Archive | January, 2012

Spiced Chicken Bake with Potatoes and Vegetables

30 Jan

I don’t really have time/energy to go all out sometimes on weeknights. It can get pretty hard to feel motivated to cook on days where I work late and have no energy…. especially on a monday. UGH

I took out chicken breasts this morning to defrost and debated all day what to make. my mom said to make chicken and vegetables in the oven.. so i created something like that. and WOWIE… it was so delicious and flavorful. i think i impressed myself a little. you should try it. 🙂

Ingredients:
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
1 tbsp fresh sage (chopped)
6 small gold potatoes, cut in 3’s or smaller pieces
4 carrots, halved and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 red pepper, sliced
1/2 an onion, sliced
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Instructions: 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the chicken breasts into smaller strips or in half depending on the size of the breast. Peel and square the potatoes. Add the rosemary, thyme, sage, and garlic in a bowl or plastic bag. Add the chicken and mix really well making sure every piece gets covered. Throw the potatoes into an oven safe pan with some oil, add the chicken and mix together. Pour some lemon juice around in the pan with the potatoes and chicken. Bake covered at 400 for 30 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle. Make sure to stir/flip the chicken a few times half way through.

Chop up all the veggies, drizzle them with some oil, salt and pepper and add the chopped up veggies (carrots, peppers, and onions) to the pan with the chicken and potatoes. Uncover the pan and let this cook for another 20 minutes. If the chicken is done, take it out and leave it in another plate until the vegetables soften up.

The aroma from the sage and spices on the chicken will smell up the house so nicely you will love it. I served this over brown rice but i think the only thing i would like to do next time is make a yogurt sauce to serve with the chicken. This came out SO good that i have to make it again. and did i mention easy and healthy?

-M

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Parmesan Risotto

30 Jan

I love risotto… something about the creaminess and the richness of it served with chicken or red meat. I never tried making risotto before so i figured i would give it a shot and was looking for something without heavy cream.

are you scared of making risotto? is it too intimidating for you? GET OVER IT! this is so easy!!! and you will impress everyone with its deliciousness.

here it is!

Parm Risotto

Ingredients:

3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped in little pieces
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup of dry white wine
3 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp dried basil

Instructions:

Melt only 2 tbsp butter in a medium pot on medium heat. Add the onion and salt and pepper to the butter, and stir until softened about 6 minutes. Add the rice and stir around letting it cook for about a minute or so, add the wine and let it simmer until it starts to absorb. Add the chicken broth and cover the pot to let it absorb, stirring every so often…about 10 minutes. Feel free to lower the heat at any point if it gets too hot. If the rice is too dry add more broth. It should be all creamy and delicious at this point. Add in the basil, another 1 tbsp of unsalted butter, the parmesan cheese and stir. YUM.

Enjoy under a hunk of meat or chicken with some veggies like asparagus or broccoli.

-M

“The Bob” Cornbread

21 Jan

Continuation of “Beef and Bean Chili”

This cornbread recipe is credit of my co-worker Richard, who won the cornbread competition in our chili cookoff we had at work on Veterans Day. He was sweet enough to share it with us, and i was happy enough to try it! I think i made chili this time and ate more cornbread than chili! it was THAT good.

Ingredients:
  • 1 Package of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
  • 1/2 can of Creamed Corn
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
Muffin mix calls for 
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup of milk (richard used part half and half and part whole, but i used 2% and it came out still delish)

Instructions:

Mix muffin mix, 1 egg, milk, and creamed corn. Add 1 tsp of red pepper flakes. Put into an 8″ x 8″ baking dish and bake 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees or until the middle is no longer jiggly (as Richard put it). To keep warm, keep the cornbread covered with foil and keep the oven warm.

If you want to go “extra cuban/crazy/make it fancy” add a bunch of chopped up cooked crab, and name it “The Crabby Bob”

Thanks Richard!!!

-M

Beef and Bean Chili

21 Jan

7 months into living down south and i’ve mastered the art of chili and cornbread. WOOHOO!! i got so excited to make this home made. Cornbread in the next post.

I made my Chili myself and thought of the recipe myself too. I’m really proud of myself for being able to make such GREAT chili my first time =) please try it! both the chili and cornbread are SO good. The base of my chili for serving was lined with tortilla chips for dipping.

So, whos comin over? 🙂

Ingredients:

  •  l lb lean beef
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 8 ounce can of tomato sauce (i used hunts)
  • 1 cup of beef broth
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp salt (or more, per taste)
  • Red pepper flakes (only like one tsp)
  • 1 can of GOYA pinto beans
  • 1 can of GOYA black beans
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, Sour cream, Tortilla Chips, for fixins!

Instructions:

In a stock pot (I didnt have a crockpot!), place the beef in and throw the garlic and onion in with it. Brown the beef with the chopped onion and garlic. Remove excess fat fluid from the pot after browning.

Pour in the tomato sauce, 1 cup beef broth, spices, and salt.  Stir everything together well and then cover. Reduce the heat to low and let the pot simmer for 1 hour, stirring every so often.

After 1 hour, add the beans and pepper flakes, and taste the chili. Add salt if need be. Let simmer for another 2 hours. and ENJOY this southern delight!

If you dont have all this time, the chili will still be good if you even added the beans in the beginning. The more time simmering, the better!) Adding the beans after an hour was to get the inital flavoring as a base, and then adding the beans to complete the “chiliness” haha. You can freeze chili too! Just add water to warm it up later.

Next post – “The Bob” Cornbread!!

-M

Home Made Pasta Sauce (so easy!)

21 Jan

I never made pasta sauce before, and i was making spaghetti with meatballs and just honestly, didnt feel like using sauce from a jar! i wanted to just try making my own.

why not? right?

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil for the pan
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • A handful chopped parsley
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • Parmesan Cheese

In an oiled deep pan on medium heat, add finely chopped onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Saute until onion is soft, about 5-10 minutes. Add the beef stock, crushed tomatoes, and parsley. Sprinkle a little parmesan cheese inside too. Add salt to taste (maybe like 1 tbsp). If the sauce is too runny, add some starchy pasta water or some tomato paste if you have it. Let the mixture simmer for about 10-12 minutes until bubbling and delicious. Towards the end when you’re ready to serve, mix in the basil.

So easy and DELICIOUS. I never want to buy canned pasta sauce again. It took me like 10 minutes to make.

This was my spaghetti and meatballs – so yummy!

-M