Monday, March 24, 2014

Hawaiian Pulled Pork with Pineapple Guacamole

I know I overwhelm you with all of the pulled pork I make, but it's just so fun and so easy.  And we can eat it for days, in many different formats.  The original recipe is for skillet nachos, but I cut out the middle and went straight for it.  So good.  Such a success.  So many more pulled pork recipes to come, I'm sure!

Hawaiian Pulled Pork with Pineapple Guacamole
adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

3-4 lb pork butt, trimmed and cut in large hunks
garlic salt
15 oz can chopped pineapple
1 cup BBQ sauce, divided
1 large red or sweet onion, sliced

Pineapple Guacamole:
2 avocados
1 garlic clove, minced
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/4 cup pineapple tidbits, drained

Place the pork in a large crock pot and season generously with garlic salt on all sides.  Add the can of pineapple and it's juices, 1/2 cup BBQ sauce, and sliced onion.  Mix slightly and cover.  Cook on low for 7 to 9 hours, until meat shreds easily.  Shred, then mix 2 cups pork with remaining 1/2 cup BBQ sauce.  Discard cooking liquid.  Freeze the extra pork.

Meanwhile, combine avocados, garlic, lime juice and salt in a bowl.  Smash with a fork until desired consistency is reached.  Fold in cilantro and pineapple tidbits.  Serve pork topped with pineapple guacamole with a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese, and extra BBQ sauce for dipping.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Polenta Bites

This was the first time I tried polenta and I was not disappointed.  We actually ate these for dinner one night, but it would be a pretty good appetizer, as well.  All in all, an experiment not gone horribly wrong, for once!

Buffalo Chicken Polenta Bites
from Housewife In Training

1 (18 oz) tube of Polenta
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1/4 to 1/3 cup Frank's Red Hot sauce
1 avocado
4 oz crumbled blue cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Preheat a skillet over medium heat.  Spray with non-stick spray.  Slice polenta into 15 slices.  Once skillet is warm, add polenta.  Cook for 5 minutes, or until golden brown, then flip and cook again for 5 minutes, or until golden brown.  Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.  While polenta is cooking, combine shredded chicken with hot sauce.  In a small bowl, mash avocado with a fork, keeping some small chunks.  Fold in blue cheese crumbles, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Drizzle with a little lemon juice and mix, to prevent browning.  Once polenta is done cooking, layer with avocado mixture, then the chicken and sprinkle with cilantro.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Indian Spiced Chicken Burgers

Yes, another burger.  That one that was all wet and goopy really set me off and I told you I had a bunch more recipes to try.  This was delicious.  I can't remember what recipe I bought the Garam Masala for, but I'm glad I had it on hand.  This mixed up so quickly in the food processor and cooked perfectly on my grill pan.  I'd mix and match with different types of buns.  I used a potato roll and it was just okay.

Indian Spiced Chicken Burgers
from Eat Live Run

1 lb ground chicken
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 inch knob fresh ginger
1/4 of a large yellow onion
3 tsp garam masala
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
buns for serving

Place the seeded jalapeno, cilantro, ginger and onion in a food processor and pulse until finely minced.  Add the ground chicken, egg, panko, salt and garam masala and mix well to combine in the food processor.  Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Form patties out of the meat mixture and place in the skillet.  Cook about 6 minutes per side, or until juices run clear.  Serve as you'd like.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches

This is one of my favorite things ever!  I've made it a couple of times because I bought the Giardiniera and pepperoncini practically in bulk (not really, but the jars are huge).  It's SO GOOD!  It's great for setting up Friday before you go to work, so you don't have to mess with much when you get home.

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches
from Iowa Girl Eats

3 lb chuck roast, trimmed and cut in large chunks
1 envelope Zesty Italian salad dressing mix (dry)
8 oz pepperoncini slices + splash of juice (and more for serving)
8 oz Giardiniera, drained (and more for serving)
14.5 oz can beef broth
provolone cheese slices
sub rolls

Place the roast into a large crock pot and sprinkle with the salad dressing mix.  Add pepperoncini plus a splash of juice, Giardiniera and beef broth, and then lift up the meat to make sure it gets under it, too.  Place the lid on top and cook on low for 9 hours, or until meat shreds easily with a fork.  Shred the meat, then place back into the crock pot and cook on low for 1 more hour.  Split the buns and scoop the shredded meat on top. Top with provolone and serve.

Crockpot Sweet Corn and Jalapeno Dip

Oh sweet corn goodness.  Holy, holy yum.  Definitely keep the seeds in the jalapenos.  This dip needs a  nice little kick.  So good with Frito Scoops.

Crockpot Sweet Corn and Jalapeno Dip
from Crockpot Gourmet

16 oz bag frozen sweet corn
1 diced jalapeno, seeds and ribs intact!
8 oz chive and onion flavored cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in crockpot.  Cook on low until completely melted for 2-3 hours.  Stir every 20 minutes or so.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Chicken and Cream Cheese Stuffed Peppers

When I will learn to always blanch peppers before I stuff and bake them?  Hopefully after this.  I loved the stuffing.  I love that it doesn't include rice, because that would throw my sometimes diet way off.

Chicken and Cream Cheese Stuffed Peppers
from Herb on Herbs

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 24 oz can or bottle of spaghetti sauce
8 oz cream cheese, softened
8 oz shredded cheddar or pepper jack (or a mix of both)
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
4 bell peppers, blanched
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350F.  In a large bowl, mix together chicken, cream cheese, half of the cheese, spaghetti sauce, salt and pepper.  Cut the tops off the peppers and remove seeds and membranes.  Blanch in boiling water for about 1 minute.  Set in a baking dish.  Stuff with chicken mixture.  Top with remaining shredded cheese and sprinkle with panko.  Bake for 30 minutes and serve.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Baked Salmon Cakes

I think you've been reading along long enough that this is kind of out of left field for me.  But I went with my gut (literally) and it worked out so well.  There was some skepticism on the part of the other person I cook for, but this was really well-liked.  I will make again, and I will also try to substitute crab (do NOT tell Maryland!).

Baked Salmon Cakes

1/2 lb salmon filet
kosher salt, to taste
olive oil or cooking spray
1 tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup small-diced red onion
1 1/2 cups small-diced celery (4 stalks)
1/2 cup small-diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup small-diced yellow bell pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley (I used a couple shakes of dried)
1 tbsp capers, drained (I omitted)
1/4 tsp hot sauce
1 1/2 tsp Old Bay 
1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
3 tbsp light mayonnaise
3 tbsp fat-free Greek yogurt
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 large egg whites, lightly beaten

Season salmon with salt.  Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  When hot, lightly spray with oil and add the salmon.  Cook until browned on one side, about 5 minutes, then turn and cook on the other side for 5 minutes, or until salmon easily flakes.  Set aside on a dish to cool.  Add olive oil to the pan and then add onion, celery, red and yellow bell peppers, parsley, capers, hot sauce, Old Bay, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Cook over medium-high heat until the vegetables are soft, approximately 15 minutes.  Set aside to cool to room temperature.  Flake the salmon into a large bowl.  Add the bread crumbs, mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard and eggs, egg whites.  Add the vegetable mixture and mix well.  Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to mesh flavors and make easier to work with.  Preheat oven to 400F.  Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.  Shape the batter into 15 (1/4 cup) cakes and place on prepared baking sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hawaiian Style Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

I've become so crazy about this cooking thing that I'm now ordering ingredients online.  This was a week of lunches for me.  DELICIOUS.

Hawaiian Style Slow Cooker Kalua Pork
from Pineapple and Coconut

1 4-6 lb pork shoulder or butt roast
1 tbsp liquid smoke, Hickory or Mesquite flavor
2-3 tsp red Hawaiian sea salt

Wash and pat dry the pork roast and place in the slow cooker.  Pierce all over with a fork, pour the liquid smoke evenly over the roast and sprinkle liberally with the sea salt.  Place the lid on the slow cooker on and set the time for 8-12 hours on low.  Check at about 8 hours for doneness.  If not done, check every hours until you get to 12.  Either remove the pork from the pot and shred with two forks and put back in the slow cooker, or shred the pork in the pot when it's done.  Toss with the liquid so it doesn't dry out.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Korean Chicken Wings

For the Super Bowl, one fabulous guest brought Bon Chon Chicken.  If you've never had it, I feel for you in the pit of my heart.  You have to find a way to get to it.  I was hoping this would taste like it, but it doesn't.  It still tastes amazing, just not Bon Chon fried chicken amazing.  I need more recipes with gochujang since I went to the trouble of ordering it online.

Korean Chicken Wings

1 pack chicken wings, cut up
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 heaped tbsp gochujang (hot pepper paste)
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp salt

Mix all of the ingredients but the chicken and whisk until sugar is dissolved.  Place the chicken wing pieces in a large resealable bag and pour in the marinade.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  Preheat oven to 425F.  Line a baking sheet with foil and cooking spray.  Place the wings on it.  Bake for 30 minutes, turning halfway through baking.  Baste with the marinade a few times through baking.  Skin should be crispy and brown when they're done. (Place the rack a little higher to the top than usual. I also used the broiler on high for a minute or two.)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Pancetta, Peas and Corn

This is SO SPECIAL.  I was sitting in the library, downloading a season of Veronica Mars episodes to my Kindle, and reading my way through the magazine section.  I found this in a Rachael Ray magazine and made it that night.  I don't know why I even had all of the ingredients on hand, but I'm so happy that I did.  It's MAGICAL!  The flavors are amazing together!  New most favorite side dish ever.  (Except for corn, blue cheese and balsamic vinegar - YUM.)

Pancetta, Peas and Corn
from Rachael Ray

5 oz pancetta, diced in small pieces
1/2 cup peas - I used frozen
1/2 cup corn kernels - I used frozen
1 tbsp butter
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper

In a large skillet, cook the pancetta over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered, about 3 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, remove to a plate covered in paper towels to drain.  Reserve the skillet.  Add to the skillet the peas and the corn and 1 tbsp butter.  Cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, add pancetta back to the pan, then toss in lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Mexican-style Brisket Marinade

I was stuck home on a snowy Saturday with a thawed brisket that needed to be cooked and I couldn't get to the store to get the ingredients I needed for my regular brisket.  I Googled and Googled and Googled and finally found one that had all pantry staple ingredients.  It came out so good.  I will use it again on other meat recipes, as well.  Sorry no cooking instructions - I forget how I cooked it.

Mexican-Style Brisket Marinade
from About.Com

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup cilantro, fresh chopped (I think I used some dried)
6 cloves garlic, minced
juice of one lime
2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp oregano
1 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients and marinate your brisket.  Cook how you want to cook.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Avocado Chicken Salad

This is another one I stole from a Facebook friend's share.  She knows who she is!  I don't even know the source of it anymore.  I loved it, but hated it on these leftover burger buns.  It definitely needs a different kind of bread.  Or it would be perfect over a green salad, too.  I had a bunch of shredded chicken around from my weekly Sunday Roaster.

Avocado Chicken Salad
from the Interwebs

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 avocado
1/4 cup red onion, diced small
juice of 1/2 a lime
2 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro (or a couple of shakes of dried)
salt and pepper to taste (I used a lot of pepper)

Combine ingredients and put on whatever you want to eat it on.  Adjust ingredients according to your taste.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Slow Cooker Orange Pork Tenderloin with Butternut Squash

This was really delicious.  It ended up more like pulled pork (as you can see) and kind of dry, but I drizzled a little of the pot drippings over and it did the trick.  I think I ended up cooking it 9 hours, which is just too long.  You should probably stop it at 7.

Slow Cooker Orange Pork Tenderloin with Butternut Squash
from Betty Crocker (I found it with the squash in my local family market and Googled where it might have come from)

3 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cut into pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1 pork tenderloin (2 lbs)
1/4 cup orange marmalade
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Arrange the squash around the edge of a 3-4 quart slow cooker.  Sprinkle with salt.  Place pork in the slow cooker (it will overlap squash slightly).  Mix marmalade and garlic, spread evenly over pork.  Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.  Remove pork from cooker, place on cutting board.  Cut into even slices and serve with squash.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Meatball Parmesan Casserole

Oh, you are so lucky to be reading this right now.  This is going to be a new, easy staple dish.  However, I would use my Turkey Meatball recipe next time.  But this is close enough.  Next time I'll use my mom's red sauce recipe, too.  It's so special!!!

Meatball Parmesan Casserole
from Shugary Sweets

1 lb ground turkey
1 egg
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
6 cranks fresh ground black pepper

1 jar (24 oz) spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup Parmesan, shredded
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 425F.  In a large bowl, mix together meatball ingredients until combined evenly.  Roll into 40 balls (or as many 1" balls that you get out of it).  Space evenly on prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Dial the oven down to 375F.  Pour half of the spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 2 qt baking dish.  Top with meatballs.  Pour remaining sauce over meatballs.  Top with shredded Parmesan and mozzarella.  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 5 minutes, until cheese is melted.  Serve as is, on pasta, or on a sub sandwich!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tequila Chili Lime and Shrimp Tacos

Oh, SO delicious.  My new favorite go-to shrimp fajita recipe.

Tequila Chili Lime and Shrimp Tacos
from The Pescetarian and the Pig

Shrimp and Marinade:
16 medium raw shrimp
1/2 cup lime juice
2 oz tequila
1 tbsp red chili pepper flakes
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp minced garlic

4 flour tortillas
shredded lettuce
chopped tri-color peppers
chopped fresh cilantro
grated pepper jack cheese

Whisk together lime juice, tequila, chili powder, red chili pepper flakes and garlic together.  In a small bowl or resealable bag, place shrimp and cover with marinade.  Allow to marinate, covered, for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, prepare taco ingredients.  Pour marinade and shrimp into a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat.  Cook 10-15 minutes until shrimp is cooked through.  Remove shrimp into a bowl and cover to keep warm.  Raise the temperature to high and cook sauce until it begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Assemble tacos and add shrimp.  Drizzle with pan sauce.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Monterey Jack Cheese Soup

I don't usually eat the soups I make, but when I saw this recipe, I knew I would love it.  This soup is like eating cheese dip straight from the jar.  Absolutely ridiculous.  I crumbled up some tortilla chips into it and it added the perfect texture.

Monterey Jack Cheese Soup
from Just A Pinch

2 cups chicken broth
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
1 cup tomato, diced
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
6 tbsp butter
6 tbsp all-purpose flour
5 cups milk, hot
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3/4 lb Monterey jack cheese, coarsely chopped (about 3 cups)

In a medium pot, bring broth, chiles, tomatoes, onion, and garlic to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to medium.  Simmer for 10 minutes or until veggies are soft.  While the veggies are cooking, melt the butter over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven.  Add the flour and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Stir in 3 1/2 cups of hot milk, adding a 1/2 cup at a time.  Cook 7 minutes over medium heat until thickened.  Remove veggie/broth mixture from the heat and stir into milk mixture 1/4 cup at a time.  Add remaining 1 1/2 cups hot milk, salt and pepper, and Monterey Jack cheese.  Stir until cheese is melted.  Make sure the heat isn't too high, or the cheese will "break" and be grainy.

The original recipe says not to use preshredded cheese which can have additives and doesn't melt as well.

Roasted Jalapeno Cheddar Turkey Burgers with BBQ Aioli

You can see by a few recent posts I've been on a burger kick.  It's weird, but I'm trying lots of delicious things, so I'm happy.  This was SO GOOD.  SO, so good!  I could eat this for dinner every night.  So many great flavors!

Roasted Jalapeno Cheddar Turkey Burgers with BBQ Aioli

2 jalapeno peppers
1 lb lean ground turkey
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 green onions, sliced
2 oz cheddar cheese, freshly grated
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp olive oil
4 oz cheddar cheese, sliced
1 ripe tomato, sliced
4 lettuce leaves
4 buns

BBQ Aioli:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp BBQ sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp ground cumin

Preheat the broiler in your oven.  Place peppers on a baking sheet and set them directly under the broiler, turning them every minute or so until skin is completely black and charred.  Removed the peppers and immediately place them in a large resealable bag.  Let sit for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, take the peppers out and rub the skins off.  Slice off the tops and bottoms, then cut peppers down the middle, remove the seeds, and chop up the peppers.  WASH YOUR HANDS.  Add turkey, peppers, garlic, green onions, shredded cheddar, egg, panko, salt, pepper and paprika to a large bowl.  Gently mix until just combined and form into 4 equal sized patties.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil.  Add the patties and cook until brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.  Reduce the heat to low, top each burger with the sliced cheddar and cover.  Let sit for 1 minute until the cheese is melted.  Assemble the burgers with the buns, aioli, tomato slices and lettuce.

BBQ Aioli
Combine mayo, BBQ sauce, garlic, paprika and cumin in a food processor and blend until mixed.  With the processor on, pour in the olive oil until the mixture comes together.