Monday, October 31, 2011

Chicken, goat cheese, caramelized onion & spinach quesadillas

Chicken, goat cheese, caramelized onion & spinach quesadillas - that is quite a mouthful, huh? Literally! After enjoying a rotisserie chicken, I had some left over meat that I wanted to use up. I, obviously, made chicken stock and froze it for soup or risotto, and with the meat I made quesadillas.
This picture is from and includes tomatoes. Quesadillas are a great way to finish up some leftovers.
1/3 cup corn oil
4 Whole grain tortillas
4 oz goat cheese, spreadable
1 medium onion, sliced
5 oz (half a package) of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
leftover chicken, pulled/shredded
Salt & Pepper
other leftovers or additions like sauteed tomatoes, corn, jalapenos!

-Slowly sautee your sliced onion in about 2 tablespoons of corn oil until translucent. I sometimes add a bit of sugar and salt to season. 
-Assemble quesadilla - goat cheese, salt and pepper, spinach, caramelized onions, chicken, more goat cheese (on the other tortilla), put second tortilla on top and press down to seal.
-Over medium heat, add a bit more corn oil to the pan and sautee about 4 minutes on each side until lightly brown, flip and cook the other side.
-Remove from heat and let sit for about 2 minutes, slice and serve with salsa and sour cream!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin? Yes, please!

There is nothing like pumpkin to get you ready for fall! Turkey Pumpkin Chili is one of my favorite fall comfort foods and is a cinch in the slow cooker. I made a large pot of chili and gave half to our friends, who just had the most beautiful baby boy, Rowan!
Chili with all the fixin's - chips, cheddar, sourcream, green onions, cilantro, cornbread...the list goes on!
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 medium sized peppers, diced (I like to use 1 red and 1 green)
1 lb ground turkey
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp oregano
2-3 tbsp packed brown sugar
1 small can diced green chili peppers
15oz can white beans
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
14 oz can diced tomatoes
15 oz can pumpkin puree

Spray a large pan with nonstick cooking spray and place over medium heat. Brown turkey meat and drain off water. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Home for a minute!

Last week was super busy but fun! Over the course of the week, I visited Salt Lake City, Phoenix and Denver for work. I definitely missed being able to cook something for myself so on Sunday morning we had a delicious brunch of sweet potato hash with poached eggs and coffee. This hash recipe could easily make for a delicious dinner if paired with a salad or filet of fish instead of eggs.
This recipe is adapted from A Cozy Kitchen and is delicious!

Vegetarian Sweet Potato Hash and Eggs
Olive oil
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed

Hot pepper like a jalapeno if you like some spice, seeds removed, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 eggs, poached

In a skillet over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil and when hot, add the sweet potato and yellow onion. Add the cumin, paprika, to the sweet potato mixture and mix. Stirring regularly, cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are cooked. Be sure to give the largest cubes of sweet potato a taste to make sure they’re thoroughly cooked.

Add the red bell pepper to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes. Next, mix in the minced garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant. Add hot pepper if using. Taste for salt and pepper and add what you think it necessary.

Place over low heat to keep warm while you poach the eggs. Top with 3 poached eggs and serve. Perfect poached egg :) Sometimes the easiestest parts are the hardest!

Served 2 very hungry and slightly hung over adults!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Butternut & Saffron Risotto

After a long week, a slow cooked risotto hit the spot. Ina Garten always gets it right!
                1 butternut squash (2 pounds)
                2 tablespoons olive oil
                Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
                6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
                6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
                2 ounces pancetta, diced
                1/2 cup minced shallots (2 large)
                1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
                1/2 cup dry white wine - I used Sauvignon Blanc - a glass for me and a glass for risotto!
                1 teaspoon saffron threads (I used a little less because they are so expensive!)
                1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into 3/4-inch cubes. You should
have about 6 cups. Place the squash on a sheet pan and toss it with the olive oil, 1
teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast at 400 degrees or about 20 minutes,
tossing once, until very tender. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock in a small covered saucepan. Leave it on low heat to
simmer. In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the pancetta and
shallots on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the shallots are translucent but not
browned. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. 
Simmer sauce as you combine other items.
Add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice plus the saffron, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir, and simmer until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock. 
Continue to stir as you ladle in the heated stock.
Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes total. Off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes and Parmesan cheese. Mix well and serve. This dish is delicious and makes for a perfect fall dinner. Serve with sauteed spinach or salad and bread.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Zucchini Fries

One of my favorite blogs is A Cozy Kitchen - she has some great recipes and her nails always look so nice in the photos!
This recipe is adapted from cozy kitchen and it is delicious!
Zucchini Fries

1 cup plain bread crumbs - I used panko
1/4 cup grated Parmesan 
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
Dash of pepper
2 large eggs, beaten
3-4 zucchini (leave skin on but peel areas of damage/bruising)
Preheat oven to 425˙F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray it with cooking spray. On a plate, mix together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, red crushed pepper flakes, oregano, salt and pepper. In a small to medium bowl, beat the two large eggs.
Cut the zucchini into batons. One by one, dip the zucchini batons in the beaten eggs and transfer to the plate with the bread crumb mixture, being sure to coat the zucchini thoroughly. Place the bread crumb covered zucchini on the baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, checking on them after 10 and flipping them to ensure thorough baking. Remove and serve with favorite sauce (we had a pink vodka sauce - mmm!)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Roasted pork and applesauce - a perfect fall meal.

Have I told you I love the slow cooker? I do. I think the slow cooker gives people the ability to do it all - cook a delicious dish and enjoy the day. Yesterday, I made what I am dubbing the "World's Quickest Applesauce." I literally threw this together, during the time it took Vance to shower - granted he isn't the shortest showerer, but you get the idea.

World's Quickest Slow Cooker Applesauce
-6 golden delicious apples
-1/2 cup of water
-3 tablespoons brown sugar
-1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
-1 teaspoon vanilla

Peel, core and quarter apples and put them in the slower cooker. Add remaining ingredients and cover. Cook on low for about 5 hours until apples are very tender. Mash with a fork, chill and serve!

Herb Roasted Pork Loin, Baby Red Potatoes and Basil Carrots
Pork Roast:
about a 2 pound boneless pork (perfect for two people with leftovers)
fresh herbs, I used oregano and thyme
salt and pepper
small onion
about 6 baby red potatoes

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-In baking pan, drizzle EVOO all over pork
-Chop fresh herbs (needing about 3-4 tablespoons) and pack them on the pork, trying to get them to stick to the EVOO
-Salt and pepper the meat
-Peel and quarter onion and assemble on and around meat
-Clean, peel (about 3/4) of the potato skin and toss with EVOO and S&P
-Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees then lower heat to about 375 degrees. Bake for an additional 35 minutes and using a meat thermometer, test temperature. Pork should be about 160 degrees internally. It make take about 10-15 minutes. Remove pork from oven and cover with tinfoil. Allow to rest 10 minutes. Serve au jus over pork, potatoes and onions.

-When pork is almost done (about 15 minutes away from the end), boil chicken or vegetable stock in a small sauce pan with about a 1/2 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
-When stock is boiling, add about 2-3 cups of baby carrots or peeled cut carrots
-Boil for about 10 minutes until tender
-Drain and return to pan, toss with 1-2 tablespoons chopped basil and a bit of butter if desired

This is a great fall dinner and hit the spot after a long weekend!

Bristol Westend Benny

Breakfast at the Bristol calls for a new eggs Benedict recipe...and it was a huge success!
About 6 eggs (you will need 3 eggs yolks for the sauce)
1 stick of butter
tablespoon of lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon of dijon mustard
2 English muffins
4 oz salmon lox
half red bell pepper
small onion
3-4 tablespoons of capers

 1. Sautee the sliced peppers and onions in a bit of EVOO until tender - set aside.
I used red bell pepper and white onion, but you could use spinach, purple onion,  strips of zucchini - anything!

2. Make hollindaise sauce in blender (this is likely the most stressful part, but you can do it!):
               3 egg yolks
               1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
               1 tablespoon lemon juice
               1 dash hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco)
               1/2 cup butter 

In the container of a blender, combine the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice and hot pepper sauce. Cover, and blend for about 5 seconds.Place the butter in a glass measuring cup. Heat butter in the microwave for about 1 minute, or until completely melted and hot. Set the blender on high speed, and pour the butter into the egg yolk mixture in a thin stream. It should thicken almost immediately. Blend for about another 45 seconds to ensure thickening. Keep the sauce warm until serving by placing the blender container in a pan of hot tap water.

3. Toast English muffins under broiler
4. Boil a large saute pan of water with about 2 tablespoons of vinegar (vinegar helps the eggs to keep their shape)
5. Once water begins to boil, delicately crack eggs into water – allow to boil for 3-5 minutes
6. While eggs cook, assemble muffins with salmon lox then peppers and onions, then capers.
7. Using a slatted spoon, remove eggs and DRAIN lightly on a paper towel.
8. Place eggs on muffins and top with hollandaise sauce. If you are concerned that the dish is not hot enough, you can place it in an oven (at about 400 degrees) for a few minutes to reheat the muffin. This may cook your eggs a bit more though so beware of your time. 
Sprinkle with parsley, add more capers or a bit of paprika and enjoy!
This Bristol Westend Benny made for a delicious Saturday brunch at home!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Change of plans.

As many of my friends and my mom know, I enjoy planning out our weekly meals. How dorky is that? I have started using my Outlook calendar to note what dish we are having on what day. This also helps me build my grocery list. Last night was supposed to be grilled vegetable wraps, but when I came home and looked at these sad whole wheat wraps and looked at my strapping handsome husband - I just couldn't do it. Running low on groceries as shopping day is Sunday, I took the vegetables I had and made vegetable-stuffed balsamic portabello mushroom caps with caesar salad. A much more fun Friday night meal!

2 portabello mushroom caps
1 zucchini
1 tomato
1 medium onion or half a large
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2-3 tablespoons herbs of your choice
2 cups spinach

To start, clean your portabello mushroom caps (remove stem and wipe with damp towel). Marinate for up to an hour in 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon EVOO, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and about 2-3 tablespoons herbs of your choice (I used dried basil, Emeril Essence and a little black pepper).
While marinating, peel and cube 1 zucchini, about half of a large onion, half of a large tomato. Sautee in a drizzle of EVOO until soft. After vegetables and onions are tender, add about 2 cups of baby spinach and sautee until wilted.
Place mushroom caps on a baking sheet and assemble vegetable sautee inside each cap.
Bake for about 12 minutes at 375 degrees until caps are heated the whole way through. You could easily top this with some grated cheese as well, but I was serving it with caesar salad and we were hitting our Parmesan cheese limit.
These are fast, easy and delicious!