I realize it’s been two whole months since I posted a recipe so am way overdue. I made this delicious meal last month, and it’s super easy to put together. I cooked the chicken on top of the stove, but you can definitely use the grill if that’s your preference.
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. chile paste (like Sambal Oelek)
Preheat burner to high.
Using 2 tbsp. olive oil, cook chicken for 4-5 minutes without moving them, then turn over and finish cooking on the other side.
Transfer chicken to a small plate or bowl and set aside.
Combine vinegar, soy sauce, honey and chile paste in small saucepan. Stirring with a whisk, bring to a boil, and continue cooking for four minutes or until reduced to 1/3 cup.
Pour sauce over chicken, as much or little as desired.
Sweet and Spicy Broccoli
12 oz. package of broccoli
2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. dark sesame oil
2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
Cook broccoli using your favorite method. (I prefer to steam)
Combine all ingredients (except broccoli) in a small bowl, stir well and drizzle over broccoli.
I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July with your family and/or friends, and you got to indulge in some really good eats! I came across this recipe yesterday, and it looked so good, I just had to make it. I tweaked it just slightly to suit my taste, and it came out incredibly delicious!
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. ground cumin
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 (7-oz.) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 cup canned tomato puree*
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 sandwich rolls
1-2 slices Swiss cheese (or you favorite kind)
Combine water, 1 tsp. cumin, 4 sliced garlic cloves, and chicken in a large saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Drain, and place chicken on a cutting board. Cut chicken across grain into thin slices; keep warm.
Remove 1 tbsp. adobo sauce from can; set aside. Remove 1 chipotle chile from can; remove seeds, finely chop and set aside. Reserve remaining chiles and adobo sauce for another use. (If you want more heat, remove 2 tbsp. adobo sauce and use 2 chiles.)
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp. minced garlic; sauté 3 minutes or until just beginning to brown. Add 1 tsp. cumin; sauté 1 minute. Stir in tomato puree; cook 4 minutes or until mixture thickens to a paste-like consistency, stirring constantly. Stir in reserved 1 tbsp. adobo sauce, 1 chopped chipotle chile, vinegar, honey, Worcestershire, and 1/8 tsp. salt. Add sliced chicken to sauce; simmer for 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Split rolls in half; arrange in a single layer, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Broil 1 minute or until lightly toasted. Remove top halves of rolls from baking sheet. Divide chicken mixture evenly among bottom halves of rolls, and top chicken mixture evenly with cheese. Broil chicken-topped rolls 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven, top with roll halves and serve immediately.
* A substitution for tomato puree is to use 2 tbsp. of tomato paste mixed with 1/2 cup water.
Last weekend, I stopped at my neighborhood Smart & Final for just a few things, and decided to pick up some frozen Cod. I typically prefer my fish to be fresh, but when in a pinch (or I’m being lazy), I’ll grab some frozen. I wanted something light, but flavorful so perused a bunch of recipes for both fish and different types of sauces. I like this Cod dish as it has some crunch on the top while remaining healthy since it’s seared quickly then baked. As for the yogurt sauce, I find it be a nice complement to the fish in terms of flavor points and adding some additional protein. I suggest making the sauce first (directions further down) so it’s ready when the fish is done.
2 (6-ounce) cod fillets
Panko bread crumbs
1 egg, for egg wash
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
2 tbsp. grapeseed oil
1/4 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp. butter
1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1/8 tsp. dried thyme)
Preheat oven to 400° F. Place the fillets on a sheet tray or rack so the fish can release its natural juices.
Place the bread crumbs into a shallow dish.
In a separate shallow dish, add 1 beaten egg. Season both sides of the fillet with salt and pepper. Once seasoned, brush the belly side of the cod with the egg. Dip the egg side into the panko bread crumbs.
In a cast iron skillet, add grapeseed oil. Before placing fish into pan, make sure the skillet is very hot. Sear only 1 side of the fish (the side with the bread crumbs). Once the 1 side is seared, place the skillet in the oven for about 4-6 minutes until cooked. *If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, use a regular skillet, then transfer to a greased baking dish, and increase the time to about 10-12 minutes.
Once the fish is cooked, flip it over and add the lemon juice, butter and sprig of thyme. Let melt and baste the fish with the juice.
Remove from pan, place onto plate and top with sauce.
Chive Basil Yogurt Sauce
1/8-1/4 tsp. garlic powder, depending on your garlic preference
A pinch of kosher salt
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
The finely grated zest and juice of a 1/2 small lemon
4 tsp. of dried parsley
A small fistful (about 3 tbsp.) of fresh basil, stems removed, chopped
A thumb-thick bundle of fresh chives, chopped (or approx. 1 tbsp. dried)
1/2 cup thick natural yogurt; use full-fat Greek yogurt if calories aren’t an issue
1 tbsp. good-quality light mayonnaise, such as Hellman’s (optional)
Salt and milled black pepper
Stir mustard, garlic, salt, lemon zest and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl, mix/mush well.
Add parsley, then very finely chop the basil and chives, and add them to the bowl.
Stir in the yogurt and mayonnaise (if using), and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
A couple of weeks ago, a coworker friend of mine brought me in some of his homemade lasagna and it was incredibly delicious. It took me a few meals to finish it as I like to eat pasta sparingly; however, when it was gone, it left me yearning for more, so I decided to make some and improvise with the ingredients I had on hand, which included pennette pasta. If you’re not familiar with pennette, they’re simply a shorter and thinner version of penne pasta, and have ends that are cut at an angle. I threw this together without doing a lot of measuring (and made a small serving), but am providing my best guesstimate on the amounts I used. To be honest, I was a little nervous how it would turn out, but much to my delight, it was truly scrumptious.
3/4 container (around 11 oz.) of ricotta cheese
1/2 cup 2% mozzarella, shredded
1 tsp. fresh basil, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. garlic
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 cups pennette pasta
2-3 cups prepared marinara or pasta sauce
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
1/4 cup Mexican Style Four Cheese Blend
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add pasta, cook for 8 minutes (they won’t be completely done but they finish cooking in the oven).
Drain and set aside.
Mix together ricotta and egg, then add mozzarella, parmesan, basil, oregano, garlic and salt.
Spray a small baking dish with Pam (I used a small 5″ x 7″).
Put a layer of marinara in the bottom of your pan, sprinkle some red pepper flakes and then 1/3 of the noodles (lay them flat), spread the ricotta cheese mixture on top of the noodles, put a layer of sauce on top of the cheese, add pepper flakes, top with 1/2 of noodles, repeat process again, and finish with remaining sauce and the Mexican 4 Cheese (there should be 3 layers).
Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.
One of the things I truly love about Facebook, aside from being able to stay connected to family & friends both near and far, is the food pictures and/or recipes which inspire me to get into the kitchen and try them out. Most recently, a childhood friend posted a photo of her rigatoni pie, and it was seriously so pretty, I had to try to make it for that reason alone (well, it also looked delicious). I searched online and found quite a few recipes, and went with two I wanted to modify. Since I knew this pie was going to be a bit labor-intensive, and in the interest of time, I decided to use store-bought pasta sauce instead of making my own, but by all means, if you make a mean sauce, go ahead and use that. I am thrilled to report that this pie turned out amazing and absolutely scrumptious!
1 lb. rigatoni pasta
1 jar (24 oz.) pasta sauce (I used Bertoli Italian Sausage Garlic & Romano)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rigatoni and cook until al dente (12 minutes for my pasta). Drain the pasta, rinse in cold water and drain again. Stir in 1 tbsp of the olive oil and set aside. (This keeps the pasta from sticking.)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Gently stir 1 cup of the grated Parmesan cheese into the cooked rigatoni.
Stand the rigatoni up vertically in a greased 9″ springform pan, using the entire pound of cooked pasta.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan, basil, and oregano until smooth. Set aside.
Use a pastry bag, or put a zip lock bag inside a tall glass, and fill the bag with the cheese mixture. Close the bag and snip the corner of the bag and pipe a decent amount into each noodle (don’t fill all the way).
After piping the noodles with the cheese mixture, carefully pour about 3/4 of the jar of sauce over the whole top and push down as much as possible. (I wanted to save some sauce to heat up and use later for leftovers.)
Top with the mozzarella and cheddar cheese.
Put the springform pan on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the cheese has fully melted.
Remove from the oven and allow it to stand in the springform pan for about 15 minutes. Carefully run a knife along the edge of the pan to loosen the pie from the pan, then remove the sides.
Slice the pie and garnish with parsley, if desired.
I regularly receive emails from Pillsbury, and after seeing a yummy one for a Crescent Taco Bake, I decided to buy the few (missing) ingredients I needed. I made some modifications, like I normally do, to make this a bit healthier/lighter and added a couple of ingredients I thought would increase the tasty factor; however, you can omit these if you choose. This is a good basic recipe which can be suited to your own preference, if you have a favorite way to make tacos. Feel free to add jalapeños, beans (refried or black), onions, etc.
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 lb. lean (at least 90%) ground beef
3/4 cup salsa (I use medium heat)
2 tbsp. taco seasoning mix (from 1-oz package)
1/2 can Rotel Mexican Lime & Cilantro (optional)
1 cup light shredded Cheddar cheese
Shredded lettuce, (optional)
Diced tomato, as desired
Black olives, as desired
Avocado slices/cubes (optional)
Greek yogurt (optional)
Heat oven to 375°F. Unroll dough; separate into 8 triangles. Place in ungreased 9-inch square pan or 10-inch pie plate; press over bottom and up sides to form crust. (I had some overlapping, so removed and threw away some of the dough.)
In 10-inch skillet, cook beef over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in salsa, Rotel (if using) and taco seasoning mix; simmer 5 minutes.
Spoon meat mixture in crust-lined pan; sprinkle with cheese.
Bake 18 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown and cheese is melted.
Serve topped with diced tomato, black olives and lettuce (if desired), and avocado and plain greek yogurt on the side.
Sorry I haven’t posted in a while… I did a little traveling to South Florida and went on the most amazing adventure trip to Costa Rica with a ginormous group of friends. Truly EPIC! But I’m back now, and have a scrumptious recipe to share (courtesy of my Mom). I was very anxious to see how the apples would mesh in this dish, and honestly, was blown away when it was done!
1 3/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 leek, sliced
1 crisp, sweet apple, chopped
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp. canola or olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup unsalted chicken broth
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp. coarse ground mustard
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Preheat large sauté pan on medium.
Add 1 tbsp. oil to pan. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in pan; cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until well browned.
Add leeks, apples, and garlic to chicken; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until leeks begin to soften. Reduce heat on pan to low.
Combine broth, syrup, mustard, vinegar, and thyme, then add to chicken; simmer 2-3 minutes or until mixture thickens and chicken is 165°F.
Remove chicken from pan; let stand 5 minutes to rest.
Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of recipes being shared on Facebook, most of which are healthy and look really delicious. I try to make a point of “liking” or sharing the post so I can go back to it, or I simply copy it down. Last week, one of my friends shared one for spaghetti squash, and sadly, I didn’t do either and don’t recall which friend it was. I figured I could wing it, but looked up a few recipes to find out about cooking times in both the oven and microwave. I ended up cooking mine in the oven, mostly because my microwave is small and cooking a whole spaghetti squash in there can lead to spaghetti squash wallpaper if it explodes. Needless to say, the end result was incredible, and honestly, tasted better than I expected. If you like healthy, and/or love pasta, but hate the carbs, look no further! If you’re short on time or just want to simplify this recipe , you can use your favorite spaghetti or marinara sauce instead of making this one, but I recommend you trying mine out 🙂 I added lean ground Italian turkey to mine; however, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, obviously you can omit it. Feel free to add some veggies, too, if you so desire.
*UPDATE* – shortly after posting this, I stumbled across a spaghetti squash recipe that looked amazing, so I quickly took the remaining half squash from this recipe and added the two additional ingredients, which I’ll post at the bottom (with a photo, of course)!
1 medium uncooked spaghetti squash, about 2 lbs.
1 (14.5 oz.) can stewed tomatoes, chopped
1 (14.5 oz.) can whole Roma tomatoes, chopped (discard juice)
1/2 lb. lean ground Italian turkey meat (I used Jennie O), optional
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil plus extra for baking dish
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1-2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. fennel seeds, ground in spice mill or using mortar & pestle
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste and for sprinkling baking dish
Parmesan cheese, go big and just use a little for the top
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Cut squash in half lengthwise using a sharp knife. This can be somewhat difficult, so be careful. If need be, start at one end, cutting half way through then turn it around and cut through the other half. Once the squash is cut in half, scoop out the seeds.
Drizzle a little olive oil in a large baking dish, then sprinkle with some salt & pepper. Place squash cut sides down in dish and prick skin with a fork all over.
Cook for 45 minutes.
While the squash is cooking, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and crushed fennel, and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add ground turkey, and continue to sauté until cooked through, breaking into small pieces, about 10 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes (including juice from the can of stewed tomatoes), basil and Italian seasoning; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring often, 5 minutes or until desired consistency.
Remove squash from oven and carefully turn over with an oven mit (they’ll be hot!). Rake the stringy squash pulp from the skin with a fork, separating it into strands that look like spaghetti. You can either serve the squash in its skin or move the strands to a plate.
Spoon sauce over squash and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Additional Recipe: Cheesy Spaghetti Squash with Marinara
The additional items you’ll need are 1 cup of cottage cheese (I prefer low fat) and 1 cup of shredded cheese. I used a light Mexican four-blend, but the recipe I saw calls for Mozzarella. To make this, after cooking the squash and scraping the strings with a fork, add 1/2 cup cottage cheese to each half, top with marinara, and then add 1/2 cup cheese to each one. Put on a baking sheet and place under the broiler for approximately 3-5 minutes. I added some fresh chopped oregano and basil, and as you can see, some of it burned, so I ended up finishing it in the microwave until the cheese got melted and bubbly.
Over the weekend, I stopped into Von’s Supermarket on my way back from a fabulous trip to my hair salon in West Hollywood to solely pick up some sushi (they make it fresh), and while there, decided to look for more boneless beef ribs. I saw some that seemed to be a great deal (a pound for just a little over $3), so threw ’em in my basket (no brainer). As much as I enjoyed the ribs and loved the BBQ sauce I made last weekend from Sunny Andersen’s recipe, I wanted to try something different. I found a recipe by Tyler Florence, whom I love (in a chefy kinda way), and know his recipes rock, so thought I’d try it out. It calls for parboiling the ribs, which I’ve never done before, but was excited to try something new. When I started making this, I realized I didn’t have two ingredients the recipe calls for… tomato paste and brown mustard, so improvised using ketchup and course Dijon mustard. Even with my slight modifications, it turned out AMAZING, and in my opinion, much better than my other recipe (maybe because of the cooking method?). All I know is, these are the most tender, delicious boneless short ribs I’ve tasted, so are a clear winner in my book (no offense to Sunny). I’m posting the original recipe so you have it, but if you want to use my substitutions, rest assured, it’ll turn out scrumptious!
4 lbs. boneless beef short ribs
1 garlic clove
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup brown mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 tbsp. molasses
1 1/2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tbsp. granulated onion
1/2 tbsp. granulated garlic
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
Add the ribs, garlic clove and bay leaf. Parboil the ribs, covered, for 30-45 minutes, until fork tender.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients (except ribs, bay leaf & garlic clove).
Pour 1/2 cup of the rib water into the mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for approximately 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened and is heated through.
Add the ribs to the pot, turning with tongs to coat well. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the ribs to a baking dish, and add a little bit of the sauce.
Cook in oven to finish for approximately 20 minutes.
Serve with remaining sauce on the side, if desired.
Tip: To reheat ribs, remove from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 250°F, and coat with some leftover sauce. If you don’t have any remaining sauce, use another sauce of your choice and wrap in foil. Place in oven and cook for about 30 minutes.
I’ve never made Chuck/Blade steaks before, but picked some up at the grocery store yesterday as I like to switch things up from time to time, and venture out of my comfort zone. I found an old recipe from Gourmet which looked appealing, so gave it a try. To be honest, this isn’t my favorite steak dish of all time, but I thought it was really good!
4 (1/2-inch-thick) top chuck blade steaks (18 oz)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tbsp. fresh chives, finely chopped
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
Pat steaks dry and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tbsp. butter and oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté steaks 3-4 minutes per side for medium.
Transfer steaks with tongs to a plate and keep warm, loosely covered.
Add remaining 2 tbsp. butter to skillet and cook shallot over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes.
Remove skillet from heat and carefully add wine and any meat juices that have accumulated on plate with steaks.
Simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in herbs and salt and pepper to taste.