Monday, April 29, 2013

Chicken Fried Rice

I am bringing to you another easy Chinese take-out recipe that can easily be made in 15 minutes. If you take a few shortcuts (such as boil-in-bag rice, rotisserie chicken and frozen veggies) this delicious dish comes together in no time.

Recipe yields 4 servings

2 bags of brown rice
1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables
2 tbsp green onions
2-3 tbsp sesame oil
1 lb chicken breast (or a Rotisserie chicken, shredded - you can also swap in pork or shrimp for variety)
1 large egg
3-4 tbsp soy sauce

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet or wok. Add the frozen vegetables and sliced green onions. Saute on medium heat until soft and tender.

If you are cooking your own chicken (or pork or shrimp) saute it in a pan with 1 tablespoon of oil.

Following the instructions on the box, prepare the rice in a pot of boiling water.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon of oil. Create a space in the center of the skillet and pour in the egg. Scramble it and mix it together with the vegetables.

Add the cookie rice and shredded chicken (or any other protein you may want to use) into the pan. Add in the soy sauce and mix it all together to incorporate all ingredients with each other.

I served mine alongside my Take-out Fake-out: Chicken and Broccoli. If you add chicken, pork or shrimp, it can also be a meal in itself. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Chicken and White Bean Stuffed Peppers

One of my favorite dishes from this past winter was my Chicken & White Bean Chili. Today I have come up with a chicken and bean mixture inspired by that recipe to fill these peppers with. This is an easy and healthy recipe that will be enjoyed by everyone.

Recipe yields 4 servings

1 Rotisserie chicken
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp oregano
1 can cannellini beans
2 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 large green bell peppers
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or any other cheese of your choice)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the chicken breasts from the rotisserie chicken and shred the chicken into bite sized pieces. Place to the side for later.

Dice the onion and mince the garlic.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the onion and garlic. Cook 2-3 minutes on medium-high heat until translucent and fragrant. Be sure to stir it and coat it with the oil to prevent it from burning.

Stir in 1 tablespoon of cumin and the oregano and coat the onions. Drain and rinse the beans and then add them to the skillet.

Add 1 cup of chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Let the beans cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the shredded chicken to the pan, along with the second cup of chicken stock and the remaining cumin. Stir to combine and then simmer until the mixture thickens up. Add salt and pepper to taste, as needed. Cut off the heads of your peppers and remove any seeds from the inside. Line them up in a baking dish so that they are all standing up straight.

Fill the peppers with your chicken and bean mixture and then sprinkle the tops with shredded cheese. Cover with tin foil and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the tin foil and bake for an additional 5-8 minutes until the cheese has melted.

Remove from the oven and serve right away. Enjoy!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Take-out Fake-out: Chicken and Broccoli

One of my favorite Chinese food take-out selections is chicken and broccoli. It is so easy to get home late and just call for take-out, but this recipe makes you rethink that decision. Not only is it quick and simple, but it is also healthier than the take-out alternative.

Recipe yields 4 servings

1 lb chicken breast
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp ginger
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp granulated sugar
3 cups broccoli
2 tsp cornstarch

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the minced garlic and ginger and saute for 2 minutes until fragrant.

Cut the chicken into cubes and add to the skillet. Stir to mix with the garlic and ginger. Cook 2-3 minutes per side.

Add 1 cup chicken broth and soy sauce to the pan and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Stir the chicken mixture. Cut the broccoli into bite sized pieces and add to the skillet. Cover and cook for another 5-8 minutes, until broccoli is tender. The cooking time will depend on the size of your broccoli pieces.

Mix together the remaining chicken stock and cornstarch. Add the mixture to the skillet to thicken the sauce.

Once the sauce has become thickened, give the pan a good stir and then serve. Enjoy with fried rice.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Spicy Chicken and Corn Chowder

This corn chowder is so delicious. It is light enough to be perfect for a cool, spring evening. But, at the same time, hearty enough to fill you up. The red pepper and jalapeno give it a nice kick and deepen the flavor delivered from the corn. If you are looking for a nice combination of flavors and textures to try tonight, I highly suggest you mix up a pot of this chowder for dinner.

Recipe yields 6 servings

2 slices bacons
1 medium yellow onion
1 jalapeno
1 russet potato
1 small red bell pepper
3 cups corn kernels
1 tbsp thyme
2 cups milk
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups Rotisserie chicken

Prepare your mise en place by dicing the onion, jalapeno, potato and red bell pepper.

In a large stock pot, cook the bacon until crispy and all the fat has rendered out. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate.

Drain fat from the pot, leaving behind about a tablespoon. Add onion, jalapeno, potato, red pepper and corn to the fat. Saute for about 5 minutes or until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper, to taste and add the thyme.

Puree about half the mixture using an immersion blender. 

Shred the rotisserie chicken into bite sized pieces.

Add milk, chicken broth and chicken to the pot and simmer for 10 minutes.

Transfer to bowls and serve. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Birthday Monster Cookies

Today is my 24th birthday and being the cookie lover that I am it has been tough trying to decide what kind of cookies I wanted for my celebration. Finally, I decided since it is my birthday I should not have to choose only one. Instead, I made these monster cookies that combine a bunch of my favorite flavors into one awesome cookie. Honestly, this cookie has everything I could think of and it tastes delicious, too!

Recipe yields 24 cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup M&M's
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup chopped walnuts 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of your KitchenAid stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth.

Add the peanut butter and cream until incoporated.

Next, add the egg and then the vanilla extract. Mix in the baking soda, salt and half the amount of flour. Once combined, add the other half of flour.

Using a big spoon, mix in the quick oats by hand. Start by adding your chocolate chips.

Then comes the M&M's, butterscotch chips, chopped walnuts, and anything else you might want to throw in there. Mix it all together to evenly distribute all those delicious add-ins.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop out balls of dough on the paper. I used my 1.5 tablespoon cookie scooper and I had 2 dozen of the perfect sized cookies. Not too massive, but thick and delicious. Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Once the cookies are browned on the bottom edges, remove from the oven and let rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes or so before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.

These cookies are a real treat and I am sure you will enjoy them! If you manage to have any left over, store in an air tight container.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Burgers

I like to think of these burgers as an inside out version of Chicken Parmesan. You have your chicken burgers, stuffed with mozzarella cheese and covered in a spicy tomato sauce. If that doesn't sound absolutely delicious, I don't know what does. These burgers are such a treat that everyone enjoys each time I make them.

Recipe yields about 8 burgers

2 lbs chopped chicken
8 balls of marinated mozzarella cheese (plus more for snacking!)
1 large scallion
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp freshly chopped basil
2 tsp oregano
1 tbsp Worcester sauce

Burger rolls (I used onion rolls I picked up from the bakery - they were delicious!)

For the sauce:
1 large can Tuttorosso tomato sauce
3 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Finely mince the garlic and shallot.

In a large mixing bowl, add all of your ingredients.

Mix them all together to evenly incorporate all ingredients throughout the meat.

Grab a handful of the mixture and create a burger with a hollow center. Add in a ball of mozzarella and cover it up with another pinch of meat. Your goal here is to bury the mozzarella into the middle of the burgers.

Arrange your burgers on a platter until you are ready to cook them.

Add a teaspoon of oil to a hot skillet. Add your burgers and cook on medium heat about 4 minutes per side.

You want the outsides to have a golden crust and the insides to be white - no sign of pink here, please!

While your burgers are cooking, add your sauce to a pot with your spices. Give it a good stir and bring it to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, lower it to a simmer until you are ready to use it.

Slice your buns and place a chicken burger on the bottom half. Top with a heaping spoonful of tomato sauce.

Serve with extra sauce on the side for dipping and enjoy!