Monday, October 28, 2013

Kimchi Pancake

I have been craving this and they no longer serve it at my favorite Korean restaurant in town.  Now that I know how easy it is, there's no need to leave home to get one!  It only takes a few ingredients, most of which I keep on hand (except for the kimchi).  This recipe is modified from one I found on allrecipes.

1 cup kimchi, drained and chopped
1/2 cup reserved juice from kimchi (I used water to make up the remaining 1/2 c. since I didn't have enough   juice)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 green onion, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For the dipping sauce:
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. rice vinegar
1/2 t. sesame oil (optional)

1. Stir together the kimchi, kimchi juice, flour, eggs, and green onion in a bowl.
2. Heat vegetable oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Using about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake, pour into skillet, spreading as thin as possible.  (Note: I've always had it served as one large pancake, so that is how I made mine.  You may need to increase the cooking time.) Cook pancakes until set and lightly browned, turning once, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Season to taste with salt.
3. Whisk together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Serve with the pancakes.

Mushroom Ragu with Soft Polenta

Here is another amazing recipe that I can't believe I haven't posted yet!  It's vegetarian, but it's so flavorful and filling you won't miss the meat!  It's from a back-issue of my favorite cooking magazine, Cuisine at Home.

1/2 cup shallots, sliced
2 lb. assorted mushrooms, sliced or quartered (8 cups)
1 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup dry sherry or Madeira (grape juice works instead)
4 t. balsamic vinegar
2 t. tomato paste
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
2 t. minced fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

2 cup vegetable broth
2 cup heavy cream
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
Pinch of white pepper
1 cup yellow cornmeal
4 T. cream cheese, cubed
(2 oz.)
4 T. Parmesan cheese, grated

Saute shallots in 1 T. oil in a large saute pan over medium heat until soft. Increase heat to high, add half the mushrooms, and saute until browned; remove from pan .Add additional tablespoon of oil to the pan and saute remaining mushrooms, then return the reserved mushrooms to the pan. Add tomatoes, broth, sherry,
vinegar, and tomato paste. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Finish with herbs
and seasonings.

Bring broth, cream, and seasonings to a boil.  Whisk in cornmeal, reduce heat to low and simmer 5 min., stirring often.  Fold in cheeses before serving.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Grilled Greek Stuffed Peppers

This is one of my favorite recipes... I can't believe I haven't posted it on here until now.  It's great the way it is, but you could always add chicken or rice to mix things up a bit.


Dressing (puree in food processor):
3 jarred pepperoncini,
2 Tbsp. jarred pepperoncini
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. plain Greek-style yogurt
1 Tbsp. each chopped fresh
oregano and basil (or 1/2 t. dried of each)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
 Black pepper to taste

For the grill (brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper):
2 bell peppers, halved lengthwise, seeded
1 eggplant, sliced lengthwise
1 zucchini, cut lengthwise
1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1 yellow squash, cut lengthwise

1/3 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup pitted and chopped kalamata olives

Grill the seasoned vegetables, then chop all but the peppers.  Puree the dressing ingredients, then combine the chopped veggies, dressing, feta, and olives.  Spoon into grilled pepper halves and serve.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Baked Chicken Fajitas

I love chicken fajitas, but by the time I get everything chopped & prepped I don't want to stand at the stove cooking! In this recipe you throw everything into a baking dish and let your oven do the work. This can be made into a freezer meal easily by putting everything into a gallon freezer bag, then thawing and baking when needed.

1-1/2 lbs boneless chicken breast, sliced into thin strips
15 oz can diced tomatoes
4 oz can chopped green chilies
1 sweet onion, cut in half and sliced
1 green pepper, sliced (I used half each of green, red, and yellow peppers)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 packet fajita seasoning mix
flour tortillas and favorite toppings (cheese, sour cream, avocado/guacamole, lettuce, salsa)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together chicken, tomatoes, chilies, onion, and bell pepper in a greased 9x13 baking dish. Drizzle oil and sprinkle seasoning over chicken & vegetables; toss to coat. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve in warm tortillas with favorite toppings.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Enchiladas Suizas

I was looking for a great enchilada recipe and came across this one. I modified it a bit to suit my tastes and it was fantastic! I've made it many times and my family devours it. It also freezes well, so make a couple at a time -- one to eat tonight and one to freeze for later. :)

16 oz jar mild tomatillo salsa
12 small corn tortillas
canola oil for frying
2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken thigh meat (or you can use breast) -- seasoned how you like taco meat (I use either taco seasoning or a bit of cumin, chili powder, paprika, oregano, salt, pepper)
1 cup heavy cream
3 green onions, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put ~1/4 the jar of salsa in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Combine the cheeses and keep half of it aside for topping.

In a heavy skillet, lightly fry tortillas in shallow oil, being careful not to make them too crisp to roll.  Place about 2 tbsp chicken and 2 tbsp cheese down the center of each; roll and place seam side down in the baking dish.

After all the rolled tortillas are in the dish, pour the rest of the salsa over the top and cover evenly with heavy cream. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese mixture and the green onions.

Bake uncovered for 25 minutes. Serve immediately with any additional toppings you like - sour cream, crumbled queso fresco, olives, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, salsa, avocado/guacamole, etc.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Cheesy Italian Chicken

I got this recipe from the OAMM and it is now one of my favorite meals! Served with spaghetti the veggies end up being a fantastic chunky pasta sauce (I also cut up the chicken and mixed it with the pasta & veggies). This recipe freezes very well and doesn't need to completely thaw before baking so it can be made quicker than other frozen meals.

5 roma tomatoes, diced
2 tsp minced garlic
14.5-oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp whole wheat flour
salt and pepper to taste
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I cut into small fillets)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
fresh basil leaves, chopped

Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, artichokes, spinach, olive oil, flour, salt, and pepper. Pour into a 9x13 baking dish*.  Season chicken with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Place on top of vegetables. Bake for 40-45 minutes; top with cheeses and place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until cheese is browned. Remove and sprinkle with fresh basil.

*If you have a smaller family this can easily be split in half. Just use two smaller pans and divide the veggies and chicken in half. Cook one for dinner and freeze another for later!

To make a freezer meal: Once the chicken and veggies are in the dish, cover with plastic wrap and foil. Place cheeses in a separate freezer bag to keep with the dish. When you are ready to cook, thaw (or mostly thaw) and bake (uncovered) as directed above, top with cheese, then broil.

Note: This can be made gluten free by omitting the flour with the veggies. Your vegetable mixture will be a little more watery in the end, but will still be delicious!