Sunday, December 30, 2012

Red lentils with onion and garlic

  • 2 cups uncooked red lentils, rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 12 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 6 cups cooked brown Basmati rice
Put lentils, turmeric and 4 cups water into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are very soft and pulpy, about 25 minutes. Add salt to lentils after cooking, then purée in blender and set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until golden brown, taking care not to burn them. Add onion mixture to lentils and stir well. Serve hot, with basmati rice on the side.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Red Lentil Soup ("Mercemek")

This is an awesome Turkish recipe that my neighbor gave to me!  It's awesome!  And hopefully our new little one will love it when we bring him home!

2 cups red lentils
1 chopped onion
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups vegetable broth (or chicken)
2 cups water
1 cubed potato
1 chopped carrot
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper

1.  In large pot, saute red lentils and onion in olive oil.
2.  Add broth, water, and rest of ingredients to pot.  Bring to a boil, turn heat down, and simmer for about 45 minutes or until lentils are soft.
3.  Puree soup with hand blender or stand blender.
4.  Pour into serving bowls and add a splash of lemon juice to each bowl.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Mona's Awesome Chicken Stuff :)

Another great recipe!

Depending on how much your making you need at least 2-3 cans of cream of mushroom soup (or cream soup).  Prehaeat oven to 325.  Sprinkle salt and garlic on thawed chicken breasts.  Heat frying pan, add oil and place 4 to 6 chicken breasts (I used boneless) in pan.  Brown the chicken til you no longer have raw meat on the outside of the chicken. 
Remove chicken from pan and and add 1 cup of onion, fry for a few minutes, then add 1 cup of white wine (you do not have to do this, but I think it gives it a richer flavor, so if you don't have the wine you can skip this).  Stir in pan and let this simmer for about 7 mins.  You're also trying to pick up all the flavor of the chicken that has been left in the pan.  Next add your cream soup along w/about 1-2 Cups chicken broth (or water, but better flavor w/broth) depending on how many cans of soup your using and how thick you would like your gravy.  Mix soup in w/mixture and allow to simmer.  Place chicken in baking pan and pour mixture over chicken.  Bake at least 30 minutes, covered.  Serve over pasta, rice or potatoes. 

Karen's Potato Salad

This was the yummiest potato salad I've ever had!

Here are the ingredients:

1 cup Hellmann's mayonnaise
2 T white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt (good Kosher or sea salt is best!)
1 tsp sugar
pepper to taste and generous amount of parsley
onion, finely chopped
celery, chopped to preference
potatoes - reds or whites chopped to prefer size

I usually make enough that I need a double batch of the dressing!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mint-Filled Brownie Cupcakes


8 oz semisweet mini chocolate chips
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
12 small Peppermint Patties

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.  Place chocolate and butter in medium bowl and microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir.  Repeat with 20 second intervals in the microwave, stirring after each, until fully melted.  Whisk together.

2.  Whisk in sugar and salt until mixture is smooth; whisk in eggs to combine.  Gently whisk in flour and cocoa just until smooth (do not overmix).

3.  Spoon 1 Tbsp of batter into each lined cup.  Place 1 peppermint patty into each dollop of batter, gently pressing into batter.  Top with 2 more Tbsp of batter, covering patty completely.  Smooth batter if needed.  Bake, rotating tin halfway through baking time until a cake tester inserted half-way into centers comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before removing cupcakes.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Niter Kebbeh

Ethiopians keep this butter mixture on hand to use when cooking.  You make a big batch and keep in the fridge and use as needed.  It will keep for 3 months in the fridge.
It smells amazing!

Niter Kebbeh

1 pound butter, unsalted
2 cloves garlic, chopped
one small piece ginger, peeled and chopped
1 very small onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground fenugreek
1/2-inch piece cinnamon stick
1 whole clove

1.  In heavy saucepan, heat the butter over moderate heat.  Stir and turn so that it melts evenly.  Do not allow the melted butter to brown or bubble, lower heat if necessary.

2.  As soon as all of it is melted, increase heat and quickly bring to bubbly boil.  A mass of small bubble will form on the top.  Stir in the garlic, ginger, and onion.  Cook for a minute or two, then add the dry ingredients: tumeric, cardamom, nutmeg, fenugreek, cinnamon stick, and clove.  Reduce heat to a very low simmer.

3.  Simmer on a very low heat for 30 minutes to an hour.  Do not stir.  The milk solids should sink to the bottom of the pan and a clear butter liquid should float on top.

4.  Carefully strain the liquid through a cheesecloth.  Repeat as necessary to obtain a liquid that is clear and free of spices and milk solids.  Pour the Niter Kebbeh into a clean jar with an airtight cover.  Keep in the fridge and use as needed.  I will turn solid when chilled, and will keep for 3 months.

**Fenugreek is the most essential spice in this...of course we didn't have any on hand...have to order it online.

Chicken Dorowat (Ethiopian Chicken Stew)

This was SO amazingly good!  It had a fabulous flavor to it!  I didn't add nearly as much paprika or cayenne as it called for, and it was not hot at all.  So, the kids loved it!  It was super easy to make too!

8 oz tomato sauce
1/8 cup paprika (recipe called for 1/4 cup!)
1/4 cup red wine
1 Tbsp fresh ginger paste (can buy in a tube, already smashed up in deli section!)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (recipe called for 2 tsp)
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground all spice
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1 tsp salt
3 pounds chicken breasts or thighs, diced up (I used thighs)
1/4 cup red wine

1.  Make the red pepper sauce first, combine tomato sauce, paprika, 1/4 cup red wine, fresh ginger, cayenne pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and all spice.  Set aside.

2.  In a large skillet (or wok), cook onion and garlic in hot oil until onion is tender but not brown.  Stir in red pepper sauce, tumeric, and salt.  Add chicken pieces to skillet.  Stir together and reduce heat; cover.  Simmer on low for about 30 minutes.

3.  Stir in 1/4 cup dry red wine.  Cook uncovered about 15 minutes.  Stir frequently, skim off fat.  Serve with injera.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Injera - Ethiopian Flatbread

So, this week I am getting up the courage to try it...the staple food item from Ethiopia.
I say getting up the nerve because once our son comes home, this will probably be a regular food in our household, and I want to make sure I get it right!  I want it to not just be food for him.  I want it to bring the comfort and safety that only our native comfort foods can sometimes bring.  I want it to be a piece of his history and his future. goes!
I got this recipe from here....from a woman from Guinea in west Africa.

Injera is like a spongy, sourdough crepe, that they use in Ethiopia in place of silverware.  They eat this with just about every meal, and break off pieces of it to scoop up their saucy stews with.  It's actually really tasty!  I thought it would be hard to make, but it was actually really easy!

Makes: 8 -10 Injera of 24cm


2 cups Self rising flour

½  cup whole wheat flour

½ cup cornmeal

1 tsp active dry yeast

2 and ½ cup of water


Note: The first step is done 2 or 3 days prior to the cooking day.

1-      In a large bowl, mix all the flours with the active dry yeast and 2 cups of water. Mix really well to form a batter. Set it for 2 days for the fermentation to take place. If you like the bread less sour 24h will be just enough.

2-      After fermenting the batter, some liquid will rise on top mix all really well.

3-      In a blender add the fermented batter and with few drops of water and whip well. The batter should be quite thin once you are done. Let it sit for another 20 min.

4-      Heat a non-stick pan or skillet until very hot do not add oil and pour ½ cup of batter in a circular motion in the pan.

5-      Bake it for 30 seconds, then reduce the heat and place the lid, bake for another 45 seconds.  When ready bubbles should appear all over the bread.

6-      Remove and place in clean cloth to let cool down for 2 minutes.

7-      When ready serve with stew (Doro Watt or any watt).

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Huevos Rancheros Quiche

All the Guatemalan breakfast flavors I LOVE in an easy to eat (and easy to freeze!) serving!

4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2/3 cup salsa
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp cumin, optional
1 jalapeno, diced, optional
1 cup refried black beans
corn tortillas

1.  Whisk eggs and milk together.  Add salsa, cheese, (and cumin and jalapeno, optional).  Mix together.
2.  Take a corn tortilla and spread a spoonful of refried black beans onto center.  Spread around slightly.  Push into muffin tin cup.  Fill with egg mixture.  Repeat until egg mixture is gone.
3.  Bake at 450 until set, about 15 minutes.
4.  Pop in the freezer, in a ziploc bag and grab when needed, putting in the microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes.  Serve with sour cream.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cream of Wheat

Make cream of wheat on stove as directions say...then add semi-sweet chocolate chips and fresh cherries (diced up)!

Chris' Outlaw Chili

This is wicked good!  Chris' own creation years ago...still a fall favorite!

drizzle olive oil
1 Tbsp garlic
1 lb Sirloin Tip Steak (any cut will do, really)
1 cup Bourbon Whiskey
2 jalapeno peppers, diced
2 habanero peppers, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
31 oz dark red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
15 oz great white northern beans (drained and rinsed)
30 oz diced tomatoes (or crushed tomatoes)
15 oz diced tomatoes (or canned whole tomatoes, cut up)
salt to taste

1.  Lightly brown the garlic in olive oil.
2.  Cut steak into strips, and add to the sauted garlic.
3.  Once steak is browned, add whiskey.  Cook over high until most of the alcohol is cooked off.
4.  Add water and cook for 30 minutes. 
5.  Add salt, and all the peppers.  Cook for 30 more minutes.
6.  Add remaining ingredients and cook until warm.

Serve with grated cheddar cheese and sour cream (and/or avocado)

Note: Peppers are for flavor AND heat, so pick peppers that you like, even plain green ones.  If you like the flavor of the hotter peppers but you don't want the heat, just remove the seeds and membranes before dicing! 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Huevos Rancheros Quiche

Wanted to try something new today to incorporate all the great flavors in Guatemalan/Mexican Huevos Rancheros, into a quick grab and throw in the microwave breakfast!
Totally awesome!!!!

9 corn tortillas
1/2 cup refried black beans
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk or evaporated milk
1/2 - 3/4 cup medium salsa
1/2 tsp garlic
2 Tbsp chopped green onion
1/2 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1/4 cup cheddar, shredded
1/4 cup monterey jack, shredded

1.  Combine eggs, milk, salsa, garlic, green onion, jalapeno pepper, cheddar, and monterey jack.
2.  Spread 1/2 - 1 Tbsp refried beans into center of one tortilla.  Place tortilla into one of the muffin cups.  Fill with egg mixture.  Repeat for remaining tortillas and egg mixture.
3.  Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes or until set.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Giordano's Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza Copycat Recipe

OH.  MY.  GOSH!  It's like Pizza Heaven!
This is like the golden egg recipe for me!  I've DREAMED of a day when I could make a Giordano's Pizza in my own kitchen!  We first went to Giordano's in Orlando back in the winter of 2006.  It was so amazing that we went there twice in the week we were in Florida.  And we should have gone back EVERY night!  It was the best thing I've ever had the privilege of eating!!!!
And I've searched the internet a million times over the years in search for the perfect copycat...and nothing ever even looked like it would come close.  Until the other day.  I found a chain of posts on a blog about it, and this one guy named Steve seemed VERY knowledgeable about many different Chicago chains and their exact ingredients they use...and he listed his copycat version of their crust...and it got great reviews.  And so, I tried it...and it was PERFECT!
This will be the only Chicago style pizza we ever try!  And I'm planning on eating this a LOT!  :)  As in every week!
This should make a 12 inch pizza...we did a 12 inch and a 6-8 inch, so I'm scaling down from that...

4 cups flour
1 2/3 cup water (the amount of hydration depends on the age of the flour)
3/4 cup canola oil
3 tsp yeast
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
mozzarella cheese (lots)
pizza toppings - we like pepperoni, mushroom, spinach, and lots of fresh garlic!
Classico ground tomatoes (apparently Giordano's uses something called 6-in-1 brand, but I emailed them and they don't sell around here...but they sell Classico brand, and it was very good!)

1.  Put all ingredients into kitchen aid mixer.  Mix for 1 minute. Let rise for about 6 hours or so. Punch down, then cover and let the gluten relax for 10-15 minutes or so. Cut about 1/4 of the dough off and set aside.  Roll rest of dough out to size needed to cover bottom and sides of pan. Add cheese and toppings.  Roll the smaller dough ball out very thin and place on top of toppings.  Pinch together with bottom crust as best as you can.  Spread sauce on top. Bake at 450 for around 30 minutes--you'll have to experiment with time and rack placement because home ovens act in very different ways!

Apparently Giordano's adds crushed red pepper flakes to their sauce, but I didn't....I should next time though!  But we added about 2 Tbsp fresh garlic to the pizza and that was GREAT!

Bang Bang Shrimp - copycat

I found this copycat recipe online...we tried it and it was awesome!!!  The flavor was right on!  We ended up accidentally thawing out double the shrimp that were called for, and I didn't want to double the mayo for just the two of us (we had this for a date night after putting the kids to bed!) we ended up with twice the shrimp/half the sauce - whichever way you wanna look at it!  It was great!  The flavor was the same as at Bonefish!!!!  And the calories weren't nearly as bad b/c it wasn't so sloppy wet with mayo!  Of course, more sauce would have been awesome and more like the real deal...but it would have been way more calories too!  So, I'm good with this way!  :)

Bang Bang Shrimp

Yield: 2 – 4 as appetizer
  • 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • For the sauce:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 4-5 teaspoons chili garlic sauce, such as Sriracha sauce
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • For the egg mixture:
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • For the breading mixture:
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • For frying:
  • 8 to 12 cups vegetable oil
  1. Combine all ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl; cover and set aside.
  2. Combine beaten egg with milk in shallow bowl; set aside.
  3. Combine flour, panko, salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and basil in another shallow bowl; set aside.
  4. Bread the shrimp by first coating each with the breading mixture. Dip breaded shrimp into the egg and milk mixture, and then back into the breading. Arrange the coated shrimp on a plate and pop them into the fridge for at least 20 minutes. This step will help the breading to stick on the shrimp when they are frying.
  5. Heat oil in deep fryer to 350 degrees F. Use amount of oil required by your fryer.
  6. When oil is hot, fry shrimp 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on rack or paper towels.
  7. When all shrimp has been fried, drop the shrimp into a large bowl. Spoon about 1/4 cup of sauce over shrimp and stir gently to coat.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake

This is our absolute FAVORITE summer dessert! It is SO light and refreshing!

 Blueberry Cheesecake

9 whole graham crackers
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
3 Tbsp (packed) brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp unflavored gelatin
 12 oz cream cheese, room temp
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 cups fresh blueberries

1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp sugar
4 1/2 pint baskets blueberries
2/3 cup blueberry jam


 For the Crust:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Blend first 4 ingredients in processor until graham crackers are finely ground. Add butter and vanilla; process until moist crumbs form. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and 1 inch up sides of 9" diameter springform pan. Bake crust until deep golden brown, about 12 minutes. Cool.

 For the Filling:
1. Pour 1/4 cup water into saucepan; sprinkle gelatin over. Let stand 10 minutes. Stir over very low heat just until gelatin dissolves. Set aside.
2. Blend cream cheese, cream, sugar, and lemon juice in processor until smooth (some blueberry bits will remain).
3. With machine running, add warm gelatin mixture through feed tube and blend well. Pour filling into crust. Cover; chill overnight (can be made 2 days ahead, keep chilled). 
 4. Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Release pan sides. Transfer to platter. 

 For the Topping: 
1. Beat cream and sugar in medium bowl until firm peaks form. Spread cream cheese mixture thickly over top of cheesecakes. 
 2. Place berries in bowl. Heat jam in small saucepan over low heat until just melted. Pour jam over berries; toss to coat. 
 3. Mount coated berries in center of cream, leaving 1" plain border. Chill cake at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Pampered Chef's Spicy Shrimp Noodle Bowl

Spicy Shrimp Noodle Bowl 5 oz uncooked rice noodles 8 oz uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined 1/8 tsp plus 1/2 tsp salt, divided 2 Tbsp cornstarch 2 Tbsp vegetable oil 2 tsp grated ginger 1 cup thinly sliced carrots 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin 6 shallots, thinly sliced (or onion) 1 cup lite coconut milk 1 cup chicken broth 2 tsp thai green curry paste 2 Tbsp lime juice 1/4 cup thinly sliced thai basil or basil lime wedges, if desired Directions: 1. Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and add noodles. Let noodles soak 3-4 minutes or until softened but still slightly firm. Drain and rinse with cold water; set aside. 2. Season shrimp with 1/8 tsp salt; dredge in cornstarch, shaking off excess. Heat oil in saute pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add shrimp in a single layer; cook 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and crisp, turning once. Remove shrimp from pan; set aside and keep warm. Add gingerroot, carrot, bell pepper and shallots/onions to pan. Cook and stir until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, chicken broth, curry paste, lime juice, 2 Tbsp basil and remaining 1/2 tsp salt; bring to a simmer. 3. Add noodles to simmering sauce mixture; cook 1 minute or just until heated through. Stir in shrimp; spoon into bowls. Garnish with remaining basil and lime wedges if desired.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Cinncinnati Chili

This is my favorite quick meal!  So thankful that my friend Kim made it for us one night!  It's awesome!

1 pound lean ground beef
1 pkg mild chili seasoning
1 tsp cinnamon
15 oz can tomato sauce
15 oz canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 box whole wheat spaghetti

1.  Cook pasta according to pasta.
2.  In skillet, cook ground beef until brown.  Add chili seasoning, cinnamon, tomato sauce, kidney beans, and about 1/2 cup water.
3.  Serve meat mixture over spaghetti.
4.  Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and green onions.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

CrockPot Pork for Tacos and Chalupas

Made this last night during our Mexican week, and it was AWESOME!!!!!!  Will definitely make this again and again!

CrockPot Pork for Tacos and Chalupas

large boneless pork shoulder
16 oz tomato sauce
1 cup water
3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 tsp ground cumin
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt

1.  Place pork in large crock pot.
2.  Combine rest of ingredients in bowl and pour over pork.  Cook on high in Crockpot for 4-5 hours or until fully cooked through and it shreds easily.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Panang Curry with Veggies, Scallops, and Shrimp

My own creation :)

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp diced lemongrass
1 tsp diced ginger
1 1/2 red bell peppers, sliced thin
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, cut in 2-inch pieces
4 keiffer lime leaves
1 lb scallops
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 yellow squash, chopped
1 green zucchini, chopped
2 tsp red curry paste
1 can coconut milk
1 cup water
4 handfuls fresh baby spinach
cooked white rice

1.  Heat olive oil in large wok over medium high heat.  Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes or until soft.
2.  Add garlic, lemongrass, and ginger.  Cook for about 3 minutes.
3.  Add bell pepper, asparagus, and keiffer lime leaves and cook for about 3 minutes.
4.  Add scallops, shrimp, squash, and zucchini.  Cook for about 8 minutes or until seafood is cooked through.
5.  Mix water, coconut milk, and red curry paste together.  Add to wok.  Add spinach and cook for about 3 minutes until spinach is wilted.
6.  Serve over cooked white rice.

Italian Veggie Quesadillas

This was my own creation, from one of the ideas I found in a cookbook last night.  They were SO good!  The kids said they "LOVED them...even more than the regular ones!"  And Chris said they were "Amazing!"  :)  So, looks like we'll be having these a lot!!!!
The veggies make them nice and rich so you don't need any salt or sour cream to dip them!

10 small four tortillas
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
10 cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 large handfuls fresh baby spinach
1/2 (of 15 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 tsp fresh basil, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced (optional)
sprinkle of Italian seasoning
4-8 oz Mozzarella cheese
1/8 cup Parmesan cheese

1.  In large skillet, heat oil and onion over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until onion just starts to brown.  Add garlic and mushrooms.  Cook for another 3-5 minutes until mushrooms turn dark.
2.  Add spinach, drained tomatoes, basil, jalapeno (if desired), and Italian seasoning.  Heat, stirring often, until spinach is completely wilted.  Remove from heat.
3.  Heat flat skillet over medium heat.  To make each quesadilla, place one tortilla on flat skillet.  Top with little mozzarella, mushroom/spinach mixture, little Parmesan, and a little more Mozzarella (Use enough cheese to help it all stick together to each tortilla).  Heat until bottom of quesadilla is golden.  Using a large spatula, flip quesadilla over and heat the second side until it's golden brown.  Remove and place onto serving dish; cut into 4 pieces with scissors.

Roasted Garlic, Chicken, and Mushroom Tacos

1 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
3 cups diced roasted chicken
8 corn or flour tortillas
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup oil-packed sun dried tomatoes - or canned petite diced

1.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Saute garlic and mushrooms until mushrooms are soft, about 6 minutes.  Add chicken and saute until chicken is heated through, 6 to 8 minutes.
2.  To build tacos, divide chicken mixture equally among tortillas.  Top with spinach, cheese, and sun dried tomatoes.

Buffalo Chicken Taquitos

3 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/3 cup Frank's wing sauce
3/4 tsp salt
36 corn tortillas

1.  In large bowl, combine chicken, wing sauce, and salt.
2.  To build taquitos, place about 1 heaping Tbsp of chicken at one end of each tortilla.  Gently roll tortilla tightly and secure with a toothpick.  Deep-fry immediately or place rolled tacos in a resealable bag to keep moist.  Refrigerate up to 2 days or until ready to cook.
3.  Fill a deep-fryer, deep heavy pot, or deep skillet with 3 inches of vegetable oil and heat to 350 degrees.  Using tongs, gently place 3 to 4 tacos at a time in hot oil and deep-fry, turning once, until golden brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes.  Drain on paper towels.

Buffalo Chicken Tacos with Blue Cheese Crumbles

1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups shredded roasted chicken
1/4 cup Franks wing sauce
8 corn tortillas
2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
8 oz blue cheese crumbles

1.  In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Saute chicken and hot sauce until chicken is heated through, 10 to 12 minutes.
2.  To build tacos, divide chicken mixture equally among tortillas.  Top with lettuce and blue cheese.

Grilled Chicken and Roasted Veggie Tacos/Quessadillas

1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
1 squash, cut in half lengthwise
1 onion, cut into 1/4-inch rings
1 red bell pepper cored and cut in half
3 thick asparagus spears, trimmed
juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp minced fresh basil
8 corn tortillas, skillet-warmed
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

1.  Coat chicken with 2 Tbsp oil.  Season with salt and pepper.
2.  Grill chicken, turning once, until no longer pink inside, 6 to 8 minutes per side.  Transfer to cutting board and let sit for 5 minutes.  Cut chicken into bite-size pieces.  Transfer to ovenproof dish and keep warm.
3.  Coat zucchini, squash, onion, pepper, and asparagus with remaining 2 Tbsp oil.  Place veggies on grill (in veggie grate or on foil on grill).  Grill, turning once, until veggies are tender-crisp, 4 to 6 minutes per side.  Transfer to cutting board and cut into bite-sized pieces.
4.  In large bowl, combine chicken and veggies and toss with lemon juice and basil.  Season with salt and pepper.
5.  Build tacos with chicken and veggies, top with cheese.

Could also do as quesadillas!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Tacos

Buffalo Chicken Tacos
Adapted from Prevention RD
Printable Recipe
1 pound chicken breasts, skinless, boneless, cut into 1 inch pieces
⅓ cup flour
3 tablespoon cornstarch
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
⅓ cup buffalo wing sauce (Frank’s Buffalo Wing) , plus extra for garnishment
1 Tablespoon olive oil
10 6-inch yellow corn tortillas
Shredded butter Lettuce
Diced onions mixed with cilantro
Avocado slices
Ranch dressing
Green onions, sliced thinly


Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

In a large bowl, combine cornstarch, flour, cayenne, and garlic powder. Season the chicken pieces with pepper, then dredge in the flour mixture.

Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the Dutch oven and once it gets hot, add chicken and cook on both sides – about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Once the chicken is done, set it aside in a bowl and toss with ⅓ cup buffalo wing sauce.

Assemble 10 tacos, dividing the toppings evenly among each taco. 

Romano's Penne Rustica

Gratinata Sauce:
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons Marsala wine
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 pound penne rigate pasta, cooked
12 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 skinless chicken breasts fillets
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) thick-sliced smoked prosciutto, chopped

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

12 sliced pimentos
4 sprigs rosemary


1. Preheat barbecue grill to high.

2. Prepare gratinata sauce by melting 3 tablespoons of butter over 
medium/low heat. Add the garlic and sweat it for about 5 minutes. Be sure the garlic doesn't brown. Add the Marsala wine and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients for the sauce and whisk well until smooth. Bring mixture to a simmer and keep it there for 10 minutes or until it's thick. Cover sauce and remove it from the heat.

3. Cook pasta following directions on the package (7 to 9 minutes in boiling water). You want the pasta tender, but not mushy (al dente). Strain pasta and set it aside when it's done.

4. Pound the thick end of your chicken breasts a bit with a kitchen mallet to make them a uniform thickness. Rub chicken with olive oil, then sprinkle on a bit of salt. Spear the shrimp on skewers (6 per skewer should work fine), then rub them with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5. Grill chicken for 5 to 6 minutes per side. Grill shrimp for 2 minutes per side. When chicken is done, slice each breast into strips.

6. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Build each dish in a large, shallow 
baking dish. Or you can use a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie plate. Load 3 cups of pasta into each baking dish. Add one-quarter of the chicken, 3 shrimp and 2 tablespoons of prosciutto onto each serving. Spoon 3/4 of a cup of gratinata sauce on each serving and toss to coat. Combine 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese with 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika, then sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of this mixture over the top of each serving. Bake the dishes for the 10 to 12 minutes, or until tops begin to brown. Arrange three pimentos on the top of each serving, then jab a sprig of rosemary into the center and serve.

Chili's Chocolate Paradise Pie

  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup crushed walnuts
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • vanilla ice cream
  • hot fudge
  • caramel topping
  • 1/4 cup chopped or crushed walnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Melt butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl.
  3. When butter is completely melted, add graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Combine well.
  4. Transfer to a one-quart casserole dish. Press firmly into bottom of dish.
  5. Top evenly with chocolate chips.
  6. Bake for 5 minutes, or until chocolate is melted. With rubber spatula, spread melted chocolate out smoothly.
  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add milk, oil, and vanilla and mix on low, until smooth.
  3. With mixer still on low, add chocolate chips, coconut, and walnuts.
  4. When thoroughly mixed, pour filling over crust.
  5. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F, for 35-40 minutes, or until a wooden pick comes out clean.
To Serve:
  1. Spoon 2 tbsp. butter on ovenproof plate and place until oven until butter melts.
  2. Remove plate from oven and place large piece of warm pie right on top of the melted butter.
  3. Top pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  4. Top with hot fudge & caramel toppings.
  5. Sprinkle with walnuts and enjoy!

Chili's Chili con Queso dip

16 ounces Velveeta cheese 
1 (15 ounce) can hormel chili (no-bean chili, not Chunky) 
1 cup milk (I used whole) 
4 teaspoons chili powder 
2 teaspoons paprika 
1 tablespoon lime juice 
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 

1.Cut the Velveeta into cubes. 
2.Combine the cheese with the remaining ingredients in medium sauce pan over medium heat. 
3.Stir frequently until cheese melts then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. 
4.Serve with hot tortilla chips for dipping.

The Cheesecake Factory Bang-Bang Chicken and Shrimp

Curry Sauce: 

2 teaspoons chili oil
1/4 cup minced onion 
2 tablespoons minced garlic 
2 teaspoons minced ginger 
1 cup chicken broth 
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon turmeric 
3 cups coconut milk

2 medium carrots, julienned 
1 small zucchini, julienned 
1/2 cup frozen peas 

Peanut Sauce: 

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons water
4 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon chili oil 

2 chicken breast fillets
16 large raw shrimp, shelled
1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 cups cooked white rice 


1-1/2 cups flaked coconut
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts 
2 green onions, julienned 

1. Make the curry sauce by heating the chili oil in a large saucepan
over medium heat. When the oil is hot add the onion, garlic, and
ginger. Sauté for about about 30 seconds then add the chicken broth.
Add the spices (cumin, coriander, paprika, salt, black pepper, and
turmeric) and stir well. Simmer for 5 minutes then add the coconut
milk. Bring mixture back up to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for
20 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken. Add the julienned carrots
and zucchini, and the frozen peas. Simmer mixture for 10 minutes or
until carrots become tender. 

2. Make peanut sauce by combining peanut butter, water, sugar, soy
sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, and chili oil in a small saucepan
over medium heat. Heat just until mixture begins to bubble, then cover
the pan and remove it from the heat. 

3. Toast the flaked coconut by preheating your oven to 300 degrees.
Spread coconut on a baking sheet and toast it in the oven. Stir the
coconut around every 10 minutes or so that it browns evenly, but watch
it closely in the last 5 minutes so it doesn't get too dark. After 25
to 30 minutes the coconut should be light brown. Take it out of the
oven and let it cool. 

4. Cut the chicken breasts into bite-size pieces. Coat the chicken and
shrimp with corn starch. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large
skillet over medium heat. Add the coated chicken to the pan and sauté
it for a couple minutes, turning as it cooks. Add the shrimp to the
pan. Cook the shrimp and chicken for a couple minutes, until it's
done, then remove everything to a rack or towel to drain. 

5. Build the two plates (or you can divide the meal into four
portions) by filling a soup bowl with 2 cups of white rice. Press down
on the rice. Invert the bowl onto the center of a plate, tap it a bit,
then lift off the bowl leaving a formed pile of rice in the center of
each plate. Arrange an equal portion of chicken and shrimp around the
rice. Spoon the curry sauce and vegetables over the chicken and
shrimp, being careful not to get any sauce on top of the rice. 

6. Drizzle peanut sauce over the dish concentrating most of it on the
rice. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of crumbled, dried parsley over the center
of the rice. Add a tablespoon of chopped peanuts on the parsley, then
place a pile of julienned green onions on top. Sprinkle 1/2 cup to 3/4
cup of toasted coconut over the chicken and shrimp and serve it up. 

Makes 2 large entrees.