Monday, January 28, 2013

Chicken Caesar Meatballs

This is a pretty summer-y recipe, in my opinion, but I kept thinking about it last week when I bought a pack of ground chicken.  I was going to take the easiest way out and make meatballs with it, but I really do try to switch up our meals enough so we don't get bored.  I made Chicken Caesar Kabobs back when the recipe was posted, but I wasn't crazy about the way they came out.  Ground chicken is extremely wet and then you're adding more wet ingredients and they just wouldn't stay on the skewers.  The man mentioned back then that I should make them more like meatballs, and I finally got around to thinking more about it.

Chicken Caesar Meatballs
adapted from Taste and Tell Blog

1 lb ground chicken
2 tbsp Caesar dressing
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp dried lemon peel

1.  Preheat oven to 350F. 

2.  In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix together with your hands.  Separate into 16 equally-sized balls.

3.  Heat a skillet and add some cooking spray.  Place the balls in the pan and saute until lightly browned all over, turning before any side gets too dark.  When equally browned, transfer to a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

4.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Serve over romaine with caesar dressing.

As you can see from the pics (hopefully), they're still kind of wet.  I might experiment with adding more breadcrumbs.  My turkey meatballs take 2 cups of crumbs, so I might add another half cup.  But the flavor is still awesome.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

White Chicken Cream Cheese Chili

I am not a soup person at all, but I like to make stuff just to watch others enjoy it.  I made this a few weeks ago and then the man requested it today.  I sampled it and I do think it's really tasty, I just can't personally eat a bowl of it.  I did sample out of his bowl with the multigrain scoops, like it was a dip, and that was also really tasty. 

White Chicken Cream Cheese Chili
adapted from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, uncooked, cut into bite-sized pieces
salt & black pepper
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (4 oz each) diced green chiles or 1 can (7.75 oz) jalepeno wheels, diced
1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans (don't drain!)
1-1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp chile powder (I used Mexican Style)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 cup cooked corn
8 oz 1/3 fat cream cheese, cut up

1.  In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Add the chicken, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and cook through, stirring often.  Remove to plate when done and set aside.

2.  In the same pot, add olive oil, onion, green pepper and garlic.  Stir frequently and cook until tender.  Add green chiles/jalepenos and cook until warmed through.

3.  Add cannellini beans (with their juice), chicken broth, corn, chile powder, oregano and chicken.  Simmer about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4.  Reduce heat and add cream cheese, stirring until melted.  Cover and let it sit on low for about 5 minutes.

Serve with a sprinkle of shredded cheese, roughly crushed tortilla chips... whatever you want.

A few weeks ago I used green chiles, but today I used jalepenos.  Such a difference - I liked the heat of the jalepenos.  I get the feeling this will be an every few weeks occurring dish.  I wonder how freezable it is...

Friday, January 25, 2013

"Chinese" Chicken

This is so easy for a weeknight dinner.  You can prep it day of, or you can marinate it the day or night before (my preference).  Serve it on top of some white or brown rice and lightly steamed sugar snap peas.

"Chinese" Chicken
adapted from my mom

2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 1/4" slices
4 tbsp Hoisin sauce
1 tbsp minced ginger (or to taste)
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp sesame oil (optional since I've never been able to find it in stores and it's totally fine without it)

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together Hoisin, ginger, sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil.  Put the cut up chicken in the bowl and stir to coat completely.  Cover and refrigerate if you're into that kind of thing.

Heat a skillet on the stove to medium heat.  Add the chicken and sauce.  Saute until chicken is cooked through and serve.

See?  So easy.  And so, so, SO tasty.  Something to experiment with and something I'll have to try:  coat raw chicken with cornstarch and bake, heat up sauce in a wok, add baked chicken and toss to coat.  That's how I make my General Tso's Chicken which tastes crazy authentic, but way healthier.  Recipe to come.

PS, if I ever type "resume" instead of "recipe," (which I totally just did and caught myself) please understand that resumes and recipes are all that are ever on my brain.  I actually say it out loud as a mistake all the time.  Good thing I greatly enjoy both things.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sunday Staple: Herb Roasted Chicken

Everyone knows that Sunday is my cooking day.  I go grocery shopping and prepare for the week.  Most Sundays I roast a whole chicken that I can use for various things throughout the week, like putting it on salads for lunch.  I used to get a couple of chicken from Sam's every week, but have you seen the lines???  I can't seem to master the same flavor, but this one is really moist and goes with any kind of dish.

Herb Roasted Chicken
adapted from Better Homes & Gardens cookbook

1 3-1/2 to 4 lb whole roaster chicken
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp lemon-pepper seasoning or black pepper

Preheat over to 375F.

Clean the bird, dry it, and set it in a 13x9 baking dish.

Microwave the butter in a small bowl.  Add to it garlic, basil, sage, thyme, salt and pepper and combine.  Spread all over and inside the chicken with a brush or your hands.

Roast in the middle of your oven for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours, until it's 160F in the fattest part of the breast.

I've tried a bunch of different recipes for roasted chicken - even one that promised to be exactly like the rotisserie style, but it was awful.  This is by far my favorite and comes out perfectly every time.  I just had some on a salad for lunch, but I think it's time for a mid-afternoon snack of chicken and horseradish sauce.

Other things I made yesterday (recipes and links to come):
Sausage, Egg and Cheese Crescent "Ring"
Corn & Cheddar Quiche (another Sunday Staple)
BBQ Bacon Chicken Ranch Dip
Pulled Chicken (for above dip which will also be used for Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls this week)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Turkey Meatballs

Turkey meatballs are a regular player in my house.  Which is kind of funny since I just found out about ground turkey last year.  (Let me tell you about the time I was a really picky eater.)  I came across this recipe probably in 2009 and I've been sitting on it for years because I was afraid of ground turkey.  I am an idiot.

Turkey Meatballs

1 pkg ground turkey meat
2 cups Italian-style bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp Italian seasonings
Dried basil, garlic pepper, salt and pepper to taste

Preheat over to 350F.  Mix everything together in a large bowl with your hands!  Split it in half, half, half and half again so you ball up 16 meatballs.  Heat a skillet or large pan to medium and add about a tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the meatballs and fry them for about 5 minutes and turn them around so they brown evenly.  When the outsides look cooked, remove to a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray or drizzled with olive oil.  Bake for 10-15 minutes until cooked through.

I eat mine with horseradish sauce -- yummmmmmm.  I've also done the same recipe with ground chicken with similar results.  I have a bunch of other turkey meatball recipes that involve sauces and glazes and add-ins, but I just can't experiment when I know this one is tried and true. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Corn & Cheddar Quiche

A few years ago my mom and I were shopping at the Lord & Taylor in Westfield and we stopped for a bite in the cafe upstairs.  I loved the corn & cheddar quiche I ordered and went back home to find a recipe online.  I couldn't find one that I liked, so I modified a basic recipe to suit me.  I make this almost every Sunday to eat for breakfast all week.

Corn & Cheddar Quiche
by, Me.

1 9-inch deep frozen pie crust (or don't, if you don't eat that kind of thing)
4 eggs
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheddar
12 oz bag frozen sweet corn
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4-1/8 tsp garlic powder, onion powder and paprika

1.  Preheat over to 350F.  Microwave the corn according to package directions.

2.  Beat the eggs in a large bowl, add all ingredients.  Empty bowl into pie crust (or greased pie plate if you're skipping the crust).  Spread the ingredients around evenly with a spoon.

3.  Bake for 35-45 minutes depending on your oven.  The quiche should be solid in the center and the top should be a little browned.

I always put my pie crust on a foil-lined baking sheet because my quiche always leaks over the sides and I prefer not to clean my oven every week.  You can also experiment with some other add ins like bacon or ham.

Friday, January 18, 2013

"Greek" Shrimp and Tomatoes over Amazing Rice

I've made this recipe twice and it is freaking delicious.  I've never thought about mixing anything in rice before except for peas in yellow rice, but this is something I'm going to put some serious thought into for the future.

"Greek" Shrimp and Tomatoes over Amazing Rice
adapted from All Day I Dream About Food

1 cup prepared white rice
3 tbsp olive oil, separated
1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 tbsp dried basil (or to taste)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup white wine (I use Goya cooking wine)
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Heat oven to 350F and spritz 9x9" Pyrex or baking dish with cooking spray.  Put the rice in the dish and combine with 1 tbsp olive oil, feta, grated parmesan and basil.  Mix well and spread it on the bottom of the baking dish.  Set this aside.  Don't sample too much or you'll have nothing left when it comes time to bake.
2.  In a skillet (I use my wok), heat 2 tbsp olive oil.  Add garlic and saute for less than a minute, constantly moving it around - don't let it brown.  Add shrimp and saute until just until it's almost done.  Remove from skillet into baking dish and arrange on top of the rice.
3.  Add the white wine to the pan and boil until reduced.  (This is where I get really impatient because I'm so close to done and my sauce ends up too saucy.)  Add to skillet drained tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and boil until the sauce thickens (a few minutes,  I'd assume, but I never make it that far.)  Pour sauce over shrimp and place baking dish in oven.  Bake 10 minutes.
4.  Remove and serve and try to remember to breathe in between bites.

The recipe I used suggested a more low carb and gluten free cauliflower "rice" but I'm still in the early stages of my relationship with cauliflower and not ready to go there yet.  I also get way too excited once the shrimp is on the rice to wait for the wine to reduce.  I'm tempted just to half it and warm up the tomatoes with the red pepper flakes.

The man has suggested that I try this with chicken sometime, but my mom has a similar recipe for a "Greek" chicken that I will post in the near future.