Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Texas Maryland Blue Crabs
sun dried tomato shrimp pasta
spicy corn chowder, popovers
crockpot barbecue brisket, corn on the cob, Texas toast
beef with broccoli, rice
garlic and rosemary pork loin, parmesan baked potato halves, green beans
oven baked chicken parmesan, garlic fat bread, broccoli

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Instant Pot Steak Chimichangas


I love a good chimichanga, whether smothered in queso or dipped into guacamole, salsa and sour cream, it's all delicious.  I have never attempted making actual fried chimichangas at home.  I can get amazing chimichangas at one of the many amazing TexMex restaurants near our house, but I am totally happy baking up chicmichangas for dinner.  The Instant Pot makes shredded steak a breeze.  Miss F is a huge fan of anything that allows her to have guacamole, these chimichangas were a huge hit in our house.
Instant Pot Steak Chimichangas

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound flank steak, cut into cubes
¾ cup salsa

4 burrito (large) size tortillas
1 cup shredded Colby jack cheese

Place the oil in the Instant Pot and turn to “sauté.” Brown the steak pieces on all sides, then stir in the salsa. Cover and lock the lid, selecting the “meat/stew” setting for 30 mintues. When the beef is finished cooking, allow to rest for 10 minutes before manually releasing the steam calce. Shred the beef with two forks.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease a large cookie sheet. Combine the shredded steak with the cheese. Lay out the tortillas and top each with ¼ of the chicken mixture. Roll up the tortillas burrito style, placing them seam side down on the cookie sheet. Spray the top of the Chimichangas with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes. Garnish with sour cream, tomato and guacamole.
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Monday, June 26, 2017

Sesame Chicken


I love any sort of chicken stir fry, especially in the summer time when I don't want to spend a ton of time in the kitchen. Anything that cooks up in under 10 minutes is a huge win for me, especially when it is consistently 90+ degrees here, even in the evening time.  I much prefer using boneless skinless thigh meat in stir fries.  I think it cooks up nicer than boneless skinless chicken breast, which can dry out quickly in a stir fry.  I have this giant bag of sesame seeds that I got at a farmer's market and I have finally found a recipe that may allow me to actually use the whole bag, thank goodness. This recipe is adapted from Budget Bytes.
Sesame Chicken

1 large egg
2 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ cup water
1 ½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon cornstarch

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Toss the chicken in the egg mixture. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, when heated, add the chicken and all of the egg mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, stir together the soy sauce, water, sesame oil, brown sugar, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds and cornstarch. Pour the sauce over the chicken and toss well to coat completely. Once the sauce has thickened, serve the chicken over white rice.

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Baked Chicken Gyros


This was a total recipe merge of two favorites in my house: Chicken Gyros and Baked Chicken Fajitas.  This is a fantastic summer meal, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers for the win.  The chicken bakes easily, retaining it's moisture and flavor from the yogurt marinade.  I much prefer my recipe for Naan instead of pita bread, so I always serve gyros on Naan.  That being said, I tried to use my tortilla press to roll out the naan.  Baaaad idea...very bad.  You have to go the old fashioned way and roll them out by hand, but it is totally worth it.
Baked Chicken Gyros

4 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 pound chicken breast

1 cucumber
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
24 ounces plain Greek yogurt
2 tomatoes, diced
6 pitas, warmed

Whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, yogurt, oregano, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the chicken and rub the marinade in.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the chicken in a 9x13 baking dish in a single layer. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes,

Add the cucumber to the bowl of a food processor and pulse 5 to 8 times until it reaches a coarse grated consistency. Drain liquid from the cucumber. Mince garlic with salt until it forms a smooth paste. Stir the cucumber and garlic into the yogurt.

Serve the chicken in the pita topped with the tzatiki and diced tomato.
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Monday, June 19, 2017

Thai Sweet Chili Pork Tenderloin


I have been obsessed with Thai Sweet Chili sauce for years.  Back in the wedding planning days, my friends and I would always go to this one sushi restaurant for happy hour after our bridal fittings with Arlene, the best seamstress ever.  The sushi was good, but I was completely obsessed with the calamari they served.  It was very lightly battered and a small dish of sweet chili sauce was on the side, perfect for dipping.  I always keep a bottle in our fridge and I decided to try it as a glaze for pork tenderloin.  It was perfection.  I served it over Edamame Succotash, which was the perfect pairing. 
Thai Sweet Chili Pork Tenderloin

1 pork tenderloin
½ cup Thai sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 clove garlic, minced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a shallow baking dish with cooking spray. Place the pork tenderloin in the prepared dish. Bake the pork tenderloin for 10 to 15 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Whisk together the sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, ginger and garlic. Brush the sauce over the pork tenderloin and return to the oven for 5 minutes more. Remove the pork from the oven, cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes more. Slice and serve with the sauce from the baking dish spooned over top.

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo


The date on this recipe from Epicurious is 1995, which is about how long I have been making it.  I have made it countless times...from engagement parties to casual dinners at home to dinner parties.  It is a no fail recipe and is perfect for parties because everything can be prepped in advance.  The Monterrey Jack cheese adds a real richness beyond the cream and parmesan that you usually expect in an alfredo.  Feel free to add any fresh vegetables that you enjoy in an alfredo pasta, but I prefer the broccoli and red bell pepper as the original recipe calls for.
Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into ½ inch-wide strips
4 cups broccoli florets, from one large head
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cups cream
1 ½ cups grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound penne, freshly cooked

Grease a 13x9 glass baking dish with cooking spray, set aside. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the chicken, broccoli and bell pepper; sauté until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the cream, 1 cup of the Paremsan, Monterrey Jack, salt and red pepper. Simmer until the sauce is thickened slightly, about 5 minutes more. Stir in the penne pasta, toss well to coat. Transfer the pasta to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the top with the remaining ½ cup of Parmesan. Broil for 3 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown. Serve.

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Banana Blueberry Muffins


Miss F declared these to be the best muffins ever. She ,made them nearly entirely on her own, the only thing she didn't do was crack the eggs. For some reason she isn't ever wanting to crack the eggs, not too sure why. I think the addition of the orange juice is really what made these the best muffins ever for Miss F.  She couldn't stop talking about them!  She also loved the batter, after she was done dishing out the muffins (without too much mess,) she licked the bowl completely clean. This recipe is from Go Go Go Gourmet.
Banana Blueberry Muffins

2 overripe bananas, peeled and mashed
¼ cup butter, melted
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
¼ cup orange juice
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups flour
1 cup blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. In a mixing bowl, stir together the bananas, butter, sugar, vanilla and orange juice until well combined. Stir in the baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour until just combined. Fold in the blueberries. Use an ice cream disher to scoop the batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool slightly in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Salsa Verde Tortilla Soup


As soon as I saw this Salsa Verde Tortilla Soup on The Barbee Housewife, it went onto our meal plan. Miss F is obsessed with salsa verde, so I knew it would be a huge hit in our house. And I was totally correct.  For the first time ever, Miss F tried avocadoes on her soup and she loved it.  I am known to be a bit of an avocado hog, so now I will have to buy an extra avocado whenever we have tortilla soup.  I usually give C a few slices and hoard the rest for myself.  I adapted the recipe a bit from the original because I never have cooked chicken and it was easy enough to cook and shred the chicken breasts while the soup cooks.  I am going to try this with traditional salsa as well, I bet it will be equally fantastic.
Salsa Verde Tortilla Soup

4 cups chicken broth
2 cups salsa verde
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 package frozen corn
1 cup shredded cheddar jack cheese
Tortilla chips
1 lime, cut into wedges

In a Dutch oven, stir together the chicken broth, salsa verde, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Add the chicken. Bring the soup to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Shred the chicken with two forks, return to the pan. Stir in the black beans and corn, simmer for 5 minutes more. Serve topped with cheese and tortilla chips, with a lime wedge on the side.
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Monday, June 5, 2017

Instant Pot Barbecue Brisket


I love making barbecue brisket in the crockpot, but I really wanted to try it in the Instant Pot for a quicker weeknight summer meal.  The brisket cooks beautifully in the Instant Pot and comes out very tender.  Miss F despises barbecue sauce, so she topped hers with mustard instead.  She will put mustard on nearly any type of meat (and vegetables!)  The brisket was also great leftover on a sandwich made with Texas toast.  With plenty of pickles, of course.  This recipe makes a good amount of brisket, so be sure to count on leftovers from it.
Instant Pot Barbecue Brisket

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon celery seed
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 fresh beef brisket (2-1/2 to 3 pounds), trimmed
2 cups beef broth
Barbecue sauce

Combine the salt, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, celery seed and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the brisket. Pour the broth into the Instant Pot, then add the seasoned brisket to the pot. Set to “Meat” for 60 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally, remove the brisket. Slice against the grain and top with your favorite barbecue sauce.
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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Hoisin Pork Tenderloin


Pork tenderloin is such a great meat for the summer. It cooks great on the grill and in no time. I love hoisin sauce, the sweet Japanese barbecue sauce pairs perfectly with pork tenderloin.  I served it over the easiest (and quickest) brown rice ever.  1 cup brown rice and 1 1/4 cups water in the Instant Pot set to manual for 22 minutes...and you have perfect rice every time.  I steamed some broccoli in the microwave and a complete meal was on the table in under 30 minutes.  Miss F was wary of the rice because she has only ever seen me make risotto in the Instant Pot.  And she hates risotto (why?)  Luckily, she quickly realized that this was not risotto, so she doused hers in Sriracha and ate it all up.
Hoisin Pork Tenderloin

2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon Sriracha
1 pork tenderloin

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, oil and Sriracha. Pour the marinade over the pork tenderloin in a large Ziploc bag. Seal and toss well to coat the tenderloin. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a glass baking dish and place the tenderloin in the pan, pouring the marinade over top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the internal temperature of the pork registers to 160 degrees. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Alternately, the tenderloin can be grilled over medium heat until the internal temperature of the pork registers to 160 degrees. Slice and serve.
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