Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Foodie Blogroll!

I've joined the Foodie Blogroll. If you have a cooking blog, and you haven't joined it yet, you should click on the link on the right side of my blog and join. :)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Chicken Enchiladas

My husband thought he hated Mexican food for about the first 4 or 5 months we were dating. Then, one day, I decided to make Chicken Enchiladas, and he loved them. Granted, those enchiladas I made that day are about as close to authentic as a Taco Bell crunchwrap, but I think they're pretty darn tasty. Ever since that day, he's requested them on a fairly regular basis. Tonight, I decided to try a new recipe. Overall, we like my regular recipe better, but these were great, and a nice change. Unfortunately, mine didn't look pretty coming out of the oven, so enjoy the picture I downloaded off the internet.

Cottage Cheese Chicken Enchiladas (allrecipes.com)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - boiled and shredded
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (7 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups cottage cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
12 (6 inch) corn tortillas (I used flour)
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (10 ounce) can red enchilada sauce

To Make Meat Mixture: Heat oil in medium skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, onion and green chile peppers and saute until browned, then add taco seasoning and prepare meat mixture according to package directions.

To Make Cheese Mixture: In a medium bowl mix sour cream with cottage cheese and season with salt and pepper; stir until well blended.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To Assemble Enchiladas: Heat tortillas until soft. In each tortilla place a spoonful of meat mixture, a spoonful of cheese mixture and a bit of shredded cheese. Roll tortillas and place in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Top with any remaining meat and cheese mixture, enchilada sauce and remaining shredded cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted & bubbly.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Braised Chicken with Onions, Garlic, & Balsamic Vinegar

I love recipes with minimal ingredients. They make my already busy life so much easier. I especially love it when I happen to have all those ingredients in my kitchen. So, I was absolutely thrilled to come across this little wonder on foodnetwork.com. It has such amazing flavor. I hope you all enjoy it as much as we did.

Braised Chicken with Onions, Garlic, & Balsamic Vinegar

6 slices bacon (4 oz), cut crosswise into 1/4 inch strips
1 chicken, cut up into 8 pieces (I used chicken legs because it was all we had)
1 lb onion or shallots, thinly sliced
1 head garlic, cloves separated & peeled
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar.

Cook bacon in a deep, 12-inch, heavy skillet over moderately low heat, turning twice, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and reserve bacon fat in skillet.

While bacon is cooking, pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Brown in bacon fat, beginning with skin side down, in 2 batches, over moderately high heat, turning, about 8 minutes. Transfer browned chicken with tongs to a plate, and pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet.

Lower heat, add onions to skillet and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft and pale golden, about 10 minutes.

Remove lid and cook onions, stirring, until deep golden, about 10 minutes more. Add garlic and 1 cup water to skillet and boil, stirring, 1 minute.

Return chicken to skillet, turning pieces to coat, then arrange them skin sides up and gently simmer, covered, until chicken is cooked through and garlic is tender, about 30 minutes.

Transfer chicken with tongs to a serving dish. Add vinegar to sauce and boil, uncovered, mashing garlic with back of a spoon or a potato masher, until slightly thickened. Season sauce with salt and pepper and pour over chicken, then sprinkle with bacon (I tossed out the bacon after using it for the grease because I don't really care for bacon).

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Another reason I love my husband

Below, you shall see just one of the many reasons I love my husband:

My husband was at the grocery store a couple days ago while I was still at work and found New York Seltzer. I used to drink the stuff all the time when I was a kid. It was the worst day ever when I found out they stopped making it.

For some reason, it just tastes like corn syrup to me now. :(

Monday, June 18, 2007

Good Old Fashioned Comfort Food

Last week, I didn't cook once. Blame work, blame laziness, blame the government, whichever you want. I vowed that this week would be different. Tonight, we were in the mood for some comfort food. So, we decided on Rachael Ray's Parmigiano & Herb Chicken Tenders with some Mac & Cheese. I forgot to take a picture, so here is the one I downloaded from foodnetwork.com.

We didn't follow the recipe exactly, as usual. I've indicated our changes. I think you should make them too.

Parmigiano & Herb Chicken Tenders (foodnetwork.com, slightly modified)

Olive oil, for frying (we used peanut oil)
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenders
Salt and pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten with 1/4 cup water

2 cups Italian style bread crumbs (we used regular)
1 cup shredded Parmesan
6 sprigs or stems fresh thyme leaves, stripped and chopped, 2 to 3 tablespoons
6 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped, 3 tablespoons
2 handfuls chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped (I used garlic powder - the thought of deep fried garlic cloves seemed a little wrong).

Heat 1/2-inch oil in a large nonstick skillet or frying pan over medium to medium high heat. (We used our deep fryer, heated to about 370 degrees).

Place flour in a shallow dish. Beat eggs with water in a second dish along side the flour. In a third dish, combine the breading ingredients. Coat chicken in flour, then egg, then bread and cheese mixture. To keep your hands clean, ask for plastic gloves at the butcher counter. To ease your clean up, try using disposable tin pie tins for the flour, egg and bread crumbs.

Cook chicken until deeply golden on each side, 3 to 4 minutes. (Because of the deep fryer, we just fried them for 5 minutes total). Transfer to cookie sheet in preheated oven and finish off for another 5 minutes cooking time. Cook chicken 5 or 6 tenders at a time in a single layer, adding additional oil if necessary. If the chicken begins to brown too quickly lower heat slightly. (We just skipped this, as the tenders didn't need additional cooking time). Serve with your choice of dipping sauce.

As I said before, I made some homemade mac & cheese to go along with the tenders. I didn't follow a recipe, I just sort of made it up as I went along. So, this is my best guess of what I did.

Homemade Mac & Cheese
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1/2 cup milk
1 cup cottage cheese (yes, cottage cheese)
4 oz Velveeta cheese
freshly ground pepper

Boil noodles to al dente. Set aside.

In food processor, mix together cottage cheese, pepper, & milk. Add that to the noodle pot; mix in noodles. Cube the Velveeta, and stir in until melted.

So now, I'm sitting on my couch writing this, feeling full & happy. Life is good.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

First Post!

My first post on my newly-created food blog... how exciting.

Before I start posting the good stuff, let me introduce myself. My name is Elizabeth. I'm a mid-twenties attorney in Minneapolis who began cooking as a way to procrastinate and reduce stress while studying for the bar exam last summer. I soon discovered that I like to cook, and am actually pretty good at it. I love scrounging through cook books and cooking web sites finding new recipes to try out, watching Food Network, and trying to decipher my grandmother's old recipe cards.

I've found some great ones over the past year and I hope you enjoy them too.