Thursday, January 29, 2015

fajita salad... 30 minutes plus marinating

I know it's a long list of ingredients, but don't be intimidated, a lot of it is the same stuff (limes, cilantro, etc.) used in different ways. This salad is well worth the effort!

the goods:

honey-lime vinaigrette:
2 limes, juiced
2/3 cup cilantro
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cilantro
2 limes, juiced
2 teaspoons salt
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup olive oil

4 chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, cut into strips
2-3 heads romaine heats, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 avocado, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes
cilantro leaves, for serving

Honey-lime vinaigrette: Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend together until the garlic is well chopped and the ingredients have emulsified. Transfer to a small jar or bowl and refrigerate.
Marinade: Using the same processor or blender (you don't even need to clean it), place all ingredients for the marinade inside and puree until garlic is finely chopped. Pour half the marinade into a zip-top bag and add the chicken to the marinade. Refrigerate. Pour the other half of the marinade to another bag or bowl and add the sliced onion and peppers to it. Refrigerate. Let the chicken and peppers marinate for several hours, or using immediately is fine too.
Salad: In a large skillet over high heat, cook the onions and peppers (do not add the marinade). Toss with tongs until the veggies are soft and browned in spots. Remove from pan. In the same pan over high heat, add the chicken and marinade and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked and slightly caramelized. Toss with the vegetables. Arrange plates with lettuce, chicken and peppers, avocado, tomato and cilantro leaves. Drizzle with dressing and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

potato ham chowder... 35 minutes

the goods:

4 slices bacon, diced
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
1 and 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 and 1/2 cups milk
2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 and 1/2 cups diced ham
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in corn and thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes more. Stir in ham and salt and pepper to taste. Don't be shy with the salt. Serve topped with crumbled bacon.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

easy lo mein...25 minutes

the goods:

8 ounces lo mein noodles
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 carrot, julienned
1/2 cup sugar snap peas
3 cups baby spinach, stems removed

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and sriracha; set aside.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook lo mein noodles according to package instructions; drain well.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic, mushrooms, bell pepper, and carrot. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in snap peas and spinach until the spinach has wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
Stir in noodles and soy sauce mixture, and gently toss to combine.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

garlic ranch potatoes... 40 minutes

the goods:

3 pounds butter gold potatoes (or really any gold potato), halved, or quartered depending on size
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 package (1 ounce) Ranch Seasonings and Salad Dressing mix

Preheat oven to 400 degree. Place potatoes in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with garlic, Ranch mix, and salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss to combine. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.

Monday, December 29, 2014

BBQ pulled chicken avocado boats... 25 minutes

You'll have to forgive me for the terrible photo, the sun has been going down way before I can get dinner on the table! But I loved this recipe too much to not share!

the goods:

2 avocados
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons panko bread crumbs
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2-3 tablespoons barbecue sauce
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice avocados in half lengthwise and remove pit. Scoop out a little bit of avocado to create a well for the rest of the ingredients (feed scooped out avocado to the baby). Arrange the avocado halves peel-side-down in a baking dish. Brush inside of avocado with oil and sprinkle with panko crumbs. Sprinkle a little cheese over panko. Fill avocados with shredded chicken, pressing lightly to fill them up. drizzle barbecue sauce over top of chicken then sprinkle with bacon crumbles. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted an bubbly.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

panko crusted honey mustard salmon... 25 minutes

the goods:

4 skinless salmon fillets
1 and 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 and 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray, set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, honey, and garlic. In a shallow dish, toss together bread crumbs, parsley, and lemon zest. Drizzle olive oil over the bread crumb mixture then toss to combine.
Working with one piece of salmon at a time; brush the top with honey mustard mixture, then lightly season with salt and pepper, then place face down in panko mixture. Now brush the bottom side (the naked side facing up) with honey mustard mixture and season lightly with salt and pepper and rotate to completely coat in crumb mixture. Transfer to prepared baking dish and repeat with remaining fillets.
Bake for 13-15 minutes until salmon is cooked through. Serve warm with lemon wedges (from zested lemon).

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

beef and pork ziti... 30 minutes

the goods:

1 pound rotini pasta
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 cup water
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook beef, pork, onion, and garlic until meat is no longer pink. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in crushed tomatoes, water, seasonings and cooked pasta. Continue cooking ziti over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently until completely heated through. Remove from heat and top with shredded cheese and parsley. Cover skillet and let stand for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.