Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Taco Bowls

10 (6 inch) flour tortillas
1/2 lb ground beef or turkey
5/8 ounce reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix
4 ounces shredded reduced-fat monterey jack cheese
4 ounces shredded low-fat cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Trim about 1/2 inch from the edge of each tortilla. Push the tortilla into nonstick muffin tin and bake for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a nonstick pan, sauté beef/turkey over medium heat, breaking apart large chunks and stirring occasional until the meat is cooked through, about ten minutes. Add taco seasoning mix and 1/3 cup water and simmer meat about 5 minutes.
3. Fill each tortilla cup with 2 tablespoons of cooked ground meat and top with a large pinch each of shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese. Bake 10-12 minutes, until cheese is melted and cups start to brown.

Notes: We made these taco bowls after seeing a recipe in Parents Magazine. I wasn't able to find the recipe again, so I've posted something I found online that looks similar and is also from Parents Magazine. The recipe we used was likely in a late 2011 or early 2012 issue. This recipe is from a 2006 issue. We used the bottom of the muffin pan to make the taco bowls, as seen in the image below, and I don't think we cut any of the tortilla off.

Source: Parents Magazine (originally), but recipe here is from with ingredients scaled to make 10 taco bowls instead of 20.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

4 large chicken breasts
2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1/4 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1/2 C milk
3 C cheddar cheese, grated
1 t dried parsley

1 14 ounce can cream of chicken soup
2 T sour cream
2 T butter

1. Cut each chicken breast into 3 large chunks.
2. In a small food processor grind up the ritz crackers.
3. Pour the milk, cheese and cracker crumbs into 3 separate small pans. Toss the 1/4 t salt and 1/8 t pepper into the cracker crumbs and stir the mixture around to combine.
4. Dip each piece of chicken into the milk then the cheese and finally the cracker crumbs.
5. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and lay the chicken inside the pan.
6. Sprinkle the dried parsley over the chicken.
7. Cover the pan with tin foil and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove the tin foil, bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the edges of the chicken are golden brown and crispy.
8. Into a medium sized sauce pan combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream and butter with a whisk. Stir it over medium high heat until the sauce is nice and hot. Serve over the chicken. Yield: 7 servings.

Notes: We made this back in February 2012 and I remember liking it.  Check out the source for better photos.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thai Chicken Stir-Fry

12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
3 tablespoons dry sherry (we used water instead)
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup bias-sliced carrots
2 cups fresh pea pods, tips and strings removed, or one 6-ounce package frozen pea pods, thawed
4 green onions, bias-sliced into 1-inch pieces (1/2 cup)
1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts
Hot cooked rice

1. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces; set aside.
2. For sauce, stir together sherry, soy sauce, water, fish sauce (if using), cornstarch, and red pepper. Set aside.
3. Pour oil into a wok or large skillet. (If necessary, add more oil during cooking.) Heat over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic to wok; cook and stir for 15 seconds. Add carrot; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add pea pods and green onions; cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes more or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove vegetables from wok.
4. Add chicken to hot wok. Cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Push chicken from center of wok. Stir sauce; add to center of wok. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Return vegetables to wok. Stir in peanuts. Cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes more or until heated through. Serve with rice. Makes 4 servings.

Notes: I enjoyed this stir fry quite a bit, but for our kids I think Thai Peanut Chicken is still the winner. There is an updated version of this recipe of the BHG website that replaces the sherry with rice wine and modifies some of the amounts and directions slightly. Compare also with Thai Peanut Noodles.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book 12th Edition.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo

4 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
4 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 (5-inch) piece fresh ginger, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bay leaf
3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Steamed rice, for serving

1. Place the onions, garlic, ginger, and bay leaf in an even layer in the slow cooker.
2. Remove and discard the skin from the chicken. Arrange the chicken in an even layer on top of the onion mixture.
3. Whisk the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and pepper together in a medium bowl and pour it over the chicken.
4. Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through and falling off the bone, about 4 to 5 hours on high or low. Remove and discard the ginger pieces and bay leaf. Serve with steamed rice.

Notes: Adobo is a traditional Filipino dish, but this probably isn't the traditional way to make it. I was introduced to adobo by one of my college roommates who served a mission in (and eventually married a girl from) the Philippines. This recipe was super easy and I really liked it. The leftovers were even better. Check out the source for a better photo.

Source: CHOW