Thursday, May 30, 2013

Grilled Chicken Club with Avocado

I love sandwiches! Although not the most formal meal, they are just too good to deny. This delicious recipe comes from the awesome Kevin over at Closet Cooking. He really knows what he's doing and utilizes ingredients.

Grilled Chicken Club with Avocado
Recipe from Closet Cooking 

chicken breasts, pounded thin and cut in half
salt and pepper, to season the chicken
chipotle caramelized onions
tomato, sliced
bacon, cooked
avocado, sliced
sandwich bun, toasted

  • Brush your grill with oil and heat it to medium heat.
  • Season the chicken and grill until cooked, about 5-7 minutes per side.
  • Assemble the sandwich.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chipotle Caramelized Onions

This is a great sweet and smoky onion spread for sandwiches or wraps.

Chipotle Caramelized Onions
Recipe adapted from Closet Cooking

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups onion, sliced
1 chipotle pepper, chopped
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 cup water

  • Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
  • Add all of the ingredients to the pan. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, until completely tender and caramelized and golden, about 40-50 minutes, adding more water as needed.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Asparagus, Mushroom and Bacon Popover

Happy Memorial Day!

I actually went out and bought a cast iron pan today. I've been eager to purchase one but have been putting it off. A couple of years ago I bought a dutch oven {which is cast iron with enamel} and absolutely love it. There are so many great things that can be made using cast iron, it's exciting to think about the possibilities.

Breakfast for dinner has always been a favorite of mine. Since it's my day off and Tim's off from school and work because of Memorial Day, I decided it was indeed a perfect time to make breakfast for dinner!

Asparagus, Mushroom and Bacon Popover
Recipe adapted from Closet Cooking

1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
4 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 leek, thinly sliced

1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup milk, warmed
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup jarlsberg, shredded

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the asparagus and cook until it turns bright green. Rinse the asparagus under cold water and dry.
  • Cook the bacon in a cast iron skillet over medium heat, and set aside on paper towels to drain reserving the grease in the pan.
  • Add the leeks to the pan, saute until tender, about 2-4 minutes. Remove the leeks and add the mushrooms, repeating the process. Remove them from the pan as well.
  • Turn off the heat and add the butter to the skillet and let it melt.
  • Mix the milk, eggs, flour, salt and pepper in a bowl and pour into the pan.
  • Layer with the asparagus, mushrooms, leeks, bacon, and the cheese over the batter in the pan.
  • Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until puffed and golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.

I served this with delicious spicy roasted potatoes and a fried egg!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bean and Rice Burritos

It's been a week full of rice. I even made a baked rice pudding for dessert! I love mexican food and have been wanting to try this particular recipe for quite some time. The chipolte peppers in abobo sauce give the bean and rice mixture a smoky flavor; and I loved that they use greek yogurt instead of sour cream. This is definitely a healthier choice and great for vegetarians or vegans, with some subtle changes!

Bean and Rice Burritos
Recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen

1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 chipotle pepper, minced

1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinse

1/2 cup water
2 cups brown rice, cooked

1/2 cup pico de gallo 

  • Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, chili powder, chipotle, adobo sauce, cumin, and cayenne. Cook briefly until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds. 
  • Add in drained and rinsed beans, and water. Bring to a simmer, then lower heat to medium-low and cook for 8 minutes, mashing the bean mixture slightly. Remove from heat, and stir in rice and salsa.


6 large flour tortillas
cheese, shredded
lettuce, shredded

pico de gallo
scallions, chopped
greek yogurt

  • Divide mixture evenly down the center of each tortilla. Top with cheese, lettuce, scallions and greek yogurt. Roll each and serve.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Tarragon Chicken with Leek Cream Sauce

Any chance I get to use my dutch oven is my favorite! This recipe is easy and quick with great ingredients. Tarragon is a delicious herb that I don't think gets enough use. It adds a nice light but present licorice flavor to anything you cook.

Tarragon Chicken with Leek Cream Sauce
Recipe adapted from Cooking with Sugar

6 chicken thighs
salt and pepper, to season the chicken
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 leeks, washed and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup white wine or sherry 
1 bouillon cube
2 tablespoons butter 
1 tablespoon tarragon, chopped {fresh or dried}
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups frozen peas

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Season the chicken thighs well on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a shallow dish and dredge the chicken in the flour lightly and place on a separate plate.
  • To a dutch oven add the oil and heat over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the chicken thighs a few at a time and brown well on both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside in another dish.
  • Add the leeks and pepper to the oil and cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan; cook for about 2 minutes. Then add the bouillon cube, wine and vegetable broth and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the butter and allow it to melt.
  • Place the chicken on top of the saue and top with the tarragon and parsley. Cover with the lid and place in the middle of the oven, bake for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and cook an additional 20 minutes.  
  • Take the dutch oven out of the oven and remove chicken. Place pan back on the stove over low heat. Add the heavy cream and allow sauce to simmer until it thickens. Add the frozen peas stir until they are coated with the sauce. Top with the chicken and garnish with fresh parsley.

I served this over rice and squeezed lemon over it to help bring out the flavors!


Friday, May 10, 2013

Cilantro-Chickpea Quinoa Salad with Lemon Dressing

I love trying new things, particularly ingredients I've never worked with. I took the plunge and decided to use quinoa. Yes, I've eaten it before, just never gotten the chance to make something with it myself. This salad might not look as desirable to eat, but it sure is delicious!

Cilantro-Chickpea Quinoa Salad with Lemon Dressing
Recipe adapted from The Diva Dish

1/2 cup dry quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups spinach
1 bunch cilantro
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 avocados, diced

Lemon Dressing:

2 lemons, juiced
1 lemon, zested
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil

  • Soak the quinoa in a pot in the vegetable stock for about 15 minutes. After that, turn on the heat to medium-high and let the quinoa come to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and let the quinoa simmer. Stir every so often, and cook the quinoa for about 20-25 minutes, just until the liquid absorbs.
  • In a food processor, add your spinach and cilantro. Process the greens until they are finely diced. Add the greens to a bowl, and set aside. 
  • Add the onion, garlic and chickpeas to the greens mixture and stir until everything is combined and coated. If the quinoa is cooled, you can add it to the mixture.
  • Make your dressing by whisking all the ingredients together. Pour it over the salad, and mix until combined. Add in tomatoes and avocado and mix. 
  • Set in refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes before serving.