Friday, August 29, 2014

Mongolian Beef

Mongolian Beef
C loves Mongolian Beef, but he hates the green onions (or chives, as he calls them.) He always has our favorite Chinese restaurant add more vegetables to his dish. I added a green bell pepper because my mom had sent me home with a few from her garden. This sauce was amazing, it was the perfect take out fake out. The best part is the whole thing came together faster than you can order take out. Thanks to Tide and Thyme for the wonderful recipe.
Mongolian Beef

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound steak (sirloin or flank), thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
¼ cup green onion, sliced (for garnish)

¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons Sriracha
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat, add the beef and bell pepper, saute for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds more.

In a liquid measuring cup mix the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, Sriracha, cornstarch, beef broth, and sesame oil. Pour into the pan with the beef and cook until it thickens , about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Garnish with green onions before serving.
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Easy French Bread

Easy French Bread
I made an error when preparing these amazing loaves of bread. I should have made them longer during the loaf forming portion of the recipe. They work better set on the baking sheet at an angle, so greater length can be achieved. So I ended up with two wide loaves of the most delicious bread I have ever eaten. Miss F and I gobbled up two warm slices with butter fresh from the oven before dinner, that is two slices each. This recipe creates a beautifully soft crust, which is perfect for serving plain with just a bit of butter. Next time I make it, I am going to try it in a loaf pan to make sandwich bread, I think it would be perfect for Miss F's lunchbox. Thanks to Naomi Cakes for the most amazing bread recipe I have ever prepared.
Easy French Bread

½ cup lukewarm water
½ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon dry active yeast
2 cups lukewarm water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons oil
Approximately 5+ cups all-purpose flour
1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon cold water, to glaze

In a two cup measure, stir together the ½ cup lukewarm water with ½ teaspoon sugar and yeast. Let rest 10 minutes.

While the water yeast mixture is resting, combine the 2 cups water, 2 tablespoons sugar, salt and oil in the bowl of a stand mixer, stir. Add the water yeast mixture and 2 cups of the flour. Stir to combine. Continue to add the flour in ½ cup amounts, kneading with the dough hook attachment after each addition. When the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, stop adding flour. Let rise in a warm place for one hour.

Punch down the dough and divide in two. Roll into long loaves, folding the dough and pinching underneath. Use a serrated knife to score three slits in the top of each loaf. Cover with a towel and let rise for 35 minutes more.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Beat 1 egg with 1 teaspoon cold water, and brush on top of the loaves. Let the loaves rise, uncovered this time, 10 minutes more. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and the loaves sound hollow when tapped. Cool on wire racks.
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Monday, August 25, 2014

Salmon with Dill Horseradish Sauce

Salmon with Dill Horseradish Sauce
The first time I ever had slow baked salmon was at Bank, a former Jean-Georges restaurant. I enjoyed it so much, I had it served (by Bank) at our wedding.  It is by far my favorite way to prepare salmon and makes for such a moist piece of fish.  The preparation method is great for a dinner party because it doesn't need much attention at all.  This salmon was amazing, I love horseradish and it pairs perfectly with the fresh dill and lemon.  The sauce was inspired by Table
Salmon with Dill Horseradish Sauce

4 salmon fillets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lemon, sliced
4 sprigs dill
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup sour cream
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons minced dill
1 tablespoon horseradish

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Allow the salmon to come to room temperature while the oven is preheating. Grease a shallow baking dish, add the salmon skin side down to the pan. Brush each filet with the oil, salt and pepper to taste and lay lemon slices on top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

While the salmon is baking, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice, dill and horseradish. Serve the salmon filets with the sauce on the side.
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Friday, August 22, 2014

Sour Cream Lemon Pie

Sour Cream Lemon Pie
I let Miss F prepare the crust for this pie from start to finish. She may have gotten a little overzealous when adding the ice water to the dough, which led to the crust shrinking up quite a bit. She knows better for next time and I know better than to give her a full glass of water when she is making pie dough.  The lemon sour cream filling was perfection, Miss F enjoys anything lemon flavored and she snuck a few tastes while I was making it.  She likes lemon so much that she now insists on a lemon wedge in her school water bottle.
Sour Cream Lemon Pie

Pastry for single-crust pie (9 inches)
1 cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 cup milk
½ cup lemon juice
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
¼ cup butter, cubed
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

Preheat oven to 450°. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 1/8 inch thick circle; transfer to a 9 inch pie plate. Trim pastry to ½ inch beyond rim of plate; flute edge.

Line unpricked pastry with a double thickness of foil. Fill with pie weights, dried beans or uncooked rice. Bake 8 minutes or until bottom is lightly browned. Remove foil and weights; bake 5-7 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

In a large heavy saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in milk and lemon juice until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, whisk a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to the pan, whisking constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in butter. Cool without stirring.

Stir in sour cream. Add filling to crust. Top with whipped cream. Store in the refrigerator.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sriracha Soy Chicken and Vegetable Vermicelli

Sriracha Soy Chicken and Vegetable Vermicelli
I much prefer stir fries with noodles instead of rice. As a kid, I hated rice. I am not quite sure when I came around to it, probably around the same time I started eating sushi (in my 20s.) I would always prepare a plate of ramen noodles instead of rice whenever I ate any sort of stir fry dish. Nowadays, I use rice noodles instead of ramen, which I love even more. I was really wary of the ketchup in the recipe I pinned from STL Cooks. But there was no need to be scared, it was amazing. I didn't even hear any complaints from C about the use of fish sauce, which is quite a win. Feel free to add whatever vegetables you have on hand.
Sriracha Soy Chicken and Vegetable Vermicelli

1 package (10.5-12 ounces) rice noodle vermicelli
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 head broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 to 3 teaspoons Sriracha
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 ½ teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Prepare the vermicelli per package directions. Heat the canola oil in a wok or cast iron skillet and add the chicken strips, bell pepper, broccoli and carrots; saute until the chicken is cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.

Whisk together to soy sauce, Sriracha, ketchup, sesame oil, ginger, fish sauce and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Toss the noodles in the sauce, stir in the chicken and vegetables.
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Monday, August 18, 2014

TexMex Pulled Pork Sandwiches

TexMex Pulled Pork Sandwiches
When I first moved to Texas, I had never tried queso. Once I tried it, there was no going back. Any party is made better with a crockpot, a block of Velveeta and a couple cans of Rotel. This pulled pork recipe would be equally amazing in tacos, enchiladas or burritos, but served on a bolillo roll with queso would be my top pick. I only intended to eat half of this sandwich, but I may have devoured the whole thing.  I cannot believe I didn't eat queso for nearly 20 years of my life, what was I thinking?  Imagine if I hadn't gone to college in Texas.  I wonder if I ever would have tried it. 
TexMex Pulled Pork Sandwiches

1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 pork shoulder roast
½ cup salsa verde
1 cup of beer

1 avocado, diced
2 tablespoons sour cream
juice from one lime
½ teaspoon salt

8 bolillo rolls
queso (jarred or Velveeta variety)

Combine cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper together in a small bowl and mix until combined. Spray the inside of the crockpot with cooking spray and layer the onions over the bottom. Add pork to the crockpot and cover with the seasoning mixture. Pour the salsa and beer over the roast, then cook on low for 10 to 12 hours. Shred the pork with two forks and return to the crockpot for 20 minutes more. In the mini-chop, process the avocado, sour cream, lime juice and salt until smooth. Serve on bolillo rolls smeared with the avocado sauce and topped with queso.
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Friday, August 15, 2014

White Chicken Enchiladas

White Chicken Enchiladas
I don't love enchiladas usually. Miss F and C are both huge fans and so is my father. I made a few meals to take to my parents to have while she recovered from hip surgery and I knew enchiladas would be perfect. C prefers the plain old cheese enchiladas, but I loved these. The sour cream sauce was amazing, I will use it again to top chicken and spinach flautas. I poached the chicken breasts in water seasoned for the shredded chicken component with cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  I adapted the recipe from Mom, What's for Dinner.
White Chicken Enchiladas

12 corn tortillas
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 40 seconds. Mix the chicken with 1 cup of the cheese. Place a couple spoon fulls of the chicken mixture in each tortilla, roll up and place in the prepared pan.

In a sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute or so, whisking the whole time. Whisk in the broth and cook 1 minute. Add broth and whisk until smooth, heat for 5 minutes until thick and bubbly. Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream and chiles. Pour the sauce over the rolled tortillas and top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn on the broiler and broil for 3 minutes or so to brown the cheese. Serve.
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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Baked Artichoke Chicken Pasta

Baked Artichoke Chicken Pasta
I made this dish to send to my parents for them to have while my mom was recovering from hip surgery. I made the entire recipe, but split it into two baking pans, one for us and one to send home with my dad. My dad loves anything with artichokes, so I knew this would be a hit with him. Miss F still isn't a fan of artichokes. She tried them steamed with me one time and thought they were just awful. I have loved them since I was a kid, so I don't get her hatred. I know it is a strange thing to eat, but they are so delicious. Maybe one day she will come around to them. I have had this recipe pinned from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice, I am glad I finally got a chance to make it, I loved it.
Baked Artichoke Pasta

1 tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, diced
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
12 ounces rigatoni pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
12 ounces artichoke hearts, quartered
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions. Saute for 5 minutes, until onions begin to soften. Add the garlic and saute 30 seconds more. Add the chicken and for 3 to 5 minutes more, until chicken is browned on all sides. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

Prepare the pasta per package instructions. Drain and add to a large bowl. Stir in the chicken and onion mixture.

Add the butter to the skillet over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Turn the heat to low, stir in the Parmesan, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir in the artichoke hearts.

Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Generously butter a 9x13-inch casserole or baking pan. Pour the pasta mixture into the prepared pan and top with the shredded mozzarella. Bake for 40 minutes and cool for 5 minutes before serving.
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Monday, August 11, 2014

Bolillos

Bollilos
I love Bolillos. Our grocery sells them for 25 cents a piece and they are great for sandwiches, especially tortas. I have wanted to try and make them at home for the longest time (nearly as long as I have been wanting to make tortillas, which I still have yet to tackle.)  My favorite sandwich to use these for is the Mexican Red Snapper Sandwich, pretty much my ideal sandwich.  They also work great for sub rolls for cheesesteaks, slather on some queso and you have a TexMex cheesesteak.  This recipe is from food.com.
Bolillos

2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lard or 1 tablespoon shortening, melted and cooled
1 ½ teaspoons salt
3 ¼ to 4 cups flour
¼ cup cold water
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Sprinkle yeast over the warm water in the bowl of the stand mixer; stir and let stand 5 minutes. Stir the honey, lard and salt into the yeast mixture and add 2 ½ cups of the flour. Mix at low speed to incorporate, then beat at medium speed for 5 minutes more. Gradually stir in the remaining flour until a soft dough forms. Swap out the mixer for a dough hook and knead for 10 to 15 minutes. Cover and let ride in a warm place for one hour. Punch the dough down, knead briefly on a floured surface. Divide into 10 pieces and roll into balls. Roll each ball into an oval shape about 5 inches long, tapering at each end. Place on a greased baking sheet and let rise for 30 minutes more.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix the water and cornstarch, heat to boiling and boil for 2 minutes, until thick and clear. Brush each roll with the cornstarch mixture. Slash each roll down the middle ½ inch deep. Bake until browned, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove and cool on racks.
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Friday, August 8, 2014

Baked Penne with Chicken, Broccoli and Mozzarella

Baked Penne with Chicken, Broccoli and Mozzarella
I love any sort of baked pasta dish. They are great to prepare in advance, but they usually dirty a bunch of dishes, pots and pans in the process. This recipe cooks the broccoli along with the pasta, which means one less pot to clean up. Miss F was a huge fan of this meal, even the broccoli, aka trees.  This makes a huge pan of pasta and it reheated well as leftovers, which is always a bonus in our house.  I adapted this recipe from Mel's Kitchen CafĂ©.
Baked Penne with Chicken, Broccoli and Mozzarella

1 pound broccoli, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
16 ounces penne pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
3 ounces mozzarella, shredded
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Toss together the bread crumbs and melted butter in a small dish, set aside.

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Pull out the broccoli florets and set aside in a large bowl. Cook the penne pasta per package instructions, drain and add the penne to the bowl with the broccoli.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme, cooking one minute more. Add the flour and cook until golden, about one minute more. Whisk in the broth, cream, salt and pepper. Add the chicken and cook for 6 to 8 minutes more. Stir in the mozzarella cheese. Pour the sauce with the chicken and the tomatoes into the bowl with the pasta, toss well to evenly coat and pour into the prepared baking dish. Top with the parmesan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until just beginning to brown. Serve.
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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Pulled Pork Tacos with Sweet Chili Slaw

Pulled Pork Tacos with Sweet Chile Slaw
I am obsessed with sweet chili sauce. One of my favorite places for happy hour sushi serves it with fried calamari, it is perfection. I also love dipping crab Rangoon into it. When I saw this recipe on Pinterest, I knew I wanted to try it. It was amazing. C said the pork smell was "too pungent" through out the day, having him back home has sure been an adjustment! Who doesn't like the smell of meat braising in the crockpot?  C and I had ours on corn tortillas, while Miss F opted to load hers up with black beans on a flour tortilla.  The slaw was perfection.  Thanks to How Sweet It Is for the amazing recipe inspiration!
Pulled Pork Tacos with Sweet Chili Slaw

1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 pork shoulder roast
½ cup salsa verde
1 cup of beer

2 cups sliced green cabbage
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
1 lime, juiced
flour or corn tortillas, for serving

1 avocado, chopped
1 lime, juiced
3 tablespoons sour cream

Combine cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper together in a small bowl and mix until combined. Spray the inside of the crockpot with cooking spray and layer the onions over the bottom. Add pork to the crockpot and cover with the seasoning mixture. Pour the salsa and beer over the roast, then cook on low for 10 to 12 hours. Shred the pork with two forks and return to the crockpot for 20 minutes more.

Add the cabbage and carrot to a large bowl. Toss it with the sweet chili sauce and the lime juice, adding in a pinch of salt. Set aside.

Add the avocado, lime juice and sour cream to a food processor. Blend until pureed and creamy.

Assemble the tacos, first add a heaping fork full of pork to each tortilla. Top with the slaw and avocado cream, serve.
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Monday, August 4, 2014

Baked Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Baked Crispy Chicken Sandwich
I always make sandwiches at least once a week in the summer. I am particular about sandwiches though, your regular sub sandwich with lunchmeat just doesn't cut it. I have to have a warm sandwich and crispy chicken sandwiches are one of my favorites. I hate frying things at home though, it smells like oil for days.  I used bolilo rolls for the sandwich, but any roll would work well, just make sure to cut the chicken breast to accommodate whatever roll you prefer.  Thanks to LoveKeil for the recipe inspiration.
Baked Crispy Chicken Sandwich

¼ cup buttermilk
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon hot sauce
½ teaspoon salt
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut in half
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Juice of ½ lemon
4 sandwich buns
romaine lettuce leaves
1 large tomato, sliced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a shallow bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, garlic, mustard, hot sauce and salt. Marinate the chicken for 15 minutes at room temperature. Dredge the marinated chicken in breadcrumbs. Place the chicken on a greased baking sheet. Spray the chicken with cooking spray and bake for 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Whisk together the mayonnaise with the lemon juice. Spread the mayonnaise on the buns, top with the chicken, lettuce and tomatoes.
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Friday, August 1, 2014

Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin
I initially made this for my dinner party, but I like it so much, I made it for a family dinner at home a week later. The pork is flavored perfectly by the herbs and fresh lemon juice. All the herbs came from mom's herb garden, they were left over from the dinner party and held up nicely in the refrigerator, the rosemary keeps for quite a long time. I really need to get back into container gardening at our house once it cools down for the year (um...maybe November?) This recipe is from Ina Garten, no wonder it turned out just perfectly.
Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin 

1 lemon, zest grated
¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 to 6 lemons)
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Kosher salt
3 pork tenderloins
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, mustard, and 2 teaspoons salt in a sturdy 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add the pork tenderloins and turn to coat with the marinade. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag. Marinate the pork in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the tenderloins from the marinade and discard the marinade but leave the herbs that cling to the meat. Sprinkle the tenderloins generously with salt and pepper. Place the tenderloins in a baking dish, roast in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the meat registers 140 degrees. Transfer the tenderloins to a platter and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Carve in ½ inch thick diagonal slices. Serve warm.
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