onion, corn, cheddar cheese and repeat layers, ending with the cheese.


Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10-15 more minutes. Broil for last 2 minutes to get a crunchy top. Let the casserole rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Top with a dollop of sour cream and garnish with avocado slices. Serve with rice and beans or a side salad.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Shrimp Alfredo Pesto Pasta


3 servings

8 oz Fettuccine pasta
EVOO
1 large tomato, chopped
1 large zucchini, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
½ lb large cooked shrimp, remove tails and cut in thirds
8 oz Alfredo sauce (my favorite kind is the little Buitoni tub by the refrigerated pasta)
4 oz Pesto (my favorite jarred brand is Classico) http://www.classico.com/pesto-sauces/basil-pesto-sauce.aspx
Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Boil pasta in salted water according to directions on package.

In a sauté pan, heat EVOO over medium high heat. Add tomatoes, zucchini and garlic. Sauté until zucchini is slightly tender. Stir in shrimp pieces and heat through. Cover and remove from heat. Do not overcook shrimp, just heat through so they remain tender.

Once pasta is cooked, drain, return to pot and toss with Alfredo and pesto sauce.

Plate pasta and top with vegetable and shrimp mixture. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Serve with grilled salmon or eat alone with garlic bread.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Philly Cheese Steak Potato

You might remember me talking about my eatery idea, Spuds, my gourmet potato bar. It’s my make-believe restaurant that I create recipes for and then try then out on the hubby at home. Here’s one of Spud’s specials.
1 large russet potato
¾ lb beef loin
Salt
Pepper
1 small green bell pepper, sliced
½ small yellow onion, sliced
2 mushrooms, sliced (I used baby Bellas)
2-3 slices of Provolone cheese
A couple slices of butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Clean one large russet potato, cut in half, pierce with a fork, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35-45 minute minutes. You can use one whole potato per person but we usually just split a large one, especially since this dish contains meat, which is really filling.

Slice beef into thin slices and season with salt and pepper. Heat a few drizzles of EVOO in a pan over high heat. Sear each side of beef for 30-45 seconds, just until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add a little more EVOO and sauté veggies for a few minutes until tender. When veggies are ready, lay slices of cheese on top, cover pan to let steam melt the cheese a little.

Remove potatoes from oven, unwrap, push ends together to insides open up. Sean with salt, pepper and a slice or two of butter. Using a spatula, scoop veggies topped with melted cheese from pan onto potato.

HELPFUL HINTS:
• Place beef in freezer for about 30-45 minutes so it hardens and is easier to slice thin.
• Melt cheese over veggies once potato is prepared to prevent over melting and it becoming runny.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

One Pot of Chili: Two Dinners

Two dinners with one pot of chili. The second one just got created with the leftovers from the first. I love it when that happens!


Chili Stuffed Poblano Peppers
using leftover Spicy Turkey Chili
Dinner One: Spicy Turkey Chili

1 lb spicy turkey sausage
½ cup diced celery
1 can kidney beans, undrained
1 can diced tomatoes with jalapenos, undrained
1 package of McCormick’s chili seasoning

Toppings:
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Diced red onions
Sour cream

Over med-high heat, drizzle EVOO in pan and wait for it to get hot. To prevent meat from sticking to your fingers, using wet hands, remove sausage from casings and drop into pan to cook through. Add celery; sauté for a couple minutes until soft. Stir in beans, tomatoes and chili seasoning. Cover, turn low and simmer for about 20 minutes; stir occasionally.

Serve in bowl topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, diced red onions and a dollop of sour cream.

Dinner Two: Chili Stuffed Poblano Peppers

½ cup rice
1 cup broth
2 cups of chili from recipe above
1 large Poblano Pepper
Shredded Cheddar cheese

In the rice cooker, cook rice with broth. Once done, mix in chili; set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. (Since I’m only using one pepper for the two of us, I just cooked it in the toaster oven.) Cut pepper in half, deseed and devein. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until soft and skin bubbles. Remove pepper halves from oven, fill with chili rice mixture. Top with shredded Cheddar cheese and place under broil for about 2 minutes until cheese is bubbly and melted.

Serve with a side salad topped with veggies and tossed in light vinaigrette.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Spicy Pork over Mexican Rice

This is my tasty version of Mexican rice, which is the star of this dish. 
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
EVOO
1 ½ cup chicken broth
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 garlic cloves
1 cup basmati rice
Thin, boneless pork chops
Cajun seasoning
Handful of halved cherry tomatoes
Salt

In a frying pan over med-high heat, sauté bell pepper and onion in a couple drizzles of EVOO until fork tender. Transfer peppers and onion with broth, tomato paste and garlic cloves to a blender; puree.

In a rice cooker, combine rice with mixture from blender; cook until ready.

In a frying pan over med-high heat, sauté seasoned pork for a few minutes on each side, until no longer pink in the middle. Be careful not to overcook otherwise pork will become tough. After you flip the pork once, add tomato halves and sauté together. Salt to taste.

Serve pork over a plate of rice and top with cherry tomatoes.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ono with Vegetable Rice

Wahoo is also known as Ono. Ono is a mild tasting fish with a firm texture. This is a good fish to grill or saute on the stovetop.
2 Ono Filets
Lemon Pepper seasoning
Sea salt
1 cup white long grained Basmati rice
2 cups chicken broth
¾ cup frozen chopped spinach
1 can of corn, drained
2 green onion sprigs, thinly sliced
EVOO
10 asparagus spears, cut into 1” pieces
1 lemon

In a rice cooker, combine rice, broth, spinach and 2 teaspoons of EVOO. Cook until done. Mix in corn and green onions; set aside.

In a medium frying pan, heat a couple drizzle of EVOO over med-high heat. Cook seasoned filets, start with one side until the meat turns white half way up and then flip; cook until the other half turns white. Do not overcook or fish will be tough.

In a small pot, cook asparagus in boiling water for about 2 minutes. Transfer asparagus to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking; drain and set aside.

To serve, create a bed of vegetable rice, then add steamed asparagus and top with fish. Drizzle with fresh lemon juice.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Grilled Shark with Tropical Rice

This is a tasty and good-for-you dish that has a great combination of spicy and sweet flavors.

2 Thresher shark filets
Cajun seasoning
1 cup white, long grained balsamic rice
2 cups coconut milk
1 cup chopped mango
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
1 tsp salt

In a rice cooker, combine rice, coconut milk, mango, onion and salt. Cook until done and rice is tender. Rice should be creamy and sweet with a hint of saltiness.

Preheat grill to med-high heat. Season each side of shark with Cajun spices. The filets I bought were about 1” thick so I butterflied them to make them thinner so they would cook faster. Grill them for about 4 minutes per side.

Serve shark over tropical rice. Enjoy!

Seafood Chowder

A yummy, creamy soup for a cold day. Adding bacon and shrimp turn this clam chowder into a unique and tasty soup.

4 slices of bacon
1 cup minced onions
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
2 cups diced red skinned potatoes, unpeeled
¾ cup flour
1 cup chicken broth
3 Tbsp butter
3 cups half and half cream
3- 6.5 oz chopped clams, save juice from two of the cans
½ cup small peeled shrimp
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat large pot over high heat. Cut bacon into small pieces. Sauté until crispy. With slotted spoon, remove from heat and to a paper towel lined plate. Using bacon grease from pot, add onion, celery, carrots and potatoes. Mix in flour to coat veggies. Sauté for about 5 minutes.

Add chicken broth and boil uncovered for about 15 minutes until potatoes are fork tender. Add butter, half and half, clams and shrimp. Turn heat to low and heat through for about 10 minutes. Do not bring to boil otherwise clams and shrimp will over cook. Season with pepper.

Stir in bacon and garnish with leftover bits. Serve with crusty bread and a dash of Tabasco sauce.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Crock Pot Tex-Mex Chili

1 lb beef (80/20)
3 Italian spicy hot links, meat removed from casings
2-15 oz kidney beans
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onions
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large jalapeno, minced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1-16 oz diced tomatoes, undrained
1-8 oz tomato sauce
1 package of McCormick chili seasoning

Combine all ingredients in crock pot. Break up meat and gently mix ingredients together. Cover and cook on low for 8+ hours. Stir before serving.

Garnish with cheddar cheese and minced onion. Serve with sliced bread.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dijon Chicken

2-3 servings
½ tea coriander seeds
1 Tbsp EVOO
4 chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
¼ cup minced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
¾ chicken broth
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp sour cream
1 Tbsp minced parsley

In a large skillet over high heat, toast coriander seeds for about 2 minutes. Transfer seeds to a cutting board and mince; set aside.

Add EVOO to skillet until it starts to smoke and ripple. Season chicken with salt and pepper, add to skillet and brown both sides. Add onion and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Add broth and coriander seeds, cover and turn heat to low; cook for about 15 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

Transfer chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm. In a small bowl, whisk mustard, sour cream and parsley. Add mixture to skillet; simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until sauce thickens. Add chicken back to skillet and coat in sauce.

Serve over white, long grain basmati rice. This dish would also taste good over egg noodles.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tex-Mex Burger

My grandma and her friend were visiting from the Czech Republic last week. I wanted to cook something very different from their normal CZ cuisine, something with a Mexican flare since they were in San Diego, and because my grandma’s friend had her first burger and loved it. I thought this was the perfect unique combo for their dinner.

Serves 4

Salsa for burgers:
2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 small red onion, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
3 Tbsp minced cilantro
1 Tbsp EVOO
2 Tbsp lime juice
½ (15 oz) can black beans, drained
½ (15 oz) can corn, drained

Burgers:
1 ½ lb ground turkey
¼ cup EVOO
½ (15 oz) can black beans, slightly mashed
2 large cloves of garlic, minced or grated
2 Tbsp minced cilantro
Salt and fresh cracked pepper
Sliced sharp cheddar cheese
1 large avocado, sliced
Hamburger buns

For the salsa, combine all ingredients. Store in fridge until ready to use.

For the burgers, in a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients. Using your hands, form mixture into 4 equally shaped patties. Grill over med-high heat until patties are done, or cook patties over the stove top in a frying pan for about 5 minutes per side, until done.

When the patties are almost done cooking, add cheese until melted.

Plate patties on toasted buns. Top with salsa and avocado slices. Serve with French fries and pickles.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lentil and Cabbage Salad with Beets

I received this month’s Food & Wine mag in the mail today and was inspired by one of their recipes. The hubby LOVED it! He said it was a "flavor explosion in his mouth" and that this was the type of dinner he’d want me to make if his boss were to come over. Obviously he liked it. Though he said the name of the recipe wasn’t too appetizing, and that it sounds more like something they’d serve in an orphanage as a punishment. I guess I have to work on that.


1 cup lentils
4 thick slices of bacon
½ cup EVOO
Juice from one lemon
2 large beets
3 Tbsp freshly minced parsley
1 ½ cups chopped green cabbage
½ cup blue cheese crumbs
Salt and fresh cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and cut beets into large cubes. Toss with EVOO, place in a casserole dish, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes, or until beets are fork tender. While beets are baking, cook lentils.

Place lentils in a pot and cover with about 1 inch of water. Add 1/2 tsp salt. Cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes, until they are tender. Drain and set aside. While lentils are cooking, cook bacon.

In a skillet over med-high heat, cook bacon until crispy. Once done, set on paper towel lined plate. When cooled, roughly chop; set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk EVOO and lemon juice together; season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss lentils, cabbage and parsley with lemon dressing.

Plate lentil and cabbage salad topped with warm beets. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with bacon and blue cheese. Serve with grilled salmon or sautéed pork chops.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Roasted Pork, Red Cabbage and Potatoes

Growing up, my mom would make a Czech dish similar to this, with the pork and cabbage. I was craving it and it turned out to be very simple (and tasty) to make.


Pork:
1 ½ lb pork loin
2 garlic cloves, slivered
½ yellow onion, sliced
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make shallow slits in pork and stuff with garlic slivers. Season with salt and pepper.

Place pork and onion in shallow a casserole dish. Uncovered, bake for about one hour, until juices run clear or internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Red Cabbage:
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp vinegar
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp EVOO
¼ tsp caraway seeds
¼ tsp salt
Pepper
2 cups shredded red cabbage
¾ cup chopped granny smith apple

Over med-high heat, in a large skillet combine sugar, vinegar, water, oil, caraway seeds, salt and a dash of pepper. Wisk together and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in cabbage and apples. Cook, covered for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cabbage should be tender-crisp.

Potatoes:
2 large red skinned potatoes, cubed
EVOO
Salt and Pepper

In a skillet over high heat, heat a few drizzles of EVOO until it ripples. Add potatoes. Brown and crisp all sides. Turn heat to low, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes all cooked through; mix occasionally. If potatoes seem to be burning, add a little water or broth to create steam.

Plate sliced pork aside cabbage and potatoes. Drizzle pork with juices from casserole dish and top with onion slices.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Creamy Macaroni Salad



About 5 cups of cooked macaroni pasta, cooled
¼ cup slivered radishes
½ cup grape tomatoes, halved
1-4.25 oz can of sliced olives, drained
2 green onion sprigs, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro

Dressing:
½ cup mayo
1 Tbsp vinegar
½ Tbsp mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and cool. In the meanwhile, prepare the vegetables and make dressing.

In a small bowl, whisk ingredients for dressing together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toss dressing with pasta until coated; mix in veggies.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lemon Ricotta and Spinach Fettuccine


1 package of spinach fettuccine (I prefer to use fresh instead of the dried pasta. It is usually found in the refrigerated section of the store, by the packaged tortellini and ricotta cheese.)
1 zucchini, diced
1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped
EVOO
Salt
Pesto sauce, jarred
Herbed lemon ricotta (follow this recipe)
A couple handfuls of fresh baby spinach
2 green onion sprigs, diced

Boil fettuccine in salted water according to directions on package. In the meanwhile, sauté zucchini.

In a small sauce pan over med-high heat, sauté zucchini in EVOO with garlic for about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt.

Drain pasta. Toss with pesto sauce and then mix in fresh spinach and green onions. Top with zucchini and ricotta mixture.

For more lemon flavor, sprinkle pasta with fresh lemon juice. Enjoy!

Spicy Blue Cheese Chicken Dip


This is my husband’s aunt’s recipe that I made two years ago for a Christmas party… and my friends are still talking about it! It’s delicious hot or cold the next day.
2 cup shredded chicken
1 oz. cream cheese, soften
1 cup chunky blue cheese dressing (or you can use 1 cup ranch dressing with ½ blue cheese crumbles)
½ cup Frank's RedHot Sauce

Mix everything together in a large bowl. Pour into a shallow casserole dish. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes on 350 degrees, until cheese is brown and bubbly.

Sprinkle with chopped green onions for a garnish. Serve with crackers and/or carrot and celery sticks.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fried Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Coleslaw

I received my Food & Wine issue last month, which featured the movie The Help and included recipes from the movie. Then I saw the movie this weekend and had to make some classic southern fried chicken! I’ve never made fried chicken this way before. I usually make a thin chicken schnitzel in bread crumbs, but this was easy and a hit with the hubby.

Fried Chicken
2 chicken breasts
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 Tbsp seasoned salt
1 Tbsp freshly cracked pepper
Vegetable oil

In a small bowl, whisk milk and egg; coat chicken. In another bowl, combine flour, salt and pepper; dredge chicken.

In a medium frying pan, heat oil until med-high. The oil should only be about half way up the chicken. Cook chicken for about 15-20 minutes, depending on thickness, turning occasionally, until all sides are browned. Remove from pan and set on a paper towels to soak up excess oil.

Coleslaw in Vinaigrette
3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
3 Tbsp EVOO
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp mustard
½ tsp fresh cracked pepper
A few dashed of red pepper flakes
2-3 cups of shredded green cabbage
1-2 cups of shredded purple cabbage
1 large carrot, peel off ribbons
2-3 green onions, sliced

In a small bowl, whisk together the first 6 ingredients. In a large bowl combine the vegetables and then toss with vinaigrette dressing. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Mashed Potatoes
2 large red skinned potatoes, quartered
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk or heavy cream
Salt & pepper, to taste

In a pot of boiling water, cook potatoes until fork tender, about 15 minutes; Drain. Add butter and milk to pot with the potatoes; mash until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Caprese Salad Bites

Everyone’s favorite Caprese Salad on a stick. This appetizer uses fresh summer ingredients and is perfect to serve for a large group of people.


Grape tomatoes, or halved cherry tomatoes
Fresh basil leaves
Fresh mozzarella pearls
Balsamic vinaigrette dressing for dipping
Freshly cracked pepper
Sea salt
Toothpicks

On a large platter, place mozzarella balls in a single layer and season with pepper and salt. Create skewers by placing basil between tomatoes and mozzarella.

Serve with balsamic vinaigrette dressing for dipping.

Melon Spritzer

I love using fresh fruit in the summer, so this refreshing drink was perfect for our weekend pool party and grill out.


Seedless watermelon, balled and the rest juiced
Cantaloupe, balled and the rest juiced
Fresh mint
Club soda
Citron flavored vodka
Strawberries, diced

Using a melon baller, scoops balls from each melon and juice the rest. In a large pitcher, muddle the fresh mint to release the herb’s oils. Make drink by adding 3 parts melon juice with 4 parts club soda and 1 part vodka.

Garnish with melon balls and diced strawberries.

Tim, my brother in law, juicing the melon, with Kali supervising. :-)

Ricotta Lemon Potatoes with Grilled Swordfish

This dinner came together after I discovered an easy ‘make your own ricotta’ recipe in another blog. Whenever I think of a side dish with lemon, I think grilled fish. A heavenly pairing.


4-6 small red skinned potatoes
¼ cup fresh ricotta cheese (I made my own following this simple recipe)
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp minced fresh Rosemary
1 tsp minced fresh Italian parsley
1 tsp minced fresh chives
Zest from one lemon
Juice from one lemon
3- 1” thick fresh swordfish filets
EVOO
Lemon Pepper seasoning
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pierce potatoes with a few holes, toss in EVOO and bake in an aluminum covered casserole dish for about 50 minutes, or until fork tender.

In a small bowl, combine cheese, herbs, lemon zest and lemon juice. Set aside.

Heat a grill to med-high heat. Drizzle fish with EVOO, season both sides with Lemon Pepper and salt and grill each side for about 4 minutes, depending on filet thickness, or until fish is done.

When potatoes are done, pierce tops with a fork and squeeze both ends together to open. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then top with ricotta mixture. (If the potato is a little dry, add a slice of butter.)

Plate fish with a couple lemon ricotta potatoes. Serve with a lemon wedge.



Short Ribs Rigatoni in Tomato Sauce


Whenever we have company in town, the hubby takes advantage of requesting his favor dishes for dinner. So this one was back by popular demand…with a tomato twist.
2-3 lbs boneless short ribs
Few Tbsp of flour
Oil
Salt
Pepper
Garlic Parsley seasoning
Red wine
Beef broth
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
1-2 Tbsp tomato paste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Season ribs with salt, pepper and garlic parsley seasoning. Coat in flour.

In a large pan, which you are able to transfer to the oven, heat oil over high heat. Add ribs and brown on all sides. Add half wine and half beef broth to cover about half way up the ribs. Bring to a boil then turn off heat. Add garlic, onion, celery and carrots. Cover with lid or aluminum foil and roast for about 3 hours, or until the meat is fork tender.


Remove pan from oven. Transfer meat to a bowl and shred using 2 forks; set aside. Add sauce and vegetables from pan into a blender. Add tomato paste and puree until smooth to your liking. (I even added 2 more raw garlic cloves to the blender to add a stronger flavor.) Season with salt and pepper. Stir in sauce to shredded meat.

Toss with cooked rigatoni. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and garnish with freshly minced Italian parsley.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Spicy Meatloaf

I love making meatloaf because you can add so many different vegetables in it. It’s not the traditional boring lump of dense beef that most people think of.


1 lb ground beef (80/20)
1 egg
1/3 cup of Italian breadcrumbs (add more if mixture is too wet)
3 Tbsp hot salsa
½ small onion, grated
1 carrot, grated
1 small zucchini, grated
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
Few dashes or Worchester sauce
2 Tbsp freshly minced parsley
Freshly cracked black pepper
2 tsp salt
1 tomato, sliced

Preheat oven to 365 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except tomato slices; mix well, until all ingredients are combined. In a circular pan, create a meatloaf ring with a hole in the middle. Top with tomato slices. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 40 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. For the last couple minutes, uncover and place under broiler to brown tomatoes a little.

Serve with potatoes, rice or steamed vegetables.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Spicy Italian Greens & Beans

This is a super easy, cheap and tasty dish to make. It is also pretty healthy too since the only fat added to the Greens & Beans is the oil used for sautéing.

 
½ yellow onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, mince (I love garlic, but if this is too much for you, just use less.)
1 bunch of kale, stemmed removed and roughly chopped
1 can of cannellini beans (white kidney beans)
Red pepper flakes
Chicken or vegetable broth
Salt, seasoned to taste
EVOO

In a sauté pan over med-high heat, add a few drizzles of EVOO and sauté onion and garlic until fragrant. Add chopped kale, beans, a few dashes of red pepper flakes and just enough broth to have liquid at the bottom of the pan. Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the broth starts to evaporate, add more just to create steam in the pan, cover again and continue cooking. Add salt to taste. Stir in more red pepper if you like it spicier.

Serve with fried, thin-cut pork chops.

Note: If you want a stronger garlic flavor, add garlic at the end of cooking instead of sautéing with onion.

 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Spinach with Noodles

I was craving this Czech dish that my mom makes, which consists of pureed spinach and boiled eggs over dumplings, but the problem was I don’t know how to make dumplings. So I settled on potato dumplings, which I thought would be easier. The potato dumplings turned out to be a disaster in every way possible, so I will have to try those again in the future.

This is what I ended up with, since I already had the eggs and spinach ready to go.
2-3 handfuls of dry egg noodles
10 oz of fresh baby spinach
½ yellow onion, diced
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp EVOO
Water or broth
Salt
2-3 boiled eggs, peeled and cut into wedges
2 sausage links, score one side

Boil noodles in salted water according to directions.

In a medium pan, heat EVOO over med-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté for a few minutes. Add spinach with a little water or broth; sauté until spinach is wilted. Add garlic mixture to a blender and puree until almost smooth. Add more water or broth to get the blender going, but not too much to make it watery. Season with salt to your liking.

In a small frying pan, cook scored sausage until browned on all sides.

To serve, plate noodles, top with spinach puree, add egg wedges and cooked sausage.

NOTE: If you want a stronger garlic flavor, do not sauté, but instead add raw garlic to blender with sautéed onion and garlic.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Linda’s Creole Creation


½ lb chicken tenders, cut into thirds
Cajun seasoning
Freshly cracked black pepper
½ lb raw shrimp, deveined and peeled
½ red bell pepper, diced
½ green bell pepper, diced
½ yellow onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional, depends on how spicy you like it)
1 can of diced tomatoes with jalapenos

2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup rice
1 tsp EVOO

Cook rice in rice cooker or stove top until done. Fluff right before serving.

In a frying pan over medium heat, drizzle a little EVOO and brown chicken for a couple minutes on each side. Season with Cajun seasoning and pepper. Don’t cook all the way through yet and remove chicken from pan to a plate. Add veggies to pan, sauté for about 5 minutes until tender. Add canned tomato, bring to a boil and then turn to a simmer. Add chicken back to pan and then add shrimp. Cook just until shrimp turns pink and chicken is cooked all the way through.

Serve chicken and shrimp mixture over rice.

Individual Peach Cobblers

A perfect summer time dessert to use those delicious peaches that are in season.

Makes 4

Topping:
½ cup flour
½ tsp cinnamon
¾ stick of butter, cut into small pieces
½ rolled oats
3 oz sliced almonds
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
¼ tsp salt

Filling:
6 large, ripe peaches, diced
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
½ cup dried cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare the topping:
In a mixing bowl, mix the flour and cinnamon together. Using your fingers, mix in the butter. Stir in the oats, almonds, sugar and salt.

Prepare the filling:
In a mixing bowl, combine diced peaches, sugar and cherries.

Fill each individual dessert dish with filling, about 1 ½ peaches per dish. Evenly cover with topping and bake for about 35 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

Note: The peaches will cook down by almost half, so if the filling looks low, add more peaches before baking.



B.L.A.S.T. (Bacon Linguini Asparagus Spinach Tomato) Pasta

I went to the store with the idea that I was going to attempt to make carbonara for dinner, but ended up making this. I can’t help adding veggies to my pasta!



4 thick slices of bacon, diced
½ package of linguini
About 10 stalks of asparagus, cut into 1” pieces
2 handfuls of raw baby spinach
1 small tomato, chopped
1 packet of dried Alfredo sauce
1-2 Tbsp pesto

In a frying pan over high heat, cook bacon until crispy. To avoid burning bacon, turn heat to medium and stir frequently. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon from pan and to a paper towel on a plate, to absorb excess grease.

In a small bowl, add asparagus and ½” water. Cover with saran wrap and microwave for 2 minutes and 30 seconds to steam. Remove cover, drain and set aside.

Boil and cook pasta according to directions.

Make Alfredo sauce according to directions; whisk in pesto sauce.

Drain pasta and return to pot. Toss with Alfredo pesto sauce. Mix in raw spinach until it welts. Stir in bacon and asparagus and top with diced tomato.

Plate pasta and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Czech Dinner: Fried Cauliflower, Mashed Potatoes, Cucumber Salad

This meal is similar to the traditional Czech dish my mom used to make growing up, which we loved! My mom, brother and I would each take a "station" as a part of the cauliflower breading line.

 Typically, the Czechs serve the cauliflower with boiled potatoes mixed with butter and caraway seeds, sprinkled with freshly minced chives. In this dinner, I used mashed potatoes instead.

I didn't make the dish with any meat because I don't think it needs it, though my husband kept saying 'it needs more sausage,' which he always says when I sneak in a meatless dinner.

Fried cauliflower:
1 head of cauliflower, separate florets
Flour, for dredging
2 eggs, beaten
Breadcrumbs, for coating
Vegetable oil, for frying

Cilantro Lemon Mayo:
¼ cup mayo
1 Tbsp freshly minced cilantro
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic, finely minced or grated
Freshly cracked black pepper


Mashed Potatoes:
2 large red skinned potatoes, quartered
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk or heavy cream
Salt & pepper, to taste

Cucumber salad:
1 1/2 Chinese cucumbers, sliced thinly
¼ small red onion, sliced thinly
½ cup of white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
½ salt
½ freshly crushed pepper

Fried cauliflower:
Steam cauliflower florets for about 10 minutes, until fork tender. Let cool so you can handle them. In this order, fill each bowl with the following: flour, eggs and breadcrumbs. Dredge cauliflower in the flour first, then dip in egg and lastly, coat with breadcrumbs.

In a frying pan, heat about ½ inch of oil over medium high heat. Fry cauliflower, turning over on all sides until golden brown. As they are done, set on a paper towel to help absorb some of the excess oil.

Cilantro Lemon Mayo:
In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Mashed potatoes:
In a pot with a steamer, steam potatoes until fork tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove steamer with potatoes from pot, drain water from pot. Add butter and milk to pot and return to stove top over low heat; stirring until butter melts. Add potatoes back into pot and mash until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Cucumber salad:
In a medium mixing bowl, add vinegar, sugar salt and pepper. Wisk until sugar is dissolved. Pour over cucumbers and onion; refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve cauliflower with potatoes and a side of cucumber salad. Serve with a ram

Fried cauliflower is delicious hot… or eat them cold the next day as a snack!


Enjoy!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Grilled Pork over Succotash with Cauliflower Potato Gratin

I wasn’t sure what to call my veggie mix, but then ‘succotash’ popped in my head. I looked it up and thought it fit pretty well for what I made, minus the beans that a succotash usually includes. This dish mainly features the sides, so you can choose the meat of your choice to grill/bake and serve along the succotash and gratin. I used pork for this dinner, but chicken would also be good.


Gratin:
2 red skinned potatoes, cubed
1/3 small cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
¼ cup freshly grated Cheddar cheese
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup of Gorgonzola cream sauce from my gnocchi recipe (minus the zucchini) http://dinnerwiththewelches.blogspot.com/2011/07/potato-gnocchi-in-gorgonzola-cream.html
Salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

Succotash:
1 ear of corn
½ green bell pepper, diced
1 carrot, diced
¼ small red onion, diced
Salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
EVOO

Gratin:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot, steam or boil potatoes and cauliflower together for about 10 minutes. I prefer to steam to keep the flavor and don’t boil out the nutrients. Drain and add to a casserole dish. Cover with cheese and cream sauce. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Broil uncovered for the last 5 minutes until brown cheese bubble form.



Succotash:
Boil corn in salted water for about 15 minutes. Drain, remove from pot and let cool so you can handle it. In a medium pan, heat EVOO over med-high heat, add peppers, carrot and onion. Sauté for a few minutes until they start to get tender. Using a sharp knife, cut corn off the cob and add to the veggies in the pan. Since the corn is already cooked you can add towards the end. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Plate by making a bed of succotash, top with grilled meat and serve with a side of gratin.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Potato Gnocchi in Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

This dish was inspired by a meal we had in Venice, which was our most amazing dinner of the trip. At the restaurant, Rosa Rossa, they used “duck ham,” which was essentially fried duck fat, which I substituted for bacon here.

Gnocchi:
1 lb Russet potatoes
1 egg, beaten
¾ cup flour
Pinch of salt

Sauce:
3 slices of thick bacon, diced
4 oz Gorgonzola Cheese (room temperature)
1 oz butter
8 oz heavy cream
Freshly cracked black pepper
Zucchini, thinly sliced

Gnocchi:
Peel and cut potatoes into quarters. Steam potatoes for about 10 minutes (or you can bake halved potatoes for 50 minutes); drain and let cool so you can handle them. Using a potato ricer, or the fine side of your grater, shred potatoes into a large mixing bowl.

Add egg, flour and salt. Gently mix with your hands until ingredients are combined and you have a ball of dough. Do not over mix to maintain light and fluffy gnocchi.

Dust your counter top or work space with flour. Take one piece of dough at a time and gently roll into a long ¾” rope with your hands. Be careful not to press down on the dough, but to roll outwards.

(Make sauce now, before you start boiling gnocchi.)

Cut dough rope into ½” pieces. Drop into a pot of salted boiling water. As gnocchi floats, remove them and set them in a colander.

Sauce:
In a frying pan, cook bacon until crispy. Remove bacon from pan and to a paper towel on a plate. In the same pan, add zucchini slices and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

In a small sauce pan over high heat, combine cheese, butter, cream and pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn to a simmer. Add bacon. Wisk sauce until cheese is melted and sauce is creamy.

Spoon gnocchi into a bowl, top with sauce, add zucchini, sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese and freshly cracked black pepper. Garnish with fresh basil.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fruit Pizza


Cookie:
1 premade log of Pillsbury Refrigerated Sugar Cookie dough (found in refrigerated section of grocery store)
Zest of one lemon

Frosting:
1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Toppings:
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1-2 kiwis, sliced
1 11-oz can mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup fresh raspberries, halved

Glaze:
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove cookie from wrapper. In a medium bowl, combine lemon zest and cookie dough. Use your hands to work zest into dough. Press the dough evenly onto an ungreased pizza pan or baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until it is golden brown. Let cookie cool.

For frosting, in a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread over cooled cookie. Arrange the fruit on top.

For glaze, in a small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in pineapple and lemon juice until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook until thickened. Cool slightly. Drizzle over fruit.

Refrigerate until chilled.

Breakfast Tostadas

A yummy way to start your weekend!

4 corn tortillas
Non-stick cooking spray
4 eggs
Salt and pepper
½ red bell pepper, diced
4 slices of Canadian bacon, or ham, diced
2 green onion sprigs, or regular yellow onion, diced
Freshly grated Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray one side of the tortillas with non-stick cooking spray, place on a baking sheet and cook for 7 minutes. Turn tortillas over, spray with more cooking spray and cook for another 7 minutes, until crispy. While tortillas are baking make eggs.

In a frying pan, spray with cooking spray, add peppers, ham and onions; sauté for a few minutes. Add eggs and scramble together. Season with salt and pepper. Don’t overcook the eggs since they will go in the oven for a few minutes and cook more.

Top each tostada with scramble eggs mixture, top with cheese and bake for a couple minutes until cheese is melted.

Top breakfast tostadas with sliced avocado, salsa and fresh minced cilantro. Serve with a fruit salad.

Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken with Couscous

Bursting with flavor in every bite. The hubby usually isn't a fan of couscous unless I mix in different ingredients, like artichoke hearts, cheese, etc...get creative!

2 chicken breasts
¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted
2 Tbsp sundried tomatoes
EVOO
Lemon Pepper seasoning
Salt

Couscous:
1 box of olive oil and pine nuts couscous (or plain)
½ red bell pepper, diced
2 green onion sprigs, sliced
Jarred artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
Feta cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

With a deboning knife, insert a hole into the thick end of the chicken breast and using your knife and finger carefully create a pocket. Be careful to not poke a hole through the other side. Set aside.

In a food processor, combine olives, tomatoes with a drizzle of EVOO. Stuff the chicken with this mixture. Season both sides chicken with lemon pepper and salt. In a frying pan over med-high heat, drizzle a little EVOO and brown both sides of chicken. Remove chicken from pan and to a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes until chicken is cooked throughout.

While chicken is baking, add a couple drizzles of EVOO to a pot over med-high heat. Add peppers and sauté for a couple minutes. Add water for couscous to the pot (following directions on the box), bring to a boil, add couscous with seasonings, remove from heat, cover and set to the side for about 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork then stir in green onions, artichoke hearts and feta cheese.

Serve chicken with couscous and drizzle with cooked chicken juice from baking sheet.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cilantro Lime Salmon

After this recipe, I will definitely will be using more lime in my dishes going forward,...and I might even plant a lime tree!

2 salmon filets, skin on
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of one lime
Zest of one lime
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp EVOO
salt
fresh ground pepper

Rice:
1 cup of water or chicken broth
½ long grained basmati rice
¼ cup frozen edamame
¼ cup frozen chopped spinach
1 green onion sprig, chopped
Juice from ½ lime
Zest from one lime (save some to sprinkle on top of finished dish)

In a small bowl, combine cilantro, juice of one lime, zest of one lime, garlic, EVOO, salt and pepper into a bowl. Marinate salmon in mixture in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Heat grill to high heat, grill fish skin side down 5-7 minutes, until skin is crisp. Flip fish, remove skin, squeeze juice from half a lime onto fish. Continue cooking for a few more minutes, until fish easily flakes and is still pink in the middle.

In a rice cooker, add water, rice, a drizzle of EVOO and salt. When the rice is almost done, mix in edamame, spinach and green onions. When rice is finished mix in lime juice and zest; fluff.

Serve fish over rice and sprinkle with extra lime zest.