Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sweet & Spicy Orange Chicken

Tender chicken breasts cubes marinated in orange juice, garlic and ginger.  A simple saute makes for the best orange chicken ever!  Choose your sides - steamed broccoli, jasmine rice and dinner is served.  Fresh ingredients always replace take out!
For the sauce:

1-1/2 cups water
1/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup rice wine or red wine vinegar
2-1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. orange zest
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
2 Tbsp. grated onion
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (or to taste)
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. water
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 large chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes

For the coating:

1 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper


Mix all marinade ingredients except for the cornstarch and water.  Bring to a boil and let cool until room temperature, about 15 minutes.  Cube chicken breasts and place in a ziploc bag with 1 cup of the cooled marinade.  Reserve remainder.  Place chicken in refrigerator for 2 hours. 

Mix 1 cup of flour with salt and pepper.  Add chicken cubes and shake em up until coated with flour.  In a large saute pan, heat 3 Tbsp olive oil.  (You may need additional oil as I had to fry these in three batches - don't overcrowd the pan!  Shake off excess flour and saute chicken in batches until golden brown - about 2-3 minutes per side.  Transfer cooked chicken to a plate to keep warm.  Wipe out pan.  Add reserved marinade and bring to a boil.  Add cornstarch slurry and cook until thickened, about 1 minutes.  Add chicken and simmer on low, covered for 5 minutes.


Enjoy!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Porcupine Meatballs & Tomato Gravy

Porcupine Meatballs is one of those "oldie but goodie" recipes that are rarely found in any cookbooks today.  This recipe was popular in the 50's, and it's listed in my Mom's old cookbook from that time period.  Mom used tomato soup quite a bit back in the day for her delicious Tomato Soup Meatloaf and Polish Stuffed Cabbage.  I always have tomato soup on hand for a quick meal.  When my boys were growing up, I always made them elbow macaroni with tomato soup - it's still their comfort food today.
You will need:

1-1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1/2 cup raw rice, rinsed
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 can Campbell's Tomato Soup
1 can water
2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix first seven ingredients in a medium sized bowl until well combined.  Form into golf-ball sized meatballs and place in baking pan.  Mix tomato soup with water and Worcestershire Sauce.  Pour over meatballs.  Cover with foil and bake 1 hour.  Uncover and bake 15 minutes longer or until sauce thickens.

Serve with a nice side salad or steamed veggies.

Enjoy!
Prep Time:  15 minutes
Cook Time:  1 hour 15 minutes
Servings:  Makes about 15 meatballs

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Baked Ham & Eggs

This recipe is suitable for breakfast or light lunch using leftover Easter Ham.  Once you try it, you'll be tempted to make it with a good quality cooked ham from the deli when leftovers are long gone!  
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup chopped cooked ham or 2 slices other cooked ham
2 Tbsp. tomato sauce, homemade or good-quality jarred
2 extra-large eggs
1 Tbsp. heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. chopped herbs (parsley, chives, tarragon)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Melt the butter in a 5-inch cast iron skillet over low heat.  Remove the skillet from the heat.
  3. Place the ham in the bottom of the pan.  Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the ham.  Break the eggs carefully on top; drizzle the cream over the eggs.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 7-9 minutes or to your liking.  The whites should be set, but the yolks still runny
Sprinkle the eggs with the herbs and serve hot in the skillet.

~Adapted from The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook.

Enjoy!


Monday, April 10, 2017

Cranberry Honey Glazed Walnut Chicken Salad

This is not your typical chicken salad.  Inspired by a local restaurant, I came up with my own version of the best chicken salad I have ever made.  Just take a few minutes to glaze your walnuts and this salad comes together in minutes.  Serve on pita bread, in a wrap or as a simple salad on romaine leaves.


Honey Glazed Walnuts

1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 Tbsp. honey

Melt butter in a medium size saucepan.  Add walnuts and honey and stir until fragrant and thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Spread out on parchment paper or lightly sprayed foil to cool.  


You won't be able to stop munching on these!

Chicken Salad

2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup Honey Glazed Walnuts
Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and chill.


Enjoy!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Mediterranean Tuna Antipasto Salad

This salad is packed with protein and fiber.  Makes a filling lunch or a light dinner.


Ingredients:
  • 1 15-ounce can beans, chickpeas (garbanzo), black-eyed peas or kidney beans, rinsed
  • 2 5-ounce cans water-packed chunk light tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1 large red pepper roasted, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 4 tsp. capers, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 8 cups mixed salad greens
Preparation:

Combine beans, tuna, bell pepper, onion, parsley, capers oregano, 1/4 cup lemon juice and 2 tablespoons oil in a medium bowl.  Season with pepper.  Combine the remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons oil and salt in a large bowl.  Add salad greens; toss to coat.  Divide greens among plates and top each with tuna salad. (I added 1/4 cup red wine vinegar to the tuna mixture and a little extra oil - to suit your taste).

~Eating Well for your Health

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Salt Cod Cakes with ChowChow Relish

Chow-Chow is a Nova Scotian and American relish that uses up those end-of-the-garden-season "orphaned" vegetables from the garden.  I don't exactly know where it originates from, but I've seen recipes from the South (a staple whenever pinto beans and cornbread are served) and also from the Pennsylvania Dutch.  It's a mixture of sweet, hot and spicy flavors that goes perfectly with these mild cod cakes.

Salted cod may not look very appealing to most, but it is one of the kingpin fishes for Italian and Portuguese families.  Most people don't want to bother with the soaking of the fish, which plumps it up before it is cooked, but if prepared right, salt cod is worthy of praise!  The slight saltiness of the cod brings out a whole new flavor to otherwise mild cod.  Almost all major supermarkets including the ShopRite, Costco, Food Bazaar, H Mart, Jetro, Key Foods, and Shaws carry #Cristobal Brand salted cod fillets all year round.



For the Chow-Chow:
  • 1 lb. unripe green tomatoes, cored and minced (or substitute tomatillos)
  • 1 large ripe tomato, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 1 rib celery, minced
  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded and minced
  • 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup Apple Cider vinegar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. dry mustard powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. celery seeds
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. celery seed

    To make the chow-chow:  Toss the tomatoes, onions, celery, and peppers in a large bowl with the salt.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours.  Transfer the vegetables to a sieve and press to extract the excess juices; discard the juices.

    Transfer the vegetables to a 2 quart saucepan and add the remaining ingredients.  Cover, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very soft, about 30 minutes.  Transfer the relish to a jar and let cool.  Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.


    For the Cod Cakes:
    • 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 ribs celery, minced
    • 1 medium onion, minced
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 2 russet potatoes (about 1 lb.) peeled and cut into small cubes
    • Kosher salt, to taste
    • 1 lb. boneless, skinless salted cod filet
    • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 Tbsp. fresh dill
    • 2 Tbsp. fresh minced parsley
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
    • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter

    Three days before:  Soak cod in a large bowl with cold water to cover by 2 inches.  Refrigerate, changing the water 3 times a day for 2-3 days.  Drain and cut into sections.



    Make the cod cakes:  Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat.  Add celery, onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 8-10 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

    Put the potatoes and cod into a 4 quart pot, cover with salted water and bring to a boil.  Simmer until cod and potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes until potatoes are tender and the cod flakes easily with a fork.  Drain and allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Mash flaked cod and potatoes with a fork and add to celery-onion mixture.

    Add the bread crumbs, mayonnaise, herbs, egg and lemon juice to the cod-potato-onion mixture and stir to combine.  Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions and form into cakes.  Transfer to a plate or baking pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes until firm.

    Heat remaining oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the cod cakes and cook, flipping once, until golden brown.  Serve with chowchow and lemon halves.

    For more information on the Salt Fish Recipe Challenge, visit these Social Media links:


    I'm required to disclose a relationship between my blog and CFE International and Cristobal Brand.. This could include providing me w/ content, product, access or other forms of payment.

    Monday, February 6, 2017

    Cashew Crunch French Toast Sticks

    Looking for a healthier breakfast but craving traditional French Toast?
    Here you go!


    Ingredients:

    1/2 cup cashews
    1-1/2 cups of your favorite cornflakes (I used Kashi 100% Sprouted Whole Grain Flakes)
    1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
    Pinch of salt
    1 large egg
    1/3 cup low fat milk
    1 tsp. maple syrup (plus more for dipping)
    Nonstick cooking spray

    Directions:

    Cut 2 large slices whole-grain bread into crosswise pieces to make 5 fingers each.  In a food processor, pulse the cashews, cornflakes, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and pulse until the cornflakes resemble the texture of oats.  Transfer mixture to a shallow bowl.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and maple syrup until well combined.

    Spray a large nonstick skillet griddle with cooking spray and preheat over medium heat.  Working with one piece at a time, dip the bread into the egg mixture - you know how to do it - until completely moistened.  Coat each bread stick into the cornflake mixture gently pressing it on the bread.  Place each bread stick in the skillet and cook over medium-low heat, turning once, until the outside is golden brown and the center is cooked through, about 6 to 7 minutes total.  

    Serve with warm maple syrup on the side for dipping.


    ~Adapted from Ellie Krieger.com

    Tuesday, January 17, 2017

    Mediterannean Grilled Chicken Hummus Panini

    For the past few months or so, my co-worker Donna and I have been doing demos together on the weekends at my local ShopRite.  These next few weeks we are focusing on getting and staying healthy for the New Year.  I wanted to use a few new products in the store to create this delicious and healthy panini.  Everyone just loved it and the buzz is still going around the store about how good this sandwich was!

    The products we used in the sandwich were Sabra Spreads and Brooklyn Bred Bistro Buns.  Credit also goes to Karla in our Cheese Department for suggesting the best Provolone Cheese that brought this sandwich over the top!

    You will need:

    Extra Virgin Olive Oil or butter, softened
    4 squares of Brooklyn Bred Bistro Buns
    6 Tbsp. Sabra Spread Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper
    1/2 lb. grilled chicken, (you can use Rotisserie Chicken) or Deli Chicken or Turkey
    Slices of Imported Provolone Cheese (we used Auricchio)
    Thinly sliced English cucumber
    Marinated Roasted Red Peppers
    Sliced Kalamata Olives
    Crumbled Feta
    Thinly sliced red onion

    1. Preheat grill pan or panini press.  We improvised at the store.  We used a skillet and placed foil on the bottom of a heavy pot to press the sandwich.  Brush olive oil or butter on one side of each Bistro Bun.  On the other side of each square, spread a thin layer of Sabra Spread.  Place buns hummus side up and layer on chicken, provolone cheese, cucumber, roasted peppers, kalamata olives, feta and red onion.  Close with top pieces of bread with olive oil or butter sides facing up.

    Place sandwich carefully onto hot grill pan butter side down.  Grill for about 3-5 minutes, until toasted and grilled on the bottom.  Flip and grill for an additional 3-5 minutes.  Place a heavy pot or skillet on top of the sandwich to help press it together.


    Cut each sandwich in half and serve warm.


    This is NOT a sponsored post.  Opinions are strictly my own.
    Recipe adapted from Picky Palate

    Tuesday, December 13, 2016

    The Best Black Bean Burger with Chipotle Mayo

    I have tried many a recipe for Black Bean Burgers - all of them did not measure up.  Filled with ingredients like oats, quinoa, you name it, all of them were mushy or fell apart when cooking.  I think America's Test Kitchen really found the secret to a great Black Bean Burger.  The secret is tortilla chips in place of any other binder and to let the mixture rest for one hour.

    I made half the recipe (just in case) to try it out.  I swapped one ingredient and left one out since I didn't have it, but it still came out to be the best Black Bean Burger!
    You will need:
    1 can of your favorite Black Beans (I used Bush's) drained and rinsed
    1 egg
    1/4 cup tortilla chips - I had Tostitos Fajita Scoops
    1 Tbsp. flour
    2 scallions, chopped
    1-1/2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1/2 tsp. cumin
    Salt and Pepper
    Directions:
    Process tortilla scoops until finely ground.  Measure out to 1/4 cup and set aside.  After rinsing the black beans, let them dry for about 15 minutes on a paper towel.
    In a medium size bowl, beat egg.  Add flour and whisk until well combined.  Add scallions, cilantro, garlic, cumin and salt and pepper and mix to combine.
    Add beans to food processor and pulse about 5 times.  There will be some beans that are not fully ground up, but you want some texture.  Add beans and ground tortillas to egg mixture and mix well.  Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
    In a medium saute pan, heat 2 tsp. canola oil over medium heat.  Divide mixture into thirds and form into patties.  Fry burgers about 5 minutes on each side until golden brown, adding more oil if necessary when frying the second side.  This gives you a little bit of a crispy crust - like on a grilled burger.
    Get some nice Brioche buns, some chipoltle mayo, a juicy tomato, sliced raw Vidalia onion, shredded lettuce and build your burger!
    Makes 3 burgers.
    Chipotle Mayo:
    3 Tbsp. Mayonnaise
    3 Tbsp. Sour Cream
    1 Tbsp. Cholula Chipotle Hot Sauce (or to taste)
    1 tsp. fresh lime juice
    Pinch of garlic powder and salt
    Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.
    Enjoy!
      

    Tuesday, October 11, 2016

    Maple-Glazed Chicken Tenderloins with Sweet Potatoes

    A super quick weeknight meal with the help from refrigerated mashed potatoes!  The spicy steak seasoning just adds a kick of spice!


    1 lb. 8 oz. package mashed sweet potatoes
    1 lb. chicken breast tenderloins
    2 tsp. steak grilling seasoning blend, such as Montreal
    2 Tbsp. butter
    1/2 cup maple syrup
    1/2 cup scallions, sliced

    Directions:

    Prepare sweet potatoes in microwave oven according to package directions.
    Lightly coat chicken with steak seasoning.  Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add chicken.  Cook 5 to 6 minutes until no long pink, turning once halfway through cooking.  Remove from skillet; cover and keep warm.  Stir maple syrup into hot skillet; cook 2 minutes.  Stir in green onions.

    Drizzle potatoes and chicken with maple syrup mixture.

    Serves 4
    Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens



    Thursday, October 6, 2016

    Spinach Salad with Warm Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette

    This fabulous Fall salad with a warm vinaigrette pairs perfectly with grilled chicken, roast pork or you could even put the salad on a roasted turkey sandwich (Panera Bread Style).  Next time you make turkey burgers, spread one side of the bun with the cranberry mostarda.


    Cranberry Mostarda

    1/2 cup dried cranberries
    1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
    1 cup water
    1/3 cup granulated sugar
    2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
    1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
    1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
    1/2 tsp. kosher salt
    1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    2 tsp. cornstarch

    In a small saucepan, combine the cranberries, thyme, and 3/4 cup of water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the sugar, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Continue to simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring regularly.  In a small bowl, combine the remaining water with the cornstarch, then add to the saucepan.  Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring until the mostarda thickens.

    Transfer to a covered, food-safe container and refrigerate for up to one month.

    Mix one bag (or clamshell) of fresh baby spinach with shredded carrots.  Top with warm vinaigrette and top with sliced, toasted almonds or walnuts.


    Sweet & Spicy Orange Chicken

    Tender chicken breasts cubes marinated in orange juice, garlic and ginger.  A simple saute makes for the best orange chicken ever!  Choose ...