Friday, July 31, 2009

Island Bird: Pineapple-Rum Chicken

Hi there!

One think you will learn about me is I LOVE PINEAPPLE! Remind me to share a great pineapple casserole with you later! Once again, I am going into the recipe file on my Mac and sharing with you all a recipe that was new to us about a month ago! Fun, huh?

Island Bird: Pineapple-Rum Chicken
  • 1 ½ cups jasmine rice
  • 1 whole pineapple, cored and peeled (or a can of pineapple tidbits)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced (again, I prefer red onion)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Coarse Salt
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup spiced rum (I just used light rum)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 6-oz boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • Coarse black pepper
  • ¼ fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Let's make it!!!

Cook the rice according to package directions. We have a rice cooker, which when we finally got one, I wondered what took me so long to get one!

Cut the pineapple into bite size chunks. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the pineapple chunks and the juice from the container, no more than ½ cup, and stir to combine. Remove the pan from the heat and add the rum. Return the pan to the heat, keeping a little distance in case the pot flames up. Let the alcohol cook away, about a minute. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer, then cook until it is reduced by half and has thickened slightly. (I actually ended up spooning out some of the extra liquid as it didn't really reduce for me.)

While the sauce is simmering, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the hot skillet. Cook the chicken for 6 minutes on each side.

Time to serve! I forgot the parsley and cilantro. Whoops! Still tasted good.

I also paired this meal with a Mediterranean Chopped Salad. Read down and you will see the recipe on how to make it.

Thanks for reading and get out there and try something new!

Mediterranean Chopped Salad

Hi there!

Yesterday I shared a Pineapple-Rum Chicken recipe with you. With that meal, I added this chopped salad. Let's see how to make it.

  • ½ cup flat leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • ½ seedless cucumber, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 8 pepperoncini peppers, chopped (or Roasted Red Peppers)
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Combine all vegetables with the parsley, the olives, cheese, and hot peppers. Dress the salad with the juice of 2 lemons and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Season the salad with salt and pepper.

Easy! Let's look at the salad again.

Thank you for reading. Much appreciated. Now, get in the kitchen and try something new!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Grilled Honey Lime Chicken

Hi there!

Tonight for dinner, we tried out this new recipe. I wanted a simple weeknight dinner, and this one proved to be just that! Let's see what you need:

  • The juice of one lime
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 rounded teaspoon cumin (this could be omitted)
  • A handful cilantro finely chopped (I used dried - about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon steak seasoning blend OR salt and pepper
  • 4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • Lettuce, sliced tomatoes, red onion, and avocado (all optional)
  • 1 cup prepared Salsa Verde
  • 4 crusty rolls, split
  • Flavored Tortilla Chips (such as blue corn, red corn, black bean, chili lime, etc)
So, let's put it together. Grab yourself a gallon bag (or quart bag if you half the recipe), and add the first 6 ingredients and mix. To that, add your chicken, seal the bag, and squish around to coat the chicken. Now, put the bag in the fridge for at least 10 minutes. I marinated mine for about 4 hours.

Note: My husband mixed up our own seasoning blend. I have no idea what he put in it and when I asked him, he said he just eyeballed a whole bunch of stuff, lol!

Time to cook! We used an indoor grill (The Griddler) to cook ours, but you can use an outside grill if that is what you prefer. Cook until done. Pending on the size of rolls you purchase, you may have to cut your chicken in half!

Time to eat! We decided to top our sandwiches with lettuce, avocado, and Salsa Verde. I highly recommend all three of these! We would have added tomato if we had one. And we had red onion, I simply forgot to get it out and slice. The avocado added a nice surprise and texture when I bit into the sandwich.

Simple! Fast! Tasty! This is a winner in my books! So what does it look like?

Yup! Makes you want to go make it, right?

Thanks for reading today! What are you waiting for? Get in the kitchen and try something new!

Chicken Enchilada

Hi there!

This once was a new recipe for us, but we have been making it for well over a year. This is also a recipe that you can freeze if you wish! And we all know how nice it is to take something out of your freezer before you go to work, come home, and pop it in the oven! So, let's see how to make it:

  • 3 cups of cooked shredded chicken (I normally buy canned chicken)
  • 1 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 small onion finely chopped (I prefer red onion)
  • 2 green bell peppers, finely chopped
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 10 (8 inch) flour tortillas
  • 2 cans of red enchilada sauce
  • 1 16oz jar of salsa
Let's put it together!

In a large bowl, mix the softened cream cheese, shredded chicken, onion/bell pepper (reserve about 1 cup for the topping), 1 ½ cups of cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. Stuff tortillas with ½ cup stuffing and roll (or fold - pending on how you like to do it). Place tortillas in a greased pan. Cover with 1 cup left over peppers and onions, enchilada sauce, and salsa. Top with 1 cup cheese.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until heated thoroughly.

Easy! Now, let's prepare it if you want to freeze before cooking. Based on my past experience, this is what I recommend. Prepare as directed. Place the 1 cup left over peppers/onions in a plastic bag. Place the enchilada sauce/salsa in another plastic bag. Place the 1 cup cheese in a plastic bag. Place the plastic bags on top of the stuffed tortillas. Then freeze.

Oh, ready to cook? Once you thaw the dish, sprinkle pepper/onions, pour over the sauce mixture, and top with cheese. Then bake at 350 for 45 minutes. The reason for doing it this way is I froze this dish once after I prepared and when I thawed it then baked it, the tortillas were soggy. No one likes soggy tortillas, lol!

I actually did this for dinner last week. Let's take a look!
To go along with the meal, we opened a bottle of red wine :) We are frequent shoppers (and club members) at Winestyles. Because of this, we have become fans of wines from Chile. 35 South makes this wine with organic grapes and it is absolutely delish! It is a Cabernet Merlot blend.

Well, thanks for reading once again! As I always say, get out there and try something new!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Thai Chicken Wrap with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Hi there and Happy Monday!

We made this a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it! We found it on the Food TV website. I wanted to share with you, even though it is not a Saturday! Really any day is a good day to try something new :) Let's see what you need to make it!

  • 3 (6-ounce) chicken breasts - boneless skinless
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning
  • 1/2 seedless cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on an angle
  • 2 cups fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 3 scallions, sliced on an angle
  • 12 leaves basil, chopped or torn
  • 3 tablespoons (or 4 sprigs) chopped mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or white vinegar
  • Salt
Spicy Peanut Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup room temperature chunky peanut butter, soften in microwave if it has been refrigerated
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 (12-inch) flour tortilla wraps
So how do you make it? Place the chicken, soy, oil and seasoning in a bag. Mix together and put in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Heat a grill pan over high heat and grill 6 minutes on each side.

In a bowl, combine cucumber, sprouts, carrots, scallions, basil, mint and sesame with a generous sprinkle of sugar and vinegar. Season salad with salt.

Whisk peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar and cayenne together. Stream in vegetable oil.

Slice cooked chicken on an angle. Toss it in with the veggies and herbs.

I put the tortillas in the oven, top rack, on broil and heated each side. Keep a close eye on it!

Now the fun part! Pile chicken and veggies in wraps and drizzle liberally with spicy peanut sauce before wrapping and rolling. Rolling has been a struggle for me. But, I think I finally have figured it out. Let's look at the mixture on the tortilla.

Ok, see how it is laid out lengthwise? Fold those ends (the short ends) in first. Then your "longer" sides, fold one then the other. You can always roll it like a fruit roll up, but I think rolling this way keeps everything in!

So let's see it plated (and the inside too)! I paired it with some Olive Oil noodles (in a box!!). Additionally, we had some cherry tomatoes on their way "out". So, I halved them, tore up a few pieces of basil and sprinkled with lime juice.

Thanks for reading! Get out there and try something new!!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Crispy Orange Rosemary Chicken and Edamame Succotash

Hi there!

Guess what day it is? You got it! It is Saturday and that means time for a new recipe. I love using fresh herbs, and since I have a rosemary bush in my backyard, this recipe seemed perfect.

I have to say this was a great summer meal, light, tasty, and a bit of a surprise! The ingredients call for breadcrumbs, so you may suspect you will fry the chicken, but you don't.

Let's see what we need to get this going. (Both are Rachel Ray recipes, however, I did change the succotash recipe.)

Ingredients (for the Chicken dish):
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 6-oz Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 sprigs of Rosemary, chopped
  • Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion (again, I used red)
  • 2 large carrots (thinly sliced)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped OR 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Zest and juice of one Orange
  • 2 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 10 pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs (See my note below)
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan
Ingredients (for the succotash - using my changes):
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped OR 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 bell pepper (green)
  • 1 jalapeno (red) - optional
  • 1 1/4 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 8 oz frozen edamame (in the steamer bags located in the frozen section of your grocery)
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
  • A handful of chopped fresh parsley
Let's get cooking. First here is how to prepare the chicken dish. Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the chicken, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook and stir for 6-7 minutes or until lightly browned, then add the onions, carrots and garlic. Continue to cook for another 2 minutes.

Turn your oven on to broil!

Dust the chicken and veggies with the flour and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the orange juice and chicken stock, bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid has reduced by half, then add the olives (which I forgot to do!!!).

While the liquid is reducing, make the bread-crumb topping. Combine the breadcrumbs, orange zest, parsley and 1/4 cup Parmesan. NOTE: My personal opinion was the recipe called for too much of the breadcrumbs. I would reduce it to 3/4 cup if I make it again.

Transfer the chicken and veggies to a baking dish and top with the breadcrumb mixture, covering all of the chicken and veggies. Place under the broiler until the topping is brown and crispy. About minutes, BUT keep a close eye on it!

Moving on to the succotash. The reason I added the red jalapeno is because my great aunt grows them and last week, she gave us about 12 of them in a brown bag. So, I have been adding them to pretty much everything. Some of them were red rather than green. I have to be honest, I didn't know red jalapenos existed. I don't know if there was cross pollination when they were growing, or what. Anyways, they added a nice addition to the succotash and color too! So, if you want jalapeno (seeds or no seeds), I will leave that up to you!

To prepare: Pop your steamer bag of edamame in the microwave and prepare accordingly. Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add oil, garlic and peppers (bell and jalapeno). Saute, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes until tender. Add the corn and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add the edamame at this time. Season with salt and pepper and stir in parsley. Remove from heat and serve.

I love a good succotash! And this one was really yummy. I will defiantly make it again. The regular recipe from Rachael Ray called for butter beans.

I added some mashed potatoes to complete the dish. Let's take a look:

Additionally, I paired this meal with a white wine from Portugal, Aveleda Fonte. It was nice and light with fruity tones. I picked it up at my local Winestyles store. If you have one in your area, you should check it out. I like the label of this wine too. Check it out.

Thanks again for reading! Now, get a move on it! Get in your kitchen and try something new!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Grilled Chicken with Warm Cranberry Salsa & Sweet Potatoes

Hi there!!

A few months ago, we made this yummy dinner. This is another Rachel Ray recipe, with the exception of the sweet potatoes.

I think by far, the Warm Cranberry Salsa has been one of my favorite things I have made with our New Recipe Saturday nights. We have made this salsa on many occasions and served it over not only chicken, but fish, pork, and shrimp.

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes scrubbed clean and cut in thin circles
  • olive oil, brown sugar, and butter for the sweet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs of Boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut in half)
  • 2 teaspoons of poultry seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus some for drizzling
  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup cranberry juice
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Let's make it:

Sweet Potatoes: These are easy! Thinly slice the potatoes and place on a baking pan rubbed with olive oil. Put a pat of butter on each one and sprinkle brown sugar on top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes until they are brown and tender.

Chicken: We have a griddler and generally use it in the summertime over the grill. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning (we do not have poultry seasoning, so we made our own with 2 parts each of salt, pepper, season salt, sugar, paprika, and 1 part sage). Drizzle with a little vegetable oil and add to a hot grill. Grill until done. Before removing, squeeze the juice of one lime over the chicken.

Cranberry Salsa: Preheat a small sauce pot over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of vegatable oil. Add the red onions, jalapeno, salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minuets. Add the cranberry juice, dried cranberries, chicken stock, and honey. Bring to a simmer, turn down the heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes or until the liquids have reduced by half. Ours really did not reduce by half, so I strained out some of the liquid until it was the consistency that I liked.

Before serving the cranberry salsa, remove from the heat and add the juice of one lime and cilantro. Stir to combine and serve over the chicken.

We paired the meal with some broccoli rice. Let's see the final meal.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed it and get out there and try something new!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Spicy Shrimp and Bok Choy Noodle Bowl

Hi there!

I am backtracking a bit. We made this dinner on Saturday, July 11. This was a very yummy meal, I must admit. I had never cooked Bok Choy before, and didn't know anything about how to pick it or clean it. My great friend over at KZK Bags sent me some great YouTube videos on Bok Choy. If you are interested in cooking with this and need a little more knowledge, then start with this video on how to clean Bok Choy and go from there.

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 inches ginger root, peeled and cut into very thin matchsticks or grated
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushroom caps, sliced, a couple of cups
  • 1 medium bok choy, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces, then cut sticks lengthwise
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 cup seafood stock
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1/2 pound vermicelli
  • 4 scallions, cut into 3 inch pieces, then shredded lengthwise into thin sticks
This recipe comes from Rachel Ray over at the Food TV website. So, here is how you make it:

Put vegetable oil, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, mushrooms (I used portabello, rather than shiitake), bok choy, salt/pepper in a medium soup pot and turn the heat to medium-high heat. After a minute or so, add chicken broth and seafood stock. Put a lid on the pot and bring soup to a boil.

Note: I let ours boil for a bit until the bok choy got tender. Additionally, our grocery store did not have seafood stock. This can easily be made using your shrimp shells for this meal.

Next, add shrimp and noodles and cook 3 minutes. Add in scallions and cook 2 minutes, then turn off soup and let it sit 2 to 3 minutes more. Adjust salt and serve.

This dinner was very easy to make! I do caution that it was very spicy! I love spicy foods and can tolerate at a high heat, but this burned my lips! We will cut back on the red pepper flakes when we make this again! And here is the finished product:

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed it and get out there and try something new!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Smoked Tenderloin, Mashed Red Potatoes, and Strawberry/Cucumber Salad

Hi there!

Several friends have been on me about starting a blog, so here I am. I will start off with our dinner last night, but may go back and catch up on some other meals we have cooked that have been winners!

Last night was Smoked Pork Tenderloin, Mashed Red Potatoes, and Cucumber and Strawberry Salad. My husband handled the Pork 100%, while I did the rest. So, let's get cooking:

  • Pork Marinade (3 tablespoons of seasoned salt, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, 1/2 tablespoon each of paprika and black pepper, and a teaspoon each of cumin, onion powder, coriander and orange zest. Toss all of that in a gallon bag with enough apple cider vinegar and olive oil to coat the meat. Marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours.)
  • 2 - 2 1/4 lbs Red Potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups Half and Half
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • Salad Dressing: 1/2 cup orange juice, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, and 2 teaspoons fresh chives (chopped)
  • 2 cups Strawberries (halved or quartered)
  • 1 large Cucumber
  • 1/2 cup Gorgonzola
  • Red Lettuce Leaves (or substitute any other lettuce you prefer)
Pork Tenderloin: My husband was 100% responsible for this. He smoked it for about 3 hours, then placed it in the oven for 20 minutes or so at Broil to crisp up the outside.

The Mashed Red Potatoes were easy! Half the potatoes (skin on please), and place in a pot with just enough water to cover. Place a lid on the pot and on high heat, bring to a boil. Remove the lid, add some salt (just a sprinkle around once or twice), and let boil for 10-15 min, until they are tender. Drain off the water, and put the potatoes back into the pot. Add the Half and Half, butter, salt/pepper, and mash!

The Strawberry and Cucumber Salad was a nice refreshing surprise. We have a vegetable garden, and have cucumbers coming out the yin yang. I wanted to try something new so I hopped over to Food TV's website and found this nice recipe. You actually are supposed to add scallops to the salad, but we omitted these for our dinner.

Let's make the salad: Whisk the ingredients for the dressing then add in the strawberries and sliced cucumber. Serve over the lettuce and top with the cheese! Simple!

A nice dinner for a hot summer night! And here is the finished product!

Thanks for reading this first post of New Recipe Saturday. Hope you enjoyed it and get out there and try something new!