Sunday, March 31, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Deviled Eggs

I came across this recipe on my favorite food blogger’s website, and my mouth watered instantly. You can find his recipe here. This recipe is a little different but I would imagine just as delicious. 
I have to admit, it felt wrong stuffing chicken into an egg, but it tasted so right!
Happy Easter!
3 boiled eggs
1 Tbsp Ranch dressing
1 Tbsp Frank’s RedHot, or buffalo wing hot sauce
¼ cup shredded chicken, roughly chopped
½ fresh jalapeno pepper, finely diced (optional)
Blue cheese crumbles 
Cut boiled eggs in half, lengthwise, and add yolks to a small bowl. Add Ranch and Frank’s RedHot to bowl. Using the back of a fork, mash everything together. Add chicken and jalapeno peppers and mix together. Using a spoon, add mixture back to eggs. Top with crumbled blue cheese.
If you like this recipe, you should also try my Sriracha Deviled Eggs.
Note: I used a drop of Sriracha sauce to dot each egg, purely for esthetics, since the Frank’s was too thin.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Saturday Breakfast: Corned Beef Hash

I don’t even like corned beef, but I went to the grocery store starving and it was on sale (after St Patty’s Day), so I said – what the heck? My husband feels the same way about it, but we both loved the way this meat came out, as well as the breakfast we used it in the next day!
Then my co-worker brought me three fresh eggs from her own chickens. There was one brown and two with different shades of green. I was so excited to try them since I’ve heard you can really taste the difference between fresh verse store bought eggs. The yolk was larger and more yellow. They were delicious. A great accompaniment to the corned beef hash.

4 servings
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 medium Russet potatoes, peeled, diced and boiled until tender (make the day before)
2 cups chopped corned beef - see corned beef recipe below, make the day before
½ small yellow onion, diced
½ red bell pepper, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp minced fresh flat leaf Italian parsley
Salt & pepper, to taste
In a large frying pan over medium high heat, add EVOO. Once oil is hot, add potatoes, corned beef, onion, peppers and garlic. Press down with a spatula and let cook for about 5 minutes. Mix in parsley, salt and pepper. Press down with spatula and cook for another 5 minutes, until potatoes and beef are browned and crispy. Serve with fried eggs and toast.
Crock Pot Corned Beef:
2 ½ lb corned beef brisket
Vegetable broth (low sodium)
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
In a crock pot, add corned beef. Cover with broth. Add garlic and bay leaves. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove from liquid, place on cutting board and cut against grain.
Tip: Make the day before and use leftovers for corned beef hash.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

2 large red skinned potatoes, diced
¼ cup milk
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
3 slices of crispy bacon, chopped
2 green onion sprigs, chopped
Salt & pepper, to taste
In a large pot of boiling water, cook potatoes until fork tender, about 6-8 minutes. Drain and return potatoes to pot. Add milk and sour cream. Mash until smooth. Mix in cheese, bacon and green onions. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sautéed Chard and Carrots

I love making dinners that have a sautéed vegetable side, such as Swiss chard or kale, because it's fast, easy and tasty. I think a lot of people don’t cook with these leafy greens simply because they don’t know how. Swiss chard is an excellent source of vitamins K, A, and C, as well as a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron and dietary fiber.

 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
½ yellow onion, diced
1 bunch of Swiss chard, roughly chopped
2 large carrots, peel into ribbons
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add EVOO and onions; cook for 3-4 minutes. Add chard and carrots. Sauté for about 8 minutes, until tender. Stir in garlic, pepper flakes and salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve with your favorite protein.
Substitute chard for curly kale or baby bok choy.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Egg Noodle and Vegetable Casserole

I know when some people hear the word ‘casserole’ they scrunch up their nose and say eewww! My mom is Czech so we didn’t grow up eating the traditional American casseroles, like green bean casserole or tuna noodle casserole (I couldn’t even type these without saying eewww!) – the kind of casseroles where you add a can of Campbell’s soup. Growing up, my mom used to make an egg noodle and ham casserole (fleky se šunkou) for us. This was great to eat warm, or even cold and cut into squares the next day.

4 servings

Wide egg noodles (about ½ a bag)
2 slices of butter
3 eggs
¾ cup half & half
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp Dijon mustard
6 oz grated Cheddar cheese
½ red bell pepper, diced
½ green bell pepper, diced
¼ cup chopped flat leaf Italian parsley

Cook noodles in salted water according to directions, about 6 minutes; drain. Toss noodles with butter and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, half & half, salt, pepper and mustard.

Add noodles to a large bowl. Pour egg mixture over noodles, add cheese, peppers and parsley. Mix until combined.

Add mixture to a greased casserole dish. Bake uncovered on 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until eggs set. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy with grilled pork chops, or as a light meal with a salad on a warm summer night.

·         Add Pepper Jack cheese or a few dashes of hot sauce for a kick!
·         Add broccoli florets
·         Add ham
·         Add mushrooms
·         Add chopped fresh spinach
·         Add asparagus spears

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Green Olives and Artichoke Rice

2-3 servings
¾ cup white, long grained Basmati rice
1 ½ cup chicken or vegetable broth
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
¼ cup chopped green onions
¼ cup chopped green olives
¼ cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts
2 Tbsp chopped marinated sundried tomatoes
2 Tbsp chopped flat leaf Italian parsley 
In a rice cooker, add first 4 ingredients and cook until done. Mix in remaining ingredients. 
Serve with grilled sword fish and steamed asparagus. 
Helpful Tip:
Do you ever buy jarred artichokes, but don’t know what to do with the marinade after the artichokes are gone? I like to buy dried sundried tomatoes and add them to this marinade, then store in the fridge until ready to use. It softens them, making them available to use immediately, and adds great flavor.  You can also use the leftover marinade as a salad dressing too.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Chicken Noodle Soup with Vegetables

When I was up in the Bay Area last weekend, we went to a Polish market and found the perfect thin egg noodles for a broth based soup. This soup is too good and easy to not make from scratch every time! Perfect meal in a bowl to enjoy on a cold evening.

8 cups water
2 bouillon cubes (or cook chicken in vegetable or chicken broth instead of cubes with water)
1 large chicken breast (about 1 lb)
Celery greens
Lighter colored middle parts (remove these later)
½ cup dried chopped mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1 cup dried egg noodles
2 large carrots, sliced
2 large celery stalks, sliced
4 large Brussels sprouts, sliced
1 cup broccoli crowns, cut into bite sized pieces
1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
3 green onion sprigs, chopped

In a large pot, add water and bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil and add chicken breast, celery greens and center stalks, dried mushrooms and garlic. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove chicken from pot; cool and cut into cubes. Remove celery stalks and discard.
Bring broth to a boil again and add noodles, carrots, celery, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and spices. After about 2 minutes, remove broccoli crowns with a slotted spoon; set aside. Turn heat to medium heat and cook until noodles are tender. Add cubed cooked chicken and broccoli back to soup. Add green onions. 
Serve with a nice crusty bread.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Culinary Staples of Rochester, New York

When people think of Rochester, NY they probably don’t think of it as a foodie destination or the culinary capital of the North East. Since my husband is from Rochester, we visit this city once a year to see family, not for the food like our other vacations, though there are some samples you have to have when you’re in town. These are the Rochester staples that we always get each time we’re in town, and I’ve recently discovered a third, and I can’t wait to go back to have it again!

First, when we’re in town, my husband and his friends always have to eat a Trash Plate at Empire Hots. I’m embarrassed to admit that I ate this plate sober, and liked it! This plate starts with a generous serving of your choice of home fries, mac salad, or beans… or a combo of two choices. We always go for the home fries and mac salad. Then it’s topped with two hamburger patties with melted cheese (or you can pick from your choice of hotdogs, sausage, pull pork, fried fish, chicken). After it’s is topped with “hot sauce”, which is a meaty mixture in a spicy red sauce, similar to a bean-less hot chili. Lastly, they finish it off with mustard and onions. Voilà, a greasy and delicious Trash Plate!

The second Rochester staple that you have to have is a Bill Gray’s cheeseburger. Bill Gray’s…home of the “world’s greatest cheeseburger”. This burger was so loaded that I ate it with a fork and knife and still needed a handful of napkins! You can order the deluxe cheeseburger that comes on a soft fresh baked roll topped with mustard, ketchup, relish, cheese, Bill’s hot sauce, lettuce, tomato and mayo. Finish off your meal, with some Abbott’s frozen custard or a frozen chocolate dipped banana.

Last, but definitely not least, is my lastest delicious discovery…Wegman’s Sourdough Miche bread. Amazing. First of all, Wegmans is the greatest grocery store I’ve ever been in. So spectacular that one location actually had their own restaurant across the street, Next Door, which served this amazing bread. The Miche bread is a round loaf made from a blend of whole wheat, white, and rye flours, with a sourdough tang. It literally melts in your mouth and I couldn’t get enough of it. I’m from the San Francisco Bay Area, so I know and love my sourdough bread, but this tops it all. Unfortunately, the grocery store was out of the bread when we stopped by after dinner, and now I can’t wait to get back to Rochester again so this bread can make sweet love to my mouth once again.