Sunday, August 31, 2014

Boulangere Potatoes


Oh, my word.  I have just found my favorite potato dish.  I seriously haven't met a potato dish that I didn't like, but this is the creme de la creme of potato dishes for me.  These are Boulangere Potatoes.  They are similar to au gratin potatoes, but uses stock in place of the cream.  They were fabulous!

BOULANGERE POTATOES
4 good sized potatoes (I actually used 6 small ones)
1 onion
Salt & pepper
1/2 to 3/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese
Fresh rosemary
1 1/2 C chicken stock
4 T butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Slice the potatoes and the onion very thin, on a mandolin if you have one.  In a tart pan or about an 8 x 8 casserole pan, place a layer of the potatoes and spread around some of the onion slices.  Season with salt (be careful since the cheese is salty) and pepper. Sprinkle in a little Parmesan cheese and some rosemary sprigs. Continue layering the potatoes and onion with the cheese, rosemary, and salt & pepper.  Pour the stock all over the potatoes.  Sprinkle a generous amount of Parmesan cheese all over the top.  Slice the butter into pats and scatter them over the top.  Bake the potatoes for an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.

Happy Dance


Do you ever get in the kitchen and create something that makes you do a little happy dance?  Even better, has your family ever done a happy dance after eating something you created?  Well, this dish did just that.  My teenagers actually talked to each other for the first time since I don't when and agreed on how much they both liked this chicken.

This is a recipe from Longhorn Steakhouse for Garlic Parmesan Crusted Chicken.  This recipe is out there all over the place, and plainchicken.com says her mother found the recipe in a newspaper.  Now, I've never eaten at Longhorn Steakhouse before, so I don't know if this really is the real deal.  But it is for sure a keeper in my house.  The recipe calls for grilling the chicken, but I baked mine.  I bet you will get some happy dances too for this chicken.  Enjoy!

GARLIC PARMESAN CRUSTED CHICKEN
FOR THE CHICKEN MARINADE:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 C olive oil
1/2 C Ranch dressing
3 T Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

FOR THE SAUCE LAYER:
1/4 C Ranch dressing
1/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese

FOR THE PARMESAN CRUMB TOPPING:
1/2 C Panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 C shredded Parmesan cheese
2 T melted butter
Provolone cheese slices

Put the chicken in a large zipper bag.  Mix together the marinade ingredients and pour it into the bag.  Place the chicken in the fridge and marinate it for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lay the chicken on a sheet pan and bake for about 16 minutes.  Turn the chicken over and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees.

Meanwhile, mix together the sauce layer (Ranch and Parmesan cheese).  Mix together the Parmesan crumb topping ingredients (not the Provolone).  

When the chicken is done, preheat the broiler.  Spread the sauce mixture over each piece of chicken.  Lay a slice of Provolone cheese over the sauce.  Spoon the Parmesan crumb topping ingredients over the top of the Provolone. Broil a couple of minutes (watch it closely so it doesn't burn) to melt the cheeses and brown the top.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Something Borrowed


I love the internet.  There is so much out there to be seen and learned. This post is about me combining two of my favorites internet places, Food Network and Pinterest.  I am constantly searching for new ideas, new recipes to twist and turn my way, new flavors I haven't tried, and sometimes crazy innovative ways to cook.

A few years ago, I added a new cookbook to my collection, "Down Home With the Neelys."  They introduced me to the idea of making homemade barbecue sauce, which my Chipotle Barbecue Sauce was sort of a spawn from their recipe.  Then I looked at their top recipes on foodnetwork.com, and it was barbecue chicken spaghetti. What a concept!  I've had barbecue pizza, but I hadn't ever had barbecue spaghetti.  I tried it and loved it.  I've made it so many times since then with my sauce that I've lost count.

Next comes my newest find on Pinterest.  I'm sure you've seen a pin called Million Dollar Spaghetti, which appears to be from ashleykaitlin.blogspot.com, which has a crazy layer of cream cheese, sour cream and cottage cheese in it.  I made her spaghetti.  It was to die for. Then the little light bulb went off in my head.  (Did you hear the chain click?)  I needed to make my barbecue chicken spaghetti into a casserole with the crazy creamy layer.  And I did.  And it was good.  My 12-year-old son ate every last bit of it, and he's a picky eater.

So, as I have borrowed a little of this and a little of that, I feel like I need something blue, something old, well, you know. This is darn tasty!

BARBECUE CHICKEN SPAGHETTI CASSEROLE
FOR THE BBQ SAUCE:
2 C ketchup
3/4 C water
3/4 C brown sugar
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 T molasses
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1/2 C apple cider vinegar
2 T minced garlic
1 T paprika
1 to 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped

FOR THE CASSEROLE:
3 C cooked, shredded chicken
16 ounces cottage cheese
8 ounces cream cheese
1 C sour cream
1/2 C shredded parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 lb spaghetti
2 C shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
Red onion slices

Cook spaghetti according to directions.

Put all of the sauce ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, whisking occasionally, about 20 minutes or so until the sauce is thickened.

Blend the cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, parmesan cheese, and garlic powder in a food processor. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust accordingly. Mix the cooked spaghetti with the chicken and BBQ sauce.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Layer half of the spaghetti mixture in the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 pan.  Spread the cream cheese mixture over the spaghetti.  Top with the remaining spaghetti mixture.  Spread the shredded cheese over the top.  Put some red onion slices on top of the cheese. Bake for 20 or so minutes or until the cheese is melted and browned.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Wow Factor


I was looking for a quick and tasty chicken dinner last week, and one thing I saw over and over was a recipe called Chicken Lazone.  It is rumored to have come from Brennan's Restaurant in New Orleans, although it's not on any Brennan's menu that I could find.  There are many recipes out there for this, so I thought I'd try it.      

This chicken was so ridiculously easy.  Like seriously stupid easy.  And the flavor...WOW!  That's all I could say.  I can't believe such a simple dish could be so amazing!  My son loved it so much he ate two huge chicken breasts.  I served mine with some pasta that I tossed with butter and Parmesan cheese.  You will be wowed too!  I did not give measurements for the seasoning since I'm very heavy handed with salt and seasonings.  Just sprinkle some on each piece of chicken and use as much or as little as you like.  Enjoy!

CHICKEN LAZONE
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Seasoned salt (like Lawry's)
Chili powder
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Cayenne pepper
1/4 C butter
2 C heavy cream
2 T Italian parsley, chopped

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle the seasoned salt, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper all over both sides of the chicken breasts.  Cook them in the butter until well browned on both sides, about 6-8 minutes each side (could be longer if they are thick).  Remove them from the pan and keep them warm in a 200 degree oven.  Turn the heat down to medium and pour the heavy cream into the same pan and whisk. Cook and whisk until the cream starts to thicken and bubble. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.  Serve the sauce over the chicken.  Serve with pasta, if desired.

Sauteed Mushrooms



SAUTEED MUSHROOMS
16 ounce package of mushrooms
1/2 C butter
Olive oil
1/2 C white wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 packet Ranch dip mix
1 T Italian parsley, chopped


Melt the butter in a skillet and drizzle in some olive oil.  Put the mushrooms in and cook until well browned all over. Deglaze the pan with the wine.  Add in the garlic and the Ranch dip mix.  Cook until most of the wine is cooked out. Stir in the parsley and serve.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Eat Like the Mayans


My husband loves to watch those crazy food shows like the ones about food trucks or Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.  He sees crazy dishes and wants me to recreate them.  We had seen this dish on TV before, but we decided the special ingredients were too much trouble to seek out.  But then one of his friends posted a picture of this dish on Facebook that he had eaten in a restaurant in New York.  It's called Cochinita Pibil. It's a Mayan recipe that originated in the Yucatan State of Mexico.  It's a pulled pork dish that is cooked with something called achiote paste, sour oranges, and habanero peppers.  

My husband actually did all the research on this recipe, went and found all of the ingredients, and prepared the marinade. The one thing he couldn't find was the sour oranges, but he found a good substitute which was a combination of lime juice and orange juice.  

Before we mixed the marinade, we tasted the paste.  I was so excited!  The flavors hit you in waves, like a sensory journey. I tasted salty, garlicky, and cumin first.  Then it traveled a little deeper.  I got hints of oregano.  Then I tasted the cinnamon. Then I got the cloves and allspice.  It was amazing!  The final cooked product was a little more subtle, but amazing nonetheless.  The tacos are served with corn tortillas, radish slices, and pickled red onion.  This dish is usually slow roasted in banana leaves.  We chose to put it in the crockpot since it's been in the upper 90s here since I can't remember when.  If you live anywhere near a Hispanic grocery store and can find achiote paste, I urge you to try this.  It was fantastic!  And, if you're brave, you'll try my husband's Habanero Salsa with it (recipe below)!

COCHINITA PIBIL (MAYAN PULLED PORK)
One 4-5 lb pork butt or shoulder, cubed
A 1-ounce block achiote paste
1 T salt
1 whole bulb garlic, smashed and peeled
1 C lime juice
1 C orange juice
2 habaneros, seeded
1 C chicken stock

FOR THE PICKLED RED ONIONS:
1 red onion, sliced
2 C red wine vinegar
2 T sugar
1 T mustard seed
1 teaspoon red chili flake (optional)

FOR THE TACOS:
Corn tortillas
Radish slices
Lime wedges
Habanero Salsa (recipe below)

Put the achiote paste, salt, lime juice, garlic cloves, orange juice, habaneros, and chicken stock into a blender.  Pour this mixture over the cubed pork and stir.  Put it in the fridge and marinate overnight.

The next morning, place the pork and the marinade into a crockpot.  Cook on low for about 8 hours or until tender.

Meanwhile, put the onions in a bowl.  Bring all of the ingredients except the onions to a boil.  Pour the vinegar over the onions and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before using.

To serve the taco, remove the meat from the cooking liquid. Don't discard the liquid.  Shred the meat with forks.  Add back in enough of the cooking liquid to keep the meat moist.  Serve the meat in corn tortillas with the pickled onions, radish slices, and a squeeze of lime juice.  And Habanero Salsa if you're brave!



HABANERO SALSA
1/4 C lime juice
10 habanero peppers, seeded
2-3 Roma tomatoes, rough chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C orange juice
1/4 C pineapple juice
1/4 C white vinegar
2 T cilantro, chopped
2 serranos, rough chopped
Salt & pepper, to taste

Blend all of the ingredients together in a food processor. Chill before serving.

Habanero Salsa


This recipe is my husband's creation.  It's absolutely not for the faint of heart!  Great with chips or on tacos.  You'll need water!

HABANERO SALSA
1/4 C lime juice
10 habanero peppers, seeded
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C orange juice
1/4 C pineapple juice
1/4 C white vinegar
2 T cilantro, chopped
2 serranos, rough chopped
Salt & pepper, to taste

Blend all of the ingredients together in a food processor. Chill before serving.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I'm Stuffed!


If you know me or have followed me, then you know I like to stuff things.  Chicken, mushrooms, peppers, even meatballs. Well, this time I wanted beef.  This was supposed to be a Stuffed Flank Steak, but they were out of flank at the store when I went.  Flank steak and skirt steak are somewhat similar, so I went with Stuffed Skirt Steak.

Now, I know sometimes skirt steak can be tough if it's overdone, so I came up with a genius idea...I cooked it in the crockpot.  This one is stuffed with sauteed onions, spinach, roasted red peppers, and blue cheese.  I poured a can of crushed tomatoes over the top.  I did have to boil down the sauce on the stove to thicken it up, but, boy, oh, boy, was this good.  

Are you afraid of blue cheese?  Well, don't be.  You will smell the blue cheese all day while it's cooking and think that's all you're going to taste.  But, while it smelled strong, it turned out very mellow and not overpowering at all.  And, you know what, it was filling too.  I was stuffed!

STUFFED SKIRT STEAK
2 lb skirt steak, cut into two sections (not lengthwise)
One 5-ounce package crumbled blue cheese
One 5-6 ounce bag fresh spinach leaves
One 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained & chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 T butter
Olive oil
Kitchen string

You can prep the meat the night before if you like and put it in the fridge until morning.  Melt the butter in a skillet and drizzle in some olive oil.  Cook the onion until tender.  Add in the spinach, roasted red peppers, and garlic.  Cook until the spinach is wilted down.  Season with salt and pepper.  Let cool slightly.

Laying the two pieces of skirt steak on a board, divide the spinach filling in half and spread over the steaks.  Divide the blue cheese in half and spread over the steaks.  Tie both of the steaks up with the string.  You may lose some filling, but that's okay.  Place them seam-side up in the crockpot (or in a pan for the fridge) and stuff the extra filling down into them.  

When you are ready to put them in the crockpot, place them seam-side up in the crockpot.  Pour the crushed tomatoes all over the top of the steaks.  Cook them on low for about 8 hours or until the meat is tender.  Remove the steaks from the crockpot and keep warm.  Pour the sauce/juice from the crockpot into a pot and boil it for about 10 minutes to reduce the sauce.  Serve the sauce over the steaks.  (Don't forget to cut off the kitchen string.)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Frogs & Toads


When I think of toads, I think of a fat, ugly creature that is rumored to give you warts on your hands when you touch them.  When our kids were younger, we used to live near a community park with a pond.  We would go there when it was dark and look for toads and frogs.  Once we saw a toad that was as big as my head!  That's no joke!  I really didn't realize they could get that big, but there he was in all of his big, fat ugly glory.

The British make a dish called Toad in the Hole.  It is rumored that it is called that because it supposedly looks like a toad sticking his head out of a hole.  It's also been known as Sausage Toad.  Based on the looks of my picture, I think they call it that because it's big, fat and ugly in all its glory.  

Anywho, this dish is really easy to make.  It's sausages baked in Yorkshire pudding, which is basically the same thing as popovers.  This is typically served with an onion gravy, but I served it with an onion and mustard gravy.  Enjoy!

TOAD IN THE HOLE
5 sausages (I used garlic & onion flavored)
3 eggs
1 C milk
1 C flour
1 teaspoon beef bouillon
1 T vegetable oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon mixed dried herb (I used Parisienne blend)
Salt & pepper, to taste

Mix together all the ingredients except the sausages.  Let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a casserole pan (I used a 7 x 11 pan).  Rub some oil on the sausages and put them in the pan.  Bake the sausages, turning occasionally, for about 10 minutes.  Pour the batter over the sausages.  Bake the Toad for about 30 minutes or until the bread is browned and the dough around the sausages is done.  Serve with the onion & mustard gravy (recipe follows).


ONION & MUSTARD GRAVY
About 1/2 C chopped onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 T butter
2 T flour
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
1 C milk
1 T spicy brown mustard (maybe more)
1 T yellow mustard (maybe more)
Salt & pepper, to taste

Melt the butter in a skillet and cook the onions over medium high heat until they are tender.  Whisk in the flour.  Add in the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth.  Cook until thickened and bubbly.  Taste the sauce and see if you'd like more mustard.  I wanted it really mustardy, so I added about 2 T more of the yellow mustard.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Skeptics


When I mentioned to my husband that I wanted to make these Shrimp Enchiladas, he was skeptical.  He wasn't completely sold on the idea of shrimp, squash and zucchini in an enchilada.  He didn't tell me about that skepticism, though, until after he ate the enchiladas.  But the combination of sauteed veggies and shrimp, corn tortillas, and a divine jalapeno cheese sauce was fabulous.  He loved it!  This is one of those meals that we raved about the entire time we were eating it.  We will still be talking about this in six months. It's that good!

So where did I come up with this crazy idea?  Long ago I ate at a Tex-Mex restaurant called Don Pablo's.  They had shrimp fajitas that they served with squash and zucchini.  I loved the flavor combination.  I saw some other shrimp enchiladas on Pinterest, and for some reason those fajitas came to mind.  Voila!  A recipe is born.  

SHRIMP ENCHILADAS
12 ounces shrimp, peeled, deveined and rough chopped
3 T butter
Olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 large yellow squash, chopped
1 large zucchini, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T cilantro, chopped
Salt & pepper, to taste
Corn tortillas (I got about 16 enchiladas)
About 1 1/2 C shredded Monterey or Pepper Jack cheese

FOR THE SAUCE:
2 T butter
2 jalapenos, chopped
1/4 C flour
1 C heavy cream
1 C chicken stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C shredded Monterey or Pepper Jack cheese
2 T cilantro, chopped

Melt the butter in a large skillet and drizzle in some olive oil. Cook the onion, squash, and zucchini until almost tender. Add in the shrimp and the garlic and cook until the shrimp is done. Season with salt and pepper and add in the cilantro. Remove from the heat.

For the sauce, melt the butter in a skillet and cook the jalapenos until tender.  Whisk in the flour and the chicken stock.  Add in the garlic and heavy cream.  Whisk and stir until it starts to thicken.  Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the cheese until smooth.  Stir in the cilantro.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Microwave the corn tortillas in a damp towel to soften.  Sprinkle some cheese down the center of each tortilla and then some of the shrimp mixture.  Put them seam side down in a casserole pan.  Pour the sauce over the top of the enchiladas.  Sprinkle some more cheese over the top of the sauce.  Bake for about 10-15 minutes to heat through and melt the cheese.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Wrap it Up


I am a huge sandwich fan.  Not a bologna sandwich or ham sandwich fan, but a fancy pants sandwich fan.  I love places like Panera or Corner Bakery.  Their sandwiches are far from boring.  But, since I don't have a Panera or a Corner Bakery nearby, I have to make fancy sandwiches myself.

While I've seen them plenty of times and knew what they were, I had never tried a flatbread until recently.  I saw some wraps on Pinterest and decided I wanted to make some.  I found these Flatout brand wraps at Walmart and gave it a whirl.

These Roast Beef Wraps are filled with Angus roast beef, cheese, a spicy cream cheese and horseradish spread, onions and lettuce.  And they are delicious!  They also kept pretty well and were still good the next day.  Enjoy!

ROAST BEEF WRAPS
1/2 lb deli Angus roast beef, very thinly sliced
4 long flatbed wraps
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 T prepared horseradish
Hot sauce, to taste
1 T Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 C mayonnaise
Salt & pepper
Red onion slices
Leaf lettuce
8 cheese slices (I used a Cheddar Jack cheese)

Mix together the cream cheese, horseradish, Dijon, garlic powder, mayo, salt & pepper, and hot sauce to taste.  Spread the mixture over the flatbreads.  Layer some roast beef, cheese, lettuce and onions on each flatbread.  Roll them up. If you are wanting to slice them to serve, you can refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes to firm up the cream cheese mixture before slicing.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

New Favorites


Oh, my goodness gracious!  If you are a green onion fan, stop what you're doing and be prepared to be wowed!  I saw these Crispy Scallion Pancakes on the internet, and I knew I had to make them.  I guess they are called pancakes because of their shape, but they are nothing like a pancake at all.  They were truly crispy, full of flavor, and will now be added to the menu anytime I make Asian food.  These are divine!

CRISPY SCALLION PANCAKES
As adapted from Serious Eats
2 C flour, plus more for rolling
1 C boiling water
Sesame oil
Garlic powder
1/2 C soy sauce
2 C thinly sliced green onions
2 T rice wine vinegar
1 green onion, sliced (for the dipping sauce)
1/2 teaspoon ginger
2-3 T brown sugar
Peanut oil

In a food processor (or it can be done in a stand mixer), add in the flour and 3/4 C of the water.  Pulse the mixture.  If the dough doesn't come together in a ball, add in the remaining water 1 T at a time until the dough does come together.  Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into four balls.  Roll them out into about an 8-inch circle.  Drizzle a little sesame oil on the top and sprinkle on a little garlic powder.  Roll the dough up like a jelly roll and then squeeze it all back together into a ball.  Roll it out again into about an 8-inch circle.  Brush on a little more sesame oil, sprinkle on a little more garlic powder, and then sprinkle 1/4 of the 2 C green onions all over the top.  Roll it up again like a jelly roll and then squeeze into a ball.  Roll it out again a third time to about an 8-inch circle.  Repeat these steps with the other three dough balls.

Heat a small amount of peanut oil in a large skillet.  Fry each pancake for about 2 minutes per side or until golden brown on both sides.  Season them with salt & pepper, if desired, and cut them into wedges.

For the dipping sauce, bring the soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and ginger to a boil.  Remove from heat and stir in the 1 sliced green onion.

Childhood Favorites


When I was a kid, one of my favorites places to eat out was at a Chinese restaurant.  And one of my favorite things to eat there was Hot & Sour Soup.  It's strange to think that a kid would like a soup that's both spicy and sour and even has weird black mushrooms in it.  But I was a different kind of kid, I guess.  To this day, I still love hot and sour soup.  

You can use whatever kind of vinegar you want in this soup (except I wouldn't use a sweet one like balsamic).  According to the website Serious Eats, traditional Hot & Sour Soup uses a Chinese vinegar called Chinkiang vinegar, but they also suggest a close substitute is a mix of red wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar.  That's what I used in mine, and it was good.  You can get all fancy with your mushrooms and use some Asian varieties or even those weird black ones.  I was being a little lazy with mine and just used good old white mushrooms.  You could use red chili flakes instead of the Sriracha, but you may want to cook it a little longer to give the flakes time to break down a bit and heat up the soup.  You can also add pork or chicken to the soup if you'd like.  You could add baby corn, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots.  Add whatever you'd like.  It is your soup, right?

HOT & SOUR SOUP
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 teaspoons ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb firm tofu, cubed
1/4 to 1/2 C soy sauce
1/8 C red wine vinegar (or more, to taste)
1/8 C apple cider vinegar (or more to taste)
4 eggs
Sliced green onions (for garnish)
4 C chicken stock (a good rich, dark stock)
4 C beef stock
Chopped fresh cilantro (for garnish)
Wonton wrappers, cut into strips (optional)
Peanut oil, for frying
Sesame oil (for garnish)
Sriracha, to taste (or other hot sauce)

Put the chicken stock, beef stock, mushrooms, ginger, and garlic in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Boil for about 10 minutes.  

Meanwhile, if you are going to use the wontons as garnish, heat a little peanut oil in a small skillet and fry the wonton strips quickly in batches.  It doesn't take them long, so don't walk away from them.  Drain them on a paper towel.

Add the 1/4 C soy sauce, Sriracha, and the vinegars to the soup and stir.  Taste to see if you'd like more soy sauce or vinegar (I like a lot).  Add the tofu to the soup.  Beat the eggs in a separate bowl.  While stirring the soup in a circular motion, slowly pour the eggs into the soup.  Cook for another couple of minutes to cook the egg.  Serve the soup with some green onions, the wonton strips, some cilantro, and a few drops of sesame oil over the top.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Love It or Leave It


Today I'm bringing to you a touchy subject.  Cilantro.  That herbaceous little plant is something people either love or hate.  Heck, even Ina Garten says she hates cilantro.  But I know someone that adores it.  My adorable husband.  He wants cilantro on everything, in everything.  Once I mistakenly put cilantro in Crawfish Etoufee, and he thought it was the best thing on Earth.

So I set out to make him a dish that would please his cilantro-loving palate.  This is my Mexican Shrimp Scampi. He loved it!  It was so quick to put together.  And the sauce? What could be better for a cilantro (and lime) lover than a butter sauce full of cilantro, garlic, and lime.  If you are a cilantro lover or know one, this dish is the one to make.

MEXICAN SHRIMP SCAMPI
12 ounces shrimp, peeled & deveined (tails on or off, you decide)
6 T butter
1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lime
Salt & pepper, to taste

Melt the butter in a large skillet.  Add in the shrimp and cook until done, about 5-6 minutes.  Add in the garlic and cook an additional minute.  Stir in the cilantro and season with salt and pepper.  Squeeze the lime all over and serve.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Bacon & Potato Frittata


I haven't done a breakfast post in a while, so I thought I better get on that!  Here is a recipe I adapted from Epicurious.  It was pretty easy and darn tasty!  I took the leftovers to work and it was a huge hit!

BACON & POTATO FRITTATA
As adapted from Epicurious
8 eggs
2 T fresh chopped herbs, like basil, tarragon, parsley (or 2 teaspoons dried herb mix)
3 T shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 lb bacon, cut into small pieces
2 C red potatoes, diced into small pieces
Peanut oil or vegetable oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 C fresh spinach leaves
1/2 C sundried tomatoes packed in oil, cut in halves
1/2 C shredded Cheddar cheese
3 ounces sliced Muenster cheese (or whatever you like)

Whisk together the eggs, Parmesan cheese, herbs, and salt & pepper.  Set aside.  In a large ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron), cook the bacon until crisp.  Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on a paper towel, reserving the grease in the pan.

Drizzle in about 1 T of the oil and add in the potatoes and the onion.  Cook them on high for about 3-4 minutes.  Cover the pan and cook over medium heat for 3-6 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.  Remove them to the same plate as the bacon.

Add in the spinach and garlic and cook a couple of minutes to wilt the spinach.  Add in the egg mixture, Cheddar cheese, bacon and potatoes, and sundried tomatoes.  Stir to combine. Cook over medium high heat for about 5-7 minutes or until it seems mostly set all over except the top. 

Preheat the broiler.  Place the pan under the broiler for about 3-4 minutes or until the top is done.  Tear up the Muenster slices and spread around on the top.  Place it back under the broiler for a couple of minutes to melt.