Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Southwestern Steak, Rice & Black Beans

2 lb boneless top sirloin steak, about 3/4-inch thick, trimmed
1/4 cup canola oil, divided
1 1/2 Tbs chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/4 tsp salt, divided
2 medium lemons
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
6 cups hot cooked medium or long grain rice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, optional

1. Preheat grill or broiler. Rub both sides of steak with 2 tablespoons canola oil. Mix chili powder, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; rub onto steak.
Grill or broil steak 10 minutes for medium-rare, turning halfway through cooking, or to desired doneness.
Place steak on cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before thinly slicing across the grain; set aside.
Meanwhile, grate 1 tablespoon lemon zest and combine with juice from one and a half lemons and remaining 2 tablespoons canola oil in large bowl.
Add tomatoes, black beans and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and mix well. Add hot rice and toss to blend.
Place rice mixture on serving platter and top with beef slices. Garnish with cilantro and additional lemon wedges, if desired.

Notes: YUM!!! We got this recipe from Macey's
recipe of the day. It was so delicious.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

4 chicken breasts
4 slices of ham (may need more or less depending on how thick they are)
4 slices Swiss cheese
1/4 c. flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
4 Tbsp. butter

1. Pound chicken breasts until they are 1/4 inch thick. This can be done easily by placing the chicken breast between plastic wrap and using a mallet to pound it.
2. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Place 1 slice of cheese and 1 slice of ham on each chicken breast. Roll up each breast, using a toothpick to secure if needed.
3. Dredge in flour, shaking off any extra. Dredge in egg and then bread crumbs. Place in greased baking dish. Place about 1 tablespoon of butter on each chicken breast.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes, or until juices run clear. Serve with a sauce made from chicken broth and cream, or cream of chicken soup and sour cream, seasoned to your taste.

Notes: Although it sounds fancy, this recipe is really simple and extra tasty! *The amounts can be adjusted depending on how many people you will be cooking for. I think I only did 2 chicken breasts, but doubled the recipe for this post.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Creamy Tomato Soup

1 (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (or dill)
1/2 cup heavy cream, optional

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Strain the chopped tomatoes, reserving the juices, and spread onto a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, to taste, drizzle with 1/4 cup of the olive oil, and roast until caramelized, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat remaining olive oil over medium-low heat. Add celery, carrot, onion and garlic, cook until softened, about 15 minutes. (Times double for doubled recipe.)

Add the roasted tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, chicken broth, bay leaf, and butter. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15-20 minutes. Add basil and cream, if using. Puree in your blender or with a hand held immersion blender until smooth.

Notes: This is the 100th recipe that we've posted on the blog! We got the recipe from one of my high school friends and his wife. It is definitely a step up from canned tomato soup, and we both thought it would be very tasty in a bread bowl.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Chicken Mole

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 lbs chicken parts
1 cup chopped onion (1 small)
1 clove garlic
2 1/2 cups salsa
1 cup chicken broth
3 Tbsp chili powder
2 to 3 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp Baking Cocoa
8 cups cooked long-grain white rice (optional)
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Heat vegetable oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook, turning frequently, for 4 to 6 minutes or until browned on all sides. Remove from skillet. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes or until onion is tender.

Stir in salsa, broth, chili powder, peanut butter, and cocoa. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Place chicken in sauce; cook, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink near bone. Makes 8 servings.

Optional: Combine rice and parsley in medium bowl; serve with Chicken Mole.

Notes: One of my college roommates was from Mexico and used to frequently make mole. He got me hooked on it. Despite the fact that I've craved it several times since Brittany and I got married, this is the first time we've made it. There are lots of different mole recipes out there. I found this one here. I thought it was easy yet tasty, but I really don't know how authentic it is. We quartered the recipe and, while it didn't call for it, chopped up the chicken. I will probably make more sauce next time we have this if we chop up the chicken again. The original recipe calls for Ortega salsa and we just happened to have that kind - different brands would likely give different flavors.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Pineapple Glazed Chicken (or Pork Chops)

4 medium sized chicken breasts or pork chops (1/2 to 3/4 inch thick)
1/2 can pineapple rings, drained (reserve juice)
3/4 tbsp. dark brown sugar
2 tbsp. prepared mustard
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in 1/8 cup cold water
enough water to bring reserved juice to 1/2 cup

Drain pineapple and reserve juice. Salt and pepper pork chops or chicken to taste.
In a small sauce pan combine pineapple juice, water, brown sugar and mustard and bring to a light boil. Reduce heat and stir in lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and cornstarch mixture. Simmer for 3 minutes until thick, stirring constantly.
Brush sauce on pork chops or chicken breasts and place on a prepared grill. Brown pork chops/chicken for 2 minutes on each side, brush on more sauce and top with pineapple rings. Cook for two or three more minutes and turn so pineapple rings are on the grill surface and get the nice grill marks and cook for two or three more minutes. Flip once more, baste with sauce, and check pork chops or chicken. If done allow to rest for five minutes and serve.
Notes: Although these directions are for grilled chicken or pork, we still don't have a grill so we broiled the chicken instead. I thought it was quite tasty and it would probably be even better on the grill. Brittany used 2 large chicken breasts and sliced them in half so that they were thinner. She also used pineapple chunks because that is what we had. Brittany found the recipe, which she halved, at Cooks.com.