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Category Archives: Entrees

Coconut Curry Chicken – In the Crock Pot

I am a sucker for curry. I love all kinds. There’s something lovely about the warm aroma, sweet and spicy flavors, and the way the rice soaks up the amazing sauce. I recently made this version for some friends, and it was a hit.cocount curry chicken

The Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks (you can also use thighs)
  • 5 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  •  1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 large bell pepper, seeded and chopped (actually this time I used a handful of the sweet mini peppers — a mixture of red, orange and yellow)
  • 1 (5 oz) can of tomato paste
  • 1 (14 oz) can of coconut milk
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 Tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 jalapeño (seeded and halved) OR 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1.5 Tablespoons cornstarch

The Instructions

  • Coat your crock pot with a cooking spray (like Pam)
  • Place the chicken and carrots at the bottom of the crock pot
  • Take all of the other ingredients (except for the cornstarch and water) and put them in your food processor until it is mostly smooth.
  • Pour sauce over the chicken and carrots in the crock pot and stir
  • Cover, cook on low for 6 hours
  • About an hour before it’s done, mix the cornstarch in the water, then add the mixture to the crock pot and stir well.

Serve over rice and enjoy! Garnish with fresh cilantro if you have it.

Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken

teriyaki chickenThis recipe was so easy and delicious! I rarely like what comes out of the crock pot, so rest assured that any crock pot recipes that make it onto this blog are legitimately GOOD.

The Ingredients:

  • 4-5 chicken breasts (approximately 3 pounds)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (I used reduced sodium)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch + 4 Tablespoons cold water

The Instructions:

  • Spray the inside of your crock pot with cooking spray.
  • Place chicken breasts into crock pot. I had a huge bag of frozen chicken from Costco, and I just rinsed off the protective ice glaze, but the chicken was largely still frozen. It was fine.
  • In a separate bowl combine 1.5 cups water, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 teaspoon sesame oil.
  • Stir sauce to combine, and then pour on top of the chicken and cover the crock pot.
  • Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 7 hours.
  • When the chicken is cooked and shreddable (I did this at the 4 hour mark while cooking on high), remove from crock pot and pull it apart.
  • Meanwhile, strain the bits from the sauce in the pot. I used a ladle and a strainer and kept scooping until it was mostly clean. You don’t HAVE to do this, but my kids would probably complain that there were pieces in their sauce.
  • Mix together the cornstarch and cold water, then add to crock pot.
  • Return the chicken to the pot. I shredded mine quite a bit, again thinking about small mouths eating dinner. Plus, it gets saucy and delicious.
  • Cover the crock pot and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

I served this over white rice and with a side of sautéd edamame and broccoli (yum).

Simple, yet Delicious, Turkey Tetrazzini

turkey-tetrazziniIn honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, I bring you my all-time favorite leftover turkey recipe. I’m not sure why I always wait to have turkey leftovers to make this. There’s no reason why I couldn’t make it with chicken every other time of the year. This dish is gooey, cheesy and delicious.

The Ingredients:

  • 1 (16 ounce) package of uncooked spaghetti (thin)
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 and 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • About 4 cups chopped cooked turkey

The Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease a baking dish.
  2. Boil a large pot of salted water, and cook spaghetti al dente (8-10 minutes). Drain and place pasta in baking dish.
  3. Melt butter in large saucepan, then add flour. Whisk in milk and chicken broth, and cook until the mixture comes to a boil.
  4. Add 1 and 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese until melted/combined. Remove from heat.
  5. Combine pasta, cheese sauce and chopped turkey, and bake at 350 for about 1 hour. The top of the tetrazzini will be lightly browned.

Serve with veggies on the side – like steamed green beans.

Enjoy the cheesy, yummy goodness!

Dylan’s Favorite Chicken Drumsticks

Crispy-Chicken-LegsYou know a recipe’s a keeper when your seven-year-old double checks at the end of the meal and asks, “Do you have more?”  He had eaten his fill, but before he could leave the table, he had to make sure there would be leftovers for a future snack.

My favorite thing about this recipe is that I just have to put it into the slow-cooker. Oh, and did I mention that my kids will eat it?! Victory!

The Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8-12 chicken drumsticks (with or without skin)
  • aluminum foil
The Instructions:
1. Crumble aluminum foil into balls and place in the slow-cooker. Your chicken will rest on top of the foil so it doesn’t get mushy-gushy.
2. Combine the seasoning in a small bowl.
3. Wash the chicken drumsticks and pat dry with paper towels.
4. Rub the spices into the drumsticks and place in the slow-cooker on top of the foil.
5. Cook on low … I had it set for 8 hours, but after 4 hours the chicken was perfect. I’m not sure if the chicken would have dried out had I left it alone for the full 8 hours, so I’ll forewarn that I can only approve a time frame of 4 hours. If you leave it longer, you are on your own!
Really … the chicken was very good. I recommend it highly!

A Fried Rice Miracle

fried_riceWhat happens when you have a refrigerator full of random ingredients, which includes a take-out box of cooked white rice? A fried rice miracle!

The Ingredients:

  • Cooked white rice (2-3 cups)
  • 3 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • green onion (not entirely necessary if you don’t have it, but it adds a nice level of flavor)
  • shelled edamame (or some other veggie you have in the freezer or fridge)
  • leftover protein (steak, chicken, shrimp …. or tofu …)
  • oil for stir frying
  • soy sauce (3-4 tablespoons)

The Instructions

1. Put about 2-3 tablespoons of oil into a wok or large frying pan and heat over med-high.
2. Meanwhile, beat 3 eggs and season with salt and pepper.
3. Cook eggs in pan until they are just cooked through/scrambled but do not overcook.
4. Remove the eggs and set aside.
5. Add a bit more oil to the pan and saute small pieces of your leftover protein (I used steak tonight) with the shelled edamame (or other veggie). I had edamame in the freezer, so I defrosted it first in the micro before adding it to the wok. Heat through.
6. Add cooked white rice and stir to combine well, then add soy sauce (go easy on the soy sauce – you can always add more).
7. Once the rice is heated through, return the eggs to the wok and combine. Be sure to break up any big eggy clumps – you want to get pieces of egg into every bite.
8. Finish with finely chopped green onion.

This is so easy, and so delicious. And, it’s a great way to turn random leftovers into a dinner miracle that you’ll actually enjoy eating!

Crispy Oven-Baked Chicken Legs

chicken legs bakedThese are so easy and so good. The next time you see chicken drumsticks on sale at the grocery store, grab a tray or two!

The Ingredients

  • 12 chicken drumsticks, skin removed (this is my least favorite part of cooking)
  • 2 cups of corn flakes
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 3 eggs

The Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray (set aside).
  2. Crush the corn flakes in a gallon-size freezer bag (I roll them with a rolling pin) and add the cayenne pepper, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Mix well, and pour out into a shallow dish.
  3. Beat the eggs.
  4. Take your skinless drumsticks and dip each one into the egg and then coat with the corn flake mixture.
  5. Place drumsticks onto the sheet pan, making sure each drumstick has enough room to “breathe.”
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour (until meat is no longer pink, and the outside is golden and crispy).

Want to do the work once and dine twice? After the chicken is cooked, cool the drumsticks in the fridge. When they are completely cooled, put them into a freezer bag and pop them in the freezer. When you are ready for them later, take your frozen drumsticks and put them back on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

If I’m going to pull skin off of chicken, I’m going to do it once. So, I tend to double or triple this recipe and then enjoy my efforts time and again.

Tuna Croquettes

tuna croquettesWhen I make these for my kids, I don’t call them Tuna Croquettes. They are just “Croquettes.” Sometimes they refer to them as chicken, and I pretend like I don’t hear them. I just know the second they find out they are eating tuna, they won’t be eating these anymore.  In the meantime, this is a sure-fire hit with the kiddos, and I like them too!

The Ingredients:

  • a can of white albacore tuna (in water)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • approximately 3/4 cup of bread crumbs (I eyeball it and base the amount on the overall consistency)
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

The Instructions:

1. Drain the tuna. If you have a cat, he/she will be there immediately. I give the water to my kitties because I am nice.
2. Combine the tuna with the beaten eggs and bread crumbs in a medium-sized bowl. Get your hands in there and moosh. If it feels too wet, add more breadcrumbs. Season with a pinch of salt and some fresh ground pepper.
3. In a skillet, heat olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of your skillet) over medium heat.
4. Shape your tuna/breadcrumb mixture into small hockey puck-type croquettes.
5. When the oil is hot, place croquettes in the skillet and  cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
6. Remove croquettes and place on a cooling rack with paper towels underneath (to catch any excess oil)

This will feed my kids and I. If I was going to try to feed another adult, I would double the amount of tuna and add 1 egg. You’ll have to feel for the breadcrumbs. You’ll know when you do it. You want the mixture to stick together and not fall apart in the pan, but you don’t want it to be too dry.

My kids pick these up in their hands and dip them in ketchup. Michael will eat them topped with cheese and hot sauce. I’ve done both, but you can also serve them on top of a bed of greens with a splash of your favorite salad dressing. Or, on a bun like a sandwich.

Easy Cheesy Asparagus Risotto

Once you learn the basics of making risotto, it’s really fun to make new creations based on what you have on hand. I whipped this dish up this evening, and it was delicious!

The Ingredients:

  • 4 strips of bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 of a large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 C Arborio rice
  • 1/2 C dry white wine (or use broth – I did so tonight … no white wine in the house)
  • 5 C chicken broth
  • 8-10 stalks of asparagus
  • 1/2 C shredded cheese ( I used a cheddar blend … again, I had it in the fridge)
  • Salt and pepper

The Instructions:

  1. In a heavy, large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the bacon until it is brown.
  2. Add onion and continue to cook until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds.
  4. Add rice and stir – allow rice to absorb the olive oil.
  5. Add wine (or 1/s C broth); stir until the liquid is absorbed.
  6. Next, stir in the chicken broth. Continue cooking, uncovered, until the broth is absorbed, stirring occasionally.
  7. Meanwhile, take 3-4 stalks of asparagus and cut into small pieces. Put this portion into the blender or food processor and add olive oil, salt and pepper. Puree.
  8. When the risotto begins to get slightly creamy, add the asparagus puree.
  9. Chop the remaining asparagus until 1 inch pieces and add to the risotto.
  10. When the risotto is rich and creamy, stir in the shredded cheese and cook one minute.
  11. Dish into bowls and enjoy!

Michael added a dash of Cholula hot sauce to his dish … to each his own!

Curry Chicken

curry-chickenI realized I haven’t made this recipe in quite some time, and it’s so delicious …. I think it’s on our family menu in the very near future.

The Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 T curry powder
  • 1/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • Cooked white rice
  • Optional: 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn; 1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped

The Instructions

1. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces and place in a bowl. Sprinkle it with the curry and cinnamon, toss, and set aside.

2. Heat 1 T of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and zucchini and cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

3. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet. Add the chicken and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Add the broth, cream, salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer. Return the onion and zucchini to the skillet until the chicken is cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.

4. Place cooked rice in individual bowls and top with your chicken curry. If desired, sprinkle with basil and almonds.

Substitution Ideas
You can substitute coconut milk for the cream …. eggplant for the zucchini … cilantro for the basil … and cashews for the almonds.

Vanilla Dutch Baby

dutchbabyThis is my new favorite thing to make for people for brunch. I’ve made it twice for guests, and two or three times now for Michael and the kids, and we’re usually fighting over the last piece.

The Ingredients

  • 3 T butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 C milk (heated for 20-30 seconds in microwave)
  • 1 T + 1 t sugar
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt 🙂
  • 1 pint (or so) fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 t lemon zest
  • 2 T confectioners’ sugar

The Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Place the butter in a large, oven-proof saute pan. Put into the oven and melt butter.
3. Meanwhile, in a blender combine the eggs, flour, milk, 1 T sugar, vanilla and salt; blend until uniform.
4. Carefully remove the hot saute pan from the oven. Don’t forget that the handle is HOT. Somehow, I forget this and reach for the handle. Every time. 😦
5. Swirl the melted butter around in the pan to coat completely, then pour any excess butter into the blender and pulse gently.
6. Pour the batter into the hot pan and return the pan to the oven.
7. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until it begins to puff in the center and the edges turn golden brown.
8. While cooking, in a small bowl combine the 1 t sugar with the blueberries and lemon zest. Set aside.
9. Again, remembering that the saute pan handle is HOT (seriously), remove the pan from the oven and use a spatula to lift the Dutch Baby out of the pan and onto a cooling rack for just a few minutes. This allows the steam to escape and keeps the Dutch Baby from getting soggy.
10. Put the Dutch Baby on a large plate and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.
11. Cut into wedges and serve with spoonfuls of your blueberry mixture.

I have also made this with fresh strawberries AND with a strawberry syrup. Delicious!