Recent Recipes

Bad Updater Strikes Again

Comments (0) | Sunday, September 27, 2009

I have been bad about updating again, but with reason this time--I haven't really done any cooking! For shame!
I have been too lazy/tired/absorbed by the internet to really put forth an effort. Therefore, I've had copious amounts of Pasta-Roni lately.

I'm going to try and get back into the groove. It's so easy to fall out of it.

I did make a decent stir fry last week. I say decent because it had good components and bad components. The good: The chicken. I don't know what I did to make it so tender and flavorful, but it rocked hard. The broccoli was also good, but broccoli is always good in a stir fry.
My biggest issue was the noodles I tried to pan fry. I didn't boil them long enough, and so they got crusty and weird and hard and awful. I also burned the zucchini waiting for the noodles to boil, so they were mostly bitter.

You would think, after making so many stir fries, one would cease to screw them up. Apparently that isn't true.

I also (and you can laugh here since there's no technical skill involved) made some kickass spaghetti recently. I used the suggestion off the back of Penzeys pasta sprinkle. I boiled the spaghetti, drained it, and tossed it with a little olive oil, pasta sprinkle, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Balsamic vinegar! I love balsamic vinegar! I also gave it a good sprinkle of parmesan cheese, because that's how I roll. It was some of the best spaghetti I've had.

Anyway, I promise I'll do some legitimate cooking this week and not eat just pasta-roni.

And a note on the Nutella cookies--I think they may need a little more flour than the recipe calls for. They got a little sticky as they sat.

Read More......

Pumpkin Pasta

Comments (1) | Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday is always a strange day. It's the weekend, but I never feel like comitting to much because tomorrow is a work day. I generally end up watching the Bridezilla marathon and doing my laundry. Ho hum.
The leaves are starting to change here. I like Fall--it's not too hot, not too cold, it's aesthetically pleasing, and there is always a surplus of pumpkin...unless you're shopping at my local grocery store. Allow me to 'splain. No wait. Let me sum up:
Rachel Ray has this excellent pumpkin pasta recipe. I made said recipe last year with great success. Today I was thinking about pumpkins, and decided that pumpkin pasta would be excellent for supper. Here is the recipe:

1 lb. penne (I've never used penne for this recipe, nor have I ever used an entire pound of pasta. Last year I think I used wheat spaghetti, and this time I used about a half pound of fettuccine. It's really your call).
2 Tbsp. olive oil (EVOO if you're familiar with RR speak).
3 shallots, finely chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, grated (or 6-7 cloves of garlic, pressed if you're me).
2 c. chicken stock
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1/2 c. cream
1 tsp. hot sauce to taste
Nutmeg to taste (I've always used mace)
2 pinches ground cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese to taste

Cook the pasta.

Heat oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, saute for 3 minutes. Stir in chicken stock. Add pumpkin and cream. Season with hot sauce, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt & pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5-6 minutes while the sauce thickens. Toss with pasta and cheese.

I also added about a teaspoon of garlic powder and a few heavy dashes of Penzeys pasta sprinkle. RR calls for fresh sage as a garnish, but the pasta sprinkle was a nice substitute.

Anyway. In order to make this recipe, I needed to pick up a few things-
Ok. Not too crazy of a shopping list, right? Maybe I'd have to use onions instead of shallot, but that's not a big deal.
I drove to the grocery store, on a Sunday at about 4:30 PM. I'm a genius. Of course the place was packed. Lucky for me, I found the shallots right away. Cream, no problem. Pumpkin?



No such luck. No pumpkin in the canned veggie aisle. No pumpkin in the canned fruit aisle. Pumpkin pie mix, sure. However, there was no pureed pumpkin to be found. I even asked one of the employees, who looked at me like I was crazy and told me it was probably in the canned veggie aisle. When I told him I did not see it there, he said, "Well, that's where it should be," and walked away.

A shining example of excellent customer service. Oh well.

I did eventually find pumpkin on my own in the organic food section. I rolled my eyes, checked out, drove home, and made delicious pasta. I have plenty for lunch tomorrow, too. Bonus!

Read More......

Crunchy Mustard Chicken

Comments (0) | Saturday, September 12, 2009

The picture doesn't do it much justice, but this chicken is flavorful and juicy. I got the recipe from Going Solo in the Kitchen by Jane Doerfer. The mustard is a modification of the original dish. I used a vidalia onion mustard, but any sort of mustard would do.

2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. breadcrumbs (I used Panko)
1 egg
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. water
1 1/2 tsp. mustard
1 boneless skinless chicken breast (I cut mine in thirds)
1-2 tsp. butter

Preheat oven to 450F. In a shallow bowl, mix together the cheese and bread crumbs (I also added pepper, garlic powder, and a little Fox Point seasoning from Penzeys, all to taste). In another bowl, beat together egg, soy sauce, water, and mustard. Spread flour on a plate. Dip the chicken breast first in the flour, then in the egg mixture. Finally, coat the chicken in the breadcrumbs.
In a small to medium baking dish, melt the butter in the oven. Remove and tilt dish to coat the inside with butter. Place chicken in dish. Bake for about 20 minutes until the coating browns and the chicken is cooked through.

Other than the mustard, the Parmesan was the most dominant flavor.

It has been a hopping day in my kitchen. Of course, I finished dinner with a Nutella cookie...

Read More......

Nutella Honey Cookies

Comments (0) |

I love Nutella and recently bought a jar. I got to thinking that Nutella cookies would be completely delicious. They are. Here is the recipe I used:

1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. Nutella
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. honey
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 2/3 c. flour

Preheat oven to 375F. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and Nutella. Add sugar, honey, baking soda, and baking powder. Beat until incorporated. Add egg and vanilla. Beat until incorporated. Gradually beat in the flour until it is all mixed in evenly.

On a cookie sheet, spoon dough into quarter-sized drops, two inches apart. The dough is mousse-y and spreads out quite a bit while baking. Therefore, I found it more effective to bake the cookies in half dozen batches instead of dozen batches. Bake for 7-9 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 1-2 minutes on baking sheet before moving to a cooling rack.

The cookies are thin, rich, and addictive. The Nutella translates to cookies very nicely.

ETA 12/26: Added more flour. The original recipe didn't call for enough and the cookies got sticky as they sat.

Read More......

Reasons I Rarely Blog and Thoughts on Thai Food

Comments (0) | Thursday, September 10, 2009

If I were Jane Austen, I would probably say something like, "I have failed you, gentle reader" in regards to my posting absence of late.

Luckily for all of us, I am not Jane Austen.

I have cooked and not cooked on and off for the past few weeks. I heated up a small pan of my mother's enchiladas, which I cannot claim as my own because I did none of the preparation and all of the oven work.

I helped make several stir-fries and curries at my coworker's house. Those all turned out splendidly. It is strange and wonderful to cook in a team.

I made myself a Thai curry experiment that yielded a 50 percent success rate.
I have always been mildly curious about Panko bread crumbs, since they are so frequently flouted on FoodNetwork. I used Panko to bread the chicken in my thai curry. After throwing out the first quarter of the breast due to severe burns (a skilled FoodNetwork chef I am not), the end result was satisfyingly crunching, albeit a bit bland. I had seasoned the Panko with Penzeys Bangkok Blend, though apparently not enough.

The curry overall was just okay. It started out as a stir-fry (the Panko chicken, squash, onions, zucchini, garlic, pan-fried rice noodles) that I ended by simmering in a Thai red curry sauce from Trader Joe's. The sauce dominated the dish. Fresh out of the pan, the flavor of ginger and coconut milk was very strong and not unpleasant. There was a nice after-burn that built steadily as I ate the dish.

I saved half for lunch the next day, which was a mistake. Reheating the curry brought out all the bitterness the sauce had hidden the night before. I burned much more of that stir-fry than I would readily admit.

Otherwise, not much is new in my culinary life. I poached another chicken breast last night for a quick chicken and rice dish that I also ate for lunch today. It reheated much better than the curry.

Read More......