Running with kitchen shears.

breakfast, lunch, dinner, cupcakes, tastiness.

Soup of Lies June 10, 2009

Filed under: Light,recipes — Mox. @ 7:52 pm
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Mmmm delicious lies. I picked this recipe out of a Family circle, did a quick read-over, and picked it for one of the dinners for this week. It’s called “Tortilla Soup” but that’s very much a misnomer. I can’t believe it didn’t click when I read through it, but I didn’t realize until I was almost through cooking that the only tortillas in the damn thing are the few strips sprinkled on top as garnish. That’s like calling a delicious steak dinner “Parsley Dinner” because of the tacky piece-o-green on the side of the plate. Culinary misrepresentation aside, this soup got high marks from myself and J alike.

Tortilla Soup of Lies

-2 Tbs olive oil
-1 large onion, trimmed and sliced (I used a combination of a medium yellow onion and some leftover sliced red onion)
-4 cloves garlic, trimmed and smashed
-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
-1/2 tsp dried oregano
-1/2 tsp ground chile powder (I used “Chili Powder”-gasp!)
-3 Tbs fresh lime or lemon juice (I used lemon, but lime really is best…also mine was bottled-don’t shoot me)
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
-1 can (14 1/2 oz) tomato sauce (low-sodium is good if you’re watching your salt intake)
-1/2 c shredded pepper-jack cheese
-handfull of thinly sliced flour tortilla or 4 Tbs prepared tortilla strips (of if you’re feelin funky-crush a few tortilla chips)

1. In a medium-size saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano and chile(i) powder. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onions have become more translucent are softened.
2. Add 3 cups water, lime or lemon juice and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook 12 minutes or until cooked through. Remove chicken to a cutting board and let cool slightly. Using an immersion or upright blender, puree onion mixture until smooth. If using an upright blender, cuss loudly when you drip soup onto your toes while ladling it into the blender carafe. Return to saucepan, cursing as you splash it on your shirt (seriously-why weren’t you wearing that apron with the crude saying en espanol to prevent this); add tomato sauce. Cook 5 minutes over medium heat.
3. Meanwhile, shred chicken into bite-size pieces (you should have around 2 cups-I didn’t…might have had something to do with giving the cats some snacks so they’ll love me). Place about 1/2 c shredded chicken into a bowl. Lade 1/4 of the soup into the bowl. Top with 2 Tbs of the shredded cheese and top with tortilla strips. Repeat for all servings.
4. Sit back and gather compliments while trying to not burn your tongue on the frikkin’ awesome soup.

This was adapted from a Family Circle recipe.

 

Chicken soup for the…well, for the stomach. Duh. January 1, 2009

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 8:00 pm
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One of my resolutions for 2009 was to put more time and attention to this blog. I promise I’m really going to try. I also promise to only post recipes that either myself or my dear husband, J, considers to be amazing (unless J likes it and I think it sucks, in which case he is overruled). I got a couple new cookbooks and a host of new magazines in addition to (drumroll please)…a KITCHENAID PROFESSIONAL STAND MIXER-holy crap-so look forward to many new additions in the way of general deliciousness. J got the mixer for me for Christmas and he’s definately put himself high up in brownie points standings with it. Happy 2009 to all!
Kind of Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup

CHICKEN AND STOCK:

-1 (approximately 5 lb) quartered chicken

-6 c each water and low-sodium chicken broth

-4 large carrots, cut into 1″ pieces

-3 large stalks celery with leaves, cut into 1″ pieces

-1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges

-8 large sprigs flat-leaf parsley

-3 cloves garlic, smashed

SOUP:

-2 c baby carrots, cut into 1 1/2″ pieces

-1 c sliced celery

-1 Tbs kosher salt

-1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

-8 oz dried egg noodles (about 2 2/3 c)

-2 Tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. CHICKEN AND STOCK: Bring chicken and water to a boil in a largeish (6-8 quart) stockpot. Skim off and discard foam from surface of water; add broth and remaining stock ingredients. Bring to a second boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, partially covered, until chicken is tender, about 50 minutes. Remove chicken to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones; discard. Shred meat; set aside.

2. SOUP: Strain broth through cheesecloth-lined sieve into a clean pot; press solids to extract liquid. Stir baby carrots, celery, salt, and pepper into broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 6 minutes. Stir in noodles; continue to simmer 4 minutes. Stir in chicken and parsley. Remove from heat and let soup stand 10 minutes, or until noodles are just tender.

This recipe adapted from Family Circle. 8 servings.

 

Cabo-Wabo…Uh no. October 8, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 6:46 am
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I’ve got this giant stack of recipes I keep meaning to add, but time gets away from me and I’m still being a total worrywart and stressing over things I cannot change. It’s amazing how much time gets away from you when you’re being like that.

LeAnn Rimes’s Cabo Chicken

-1/2 c fresh lime juice (3-4 limes)
-1/4 c olive oil
-2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed with press
-1 tsp crushed red pepper
-salt
-4 medium skinless, boneless chicken-breast halves (6 oz each)

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, and 1 tsp salt. Place chicken and lime marinade in large zip top plastic bag. Seal bag and refrigerate chicken 8 hours or overnight, turning bag over several times (I did this every time I opened the refrigerator).
2. Preheat broiler, setting rack 4 inches from source of heat, or prepare outdoor grill for direct grilling on medium (or alternately, as I did, set your indoor grill -George Foreman in my case- to recommended temperature for chicken, I can’t remember if mine is 375 or 425 degrees F, I have to look it up every time).
3. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Place chicken on rack in broiling pan or on hot grill rack (or on your indoor grill), and cook 12 to 15 minutes (check your manual for indoor grill cook time)or until juices run clear when thickest part of chicken is pierced with tip of knife, turning over once.
Serves 4.
I’m fairly certain that this recipe is from Family Circle.

I halved the original recipe-it’s not often that I need to make something that serves 8. Leann says “This is a dish my husband concocted while we were on vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It’s sure to bring flavor and ease to any summer meal.” That’s right-SUMMER meal. Fall just started a couple weeks ago and the edge only started to blur on the heat sometime in the past couple of days, thanks to some rain we got. I don’t know if I didn’t marinate this long enough, or if using the George Foreman wasn’t a good idea (I don’t have a broiling pan, hence not using that method), but this really didn’t have a lot of flavor. It really sounded like it would, but it wasn’t quite as flavorful and garlic/lime-y as I expected-you may have better results. And now, I should save this, as my cat is rolling all over my keyboard, casually stretching while pressing keys. It would be funny if I hadn’t just typed all this out. He just changed something that makes this web page look all funny. Oh, Sammy Davis Jr, Jr, how I loathe/love thee.

 

Knob Salad (haha, knob) August 6, 2008

Filed under: food,Light,recipes — Mox. @ 7:41 pm
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Okay, so it’s only cobb salad. I’ve got to get my kicks somewhere people!

Cobb Salad

-1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
-8 c mixed salad greens
-1 tomato (8 oz), roughly chopped
-1/4 c light red wine vinaigrette
-3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
-1/4 c crumbled blue cheese
-3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped

1. Heat a large pot of water to simmering. Add chicken, cover, and cook 18 minutes or until cooked through. Cool and cut into 1/2″ cubes.

2. To serve, place chicken, greens and tomatoes in a large serving bowl and pour vinaigrette over top; toss to combine. Sprinkle each serving with equal amounts bacon, blue cheese and eggs.

This recipe is from Family Circle.

 

Pretty damn simple, no? I’m not sure why someone felt the need to publish a recipe for a salad this simple, but there it is. I used French dressing in place of the vinaigrette. Yum!

 

I always wondered how buffalo flew with those tiny wings. July 6, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes,win — Mox. @ 11:16 am
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Near my hometown, there is/was a buffalo farm. You know, big pastures and some of the big furry Snuffalumpagus-ish beasties running around. It seemed pretty nifty to me-I heard all about this stuff regarding their endangered status, and there they were, right near my home. When we went to the farm on a field trip, I didn’t see their wings. I assumed it was because they were so small that you couldn’t see them under all that hair.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

-2 lbs chicken tenders (or boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into tenders-that’s what I did, and I’m awesome)
-1/3 c of your favorite hot sauce (please God don’t confuse this with salsa)
-1/4 c chicken broth
-2 thin pizza crusts, around 10 oz each (Boboli if you prefer)
-2/3 c reduced-fat blue cheese dressing
-1 c shredded part skim mozzarella
-4 celery ribs, sliced lengthwise in half, then in 1-1.5″ pieces

1. Heat your oven for 450 degrees F.
2. Place chicken tenders in a large skillet and add cold water to cover. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 8 minutes or until chicken’s internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer (I slice into my chicken to assure full cookedness since my thermometer’s painful death. Never assume that a Pyrex brand thermometer’s face is Pyrex. It’s probably melty, melty plastic. Not sure why Pyrex put their name on it. That’s what I get for buying cheap!) Remove from skillet and slice into long, thin strips.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the hot sauce and broth. Add the chicken strips and toss to coat with the broth mixture, reserving the mixture that is left in the bowl.
4. Place a pizza crust on a baking sheet and spread with 1/3 c of the dressing. Scatter half of the chicken over the dressing and half of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Drizzle some of the reserved remaining broth mixture over top. Repeat with remaining pizza crust, dressing, chicken, mozzarella and broth mixture.
5. Bake pizzas at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes or until crusts are lightly browned and the cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven and scatter celery over pizzas.

This recipe is adapted from Family Circle.

In the original recipe, it recommended Frank’s hot sauce, but I had some fabulous Day of the Dead Habanero Hot Sauce. Sorry Frank’s! My little sister-in-law, ever the picky eater, wasn’t a huge fan of this. She picked off the celery and then ate about 2 bites of one of the 2 pieces she had put on her plate. Her brother (aka Mr. Mox/J), however, was a fan, and ate the pizza that she hadn’t. The only suggestion made was to cut the celery into smaller pieces (into the measurement I have listed here). I absolutely LOVED this. It was easy, tasty and spicy, and I didn’t feel like a total fatass after eating it like I do after going to Hooters. Also, the only breasts I had to look at during the preparation were the chicken breasts, and my own if I so chose.

 

A pastor walks into a taco. Badum-ch! June 24, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 7:44 pm
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I really should look up what al pastor means.

Tacos al Pastor

-1 can (20 oz) pineapple chunks in juice
-2 dried guajillo or ancho chiles
-3 cloves garlic, peeled
-1 tsp dried oregano
-1/4 tsp ground cumin
-1/4 tsp salt
-2 Tbs cider vinegar
-1 lb boneless center-cut pork loin chops, trimmed of any fat
– 1 Tbs vegetable oil
-2 tsp cornstarch blended with 1 Tbs water
-1 package corn tortillas, heated
-1 small red onion, diced
1/4 c loosely packed cilantro leaves – I had parsley on hand-I HATE HATE HATE cilantro and refuse to cook with/eat it
-1/2 c reduced-fat sour cream, thinned with 2 Tbs milk

1. Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Place juice in a small saucepan with 1/2 c water. Bring t oa boil; add chiles. Let soak 30 minutes.

2. Remove stems from softened chiles, then pour chilens and liquid into a blender or food processor. Add 3/4 c of the pineapple chunks, the garlic, oregano, cumin, salt and vinegar. Puree until smooth.

3. Slice pork in half horizontally, then chop into small pieces. At this point I really hope you got what the recipe says-boneless-because this step is an extra pain in the ass if you didn’t (like me). Place in a shallow glass dish or resealable bag and add chile-pineapple mixture. Cover with plastic wrap or seal bag and marinate in refrigerator at least 1 hour or overnight. Meanwhile dice remaining pineapple pieces. Refrigerate for later.

4. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Schoop pork pieces from the marinade with a slotted spoon and add to pan. Discard marinade. Cook pork for 3 minutes. Add reserved pineapple pieces and cornstarch-water mixture. Cook 1 minute, until pork is cooked through and sauce is thick. Serve mixture in warm tortillas, topped with onion, cilantro, and sour cream.

This recipe is adapted from a Family Circle recipe.

I was so upset the night I prepared these. I was making good time to have it ready when J got home, until I saw the “marinate for 1 hour or overnight”. I had him pick up dinner and I let it marinate. I felt so dumb. I miss stuff like that a lot.  I did let it marinate for 2 days and it ended up delicious. I made it on Saturday night so J was home to keep asking “Is it done yet? How about now?” and saying “Oh my God I want to eat that right now- it smells sooooo good.” This was a HUGE hit with him. Although it says it makes 6 servings, there was only enough left for 1 taco after we ate dinner.

 

Three, three, three porks in one! June 19, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 5:50 pm
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I love the word pork. Pork pork pork.
During “Use what you’ve got”/”Crap we’re broke” week, I needed solutions. Easy, tasty solutions.
These 3 recipes use a large pork roast, divided up, that you cook all at one time to make it easier/maybe ever so slightly more economical.

MASTER RECIPE: Roast Pork & Pan-Roasted Potatoes

Pork and Potatoes:

-1 boneless pork roast, about 4.5 lbs
-2 Tbs olive oil-1/4 + 1/8 tsp salt
-1/4 + 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
-1-2 Tbs dried rosemary (about a cupped palm full if you have smallish hands, or you may use 5 sprigs fresh-I had dried)
-1.5 lbs red-skin potatoes, cut into 1″ pieces

Gravy:

-1.5 c chicken broth
-2 Tbs all-purpose flour
-1/2 c white wine (I used leftover Pinot Grigio because again, it’s what I had)

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Roast pork: Rub pork roast with 1 Tbs of the olive oil. Season with 1/4 tsp each of the salt and pepper. Sprinkle 3/4 of the rosemary (or place 3 sprigs) on top. Place in roasting pan and roast for 1 hour, 20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. I don’t mess around with pork and temperatures-I’ll let it dry out and get not as delicious as it could be if it means food safety. Remove from oven, tent with foild and allow to rest at least 10 minutes before slicing. The temperature should continue to rise, reaching about 160 degrees F. Save drippings in pan for gravy.
3. Meanwhile, prepare potatoes: On a large baking sheet, toss potatoes with the remaining 1 Tbs of olive oil. Season with remaining 1/8 tsp each salt and pepper. Sprinkle remaining rosemary over potatoes.
4. After meat has been roasting for about 35 minutes, add potatoes to oven. Roast about 45 minutes or until fork-tender. Remove from oven; keep warm.
5. Make gravy: Whisk together broth and flour. Stir into roasting pan and scrape up any browned bits. Add wine and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3 minutes or until thickened. Gravy hates me so this took a few more minutes and the addition of a little cornstarch to get it to work for me. Strain and keep warm.
6. Reserve have of roast for use in Cuban Sandwiches and Pork Fried Rice (recipes below). Slice remaining half of roast and serve with gravy and potatoes.

 

Day 2: Cuban Sandwiches

-1 loaf crusty Italian bread
-4 dill pickles, thinly sliced
-1/2 lb roast pork, sliced (about 8 1/4″ slices from Master Recipe, above)
-4 slices Swiss cheese (about 1 oz each)
-8 tsp yellow mustard

1. Heat grill or grill pan (we used our George Foreman grill). cut bread in half lengthwise, then crosswise into four equal pieces. Layer each bottom piece with a sliced pickle, 2 slices of the pork and 1 slice of Swiss. Spread the cut side of each top piece with 2 tsp mustard.
2. Stack tops onto bottom pieces and flatted to 1/3 original thickness. Place sandwiches on heated grill and weight down with a heavy pot (I have no heavy pot so I used my hand on the top handle-not recommended on anything other than the George Foreman!). Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until nicely grilled and cheese melts. Cut in half on the diagonal and serve.

We only had about half the regular yellow mustard required for this recipe (I really don’t know how in the world I ran out), so I added in a bit of dijon and spicy brown mustard. Everyone loved this recipe-even J’s little sister who doesn’t like anything!

 

Day 3: Pork Fried Rice

-2 eggs, lightly beaten
-1 pkg Asian-flavored rice mix (I used Rice-a-Roni Fried Rice I believe)
-1 lb pork roast, cut into 3/4″ cubes (last bit of pork from Master Recipe, above)
-1 bag (16 oz) frozen stir-fry vegetables, thawed
-1 can (8 oz) sliced water chestnuts, drained
-2 Tbs light soy sauce
-1 Tbs hoisin sauce or ketchup (I had no hoisin, but I had the alternative-again, use what you’ve got!)
-2 tsp sesame oil
-2 scallions, chopped

1. Add eggs to large nonstick skillet. Cook until set and remove to a plate (similar to the first steps of making tamagoyaki). Cut into strips. Wipe out skillet (and scrape out if your cheapo nonstick skillet totally blows like mine); prepare rice mix in skillet following package directions.
2. During last 7 minutes, add pork, vegetables, water chestnuts, soy and hoisin (ketchup). Stir in egg strips and cook, covered, for remaining 7 minutes.
3 Remove from heat and stir in sesame oil. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with scallions.

Don’t you just love easy, fake Asian food? This was the least appealing of the 3 but was also the easiest, while still being tasty.

All in all, I’d say this group of recipes is definately going to stay in my recipe box. It’s easy…and my stupid cat is pushing my keyboard off the desk to make himself comfortable for a nap, what a fattie…and most definately a time saver, which is great with the way the schedules of myself and dear husband fall. I am not a big fan of tons and tons of cooking late at night. I would love it if I still had his schedule though-I’m more of a night owl…or at least I used to be…than I am a morning person.