Friday, May 24, 2013

Rosemary & Lemon Salmon

I'm always trying to find something different to do with salmon, since it can be so... salmon-y.  This one is super easy and healthy.

Rosemary & Lemon Salmon
adapted from the South Beach Diet

2  half-pound salmon filets
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped OR 1 tsp dried and crushed rosemary

Combine all ingredients but the salmon and brush on the filets.  Either preheat grill and grill until flaky, or preheat oven to 450F and bake for 15-20 minutes, until flaky.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Crock Pot Creamy Ranch Chicken

Over the last month I haven't been able to work from home as much as I have in the past year.  Because this recipe only needs a few hours to cook, I actually made up a reason that I had to work from home home (blamed it on the dog).  I really did work from home, I just also took a quick break at 2 pm to start this.  Nothing wrong with my priorities!

Crock Pot Creamy Ranch Chicken
from Chef In Training

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 (1 oz) envelope dry ranch dressing mix
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
8 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
1/4 cup cooked & crumbled bacon

Prepare crock pot with cooking spray or bag liner (I went with the spray for this one).  Place chicken breasts inside.  In a bowl, whisk together chicken soup, chicken broth and dry ranch mix.  Pour over chicken.  Cover and cook on Low for 3-4 hours, or until chicken reaches 165F inside.  Remove chicken and set aside.  Add cream cheese cubes and stir or whisk until melted and completely blended.  Put chicken back into pot and cover with sauce.  Serve with extra sauce and a sprinkle of bacon.

So clearly my idea of a "sprinkle" of bacon is a heaping pile.  But I wanted to make sure so get some in every bite, and I did.  If I'd made a different vegetable, like green beans, I would have dipped them in the sauce, too. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Crock Pot Lemon Pepper Chicken

I'm not gonna lie:  I didn't even get to taste this dish.  I left it in the crock pot when I went to get my hair done on a weeknight.  When I got home after 8, I was presented with an empty (and dirty) crock pot.  So I'm going to assume that the chicken was so tasty that Someone decided to eat my dinner as seconds.  I ate a small salad and watched Modern Family.  I guess I'll have to make it again soon so I can actually taste it for myself.

Crock Pot Lemon Pepper Chicken
adapted from The Recipe Critic

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup butter
1 package dry italian dressing mix
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken broth

In a shallow dish, combine flour and pepper.  Drege the chicken in the mix and coat completely.  Melt the butter in a skillet.  Add chicken and brown on each side to a golden color, but not long enough to cook through.  Spray crock pot with cooking spray and add the chicken.  Mix together the lemon juice and chicken broth.  Pour over chicken.  Sprinkle with dry italian dressing mix (you don't have to use the whole pack for 2 breasts).  Cook on Low for 3-4 hours, until cooked through.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pork Stir Fry with Asparagus and Sugar Snap Peas

I've been sitting on this recipe for way too long.  The reason is stupid:  I didn't want to freeze and cut up the pork tenderloin.  It seemed like it was going to take too long.  Every time I bought pork intending to make this recipe, I took the easy road and made something else.  That was really dumb.  I look forward to making this again and playing with different flavors.

Pork Stir Fry with Asparagus and Sugar Snap Peas
adapted from The Kitchn

1 12-16 oz. pork tenderloin
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp cooking sherry
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp rice vinegar
salt and pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp cornstarch
1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp vegetable oil

Place pork in the freezer while you prep the rest of the ingredients (it's easier to cut).  Whisk together soy sauce, sherry, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil and cornstarch.  Set aside.  Slice the pork into 1/2 inch thick medallions, then slice that into 2-3 strips and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 tsp vegetable oil in large saute pan or wok.  Cook the pork until just cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.  Remove and set aside.  Add a little more oil to the pan and cook asparagus and sugar snap peas.  Saute about 4-6 minutes until bright green and still crunchy.  Add the garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes and stir to mix the flavors.  After about a minute, stir in the sauce mix and add the pork back to the pan.  Continue stirring until the sauce thickens and the meat and vegetables are coated with the glaze.  Serve over rice.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry with Ginger Sauce

A bunch of (almost 10?) years ago my mom gave me a ton of recipes copied out of her recipe books or magazines.  At that time I was still a really picky eater, so these recipes have her little handwriting on it with suggestions for substitutions or omissions.  This is probably how I learned to cook, from these little notes.  Good call, Mom, on sending me this one.  I'm sorry it took me so long to try.  At least I'm not a picky eater anymore!  Also, I have the cookbook this came from, in addition to the photocopy, so let me know if you want that back!  Mom's notes are in italics:

Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry with Ginger Sauce
from The 15 Minute Gourmet: Chicken

Ginger Sauce:
6 tbsp white rice vinegar --or any white or cider vinegar
6 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup water
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp cold water
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp finely minced fresh ginger

To complete the recipe:
2 tbsp canola or safflower oil, divided --olive oil ok too (I used vegetable)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch long by 1/2 inch wide strips
3 ribs bok choy, cut into 1/4-inch slices (also shred green tops) --can eliminate if you want (I did!)
2 carrots, thinly sliced diagonally
1 red bell pepper, cut into 2 inch long by 3/8 inch wide strips
1 small onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1 tsp minced garlic

Prepare sauce by stirring together the vinegar, sugar, 3/4 cup water and soy sauce in a small sauce pan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce to low and simmer 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  In a small bowl, stir together cold water and cornstarch until smooth.  Stir it into the sauce pan.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is clear and slightly thickened.  Remove from heat.  Stir in ginger and cover.  Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and stir fry for about 5 minutes or until cooked through.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.  Heat another tbsp of oil in the pan.  Stir fry the vegetables for about 4 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Stir in the garlic and chicken.  Serve over rice, spoon ginger sauce over.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Chicken Gyro Pita Pockets

I've mentioned before that the spa I go to for a massage every 8 weeks is next to Trader Joe's.  Remembering my blissed-out purchase of tzatziki sauce last time, I planned ahead.  This resume came through my Google Reader in a very timely manner and I used it as the perfect opportunity to wind my brain back up before jumping back in the car for a 45 minute drive home after my massage.  Okay, I also stopped in Ann Taylor Loft for some pants, and a Moonlight In Vermont at Gourmet Girls (GO THERE!!), but tzatziki was my real brain-mush mission (I'm not even going to tell you how long it took me to find, even though it was in the same place from March).

Chicken Gyro Pita Pockets
adapted from

1 lb ground chicken
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp lemon peel
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp onion powder
salt & pepper (lots)

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Combine all ingredients well, using a fork.  Split into 8 equal portions.  With your hands, roll into balls and flatten into patties.  Spray skillet with cooking spray and add patties.  Cook until lightly browned on that side, then spray top with cooking spray and flip until lightly browned on that side.  Cook through, flipping so no side burns.  Remove to plate and let cook a few minutes.  Serve inside pita with sliced tomato, cucumber and tzatziki sauce.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Buffalo Pork Tenderloin

I got this idea from a friend a while ago and I've been recycling it for many years.  I can be cooked on the grill at medium heat, or it can be roasted in the oven.  I like the grill version for summer!

Buffalo Pork Tenderloin

1.5 - 2 lb pork tenderloin
1 can/bottle beer
1 bottle buffalo wing sauce (not hot sauce)

Preheat grill to 375F.  Place the tenderloin on a large foil sheet and fold the edges into raised corners (like a dish or bowl).  Pour beer over pork, about 1/4 inch in foil.  Pour some wing sauce over the pork so you can't see through it.  Grill for 45 minutes, or until 165F inside the pork.  Baste with beer followed by wing sauce, as needed.  Remove and serve warm.

The beer keeps the tenderloin so moist and the wing sauce makes a nice coating on the edge.  Barbeque sauce also works pretty well when we get tired of Buffalo flavor (hey, it happens... rarely).  Serve with summer veggies like grilled zucchini and yellow squash.

Crispy Sriracha Chicken

This was a big hit in my house and I'm pretty sure I even forgot a step by accident.  I'll make this one again as an easy-overnight-marinade-throw-in-oven dish.  Rosemary and Sriracha are great together!

Crispy Sriracha Chicken
from Tablespoon

1/4 cup plain Greek Yogurt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 tbsp sriracha
2 tsp minced garlic
salt & pepper to taste
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients but chicken, mix well.  Place chicken breasts and a large resealable plastic bag and pour marinade over.  Seal bag and refrigerate 2-4 hours or overnight.  Preheat oven to 375F.  Place chicken in a greased baking dish and and pour extra marinade over it.  Bake chicken 40-45 minutes, until cooked through.  Turn broiler to high and cook chicken until crispy and golden brown, about 5 minutes.

I think I forgot to broil the chicken.  By the time it was finished baking, it was late and we were hungry.  Either way, it was tasty!

"Bang-Bang" Chicken

This was SO GOOD.  The chicken was the perfect mix of crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.  The sauce was not overwhelmingly hot or spicy - just perfect!  It made for great leftovers on a salad!

"Bang-Bang" Chicken
from Jo Cooks

1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce (Frank's)
1 tbsp hot sauce
2 tbsp honey

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into small pieces
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp hot sauce
1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
Panko breadcrumbs
oil for frying

Sauce:  whisk together all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate until serving.

Pour Panko into a shallow dish. 

Chicken:  In a medium bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper.  Add the hot sauce, egg and buttermilk and whisk until smooth.  Add the chicken to the bowl and toss to coat each piece completely.  Heat oil in a large skillet.  Take each chicken piece from the batter, roll completely in Panko and place it in the skillet.  Fry chicken on both sides, about 3-5 minutes, until cooked through.  Set aside on paper towel-lined plate.  Repeat until all chicken is cooked.  Serve drizzled with sauce.

My sauce drizzling leaves a lot to be desired.  I added lots more after the picture was taken.  This meal was kind of complicated for me on a weeknight, but worthwhile.  It's also a really tasty chicken nugget recipe that you can try any kind of sauce with - maybe a Honey Teriyaki?  Any sauce would be great.  I'll try this again after I get a splatter guard for my pan!