Sunday, February 22, 2009

Spicy Asian Noodles with Chicken

I've been craving Asian food a lot lately but have been attempting to fight it with Kashi frozen dinners for lunch at work (they're surprisingly tasty!) I came across a recipe for Spicy Asian Noodles with Chicken in the March issue of Cooking Light and decided to try it out. I forgot I had run out of hoisin sauce, so my version is a little bit different. Also, since I feed some hungry boys, I used a lot more noodles than the recipe calls for. It was really tasty and filling!

Spicy Asian Noodles with Chicken

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil, divided
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
3 (6.75-ounce) packages thin rice sticks (rice-flour noodles)
1/2 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic to pan; cook 45 seconds, stirring constantly. Place in a large bowl. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon oil, chicken, and next 6 ingredients (through sambal).

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain. Cut noodles into smaller pieces. Add noodles to bowl; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with peanuts.

I served this with a saute of broccoli, carrots and snow peas with a little minced ginger and a splash of soy sauce.

Goat Cheese: Warm Sandwich, Cool Salad

I have a delightful cookbook called "goat cheese" by Maggie Foard that I love to leaf through but I had yet to make anything from. I had some orzo in my pantry I was itching to use and I found a delicious salad recipe featuring orzo. Naturally I added my own tweaks, but I followed pretty closely. I paired it with a simple panini that turned out SO delicious and creamy with the goat cheese- that's right, it was a double goat cheese kind of evening!

Chicken Pesto Panini

2 garlic cloves, lightly roasted
2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup basil leaves
1 cup spinach leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 loaf ciabatta bread, halved lengthwise and divided into 5 parts
1 rotisserie chicken, skin discarded, meat shredded
6 ounces chevre, crumbled

Combine first 4 ingredients in a food processor. Add basil and spinach and pulse. Keep processor on and stream in olive oil until desired consistency is reached. Spread pesto on inside of the ciabatta pieces. Place 1/2 cup chicken on bottom halves of ciabatta and top with 1/4 cup chevre. Top with ciabatta piece.

Cook on a grill pan on medium heat with a large cast iron skillet on top (or in a panini press if you have it) about 5 minutes on each side until bread is toasted and cheese is melted.

Spinach Orzo Salad

8 ounces orzo, cooked and cooled
8 ounces fresh spinach leaves
1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow bell pepper, halved, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup pine nuts
5 ounces feta cheese
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and thoroughly mixed. Serve! You can also add chicken to this to make it a main dish, which I did for lunch the next day with leftovers.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Uchi threw a complimentary food blogger tasting this evening- it was a blast! I was so excited to be invited, thanks to being on Addie Broyles's blogroll. I finally met some fellow Austin food bloggers that I'd been twittering with for a while like Teddy from Fun with Your Food and hang out with old friends like Jodi from Food Touring.
I got to enjoy some tasty fair including:
  • yellow beet terrine with charred orange & tarragon
  • big eye tuna & compressed watermelon skewers
  • nantucket bay scallop crudo with mint and almond
  • braised pork belly with fennel and apple
  • madai nigiri with spanish olive oil and meyer lemon
  • grilled satsumaimo with ginger and sake
  • white corn and brown butter with maldon tuile

The food was of course delicious. My favorites were, well, everything! I've had the pork belly before and it just melts in your mouth. Pictured above is the scallops, which had so many flavors going on every bite was a new surprise- delightful!

The best part was getting to meet head chef Tyson Cole. He said he liked my sweater :) One interesting thing he told me was he didn't like to make seafood that tasted like fish, which is brought out with you cook the fish. By pairing high quality fish with delicious ingredients and tasty spices, you get a whole new flavor.

Thanks for getting me the invite Addie!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Macadamia Nut Mango Chicken Salad

After being sick for a week, I wanted my first visit back to the kitchen to be a bright one full of flavor, colors and nutrients. This fun salad was simple and tasty.

Macadamia Nut Mango Chicken Salad

2 cups macadamia nuts, divided
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, pounded 1/2-inch thick
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 large ripe mango, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 can diced pineapple
1 red bell pepper, halved, seeded and chopped
1 bag lettuce mix
1/2 cup dressing (I used a Papaya Poppy Seed dressing)

Crush 1 3/4 cups macadamia nuts either by hand in a plastic baggie or pulse in a food processor and place in a shallow dish. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet on medium heat until about 350 degrees. Make sure chicken is thin. Place flour and eggs in shallow dishes. Dredge chicken in flour and shake, then dredge in egg and shake off extra. Pat in crushed nuts to make sure thoroughly coated. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts, then place in skillet (in batches if needed). Cook about 5 minutes on each side, until juices run clear. Place on a paper towel-lined plate and let rest 5 minutes, then slice into bite-sized pieces.

While chicken cooks, combine remaining macadamia nuts, mango, pineapple, bell pepper, lettuce and dressing in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Orange Honey Salmon

I realized it had been a while since I've prepared fresh fish, so I picked up a beautiful piece of salmon at the store to prepare for the roomies. I didn't want to disguise the flavor of the fish, so I did a very light sauce to let it shine. This meal was simple and delicious. It only took about 30 minutes to prepare and I made it to my gym class in time- the perfect quick Monday night meal!

Orange Honey Salmon
1 1/2 pounds salmon, skin removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup honey
1 orange, juiced (about 1/4 cup juice)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a large cast iron skillet on medium heat. Rub oil and salt and pepper on both sides of salmon. Cook in cast iron 3-4 minutes. Flip the salmon then place cast iron in the oven and cook additional 4 or so minutes until salmon flakes. In the meantime, combine honey and orange juice in a microwave-safe bowl and heat about 20 seconds. Brush over salmon while cooking in the oven, and then again when removed from the oven. Enjoy!

Basil Spinach Orzo
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
1 1/2 cups orzo
1 tablespoon butter
4 ounces fresh spinach
5 to 6 fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Place broth and water in a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Cook orzo about 6 minutes; drain. Stir in butter, spinach, basil and salt and pepper and serve.

Orange Green Beans
2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Zest and juice from one orange

Place green beans in boiling water and cook about 4 minutes. Drain and toss with butter, salt and pepper and orange juice and serve.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Shrimp Pasta

After a long (and victorious!) tennis match one evening, I came home famished and itching to cook. This shrimp pasta took about 12 minutes to prepare and was delicious!

Shrimp Pasta

6 ounces angelhair pasta
1/2 pound shrimp, tails-off and deveined
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup broccoli crowns
4 ounces fresh spinach
4 ounces arugula
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Boil water and cook angelhair until al dente. Drain and set aside. Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium high heat. Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in skillet. Cook shrimp 2 to 3 minutes, then remove from heat and cover with foil. Heat another tablespoon butter and oil in skillet and saute garlic and broccoli about 3 minutes. Stir in spinach, arugula and seasonings. Add in angelhair and shrimp and stir to combine. Top with parmesan and serve!

Red Wine Turkey Chili

The last trip to Houston I stayed with my sister for a couple days. She's quite the burgeoning cook herself and shared her favorite chili recipe with me. It's a great alternative for those who can't take the heat (and even those who can loved it too!) I tweaked it a bit to feed more people, but it's quite delicious. Thanks Lauren!

Red Wine Turkey Chili

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds ground turkey
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can black beans
1 can red beans
2 cans crushed tomatoes, slightly drained
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup water
Cheddar cheese (optional)
Fritos (optional)

Heat a large stock pot on medium and warm oil. Brown turkey meat (about 8 minutes). Add onion and garlic and cook an additional 3 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes and spices and stir. Stir in wine and water, cover, reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes. Serve with cheddar cheese and Fritos if desired.

This has quite a different taste from my Turkey Bean Chili, so it was nice for a change!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Black Bean Burgers

I've expressed before that one of my favorite things are burgers, so naturally, I've tried experiments with all sorts of burgers. Different meats, toppings, buns- I love them all! I recently realized that I had never attempted a black bean burger, and after seeing a recipe in this month's Gourmet, I decided to give it a shot. All the carnivores loved them :)

Black Bean Burgers

3 cans black beans, rinsed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Kaiser rolls

Mash beans and combine with garlic, onion, bread crumbs, oil, cilantro and spices and form into 6 patties. Cook on a nonstick skillet over medium heat, about 5 minutes on each side. Top with homemade guacamole and hummus and serve with a side of oven roasted potatoes.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hi hello Apron Adventurers!! Lindsay was kind enough to let me, Christine (one of the ones fortunate enough to live with Lindsay and eat all of her scrumptious food), share one of my favorite recipes – tarta!

I first ate tarta when I visited my boyfriend in Argentina while he was studying abroad. It was one of Nate’s favorite things that his host mom made, and I asked for the recipe in very broken Spanish so I could bring a taste of Argentina back to the States.

Argentine Tarta

2 store bought pie crusts (the kind that are rolled up, not the frozen ones in the pan)
½ pound ham, diced

½ pound cheese, shredded (I usually use provolone or some other mild, white cheese, but this time I used Colby Jack and it was equally delicious)
2 Roma tomatoes sliced
2 tablespoons basil, chopped
1/3 bag baby spinach
2 eggs
1-2 tablespoons milk

Place the first pie crust in your pie pan. Spread the ham evenly on the bottom of your pie and follow with the cheese. Lay sliced tomatoes on top to form and sprinkle with basil. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a small bowl and pour the mixture into your tarta. Add the spinach and placed the second crust on top, pinching the ends of the two pie crusts together so the pie is sealed. Poke a couple holes in the top with a fork to let air escape. Bake at 360 degrees for 35-45 minutes (until the top crust is a nice golden brown). Remove from the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!

I often just have tarta as an entire meal, but we were having guests over, so we needed a little something else. After scouring the kitchen for ingredients, Luke whipped up a great Mexican rice to compliment.

Mexican Rice

½- 1/3 onion
½ stalk celery
1 chunk green pepper
¾ can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
½ tablespoon garlic
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 cups rice
4 cups water
4 cubes chicken bouillon
1 heaping tablespoon fresh cilantro

Blend or coarsely chop first 7 ingredients. Heat oil in large skillet then brown the rice. Add blended ingredients, water, and chicken bouillon. Heat to boiling and add cilantro. Simmer, covered on low heat for about 20 minutes.

Eggplant Chicken Saute

One thing I never grew up eating was eggplant. It wasn't that I didn't like it, I just never really tried it. Feeling the need to try something new, I decided to take on eggplant. The result was surprisingly tasty!

Eggplant Chicken Saute

1 pound chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, halve
d, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, halved seeded and chopped
1 eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chick peas
1/2 cup pine nuts

Season chicken with 1 teaspoon oregano. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet and cook chicken until done, about 10 minutes. Set aside on a plate, and keep covered with foil to preserve heat. Saute garlic and onion in the skillet about 3 minutes. Add remaining vegetables, reserved oregano and salt and pepper and cook about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, toast chick peas and pine nuts in a separate skillet on low heat, about 8 minutes. Add to vegetable mixture along with chicken. Serve with couscous.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Vegetable Tortilla Casserole

A few days after making my steak tacos, I still had an infinite number of corn tortillas left and some black beans as well. In an effort to be frugal, I decided to utilize what leftovers I had and purchased just a few items at the store to create this meal. It was filling and delicious, I didn't miss the meat!

Vegetable Tortilla Casserole

1 tablespoon oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, halved, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, halved, seeded and chopped
Kernels from 3 ears of corn
1 can diced tomatoes, slightly drained
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup Mexican blend cheese
12 corn tortillas
2 tablespoons butter

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil and saute garlic and onion about 3 minutes. Add peppers and corn and saute another 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and black beans and let simmer on low about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 glass casserole dish with cooking spray. Place 4 corn tortillas on the bottom. Spread 1/2 of the vegetable mixture over the tortillas. Next sprinkle 1/4 cup cilantro over the vegetables and then 1/2 cup cheese. Place another 4 tortillas on top of that, then top with remaining vegetables, cilantro and cheese. Top with final 4 tortillas and dot with butter. Bake in oven 25 to 30 minutes. Let sit 15 to 20 minutes, then cut and serve.

We had a hard time waiting before cutting in, so this picture isn't the best, but it sure was delicious!