Monday, August 29, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
We just finished watching another season of Master Chef in our house. I am a big fan because I love to cook and being a stay at home mom, a part of me wishes I could be on that show. (But what would I do with my kids while I'm gone!?!?!)
So my husband and oldest daughter decided to go to the local Farmer's Market and pick up some surprise ingredients for me to work my magic on. A fun idea, right? I thought it might be fun to do a Farmer's Market dinner every week and I'll post it on my blog! That's right! Every Monday, come to my blog to find out what I've made with my secret goodies.
On their first trip to the market, they bought me the following:
Peaches, Red Bell Peppers, Cilantro, Carrots, Green Beans and Fennel.
I was able to use items from my pantry (whew!) and I was able to pick out my own protein. Tonight, I used chicken thighs and wings.
The peaches were the stumper but I quickly found something to make with just about everything!
I'm calling my creation Roasted Pepper and Peach Chicken with Sauteed Vegetables and Roasted Green Beans.
Here's how I made it:
- Peel the peaches, remove pit, and dice. Set aside.
- Sit the red bell peppers on a burner over high heat and basically burn the skins. You can do this over the BBQ grill, too, which I would have done had it not been raining. When the skin is black all over, remove from the burner and place in a ziploc with a little olive oil. Squish it all around so the pepper is covered entirely with oil. Let sit for 5 minutes, then begin removing the skin under cold tap water.
- Dice up the roasted red pepper and set aside.
- Dice 1/2 onion and set aside.
- Mince 1 clove garlic.
- Chop a small handful of cilantro.
- Heat a little olive oil in a saucepan.
- Saute the garlic and onion with a bay leaf for 30 seconds. Don't let the garlic burn.
- Add the peaches and red pepper.
- Chop up some of the fennel frong (the whispy part at the top) and put that and the cilantro in the saucepan.
- Sprinkle in some red pepper flakes and some celery seed.
- Add 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- Add 3 Tbsp cider vinegar
- Add salt and pepper
Let this cook down for awhile. This shouldn't be runny. It should be the consistency of jam. Taste and see if it needs more salt. If it's too sweet, add a little more vinegar. If it's too vinegar-y, add a little more brown sugar. You really can't mess this up unless you burn it.
Remove the bay leaf. Dump the chutney into a blender and blitz for a quick minute. You don't want this too smooth, but you don't want big chunks either.
Turn your BBQ on low heat and put the chicken on. You want to cook your chicken on low, especially if it's bone in to ensure it's cooked all the way through. Don't put your sauce on until the very end. When you know the chicken is cooked kick up the heat on your BBQ and start slathering your pieces with the chutney.
We want to caramelize that chutney to the outside of the chicken. When it's all good and covered and caramelized, remove from the grill. Serve with the sauteed vegetables and roasted green beans.
- Cut the end off the fennel and slice in half and then slice the entire thing. Don't make these slices too thick or too thin.
- Slice an onion (or half of what was remaining from the chutney).
- Peel and slice carrots. Because the carrots will take the longest to cook, I par-boiled them. Bring some water to a boil. Drop in the carrot slices and let cook for a couple minutes. Drain and quickly dump into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
- Slice one red bell pepper.
- Mince 1 clove garlic
Melt 3 Tbsp butter in a saute pan and saute the garlic in a skillet for 30 seconds. Add all the remaining ingredients and toss so everything's coated with the butter.
Season with salt and pepper and then squeeze half a lemon on top. Continue to saute until all vegetables are fork tender. Serve warm.
Roasted Green Beans
- Trim ends and coat beans with a little extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Zest a lemon and toss on the beans.
- Place in a baking dish in the oven and bake at 350* until the beans are fork tender.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
We were in Ohio visiting my husband's family last month and while we were away, my friend came over to our house every day to check on our cat and feed her for us. To thank her, I made her favorite pie: Chocolate Cream Pie!
Monday, August 15, 2011
You know those chalupa things you can get at Taco Bell? I love those. My ultimate favorite was the Santa Fe chalupa, but they stopped making and selling them. What gives? That was my #1 craving when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter.
I remember as a little girl having Navajo tacos, which are really just a chalupa. Indian fry bread with some chili, cheese, lettuce, sour cream, onion and avocado. Mm hmm. It really can't get any better than this!
Making fry bread is very simple. Mix together:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp powdered milk
1 tsp baking powder
Add in 1 cup of warm water and mix it all together using your hands. When it comes together, form into a ball and cover with saran. Let this sit for about 10 minutes to relax the gluten in the flour. Make sure you don't knead this dough like you would bread dough. That will work the gluten too much and you'll have a tougher, denser fry bread.
This recipe makes 4 shells so if you want more than this, double or triple (or quadruple!) the recipe.
Divide the ball into four separate balls. Cover again and let rest 5 minutes.
Lightly flour your work surface and roll each ball of dough until it's almost paper thin. No worries, it will puff up a LOT in the fryer.
While you were letting the dough rest, I hope you put a pot of oil on to heat. You need it at 350*. When the oil is warm and your dough has been rolled out, carefully lower one piece into the oil and fry until both sides are lightly golden. Remove and let drain on a paper towel or newspaper. Repeat until all the dough has been fried.
I used my basic chili recipe for these and all that's left to do is top with your favorite toppings!
**A special tip I like when we have Navajo tacos is to make extra fry bread dough. Fry some up for your tacos, then fry up more and slather with butter and honey, or sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. My fav! Enjoy!
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
One of my daughter's most requested meals - or snack - is my teriyaki wings. She loves loves LOVES them. (Did I mention she loves them?)
These are very simple to make and are an awesome change to your standard hot wings.
First, start by making the teriyaki sauce:
In a saucepan, heat 2 Tbsp oil. When the oil is hot, saute 1 tsp minced gingerroot and 2 Tbsp minced garlic for about 30 seconds to a minute. You don't want the garlic to burn so really you just want to saute long enough to release the flavor.
Add 1 cup soy sauce, 1 cup water and 1 1/2 cups brown sugar. Whisk well.
*Note: If you want these wings a little kicked up, add more gingerroot and some red chili flakes.
At this point, I pour about 1/3 of this on the thawed party wings. You can find plain unflavored chicken wings in your freezer department. Thaw them in the fridge. You don't want to give yourself food poisoning. That would be no bueno. I put the wings in a large ziploc and pour the sauce into the bag. Seal it up nice and tight removing as much of the air as you can. This will marinate the wings giving the flesh that sweet and salty flavor that makes these wings very desireable. I recommend marinating the wings overnight so remember when you go to make these, to give yourself an entire day.
Reduce the rest of the sauce down until it's thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and let cool completely and put in the fridge.
To Make: Completely drain all of the teriyaki marinade off the wings. Put the wings on paper towels and pat dry. You don't want sauce lingering on the wings because when they hit the oil, you'll get a lot of splattering and you might get burned.
Heat oil in a pot or fry daddy to 350*. Carefully add the wings and fry for 4 minutes, using tongs to move them around for even cooking. When they're done, remove from the oil, and place on paper towels to catch as much of the oil. Put the wings in a large bowl and drizzle in that thickened teriyaki sauce. I like to garnish with some fresh sliced green onion. It not only gives a little onion'y flavor, but it looks pretty on the plate. Using a spoon or your hands, mix all of that together in the bowl and then dump into a pie plate or some other kind of baking dish. Pop in a 350* oven for 10 minutes. This will ensure the wings are cooked through, and it will also heat up that teriyaki sauce.
When I make these for a party, I dump the wings into aluminum pie plates and then just sit the pans on a plate for added stability. This makes for very easy clean up! Something every hostess can appreciate.
So the next time you're looking for a delicious snack or dinner option, think wings. Think teriyaki wings! Enjoy!
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Have you ever had one of those days...
Have you ever had one of those months? We've had one of those months. We were in Ohio visiting the inlaws and when I got back home I've been working hard on Pioneer Trek stuff. Apparently, someone at church thinks my cooking is stellar enough to put me in charge of all the food for this year's youth pioneer trek. Fun times. I'm actually very excited to be part of this activity. Fingers crossed the food turns out perfect!
When we got back from Ohio, it was hot. HOT HOT HOT. It was hot in Ohio and well, that heat dun followed us back to New York. So I decided to try an experiment I've been wanting to do for awhile. Make a chilled soup.
This soup is actually two separate ones. The base is a sweet roasted corn soup, then ladled in the center is a roasted avocado soup (YES ROASTED!) and it's topped with a delicious crab salad. Love me some crab!
We'll begin with the soups:
ROASTED CORN SOUP
5 ears sweet corn, husked, grilled, and cut from cob
1-2 jalapeno, seeded, grilled, and chopped
1/2 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup water
salt and pepper
In a small stockpot, heat a little oil. When hot, saute the onion, garlic, and 1/4 tsp cumin until the fragrance is released. Add all of the corn, minus the kernels from one cob (We'll save that corn for the crab salad) and the roasted jalapeno. Heat for a few minutes and then pour into a blender. Blitz until smooth. If the soup is too thick, add a little more water. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour the corn soup into a bowl, cover with saran and pop in the fridge.
Now for the avocado soup.
ROASTED AVOCADO SOUP
4 Hass avocados, grilled (or roasted)
1-2 jalapenos, seeded, grilled, and chopped
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 cup cream
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup water
salt and pepper
Following the same steps above, heat oil in a pan. Saute the garlic, onion, and 1/4 tsp chili powder. Scoop the flesh from the avocados and put it in a blender along with the jalapenos, sauteed garlic/onion, cream, chicken stock, and water. Blitz until smooth. Add more liquid if it's too thick. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl, cover with saran and chill.
3 crab leg clusters
1/4 cup green onion, sliced
1 avocado, diced
1 ear roasted sweet corn, cut from cob
1 tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 lime, squeezed
salt and pepper
Cook the crab in a pot of boiling water. Cool in an ice bath and crack the crab, removing all meat. Put in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and mix together.
A delicious soup perfect for a hot Summer night! Enjoy!
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
I feel that lately we've had a lot of mexican and asian style food in our house the past couple of weeks. I adore pasta, but pasta is no good for my insulin resistent body so I have been trying to not fix/eat it much.
This is a quick dish to make and relatively easy. If I had to give it a star rating, I would give it a 2. From start to finish, it'll take about 45 minutes to make and is super duper delicious.
- Begin by taking chicken thighs and season with salt and pepper. I used thighs because we like dark meat, but you could use chicken breasts, legs, or whatever your favorite part is.
- Heat a skillet over medium to medium high heat. When hot, add about 2-3 Tbsp olive oil. You don't need a lot because the fat from the thighs will cook down and add to the pan.
- Placing the thighs in the pan, skin side down, fry for about 4 minutes per side. We want to sear the chicken so that it will retain all that juicy goodness. When you flip the chicken over, toss in some fresh thyme and crushed garlic cloves to the pan. Spoon the rendered fat over the chicken for a minute then let sear on the other side 4 minutes.
- Remove from the pan and put in a baking dish. Spoon a little fat over the top, and make sure you put those garlic cloves and thyme on top of each piece of chicken. Pop in a 350* oven to finish cooking through.
- While the chicken cooks in the oven, begin cooking the pasta. I used linguine, but you can use spaghetti or fettuccine. Linguine takes approx 10 minutes to al dente. When done, dump into a colander and shake off the excess water. Return to the pan.
- While the pasta is boiling, make the cream sauce. We're going to use the pan we seared the chicken in. Heat the pan back up over medium heat and add a Tablespoon (or two) of olive oil. You'll probably need to dump out the chicken fat first. When the olive oil is heated, saute 1-2 shallots, minced and 2 cloves garlic, minced. Saute for 30 seconds to release the fragrance. You don't want the shallots and garlic to burn so make sure you keep an eye on it. Add 3/4 c. chicken stock and 3/4 c. white wine to deglaze the pan. (Deglaze means to bring up all those delicious cooked bits of chicken that are stuck to the bottom of the pan from the searing) Let reduce just a little bit.
- Add 1 cup heavy cream, some fresh thyme leaves, a small handful of chopped parsley, and some grated asiago cheese. Stir well and remove the pan from the burner. Taste the sauce. You shouldn't need to add any salt because the cheese is salty. If you want to add some pepper, do so now.
- Pour over the pasta and toss. Plate the pasta and put a thigh or two on top. Spoon a little bit of that fat that's in the baking dish on top of the chicken and if you want to make it pretty like my picture, put a sprig of thyme and a piece of garlic on top.
- Enjoy! I served this dish with some roasted asparagus. It paired perfectly with the chicken and pasta.
Posted by squillen at 4:55 PM
Friday, July 8, 2011
Have you ever had one of those nights when you just don't want to cook? This was one of those nights but I knew my husband would kill me if I suggested take out (again), plus he was working late and would be hungry when he got home.
I didn't want to slave for hours, nor did I have that kind of time, so I checked the pantry, freezers and fridge and found some ingredients I knew would work well together. The wonderful thing about this recipe, is that it is QUICK! You can have this made in 30 minutes - no joke.
Here's the list of ingredients I used:
- Gingerroot (not dried ginger you use in baking)
- Red bell pepper
- Green onion
- Chili oil
- Red pepper flakes
- Coconut milk
- Fish sauce
- Soy sauce
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
I know I've been missing in action but you didn't need to send Chuck Norris after me with his wicked ninja skills..
Before I share a couple new recipes, I want to give you some breaking news: I'm moving my blog. The layout of Creating Post it Notes is boring me and I'm looking for something a little better. It's not going to happen overnight but within the next few weeks, I'll be moving my recipes to my new home. A whole new facelift and I can't wait to get it up and running.
For our 4th of July, Jim, the girls, and I went to West Point Military Academy to enjoy the festivities. I packed a picnic dinner of BBQ Chicken Salad, homemade bread, fruit salsa w/ cinnamon tortilla chips, watermelon slushes, and for dessert? Peach cobbler in jars for easy transportation. De-LICIOUS!
BBQ CHICKEN SALAD
This salad is so quick and easy to make. I normally grill up chicken and cut up, but I was running short on time and used Tyson Chicken Strips, slathered them with BBQ sauce, and baked them in the oven.
Here's a list of ingredients I use:
- Iceberg and red leaf lettuces (you can use any kind you want)
- Shredded cheese
- Grated carrots
- Roasted corn, cut from the cob
- Red onion, sliced
- Cucumber, peeled and sliced
- Bacon (chopped into bits)
- Black beans, drained and rinsed
- Tomato, diced
- BBQ Chicken, chopped up
For the dressing, I made ranch dressing (from the packet *gasp*) and added a little BBQ sauce (use whatever kind you like), cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. So quick and easy, but so delicious.
Did I mention I made peach cobbler in Ball jars???? These were *perfect* for our picnic. Baked in individual jars so all I had to do was pass them around and we were good to go. See how good these look?
Maybe a little closer????
And just a little closer. I am going to make these for my next big BBQ but I'm going to use the short Ball jars. Guests can stop on by and pick one up, maybe put a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top and walk away. It can't get more perfect than that.
And to finish this post - WATERMELON SLUSHES!!!! This drink is perfect on a warm summer night. Or if you had a party and have a lot of watermelon leftover and you don't want it to go to waste... use it for this drink!
Take a watermelon and chop up the center flesh. Put it in a blender and puree. Mix in a couple tablespoons of sugar. I didn't add very much because watermelon is already super sweet and I don't like sickeningly sweet drinks.
Pour the puree in a 9x13 pan and put in the freezer. Stir every hour or every two hours until you have the perfect watermelon slush. Spoon into glasses and pour ginger ale on top. Garnish with a sprig of mint. *OR* if you're looking for something a little more grown up, you can add vodka, tequila, or rum - whichever poison you prefer.
My watermelon lover was all over this drink. Enjoy!
Posted by squillen at 7:12 PM