Thursday, November 15, 2007

Spicy Curry Chicken

This recipe showed up one day in my Google Reader, courtesy of Ally at Culinary Infatuation. I looooooove, love, love spices, and this recipe just sort of fit the bill for what I was looking for to make for dinner. It was really good, and Norm liked it, too. I served it over this tandoori rice mix that I picked up at the store. The rice was really good, but probably too much for the chicken, so next time, just a simple basmati or something. I took the leftovers for lunch, and it was even better the next day.

Curry Chicken
(Source: ***Culinary Infatuation***)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 1 1/4 lb cut into 1 inch cubes (used about a lb of thin sliced tenderloins, cut into large chunks)
1 Tbs. curry powder
1 Tbs. Garham Masala
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground ginger (unbelievably, I didn't have this on hand, so it was omitted)
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 cup lite sour cream (you could use yogurt, as I would but alas I did not have any and the sour cream worked the same) - I used non-fat yogurt
1 Tbs. olive oil (I sprayed the pan with Pam, and added maybe 1/2 T of oil)

Mix all spices together and add sour cream stir to combine. Add chicken coating thickly and marinate for an hour.

Heat skillet over med. heat and cook chicken for 15 minutes or until cooked through.

Red Curried Tofu

I totally forgot about this recipe until I was in the grocery store the other night. Norm was going to be at the hockey game (I opted not to go) so I was free to make something that I know he would have zero interest in eating. He hates tofu for some reason with the fire of a thousand suns. I can't even get him to taste it at all when I cook it. Freak.

But I digress. This is super flavorful, and it's really good for you! When I was on Weight Watcher (the first time!), I ran this thru the recipe builder and it came out to 4 points per serving (2 without the cashews). I serve it over basmati rice that I cook in chicken broth. I think the original was from epicurious, but I'm not sure, it was about 5 years ago that this was passed onto me, so who knows!

Red Curried Tofu
2 tsp dark sesame oil
2 cup red onion(s)
1 cup bell pepper(s)
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp table salt

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp red curry paste

14 1/2 oz Del Monte Diced Tomatoes, No Salt Added
12 1/4 oz Nasoya Lite Firm Tofu
1/4 cup cilantro
1 oz dry-roasted cashews

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper; saute 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in curry, coriander, turmeric, and salt; cook 2 minutes. Add soy sauce and the next 4 ingredients (soy sauce through tofu). Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve the tofu mixture over rice, and sprinkle with cilantro and cashews.

Chicken Dip

This recipe came from my friend Christy years ago, she swears she wasn't the one who originally made it for our group...but she was = ) It's one of those recipes that is absurdly simple (3 ingredients!), and it may even sound a little weird, but it's reaaaaaaaaaaaaally good. Plus it's great on a toasted bagel for lunch if you have any left over.

A year or so ago, I took it to a party and gussied it up...I shaped it into a ball and rolled it in pecans, and served it with those yummy rosemary Triscuit crackers. Excellent!!!

Chicken Dip
(Source: Christy!)
1 can of chicken, drained
1 block of cream cheese, softened
1 packet of ranch dressing mix

In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, chicken and 1/2 the packet of dressing mix. Mix thoroughly to break up chicken and combine well. Add more dressing mix if necessary.

Slow-Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

I have seen this recipe all over blogs for the last couple of months. It sounded great, and I figured it would be good tailgate food for a chilly day in Pittsburgh. It did not disappoint! Everyone liked it, and there was pretty much nothing left (and I doubled the recipe!) We served it on toasted hamburger buns - fresh off the grill!

I seasoned the pork before I put it into the crockpot...just salt, pepper, garlic salt. I think next time I might carmelized some onions to mix into the meat after it's cooked...or even toss onions in with the pork to cook.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle root beer
1 (18 ounce) bottle your favorite barbecue sauce

Place the pork tenderloin in a slow cooker; pour the root beer over the meat. Cover and cook on low until well cooked and the pork shreds easily, 6 to 7 hours. Note: the actual length of time may vary according to individual slow cooker. Drain well. Stir in barbecue sauce. Serve over hamburger buns.

S'more Brownies

Ok so I found this on It looked yummy, it sounded yummy....and the end result was yummy but not without making a few um...emergency tweaks. I read the reviews and took some of the suggestions given. And that's where things went awry.

One reviewer suggest to cover the dish with foil when you add the smores topping so it doesn't brown too much. I did that, and when I pulled the dish out of the oven, the marshmallows had completely melted into the brownies. It looked like I had a mess on my hands. I thought for a second and figured I'll add more marshmallows, put it back in the over and let them get puffy. If it sucks, well...I will just pitch them and nobody will be any wiser. It was pretty, even it it was difficult to cut. I would suggest putting the marshmallows on at the very end to avoid a melt-y mess.

I was going to classify this as low-fat, since I used applesauce and egg beaters in the brownie mix...but I figured with all the chocolate on top and the sugar from the marshmallows, maybe that wasn't such a good idea. = )

S'more Brownies
1 (21.5 ounce) package brownie mix
6 graham crackers (I used low fat)
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
8 (1.5 ounce) bars milk chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used semi-sweet chunks)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Spread into a greased 9x13 inch pan.

In a medium bowl, break graham crackers into 1 inch pieces and toss with miniature marshmallows and milk chocolate. Set s'more mixture aside.

Bake brownies for 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove, and sprinkle the s'more goodies evenly over the top. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow brownies to cool before cutting into squares.

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

This recipe is from my friend Michelle, who got it from someone I have no idea where it originally came from. But it's super easy and damn good...and what isn't good when wrapped in bacon. 'Nuff said. Here's the basic recipe, you can tweak it to your hearts content. I have made them with a few different cheeses - sharp cheddar, pepper jack - and have used both center cut and peppered bacon. Oh, and I have also used reduced fat and non-fat cream cheese and reduced-fat cheese and these have flown off the plate!

I'll post pics as soon as I can find the USB cord for the camera. It's MIA...and may have gotten pitched in a cleaning frenzy OR one of the cats made off with it and it's under a couch or bed as we speak.

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers
16 jalapenos (get a decent size so you can stuff 'em)
1 lb bacon
1 block of softened cream cheese
1 cup of shredded cheese
Salt, pepper, garlic (optional, but I think it's yummy)

Cut the pepper open by slicing 3/4 of the way thru the top and down the center (on one side want to keep the pepper in tact if you can). De-seed the pepper and remove the whitish rib from inside (that's where the heat is...i tend to keep a little seed in there because we like them hot!).

Combine cream cheese and shredded cheese. Season to taste. Stuff peppers with cheese mixture. Be careful not to over-stuff as the cheese will ooze all over your grill.

Wrap each pepper with a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick.

Grill until bacon is crispy. Let cool a few minutes after you take them off the grill or you'll have 3rd degree burns on your tongue = )

Annual Steelers Tailgate

Once a season, my two brothers, their wives, Norm and I and a rotating group of Steeler-fan friends get together for a big tailgate and go to the game. Good time, good times. There's always lots of food, even more beer, and even more trash-talking. This year was no exception!

In preparation for the Steelers vs. Browns game, emails were flying fast and furious...tailgaters mapping out the all important details for the day. Lots of discussion about what kinds and how much beer and what we could bring that we could toss in the turkey fryer. My brother, Mike, brings his turkey fryer and makes a giant batch of wings with his homemade wing sauce (and won't give us the recipe)...and thought this year would be good to fry up whatever he could put into there. Peirogies were the extra of choice for the year. How fitting for a game in da 'Burgh! My other brother, Matt, brings his old Weber grill...that only gets trotted out for this annual tailgate. Sometimes it's more for heat than actual cooking - especially after the game - but always comes in handy!

Little did we know how much it would come in handy. There were so many problems with the fryer, the oil never got hot enough, the gas tanks, well....tanked. One ran out, the back up never had a good enough flow to keep the heat up. All the while, the wings were just boiling away in a big vat of not-quite-hot-enough oil. Mike pulled some wings out and put them on the grill, hoping that would do it. They just fell apart. (not that it stopped people from eating the pan full of disintegrating wings...the sauce is THAT good).

So the guys put the pot on the very hot grill, hoping that would work. That didn't work either. Mike was more than a little heartbroken about the whole thing. At least he had Browns fans to make fun of...and thank God the Steelers won!

Anyway....I had made bbq pork sammiches, bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers, potato salad and smore brownies (recipes to follow!)...and we had hot dogs and other munchies (danni's chicken dip), that kept us plenty satisfied until game time!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Fettuccine with Shiitake Mushrooms & Basil

This was our Halloween dinner. Norm cooked while I handed out candy to a paltry 21 trick-or-treaters. I was so disappointed! We've lived here for almost 3 years, and have never been home for trick or treat night. I was excited to finally be home to hand out candy...and then practically nobody came. Oh well! We had TONS of candy leftover. I took a big bucket of candy into work with me, and sent Norm to work today with 3 additional bags. At least it's all out of the house (except for the couple of kit kats and PB cups that I squirrelled away for case of an emergency) and I won't be tempted to eat my weight in fun size candy bars.

But I digress...about the pasta! It was delicious. Norm decided to make a couple of modifications that turned out to be fantastic....he added a little bit of white wine to de-glaze the pan after cooking the garlic and mushrooms. Speaking of the mushrooms, our grocery store didn't have just shiitake mushrooms, but had a nice 'shroom mix of cremini, shiitake and oyster that we used. Then at the end, added some halved grape tomatoes and a sprinkling of crumbled goat cheese. We finished every last bite, it was that good = )

Fettuccine with Shiitake Mushrooms & Basil
(Source: Eating Well)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced (1 1/2 cups)
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste Freshly ground pepper to taste
8 ounces whole-wheat fettuccine or spaghetti
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, divided

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil for cooking pasta.

2. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms and increase heat to medium-high; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.

3. Meanwhile, cook pasta, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 9 to 11 minutes or according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

4. Add the pasta, the reserved cooking liquid, Parmesan and 1/4 cup basil to the mushrooms in the skillet; toss to coat well. Serve immediately, garnished with remaining basil.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 311 calories; 11 g fat (3 g sat, 6 g mono); 9 mg cholesterol; 44 g carbohydrate; 13 g protein; 8 g fiber; 307 mg sodium.Nutrition bonus: Fiber (28% daily value), Calcium (14% dv).2 1/2 Carbohydrate Servings