Sunday, July 25, 2010

Recipes I want to try

Garlic-parsley butter
Roast tomato, leek, and orzo soup
Summer vegetable cacciatore

And I made this Asian chicken and mushroom dish last night.  It was pretty good, but not good enough to warrant a blog post about.  I might make it again if I happen to have all the ingredients on hand, but it's not good enough to be added to the rotation. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Spring Green Risotto

All I can say is WOW!  This is dish was surprisingly tasty!  I found it here.  I thought that I hated leeks, but I think I actually love them.  Also, I normally hate lemon in my cooking, but the lemon in this recipe is just subtle enough to add a nice fresh flavour.     

 What you need:
- about 6 cups chicken broth/stock
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 shallots, minced
- 2 leeks, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 2/3 cup white wine
- 1 lb (400g) asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 10 oz. (250 g) frozen peas, thawed
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
 What you do:
  1. Like all risotto, you want to start by heating the broth — bring it to a boil, then reduce to simmer and let it hang out while you’re cooking. This will ensure that all liquid additions during the cooking process are already hot so the rice cooks correctly. 
  2. In a pot large enough to cook all the rice (remember, it’s going to grow as you cook it), heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Saute the shallots and leeks with a little salt and pepper until tender, about five minutes. 
  3. Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat all the grains with butter, cook for about one minute. Next, begin adding liquid, starting with the wine. Stirring constantly, let the wine simmer until it has evaporated almost completely, about three minutes. 
  4. After the wine has evaporated, begin adding the broth, a half cup at a time, letting it evaporate almost completely before each addition (this should take three to five minutes per addition). Make sure to stir constantly throughout the cooking process. 
  5. After the third liquid addition, add the asparagus and continue cooking like normal. Once the rice has been cooking for 15 minutes, stir in the peas, lemon zest and more salt and pepper.
  6. Continue adding liquid and stirring until the rice is tender and creamy, 20 to 25 minutes after the first liquid addition.
  7. Once the rice is cooked, turn the heat off and stir in the lemon juice, mascarpone and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary, and serve.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

shredded chicken tacos

These are seriously awesome.  You will not be disappointed!  It's extremely important to have all the toppings though, because the cold guacamole really balances out the spiciness of the chicken.

Shredded Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts & 4 chicken thighs
  • 1 brown onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin 
  • A dash of cayenne pepper
  • Salt & pepper
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Add water to cover completely. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Partially cover and turn down to a steady simmer. Cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove chicken and cool.

Shred the chicken with a fork or your fingers.

  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 medium brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can red kidney beans (or black beans, but they don't have them in Australia)
  • ~1 teaspoon mexican chili powder
  • ~1 teaspoon cumin
  • a few shakes cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onions and sauté for a couple minutes. Then add in the garlic and sauté for a couple minutes more until the onion turns translucent. Add the black pepper and oregano and sauté for 30 seconds. Add in the tomatoes, juice, chicken stock, beans, and spices. Simmer until the liquid is reduced to half, about 8 minutes. Salt the sauce. Add in the shredded chicken and stir. Cook for a minute until the chicken has warmed up.

Guacamole (mash all together in a bowl)
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • a dollop of sour cream
  • a few shakes of lemon juice
  • a few shakes of cumin
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • Salt (a lot of salt)
  • freshly ground pepper
** Load the chicken into hard taco shells (make sure to bake taco shells in oven for a few minutes so they get nice and crisp) and top with guacamole, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, and shredded lettuce.  You can also add shredded cheddar, but I forgot this and it was still amazing!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Baked oatmeal with fruit

This recipe is extremely yummy!  I found it here and have made a few adjustments.  

  • 1 1/4 cups fruit (blueberries, strawberries, banana)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2  large eggs 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¾ cups butter, divided 
  • 2 cups rolled oats (I used quick oats and it was great)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (I forgot this ingredient and it was still good)
  • ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • 4 tbsp.  brown sugar
What you do:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (180 C).
  2. Melt butter; pour 1/4 cup into the bottom of a 9-inch square baking dish. Sprinkle fruit and 2 tbsp of brown sugar on top of the butter. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the milk, honey, eggs, remaining butter and vanilla.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. 
  5. Pour over the fruit and smooth the top. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tbsp. of brown sugar.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 40 to 50 minutes (20 min if you used quick oats), or until browned on top and fruit is bubbly. Allow to cool slightly. Serve with milk or cream. I topped it with a dollop of vanilla yogurt and it was fantastic!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Chicken & Mushroom Risotto

  • 1 1/2 cups mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 chicken breast, seasoned with salt & pepper, cooked (I boiled the chicken in water) then cut or shredded into bitesized pieces
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup grated parmigiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1/2 C water (may not need)
 What you do:
  1. Cook the chicken before proceeding with the next steps.  Chop up the mushrooms and shallots.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring the chicken broth and 1 cup water to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn the heat to low.  
  3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is rippling, add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 minutes. Add the rice and toast (and stir occasionally) for 3 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until mostly evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes.  Begin sautéing the mushrooms & parsley in butter and olive oil at the same time as the next step. 
  4. Add 2 ladles of the warm chicken broth to the rice and stir until the liquid evaporates. Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. This process should take about 20 minutes. (I ended up having to add an additional 1/2 C water at the end to get the rice soft enough. If you need to add much more than 1/2 C, I would use broth as opposed to water to maintain flavour).
  5. During the last 3 minutes of cooking, stir in the mushrooms; season with thyme, salt and pepper to taste. During the last minute of cooking, stir in the cheese and butter.