Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

My friend Kiran wanted to make Enchiladas for her family the other day and asked me if I had a recipe in my blog. Unfortunately, I didn't yet. So I decided to make it today. Its not really a recipe, because I pretty much just toss everything together. I figured out how to make it and there was really nothing to it, so I didn't feel the need to write up a recipe. So the measurements in this recipe is more of an approximation.
I used flour tortillas, because its what the hubby likes. I think its traditionally made with corn tortillas. Nevertheless, its still yummy and hubby really likes it. I served this with my Mexican rice. This is another great make-ahead meal for the busy working mom that I am.

28 oz can of your favorite enchilada sauce
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 cup shredded cheese (I used a mexican blend of cheese), more for garnish
6-8 flour tortillas (soft taco size)
sour cream for topping

1) Preheat oven to 375 deg. F. Combine 1/3 of the enchilada sauce with the chicken and cheese. Set aside.

2) Pour another 1/3 of the enchilada sauce in a deep dish. Soak each tortilla in the sauce. Take a prepared tortilla and scoop 2-3 heaping tablespoons of the chicken mixture onto the lower side of the tortilla. Roll the tortilla and place in a baking dish, seam side down. Continue with the remaining tortilla and chicken mixture.

3) Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Serve with sour cream and more shredded cheese on top.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Zuppa Toscana

I've been sick with a cold and cough for the past few days. So while at the grocery store a few days ago, buying some items to help me heal, I figured to buy ingredients to make all kinds of soups. That day was the worst of my illness, so I needed to buy something quick that I can make for lunch. Boxed Matzo Ball soup. Then I proceeded to the produce section and saw that there was a sale on potatoes - $.69 for a 5 lb. bag of russet potatoes. But what can I do with so much potatoes?!?! Mashed potatoes, chicken croquettes, and, oh yeah, my zuppa toscana!

This recipe is a similar version of the Zuppa Toscana you'd find at Olive Garden. I was able to figure out the recipe. And now, my family always requests me to make it in the winter time, especially around Christmas or New Year's eve. I've been up to cooking for a day or two now, so I thought to make Zuppa Toscana to help me heal even quicker.

4 slices of bacon (regular or turkey bacon)
1 Tbsp. oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
2 pieces italian sausage (however spicy you prefer. you can also use italian turkey sausage)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into small pieces
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
2-3 cups kale leaves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1) In a stock pot, cook bacon until crisp. Set aside bacon. Add oil. Stir in onions and garlic and cook for a few seconds. In the meantime, squeeze the meat out of the casing of the italian sausage. Add the meat into pan, making sure to break up the meat into small pieces. Stir until meat has cooked through.

2) Add chicken broth and potatoes to the pan. Then add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on medium-low for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes have almost cooked through. Add heavy cream and bring back to a boil. Crumble the bacon into the soup. Add kale leaves and cook for another 2-3 minutes and serve.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I've never had Blondies before making this. I saw this on a menu at a restaurant once and thought it looked really good. I didn't want to be adventurous that time, so I opted to order another dessert. Then I would watch cooking shows where Blondies were being made, and it made me curious to try to find a recipe to make it. Blondies is a close cousin to the Brownies. The difference is the use of brown sugar and no chocolate. This recipe, though, uses white chocolate chips. I found this recipe at one of those copycat recipe websites. Its a version of Applebee's Blondie and calls for Maple Butter sauce. I still have some maple syrup and maple butter leftover from our trip to Canada a couple of months ago. So I used it to top my blondie. mmmmmm!

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Maple butter sauce
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup butter
3/4 brown sugar

1) Preheat oven to 30 deg. F. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix in walnuts and set aside.

2) In a large bowl, combine melted butter and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla extract and mix well. Add flour mixture, adding a little at a time. Stir in white chocolate chips. Pour mixture in a 9 inch square pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

3) Combine maple syrup and butter. Cook over low heat until butter is melted. Stir in brown sugar and cook until brown sugar dissolves. Pour warm syrup over warm blondie and serve with ice cream.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Breakfast Casserole

This is hubby's favorite breakfast dish. I don't make it often because its such a large batch for 2 people to consume. I made it for breakfast this morning and we were able to eat half of the batch.....the other batch is Sunday morning's breakfast. Hubby won't complain ;)

1/2 tube crescent roll dough
1 cup frozen shredded potato hash
1 cup cooked breakfast sausage (crumbled)
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used monterey jack)
1 cup milk
6 eggs
salt to taste

1) Preheat oven to 310 deg. F. Press dough on the bottom of a 9 inch square pan. Top with potato hash, then sausage, and finally cheese.

2) Scramble eggs. Add milk and salt to taste. Pour egg mixture on top of the casserole, making sure the egg mixture is evenly distributed. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the egg is firm. Serve with white gravy on top.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Baked Ziti

So its another one of those nights where I had limited time in cooking. Therefore, I had a casserole dish I had assembled last night and popped in the oven for dinner tonight. I still had some bolognese sauce in the freezer left over from the last batch I made a couple of weeks ago, so I tried to figure out how else I can use it in a dish. Hmmm, I haven't made my baked ziti in a while. I used up all my saved bolognese sauce, so I'll be making more this weekend to stock up.

2-3 cups prepared spaghetti sauce (I used my bolognese sauce)
1 lb cooked penne pasta
3 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups warm milk
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
shredded mozzarella cheese

1) Combine spaghetti sauce and cooked pasta in a large bowl. Pour mixture in a casserole dish and top with mozzarella cheese. Set aside. Pre heat oven to 375 deg F.

2) In a medium pot, melt butter. Add flour and stir for a minute. Slowly pour milk and vigourously whisk mixture to eliminate lumps. Cook until mixture begins to bubble, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat. Add black pepper, salt and nutmed and stir to thoroughly incorporate.

3) Pour sauce over prepared pasta and bake for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chicken Francese

I found this recipe in the Foodnetwork archives from Tyler Florence, one of my favorite Foodnetwork chefs. After seeing all the positive reviews, and seeing how simple it was, I wanted to give it a try. I had all the ingredients in stock, and was, again, able to snatch some lemons from my parents. I modified the recipe a bit based on the reviews and it was so delicious. It kind of reminds me of my Chicken Marsala recipe. How it tastes and how its prepared. Except more lemony and had a different wine taste. It was so simple to make. You can serve this with your favorite pasta, mashed potatoes, or any vegetable. I served this with pasta and my daughter and hubby really liked it, so this is one that I'll be making again.

4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts
All-purpose flour, for dredging
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. dry oregano
2 Tbsp. parmesan cheese
4 eggs
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, with rind, cut in thin rounds
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1) Put the chicken breasts side by side on a cutting board and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them. Pound the chicken breasts with a flat meat mallet or heavy skillet, until they are about 1/4-inch thick.

2) Combine flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper to taste, oregano and parmesan cheese. In a wide bowl, beat the eggs with 3 tablespoons of water to make an egg wash. Dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off.

3) Heat oil in a skillet. Add the cutlets and fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden, turning once. Remove the chicken cutlets to a large platter in a single layer to keep warm.

4) Toss the lemon slices into the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the wine, broth, lemon juice, and salt to taste and simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the sauce slightly. Roll the butter in some flour and add it to the skillet, this will thicken the sauce. Stir to incorporate and dissolve the flour. Reduce the heat to medium-low and return the chicken to the pan. Simmer gently for 2 minutes to heat the chicken through. Garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Szechwan Shrimp

This is the most simplest and yummiest shrimp dish I've ever made. I haven't made this dish in a while, so I thought to make it tonight since hubby's out at school and I needed something quick to whip up. I found this recipe a while ago from allrecipes.com and always make it whenever I need something quick to make for dinner. I always have the ingredients it calls for, so I make it pretty often.

4 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (more if you like it spicy)
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 cup sliced green onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 Tbsp. oil

1) Combine water, ketchup, soy sauce, cornstarch, honey, red pepper, and ginger in a bowl. Set aside.

2) Heat oil in a large skillet or wok. Stir in green onions and garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add shrimp and toss to coat with oil. Stir in sauce. cook and stir until sauce is bubbly and thickened.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Korean BBQ Short ribs


....screams my tastebuds. A couple of posts ago, I made the soup version of this dish and I said that it smelled exactly like the Korean BBQ sauce that I would buy from the store. So I decided to take the flavor of that broth and make it into my newfound homemade Korean BBQ sauce. Mmm-mmm good!

We just got home from a trip to Carlsbad, so we're pretty exhausted, to say the least. But I made this meal in a jiffy, and I didn't even have my bbq grill to cook it. Leave it again to my trusty grill pan to make another delicious meal.

2-3 lbs. boneless short ribs
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons Korean red chili paste or sambal oelek (optional), plus more for serving
2 tablespoons dark (toasted) sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch scallions (white and green parts, separated), thinly sliced

1) Rub 1/4 cup of sugar on the meat. Marinate for at least half an hour.

2)Combine 1/4 cup sugar and the remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour over the prepapred meat and marinate for at least 1 hour.

3) Grill meat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until medium to well done. Serve with rice.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Chicken Teriyaki

Stacy, a friend from work, always mentioned that she often makes Chicken Teriyaki for dinner whenever it was her turn to cook dinner. I asked her if she had a recipe that she uses, so that I could try it out. Unfortunately, she said she uses the bottled stuff. So I made it a mission of mine to find a good teriyaki recipe. Lo and behold, I found a really good one from my Hawaiian cookbook. Hubby really liked this one.

1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 thin slice fresh ginger, crushed
3 stalks green onions, chopped
3-4 lbs. chicken pieces (I used drumettes)

1) In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the chicken. Place chicken in a baking pan and pour mixture over it. Marinade in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

2) Preheat oven to 325 deg. F. Turn chicken over and place pan in the oven and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the chicken once during the cooking process. Serve with steamed white rice.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Crockpot Korean BBQ-style soup

One of my favorite type of BBQ is Korean BBQ. I especially love the experience of eating at Korean restaurants and cooking my own meats at their tabletop grills. Unfortunately, you leave the restaurant smelling like BBQ. And because of that, my family doesn't like going to Korean restaurants too often. So I try to make Korean BBQ at home on the grill using the bottled BBQ sauce that I buy at the refrigerated cases sold at Korean markets. I came across this recipe and when I tried it out, the sauce smelled exactly like the Korean BBQ I'm used to. And since its a crockpot version, I decided to try it out for dinner tonight. The broth came out a little too sweet, so I would definitely cut the sugar to less than 1/4 cup. I would also double up on the liquids because a lot of it evaporates. Otherwise, this was super delicious and my daughter loved it. She loves any kind of noodles, so she ate a lot of this soup. I'm definitely making this again.

2-3 lbs. boneless short ribs, cut into cubes
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons Korean red chili paste or sambal oelek (optional), plus more for serving
2 tablespoons dark (toasted) sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch scallions (white and green parts, separated), thinly sliced

Noodles and Garnishes:
10 to 12 ounces medium-thick rice noodles (I used pad thai noodles)
1 carrot, finely grated
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, torn
2 limes, cut into wedges

1) Place the ribs in the slow cooker. Whisk together the broth, soy, sugar, ginger, chili paste, sesame oil, garlic, and scallion whites. Pour over the ribs. Cover and cook 6-8 hours.

2) About 30 minutes before serving, put the rice noodles in a bowl with boiling water to cover. Soak until tender and pliable, about 10-20 minutes. Skim any fat that may collect on top of the beef broth and discard.

4) Divide the noodles among bowls and ladle the broth over top. Divide the meat evenly among the bowls. Garnish as desired with the carrots, cilantro, lime and the remaining green parts of the scallion and more chili paste, if desired.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Crockpot Creole Chicken and Shrimp

HAPPY 50TH POST TO ME!!! I can't believe in 3 months, I've made so many different kinds of dishes and have been able to share all my culinary experiences on here.

This is another crockpot recipe I found recently that looked pretty easy and tasty. I've always been interested in the taste of creole food. Up until now, I only know of Jambalaya and Gumbo. I'm still planning on trying to make those one day. When I came across this recipe and saw how easy it looked, I had to try it for dinner tonight since Hubby is out late for school. This dish almost reminds me of my Paella with a little more kick to it. It tasted really good and hubby really liked it. So this will be a recipe that I'll definitely keep using. The recipe called for cooking it for 6 hours, and we all know that I'm out of the house for about 12 hours. And from past experiences, cooking chicken in the crockpot for 12 hours will cause the chicken to turn dry. Luckily, hubby was able to stop by the house in the middle of the day to plug the crockpot in and I was able to come home to the smell of dinner in the air. yummy!

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken (cut up into 1 inch pieces)
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can of diced tomato (and its juices)
8 ounces polska kielbasa, sliced
1/2 cup diced cooked ham
1 cup chopped onion
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp. Creole seasoning
a few dashes of hot sauce to your taste
1 lb. shrimp (peeled and deveined)
2 cups instant rice
1 cup chopped bell pepper

1) Combine all ingredients except the rice, shrimp and bell pepper in the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

2) At the last 15 minutes of cooking, add shrimp, rice and bell pepper. Cook until rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.