Blog Archives

Chicken Enchiladas in a Sour Cream Sauce

20160903_211747(1600x1200)We usually cook chicken enchiladas in a green sauce but this recipe caught my eye – it’s very nearly a chicken gravy with lots of sour cream.  Make a roux and stir in chicken broth, let it cook until thick and smooth then remove from the heat and whisk in sour cream and green chilies.  Pour the sauce over filled tortillas, top with more cheese, and bake at 400 for twenty minutes or so.  (I used the new toaster oven for these, it’s working well.)20160903_172302(1600x1200)The filling is chicken and onions fried together in a little oil, plus cheese.  The recipe called for flour tortillas so I used them rather than corn tortillas but those would have been fine.  The flour kind hold together much better.  We both liked the sauce a lot and will be doing it again.

Friday Recipe Exchange: Convection Roasted Chicken

Dinner is Served

After asking for and receiving some excellent advice on how to use my new convection oven, I decided to jump in and test it out. Roasting a chicken seemed like the most logical choice. If I ruined it, I could turn it into chicken salad. Sonoma Chicken Salad to be exact, found here.

This time of year, recipes seem superfluous – farm fresh corn, zucchini from my garden and sliced tomatoes need little embellishment. But I do have Tomato-Pasta Salad, here, that changes up the usual flavors.

For dessert, those plums needed to be used, so I went with a Plum Crumble (or as my cousin christened it, Plumble), recipe here. I used the convection feature,  which helped the crisp brown evenly. Bonus Bixby inspecting the plums here.

I don’t have any recipes from JeffreyW this week, but that could because this guy is keeping him busy:

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That’s the most adorable, Gabe, getting himself into a bit of trouble. I am looking forward to seeing how JeffreyW’s figs turn out, hopefully abundant enough for homemade fig newtons. But if not, just fresh off the tree. I love figs! Photos of his fig progression are here.

What’s on your menu this weekend as summer winds down? My grapes are starting to ripen, and of course I’m overrun with plums, so does anyone have some good plum or concord grape recipes they want to share? What else is cookin’ tonight?

Chicken's Done

Tonight’s featured recipe is pretty simple, since what I wanted was to test out how the convection oven treated my ingredients. I started with a local chicken, zucchini from my garden, potatoes from my dad’s garden and local corn.

I mixed together 2 tbsps of butter with dried, crushed rosemary and basil, along with crushed garlic and rubbed it under and over the skin of the chicken. I then rubbed more of the herbs and garlic inside  the cavity.

I put the chicken and the sliced potatoes into the roasting pan. I roasted them at 425 degrees, until the breast meat registered at 165 degrees and the thighs at 170 degrees. The high temperature, combined with the convection created a crisp skin that quickly sealed in the juices. Total cooking time was one hour for a five pound bird.

Convection Oven Roasting

I added the sliced zucchini about 15 minutes before the chicken was about to come out of the oven, so everything finished up nicely. The corn was microwaved for two minutes an ear (for a total of six minutes) with the husks on. If I had been more confident with my oven skills, I would have popped the ears into the oven just a bit before the zucchini and roasted them in the husks.

I am over the moon with what the convection feature can do – the potatoes were perfectly roasted, the chicken crisp and moist, the zucchini tender. The flavors were great and the herbs really permeated the meat.

That’s it for this week. I’m sitting here watching the welcome rainstorm drench my very thirsty yard, while contemplating my long list of things to do this weekend. Have a great weekend! – TaMara



 

Chicken Pie

DSC_2012(1600x1200)I nearly ruined this one, I set the oven to pre-heat to 350 but it somehow got bumped up to 425+.  Fortunately I checked it at the 20 minute mark and saw the egg wash starting to burn.  This is with the Kroger ready to go pie crusts.  The bottom crust didn’t quite have enough to cover the rim of the deep dish pan so I tried tucking the top crust in around the edge rather than leave a single layer to burn up.  It seemed to work OK.20160816_123242(1600x1200)The sauce was made with a flour/butter roux with chicken stock added when the roux was cooked through, adding half a cup or so of milk to thin it a little.  It made a tasty gravy.

Chicken Marsala

DSC_1994(1600x1200)I wanted to make this dish to try out that gallon of Marsala cooking wine I bought.  I had low expectations for it but wanted to save some money over buying the real stuff.  This met my expectations in that it isn’t nearly as good as the real wine but it does add some Marsala flavor to the dish so it wasn’t a total bust.  I took the dinner as an occasion to also try out some Mexican rice from a box mix that has been showing up at the local Kroger store:DSC_2005(1600x1200)The rice mix had some dried corn kernels that floated to the top when I poured in the water, I scooped those out and added some fresh off the cob sweet corn.  I probably should have left them in to make the trial a fair one but I have a recollection of biting down on a hard little rock of a corn kernel once.  The mix turned out pretty well – I will chop some fresh peppers into it next time, though.DSC_2004(1600x1200)There was leftover chicken and rice from the Marsala dish so I added more broccoli and turned it into a creamy cheese soup by adding the leftovers to chicken broth and blending in cheese and heavy cream.  It made an excellent lunch today.DSC03638 (1600x1200)Bonus kitteh!  This is Spots, a cute little tortie awaiting adoption at St Francis.

Friday Recipe Exchange: Grilling Up a Storm

Bixby is 2 snap

Bixby turned two on Thursday and I felt that justified a Bixby Diaries post. So for the pet lovers, you’ll find lots of new and old photos, plus video of the Beast here. For the rest of you, it’s a grilling themed recipe exchange.

First up, Grilled Chicken and Papaya, recipe here. I noticed in the stores that mangoes were plentiful, and I can’t imagine why you couldn’t substitute – I would add a dash of lime to it all with mangoes.

Speaking of mangoes and papayas, how about Grilled Fish with Mango and Papaya Salsa, recipe here.

A couple of nice sides to round things out. But don’t think you need a recipe, fresh veggies from the garden, tossed in olive oil and grilled in a grilling basket can’t be beat.

Grilled Vegetable Salad, click here, can be a meal in itself or a hearty side.

Greek Grilled Potatoes, recipe here, are a nice, tangy change from regular potato packets.

What’s on the menu this weekend? Anything special planned for Father’s Day? What’s your favorite food to take out of the kitchen and make on the grill?

Flank Pinwheel Prep Final

Tonight, I combined two favorite recipes. I love the pinwheels because they are so showy (and tasty). I thought it would be a great recipe for Father’s Day weekend. Then I ran across my spicy sauce and thought, yum, that would work. If you don’t want spicy, here is the original Pinwheel Recipe. And if you don’t want pinwheels, here is the original Spicy Grilled Flank Steak recipe. I got you covered.

Grilled Spicy Flank Steak Pinwheels

Sauce:

ING-chili-garlic-sauce-2_sql

  • 1 tbsp chili garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup orange juice

Pinwheels:

  • 1 lb flank steak
  • 8 oz sliced provolone cheese
  • 1 bunch washed and dried spinach leaves
  • 8 wooden skewers
  • olive oil

ziplock bag,

You can ask the butcher to butterfly your flank steak, which  is what I did. But it’s fairly easy to butterfly. You want the grain running up and down in front of you and then you’ll slice it in half, NOT slicing all the way through. When you’re done you’ll lay it open, flat, basically making a larger, thinner steak.

Image from Serious Eats

Once you have it laid out flat in front of you with the grain running left to right, you’ll want to tenderize it, pounding it thin.

Keeping it flat, place into a ziplock bag,  add marinade and coat completely on both sides. Marinate flat in refrigerator 1 hour. Remove from marinade and assemble.

Layer the spinach over the meat. You want it to be several leaves thick, because it will reduce as it cooks.

Next layer the provolone cheese slices, two to three slices thick, over the meat.

Now it’s time to roll.  Roll tightly in the direction of the grain. Add a skewer every 2 inches and then slice between the skewers, so you have 2-inch thick pinwheels.

Heat grill and oil grates well – alternately you can cook in a cast iron skillet (heat 1/2 to 1 tbsp of oil in it) on the grill. If using a gas grill – heat one side to high for searing, turn the other side to about medium to finish cooking. For coals – place coals toward center of the grill, leaving the edges cool for finishing cooking.

Add pinwheels to the grill, flat side down. After a minute, using the skewer (you may also need a metal spatula to get all the cheesy goodness) flip over, sear additional minute.  The usual method of waiting until the meat moves easily to flip will not work with this because the cheese is sticky. So just do one minute each side, it will be fine.

After the second side is done, move steaks off of high heat to the cooler grates  and let the steak finish for about 10 to 15 minutes for medium rare. These are thin and don’t need a lot of cooking time and you don’t want the cheese to burn.

Remove to a plate, cover with foil and let rest 10 minutes, so the cheese isn’t molten lava.

My steak made 4 large pinwheels.

That’s it for this week. I don’t know how many recipe exchanges I’ll have in me while I’m packing, but stay tuned. Have a great weekend! – TaMara



 

Friday Recipe Exchange: Spicy, Sweet and Hot

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I was looking around for one of my recipes, which I’m using for tonight’s featured recipe, and in the process stumbled upon JeffreyW’s cache of wings – in all kinds of varieties (you can see most of them here). That inspired tonight’s theme – hot wings!

Before I get to that, a couple of things cooking in my kitchen this week.

Cold weather refused to go away, so I made a big batch of Beef and Barley Soup, recipe here.

This week’s dinner menu was Sweet Ginger Beef and Snow Peas, click here for menu and recipes.

Now for the wings:

JeffreyW makes mouths water with his Sesame Wings, picture above and recipe here.

His secret for crispy Oven Baked Hot Wings, pictured below, can be found here.

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And finally, Baked Honey Glazed Wings, if you’re not into a lot of heat. Click here.

What’s cookin’ in your kitchen (or on your patio) this weekend? I’m in need of an ultimate (and easy) waffle recipe for upcoming company. Anyone have one they want to share?

Buffalo Leg Quarters

Wings are great as snacks for a big crowd, but when you want a dinner entree, I find this recipe works great.

I love Buffalo Wings. I don’t make them much because it seems a lot of work. I can almost always find a special on leg quarters and look over there next to them…bottles of my favorite buffalo sauce. Together they make a yummy dinner.

Buffalo Chicken

  • 4 lbs of leg quarters (approximately 4 pieces)
  • flour
  • salt & pepper
  • cayenne pepper (opt)
  • oil
  • favorite Buffalo sauce (mine is from a local shop that sells bottles at my local grocery store)

skillet, baking sheet

Mix together flour and spices. I like mine spicy so I added cayenne to the flour mixture. Dredge chicken in flour mixture until well coated.

Over medium heat, heat a tbsp of oil for each quarter (I had to fry mine in two batches, so I added 2 tbsp for each batch). It doesn’t take much to crisp up the skin. Fry until golden brown, turn and brown on the other side. It can take from 5 to 7 minutes per side.

Remove to baking sheet and bake uncovered at 350 degree until the thigh temp is 175 degrees (about 30 to 40 minutes). Every 10 minutes, remove and baste with Buffalo sauce, about three times. Before removing the fully cooked chicken from the oven, give a generous coating of Buffalo sauce and let heat through. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with bleu cheese or ranch dressing, and celery sticks.

That’s it for this weekend. Next week I’ll share the menu for my very special company. Have a great weekend – TaMara

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Shredded Potato Encrusted Chicken

Shredded Potato Packet Final

This is one of my favorite quick dinners. Looks and tastes great if you want to impress guests, but quick and easy enough for weeknight dinner.

Potato Encrusted Chicken

  • 2 large baking potatoes
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Old Bay Spice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salted butter
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 large boneless chicken breast , cut into equal halves

OR

  • 4 boneless chicken thighs

Wash and shred the potatoes on the large holes of a box grater. I don’t peel them. Drain them well. I squeezed the water out by hand and then patted with a paper towel. Then combine in a bowl with onions, salt, pepper and old bay spice.

Season chicken or fish fillets with salt and pepper. You want the fillets to be fairly equal in size, so halve the breasts and trim the fillets so they are about 4×4 in size.

Potato packets1

Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet.  When the oil and butter are hot, spoon 4 small, evenly spaced mounds of the shredded potatoes (each about 1/3 cup) into the skillet (my skillet is small, I had to do two at a time).

Press a portion of chicken into each mound and cover with the remaining potatoes. Cover the skillet. Cook the potato packages over medium heat for 6 to 7 minutes. Add additional oil if needed (I added a little as I turned each piece).

Turn them carefully with a large spatula and cook them for 4 minutes, remove the lid and continue to cook for an additional to 2 to 3 minutes uncovered. The potatoes should be nicely crusted on both sides.

Reduce heat to low and cook an additional 3-5 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.



 

Lunch Menu: Chicken Alfredo Tortellini Soup

A little change up for this week’s lunches. A big batch of soup as we wait for the big rain/snow storm.

Chicken Alfredo Tortellini Soup

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 4 boneless chicken thighs, cubed
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 4 oz sliced carrots
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 sprigs parsley, snipped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 20 oz bag cheese tortellini
  • ½ cup half & half
  • ¾ cup grated parmesan, plus additional for garnish

saucepan

In saucepan, heat oil, add chicken and brown lightly.  Add remaining ingredients, except cream & Parmesan.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute.  Reduce heat, cover and let simmer over medium heat for 20-minutes.  Add half and half & Parmesan simmer 2-3 minutes; stirring constantly to make sure Parmesan doesn’t stick. Serve hot and garnish with additional Parmesan.



 

Friday Recipe Exchange: Chicken, Chicken and More Chicken

Golden Chicken Curry4As promised, I jumped back into blogging this week. And there was actual cooking and baking in my kitchen. I have been wanting to try a cold fermentation bread dough for a while and this was the week. I want to make it a couple more times before I share, but so far it is about the best bread I’ve ever made. For once high altitude did not diminish my enthusiasm or my bread.

But for the rest of the week, it was all about chicken.

First up, Golden Curried Chicken Pilaf and Dill Dip (pictured at top) – a complete dinner menu and recipes can be found here.

JeffreyW made Chicken in Tomatillo Sauce, click here, which I think sounds delicious. I love tomatillos. If you have room in your garden this year, they are very easy to grow. A great addition to salsas and sauces.

In anticipation of grilling weather, there is Tangy Yogurt Chicken, recipe here. The marinade makes for tender chicken and a terrific coating with some zing.

Spring is finally here, so why not a nice Chicken Primavera, with a bonus Carrot Cake, full dinner menu and recipes here.

What’s on your plate this weekend? Cooking anything fun this first full weekend of baseball? Hit the comments and share.Sesame chicken fingers

Tonight’s featured recipe is from my kids’ menu. Great flavor and a breeze to put together. I tossed in some grated Parmesan for additional flavor when I made it this week.

Sesame Chicken Tenders

  • 1/2 cup stone-ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 tbsp limejuice

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  • salt & pepper
  • ½ cup sesame seeds
  • ½ cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 to 2 tbsp water
  • 1 to 1 ½ lbs chicken tenders

baking sheet, greased or lined with parchment or foil

2 bowls and 1 plate

Mix mustard, honey & limejuice in bowl, set aside for dipping sauce*.

On plate mix salt, pepper, breadcrumbs & sesame seeds. In second bowl, add egg and water. Dip chicken in egg wash then dredge in breadcrumbs, coating completely. Place on baking sheet, sprinkle with more sesame seeds if desired. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes, turn, and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until crispy on all sides. Serve with mustard dipping sauce, waffle fries and a fresh vegetable tray for a quick and easy dinner.

*Note: I made a second dipping sauce using Buttermilk Dressing and my favorite Red Hot Sauce. I liked it and will use it again.

That’s it for this week. Next week I’ll be mixing it up with some recipes I’ve had bookmarked to try for a while. Have a great weekend! – TaMara

 

Tangy Yogurt Chicken Marinade

This is a great recipe to grill (or bake) – the tangy yogurt marinade keeps chicken moist and creates a flavorful outer coating that zings.  Serve with couscous and citrus chunks for a winter break.

 

Yogurt Dill Chicken:

  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp dry dill, crushed
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded*

large shallow covered dish, broiler or grill 

Mix together yogurt, mustard, dill, thyme.  Place pounded chicken in dish, spoon yogurt mixture over, cover and let marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight.  Grill or broil for 10-15 minutes each side, until fully cooked at center.  If you’re broiling, place rack one level from the top most setting. 

*The easiest way to pound chicken is to wrap in plastic wrap and pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet.  Keeps meat from splattering.