Sunday, August 30, 2015

Jalapeño Chicken Wraps

We added a few ingredients to the recipe at the very last minute.  My husband said, "I would definitely order this at a restaurant" and gave it a thumb's up.  YES!  Very easy to make - just takes some time to cook, but hey, any recipe where you can use a crock pot is great, right?

Ingredients:

3-4 chicken breasts (we used thigh meat, came out tender too)
8 ounce Philadelphia cream cheese
1/3 cup sliced jalapeños (no juice)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
taco-sized tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (we used cheddar with pepper jack shredded cheese)
chopped tomatoes (we added this to the recipe)
chopped green onions (we added to recipe)
Taco seasoning (we added to the recipe)

Instructions:

Add chicken, 1/2 cup water, cream cheese, jalapeños, garlic powder, salt and cumin to the crockpot.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high 3-4 highs (we did high for 3 1/2 hours).



Once the chicken has cooked, preheat oven to 425 and grease a baking pan with cooking spray.

Use two forks to shred chicken and stir it.

Take tortillas and sprinkle cheese in the middle.  Add chicken mixture.  Roll tortillas tightly into a log shape.  Top with cheese, tomatoes, green onions and sprinkle of taco seasoning.




Place in dish, spray heavily with cooking spray.  Bake 10-15 minutes.

My husband, who loves sour cream with tortillas, said, "It doesn't even need the sour cream!"




Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Steak and Asparagus over Angel Hair Pasta

I found a recipe that I thought Greg would enjoy.  We bought the ingredients and our little helper enjoyed assisting us in the kitchen:




Ingredients:

Angel hair pasta
1 pound boneless skirt steak
1/4 cup beef broth
3 tablespoons Asian dumpling sauce (if you don't have this, use soy sauce)
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 large bundle of asparagus - chop into bite sized pieces
1 tablespoon ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions, thinly sliced

Instructions:

Cook Angel hair pasta, drain well and set aside.

Cut beef into thin slices, cutting across the grain.

In a bowl, stir together:  Beef Broth, 2 tablespoons of the dumpling sauce, honey, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, cornstarch, sugar and sesame oil.  Whisk together.



Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet over high heat.  Once hot, add half of the beef and cook. Stirring once, until brown on the outside, about 2 minutes.  Remove meat with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl.  Repeat with the remaining beef, adding 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan.  Transfer this beef to the same bowl on the side.



Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet.  Add asparagus and cook until it starts to soften, about 1 minute.  Reduce heat to medium, add dash of oil, ginger, garlic.  Cook, until just golden and fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add 2 tablespoons of water to the skillet - cook until mostly evaporated - about 2 minute.



Add beef broth mixture to the skillet.  Cook until thickened, about 1 minute.

Add beef, stir to coat.  Transfer beef to a large serving platter.

Wipe out the skillet;  add remaining oil and dumpling sauce on medium-high heat.

Add pasta and cook, stirring frequently, until heated through, about 1 minute.

Transfer to serving platter and garnish with green onions.

FANTASTIC!







Thursday, July 2, 2015

Asian Salad

It's easy to make, but make sure do not misread the ingredients.... like I did... I was making a fast grocery list and thought it read "red wine vinegar"... instead... of rice vinegar.  BIG difference and the mistake forced a second grocery store run.  Ugh.

The other thing about this recipe... if you are allergic to carrots, don't get the bag of coleslaw mix... Found this out after serving the salad to my husband and his lips started to burn and the back of his throat hurt.  Fortunately the carrots were only a few bits and he washed down the meal with a lot of water.  Lesson learned!

Below is the recipe for ingredients in the salad and then ingredients for the dressing:

Salad makings:

1 (16 ounce) bag coleslaw mix
2 packages of ramen noodles, crumbled (do NOT use the seasoning)
1 cup shelled edamame
1 avocado, diced
1 mango, diced
1/2 cup thin sliced almonds
1/2 cup sliced green onions



Dressing ingredients:
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
pinch salt and pepper

Directions: Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Put noodles and almonds on baking sheet, bake for 5 minutes, stir and bake for another 3 minutes.



In a large bowl mix all ingredients for salad.  Then whisk dressing in a large measuring cup - pour and mix into salad and serve!





Sunday, June 28, 2015

Honey Sesame Chicken

The word "honey" might make you think this is ultra sweet, but with the soy and hoisin sauce, it adds some extra flavor.  I'm not used to working with hoisin sauce.  Greg said to decrease the hoisin in the future and use a mixture of breast and thigh meat, because even in a crock pot, it can make the meat more tough while cooking.  The sauce is thick, but it's supposed to be that way in the end.

Special note - I combined this dish with a low flavor rice/quinoa package (purchased at Sam's).  We have used this package before and found that it doesn't have much taste - but it was a good combo with the recipe I used, because the sauce was so strong.

Ingredients:

4 boneless skinless chicken breast (and thighs)
1 Cup honey
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 Cup hoisin sauce (maybe cut this in half?)
1 Teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 Cloves garlic, minced
6 Tablespoons cold water
2 Tablespoons corn starch
Garnish
Green onions, sliced
Sesame seeds

Instructions:
Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and place in crock pot.
In a small bowl, mix honey, soy, hoisin, sesame oil and garlic.  Pour on chicken.
Cover and cook on LOW 3-4 hours until chicken is cooked.
Strain liquid into a sauce pot and bring to a simmer on stove top
Mix cold water and corn starch in small bowl.  Pour into simmering sauce.
Cook for 3-4 minutes over medium heat until sauce is thickened.
Pour sauce over chicken - top with sesame seeds and green onions.
Serve with rice if desired.



Note:  I added corn and edamame to the quinoa/rice, which my husband liked.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Egg Drop Soup

When I told my husband that I was making egg drop soup, he asked, "The real thing, not like that Egg Foul Young."  Even though he liked that Egg Foul Young, Greg wanted the real recipe for egg drop soup, which I did have.

It's easy to make, doesn't take much time.  But the texture was slightly off.  Greg said it had excellent flavor.  I used the chicken broth that we made from a rotisserie chicken.  The broth was thick, so I'm thinking that might be the issue.  Greg thought the recipe called for too much cornstarch, but I think it was the real broth instead of the store bought stuff that created the thickness.  I liked it though.

Ingredients:

4 cups chicken stock
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 large eggs and 2 egg whites (I used what we call in our house "fake eggs" or egg substitutes.  However, next time, I might go with 4 eggs and see how it comes out)
1/2 tsp sesame oil
3 green onions, sliced thin
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Using chilled or room-temp chicken stock - whisk in the cornstarch, ginger and garlic powder until no lumps remain.  Make sure to do this before heating up the stock, otherwise the cornstarch will clump.




Heat on high heat to bring stock to a boil, stirring occasionally.



Meanwhile, whisk the eggs (and egg whites) in a bowl.  Put this to the side.

Once the broth is boiling, removing it from the heat.  Use a whisk in a SLOW circular motion - slowly pour the whisked eggs into the soup - the slow circular whisk will create the egg ribbons.  Add sesame oil and green onions and salt and pepper.


Serve immediately, topped with green onions. YUM!




Saturday, May 30, 2015

Korean Beef

I don't want to be a "one trick pony" when it comes to cooking.  Sure, I don't cook that often, but when I do, I'd like to have a nice repertoire of dishes.  I have never cooked an Asian dish or used Asian spices.  Given this is new for me, I hunted for a recipe with simple ingredients and simple instructions.

If you have ever had Southern "dirty rice" you know what I'm talking about, only this has an Asian twist to it with the flavor.  My husband enjoyed it, but he said to try cutting back on the sugar next time.

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 - 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers (we didn't have this, so I used just the smallest amount of Cayenne to give it some zing.)
salt and pepper
1 bunch green onions, diced
Rice, cooked


Instructions:

In a large skillet over medium heat, add sesame oil, garlic and beef.  Brown the meat.
Drain the fat.  Add Brown Sugar, Soy Sauce, Ginger, salt and pepper and red peppers/Cayenne.
Simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors.
Serve over steamed rice and top with green onions.



It's a quick, easy meal with a different flavor we generally don't eat.  I enjoyed it and liked trying something new too!


Punch for Baby Shower

For my sister-in-law's baby shower, I made the blue punch.  It should have been a little bit more blue, but a lot of people enjoyed it and there was no punch left by the end of the party, so I imagine those kind words were true.  I liked it too :)  Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:

1 packet Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade unsweetened Kool-Aid (I would recommend getting 2 packets - use one and then add a little more after you make this to bring the blue color back to a brighter hue).

1 (2 liter) bottle Ginger Ale
1 (64 oz) White Grape Juice
1 cup sugar
8 scoops pineapple sherbet

Instructions:

Chill ginger ale and grape juice over night.
Remove sherbet from freezer about 1/2 hour before serving punch to soften
In a large bowl, combine Kool-Aid packet, sugar and chilled juice.  Stir.
Slowly add chilled ginger ale.
Float 8 scoops of softened sherbet on top.

NOTE * You will need a LARGE punch bowl for this mixture!