Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lime Chicken Nachos (crockpot recipe)

I'm a big fan of nachos - of any kind. Matter of fact, Jason and I split some amazing spicy tuna and crab nachos at our favorite sushi place on Friday night. These chicken nachos are easy, great for a busy weeknight, and a crowd pleaser. You could even use them as part of a "build your own taco bar" at your next Sunday school party. This recipe is from my friend, Glynis.
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I made a few changes. One, I skipped the salsa. I'm not a huge salsa fan anyways and I wanted a "drier" nacho. Also, I dumped the whole bag of frozen corn in there and a can of rinsed/drained black beans. Then topped with cheese, of course. This is also tasty in a burrito, taco, or tostada!
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Lime Chicken Nacho/Burrito/Taco/Tostada
1.5 pound boneless/skinless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup chunky salsa
1 can rinsed/drained black beans
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Put the chicken in your crockpot. Combine lime juice and chili powder and pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low, 5-6 hours or until chicken is tender (I did high for 3 hours). Shred the chicken and stir in corn, salsa, and black beans. Cover and cook on low about 30 minutes or until warmed through.
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See - told you it was easy!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Creole Summertime Stew


This recipe is from my friend, Sheryl. She lives in NOLA so I trust her Creole recipes! This was really good - though time consuming so plan ahead. You could adjust the spice as much as you liked; I made ours pretty spicy and it helped with my sinuses. =) Overall, it's a really hands-off recipe so you can get it going and move to something else for awhile.
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Creole Summertime Stew
1/2 lb andouille sausage (I just used the whole 14 oz package)
1 lb peeled shrimp (I pulled the tail off, too)
2 cups fresh okra (or sliced frozen, which is what I did)
1.5 Creole tomatos, diced (I used a can of diced tomatos or you could use plum tomatos)
1/2 can Rotel tomatos (I just threw in the whole can)
2 slices lemon
1 vidalia onion, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced (I skipped)
2 celery stalks with leaves, diced (I used more like 4-5)
2 cloves diced garlic
Olive or vegetable oil
Fresh basil
Fresh sage
Splash of Sherry
Cajun seasoning
All Spice
Sweet paprika
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Slice the andouille and brown in as little oil as possible. Remove from pot and set aside.
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Add more oil if needed and add okra and lemon slices. Brown the okra until it's not slimy anymore - so dry and lightly browned. This takes awhile - be patient.
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Return andouille to pot and add the onion, pepper, celery, and garlic. Cook until soft.
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Add a splash of Sherry to the pot to deglaze, scraping up all the browned bits on the bottom. Add tomatos, Rotel, cajun seasoning (to taste), and cook about an hour.
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Add shrimp and cook another 15-30 minutes on low heat. Remove lemon rinds, add fresh herbs and additional seasonings to taste, and serve with white rice.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cajun Meatloaf

This meatloaf is from The Pioneer Woman. It's a nice twist on the traditional meat loaf - but admittedly didn't really have a cajun flavor to it, even with quite a bit of Frank's poured in. Still tasty, though!

Excuse the recipe without a photo - they came out quite unappealing...

Cajun Meatloaf
3 whole bell peppers
2 whole medium onions
1 bunch of celery (5-6 ribs)
8-10 cloves of garlic
6 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Few shakes of hot sauce
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup milk
1-2 cups breadcrumbs
2 pounds ground beef
1 pound ground pork
3 whole eggs
2 tablespoons honey

Preheat oven to 400.

Chop all the veggies (pepper, onion, celery into small dice and mince the garlic). Over med-high heat, melt 6 tablespoons butter. Once butter begins to brown, add the veggies and garlic. Add about 1 tablespoon salt. After these have cooked a few minutes, add 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon cayenne. If you want to, add the hot sauce now. Next add 1/2 cup ketchup. Continue cooking and stirring for a few more minutes than remove from heat.

After it cools a few minutes, add 1/2 cup milk. Stir until combined. Add at least 1 cup breadcrumbs; continue adding until mixture is a nice thick paste. In a large bowl, mix the group beef and pork. Whisk 3 eggs and add to meat. Mix the veggie mix into the meat.

Spray a sheet pan with non stick spray. Using your hand, move the meat mixture to the pan and make it into a loaf that's about 1.5 inches thick and 6-8 inches wide. In a small bowl, mix 3/4 cup ketchup with 2 tablespoons honey. Slather that sauce all over the top of the meatloaf.

Bake for about 40 minutes.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pork Vindaloo with Raita
















This is from my friend, Stephanie, and I loved it. My favorite Indian dish is Butter Chicken but this will satisfy my craving for Indian spice without the butter and cream found in my favorite dish (which you should make if you haven't yet). I also liked this dish because you can use up vegetables or meat that you have on hand.

Mine ended up not being heavy on tomatoes, like some versions I've seen. I will add a can or two of diced tomatoes next time to stretch the sauce. I'd also pick up some additional veggies to throw in.

Pork Vindaloo with RaitaRaita:
1.5 cups lowfat plain yogurt
3/4 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber
3/4 cup chopped seeded tomato (I skipped - I don't like raw tomato)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala
Vindaloo:
1.5 cups thinly sliced sweet onion
2 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 - 1 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 pounds boneless pork loin, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
EVOO
1 cup chopped seeded tomato (or a can of diced tomatoes)
4.5 cups hot cooked basmati rice

To prepare raita, spoon yogurt onto several layers of paper towels; spread to 1/2 inch thickness. Cover with additional paper towels and let stand 5 minutes. Scrape into a bowl using a rubber spatula. Stir in cucumber, 3/4 cup tomato, 1/4 tsp salt, and garam masala. Cover and refrigerate.

To prepare vindaloo, combine onion and next 13 ingredients (through pork) in a large bowl. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat with EVOO. Add pork mixture and saute 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in 1 cup tomato. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until pork is tender (the longer the better!) stirring occasionally. Serve with raita and rice.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Baby-Back Ribs with Honey Mustard Glaze and Baked Beans

I've never made ribs before... or baked beans, for that matter. Both of these ended up being delicious - my dad actually called them "awesome" as he cleaned his plate.

The ribs were unbelievably tender - it was a bit tricky to flip them on the grill so I wouldn't lose anything in the grate but I recruited help and it worked well. I practically ate them with a fork!

I bought navy beans to soak for the baked beans... but miscalculated the time needed (a theme with me) so I changed gears in the middle and used canned beans instead.

I served potato salad and coleslaw with it - those count as veggies, right?
















Baby Back Ribs with Honey Mustard Glaze
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt and ground pepper
4 pounds baby-back ribs (2-3 racks)
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 honey

Heat oven to 275. Make the rub: in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, dry mustard, oregano, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Places the ribs on a large ribbed baking sheet. Rub the ribs with the spice mixture and tightly cover with foil. Bake until tender and the meat easily pulls away from the bone, 2 - 2.5 hours.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a small bowl combine the Dijon mustard, vinegar, and honey. Save 1/2 cup for serving.

Heat grill to medium-high. Grill the ribs, basting with the sauce and turning occasionally, until just beginning to char, 4-5 minutes. Serve with reserved sauce.















Baked Beans
3-5 strips of bacon (I used 5 strips of pepper bacon)
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 (15 ounce) cans pork and beans
1/3 cup BBQ sauce (I used some Jack Daniels I had on hand)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons dry mustard


In skillet (I used cast iron) cook the bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towel. Add the onion to the drippings (drain some out if it's too much) and cook until softened.

Drain 1 can of the beans and pour it, and the 2nd can, into a bowl. Add the cooked onion, BBQ sauce, brown sugar, and mustard. Mix well.

Pour the contents of the bowl into a greased baking dish (or back into the cast iron skillet, which is what I did).

Bake uncovered at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until bubbly. Crumble the bacon on top when it finishes.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Spicy Shrimp Cakes
















This recipe was from my friend, Michelle, and it was really good! Similar to a crabcake but with a distinct shrimp taste and much lower cost. Tasty!

Spicy Shrimp Cakes
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Cooking Spray
1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 garlic clove minced
1/4 thinly sliced green onions
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1.5 teaspoons hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 finely chopped cilantro
3/4 panko divided

Place shrimp in food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the rest of the ingredients, up until the panko, into the food processor and pulse until well mixed. Remove from processor and mix in half of the panko.

Divide shrimp mixture into 10 equal portions, forming patties. Dredge both sides in remaining panko. Chill at least one hour.

Heat pan over medium high heat and coat with cooking spray. Cook cakes 4 minutes on each side or until browned.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Grilled Creamed Corn

















I was a big fan of this dish - it had a great grill flavor within the delicious creamy corn. Great alongside a burger! It came from Rachael Ray magazine.

Grilled Creamed Corn
8 ears corn, husked
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 & 1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoon cream cheese
Salt and pepper
Cayenne pepper (optional - though highly recommended!)

Preheat grill to med-high. Arrange the corn on the grill and cook, turning occasionally, until the kernels are golden brown and soft - about 8-10 minutes. Cut the kernels off the cob (it should be about 5 cups of kernels). Lower grill heat to medium.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet on the grill. Add the butter to melt and then whisk in flour until combined and foaming, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk and cream cheese and cook, whisking constantly, until smooth and thick, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in corn kernels, season with salt and pepper and cayenne and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Grilled Maple Chipotle Pork with Smoked Gouda Grits
















Um, YUM! I could eat this everyday, I think. It's smoky, spicy, and sweet all at the same time. The recipe is easy and fairly quick. It's from this month's Southern Living.
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The recipe calls for bone in pork loin chops but I had some sliced boneless pork loin in the freezer I used instead.
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Grilled Maple Chipotle Pork
1/2 cup barbeque sauce
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp. minced canned chipotle peppers in adobe sauce
6 (1&1/4 inch thick) bone in pork loin chops
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
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Preheat grill to med-high heat (350-400 degrees). Whisk together the first 3 ingredients; reserve half.

Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.

Grill pork, covered, 9 minutes on each side or until measuring 155 degrees at the thickest portion, basting with half of the bbq sauce mixture during the last 5 minutes of grilling.
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Smoked Gouda Grits
Bring 4 cups of water, 4 cups of milk, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp ground white pepper (I used black) to a boil in a large saucepan; gradually whisk in 2 cups uncooked quick-cooking grits. Cook, whisking often, 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Whisk in 1&2/3 cups (6.5 ounce) shredded smoked Gouda cheese and 3 tbsp butter, whisking until blended.
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Serve a piece of pork on a mound of grits and ladle reserved BBQ sauce over top

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Thai Chicken Fettuccine
















This was a really quick faux-Thai peanut sauce recipe. Start to finish (including pasta) was about 15 minutes. Sadly, I didn't think to wipe the edge of the bowl after I mixed it for the picture!

Thai Chicken Fettuccine
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used EVOO)
1 pound boneless/skinless chicken breast, cut into strips (you can use any protein - tofu, shrimp, pork, etc)
1 cup picante sauce
1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
16 ounces hot cooked fettuccine
Chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil over med-high heat and cook chicken until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. I thinly sliced mine so it would cook even faster.

Stir in picante sauce, peanut butter, honey, orange juice, soy sauce and ginger. Cook and stir until chicken is cooked through and the sauce is well mixed.

Add fettuccine (I threw the drained fettuccine in a bowl and poured the mixture of top of it). Toss well and top with cilantro.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Stuffed Shells (sausage, spinach, and cheese)

















This is from Redbook magazine and really tasty. Now, they say prep is 15 minutes but I disagree. It took me that long to just stuff the shells - though it wasn't horribly time consuming... I just wouldn't make it on a weeknight. The pan in the pic is 9x13 - I had enough shells to fill that entire pan plus an 8x8 pan. However, I think I used more sausage than it called for... I just used the whole package, which was about a pound.

Sausage, spinach, and cheese stuffed shells
1 12-ounce pkg jumbo pasta shells
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 lb bulk sweet Italian sausage
2 cloves garlic, minced (I used 4)
1 large egg
1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
1 9-ounce frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 ounce fresh mozzarella, grated
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1 32-ounce jar tomato sauce with basil

Bring pot of water to boil; add shells and cook according to package. Drain, rinse under cold water. Drain on paper towels.

Heat oil in large skillet on med-high heat; add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add sausage, breaking up in small pieces with wooden spoon. Cook, stirring frequently, until sausage is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Remove from heat.

Beat egg lightly in large bowl. Stir in ricotta, spinach, 1/2 cup Parmesan, mozzarella, salt, pepper, and cooled sausage mixture until well blended. Fill pasta shells with mixture.

Heat oven to 350. Spread 1 cup of tomato sauce in bottom of baking dish. Arrange shells in dish. Spread remaining sauce over shells. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Bake another 10 minutes.

*I didn't realize I was short on Parmesan so I used mozzarella on top when I removed the foil.


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