Monday, December 16, 2013

Braised Beef Enchiladas

Enchiladas are one of my favorite things to make {and eat} because they can easily be prepared a couple of days before you intend to bake them. Seeing as ski season is upon us, work is going to be busy! I'm braising the beef to add flavor and help the beef stay tender. I'm also adding sauteed peppers and onions!

Braised Beef Enchiladas

2 lbs stew beef
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
salt and pepper 
4 cloves garlic, smashed 
2 cups beef broth
1 onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped 
2 cups cheddar and colby jack cheese

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Mix the stew beef with cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper. 
  • In a large dutch oven add the vegetable oil and saute until browned on all sides. Add the beef broth and garlic. 
  • Cover the pot with a lid and transfer to the oven and braise, about 2 hours.
  • Pull the meat out and shred the beef, using 2 forks or your fingers.
  • Reduce the remaining braising liquid until a glaze forms, about 3/4 of the way. Add to the beef and mix thoroughly.
  • In the same dutch oven, saute the onions and pepper until softened. Add to the beef and mix well. Refrigerate until cooled.
  • Once cooled, add the cilantro and cheese.

8 tortillas
beef mixture
2 cups cheddar and colby jack cheese

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Evenly distribute the beef mixture onto each tortilla and roll them up.
  • In a 9x13 baking dish, put a layer of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan and place the rolled up tortillas into the pan as well. Top with 2-3 cups of the sauce {you can freeze the leftover sauce} and sprinkle with the cheese.
  • Bake for 20 minutes covered, and 10 minutes uncovered.



Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hot Brown Turkey Sandwiches

We had a great Thanksgiving in Colorado with Tims' parents. I made 5 yummy pies to help out, plus I haven't baked anything serious in a couple of months so it was definitely fun to get back into it for the holidays!

I've been wanting to make this recipe for about 3 years now. It's the perfect opportunity since we were given an entire fried turkey from Rick. I also plan to use some of it for enchilada soup, replacing the chicken of course.

Hot Brown Turkey Sandwiches
Recipe from Food Network

1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
1 cup muenster, shredded
salt and pepper

white bread, thickly sliced
dijon mustard
tomato, sliced
sliced roast turkey
bacon, cooked
parsley, chopped {fresh}

  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the onions until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, 1 more minute. Add the milk and chicken stock and bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Arrange the bread on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread each slice with mustard, then drizzle with some of the gravy and top with sliced tomato. Toss the turkey with the remaining gravy in the skillet. Divide the turkey evenly among the bread slices, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese. 
  • Broil until golden, about 2 minutes.
  • Crumble the bacon over the sandwiches and sprinkle with the parsley.



Monday, November 11, 2013

Bánh Mì

I love Vietnamese food! This delicious sandwich comes in many forms, but this is the one I decided to make. And not to mention, the first time I've ever eaten one. Salt Lake has a couple of restaurants that serve these sandwiches, but I just haven't gotten around to go and eat one. Maybe someday!

I really wish my grocery store had daikon or pate! I would have loved to add it to this sandwich.

Bánh mì
Recipe adapted from Kitchen Confidante

2 lbs boneless pork shoulder roast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 jalapeno, diced
1 2-inch slice of ginger
8 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar

  • Season the pork shoulder with salt and pepper. In the a slow cooker, stir together the jalapeno, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, and brown sugar. Nestle the pork shoulder in the liquid. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4-5, until the pork is very tender, rotating once during cooking process if desired. 
  • When the pork is ready, shred the meat. Strain and reserve the sauce, skimming any fat if necessary.

Pickled Carrots:
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups carrots, shredded

  • In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Add the carrots and let it sit for about 30 minutes. 
  • Drain well and refrigerate until ready to use.

sriracha mayonnaise
pulled pork {recipe above}
cucumber, thinly sliced
pickled carrots {recipe above}
jalapeno, thinly sliced
cilantro leaves

  • To assemble the sandwich, slice the rolls in half lengthwise. Spread a thin layer of sriracha mayonnaise on the bottom half. Top with the pulled pork, cucumber, cilantro, pickled carrots and sliced jalapenos. 
  • Drizzle with reserved sauce and sriracha, if desired. Close the sandwiches and enjoy.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli

I love this side dish, it's a great way to jazz up your broccoli. It's also simple to make and delicious.

Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

6 cups broccoli florets
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup parmesan, grated

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with the salt and pepper.
  • Roast for 20-25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.
  • Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with the lemon juice, pine nuts and parmesan.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Pistachio-Crusted Chicken with Red Pepper Coulis

I have some fantastic news. I got engaged over the weekend, October 20th. My loving fiance surprised me with some of my favorite english pastries, scones, sausage rolls and beef and mango pasty, along with tea in bed and a gorgeous ring on my finger while I was asleep. It was simple and everything I could have hoped for. He's a sweetheart.

Now onto the delicious part, I made this a few years ago and absolutely loved it. I have a surplus of goat cheese and just made a fresh batch of pesto from the basil in my garden.

Pistachio Crusted Chicken with Red Pepper Coulis
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 
1 red pepper, roasted
3/4 cups pistachios
3/4 cup breadcrumbs {panko}
1 cup buttermilk
4 chicken breast
1/2 cup goat cheese
2-3 tablespoons basil or arugula pesto
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a pan over medium heat, saute the onion in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add the broth and  heat thoroughly. Add mixture to the food processor along with the roasted red pepper and process until blended.
  • Process pistachios in a food processor until ground and transfer to a shallow bowl; add breadcrumbs.
  • Place buttermilk in another bowl.
  • Flatten the chicken to 1/4-in. thickness. Place on a work surface and top with the goat cheese and pesto. Gently roll each piece of chicken and cut in half. Dip in buttermilk, then coat with the pistachio-breadcrumb mixture.
  • Place in a greased baking dish and drizzle with butter. Season with salt and pepper. Bake uncovered for 50-55 minutes.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

A couple of months ago I made shrimp and andouille with cheese grits and red wine gravy and had leftover andouille sausage. Keeping with the cajun theme this gumbo is the perfect way to use them. It's an easy weeknight dinner full of flavor.

Chicken and Andouille Gumbo
Recipe adapted from I'm Topsy Turvy

1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup flour

2 andouille sausage, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped

2 chicken breasts, cubed
1 tablespoon creole spice blend 
2 bay leaves
1 can ro-tel
4 cups chicken stock

2 cups water
salt and pepper, to taste
rice, cooked

  • In a large pot over medium-high heat cook the oil and flour until it's a light cooper color.
  • Add the andouille, onion and green peppers and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the chicken and continue cooking until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and bring mixture to a simmer with the lid on.
  • Turn the heat to low and continue to simmer for 1 hour.
  • Serve over rice.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Parmesan Potato au Gratin

I actually made these a few months ago for our {Tim and I} anniversary and they were delicious. I love them because they are just the right size, being made in a muffin tin. This recipe is for six servings, but can easily be scaled up.

The parmesan cheese helped create a crispy outside. And it can be paired perfectly with any protein, I prefer a nice steak.

Parmesan Potato au Gratin

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons onion or shallot, finely chopped
2 cups half and half 

1 cup parmesan, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon thyme {fresh}, chopped

2-3 medium russet potatoes, sliced thinly

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Mix the garlic, onion or shallot, half and half, 1/2 cup parmesan, salt, pepper and thyme in a bowl and set aside.
  • Stack about 7-8 potato slices into each muffin tin. The number of slices will vary depending on the thickness of the cut. Stack them tightly but not any higher than the muffin tin itself.
  • Pour the half and half mixture over the potato slices, being careful not to overfill. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese over each muffin tin. 
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes until the cheese is golden brown, and the liquid has absorbed into the potatoes. I would suggest putting a pan underneath just in case of dripping.


Monday, September 30, 2013

Banana Squares

I absolutely love these and it's practically become our replacement for banana bread. The addition of the sour cream makes the squares moist and the egg whites lighten it as well. These are great to eat anytime of day, breakfast or dessert!

Banana Squares

2 eggs, separated
2/3 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2-3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in egg yolk and bananas.
  • Combine flour and baking soda. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with the sour cream, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
  • In a small bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites and walnuts into the mixture.
  • Pour the mixture into a greased 9x13 pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until golden brown on top.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

All Things Tomato

I absolutely love home grown tomatoes, for obvious reasons. They have so much flavor and honestly take on that fruity quality that they are known for. One nice thing about harvesting your tomatoes is that you can easily stew them down and freeze them for later uses, for hearty soups or sauces during the winter time.

If you're like me, you have a ton of tomatoes in your garden. But if you love eating them fresh and don't mind a daily dose, I've compiled a list of recipes that showcase fresh tomatoes specifically.



I have a ton more recipes with tomatoes, please feel free to take a look.


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Tomato-Basil Cheese Toast

We have so many tomatoes right now. I'm staring at the basketful on my kitchen table as we speak. An oppurtunity to use fresh tomatoes and basil from my garden is one I'm fully okay with! 

This is one of those things I grew up eating, and absolutely love. It definitely makes me think of home.

Tomato-Basil Cheese Toast

bread, sliced
mozzarella cheese, shredded
monterey jack cheese, sliced
tomato, sliced
creole spice blend
basil, chiffonade

  • Preheat oven to broil. 
  • Put a piece of parchment or a silicone mat on a baking sheet. Place the bread on the baking sheet and add a layer of mozzarella, tomatoes and monterey jack cheese. Sprinkle with the creole spice blend.
  • Place in the oven and cook until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the basil.



Thursday, August 15, 2013

Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Alfredo

I received some great news on Monday, my older brother Jason and his girlfriend Shannon are getting married in December. Happily I will be attending even though we are really busy at the restaurant during the winter. I look forward to seeing my family and to enjoy a mini vacation during my hectic schedule.

On to this yummy pasta. I was looking for something really quick and simple. Other than roasting the peppers, which is still quite simple and quick, this took no time to make at all. It would also be great with other vegetables and chicken added.

Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Alfredo
Recipe from Closet Cooking 

1/2 lb pasta, cooked
2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, grated
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
2 red bell peppers {roasted}, chopped
1/4 cup basil

salt and pepper, to taste

  • Melt the butter in pan over medium heat, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
  • Add the cream, goat cheese, parmesan and roasted red peppers. Simmer until the cheese has melted.
  • Remove from the heat and add the basiland puree with a hand blender or in a blender {I used my BlendTec}.
  • Return to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Add in the pasta and mix thoroughly.
  • Serve with grated parmesan.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Shrimp and Andouille with Cheese Grits and Red Wine Gravy

Mmm, who doesn't love a southern classic. I actually grew up in the south, well Florida! My mom was always cooking delicious southern fare. I remember getting out of bed and having an awesome breakfast spread of jalapeno-cheese grits, biscuits and gravy and other yummy things. I was kind of excited to cook grits again, it's been so long. I received a request the other day from a friend who is also far from home and missing this particular dish. I just hope it's similar to what she's looking for!

Shrimp and Andouille with Red Wine Gravy

3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 andouille sausage links, small dice
25 large shrimps, shelled {tail on}
1 tablespoon creole spice blend
1 teaspoon slap ya mama seasoning

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon creole spice blend
1 teaspoon slap ya mama seasoning
1 1/4 cup red wine, reduced by half
1 1/2 cup beef stock

  • In a pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter and both onions and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook until the garlic is slightly browned.
  • Add the andouille sausage and cook until the sausage starts to caramelize and brown. Add the shrimp, seasonings and remaining tablespoon of butter. Cook until the shrimps are thoroughly cooked.
  • Remove the mixture from the pan and set aside. To the pan, add the butter and flour and make a roux. Add the smashed garlic and seasonings and continue to cook until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Whisk in the red wine and beef stock, stirring until incorporated with the roux. The gravy will thicken over 5-6 minutes
  • Once the gravy is done, pour through a sieve to remove all of the excess garlic and other particles that were in the gravy.

Creamy Cheese Grits

2 tablespoons butter
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup grits {quick-cooking}
8 oz cheddar cheese {sharp}
salt and pepper, to taste

  • In a pan add the butter and garlic and cook until tender, making sure not to brown the garlic. Set aside.
  • Bring the water to a pre-boil and add the cream. Lower to medium heat and slowly add the grits to the liquid and continue to stir until they are fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to low and add the garlic-butter and cheese and stir until the cheese has melted.
  • Season with salt and pepper.

*If you desire thicker grits, reduce the water to 3 cups.


Creole Spice Blend

This is a similar spice blend to the beloved blackened redfish seasoning. I usually purchase it at the store but now that I've discovered this yummy recipe I'll just keep making it.

Creole Spice Blend

2 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon slap ya mama seasoning
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme

  • Mix all of the ingredients above thoroughly.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Spinach Pesto Hummus

Recently when I was in Florida visiting my family, I went to the Winter Park Farmer's Market. There was a vendor there selling assorted dips and salsas and one of them happened to be a spinach pesto hummus. When I tried it, it reminded me so much of saag. I loved it!

Spinach Pesto Hummus

1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
10 oz spinach, blanched
1/4 cup parsley leaves
7-10 basil leaves
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1 teaspoon paprika
half a lemon, juiced
1/4 cup vegetable oil
salt and pepper, to taste

  • In a blender or food processor, add all of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Season to taste.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Pea Risotto

I haven't made risotto in quite a while! Mainly for the fact that I used to cook it while in my Culinary classes. I've been meaning to buy some arborio rice for so long and finally did yesterday. I also brought home some leftover scallops from work that we were getting rid of and thought that this pea-inspired risotto would be great with it flavor wise. Plus it gave me a reason to use the peas I had stashed in the freezer. Also, I plan to post about searing scallops, it's super easy!

The one nice thing about risotto is that you can make it however you please. Mine is a bit more dense. You can tell because I put it in a mold. If you prefer your risotto looser, just add more liquid.


Pea Risotto

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine
1 3/4 to 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup peas
1 tablespoon heavy cream 
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon thyme, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper, to taste

  • In a pot, add the butter, olive oil and onions and cook over medium-high heat. Add the garlic after the onions turn translucent.
  • Stir in the arborio and toast slightly. Add the white wine to help deglaze the pan.
  • Add in the stock and stir constantly, cooking for about 25-30 minutes until the rice is cooked.
  • Once the rice is cooked, take off of the heat and stir in the peas, heavy cream, parmesan, herbs and butter. Season with salt and pepper.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Chicken Parmesan Paninis

We have a beautifully large basil plant in our garden at the moment and this seemed like a great thing to use it in. I actually used some for Sunday nights dinner, a BLT with avocado, heirloom tomatoes and basil. It was definitely scrumptious! This sandwich also features homemade tomato sauce, the one I used on my yummy grilled pizza{s}. I still need to post a recipe for it, maybe once we acquire some fresh tomatoes from the garden.

Chicken Parmesan Paninis

3-6 chicken breasts, skinless
salt and pepper, to season the chicken
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons garlic {granulated or powder}
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup panko
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil


hoagie rolls
favorite tomato sauce
provolone, sliced
mozzarella, shredded
garlic butter
basil leaves

  • Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  • Pound the chicken breasts until they are about a 1/2 inch thick. Season the chicken breasts.
  • Prepare your dredging station ingredients. Mix the flour with the garlic. Also, mix the panko with the salt, parmesan and olive oil.
  • Individually, add the chicken breast to the flour and cover well. Dip the same chicken breast into the beaten egg and then into the panko mixture. Repeat this process, placing each piece of chicken onto a foil lined baking sheet when finished.
  • Bake the chicken breasts for 15-20 minutes. Once finished, remove the chicken and add a spoonful of the tomato sauce, provolone and mozzarella.
  • Change the oven setting to broil and cook the cheese until melted and slightly browned.
  • Cut the hoagie roll in half and brush with garlic butter and a little bit of the tomato sauce. Add the chicken and basil leaves. Brush the outside of the roll with garlic butter and place into a panini maker {I use a George Foreman}. Cook for about 5-7 minutes.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Chicken Tikka Naan Sandwiches

Mmmm, Indian inspired sandwich... that's my kind of sandwich! I've been wanting to use my naan for something other than just eating outright. I've also thought about making naan paninis, maybe soon. Of course, earlier this week I made chicken tikka saag, one of my all time favorite dishes. I made sure to make extra chicken tikka just for this!

Chicken Tikka Naan Sandwiches

1 recipe chicken tikka
4-6 pieces of naan
tomato, diced
cucumber, peeled and sliced
cilantro, leaves only

  • Top one piece of naan with the chicken tikka, onions and pepper. Add in the tomatoes, cucumber and cilantro leaves. 
  • You may also add other condiments depending on what you like.