Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sausage and Spinach Penne Skillet Supper

So D and I had a half jar of sun-dried tomatoes.  He's not a huge fan of them, so they would either sit there and get moldy or I had to find a recipe. Someone I follow on Pinterest posted this so I pinned it too.  Then I told D.  We both thought the instructions were weird (don't boil the pasta first), but eh.  D talked about baking it to make it easier to serve but he didn't.

Anyway, it was pretty good.  It seemed pretty easy, it was definitely fast.  I think I could make it.  We had with a Caesar Salad.  Would have again.

Sausage and Spinach Penne Skillet Supper

Photo by ALB

From Mels' Kitchen Cafe
Servings: 5

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound Italian-style turkey sausage, casings removed (used hot pork Italian sausage)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced finely
3 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed and chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces (about 3 1/2 cups) penne pasta
1 (6-ounce) bag baby spinach
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot and add in the sausage. Cook until lightly browned and no longer pink about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the water, broth, sun-dried tomatoes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, then add in the pasta. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook at a strong simmer, stirring often, until the pasta is tender and the liquid has thickened, about 15-18 minutes (if you find the liquid is absorbing too quickly and the pasta is still undercooked, add a bit more water in small amounts until the pasta is cooked thoroughly).

Stir in the spinach, a handful at at ime, and cook until wilted. Off the heat, stir in the cheese and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste adn serve immediately.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 612; Carbs: 55; Fat: 30; Protein: 29; Sodium: 1534; Fiber: 3

Ingredients used to calculate Nutritional Information:
Roseland (Aldi's) - Hot Italian Sausage, 4 link: 1,120 Calories
Kroger - Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 tbsp.: 120 Calories
Garlic - Raw, 3 cloves: 13 Calories
Water - Municipal, 3.5 cup (8 fl oz): 0 Calories
Aldi- Fit & Active - Chicken Broth All Natural No Msg - Corrected, 2.5 cup (240ml): 13 Calories
Valley Sun - Sundried Tomatoes, 0.5 cup: 25 Calories
Kroger - Coarse Kosher Salt, 1/2 tsp: 0 Calories
Ronzoni - Penne Rigate, 12 oz.: 1,260 Calories
Fresh Express - Baby Spinach Raw, 4 cups (85g): 50 Calories
Aldi Reganno - Grated Parmesan & Romano Cheese, 12 Tablespoon (5 g): 240 Calories
Pignolias - Pine Nuts, 1/4 cup- 30g: 220 Calories

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Thai Peanut Chicken and Ramen Noodle Soup

So when I was in high school, I got strep throat and somehow go hooked on Ramen. Of course, we always had it in the house, but I mean I got addicted to it. I ate it every day for 3 months straight. I'm not really sure why I stopped. Probably the pesky migraines.

Anyway I still love the noodles. So I saw this recipe for Fancy Ramen and decided I should have it. D has been stressed at work so I decided I would help and cook. I could make this.

I started making it until I cut my finger, and then D cooked the rest. I really liked it but the broth was soaked up. So more like a noodle bowl than soup. D thought it was a little sweet but really that might be because I bought roasted red chile paste (I guess Snowjam 2014 Part 2 wiped the curry paste away).

Would have again.
Half-baked Harvest also has a crock-pot version on her site.

Thai Peanut Chicken and Ramen Noodle Soup

Photo by ALB

Adapted from Half-Baked Harvest
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 6

2 tablespoons peanut oil (used vegetable oil)
1 pound chicken thighs or breast or a mix, sliced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated (D never measures, so I'm sure it was closer to 1 TBSP)
4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 sweet potato, chopped (skin removed)
2 red peppers, thinly sliced (used 1 green 1 red)
12 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup thai red curry paste
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (next time using 6)
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (used crunchy)
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 packages Ramen noodle soup, seasoning packets discarded
chopped peanuts, for serving (didn't use)
chopped cilantro, for serving

Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil and the chicken. Brown the chicken, stirring once or twice for about 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Carefully remove the chicken from the pot.

Add another tablespoon of peanut oil, the garlic, the ginger, sweet potato and peppers. Cover and cook 8-10 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender. Add the mushroom and cook 5 more minutes. Add in the curry paste and smoked paprika, stirring until the curry paste has coated the veggies.

In the meantime, add 1 cup of chicken broth to a heat safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute or until very hot. Carefully stir in the peanut butter until completely smooth.

Add the chicken back into the pot along with the coconut milk, remaining chicken broth, soy sauce, fish sauce, peanut butter mixture, lime juice and brown sugar. Stir until the peanut butter has been fully incorporated into the soup. Bring the soup to a boil and then add the ramen noodles and cook for 3-4 minutes (if using regular noodles you will need to cook the noodle for a longer period of time, probably about 8 minutes).

Once the noodles are ready serve soup immediately and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and peanuts.

Tieghan from Half-Baked Harvest says: *The ramen noodles soak up a lot of the broth if not eaten right when the noodles are done cooking. You can prepare this ahead of time, just make sure to add the noodle right before you are ready to eat.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Green Chile Rice

So the joke in our house is that I cannot make rice to save my life.  I just cannot.  People tell me to get a rice cooker.  I have one, his name is D.

So anyway he made this from the Homesick Texan and the rice was a little undercooked.  Nothing that upsetting, and it was probably more of our rice and not the recipe.  Anyway, I'd have again.  We had with Jalapeno Mustard Roast Chicken.

Green Chile Rice

Photo by ALB

by Lisa Fain from The Homesick Texan Cookbook

2 Poblano Chiles
1 Jalapeno Chile, stem and seeds removed, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 C cilantro
1 TBSP lime juice
1 TBSP vegetable oil
1 C uncooked rice
1 1/4 C chicken broth
Salt, to taste

1. Roast the poblano chiles under the broiler until blackened, about 5 minutes per side. Place the poblano chiles in a plastic food-storage bag, close it tightly and let the chiles steam for 20 minutes.  Take the chiles out of the bag and rub off the skin.  Remove the stem and seeds and chop the chiles. Place in a blender. Add to the blender the jalapeno, garlic, cumin, cilantro, lime juice and 1 TBSP water.. Puree until a thick paste forms.

2. Heat up the oil in a heavy-bottom pan on medium-low heat.  Add the rice and saute for 30 seconds. Add the poblano puree from the blender and while stirring, cook for 1 more minute.  Pour in the chicken broth, bring to a boil, and then cover the pot.  Turn the heat down to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let it sit for 10 more minutes. Stir the rice to incoproirate any puree that's accumulated on top and then salt to taste.

Jalapeño Mustard Roast Chicken

So I love Roast Chicken if it is done right. Not that dry bird that you have at a mock Thanksgiving that sat out and was seasoned with salt and nothing else. But with flavor.  And when you add peppers to it... well it should be good.  So I saw the picture in the Homesick Texan's cookbook, and decided we must have it.  I knew I couldn't make it but D could.  And he said ok.

It was juicy, slightly spicy and very good.  I had a leg and breast meat (2 meals).  Would have again.  We had with Green Chile Rice.

Jalapeño Mustard Roast Chicken

Photo by ALB

by Lisa Fain from The Homesick Texan Cookbook

1/2 C yellow mustard
2 jalapeño chiles, stems and seeds removed, chopped
1/4 C lime juice
6 cloves garlic
1/2 C cilantro
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tablespoons honey
salt, to taste
1 3-4 lb chicken

1. In a blender or food processor, mix together the mustard, jalapeño, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, ground ginger, cumin, and honey until well combined. Taste and add salt.

2. Rinse the chicken, remove the giblets. (Use the giblets for another use). To butterfly the chicken for more even cooking, remove the spine from the back of the chicken with poultry or kitchen shears, and save for another use.

3. Lightly salt the bird all over, about 1 or 2 teaspoons. Take the mustard marinade and rub it all over the chicken, gently lifting the skin so you can spread some of it on the meat under the skin. Place the coated chicken in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 8 hours (D did 3 hours).

4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a sheet with foil.

5. Take the chicken out of the refrigerator and lay it flat, breast side up on the sheet with the legs on the outside. Let it to come to room temperature (about 20 minutes) and then cook in the oven for 45-50 minutes or when a thermometer inserted in the thigh reads 170 degrees and the juice runs clear. Remove from oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Photo by ALB

Monday, February 3, 2014

Chicken, Poblano and Avocado Panini

So this recipe was based of Sunset's Chicken, Bacon, and Blue-Cheese Sandwiches. Except I don't like Blue-Cheese, or jarred red peppers, and it seemed weird with bacon.

So we made our own. It was really good. I would have again.

A truly satisfying flavor trio.

Chicken, Poblano and Avocado Panini

by D and A
Yield: Makes 4 sandwiches

1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
Photo by ALB
1 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp chipotle chile powder
4 4oz chicken breast, skinless, and boneless
1/4 cup mayonnaise (used Chipotle Aioli)
8 slices crusty white bread
6 Slices Swiss Cheese, at room temperature
2 poblano peppers, roasted
1 avocado, cut into 12 thin slices
Cooking Spray

1. (Make sure your poblano peppers are roasted). Mix seasoning and spread on the chicken.

2. In a medium frying pan over medium heaat, cook chicken, until done.

3. Spread the 1 TBSP each mayonaise on 4 pieces of bread. Top with chicken. Assemble 1/2 a poblano on the chicken along with 3 slices ofavocado, and 1 1/2 slices of Swiss Cheese.

4. Heat a grill pan coated lightly with cooking spray. Cook the sandwiches over moderately high heat with a heavy skillet on top of the sandwiches, pressing down, 2–3 minutes per side or until golden. Halve the sandwiches, and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 550; Protein: 41g Fat: 27g; Carbohydrate: 36g Fiber: 5g Sodium: 709mg

Ingredients used to calculate nutrition
Raw, Boneless, Skinless - Chicken Breast, 16 ounces: 480 Calories
Spices - Cumin, 1 tsp: 8 Calories
Spices - Oregano, dried, 1 tsp, leaves: 3 Calories
Spices - Chili powder, 1 tsp: 8 Calories
Morton - Coarse Kosher Salt, (1/2 tsp): 0 Calories
Spices - Pepper, black, 0.5 tsp: 3 Calories
Generic - Mccormick Chipotle Chile Powder, 0.5 Tsp: 0 Calories
Culinary Treasures - Chipotle Aioli, 4 Tbsp: 360 Calories
Pepperidge Farm - Italian White Bread, 8 slice (32g): 640 Calories
Sargento - Natural Swiss (Deli Style Sliced Swiss Cheese), 6 Slice: 420 Calories
Haas Avocado - Haas Avocado (5 Oz.), 1 Avocado (5 oz.): 250 Calories
Generic - Poblano Pepper, 2 pepper: 26 Calories

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Oven Fried Pickles

I got this from my friend L's Pinterest Page.  I have been having a pickle craving, and can't seem to get enough of them (no, not for that reason).  Anyway, everyone at work has been teasing me, I've been "sneaking" them out of the fridge, so when this recipe came across, I said, "Yes, please!"

I made this, if you believe that.  It was a little hard to do.  And I had to replace the panko part way through, so maybe next time, I will not put all the breading in the bowl at once.

They were really good.  I added Sriracha to the Ranch dressing because there is a restaurant near my work that does that, and I usually want to lick the bowl (but I refrain).

Anyway it was terrific. And I would have again.

Update: I figured out the NI, using a 32 oz jar of pickles.  I previously said that I used a partially eaten jar of pickles but it was over half.  I also had weighed the pickles without the juice and it was 15 oz.  So if you see a 32 oz jar has 18 oz of pickles.  So the calories are probably mostly right, but sodium may be lower.  Also I didn't measure panko and cheese that closely.  But I had some left over.  Same with the egg.  So I'd say the calories are in the 250-300 range.

Oven Fried Pickles

Adapted from
Serves 4 as an appetizer

1 16-ounce jar sliced pickles, about 1/4-inch thick (I used a partially used 32-oz jar of dill pickles)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Photo by ALB
Add 3/4 tsp salt into the flour
2 eggs (I ended up using 3 but the last egg wasn't used all up and I used it later (didn't add at the beginning)
2 tablespoons milk (I used 3 TBSP but used the last TBSP with the last egg later)
1 cup panko (Japanese style breadcrumbs) (put in half and then add half later)
1/2 cup finely grated cheddar cheese (put in half and then add half later)
Ranch dip for serving (optional)
Sriracha (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Have ready three medium bowls. In the first, place the flour. In the second, add the egg and milk and whisk with a fork to break up the yolk. In the third bowl combine the panko and grated cheese.

3. Spray or brush canola or vegetable oil on a large baking sheet.

4. Remove the pickle slices from the jar and place on paper towels; pat dry.

5. Drop one pickle slice into the flour, turn a couple of times to coat, and shake off any excess. Next, dip the pickle in the egg/milk mixture, allowing extra liquid to drip off. Finally, drop the pickle in the panko mixture and turn a couple of times to ensure an even coating on all sides. Place the breaded pickle slice on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pickle slices, placing them close together on the baking sheet but not touching. (Use two pans if necessary.)

6. Sprinkle a little kosher salt on the top side of each pickle slice.

7. Bake the prepared pickles for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the coating turns golden. If you like, turn the oven to broil for the last minute or two of cooking to achieve an extra-crisp coating.

8. Allow the pickles to cool for a few minutes and then serve while still warm with Ranch dip mixed with Sriracha, if you like.

Nutritional Information (Ranch and Sriracha not included)
Calories: 273; Carbs: 40; Fat: 11; Protein: 16; Sodium: 2428; Fiber: 2

Ingredients used to calculate NI
Vlasic - Hamburger Dill Chips Pickles (Ovals) 32 oz Jar, 1 container (18 oz (28g/about 2 1/2 slices) ea.): 90 Calories
Baker's Corner (Aldi - All Purpose Flour, 3/4 cup 31g: 300 Calories
My Salt - Morton's Iodized Salt, 3/4 tsp (1.5g): 0 Calories
Kroger - Extra Large Egg, 3 egg: 240 Calories
Kroger - 2 % Reduced Fat Milk, 1.5 oz (236mL): 23 Calories
Kikkoman - Panko Japanese Style Bread Crumbs, 1 Cup (30g): 220 Calories
Kroger - Sharp Cheddar Shredded Cheese (Correct), 1/2 cup: 220 Calories