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. 

Carrabba's House Salad Dressing - Creamy Parmesan

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl

Benihana Ginger Salad Dressing

1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup peanut oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 Tbsp minced celery
2 Tbsp ketchup
4 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Combine ingredients in blender for about 30 seconds until all ginger is pureed.

Chinese Spaghetti and Meatballs


  • Salt
  • 1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 1 pound ground pork or chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups puffed rice cereal
  • Black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder, 1/3 palm full
  • 8 scallions, 2 finely chopped, 6 cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup tamari dark soy, divided
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 cups snow peas, thinly sliced on an angle
  • red bell pepper, very thinly sliced
  • 2 inches ginger root, grated
  • cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 pound triple washed spinach, leaves stripped of larger stems, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, available on Asian foods aisle of market
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, available on Asian foods aisle of market


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place a pot of water on to boil for spaghetti. When it comes to a boil, salt the water and add pasta to cook to al dente. Heads up: reserve 1/2 cup cooking water just before draining.
Place pork in a mixing bowl. Add the egg to the bowl. Place rice cereal in food processor and pulse into a bread crumb like consistency. Add cereal crumbs to bowl.
Add salt, pepper, five-spice powder, 2 chopped scallions and 2 tablespoons soy sauce. Mix the meat balls thoroughly. Form 1 1/2-inch balls and coat with 1 tablespoon oil, scatter onto a baking sheet and roast 15 minutes.
When the meatballs are close to done and the pasta is in, heat a large skillet over high heat with enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the skillet, a couple of tablespoons. Add the snow peas, red pepper, remaining cut scallions, ginger and garlic, stir-fry 2 minutes add spinach and wilt, 1 minute. Add the remaining soy sauce, about 1/3 cup, and the sesame oil then drain, add in pasta cooking water and toss to combine so pasta can soak up sauce, about 1 minute. Garnish with sesame seeds and top with lots of meatballs.


2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cooked chicken
1 Tbsp chili powder
salt and pepper
5 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup cheddar, shredded
1 package refrigerated pie crust
nonstick cooking spray

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Heat oil in small saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add onions, bell peppers, and garlic and cook until soft 4 to 5 minutes.  Add chopped chicken, chili powder, salt, and pepper and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until heated through; transfer to a mixing bowl.  Stir in cream cheese and cheddar cheese.
3.  Using 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out rounds from pie crust.  Place a tablespoon or so of chicken mixture onto each pastry round.  Brush edges with water, fold dough over, and seal edges with a fork.  Spray tops with cooking spray and place on greased cookie sheet.  Bake empanadas until they are brown, 15 to 20 minutes.  Serve plain or with salsa and/or sour cream.

Chicken Tost-achos

olive oil
4 flour tortillas
2 cups chopped or shredded rotisserie chicken
1 cup salsa or taco sauce
2 cups monterey jack or cheddar cheese, shredded
1 small heart of romaine, shredded
2 scallions, chopped

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly brush a little oil onto the tortillas and place them on a baking sheet.  Place in the oven and crisp up tortillas, about 5 minutes.
2.  In large skillet over medium heat, cook chicken and taco sauce/salsa for 5 minutes until heated through.
3.  Top each tortilla with 1/2 cup chicken and lots of cheese.  Place the hot baking sheet back into the oven to melt the cheese, 3 to 4 minutes.
4.  Place tost-acho on a dinner plate and top with lettuce, scallions, and sour cream if desired.

Buffalo Chicken Chili

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 pounds ground chicken
2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 celery ribs, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp sweet smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup franks hot sauce
15 oz can tomato sauce
15 oz can stewed or crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, with juices
whole grain tortilla chips, lightly crushed
3/4 pound blue cheese crumbles

1.  Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat.  Add chicken and cook until it's lightly browned, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks.  Add carrots, onions, celery, garlic, paprika, and bay leaf, salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring frequently for 7 to 8 minutes, then add chicken stock and stir to scrape up any brown bits on bottom of pan.  Add hot sauce, tomato sauce, and tomatoes, and bring the chili to a bubble.  Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes more to bring flavors together.  Discard bay leaf before serving.
2.  While chili is simmering, preheat broiler.  Spread chips on a baking sheet and top with blue cheese.  Broil until cheese melts, 2 to 3 minutes.
3.  Top each serving of chili with few blue-cheese chips.