Saturday, October 30, 2010

Yummy Yakisoba

It's important to know, first of all, that making yakisoba is done in three steps.

1. Frying the meat
2. Steaming the veggies, and
3. Frying the noodles.

Most recipes that I've read would have you preparing everything all in one pan. Sure, eventually it all ends up in one pan but the preparation is really done in three stages.

1 lb chicken (or beef, or any other kind of meat you have)
5 slices bacon, chopped small
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 onion, sliced thickly and separated
2 cups cabbage, chopped
2 carrots, sliced thin
1/2 cup sweet mini peppers, sliced
2-3 Green onions, white parts, sliced
Canola oil for frying
1 package Yakisoba noodles
Yakisoba sauce to taste

1.  Fry bacon pieces in a large skillet over medium heat, when browned add your sliced chicken pieces and cook till golden brown and slightly crispy.  Remove meat and set aside. Leave the grease in your pan.

2.  Cook noodles according to package directions.  (If you can not find yakisoba noodles I have used top ramen noodles before with great results.)  While noodles are cooking steam your vegetables excluding the green onions, You want them slightly crispy and not mushy.  When done drain noodles.

3.  In your large skillet, or wok if you are blessed to have one, add a little canola oil to the bacon grease left in the pan and heat to medium high heat.  Add drained noodles and green onions and begin to fry them, tossing gently. Add yakisoba sauce to taste, making sure to coat the noodles but don't drench them!   Add your meat and steamed veggies, mix and heat through.  Serve warm and enjoy!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pumpkin Bread That Will Melt In Your Mouth!

I was craving something sweet, and wanted to put something different in my hubby's lunch, after searching the cupboard I came across a can of pumpkin puree and my gears started turning!  This bread is so moist and yummy and sweet, not overly sweet, but just the right amount.  I hope you make this soon and enjoy it as much as I did!

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 15 oz can pumpkin

1. Preheat your oven to 350º F, grease two loaf pans and set aside.

2. Mix flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a bowl.  Mix well and set aside.

3. In a large bowl cream your butter and sugar with an electric mixer until blended.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Continue beating until very light and fluffy.  Beat in pumpkin till combined.

4. On low beat in flour mixture, pour batter into pans and bake 65-75 minutes.  Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, remove from pans and cool on a wire wrack completely.  Serve and let it melt in your mouth...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Kung Pao Chicken

Maybe I am just on an Asian cuisine kick, but I can't get enough of it lately!  Today is a post from a blog that I follow Food Wishes.  It is a video recipes blog that I really like and suggest you to check out!  I will make this for dinner tonight and am expecting great things! 

I will probably have to make it pretty mild for my kids, then I will add a little more heat for my husband and myself!  I just love Asian food.  I plan on sauteing up some additional veggies on the side because you can never get enough of those!  Thanks, and enjoy!

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts. cut into 1-inch cubes
For the marinade:
1 tablespoon white wine (substitute with white grape juice if you don't use wine)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
white parts from 3-4 green onions, chopped
For the sauce mixture:
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons white wine (substitute with white grape juice if you don't use wine)
1 tablespoon soy sauce, or to taste
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon Asian chili paste (sambal), or more to taste
2 teaspoons ketchup
4 cloves minced garlic
Other ingredients:
2 tablespoons peanut vegetable oil for frying
2 cups cubed zucchini
1 cup cubed red bell pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoon water
1/4 cup green onion tops, chopped
handful roasted, salted peanut halves
4 cups cooked white rice

Photo's and recipe courtesy of Food Wishes

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Steak Egg Rolls

Made these along with cream cheese & mushroom won tons for dinner last night.  Everyone went nuts over them, my husband even thinks I have perfected them!  It feels so good when you make something that everyone at the table loves.  I just wish I would have made more cause the leftovers are already gone!  My lovely daughter helped in assembling these which was a big help, thank you Skye.

1 lb sirloin steak, finely diced
2 tablespoons oil, divided
2 cups cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, shredded
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 package of egg roll wrappers
Oil for frying

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in skillet on medium-high, saute steak till well browned.  Remove from pan. Add remaining oil and saute cabbage, carrot, and green onion.  Add seasoning and oyster sauce and combine well.  Add to meat mixture and let cool.

2. Working with one egg roll wrapper at a time place your wraps on a clean surface so that the points are up and down and left and right (should appear as a diamond, not a square).  Place 2 tablespoons of the filling onto the rolls.  Take the bottom point of your wrap and fold it over top of the filling. Fold the sides in towards the middle and roll the filling towards the top point of the wrapper.  To prevent the egg roll from unwrapping in the deep fryer you need to seal the seams, this also prevents oil from filling the inside of the egg roll.  Place some water in a small dish or bowl.  Dip your finger into the water and use this as glue to seal the top point of your wrap and any openings where you feel the wrap needs to be glued together.

3. Heat oil for frying in a large pot om high heat.  Fry egg rolls 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve with chili sauce of soy sauce and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Buttery Flaky Pie Crust

My no fail recipe for pie crust.  I usually use this to make chicken pot pie, apple pie, or my occasional berry pie! 

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced
1/4 cup ice water
(double recipe to make top crust)

1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

2. Roll dough out to fit a 9 inch pie plate.  Place crust in pie plate.  Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Smoky Chicken and Tortilla Soup

It is one of those cold days that calls for soup!  It is definitely fall here and soon to be winter with lots of snow and freezing weather!  So I think this soup is fitting for the weather!

1 onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 green onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups chicken broth
3 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 bag frozen corn
1 large chicken breast
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 lime (one extra for garnish)
1 handful cilantro, chopped
4-5 corn tortillas, cut into strips
1 avocado, diced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
cheddar or jack cheese, shredded
sour cream

1. Sautee onion in olive oil until soft, then add garlic, green onions, cayenne, chili powder, and cumin. Sautee until fragrant (a minute or two). Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Add tomatoes, corn, black beans.

2. Grill up chicken spiced with cayenne, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. (You can also pan-fry it, but it won’t add the smokiness that the bbq does). Cut up or shred chicken and add it to the soup. Try the soup and add more seasonings according to taste, if needed. Add lime juice, cilantro, and avocado.

3. In large fry pan over medium-high heat, crisp up tortilla strips. Add salt. You may do this with oil or cooking spray.

4. Serve soup garnished with cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips, fresh cilantro, and a lime wedge. Enjoy!

Photo credits Vittle Ante recipe adapted from This Week For Dinner

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Oven Roasted Cauliflower with Asiago Cheese

I always thought my family didn't like cauliflower, that is until I roasted it.  I love it and didn't make a whole lot because I figured I would be the only one eating it!  But boy did my portion get way smaller when I served this!  The kids and my hubby gobbled this up quicker than anything else on the table!  I guess this is how I will be making this vegetable from now on.   

1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 ½ pounds), cut into florets
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons grated Asiago cheese
A few sprigs fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

1. Set rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, combine cauliflower florets with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly.

3. Roast cauliflower florets on baking sheet until tender and golden brown, about 20-30 minutes, stirring a few times to promote even browning . (Keep an eye on it; you want the florets to develop deep golden spots. If it looks like they're getting too dark, turn oven down to 425 degrees.) Sprinkle with grated cheese, then taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Transfer to serving dish and garnish with parsley. Serve and enjoy!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Apple Toffe Dip

I had a sweet tooth, but at the same time wanted to be I combined the two together!  The kids loved it!  I am a big cream cheese fan so I really wanted to try out this recipe and I am glad I did.  The sweetness of the dip and the crunch of the apple and toffee bits went together very well.  I also sprinkled some sea salt on my apples first to give it the sweet and salty taste so many people love.  This is great for a fall treat for the kids or even at a party. 

8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 oz toffee bits
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat the cream cheese, brown sugar, white sugar and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until well blended.  Stir in the toffee bits.  Slice up your favorite apples and dip away! Granny Smith’s are my favorite…the sour with the sweet is simply delicious!

Photo and recipe courtesy of This Week For Dinner

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Veal Stew-Blanquette de Veau

I bought some veal for the first time from the store the other day.  Wasn't quiet sure what to do with it, searched the internet and found this recipe, tweeked it a little and come up with this WONDERFUL dish!  If you don't have veal and you only have regular stew meat, go ahead and try it anyways!  You won't regret it!

2 lbs veal, cut into 2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 onion, chopped largely
1 clove
1/2 lb mushrooms, quartered
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon parsley
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 whole cloves of garlic, sauteed
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3 teaspoons beef bullion granules
4 cups water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in dutch oven over medium-high heat, sauteed whole garlic cloves, remove and brown veal on all sides.  Add water, onion, clove, mushrooms, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, pepper, salt, garlic cloves, Worcestershire sauce, and beef bullion.  Combine and simmer for 45 minutes.

2. Strain meat, onions, and mushrooms and set aside, reserving liquid.

3. Place liquid back in the dutch oven.  Add heavy cream and lemon juice.  Combine cornstarch and 1/4 cup cold water.  Whisk into the stew sauce and stir till thickened.  Serve over veal, with mashed potatoes, fresh bread, and sauteed carrots for a delicious meal!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuna Stuffed Shells

To make your tuna sing, follow this amazing recipe!  Don't be intimidated by the list of ingredients, most of it I am sure you already have! 

For the sauce:

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups cold milk
pinch cayenne
pinch nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup grated Fontina cheese (if you don't have try with Gouda or Provolone)
20 cooked jumbo pasta shells

For the filling:
1 tablespoon reserved olive oil from tuna jar
1/2 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup green peas
*1 jar Tonnino Ventresca Tuna in Olive Oil, drained
2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup grated Fontina cheese (if you don't have try with Gouda or Provolone)
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup ricotta cheese
pinch of cayenne
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. To start your sauce, combine your butter & flour over medium till it forms a paste, cook for 3 minutes.  Whisk in the cold milk, add cayenne, nutmeg, and salt to taste.  Bring to a simmer.  When it starts to bubble, turn off, whisk in oregano and Fontina cheese, stir in and set aside.

3. Boil 20 jumbo shells according the the directions on the package. Drain, rinse, and set aside. 

4. Drain your tuna, but keep the olive oil!!!  Use that oil to saute your onions.  Once they are soft add garlic, diced red pepper, and saute till soft. 

5. Place peas in a bowl and add the onion, garlic, and pepper mixture.  Add tuna to this, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and Fontina cheese, beaten egg, and whole milk ricotta cheese.  Add cayenne and mix well. 

6. Use a nice rounded tablespoon full and fill your shells with the filling. 

7. Take 1/3 of your sauce and coat the bottom of your pan with it.  Lay you shells in and top with the rest of the sauce.  Dust with Parmesan and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve with some warm bread and a green salad and enjoy!

Recipe and photo courtesy of Chef John at Food Wishes

Friday, October 1, 2010

Chicken French

This is another delicious way to dress up some chicken breast.  It is very moist and full of flavor!  A must try soon at your table!

Ingredients for about 4-6 portions:
1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
4 eggs, plus 2 tablespoon milk, beaten
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
cayenne to taste
2 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon butter for sautéing

For the sauce:
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup good cooking wine  (or chicken stock)
1 cup vegetable broth or chicken stock
4 tablespoon cold butter, cut in cubes
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

1. In a dish season your flour with the salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.  Mix and set aside.  In another bowl whisk your eggs and milk together and set aside.

2. Fillet or pound thin your chicken breast pieces.  Dredge your chicken in the seasoned flour very well on both sides.  Dip in the egg mixture and coat well.

3. Melt you 2 tablespoons of butter and olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.  Once the butter melts, place the chicken in the pan and cook on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes per side, depending on how think your chicken is sliced.  Let brown but not too brown or the egg coating will become bitter.  Remove chicken and set aside.

4. Squeeze fresh lemon juice into pan, add cooking wine or vegetable/chicken stock.  Reduce sauce by half by eye.  When it is reduced, turn the heat off and toss in your butter.  Keep moving it till the butter melts.  Add parsley, salt and pepper to taste.  Place chicken back in sauce to heat through about 1-2 minutes.

Recipe and photo from Food Wishes

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