Sunday, May 22, 2016

Greek Style Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs and Rice In the Oven

One of my youngest favorite dishes is Arroz con Pollo or Chicken and Rice. I am a big fan of Greek Style chicken. If you make the Arroz con Pollo stove top, the skin looses it's crispiness in the broth. This way, the chicken still has a crunchy skin with a little time in the oven. The marinade leaves the chicken with an added zing. You can marinate for as little as 30 minutes or up to two hours.
This will be a favorite of your family too! Chicken thighs are very economical. You can get a bag of frozen under $3.00 or wait for thighs to go on sale fresh at the grocery store. I used a cast iron skillet. I don't have a lid for it so I covered it with tin foil. Any oven ready pot will do.

Greek Style Chicken Thighs
4 TBSP lemon juice
1 whole lemon zested, sliced, and juice reserve
1 TBSP Italian Seasoning
4 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp salt

4-6 bone in chicken thighs
2 TBSP oil
1 medium onion
2 cups rice (long grain)
4 cups chicken broth
3/4 cups water
10-12 Kalamata olives
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
a pinch of pepper

Firstly clean your thighs under some cool water. Pat dry with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Add the lemon juice, zest, lemon slices. Italian seasoning, and salt to a zip loc bag. Add the chicken thighs and let marinade for 30 minutes to two hours.

In a cast iron skillet, heat the oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade reserving the lemons and marinade. Place chicken skin side down in the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Let brown for 10 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and add the reserved marinade. Add the onion and brown for 2-3 minutes. Add the rice and brown for another 2 minutes.
Next add the chicken broth  Return the chicken to the skillet and bring up to a boil. Cover the chicken with the reserved lemon slices Add the olives and cover the pan with foil. Carefully put in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another 10 minutes. The chicken should be done but always check that the juices run clear and the temperature is 160 degrees.
Season rice with salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Denver Omelet Devilled Eggs

I saw the Denver Omelet Devilled Eggs on the internet and they seemed like they'd be delicious! I
was right! They are a bit more work than the standard devilled egg but can be prepared ahead of time.

Denver Omelet Devilled Eggs

1 dozen eggs hard boiled, peeled, and cooled
1/4-1/2 cup Mayo
1-2 tsp mustard
1 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp cayenne or 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

The Breading
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 cup flour
1 egg beaten
1/4 c. milk
salt for seasoning
2 inches Canola oil for frying

The Topping
1/2 finely diced green bell pepper
2 pieces finely diced ham or pancetta

Cut the eggs down the middle and separate the yolks from the whites. Use a fork to mash the yolks. Add the mustard powder, mustard, and gradually add the Mayo. Lastly add the salt and pepper if desired along with the cayenne. Let cool in the refrigerator.

Heat the oil. Remember FEB. That's how you will dip the egg whites. Flour, Egg (beaten with the milk) , and Breading. A few at a time, place the breaded egg whites in the oil. Fry until golden which is 1-2 minutes. Remove to a paper towel covered plate and cool. Season with salt. Once completely cooled, add the filling in with a spoon.

In a frying pan crisp the pancetta or ham. Drain on a paper towel. Top each egg with the ham and green pepper.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Crock Pot Chunky Beef Chimichangas

I only have one weekday off. The crock pot is a vital source to get dinner out on time. This recipe
requires a little prep work that can be the morning of or the night before. Then the crock pot does the rest. When you come home all to do is shred some of the meat, assemble, and fry into the best thing you have ever tasted! The meat would also work well in enchiladas.

Look for a chuck roast that has a pretty low fat content. I found mine at Meijer's. Also I am using a chili seasoning from my local Hispanic grocery store. The chili's in adobo can be portioned out into two per bag and frozen. They go great in tortilla soup or in other Mexican dishes.

Crock Pot Chunky Beef Chimichangas

3lbs chuck roast trimmed of fat and cut into 1 inch thick cubes.
2 chilies in Adobo cut into pieces
2 TBSP chili powder
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp pepper
flour for dusting
2 TBSP oil
15 oz  can tomato sauce
1 onion diced
1 clove garlic minced

For the Assembly
1 can refried beans
1 cup shredded taco cheese
12 tortillas

For the Frying

1 block Crisco Shortening or enough oil to go halfway up a skillet 2"

Dust the cut chuck roast and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown the roast on all sides. Add to the crock pot. Saute the onion in the frying pan for a few minutes. Move to the crock pot. Add the tomato sauce, garlic, salt, pepper, Cumin, and seasonings. Add the chilies and the crock pot a mix. Cook on low for 8 hours. Taste for seasoning. You may add more salt or chili powder if you wish.

Remove meat with a slotted spoon to a glass bowl.  Reserve the liquid for a sauce. Shread some of the meat with a fork. Leave some of the pieces chunky.  To each tortilla add two tablespoons of beans and two table spoons of meat. To each add one pinch of cheese. Fold in each side and then roll until it looks like a burrito. Melt the shortening until hot and fry the chimi's on each side unitl brown. Serve with sour cream, the remaining sauce, and avocado's.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Crock Pot Beef Burgandy

The traditional beef burgundy can be time consuming and does not have potatoes or carrots. I adapted the traditional recipe for the crock pot. You still get all of the delicious flavor without slaving over the stove. Perfect for those work night winter meals when you don't feel like cooking! Have this dish waiting for you when you get home.  With minimal prep work, you can set it and forget it!  My store has these restaurant quality mushrooms that are a variety of mixed mushrooms. If you cannot find them, use one pound of portobellas.

Crock Pot Beef Burgandy

1 chuck roast divided (freeze the other half) about 1.5lbs
2 potatoes cut into fourths
2 carrots coined
1 clove garlic
1/2 large onion diced
1/2 cup flour
2 TBSP oil
1 pkg pre-sliced restaurant quality mushrooms
4 portabella mushrooms quartered
1/2 cup Burgundy wine
1/2 cup beef stock
1/2 cup catchup
2 TBSPS. brown sugar
2 TBSP Worchestishire sauce
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. mustard powder
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Cut the chuck roast into 2 inch cubes. Toss in the flour and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Brown the cubes on all sides in a frying pan coated with the 2 TBSP oil. Once browned, remove and add to the crock pot. To the frying pan add the onions. Sautee for a few minutes more and add the wine. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. This burns the alcohol out. Pour over the beef in the crock pot. Next sautee the mushrooms for another few minutes. Add those to the crock pot along with the beef stock and all of the rest of the ingredients. Stir so the potatoes aren't exposed on the top. They will discolor. Let cook on low for 8 hours. Enjoy with a glass of Burgandy and your favorite French bread.
To thicken the gravy, add two tablespoons of flour and butter to a sauce pan. Brown for a minute or so and then add the liquid. Stir until the gravy thickens. If there are lumps you may use a siv. Season to taste.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Cinnamon Roll Cup Cakes

Who doesn't love Cinna-bon with their piped in cinnamon smell! My figure doesn't!  Just looking through the partition, I gain 5 lbs! These cinnamon buns are a compromise. I made the cupcake batter from scratch and used reduced fat Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. To cut down on sugar, you can use a sugar substitute.These are a great morning treat for the whole family. It doesn't take a lot of time to make the batter either! Save the frosting that comes in the package for the topping.

Cinnamon Roll Cup Cakes (16 cup cakes)

2 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup butter melted
1 1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 c. buttermilk
1 pkg. reduced fat Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls

Pre heat the oven to 350.  If you don't have buttermilk, make your own. Mix the milk with one tablespoon of vinegar. Let sit for a few minutes. In a bowl add all of the dry ingredients and give a mix. Add the wet and mix for 2 minutes more until combined. Use an ice cream scooper to get uniform muffins. (See I did learn something from Mrs. Fields!)
Bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, take the cinnamon rolls and cut down the middle! Take the cup cakes out of the oven and place one of the halved muffins over each of the cup cakes. Bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for one to two minutes. Spread the frosting from the frosting packet over each cup cake. Eat hot!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Easy Christmas Tree Pesto Breadsticks

I made this on Christmas night for an appetizer. You can use ready made pesto or olive tampamade. two Pepridge farm puff pastry sheets are an easy canvas. spread the pesto on an entire sheet. Cover with the remaining sheet. Use a knife to cut a triangle shape. Leave a small rectangle shape at the base. Starting at the top, cut to the middle leaving a two inch strip in the center. Take each strip and twist. Mix one egg with a splash of water. Use a pastry brush and brush the egg on top of the tree. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and kosher salt. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Serve when hot! While it's hot you can also dust the tree with real Parm cheese.

Puff Pastry Christmas Tree

2 sheets Pepridge Farm puff pastry sheets
1 jar Classico pesto
1 egg and a splash of water (1tsp)
sesame seeds
kosher salt
Parm Cheese optional

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Easy Pomegranate Dark "Ice Cube" Chocolates

I saw this idea on Facebook for these cute and easy pomegranate dark chocolates. Pomegranates happened to be on sale at my grocery store. I used an regular ice cube tray sprayed with PAM. For the chocolate I used one package of Nestle Toll House dark chocolate chips. I have seen people whack the pomegranate to get the seeds out but I prefer to cut it down the center.

Prepare the chocolate in a double boiler. First use a pot that is small enough to fit a glass bowl a bit bigger on top. Fill with water so it's not touching the bowl. Bring the water below to a boil.  Add the chocolate chips and a tsp. of oil. This will make the chocolate silky. Use a whisk to stir the chips until melted. Use a spoon to add one half of the chocolate to each of the compartments in the ice cube tray. Add 3-5 of the seeds and then a tsp. or so of chocolate on top of the pomegranates. Tap the tray on the counter to remove any air bubbles and even out the chocolate. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes or until set.  Twist the tray to remove the chocolates. This is why the PAM is essential. If you have some ones that one come out, use a sharp steak knife to remove. Next, hide them from your family! These ones are keepers!