Sunday, September 26, 2010

Recipe #67: Slow Cooker Chicken and Ham Stew

This weekend we went away with friends and decided to take turns making crock pot meals for dinner.  This was my contribution, and it was so good!  I varied the times from the recipe to get it done a little sooner, and it still turned out great!  Fall is here- time to give the crock pot a good workout!

1 3-lb chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cups cubed ham (I bought these already cubed)
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
8 cups water
2 cups canned chopped tomatoes
3 cups canned cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained
3 cups frozen or fresh corn kernels
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon dried oregano


Preheat a 6-quart slow cooker to high.

Combine the chicken, onion, ham, and potatoes in the slow cooker.  Pour in the water.  Cover and cook on the lowest setting for 4-5 hours, or until the chicken is tender.

Remove the chicken from the pot and strip the meat from the bones.  Return the meat to the pot.  Discard the skin and bones.

Add the tomatoes, beans, corn, salt, sugar, pepper, and oregano.  Cover and cook on the highest setting for 1 hour.

Serve hot.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Recipe #66: Mexican Pizza

This was so fun to make!  Nick made it with me, which is good because it's kind of involved (but not difficult!)  This is an adaptation of a recipe I found in the September issue of Food Network Magazine.  This was worth all the prep!


For the taco seasoning:
-2 tablespoons onion powder
-2 tablespoons garlic powder
-1 tablespoon chili powder
-1 tablespoon dried oregano
-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-Kosher salt and ground black pepper

For the pizzas:
-1/4 cup canola oil, plus more for brushing
-1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
-1 16-oz tube pizza dough
-all-purpose flour for dusting
-1 cup shredded mozzarella
-1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
-1 avocado
-juice of 1 lime
-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
-1/2 teaspoon chili powder
-1 tablespoon diced red onion (we used more)
-Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 cup fresh salsa (or more)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I skipped this)

 A piece of mexican pizza!


Make the taco seasoning by mixing all the dry ingredients under "taco seasoning" in a bowl.

Roll out pizza dough on an oiled cookie sheet or similar.  Brush with oil.  Season the top with the taco seasoning and cook according to package directions.  (Mine were 400 degrees for 10 minutes.)

While crust bakes, mix 2 tablespoons taco seasoning and the canola oil in a bowl.  Pound the chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4 inch thick (or buy already thin-sliced breasts).  Add the chicken to the bowl, coating, and cook chicken in a pan until done, a couple minutes per side.  Cut into small cubes.

When crust is done, sprinkle with both cheeses, then top with the chicken.  Put back in the oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese.

Meanwhile, mix the avocado, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, red onion, salt and pepper in a bowl.  When pizza is done after the five minutes, remove from the oven and top with the avocado mixture, salsa, sour cream, and cilantro.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Recipe #65: Quick Beef Bourguignonne

It's almost fall!  Besides hoodies and Halloween, this also means fall and winter comfort food!  From the pages of Semi-Homemade Magazine (Sept/Oct issue), I bring you a quick and hearty meal.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (8oz) package sliced fresh mushrooms
1 (16oz) package frozen pearl onions, Birds Eye
2 cups red wine (I used a pinot noir)
1 (10 3/4oz) can condensed golden mushroom soup
Garnish with parsley


In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper.  Cook steak, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, or until browned.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl, and set aside.

Add mushrooms and onions to pan; cook, stirring occasionally, or until liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.  Stir in wine, scraping brown bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5-6 minutes, or until reduced by half.

Increase heat to medium-high.  Stir in soup; bring to a boil.  Add steak and juices from bowl.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, or until bubbly.  Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Recipe #64: Beef and Peanut Stir Fry

It's hard to shovel this meal in my mouth while typing this, but I'll try.  This is an adaptation of a recipe I found in my stir fry book, and I made it with my wok.  The meat is so tender, and the udon noodles and peanuts have opposite textures, making this a really interesting and hearty meal.


1lb bottom round beef roast, cut into thin strips
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 white onion, chopped
3 green onions, whites chopped for stir fry, some greens reserved for topping
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon oil (I used canola)
1 cup chopped roasted peanuts


Combine beef, garlic, white onion, green onion whites, sugar, fish sauce, and oil in a bowl and marinate for a few hours.  (I skipped the marinating though and it still turned out awesome.)  Heat wok until very hot, and stir-fry mixture in two batches.  Return all to the wok, and stir in the peanuts and green onion greens and serve over rice or noodles.  We put tamari sauce (an aged soy sauce) on top, and it was perfect!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Recipe #63: Shrimp Primavera Pasta with Asparagus, Peas, and Leeks

Wow.  Just wow.  That's all I have to say.  Really fresh, light, and hearty.  The lemon zest totally makes this dish!  Another winner from Rachael Ray, from one of my newer cookbooks:

Rachael Ray's Book of 10: More Than 300 Recipes to Cook Every Day


1/2 pound spaghetti  (I used multigrain spaghetti)
1 leek
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 pound medium to large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3/4 to 1 pound asparagus (1 bundle), trimmed to 4 inches then cut into thirds
1 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
Black pepper
1 cup shaved or grated Romano cheese
Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped (I used dried)


Place a large covered pot of water on the stove and bring it up to a boil for the pasta.  Salt the water and cook the spaghetti al dente.

While the pasta is working, trim the touch green toms and the roots from the leek.  Half the leek lengthwise and dice it thin.  Place the leeks in a colander and rinse them vigorously to release any grit.  Drain the leeks well.

Heat the EVOO in a large, deep skillet over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook for a minute.  Add the leeks and shiitake and cook until they are tender, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the stock, raise the heat a little, and bring it up to a bubble.  Once the stock bubbles, add the zest and the shrimp and cook it for 2 minutes, then add the asparagus and peas to the pan and cook them for 2 minutes more.

Melt the butter into the sauce, add the drained pasta to the pan, and toss to combine the shrimp and vegetables with the spaghetti.  Season with a little pepper, adjust the salt to taste, and garnish with the cheese and parsley.

My first leek!  The white part is the "good" part...

And my first batch of shiitake mushrooms...

Recipe #62: Couscous with Carrots and Cilantro

I made this with recipe #61, Crispy Ginger-Lime Chicken Thighs.  The picture of the two in my cookbook just made them seem like the perfect pairing.  I really liked how this side turned out.  Plus I got to use my mandolin slicer for the first time to prep the carrots!

 My guinea pig liked the rest of the carrot...


1 1/2 cups waster
1 cup couscous
1 carrot, coarsely grated
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil


In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil.  Stire in coucous, carrot, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cover pan, and remove from heat.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Fluff couscous with a fork.  Gently stir in chopped cilantro and oil; season with salt and pepper.

Recipe #61: Crispy Ginger-Lime Chicken Thighs

I couldn't WAIT to make this recipe once I found it in my cookbook.  I used to only eat white meat from the chicken, but after making a few roast chickens and falling in love with the tender, flavorful thigh meat, I knew this recipe had to be good.  Putting the seasonings under the skin worked out perfect- there was so much flavor.  We did peel off the skin and not eat it, though, which is much healthier.  Next time I might try this with boneless thighs.  I served this with recipe 62, Couscous with Carrots and Cilantro.  This is from the following cookbook, one of my favorites:

Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast: 250 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Any Time of Day (Everyday Food (Clarkson Potter))


1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons curry powder
4 scallions, trimmed and minced (I just sliced them thin)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (I only made 4 but kept the same amount of other ingredients!)



Heat broiler with rack set 4 inches from heat source.  In a small bowl, combine ginger, lime juice, curry powder, scallions, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Place chicken on a rimmed baking sheet; season both sides with salt and pepper.  Gently loosen skin from each piece with your fingertips.  Dividing evenly, rub ginger mixture under skin.

 Seasoning mixture under the skin

Turn thighs skin side down on baking sheet, and broil 5 minutes.  Flip thighs, and continue to broil until the skin is crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thighs (avoiding bone) registers 165 degrees, 6 to 8 minutes more.  Serve, drizzled with pan juices.