Saturday, June 26, 2010

Chipotle Tamale Pie

Nothing new this weekend.  Just got in the mood for Chipotle Tamale Pie that I cooked and posted back in January, you can find the recipe, just click on the link.

I accidentally forgot to add the cheese into the bean/meat mixture so I just decided to add it at the end of the cooking time on top of the cornbread. I let it bake an extra 5 minutes and melt.  I think I will continue to do it this way from now on though.  I really liked that the cheese wasn't in the bean/meat mixture.  It didn't taste  creamy instead you can taste a clearer, better flavor of all the ingredients.  They weren't covered up with the cheese.  I don't know how to explain it but I liked it better this way.  It was VERY, VERY good, just look at the pictures, they tell the story.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cous Cous Salad

1 cup cooked lentils (follow package directions).  Add one cube of chicken bouillon while it simmers.  In the meantime, do the following:

1 small box flavored cous-cous.  In this case, wild mushroom.  Cook the whole box.  If you use plain cous-cous, add a chicken bouillon cube to give it a some flavor

1 small can of slice black olives

1/3 cup chopped yellow pepper
1/3 cup chopped red pepper
1 scallion finely sliced (white part only).

1 cup finely chopped parsley.

Mix all the ingredients together, add a tbsp. of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and voila!  Loveliness! 
Cous-Cous Salad

I have not eaten Lentil beans since I was a wee little one.  My mom seemed to have cooked them quite often but I wasn't too big of a fan of them.  A couple of weeks ago  Georgette came to my house to cook up a Cous-Cous salad for a baby shower we were having for my daughter-in-law, Amy Grace.  Georgette is one of Amy's BFF's and she wanted to make all the food for the shower and this was one of the dishes she made.  Very, very simple to make.  To make a long story short, there was enough leftover after the baby shower to take home and so I used the leftovers to take to work for my lunch.  Not only was this flavorful but very satisfying and filling.  It sufficed and I was not ravenously hungry when I got home.  This dish has plenty of flavor what with the peppers, parsley, lentil beans.  Not only is it good but it's very healthy, no fat and lots of protein.   I really loved it.  So much, I made some more tonight so that I can take some more to work this week .....'nuff said. ~isavortheweekend

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Best Coffee Cake. Ever.


·        1-½ stick Butter, Softened
·        2 cups Scant Sugar
·        3 cups Flour, Sifted
·        4 teaspoons Baking Powder
·        1 teaspoon Salt
·        1-¼ cup Whole Milk
·        3 whole Egg Whites, Beaten Until Stiff
·        1-½ stick Butter, Softened
·        ¾ cups Flour
·        1-½ cup Brown Sugar
·        2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
·        1-½ cup Pecans, Chopped

Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. (I personally hate having to sift my flour but in this case, it is well worth it).   Beat egg whites and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar. Add flour mixture and milk alternately until combined. Don’t overbeat. 

Fold in beaten egg whites with a rubber spatula. 

Spread in a well-greased 9 x 13 or 8 x 11-inch baking pan (use the latter if you want thicker slices of cake.)

In a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients with a pastry cutter until crumbly. 

Sprinkle all over the top.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until no longer jiggly. Serve warm—delicious!

I don't usually make something like this so delectable and so extravagant during  the week.  But one of my favorite online cooks, Pioneer Woman, tempted me with this treat and I just couldn't resist!  Indeed, this is the BEST coffee cake I've ever had.  It rich, it's solid, full of buttery, carmel flavor.  WOW!!  This is a must try and will have to make this next time I make dessert during the weekend.  ~isavortheweekend

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tuscan White Bean Soup

by Williams-Sonoma
1  2lb jar Tuscan White Bean Soup starter
2/3 cup dry Ditalini pasta
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp. fresh rosemary minced
2 tbsp. fresh basil minced
1 tbsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup sour cream

Pat dry chicken breasts, cut off any extra fat.  Mix the rosemary, basil, kosher salt, pepper and oil.

Rub herb mixture all over chicken breasts.   

Heat iron grill with some olive oil.  Place seasoned chicken on hot skillet.  Brown on both sides for about 10 minutes each side or until done but do not over cook.

In the meantime cook the pasta according to package directions.  Cook pasta just short of al dente they’ll cook some more when they simmer in the soup.  Drain and set aside.    

In another pot (dutch oven) pour in the whole jar of the Tuscan White Bean Soup, cover and simmer on low.   

When the chicken is grilled on both sides, place on a platter and cover with a sheet of foil.  This keeps the natural juices in the meat.   

Cut two chicken breasts into cubes (look at the juices in that baby!)   

Pour cut up chicken to soup pot.  Simmer for 10 minutes on low. 

Pour cooked pasta into soup pot.  

Stir pot of soup and simmer for 10 minutes more.  

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and some home baked buttered dinner rolls. M-m-m-m-m-m-m!  

Taken off the label of the soup jar:  In Tuscan country kitchens, it was once customary to keep a pot of hearty bean soup simmering on the stovetop, ready for family members or guests who dropped by.  Today, many local cooks have a signature recipe for this wholesome soup, which can be enriched with chicken, sausage or macaroni to create a delicious one-pot meal.

Making it easy to enjoy this classic at home our all natural starter is prepared just as it would be in a Tuscan kitchen, where soups are cooked for hours to develop deep, complex flavors.  We’ve combined cannellini beans with a medley of garden favorites:  San Marzano tomatoes, carrots, celery,, onions and red bell peppers.  For classic character, we enrich the soup with dry white wine, adding garlic and parsley for just the right amount of seasoning.

I am a big fan of Ruby Tuesday’s, White Chicken Chili.   It’s a tomato based soup, with navy beans, hot a touch of jalepeño pepper and fresh rosemary and so much more plus they finish it with a dollop of sour cream.  The first time I ate if I loved it so much that I went home and looked the recipe on the internet.  I found a recipe and it seems to be almost exactly like the one at Ruby Tuesdays and I love it.  So when I pulled this jar of soup of the shelf at the Williams-Sonoma store in Short Pump, I kinda figured it would be similar to Ruby Tuesday’s soup.  Well, it isn’t.  I do like the flavor  but the taste is slightly different.  It has a light flavor compare to the hearty home-made made soup I make.  It’s still good and the grilled chicken pieces that I added gave it a more savory flavor and texture.  Don isn’t big on soup only because it isn’t as “filling” but he seemed to have been pretty satisfied with this one.  Yea, it's kinda silly to have soup on a very, hot, muggy day but it didn't matter since we were indoors with the ac on.  ~isavortheweekend

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Red Chili Peanut BBQ Sauce & Pork

1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsps. pepper
3 pork ribs
1/2 cup of Williams-Sonoma Red Chili Peanut BBQ Sauce
Brown ribs in heated olive oil, 15 minutes both sides or until well done.

Get the sauce ready

Dip brush into sauce......

...brush sauce all over pork

Heat both sides of the pork for another 2 minutes

Serve over a hot bed of jasmine rice and with your favorite stir-fry vegies.
Pour some sauce on the vegies too.

Whipped this one up in no time.  The star of the show was my Williams-Sonoma Red Chili Peanut BBQ Sauce.  I bought it when we took a trip up to Short Pump (near Richmond).  I couldn't wait to use it and knew that I would want to cook it Asian style which is one of my top favorite cuisines.  While shopping up at Short Pump, we went into the Williams-Sonoma store and I tell you....I could of stayed in there for hours (even with their AC broken down too).  I was delighted to see that they had all kinds of different sauces for anything and everything and although I would have loved to have bought everything on their shelves, my wallet would not permit me.  Don liked this although he confesses it wasn't his favorite.  It did have a strong smoky, chili pepper flavor to it but I really liked it.  I should have added more sauce though which is what I'll do next time I make some more.  ~isavortheweekned

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Herbs and Garlic

I was off all last week and only had one chance to cook something big, hence my last post on Chicken Paprika.  This weekend was very busy since we held a baby shower in honor of our daughter-in-law so I was too busy and too much away from home to whip up something new.  I cooked an old favorite today after church. I cooked Chicken Vesuvio.  This dish full of these fresh herbs, chicken and potatoes -m-m-m-m! I was so excited to walk out my back door and clip some thyme and oregano which I took a picture of after I chopped them up.  Like I said in my last blog, there's nothing that makes a recipe taste better than using fresh ingredients, especially herbs.  I had fun using my Paint Shop Pro program putting my pictures together even though it took me a couple of hours because my font wasn't cooperating until the end.  Anyway, so since I didn't cook anything new this weekend, I felt like showing off the herbs I did use today.  ~isavortheweekend

Friday, June 4, 2010

Chicken Paprika

– by Williams-Sonoma - Essentials of Slow Cooking cookbook

·       8 chicken thighs, trimmed of excess skin and fat
·                   Salt and freshly ground pepper
·             2 tbsp. unsalted butter
·             2 tbsp. canola oil
·             2 yellow onions, finely chopped
·             1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
·             ½ cup chicken broth
·            2 tbsp. sweet paprika
·            2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
·            ½ cup sour cream
·            12 oz.  Egg Noodles

Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper.   

In a frying pan over med-high heat, melt the butter with the canola oil.  Working in batches if necessary, add the chicken and cook, turning frequently, until browned, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Pour off all but 1 tbsp. of the fat in the pan.  Add the onions and bell pepper and sauté over med-high heat until softened, about 5 minutes.   

Stir in the broth, paprika, and tomatoes and deglaze the pan, stirring and scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

Transfer the chicken to a Dutch oven and add the tomato mixture.  Cover and cook over medium heat until the chicken is tender and opaque throughout, about 45 minutes. 

Transfer the chicken to a platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.  

Bring the cooking liquid to a boil over high heat and cook, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat, stir in the sour cream, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

While the chicken is simmering, cook the noodles according to package directions.  After the noodles are drained, gently stir in 3 tbsps. of butter while the noodles are still hot.

Serve chicken on a bed of noodles and top with sauce.

Fresh ingredients are the key for deliciousness in any recipe.  There's just something about adding fresh vegetables and watching them soak up all the flavors of the spices, seasonings and broth.  The only ingredient I had to improvise with was the paprika.  I'm not sure if I had "sweet" paprika (I don't think I did) so I added 1/2 tsp. of fine granulated sugar just to make sure.  Hubby loved the flavor but I think it could've had a little more of the paprika flavor which is probably why I need to work harder in looking for "sweet paprika".  This was a pretty quick and easy meal.  The neat thing I like about Elise's, Williams-Sonoma "Essentials of Slow Cooking" cookbook is that it not only offers suggestions in cooking all the recipes in a slow cooker but also on the stove-top, which is what I chose.  I'm on vacation, I had fun whipping up this recipe and filling up the house with all these lovely aromas, I took my time and the end result was exactly what I had hoped for, a smile on my hubby's face and a full and satisfied tummy.  ~isavortheweekend
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