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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tollhouse Pie

This is super yummy!  Any chocolate-chip cookie fan should love this pie!

1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie crust
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup (6 oz.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup chopped nuts
Sweetened whipped cream or ice cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°.

Beat eggs in large bowl on high speed until foamy. Beat in flour, sugar, and brown sugar. Beat in butter. Stir in morsels and nuts. Spoon into pie crust.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 15-30 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice-cream, if desired.

Note: If using a frozen pie crust, use deep-dish style. Thaw crust completely before filling. Bake on baking sheet.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower has never been my favorite.  But I would eat it roasted any day.  So yummy!   Adapted from Cooks Illustrated, Published January 1, 2007.

1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 pounds)
2 T canola oil
2 T olive oil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1. Adjust oven rack to second lowest position and heat oven to 475 degrees.  Pour oil onto a 11x17 rimmed baking sheet.  Put in oven for a 2-3 minutes while it's heating up, and until the oil is hot and glistening but not smoking.  Remove from oven and let it continue to preheat.
2.  Trim leaves of cauliflower and cut stem flush with bottom.  Cut into 8 equal wedges so that the core and florets remain in tact.  Place wedges cut side down on foil- or parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.(Alternatively cut the cauliflower into "stakes" about 1/2-1 inch thick with the core in tact).  Put on baking sheet and coat with oil.  Then flip over and coat other side.  Drizzle with extra olive oil* if needed and and sprinkle with salt and pepper; gently rub to evenly distribute oil and seasonings.
3.  Carefully cover baking sheet tightly with foil and cook for 10 minutes. Remove foil and continue to roast until bottoms of cauliflower pieces are golden, 8 to 12 minutes. Remove sheet from oven, and, using spatula, carefully flip wedges. Return sheet to oven and continue to roast until cauliflower is golden all over, 8 to 12 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.

*Note: The recipe also suggests you can make spiced versions made with either curry powder or chili powder. Simply stir 2 teaspoons of either spice into the oil before drizzling it on in step 2.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Oven Baked Chimichangas

This recipe is a great way to use up leftover rice (or quinoa) and chicken.  And it soooooo good.  Baldy especially likes it with leftover Mexican chicken.

14/ cup canola oil
1 onion, chopped extra fine
1 (16 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups cooked brown or white rice (or quinoa)
2-3 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken
1-2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (note this can add a lot of heat, to lessen the heat remove the seeds and only use on chile.  Since there are several in a can, I freeze the rest to use later).
1 cup shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
salt and pepper
6 large burrito-size flour tortillas (we like whole wheat)

Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.  While the oven is heating, in a large 10-inch skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat until the oil is shimmering.  Cook the onion until it is just softened about 3-4 minutes.  Stir in beans, rice, chicken, and chipotle pepper and cook until the mixture is heated through about another 3-4 minutes.  Take it off the heat and add the cheese and cilantro.  Season with salt and pepper to taste (about 1/4 t of each).

Warm the tortillas in the microwave until soft and pliable (cover with a damp paper towel and cook about 30-60 seconds).  Top each warm tortilla with some of the chicken mixture leaving about 2 inches from the sides.  Tuck in both ends and roll up tightly.  Brush the wrapped tortillas with the remaining oil and arrange them seam side down on the hot baking sheet in the oven.  Bake until the chimichangas are golden brown and crisp about 7-9 minutes.  Serve with a side of lettuce, sour cream, fresh tomatoes, and/or salsa.

Note: The chimichanga filling freezes really well.  So sometimes I only make up 2 or so chimis and then freeze the rest to make at another meal.

Salsa Verde Chicken Tostadas

This is one of my favorite recipes to use leftover chicken in. You can marinate the chicken, salsa, and bean mixture 2-3 hours before cooking, but I think it still tastes really good as a quick last-minute dinner w/o any marinating.  My favorite part is the crunchy tostada.  Adapted from My Kitchen Cafe.

4 whole-wheat flour tortillas
1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 1/2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 cup green salsa (salsa verde) plus more for serving  (we like the Goya brand)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Toppings: lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, avocado, etc.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the tortillas on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the tortillas, bake until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss together the chicken, salsa verde, 1/4 cup cilantro, beans, and cumin (this can marinate all day if you like). Spoon mixture evenly over the tortillas and bake until heated through about 8 minutes.

Top warm tostadas with lettuce, tomato, and sour cream and other toppings as desired.  Serve immediately with additional green salsa if desired.

Enchilada Style Chicken Burritos

Another favorite leftover chicken recipe.

2 cups cooked chickehn, chopped or shredded (we like the Mexican chicken or lefttover rotisserie/roasted chicken, canned chicken also taste good just rinse it first)
1 package Vigo black beans and rice, cooked
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups Colby-Jack or Cheddar cheese
10 tortillas
1 small can red enchilada sauce

Prepare the Vigo beans and rice according to package directions.  Mix chicken, beans and rice, and canned beans.  Add 1 cup of cheese and mix together.  Pour a little sauce on bottomo of 9x13 pan.  Fill tortillas with chicken mixture, place in pan, pour remaining sauce on top and then sprinkle with cheese.  Cook 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

*Note this can be made ahead and frozen.  Just cover enchiladas with aluminum foil and freeze.  Remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for about 1-2 days, then bake a little longer.

Mexican Chicken

A super easy crock-pot recipe to cook chicken.  We don't love this chicken by itself, but prefer to use the chicken in other recipes (like the chimichangas).  But you can serve it over steamed rice with cheese, tortilla chips, and green onions for a meal if you like.

3 large chicken breasts
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can reduced fat cream of chicken soup
16 oz. jar of salsa (mild or medium according to your taste)
1/2 cup sour cream

Mix together the soup, salsa, and sour cream in a bowl.  Grease crock pot.  Put chicken breasts and black beans into crockpot.  Pour soup mixture on top.  Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours (less if chicken is already thawed).  When done, break apart and shred chicken.  Measure in 1-2 cup intervals to use for other recipes (I like to freeze it in 2 cup sizes in quart size ziploc bags).

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Salsa Couscous Chicken

from my sister-in-law, who I believe got it from her sister-in-law. The spices in this recipe really blend together well for a super-tasty, unique dish.

3 C hot cooked couscous (prepared according to package directions)
1 T olive oil
½ C chopped almonds
2 minced garlic cloves
8 skinless chicken thighs or breasts
1 C chunky salsa
¼ C water
2 T raisins (optional)
1 T honey
¾ t cumin
½ t cinnamon

Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Cook almonds 1-2 minutes until golden; remove. Add garlic. Cook 30 sec. Add chicken. Cook 4-5 minutes or until browned, turning once. Mix in a medium bowl: salsa, water, raisins, honey, and spices. Add to the chicken. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook 20 minutes or until chicken is tender. Add almonds. Serve on couscous. Prep time 30 minutes, 4 servings.

Tortilla Pie

This is a favorite vegetarian recipe.  It’s great because you can use to turn leftover fresh salsa and guacamole into something new. But you can also use prepared salsa (from a jar) and *guacamole (frozen) and easily have all the ingredients “on hand” for a last minute dinner—Preparation time is only 10-15 minutes, baking time 25 minutes. From Easy Weeknight Favorites.

• 1 (16 oz) can refried beans
–OR- drained black beans
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• ½ teaspoon ground cumin
• 8 eight-inch flour tortillas
• 1 cup chunky salsa (fresh will work—just drain extra juices) mild or medium according to preference
• 2 (4-6 oz) cartons of *guacamole or about 1½ -2 cups fresh guacamole
• 1 (8 oz) package of shredded Mexican cheese blend cheese or cheddar cheese
• Garnishes: sour cream, chopped lettuce or spinach, additional salsa or guacamole

1. Combine beans with chili powder and cumin, set aside (I prefer black beans over refried beans). Line a 9-inch cake pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
2. Place 1 tortilla on the bottom and spread with half of the bean mixture, top with another tortilla. Spread with ½ cup salsa, and top with another tortilla. Spread with half of guacamole, and top with another tortilla. Sprinkle with half of cheese, and top with another tortilla.
3. Repeat layers with remaining ingredients, except cheese. (Pan will be quite full).
4. Cover with foil and bake at 350ºF for 20 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake uncovered an additional 3-5 minutes until cheese melts. Cut into wedges to serve. Garnish, if desired. Yields 6-8 servings.

*Note: you can make your own guacamole, but I prefer to buy “fresherized” guacamole for this recipe that is available at grocery stores in the same section as baby carrots. It tastes great, has no preservatives, and can be frozen (thaw before using it in this recipe). Also it is usually the same price or cheaper than buying avocados! I’ve found it both at Wegmans and Aldi.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pumpkin Apple Muffins

These not too sweet and healthy muffins don't sacrifice on taste.  Make about 12 muffins or 24 mini muffins. 

1 1/3 Cups All Purpose Flour
2/3 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Ginger
1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
Dash of cloves
3 Tbsp Vegetable or Canola Oil
1/2 Cup Agave Nectar OR Honey
1 Egg*
1/2 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree
1 Medium Apple, peeled and grated (Gala, Pink Lady, Fuji or Golden Delicious are good choices)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine the first 7 ingredients in a bowl and mix.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together.
4. Slowly add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
5. Grease muffin tins or line them with muffin cups and fill each cup 3/4 full with the batter.
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
7. Serve.

*These turned out great egg-free.  For the egg substitute I did two things.  First, I increased the baking powder to 3 tsp. and mixed that in with the dry ingredients.  Then in a small bowl I combined 3 Tbsp of warm water with 1 Tbsp of milled flaxseed and microwaved it for about 20 seconds.  Stir the water and flaxseed together until the mixture starts to bind and then pour into the wet ingredients.  The milled flaxseed helps bind the muffin together and the extra baking powder helps with the leaven.