SLUMBERING VOLCANOES

A few years back I was reading a novel and it mentioned some interesting recipe titles. I decided to see if they were real recipes or contrived and was pleasantly surprised to find they were real. So over the next few Sundays we can experiment together. I’ve made a few additions over the years and they are getting better and better. Next time I make them I will take yet another new picture, I’m still not thrilled though this one is better than the last.

SLUMBERING VOLCANOES

4 LARGE tomatoes
1 small jar artichoke hearts, drained WELL and chopped (retain 2 tablespoons of juice for later)
3 LARGE egg yolks
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs
1 LARGE clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 green onions, minced
4 slices Gruyere’ cheese

1/2 pound shrimp
1 lemon

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Carefully scoop out insides of tomatoes and drain juices from the shells.
  • Spray baking dish with non-stick cooking spray
  • Place tomatoes, hole side up, in baking dish and put in oven for 5 minutes.
  • In a small bowl mix together Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, artichokes, pepper, dill, garlic and onion powders until well blended.
  • Remove tomato shells from oven.
  • Fill each tomato with artichoke mixture leaving enough room for the egg yolk.
  • Place “volcanoes” back into oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes. (Time depends on how you prefer eggs cooked… if you want hard yolks – 20 minutes will give you runny yolks.)
  • Top with Gruyere’ cheese and cook 2-3 minutes more until cheese melts.
  • While tomatoes are baking, saute shrimp in butter, artichoke marinade and lemon juice.
  • Serve hot with side condiments of sour cream, chopped chives, green chili salsa, or others of your imagination!

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GLAZED SESAME CHICKEN STIR FRY

GLAZED SESAME CHICKEN STIR FRY
1 1/2 pound chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 LARGE egg, beaten
1/2 cup rice flour
1 red pepper, diced or sliced small
3 green onions, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups broccoli florets
1 tablespoon honey
1 large can crushed pineapple
1/2 cup Hoisin sauce
1 +2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1/2 pound spaghetti noodles or Soba noodles, prepared al dente’

  • Drain pineapple retaining ALL the juice.
  • Generously season chicken steaks with salt and pepper.
  • Cut chicken into bite sized pieces.
  • Dredge chicken pieces first in beaten egg and then rice flour.
  • Heat wok or skillet to medium high.
  • Add 2 tablespoons sesame oil and coat pan well.
  • Add chicken pieces and sear on all sides JUST until done.
  • Remove chicken and keep warm.
  • Add additional sesame oil and heat.
  • Add broccoli florets and saute 1-2 minutes.
  • Add bell pepper and garlic and cook until pepper is tender.
  • Add green onion.
  • Whisk together the pineapple juice, soy sauce, honey, Hoisin sauce and cornstarch until well blended.
  • Add sauce mixture to the wok. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring well.
  • Add in pineapple.
  • Cook until sauce is slightly thickened.
  • Add chicken pieces back in and toss to coat.
  • Add noodles and toss well.
  • Serve immediately.

This is my original recipe and it is great, but today I made thin chicken steaks because I already had them in the fridge, but much prefer the original bite size pieces – they get so much more flavor cooking that way.

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ARTICHOKE CHICKEN & PASTA with LEMON WINE SAUCE

I found this recipe called Italian Lemon Butter Chicken over at ALLrecipes and it was amazing!!  I did make several changes though for my family’s likes and we like it so much better, so go check out the original recipe and you decide.

Artichoke Chicken & Pasta with Lemon Wine Sauce
1/4 cup white wine
Juice of 2 large lemons
1/3 cup heavy cream❉❉
1/2 cup butter, chilled❉❉
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 pound dry campagnelle pasta
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
1 bunch green onions, halved and sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup Wondra
salt and pepper to taste
4 slices bacon, diced
6 ounces mushrooms, sliced
6 ounces marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped ***TIP
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

  • To make the sauce, pour the wine and lemon juice into a saucepan over medium heat. Cook at a low boil until the liquid is reduced by 1/3.
  • Stir in cream, and simmer until it thickens. Gradually add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time to the sauce, stirring until completely incorporated.
  • Stir in parsley.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Remove from heat, and keep warm.
  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, and set aside.
  • Brown the bacon pieces most of the way until crispy. Drain the bacon pieces on paper towels.
  • Heat remaining bacon grease and 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • In a bowl, stir together flour, salt, and pepper.
  • Lightly coat chicken with flour mixture. Without crowding, carefully place chicken in hot oil cooking until cooked through and golden brown on both sides.
  • Remove the chicken to paper towels.
  • Stir the onions, mushrooms and artichokes into the remaining butter, adding more butter as necessary; cook until the mushrooms are soft.
  • Add in the bacon pieces.
  • Add in pasta, stirring to blend.
  • Add sauce to the pan and stir to coat well.

NOTE 1❉:  a dry blush works well also.
NOTE 2❉❉:  I didn’t have enough butter so substituted 3/4 cup buttermilk this time and was pleased with the results.

***TIP save your artichoke marinade and use it as a base for a quick salad dressing to go with your meal.

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ROASTED RED PEPPER HAM STRATAS

ROASTED RED PEPPER HAM STRATAS
6 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
5 cups day old bread, cubed
1/3 pound ham steak, cubed
3 green onions, sliced thin
1/3 cup diced roasted red pepper
8 ounces cheese of choice
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter, sliced into slivers

  • Whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper.
  • Spray four 8 ounce ramekins with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl toss together the bread, ham, peppers, onions and half of the cheese.
  • Pour in the egg mixture and continue tossing until bread pieces are well coated in egg mixture.
  • Spoon into prepared ramekins.
  • Top with remaining cheese.
  • Dot with butter pieces.
  • Refrigerate overnight.

NEXT DAY:

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Bake until set, about 30 minutes.

CEDAR PLANKED SALMON ala NIBBLE ME THIS ala BOBBY FLAY

CEDAR PLANKED SALMON

adapted from Chris @Nibble Me This who adapted the Potlatch seasoning from Bobby Flay
4 salmon filets
2 lemons cut into 16 slices
1 teaspoon each fresh coarse ground Himalayan pink salt & black pepper
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flake
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon dried minced garlic, smashed
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

  • Preheat a charcoal grill set up for direct heat at 350°.
  • Mix the spices together for the potlatch seasoning.
  • Place half the lemon slices on the planks.
  • Place the salmon fillets skin side down on planks and season liberally with the potlatch seasoning.
  • Top each fillet with other half of lemon slices.
  • Place the planks on the grill, close the lid and cook until the internal temperature of the salmon is 120-130°, about 7-9 minutes.
  • Remove from the grill and serve immediately.  You can serve directly on the planks or remove it from the plank.

NOTES: There are several ways to test for doneness when grilling fish.  These tips are from Chris @NIBBLE ME THIS from the Cooking Fish Fundamentals lesson at Rouxbe Online Cooking School.

  • Test for doneness early and often.
  • A rough guide is 10 minutes total per inch of thickness.
  • Cook to an internal temp of 120-140° but fish with dense flesh (tuna, salmon) can be done at 120f.
  • Check the inside flakes at the thickest place.

RITZY CHEDDAR CHICKEN

RITZY CHEDDAR CHICKEN
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 sleeve RITZ crackers
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup whole milk
2 cups grated cheddar cheese

SAUCE
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons WONDRA flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons butter

  • Pre-heat oven to 400°.
  • In a food processor grind crackers until fine crumbs.
  • Generously pepper chicken pieces.
  • Soak chicken pieces in the buttermilk.
  • Dredge chicken pieces through the cheese first and then the crumbs.  Pressing each layer firmly into the chicken pieces before the next layer is applied..
  • Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Lay chicken pieces into the baking dish.
  • Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and bake another 5-10 minutes or until chicken is golden brown.
  • While chicken is baking begin the sauce.
  • Melt the butter in heavy saucepan.
  • Blend in flour and salt, cooking until bubbly.
  • Remove from heat and gradually stir or whisk in chicken brothe and milk alternately.
  • Return to heat and cook, constantly stirring until smooth and thickened.
  • Stir over a medium high heat until sauce is heated through.
  • Serve over chicken.

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HOT CHICKEN CHILE VERDE SALAD

While you cook this, leftovers are good either heated or cold or even on a sandwich.

HOT CHICKEN CHILE VERDE SALAD
3 cups cubed cooked chicken OR 1 Costco rotisserie chicken torn into pieces
3 celery ribs, chopped
8 ounce cans sliced water chestnuts, drained and quartered
1 can green enchilada sauce
3/4 cup REGULAR mayonnaise (do NOT use lowfat)*
1 1/2 cups sour cream 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 small shallot, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 small can chopped green chiles
1/2 cup Panko crumbs
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used finely grated SHARP cheddar)
1/2 cup Almond Accents honey roasted sliced almonds, crushed**

  • In a large bowl combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, enchilada sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper until well blended.
  • Add chicken pieces, celery, water chestnuts, almonds and onions until well combined.
  • Turn into a greased baking dish.
  • Combine bread crumbs and almonds.
  • Top with bread crumbs and then cheese.
  • Arrange green chiles around the edge of the baking dish.
  • Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes or until heated through.

NOTES:
*I cut this in half for continuity because the enchilada sauce was much thinner than the original cream of chicken soup
**from the produce section – a salad topper

CHICKEN CHILE VERDE

CHICKEN CHILE VERDE

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken, breasts and/or thighs
1 batch Fire Roasted Salsa Verde
1 large tomato chopped
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
3/4 cup sour cream, divided
3/4-1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

  • Spray casserole dish with NON-STICK cooking spray
  • Lay chicken pieces in bottom.
  • Generously salt and pepper chicken.
  • Cover with Fire Roasted Salsa Verde
  • Place a generous dollop of sour cream on top of each chicken piece.
  • Cover with grated Monterey Jack cheese.
  • Sprinkle with diced tomatoes and chopped cilantro.
  • Bake 45 minutes at 350°.

Fire Roasted Salsa Verde
My Source for awesome homemade verde sauce is Chris the wonderful cook, griller, photographer and Big Green Egg enthusiast. Check out his blog at NIBBLE ME THIS.  He adapted this from Steven Raichlen’s Planet Barbecue!

1 pound tomatillos, husks removed
1 Serrano pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
1 Anaheim pepper
1 large onion, peeled and sliced into thirds
3 cloves garlic, peeled and skewered together with a toothpick
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon bacon fat
3 ounces chicken stock
½ teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

  • Get your grill cooking at about 450f.
  • Place the peppers and tomatillos on and sear them until all sides are blackened.
  • This should take a few minutes per side. Remove and place them into a plastic bag for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, grill the onion and garlic until browned (about 4 minutes a side for the onion, 1-2 for the garlic) and remove from heat.
  • Skin, seed, and dice the peppers.
  • Skin and quarter the tomatillos. Don’t be super picky about getting all the charred skin off, you want a little in there for flavor.
  • Quarter the grilled onions.
  • Place them all in a food processor and pulse them until you get a salsa like texture.
  • Heat the bacon fat over medium high heat and then add the tomatillo mixture for 3-5 minutes. You’ll get some thick “pops” as the thick liquid heats but keep stirring.
  • Mix in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, letting the flavors get happy together.
  • Season with salt and pepper to your taste.

TERIYAKI BEEF STIR FRY

TERIYAKI BEEF STIR FRY

3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided 2 + 1
1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound boneless round or chuck steak cut into thin 3-inch strips, seasoned well with garlic powder and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
4 cups broccoli florets
1 small onion, cut into wedges
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1⁄3 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
hot cooked rice

  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons water and garlic powder until smooth.
  • Add beef slices and toss to coat.
  • In a large skillet or wok over medium high heat heat oil.
  • Add beef and stir-fry to desired tenderness; remove and keep warm.
  • Stir-fry broccoli and onion in remaining oil for 4-5 minutes until they begin to soften.
  • Return beef to pan, tossing to blend with vegetables.
  • Add carrots and toss to blend.
  • Whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, remaining cornstarch and remaining water until smooth; add to the pan, stirring to coat well.
  • Cook and stir for 3-4 minutes more.
  • Serve over rice.

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KRAB & PEA FRITTERS

KRAB & PEA FRITTERS
1 cup sour cream
1 small bunch green onions, whites and greens, finely minced and divided
2 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk*
12 ounces krab, minced
1 cup frozen peas
1 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Sea Salt
red pepper
Frank’s Hot sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

*I only had heavy cream and 1% milk on hand, so I used 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/4 cup 1% milk and they were perfect.

  • In a medium bowl mix together the sour cream and half the green onions.
  • Add in lemon juice, salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.
  • Set aside.
  • In a large bowl whisk the eggs until frothy.
  • Whisk in the milk.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, salt and pepper to taste, blending until combined well.
  • Fold in the krab, the other half of green onions and peas until well blended.
  • Using a deep skillet (at least 2 inches) heat the oil over a medium high heat until it shimmers.
  • Add the batter to the oil 1 heaping tablespoon at a time.
  • Cook the fritters in batches, 2-3 minutes per side.  Use a slotted spoon to turn them.  Be sure not to crowd the pan.
  •  Transfer fritters to paper towels to drain.
  • Serve hot with sour cream.

HULI HULI CHICKEN

There is nothing better than chicken on the grill in the summertime. Whether it’s smoked, BBQed or marinaded – you really can’t go wrong. It’s an easy dinner and it doesn’t heat up the house.

This chicken is soaked in a soy sauce brine, then grilled and brushed with an amazing pineapple juice glaze for the last bit of grilling. This recipe is adapted from Cook’s Country, June 2009 & Tide & Thyme. I changed a few aspects of the recipe by using chicken breasts which is what I had on hand and it cuts down on cooking time.  I served it with a bowl of Hawaiian macaroni salad & fresh pineapple wedges which disappeared immediately thanks to hubby.

Huli-Huli Chicken

For the chicken
1 quart water
1 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 tablespoon avocado oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken piece **

**I used all boneless, skinless breasts and adjusted the grilling time accordingly.  The breasts were so much better than bone in pieces!

For the glaze
3 (6-ounce) cans pineapple juice
1/4 cup packed golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon liquid smoke (can omit if using a charcoal grill)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons Asian chili-garlic sauce
Brine Chicken
  • Combine water and soy in a large bowl.
  • Heat oil in large sauce pan over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  • Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Stir into soy sauce  mixture.
  • Add chicken and refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour or up to 8.

Make Glaze

  • Combine pineapple juice, sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, garlic, ginger and chili-garlic sauce in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to simmer until thick and syrupy (you should have about 1 cup), 20-25 minutes. 

Prep Grill

  • CHARCOAL GRILL Seal wood chips in foil packet and cut vent holes in top. Open bottom vents on grill. Light about 75 coals. When coals are covered with a fine gray ash, spread evenly over the bottom of the grill. Arrange foil packet directly on coals. Set cooking grate in place and heat, covered with lid vent open halfway, until wood chips begin to smoke heavily, about 5 minutes. (For gas grill, place foil packet directly on primary burner.
  • GAS GRILL **Heat all burners on high, covered, until wood chips begin to smoke heavily, about 15 minutes.
  • Turn all burners to medium-low.
  • Scrape and oil the grate.
**IF YOU USE LIQUID SMOKE IN THE GLAZE YOU CAN SKIP THE CHIPS.

Grill Chicken

  • Remove chicken from brine and pat dry.
  • Arrange skin side up on grill (do not place chicken directly above foil packet).
  • Grill, covered, until chicken is well browned on bottom and meat registers 120 degrees, 25-30 minutes.
  • Flip chicken skin side down and continue to grill, covered, until skin is well browned and crisp and thigh meat reaches 170 to 175 degrees, 20-25 minutes longer.
  • Transfer chicken to platter, brush with half of the glaze, and let rest 5 minutes.
  • Serve, passing remaining glaze at table.

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BAKED CHICKEN TAQUITOS & RUSTIC CHUNKY GUACAMOLE

Hubby actually found this recipe over at Two Peas & Their Pod and requested I make them soon! Taquitos are just rolled up tacos. Her recipe calls for baking them which I adore since we just don’t do or need the fat, but don’t worry they still get nice and crispy in the oven!

Is there anything any more fun for an appetizer than a plate of FUN Mexican food? Don’t forget to top it with all your favorite toppings too. You can leave all the topping separate and do an appetizer bar for a party. The taquitos are the perfect appetizer or even the whole meal. The more toppings the better in my opinion. I’m going to make it again for Super Bowl! Her recipe is great the way it is, we just added a few additional toppings.

Hubby found this recipe just in time for my grocery shopping day too and I made them the next day for the NASCAR race – so perfect because I made them in advance and wasn’t in the kitchen during the race.

I did omit the step (changing it to brushing them with avocado oil) “Spray the taquitos generously with nonstick cooking spray” as I try to use very little chemicals in cooking and the spray just has an odd taste to me when used directly on food. And I added greenchile verde sauce, diced green onions and diced cilantro to the insides.

BAKED CHICKEN TAQUITOS
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

2 cups shredded chicken (I used rotisserie chicken)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup green chile verde sauce
1 bunch green onions, minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or cheddar jack combo
20 corn tortillas *

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS
Salsa
Guacamole
Sour Cream
Diced tomatoes
Shredded lettuce
Chopped Jalapeños
Limes for squeezing
Chopped black olives
Chopped Green Chiles
Chopped Green Onion
Crumbled Queso Fresco
Finely shredded Jack cheese
Finely shredded Cheddar cheese

  • Preheat the oven to 425°.
  • Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the shredded chicken with the cumin, chili powder, salt, garlic powder, paprika, 1/2 cup green chile verde sauce, chopped green onions and chopped cilantro. Stir until chicken is well coated and everything is well distributed.
  • Add the shredded cheese and blend well.
  • Before you roll up the taquitos, place the corn tortillas in between damp paper towels and heat them up in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. Remove from the microwave and fill quickly.
  • Place 2 tablespoons of the chicken and cheese mixture in the center of the tortilla and roll it up tightly. Place each tacquito, seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Continue rolling taquitos until the tortillas and filling are gone. You should have about 20 taquitos. Nestling the taquitos tightly keeps them from spreading during baking.
  • Use a silicone brush to spread a little avocado oil on the tops of the taquitos.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until taquitos are golden brown and crispy.
  • Remove from the oven and serve warm with desired toppings.

When I make up the platter, I top the taquitos with the toppings we both like and then do up a side bar for the toppings that we use differently.

NOTE 1*: This will make them easier to roll and keep them from tearing.

NOTE 2**: These tasty snacks can easily be made in advance.  You can even freeze the taquitos before you bake them. Lay the taquitos in a single layer, side by side on a baking sheet, cover with saran and freeze. When frozen, place taquitos in a freezer bag and freeze for up to one month. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425° and place frozen taquitos on a large baking sheet lined with foil or sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes.

RUSTIC CHUNKY GUACAMOLE

4 large avocados (black in color, slightly soft to the press)
Juice of 1 large lime
Juice 1 lemon or tangerine
1 bunch green onion, diced
3⁄4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, chopped finely
1 large tomatoes, diced
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
finely chopped fresh jalapeno (optional)

  • Slice avocados in half. Discard the seed. Scoop all the meat into a medium bowl.
  • Add juice of one fresh lime immediately to prevent browning.
  • Use a fork and mash to desired consistency.
  • Add chopped onions, tomato, and cilantro, stirring gently to mix ingredients.
  • Add juice of lemon or tangerine.
  • Salt and pepper to taste. Stir just slightly, until incorporated.
  • Add jalapeño to taste.
  • Serve with your favorite tortilla chips for a dip, or use with your favorite TexMex meal.

NOTE: If you want a very creamy dip use a food processor. Otherwise doing it by hand gives you a rustic chunky guacamole.

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